Everyone, at least once in their lives, have experienced getting into a relationship. When you are in a healthy relationship, both individuals support each other, sharing the good times and helping or supporting each other through the tough times. When someone matters deeply to you, and those feelings of trust and respect are returned, it enables us to face the world with confidence. Building and maintaining a healthy relationship needs commitment from both sides to make their partnership work. But it is truly worth all the effort because when you are in a good relationship, you feel good about your boyfriend or girlfriend, and you also feel good about yourself.
Not all relationships work that way no matter how much we might want them to. When there is violence, the relationship can become really destructive which can make it both physically and emotionally dangerous. Abuse can be physical, emotional, or sexual. Slapping, hitting, and kicking are forms of physical abuse that can occur in both romances and friendships. Emotional abuse, like teasing, bullying, and humiliating others can be difficult to recognize because it doesn’t leave any visible scars. Threats, intimidation, putdowns, and betrayal are all harmful forms of emotional abuse that can really hurt not just during the time it’s happening, but long after too. Sometimes, abusive relationships are easy to identify because some of the abuse may be very subtle. In general, abusive relationships have a serious power imbalance, with the abuser controlling or attempting to control most aspects of life.
While appearing to be powerful, abusive individuals are often very dependent upon their partners for their sense of self-esteem. Sometimes they expect their partners to take care of day to day tasks which most adults handle for themselves. Abusive partners often feel powerless in the larger world. The relationship may be the only place where they feel a sense of power. Attacking their partner’s abilities or sense of self-worth is one way that abusive individuals maintain a sense of power, esteem, and control. At a deep emotional level, abusers often feels that they are not good enough and fear abandonment. By keeping their partners in a fearful or dependent state, they attempt to ensure that their partners will not leave them.
However, there are positive steps for coping with an abusive relationship such as:
· Maintaining outside relationships and avoiding isolation.
· Seeking “reality checks” by talking to others if you suspect that your partner has been abusive.
· Learning about resources available to people in abusive relationships.
· Identifying a “safe place” you can go to in an emergency if your partner becomes threatening or violent.
· Reading self-help books about healthy and unhealthy relationships.
· Seeking professional counseling or talking to someone you trust to help you sort through the issues that may be keeping you in an abusive relationship.
· Begin to develop a support system, so that if you choose to leave the relationship, you will not be alone.
Remember, abuse has no place in love. If a person made you feel inadequate, useless and fearful then it already may be the time to escape the abusive relationship. Studies show that people with healthy relationships really do have more happiness and less stress than those in an abusive relationship. One should know that abuse and violence is not acceptable in any kind of relationship, if you know from your heart of hearts that you have to get out of the abusive relationship, seek help and leave the relationship and re-live your life!