Are you living in denial?
The first time he calls you a “bitch”, you find it a bit uncalled for it. But ‘it’s okay’. It’s not the first time anyone has called you a bitch. So you let it slide this time. Then it starts occurring more often. One quick insult at a time. The voices get louder. The insults get more personal. The pain lasts longer. Your bedroom starts looking more insidious. The threats become more serious. Then he hits you the very first time. You shiver in shock as your body trembles. Now the terror is real. But you let it slide this time. It’s okay. Maybe you shouldn’t have done that. Maybe you shouldn’t have made him angry. You start thinking how it’s your fault. You realize how much they love you. It’s okay. You keep telling yourself “it’s okay”. It’s NOT. These are just ways we rationalize abuse. You ARE in an abusive relationship. Can’t you see that yet?
The stories we tell yourselves.
I love him.
And I know he loves me too.
It just got a bit out of hand this time.
I know him. This is not like him. Deep down he is a really good person.
If I didn’t do that thing, he wouldn’t have behaved this way. I know him. He loves me so much.
I can’t leave him just cause we fight. Everyone does. He needs me. He needs me to love him.
These things happen in a relationship. We can work through it. We always make it work. Things will get better.
I just know.
No. You don’t. If you can’t see the pattern yet, you never will. Wake up and smell the coffee. Wake up from abuse. The truth is anyone can be abused, men and women both. Although we tend to think that the abused are weak, it’s not necessarily true. It not about if you are weak or strong. It’s about the story you tell yourself. Yes, the abusive partner will make several excuses to rationalize their behavior. But when you start making excuses to rationalize their behavior…that’s where the problem begins. And the fact is there are many ways we rationalize abuse and justify their actions.
Yes. They will seem like the best person on earth when they ‘act’ normal. Everyone will tell you how lucky you are to have them. Others will want to be with them. It’s just their natural charm and charisma. But that’s not their truth. You have seen their truth inside your bedroom when they hit you last week. But you will ignore that. Won’t you? You will choose to stay this time too. Won’t you?
Why can’t we just walk out the door?
Why do we choose to stay? Because we are afraid. Not of being called a bitch again. Not of getting punched one more time or losing our self-esteem or our sense of pride. We are afraid to be alone. We are afraid if they leave us, no one will ever love us ever again. Why? Cause we left our partner at their worst. What kind of person are we then? A selfish bitch who only wants the good things in life? Who ran away at the first sign of trouble? No. Not you. You choose to stay. You choose to ‘fix’ this relationship. Cause that’s what we do when we are in love. Right?
Admitting that you are in an abusive relationship can be very difficult. It is never easy to realize those small fights you have every day are not something ‘small’. When you start tolerating the small things, it leads to bigger things which leads to domestic abuse and violence. And by this time, you are already used to it. It becomes ‘normal’ for you to tolerate abuse. But it shouldn’t. When the person you love the most starts abusing you chronically, it can result in lifelong trauma.
Abuse creates deep lasting wounds that not only affect your future relationships but the future you as well. It’s never ‘okay’ to tolerate abuse.
Attachment is an addiction, not attraction.
Wanting to be in a relationship with a person who is clearly toxic and dangerous for your well-being is not love or attraction. It is simply co-dependency and addiction. Both of which are unhealthy for your emotional and mental state. We start feeling a certain high when we are with our partners. It’s like a drug. Deep inside we believe once everything calms down, we will simply reset to normal. So we accept.
We accept all the physical, emotional, verbal and sexual violations they can come up with. As long as things get back to normal, as long as we get that ‘high’ from being with them, everything will be fine.
Most abused partners tend to show signs of Anxious Preoccupied Attachment styles in their relationships. We feel desperate to develop a relationship that mostly exists inside our mind. Driven by emotional hunger, we tend to want our partner to complete us. Instead of experiencing genuine love, we hold on to a distorted concept of love that only results in us becoming insecure, anxious, needy, and desperate. The more we try to cling on to our abusive partner, the more abusive they become. The more we tolerate. This in turn constantly hits our self-esteem until it diminishes to a point where our sense of self-worth is completely dependent on our partner.
We may even feel that abuse is their way of expressing the passion they feel for us. Why would anyone behave so obsessively if they didn’t love me? We feel scared that if we don’t let them vent their anger, they will leave us and find someone else to be with, to express themselves.