The book, It Ends With Us, talks about an important issue that many do not take into consideration. The main character, Lily Bloom, meets a neurosurgeon Ryle Kincaid who seems to be the perfect lover, hard-working, driven, strong- minded, strong-willed, ambitious, etc. However, her all so perfect man has some serious issues, it all starts on a date night where Lily got drunk and accidentally started laughing when Ryle burned his hand, unaware of how serious Ryle felt during the situation because she was drunk.
Ryle, enraged at the fact that she was laughing at him, slapped her and caused her to fall and hit her eye on the cabinet door. He later apologized and claimed that he wasn’t like her father and that she should not think of him differently. Later in the book, he pushed her down the stairs and slapped her as well, continuing to do small acts that begin the cycle of abuse.
Throughout the book, Lily’s relationship with her father is described. Her father was an ambitious man, hard-working, driven, strong-minded, etc. However, similar to Ryle, her father was abusive, not towards Lily, but towards her mother. Lily would describe how her father would beat her mother and at some point even tried to sexually abuse her mother. Lily also describes how often her mother would defend her husband and claim that he was a good person who did bad things for good reasons.
When Lily was a child she would always get furious at how her mother had acted, at how oblivious she was to what her husband would do to her and how much it affected Lily. Yet, during Lily’s relationship with Ryle she started making her own excuses defending Ryle’s abuse. “He thought I was cheating and I got in his way”, “He is not like my father”, “He would never hurt me.” Therefore, Lily did the exact thing she hated her mother for, protecting her abuser.
Lily started to understand why it was so difficult for her mother to leave the relationship she had been in with Lily’s father. It got to the point where Ryle also tried to sexually abuse Lily and Lily decided that she was going to stop making excuses for Ryle. When she realized she was pregnant with Ryle’s daughter, Lily realized that she did not want that in her and her daughter’s life. She did not want her daughter to see her father the same way that Lily saw hers and definitely did not want to defend and be with someone who would hurt her the way Ryle did.
At the end of the chapter Lily tells her daughter, “It ends with us,” referring to the endless cycle of abuse that she got out of. Some people never get out. It is a custom that has time and time again been proven that the abused at times become the abuser, therefore, creating a cycle of abuse. Abuse as many know comes in different shapes and forms, there are many types of abuse and all are as impacting and effecting as any other.
In many households it is custom for a parent to hit their child, since it is “passed down” and therefore, a custom, a normality. However, it should not be normal to hit a kid or a person in general and some people do not and cannot become the change. No matter what type of abuse something needs to change. Sometimes abusers are people who are emotionally connected with the abused and it affects how well a person manages that situation, it also keeps them trapped there because it is a person that they love and care about which, once again, further creates the cycle of abuse since the person grows a custom that the way to show love is to abuse.
Recently, there are many people who notice what is wrong in these types of situations and bring more awareness to female and male survivors. This leads us further into the right direction and brings hope that we can change, however, there are still many ongoing cycles.
We need to stop the cycle. It has to end with us.