5. Don’t accept your excuses
Once you listen to the survivor, it is likely that you may try to explain or justify your behavior as an abusive person. You may find various reasons that might have led to your abusive behavior in the past. But don’t believe in them. Do not believe your own excuses for your abusive behavior. People do not abuse others because they are bad, sadistic people who enjoy others’ pain. They become abusive because of their own suffering.
It is all the pain and suffering you’re holding inside that makes you an abusive person. It makes you feel insecure and vulnerable. With your feeble self-esteem and poor sense of self-worth, you struggle every day to overcome that pain. However, instead of lifting yourself, your suffering forces you to bring others down.
But you need to overcome this tendency. You need to stop using your suffering as an excuse for abusing others, especially your loved ones. It is only by healing yourself from your inner pain, you can truly transform yourself into a better person.
6. Forgive yourself
Yes, you are an abusive person. But that doesn’t have to define you for the rest of your life. Abuse is something we do, it is not who we are. So forgive yourself for hurting the people you love. It is only by forgiving yourself you can stop the cycle of abuse and transform yourself.
An abuser often hurts others because of all the pain they feel inside. As they start to blame society and others for their suffering, they avoid accountability. Moreover, to ease the pain they hold inside, they start to hurt others.
But once you accept the truth about abuse and take responsibility for your behavior, you can stop hurting others. And you can start forgiving yourself. Forgiveness is a powerful tool when it comes to healing yourself. We all have goodness within us. All of us are capable of change.
7. Lower your expectations
Expectations, or unrealistic expectations to be precise, are often the root cause for most problems in relationships. When unrealistic expectations are left unmet, it leads to resentment and hatred, which gives rise to blame and accusations. This, in turn, leads to abuse.
When you start lowering your expectations from your partner and your loved ones, you liberate yourself and them from following certain unnecessary patterns. This will help you to overcome your controlling behavior and enable you to choose how you want to react to every situation. When you stop expecting from others, you stop blaming them. When you stop blaming them for not meeting your expectations, you stop abusing them.
Moreover, you should also keep in mind that you should not expect the people you have abused to forgive you. Although you are determined to stop being an abusive person, they have still experienced abuse from you. It has affected them emotionally and psychologically and may have even led to trauma. Simply be accountable, focus on changing yourself and forgive yourself without expecting others to forgive you.
8. Learn to respect your partner
If you are abusive towards your partner or even other people, then you need to accept that they are independent human beings and respect their opinions and actions. Understand that your partner has a separate identity. They have their own thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, needs, habits, and dreams. They are not YOU. Their life should not revolve around you.
They have the right to live their lives the way they want to. They have the right to have a private and personal life that is separate from you. They have the right to choose their career and friends. You don’t have the right to control them or tell them what they should or shouldn’t do. They do not deserve to be abused or punished by you.
Respect them for they are and accept them in all their imperfect glory. You need to accept their decisions and opinions without imposing your decisions on them. You need to accept that they have the right to leave and end the relationship. Respect is the opposite of abuse.