Relationships are meant to be creative and not destructive. Love is supposed to hold relationships together. But when love is missing in a relationship then it often leads to destruction. Emotional, mental and physical abuse takes over normal communications. Any abusive relationship bears down on the victim, but an abusive marriage relationship is the most destructive.
Emotional Wounds Linger Longer
Your emotional safety is as important as your physical safety. Infact, most physical wounds can be healed much faster than the emotional ones. The wounds of domestic abuse stay with the victim for life. Hence it is important to find a way to stop an abusive relationship from continuing to destroy you. Counsellor Dr Tim suggests that the victim should seek out a safe place to share their concerns and receive professional guidance.
You need to be able to identify the danger marks. It may start off as a casual negative remark. But then it changes to more serious ones. But you may still be considering it as creative remarks or criticisms and would be thinking of ways to rectify them. You may even start cursing yourself for not being able to live up to expectations. It is then that you fall into the hands of the abuser.
The Male Aggressor
In marriages, the victim is often the female and the aggressor is the male. He is always looking for ways to subdue the victim. Once he knows that you have fallen into his abusive ways then his tone changes and he is angry and manipulative. He would even threaten you with rejection and expulsion. At this point you start feeling insecure about yourself and your status in the relationship. You start cursing yourself all the more for your incapability.
Here are a few ways to try and restrict the amount of destruction that is coming your way:
· Set limits – Let him know that there is a certain limit beyond which you may not be able to take criticism. Assertive responses like “Its not ok for you to treat me like this”, or “There is no point in getting angry when I have not done anything wrong”, etc., can counter abusive attacks.
· Self-assessment – Do some self-introspection to see if there are any areas which you can rectify from your side to make the relationship work better.
· Seek help – Go to friends or relatives with whom you can confide your fears. Seek professional guidance in how to handle the situation as it unfolds
· Stay away – If nothing is working out then you may have to decide to stay away from the relationship for a short period so that it would let the aggressor rethink his ways.
When the victim says that she cannot take it anymore as either he will hurt her or she will hurt herself, then it should raise an alarm about the status of the marriage. It cannot be allowed to continue as it is. Something needs to change. A brief period of separation is therapeutic for the victim. It gives the victim a time to heal and the aggressor a time to think.
After the period of separation, if both the partners desire to get back to each other and the aggressor is sincerely willing to take the pains to rectify his mistakes, then the couple can re-start their family life. It is possible in many cases to live happily ever after. It is worth the try.