Awkward Handshake Or A Sign Of Abuse? How Trump's 'Gentle Push' May Cross A Line

"Go sit down," Trump tells Melania.

trump pushes melania away awkward handshake AP

President Donald Trump is currently going viral for a video that shows Trump giving Melania an awkward handshake, and then a gentle push or nudge with a hand on her back to usher her off the stage, saying, "Go sit down."

In a vacuum, these gestures wouldn't mean much — but coupled with the other things that have come out of Trump's mouth, they are troubling to viewers. Mr. "Grab 'em by the p****' strikes again, and social media is rife with comments about the matter.


Some of the comments being made about Trump and Melania can be read below:

  • "More like pushes her off stage, Melania must be way over the hill for #Trump he needs an 18 yr old again."
  • "Trump actually pushes Melania out of the way!"
  • "Ok, this is bizarre even for Trump! He shakes Melania's hand after intro then gently but obviously pushes her aside. #FreeMelania #Resist"
  • "Interesting (and creepy) the way Trump literally pushes Melania away from the podium."
  • "Then Trump pushes Melania off stage. No room for her once his ego arrived."
  • "Awkward! Donald Trump shakes Melania's hand then pushes her away, listen for the 'go sit down.'"
  • "Look at Melania's face and how Trump pushes her along-Trump has to be paying her off to stick around; humiliation is outrageous and wrong!"

As a 48-year-old, I recognize certain situations in a different light than when I was an 18-year-old — or a 28-year-old, for that matter.


All I knew of abuse was the obvious stuff: A person who hit another person and left them black-and-blue with bruises. Or, scenes of domestic violence as displayed in the movie Purple Rain. Eventually, I would learn about the little gestures that also spoke of domestic abuse, power, and control.

RELATED: It Sure Feels Like We're ALL Being Gaslighted By Donald Trump

The hand on the back can be a gentlemanly action, or it can be a power play. A push can be something enacted out of frustration, impatience, and guidance — but also speak to an abundance of imbalance and control.

Marriage is a partnership that may very well view the woman as the "weaker vessel," as the Bible deems women, but that doesn't mean that women aren't valued.


Christ valued women to the utmost, as much as men, and gave up his life for all. Therefore, those who believe in the more traditional viewpoints of marriage shouldn't morph that union into something ugly that deems the husband the all-powerful one and the little wifey the dumb, useless one at home.

Instead, some marriages could very well feature the woman as a millionaire businesswoman whilst the husband stays at home taking care of the kids. And those can be winning Christian marriages.

The man who expresses his anger by nudging his wife out of the way must turn to God to view her with new eyes. The wife who turns outside her marriage for fulfillment she doesn't find at home must do the same. Both could end up discovering a refreshed marriage that features both parties getting along better. If not, it could be time to leave a situation in order to ultimately make it better. 

RELATED: Melania NEVER Shares A Bed With Donald, Sources Tell US Weekly


When I was younger, I thought escaping from obvious abuse was a way to get out of a violent situation. As long as a man doesn't hit a woman, I thought that meant there was no abuse.

All these years later, I've learned about gaslighting, psychological manipulation, harmful words, money mastering, attempted isolation, undue control, constant criticisms and all sorts of verbal abuse that can also be harmful.

They can also be learned behaviors that need to be unlearned and replaced in order to salvage the marriage.

While we do not know what is happening in the President and First Lady's marriage, or whether that interaction between the President and Melania was a sign of abuse, we can all learn from some of the subtle signs of dominance, power, and control in order to help us understand how to have happier, healthy marriages, free from abuse of any kind. 


RELATED: 5 Facts & Details About Melania Trump's Rumored BOYFRIEND Hank Siemers

Paula Mooney is the author of several books (most written under pseudonyms to protect the guilty). Her essays and articles have been featured in national print magazines such as Writer's Digest, and in major online publications like Yahoo, Examiner and more.


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