Are you or have you ever been in a predicament where the person you love abused you? Sure, fans are watching with baited breath to determine what will happen with singers Chris Brown and Rihanna because that’s entertainment. But many people are looking to their own lives remembering the silent abuse they took from a loved one. Some are still trapped in a destructive relationship. Is it you?
No one sets out looking to be the victim. Becoming the victim is a process and happens over time in many relationships. Violence can be perpetrated by both parties, male and female, but is never acceptable. Once violence is initiated, boundaries and respect are completely out of the relationship and the relationship should end. Things are never as simple as walking away when someone you love hurts you. Sometimes people reason with themselves over staying with someone when violence occurs. Many think that if it was a smack or a simple initial act it is ok to stay. This is just an indication that the violence is just beginning.
Violence in relationships begins in stages. Just as children do things to test how much they can get away with, a violent person will escalate violent acts if they find there are no measurable repercussions. Reasoning away the violence will not prevent it from occurring again so much as either leaving the situation or receiving counseling will help.
No one outside the situation can help the domestic abuse victim until he/she is ready to move on. The abuse has to be enough for the victim to walk away. The victim will not be dragged or coerced away by friends and family. So, those watching from the outside of this situation must leave their loved ones to learn on their own. You may not want to accept that but have to let the victim learn. There is a chance that many people reading this information have been victims of abuse, even if it did not reach the physical stage. Recognizing signs can be important to trimming abusive people out of your life.
Frequently, a person engaged in risk behaviors like drinking, taking drugs or constantly seeking other sex partners are likely to be the abuser in relationships. As a counselor, I’ve talked to people who have been abused. Many said that they were with someone they caught cheating and became a victim for addressing the issue on the table and not staying silent.
Many abusers come from a violent or dysfunctional background. Some people become abusers with one person but go into other relationships where they don’t exhibit the same behavior at all. It is possible to be in a relationship with the wrong person. Sometimes walking away can save a life. Some relationships become increasingly volatile the longer someone tries to hold on to another person. Letting go opens a doorway to healing and helps the victim and abuser move on.
Relationships are a matter of give and take. When a relationship becomes a matter of one participant giving more and another taking more – that can be a form of abuse as well. It is a good indication that if the participants continue on, the situation can evolve into one of pain and anguish. Any relationship is about compromise. Relationships can last a moment or a life time and will take work. Both parties must be interested in growing together.
When one party is not invested in the relationship, take a page from the movie He’s Just Not That Into You – run in the other direction to preserve your sanity.