Abusive relationships are all too common in today’s society. For some 38,028,00 women in America, abuse has been or continues to be a part of their daily lives. Depending on the situation, the relationship may have started out wonderfully, with a supportive partner and seemingly idyllic conditions. However, situations change and abusive tendencies can turn up at any point in a relationship. The cause can range from a significant change in a partner’s life, such as losing a job or a mental disorder that is no longer being treated medically. When examining abuse, there are two main categories: emotional and physical. No two relationships are the same and no two abuse cases will be identical, however, there are certain traits that can be expected when analyzing these relationships.
Emotional abuse is often characterized by one partner making the other feel inferior, scared, or otherwise insecure in the relationship. It’s not uncommon for these emotionally abusive partners to yell at their significant other, point out shortcomings multiple times each day, or work to convince their partner that they are worthless without the other. In almost every case, the main factor spurring the abuse on is control. The abusive party wants nothing more than to feel that they are in complete control of every aspect of the relationship. While nonabusive relationships rely on teamwork and open communication, abusive relationships often devolve into squabbles, fights, and negative behaviors all designed to manipulate the abused party.
Physical abuse, on the other hand, is perhaps the most noticeable. While many abused partners take great pains to hide the signs and symptoms of abuse from friends and family, it may still be noticeable. However, it is important to note that far more individuals experience emotional or psychological abuse than physical abuse, so the signs may not be as easily identifiable. However, in both cases, many individuals choose to focus on the few redeeming qualities of their partner. Rather than seeing the abuse for what it is, they believe that they may be able to help their partner see the error of their ways or may be convinced that the abuse is nothing more than a temporary phase. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Why Individuals Stay with an Abusive Partner
Even when the situation is horrible and an individual feels threatened, many choose to stay. The reasons vary from individual to individual. However, at Long Island Counseling, we’ve seen the following reasons more often than others:
- Kids: leaving a relationship when you have children with the abusive partner is never simple. Many note that they believe their children are better off living with both parents than in a fractured home.
- Belief that it will get better: If the relationship was originally supportive and encouraging, many respondents felt that the relationship would improve if they stuck it out.
- Love: Even in abusive relationships, they may find that they still love their partner, regardless of the severity of the abuse.
- Not enough money: If a partner has restricted their ability to work a full-time job, or insisted they stay at home, the individual may lack the resources to get out of the relationship.
What Can You Do?
Emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse. If you or someone you know is trapped in an abusive relationship, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. You should never feel like you must suffer in silence.
At Long Island Counseling, we provide high-quality psychotherapy in Long Island to help you rebuild your life after a rough situation. Often, leaving a relationship can bring on feelings of inferiority, fear, and frustration. These feelings are completely normal, but you shouldn’t have to feel alone. Our experienced psychotherapist will work to help you understand the root of your feelings so you can work to overcome them. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.