Philippa tells the story:
“ My husband and I went to Thailand on holiday. On the last morning we had an argument because I thought he had an inappropriately flirtatious relationship with a colleague who called him constantly. He hit me through the face so hard that I fell. I remember lying on the floor smelling the hotel carpet and crying. He stood at the door unrepentant and said over his shoulder, “I’m going to breakfast.”
I was shocked and dazed.
Then I made a special effort to look good and went down to breakfast. I sat a different table and refused to look at him. I was taking a stand. After a while he apologized and begged for my forgiveness. By the time we were on our way to the airport he had his arms around me and PROMISED that he would never do it again. He was remorseful and I was so grateful. Him begging for forgiveness made me feel powerful and in control. I had taught him a lesson. It was OK to hit me.
What happened here was that I said no and acted yes. The moment I arrived in that dining room my behaviour said OK. All that had actually happened was that I had taken one more step down the road to my own destruction.
To be safe in the world every woman requires a sacred no.