When we think about love, the thoughts that come to mind are thoughts of romance, kindness, intimacy affection and other words that express the great feelings that come with being with someone that values and respects you. Indeed this is how love is meant to be, but the experience of someone in an abusive relationship is quite different from this
Someone in an abusive relationship has to endure a spouse or partner who claims to love them but abuses them physically, sexually or even emotionally and more often than not when you ask the victim of this abuse why they put up with this behavior from their spouse or partner they say it is because deep down they know that their spouse or partner loves them and they too love their abusive partner despite the pain they have to endure in that relationship.
Some people in an abusive relationship stay in the relationship out of fear of their abusive partner, because they are afraid that if they leave their partner their life might be in danger, yet others stay because of low self esteem, maybe their abusive partner has made them believe that nobody else will want them and that they will never find love with anyone else and so they stay and endure the abuse.
Going back to the first point I made about people staying in abusive relationships because they still love their partner and believe their partner loves them, the first question that usually pops to mind is that, if your partner really loves you, why would they hurt you, why would they hit you, call you names and even forcefully have sex with you against your will? How can such behavior be associated with love?
Isnï¿½t love supposed to be caring and protective? And that point is very valid, but we must also understand that there can be several reasons why someone would hurt a person they are in love with, not that I am making excuses for abusers (no way!) but when people have been the victims of abuse themselves (maybe in their past as a child) and when people donï¿½t know how to manage their anger and emotions then ultimately they will end up hurting and abusing the person they love because they need to be reprogrammed, they have deep psychological issues that need to be dealt with and they need to learn how to correct certain unhealthy behaviors.
However the behavior of your abusive partner will not change if you continue to endure this abusive relationship and put up with the abuse. To do nothing about the behavior is to validate the action, you are indirectly saying that itï¿½s okay for them to treat you that way by doing nothing. Itï¿½s like putting up with being bullied, the bullying will continue until you stand up to the bully.
The abusive spouse or partner must recognize that there will be consequences for their abusive behavior if it continues. Itï¿½s how we learn discipline as a children, when we misbehave we are spanked or privileges are withdrawn, by so doing we learn whatï¿½s acceptable and what isnï¿½t. If you donï¿½t discipline a child they will end up destroying themselves and their parents in the process. The same is true for abusive partners, they need to be disciplined and learn that certain actions are unacceptable so that they donï¿½t destroy themselves and you in the process.
So if you are in an abusive relationship some of the following actions are recommended as a way letting your abuser know that the behavior isnï¿½t acceptable:
ï¿½ Take time out from the relationship. This lets the abuser know that there is a chance that they might lose you if they donï¿½t change and if they really do love you then they will change.
ï¿½ Insist that they get counseling before the relationship can proceed.
ï¿½ Stand up for yourself if your partner starts to show any sign of wanting to reabuse, not in a violent or aggressive way but in a firm yet loving way, letting them know that you love yourself and you love them too much to allow them to treat you that way, the behavior is neither healthy for them nor you.
ï¿½ Let your pastor know what is going on or a neutral person you can talk to that wonï¿½t take sides and act in a judgmental way towards either of you. It is better to let someone be aware of the abuse, sometimes the fact that the abuser knows that a third party is aware of their actions can make them stop, abusive thrives in secrecy so expose it, but be careful who you expose it to, make sure the person is either a professional who can help or someone who is mature enough to handle it wisely.
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