VIEWS: 14 PAGES: 2 POSTED ON: 9/4/2010
Abusive Relationships Depending on what statistics you come across on any given day, an average of one in every four women will at some point in their lives be involved in an abusive relationship. That abuse could be extremely violent or completely emotionally, but abusive relationships in any form cause scars that can and will last a lifetime. I've seen women who have been beaten so badly that you wince just glancing in their direction. I've listened to women cry over the verbal abuse that has left them wondering if they will ever be able to regain their self-esteem. Abusive relationships can happen to anyone at any age and it doesn't choose what race or gender it can appear in. I've seem some teenage girls who have the misfortune of experiencing their first true relationship and it turns out to be abusive. That first abusive relationship sets the standards for her next relationship as well. It could turn into a neverending cycle. I have also, more uncommonly, talked to husbands who are ashamed to say that their wives are abusing them. They have come to my office hanging their heads in complete shame. The worst kind of abusive relationships are those in which both physical and mental abuse are occurring simultaneously. It is usually those abusive relationships that are much more difficult to safely remove yourself from. Sadly, some of the worst of abusive relationships end in tragic manners that make front page headlines. We all wonder what we could have done to help them or react differently by saying that we would never have let our own selves get into a relationship like that. I can tell you, that is much easier said than done. More often than not, you find yourself caught up in an abusive relationship that has gotten out of control slowly. People do not choose to get into an abusive relationship. It isn't something that they just wake up one morning and decide they will involve themselves in. Abusive relationships, for the most part, evolve slowly. It can start with small comments that are degrading. Perhaps your partner tells you that an outfit makes you look fat or that you are stupid. Those small comments lead to occurring more frequently and bring about other degrading comments. Before too long, those harsh comments fly out of their mouths sharply and bitterly and the verbal abuse has escalated to a level that completely strips the victim of their self-esteem. Physical abuse can also start in the same slow manner. Perhaps that begins with a small slap or push. The partner quickly apologizes and promises that it will not happen again. Before too long, it does happen again. The victim of that abusive relationship soon finds themselves making up excuses for the bruises that continue to draw stares. It can be more than difficult to leave an abusive relationship. The victims have to be strong enough to leave. If you know or suspect that someone is a victim of an abusive relationship, guide them towards getting some help before it's too late. Abusive Relationships continued... My child was recently in a teenage abusive relationship, and I want to tell you that this is a hell that any parent and his or her kid should avoid. She constantly defended her boyfriend, but he was so possessive of her, it was obvious that something awful was going on. If she was not around, he would call 3, 4, or even 5 times just looking for her, getting increasingly angry with each time he found her not at his beck and call. At first, it seemed to be one of those emotionally abusive relationships, but soon it took a turn for the worse and became physically abusive as well. At first, it was just some unexplained bruises on her arms and legs, which I took in stride since my girl is a skateboarder, but like all abusive relationships, it continued to escalate. Finally, one day she cam home with a bruise on her face. When I asked my little girl where it had come form, she just sat down and cried. I knew that an intervention was needed. Teenage abusive relationships are rarely solved simply by the parents – she needed professional help, and that was that. I took her in to see, a therapist who specialized in counseling the survivors of abusive relationships, and let her do the rest. It was hard to give up that much control as a father, but I knew that my kid would not listen to me, and just might listen to the advice of the therapist. It took several weeks for the counselor to get her to break up with her abusive boyfriend, but soon it was over. My daughter was done with abusive relationships, hopefully forever. If you have a child who has been in one or more abusive relationships, you will know the nightmare of trying to talk sense into him or her. I've heard that it is the way that things go with abusive relationships: the worse the abuse and the longer that it goes on for, the more the victim will defend her abuser, no matter what. I do not really understand it, and you probably do not either, but the thing is not really to understand it, but to find out what you can do about it, and the best thing of all that you can do is to get some professional help. She may not listen to you, but she might to a therapist.
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