Domestic violence is never far from the news headlines. Partly because abusive incidents involve celebrities or sports personalities whose lives have become very public.
However, abuse is not always as clear cut as being shoved or hit or being sworn at or being called degrading names.
Actually, abuse can be underhand and much more subtle than this and to make matters worse the abuser might be completely unaware of their actions and might even believe that their behaviour is normal in intimate relationships. If this resonates with you why not take a moment to look at your partner’s attachment history and see if you believe it was safe and nurturing or conditional and worrying.
However, take note! Seeing that your partner had a difficult time growing up does not mean that you have a responsibility for them and that you must look after them to the exclusion of your own well being.
Mental, psychological and emotional abuse usually causes you to feel as if you are, “walking on eggshells”. It can make you feel as if nothing you do or say is right and you can be blamed and called selfish for “upsetting” or “neglecting” your partner.
Therefore, if you find yourself thinking, “no matter how hard I work at this relationship I never seem to get it right“, Think about how you felt about yourself before you started the relationship and how you feel about yourself now that you are in this relationship. If there is a negative discrepancy now, think about how you came to feel about yourself today.
Pay attention to the times where you feel that you are convinced of one thing and your partner manages to convince you of another.
Look at how your partner tries to influence your thoughts and your relationships and the way you feel about other people.
In emotional and psychological abuse there are often strong themes of guilt, fear, confusion and “I’m a bad person”.
Importantly, notice that whenever you bring your concerns to your partner’s attention you are advised that you are being unfair and your concerns are typical of someone who is “wrong“.
In short, you are not able to have any kind of discussion based on how you feel without that discussion turning into a shame-fest aimed at you.
If you have read my article and would like to find out any more information about coercive and abusive relationships then please do get in touch with me by phone or email.
I would be pleased to hear your story.