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The Routine Makes It Easier to Stay in Abusive Relationships

The Routine Makes It Easier to Stay in Abusive Relationships

The routine merges the honeymoon & tension-building phases of the cycle of violence and abuse into one. The abuser abuses freely & the victim barely reacts.

The cycle of violence and abuse typically consists of three phases: tension-building, abuse, and honeymoon. The first two phases describe themselves and the honeymoon phase occurs after the abuse and gives the abuser a chance to beg the victim’s forgiveness or otherwise convince the victim to stay. Over time, the tension-building and honeymoon phases tends to shorten or disappear, leaving us to wonder why abusive relationships can last so long. This routine makes staying in an abusive relationship manageable; both victim and abuser come to accept this routine as normal.

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Abusive Relationships: Devil You Know vs. The Devil You Don’t

Abusive Relationships: Devil You Know vs. The Devil You Don’t

In abusive relationships, the devil you know seems better than the devil you don’t. We go back and forth over leaving our abusive mate, wobbling between fear of them and fear of the unknown. It’s a tricky balancing act, especially when our partner seems to know just when to put on their nice mask. The sweet phases of an abusive relationship add to the confusion and indecision about just what kind of devil we know.

What kind of devil can be so sweet one minute and so nasty the next? And why can they act kind for long stretches and then turn back into monsters over meaningless situations or words? Why do they hurt us? Why do we stay? Will this relationship hurt the children? Can this relationship last? Should I stay to see if it gets better? Should I run and not look back?

Unfortunately, I am incapable of giving you those answers. And honestly, the longer you take contemplating what those answers could be, the longer you’ll be stuck with the devil you know.

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Isolation After Domestic Abuse: How to Overcome The Habit

Isolation After Domestic Abuse: How to Overcome The Habit

A domestic abuse survivor writes:

I was in an trapped in abusive relationship for 9 years, been out of it for 4 years, and I have remarried. I’ve come to the realization that I feel residual effects of abuse on my ability to make friends. Isolation was part of the abuse. I notice this problem more when my husband wants to go out with friends …[and] I get very jealous of his sense of independence. I see it as something I still don’t have. It puts a strain on my marriage because of the jealousy that comes about.

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Am I Imagining The Abuse in My Relationship?

Am I Imagining The Abuse in My Relationship?

Is The Abuse In My Head?

So often, people ask me the question “is this abuse just in my head or is there a problem with my marriage?” Sure, sometimes things are just in our heads. Psychotic minds “see” bugs climbing out of walls where there are none (at least, no bugs that we non-psychotics can see), and the experience is as real to them as NOT seeing bugs is to us.

I suppose you could be imagining problems where there are none; you could be imagining abuse. But if you have no psychosis and, for example, do not see bugs climbing out of the walls, and outside of your relationship your judgments seem pretty sane, then I really doubt you are imagining the abuse.

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Psalm 27 and Domestic Abuse

Psalm 27 and Domestic Abuse

Recently I had the opportunity to converse with a woman, Cathy, who lives with an abusive man. She didn’t know exactly where to start her story, but I noticed that “psalm27” was part of her email address.

I am familiar with the prayer because it gave me comfort during my days of living with an abusive man. Initially, Psalm 27 seemed to tell me to stay on track, that God sent trials my way for a reason. I came to understand it differently, and I’d like to share with you the email I sent to Cathy (with her permission of course, and with a few edits for clarity).

I don’t usually delve into religion or my lack of religion on this blog. I do not pretend to be a biblical scholar. However, God (by whatever name) and I are tight. I listen to The Voice – but sometimes my human mind doesn’t want to hear the real message at first.

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Can Love Make The Abuser Stop Abusing?

Can Love Make The Abuser Stop Abusing?

  • “But I love her (so I stay).”
  • “He had a horrible childhood (so I stay).”
  • “She never learned how to love (so I stay).”
  • “I want to show her that someone in her effing life cares (so I stay).”
  • “He is really sick and has no one else but me (so I stay).”

Can You Love The Pain Out of an Abuser?

Victims of abuse stay in the abusive relationship for many reasons, and many of the reasons relate to love and/or empathy for the abuser.

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Top 3 Things I Know That An Abuse Victim Does Not

Top 3 Things I Know That An Abuse Victim Does Not

First I need to clarify something. There are no abuse victims reading this post. I know that because if you are an abuse victim, you’re online researching troubled relationships and self-help information aimed at fixing a frazzled marriage. You certainly are not searching for information about any “abuse victim”. In my mind, abuse victims do not know they are abuse victims. Abuse victims are either in severe denial or truly do not recognize the abuse as abuse.

If you know and admit that you’re in an abusive relationship, then you are no longer a victim. You are a survivor of domestic abuse. Only survivors read this blog, pure and simple. That said, you may wonder why I am writing an article for an abuse victim who will never read it. Because I want to remind you, the survivor, just how far you’ve come in your efforts to end abuse in your life.

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Abusive Relationships: Don’t Let Abusers Waste Your Empathy

Abusive Relationships: Don’t Let Abusers Waste Your Empathy

Waste comes on all forms. Plastics, bodily wastes, and characteristics like empathy for others. Yeah, I know, we don’t usually consider a good quality in ourselves as a waste – but in some cases, empathy is a waste of energy. When you’re in an abusive relationship, your loving empathy for your abuser is a definitely a waste of your energy. 

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Laughing ’til It Hurts: The Hidden Pain of Domestic Abuse

Laughing ’til It Hurts: The Hidden Pain of Domestic Abuse

Big ol’ belly laughs that catch you by surprise feel so good! They feel better now that feeling happy doesn’t make me sad. That idea is confusing; laughing until you cry doesn’t usually mean you cry sad tears, but it happened to me a lot during my abusive marriage. Usually, the laughing started during a phone call with my sister. Anything could get us going, and for a few beautiful minutes, nothing mattered except the funny bit between us. I laughed until my sides ached and the tears flowed like water.

But then, when the laughter dried up and I started wiping the tears from my eyes, the tears wouldn’t stop. My face, sore from smiling, suddenly dropped into a frown. I covered my face because I felt embarrassed to feel so…damn…sad. Those last tears fell because when the laughter was done, I returned to my sad, closed-off life of mind-numbing pain. Sometimes I would stay on the phone with her when she asked what was wrong. Usually I cut the conversation short when I felt the change to pain begin.

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Overcome the Effects of Abuse

Overcome the Effects of Abuse

How Abuse Effects Its Victims

One of the hardest things to look at during or after an abusive relationship is the mental and emotional damage the abuse caused in us. We remember who we were before the abuse and may feel like a sad shell of that person after it. It is scary and heart-breaking. You may feel more defenseless, helpless and hopeless than before you knew your partner abused you. After all, now you fight your mind as well as the abuse your (ex) partner inflicts.

You will never change your partner. You are already their target for abuse, and once you are the target it is difficult if not impossible to change back into “you” in their eyes. However, you can change yourself. You can change your thoughts, your feelings, and the way your brain is wired. But remember, although “change” is something that can happen to you, if you want to heal from abuse, change must be something you DO.

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