Before you can heal an unhealthy relationship, you need to be able to recognize the patterns.
Gone are the days where abusive relationships are handled by solely requiring a change in the behavior of the abuser. Relationship Violence is a dynamic that must be addressed by each partner. If you recognize yourself or your partner in the signs below, you may be headed for relationship violence.
Many Abusive Relationships Share These Patterns:
1. If one partner is hardly ever angry, and the other partner is often very angry.
2. If you or your partner get very angry or very scared at things most other people don't.
3. If you or your partner vascillate between feeling completely out of control and desperately try to maintain control.
4. If you feel sensitive and often hear things as criticism.
5. If you believe you are better than your partner. i.e. if you think you have more control of your emotions, are smarter, or believe you're more successful.
6. If you are afraid to do or say certain things for fear of your partner's response.
7. If you feel powerless to change your partner, or feel powerless to change the relationship.
8. If you feel the need to protect your children or pets from your partner's behavior.
Addressing the underlying issues that contribute to domestic violence is paramount to transforming it. All relationship dynamics exist to teach us about some place in us where we feel powerless or wounded, and domestic violence is no exception. The signs above are conditions often experienced by BOTH abuser and abused. Both partners commonly report feeling attacked, criticized, and hurt by their partners. They simply deal with it from opposite ends of the spectrum. In abusive relationships, both partners usually find that they are lacking in confidence and self-esteem, and have unexpressed fear (abuser) and rage (abused). Once these underlying issues are addressed, relationship violence drops away.
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