Family Magazine

Abusive Relationship – Are You In One?

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum
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Am I in an abusive relationship? I am asked far too many times, it’s difficult to have to explain that yes they are after listening to honest feelings and experiences. What’s more heart wrenching is having to listen to a mother disclose how desperately low she feels and how afraid she is at the hands of the man she loves.

Too often than not she knows that the verbal abuse is wrong, yet somehow justifies this abuse as being normal, everyone argues right? While it is true that in every relationship arguments will surface there is a major difference between a healthy argument and abuse that occurs within an abusive relationship.

“But he has never hit me” is always the line I receive when I mention the word domestic violence and I am still somewhat shocked at the amount of women who truly believe that an abusive relationship is not categorised by domestic violence.

You do not need to be battered women to be the victim of domestic violence; in fact there are many types of abuse that can occur other than physical and verbal abuse is one of those.

A healthy relationship involves respect, trust, and consideration for the other person.

An abusive relationship is not a healthy one and you should never stay with a person who abuses you in this way. Emotional abuse is soul destroying and it is your mind that takes the strain.

In the article Verbal Abuse Exposed I highlight the behaviours of a verbally abusive perpetrator and upon reading this many women have contacted me to ask me if I believe they are in an abusive relationship, sadly it seems many are.  I can only hope by raising awareness it saves some of these women.

Will your partner ever change? Can you make an abusive partner stop abusing you? I don’t have the answer to that question, I only wish I did.

I spent eleven years trying to change my ex-partner, I gave him three children, marriage anything he wanted I gave, yet he never changed.  He did however agree to professional help, but only upon me leaving him. I did fall for his empty promises and believed he wanted to change and I took him back for the 100th time. Of course for a period of time everything was perfect, within months the verbal abuse started again, once he knew I was back under his control.

I do not remember when the abusive relationship began, looking back gradually he kicked down all my defences, until I was too weak to fight or put up a restraint. I was already living with him and we had bills and everything else that comes with having a home to pay for. The verbal abuse started long before any of our children arrived, yet foolishly I believed that having children would change him.

The abusive relationship almost cost me my life, I did become so depressed that I attempted to take my own life on several occasions. Personally for me the verbal abuse damaged me more than any other form of abuse he inflicted upon me during our relationship. Physical abuse did follow the verbal abuse in our case, although it does not always follow I have during my time online talking to other survivors of domestic violence, this cycle is very common.

I do believe that we all have a choice and if an abuser wanted to change then with the correct support they could, but I also believe you should not stay with them through this process. Only when they can prove they have changed and over time with couple therapy should you look to resolving your relationship.


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Children should never be witness to an abusive relationship, children learn from their parents and your children could learn to believe that being an abuser is normal or that being a victim of abuse is something that is accepted, you are setting up the cycle of domestic violence.

Womens Aid writes about this topic perfectly;

This model is based on the view that children who live with domestic violence will learn that abuse is acceptable, and as they grow up, will tend to become either perpetrators of abuse or victims, largely depending on whether they are boys or girls.

The true picture is much more complicated than this.  While experiencing or witnessing domestic violence can have a serious impact on children and young people, they will respond in various ways depending on their age, race, sex, culture, stage of development, and individual personality.

Some children may feel that they are to blame; or they may feel angry, guilty, insecure, depressed, frightened, powerless, or confused.  They may have ambivalent feelings, both towards the abuser, and towards the non-abusing parent, and this may mean that for a time they withdraw or show signs of aggressive behaviour; or – in some cases – they may enter into relationships that are unhealthy or abusive. If children have a good relationship with the non-abusing parent or can access other sources of support, this can increase their resilience.

By no means do all children who have lived with domestic violence grow up to become either victims or abusers. Many children exposed to domestic violence realise that it is wrong, and actively reject violence of all kinds.


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I am often asked why I stayed in an abusive relationship for so long and I have no definite answer other than to say we were together almost eleven years, we had three children and a business and a home together. Finances played some part and although I was a victim to a variety of abuse forms I still loved my husband and desperately fought to help him change. I also wanted my children to grow up with both parents present, something I never had. This important aspect to me almost cost me everything. One of my children was physically hurt due to me staying.


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I do not like to live with regret and the only regret I do have is not speaking out sooner, I could have saved myself and my children earlier and perhaps the long term effects of abuse may have been lessened.

An abuser will use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her control. Your abuser may also threaten you or threaten to hurt those you care for.

If you feel you may be in an abusive relationship I urge you to seek help and support. There are a wide range of services available to help you. Nobody deserves to live in fear.

 Abusive Relationship   Are You In One?

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