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, is 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 an independent human being 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.
Read also: 25 Ways You Can Show Respect to Your Partner
9. Reinvent love
Relationships are complicated. It can be even more chaotic when you are an insecure person who believes they don’t deserve to be loved. By holding on to the pain and suffering inside, you make yourself believe that your partner will leave you unless you isolate and control them. Your insecurities give rise to a persistent fear of the end of the relationship. But here’s the thing – relationships end. Some of them do last a lifetime, but most of them don’t. You need to enjoy the relationship for as long as it lasts instead of desperately keeping it from reaching a natural conclusion.
It’s okay for a relationship to end because the end will mark a new beginning. The more you become desperate to hold on to your relationship and your partner, the more jealous, controlling and abusive you will become. And no one wants to stay with an abusive person. So learn to let go and redefine love and relationships.
10. Seek help
If you think that you are abusive then you need to seek professional help and support from your loved ones. Most of the time, abuse can often arise from certain underlying mental health conditions like trauma, anxiety, depression and substance abuse. Treatment can not only help you to cope with the symptoms of mental disorders, but it can also empower you to bring about a necessary change in your mindset, attitude and personality.
Read also: 10 Common Myths About Therapy
Consulting a licensed therapist, counselor, clinical social worker or a mental health professional will enable you to manage your thoughts and emotions and gain better control over your reactions. Therapy can help you with substance abuse issues, anger management issues, unhealthy boundaries and toxic relationship tendencies. Moreover, learning and implementing certain self-help strategies and quitting alcohol or drugs can also help you stop being abusive.