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How to Know You Are in an Abusive Relationship

An important component of any relationship is trust and respect for both members of the couple. The absence of these components can lead to the appearance of abusive relationships built on selfishness, misunderstanding and violence. It is easy to determine an abuser, but living with such a person is simply unbelievably difficult and even dangerous. Abusive relationship is a tragedy for every woman she will never forget and forgive.

why women stay in abusive relationships

But many women often do not even realize they are involved in such kind of horrific commitment, where one of the members inevitably sacrifices his or her psychological and even physical health. In the relationships, abuse is expressed as the manipulation of a partner, the subordination of his or her will, using all forms of damage (physical abuse, sexual abuse, moral abuse). The most severe manifestations of family abuse are the infliction of physical intimate suffering. In ninety percent of cases of abuse, a man is, unfortunately, guilty. Women are more likely to be the victims of psychological abuse. But they are not the ones to suffer as well.

Among women, abuse is expressed by insults, boycotts, ignorance, unwillingness to talk, rejection of the partner's needs, constant accusations, passive aggression, excessive and unfair criticism of the partner, blackmailing to stop cooking food and having intimacy. It is inevitable to inform people about it and help them prevent arguably the biggest mistakes of their lives. I hope that after reading this article, you will know how to spot the ringing bell and escape such relationships.

Why do women stay in abusive relationships?

Why don’t you just leave? Why do women stay in abusive relationships? - Questions that victims of abuse hear absurdly often. The thing is, this is not easy for a number of reasons.

It's dangerous

According to statistics, physical harm in couples, where domestic abuse against women takes place, appears more likely when the victim declares an intention to leave. No matter how paradoxical it may sound, but a woman often stays in a relationship with a rapist because of her feelings. If she left him, she could be in even greater danger.

Offenders, as a rule, restrict the freedom of their victims. Including financial ones. Therefore, a woman simply may not have a livelihood to move on. Economic dependence - this reason is very substantial. If a woman does not have sufficient experience of work and education, if she has been sitting at home for a long time, raising children, finding a job is very difficult.

In addition, a woman who lives with an abuser is often cut off from her social environment and is difficult to find support. Usually, isolation occurs gradually and intensifies over the time. There are two reasons for this: the first is the planned actions of an abuser. Sometimes, a partner prevents the victim from communicating with anyone in every possible way. So men in abusive relationships aspire to possess absolute power over their women. Someone will ask: why does a woman agree to his demands? Why does a man offer to sit at home (at first he only offers), but a woman cannot, perhaps, defend her interests or simply protest?

In fact, as a rule, she cannot. After all, a woman who lives with an abuser once has chosen to do it. Such a couple is formed according to the principle of matching unconscious "requests": a man with a tendency to tyranny subconsciously searches for a potential victim, and a woman with an inner sense of her own insignificance searches for a "master" who can make her life more meaningful.

leaving abusive relationshipsOf course, the phenomenon itself is more complicated than this imaginary scheme, and it is called co-dependence. But the essence is that the victims of violence become so even before entering into a relationship with their abuser. Something inside succumbs them to this relationship. Therefore, in order to exit from violent relations, it is not enough to just leave the offender - it is necessary to resolve internal issues, as the result, the next relationships will be different. Few people succeed - more often they require the help of an expert. In general, types of abusive relationships go from verbal to physical abuse and even rape!

“Implanted” helplessness

When a person fails to solve a problem (in our case, to satisfy the partner), sooner or later a moment comes when she ceases to believe that she is capable of anything at all. The life of a person, trained to be helpless, is accompanied by the sense of losing freedom and control. This, among other things, leads to the fact that a woman becomes unable to resist the demands of the offender. The second reason is the gradual unwillingness of the woman to communicate with anyone. Often victims of violence knowingly stop communicating with relatives and friends, as they feel ashamed for what is happening to them. In addition, society often condemns them. This is why women stay in abusive relationships – they are simply afraid.

In addition, it is quite possible that the time when a woman was forced to tolerate humiliation and insult deprived her of her own strength. This is often experienced as an inability to cope with life's tasks without a husband or a boyfriend. And where to go, especially if you have children? After all, you need to live somewhere. Well, there are parents or close friends who can provide living space, and if not? What should you do then?

Signs of an abusive relationship

Signs of abusive relationships are various and can be difficult to trace. However, it is essential for the woman not to keep silence and cut off the commitment at once. So, here are the most prominent abusive relationships signs:

  • a partner assures that no one likes you like he does;
  • shows jealousy;
  • interrogates;
  • overly controls every action, requires reporting for each step;
  • has unrealistic expectations;
  • tries to limit the partner's contacts with her relatives and friends;
  • always shifts responsibility to the partner;
  • shifts the blame to her;
  • an abuser is very easy to offend, after which you have to beg forgiveness;
  • gross behavior in relation to children, animals;
  • verbal aggression, toned up voice, shouting;
  • lability of mood;
  • a partner can easily threaten with physical violence, then assault, and then, as if nothing had happened, talk normally.

Signs of emotionally abusive relationships:

1. Strongly expressed negative attitude towards the former partner. Generally, it is normal to experience negative feelings for the ex. But it's all about the extent of this insult. If a person literally begins to complain how unworthy his girl was (on the first date), this is a bad symptom. Even worse, if he feels open contempt for her. And it's really bad if a man claims that she made false allegations of ill-treatment against him. The fact is that most of the statements about violence correspond to reality is frightening.

2. Excessive assistance, which you did not ask for, or ostentatious generosity, which puts you in an awkward position. Such actions of your lover can mean that he tries to make you feel that you owe him something. If you refuse his services, he still does what he thinks to be appropriate, and you feel the intrusion into your personal space - this is a bad sign.

overcoming abusive relationships3. He is self-centered. At the initial stage of the relationship, the abuser's egocentrism is not always obvious, but there are symptoms that you should pay attention to. You should be alerted if he talks too much and all these conversations are mostly about him. Egocentrism in general is poorly amenable to correction. Mentally abusive relationships often start with innocent selfishness.

How to leave an abusive relationship?

Overcoming abusive relationships is not easy. It requires colossal inner strength and courage. In fact, it is almost impossible to cope with the abuse in the family, saving the relationships.

The abuser must understand what he is doing, and accept the need for change to preserve the family. But, as practice shows, very few people are ready for long and complex attempts to change themselves. Therefore, most often the only way to get out of the tyranny is to break the relationship. And it is very difficult to do this, because such relationships often lead to loss of the meaning of life, decreased self-esteem, lack of desires and interests.

To restore the integrity, an individual may need a long work with the therapist. Sometimes you can cope with the problem yourself by distancing yourself from the abuser (sometimes even by moving to another city).

Recovering from emotionally abusive relationships will be effective only when the victim follows the next steps:

  • set a new life goal;
  • find true-life values;
  • restore your self-esteem and love yourself;
  • neutralize self-flagellation;
  • change the situation; burn down everything that recalls the past relationship;
  • drive away thoughts of their own uselessness and unworthiness;
  • realize the necessity of excluding the abuse from your own life.

While leaving abusive relationships:

  1. Do not drink with your abuser, do not quarrel when he is drunk / annoyed.
  2. If you want to speak out (and this is inevitable, it's very hard to keep silence) - it's better to do this with a person who is not familiar with the abuser and even theoretically cannot come across him (common friends and acquaintances can slip, even if they are nice people). An alternative option is to create an anonymous account. The safest option is to talk out alone in front of the mirror.
  3. Reinsure, be ready for damaged personal property. Store valuable things (not in the material sense, but rather those that are very dear to you for personal reasons) in a safe place. Gradually, quietly take away your things.
  4. After leaving: Do not communicate with the abuser neither personally, nor online. Better not talk to him at all, but if you still need it - just e-mail! Calling, DM’ing, chatting - NO. Personal meetings (even in crowded places) – are not an option, at least for a couple of months.
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