Many clients ask me, "Is my partner abusive?". It's a simple question with a not-so…
Abusive relationships and depression
Abusive relationships tend to cause depression and/or anxiety. Some victims of abuse remain traumatised for years after leaving an abusive relationship and many suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.
Some survivors of abuse have even be likened to prisoners of war, suffering the equivalent negative emotional impact as if they had been in a war.
Abusive realtionships mess with your mind. They often result in a loss of confidence and self doubt. What used to seem normal fades away and a ‘new normal’ takes it’s place. Abuse becomes normalised over time, in that you begin to think that the lack of love and support and to degradation are normal. You forget what it feels like to be in a normal healthy realtionship where two people support each other and want the best for each other.
Abusive relationships often involve control. One partner wishes to control their partner and this is usually because the controller feels inadequate in some way, this drives theur need for control. they feel insecure and in order to establish superiority, they need to have an underdog in the relationship and they will make sure that isn’t them.
Criticism is also common in an abusive relationship and this contributes heavily to depression. A feeling of helplessness and hopelessness overcomes the victim and they take on a passive demeanour over time. Do you recognise yourself in this? Do you remember a time when you were more confident, more spirited? A controlling partner will get that out of you one way or another, whether it’s through emotional abuse or physical abuse.
How to behave in an abusive relationship
Get strong behind the scenes. You don’t need to be confrontational to begin with but you do need to widen your support group and reach out to others. There is no shame in reaching out. Be proud that you are taking steps to mend your broken life.
Save money in a secret account and slowly make plans to gain back your control and independence. When someone leaves an abusive partner, they are at the most vulnerable. Prepare in advance.
Don’t rock the boat until you are ready to leave. It takes guts to get out of an abusive relationship. It’s one of the hardest things you might ever be faced with but you can do it and there is help out there. We all deserve love and affection and to be treated with respect.
Get mad, get angry..this is part of the healing process. It’s the strong part of your personality that is emerging – excellent.
If you feel too depressed and anxious to take positive steps, have a look at the resources page on this website for someone to talk to.
Abuse comes in many forms and it often isn’t recognised until you are out of it. If it doesn’t feel right, it porbably isn’t. What do your friends and family say? there will be signs but we often ignore them as we all believe in love and want a happy ending. Sometimes that happy ending isn’t with the person you have tried so hard to please for so long. Some times that happy ending is you getting your life back – your way, your rules.