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Understanding and Freeing Yourself From Abusive Relationships

April 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 135

You don't really know what you've got in a relationship until you've been with someone for a long time and by then, you've already got used to that wonderful, charming human being that you'd fallen in love with and then things start to go horribly wrong.

If someone is not treating you the way you deserve to be treated, then it's time to stand up for yourself, which often means having to make the decision to let go and set yourself free to be with someone who will offer you the love and respect you deserve. We are all wonderful, unique human beings and deserve nothing less.

It's hard to withdraw when you've already spent a lot of good times with them, fallen for their charms, love and adore them so much; remembering how good things can be and clinging to the hope that things will get better. You're already strongly, emotionally attached to them, yet they have begun to abuse you mentally, emotionally, verbally, physically and financially. You don't want things to end but at the same time they're making you feel worthless, destroying your self confidence and affecting your health.

They have enslaved you, to some extent, attempting to have total control over every aspect of your life. They have alienated you from friends and family in an attempt to restrict your contact with them, but at the same time will feed them with lies about what a horrible, nasty person you are.

You are aware that they're doing this, but still, you're hopeful that you can fix them; that their behavior will stop and you're not giving up on the dream. Meantime, you're losing the respect of everyone around you because you're refusing to free yourself from this situation.

You are left with him/her and it's YOU who needs therapy. That's their ultimate goal.

Sound familiar?

Why do we meet these people? I firmly believe that we meet everyone in this life for a reason and that the most difficult people we meet are our greatest teachers.

If you find yourself in such a relationship, then you definitely have some self esteem issues to work through. Otherwise, why else would you waste time with someone who would belittle you and make you feel unworthy, when there are so many wonderful people out there ready to complement your life - mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually?

I've had to stand by and watch friends be treated very badly by an abuser and sympathize with them, but, there's nothing I can do for them or that we can do for ourselves, until we decide that we've had enough and it's time to help ourselves.

No-one can help you, but you. And only you, in your own good time, can get to the root of the problem and decide that enough is enough.

Take a look at your past and particularly, your childhood. There was someone then that treated you badly in some way, making you feel unworthy. This person has been put in front of you now to re-awaken those feelings and for you to work through them. You don't deserve to be treated like that or made to feel like that by anyone in this life and, until you realize this and stand up for yourself, then you will continue to go in an out of abusive relationships.

If you refuse to pinpoint and deal with those issues now, then you will continue in your relationship, with things becoming progressively worse. Maybe not - maybe something extreme will happen e.g. they end up beating you severely or walking off with their next victim. In either case, you're left on your own again until the next abusive partner comes along. And so the cycle continues.

Many people just go from one abusive relationship to another, without ever fixing the issues that are leading them into those relationships. It is not until we love, respect and stand up for ourselves, that we end this cycle and allow other, loving and respectful human beings to enter our lives.

What about the abuser? What's their problem?

Again, this person has issues, which are deeply rooted in their childhood. They have obviously witnessed and/or experienced some form of abuse in order for them to have picked up this behavior. However, the abusers can be split into two categories:

The first category is your typical 'run of the mill' abusive relationship. There's a cycle, where there's the abuse, then the apologies, then swearing their undying love to their partner, full of promises that they will change and that they will never do it again. And so, the abused partner, more often than not, goes back for more.

That, to a degree, I can understand because the abused partner is always hopeful that they actually will change. I myself believe that everyone on this earth is inherently good and capable of change, but, at the same time, how many apologies are you going to accept?

Unless your partner is showing definite signs of change i.e. progressing therapy, taking accountability and changes in their behavior, then how long are you willing to put up with their behavior before you decide that you are worth so much more?

The second category is the sociopath. Like your 'normal' abuser, they can be so charming externally, but, once you've noticed that your other half is displaying sociopath tendencies, it's time to withdraw as soon as you possibly can. You can't fix them and you can't make them happy. It's impossible! They don't want happiness and when they find it, they will do all they can to systematically destroy it. They are not 'happy' unless they're miserable.

The difference between the two is very easy to spot because, unlike your 'normal' abuser, who will apologize, try to make amends and can show signs of improvement, the sociopath will show nothing but contempt for those who try to understand and help them. They have no conscience, no guilt and therefore absolutely nothing to apologize for. They can sit and look at pictures of the abuse and swear blind that they didn't do that. Alternatively, they will admit to their behavior, but they fail to recognize it as abusive - it was your fault and you deserved to be treated like that. They will tell you that you are the one with the problem and making big issues out of nothing.

There are other tell-tale signs:

They are incapable of commitment. They may have had some long-term relationships, but these are always tumultuous. They often have several short-term marriages behind them, which have quickly ended in divorce because their sociopath tendencies often accelerate after they have married and have someone they feel they can control, but can't.

The sociopath can also be very promiscuous, since they have no remorse and no personal boundaries. Therefore, it's highly likely that they will have several 'lifeboats' floating around so, once you've stood strong and let them know that you will not put up with their behavior, they will already have found their next, vulnerable victim, long before you've slammed the door shut (although they've probably got your head slammed in the door as it's closing!).

Sociopaths are found among those who have killed animals and people without remorse (your typical serial killer); however, it may not always be that extreme.

This person will set out to destroy you - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially - if you let them. Believe me, you can't win this one, so, if you have someone who is abusing you and then denying all knowledge or failing to admit that their behavior is abusive, then it's better to admit defeat, cut your losses and run!

Apparently, it's a mental condition that can also be cured since therapists believe that the condition is caused by a traumatic childhood experience such as abuse or abandonment by a parent. However, in order for that person to be cured, they need to admit that they need help and to undergo extensive, cognitive therapy until they've got to the root of the problem.

Since the sociopath is such a skilled manipulator and liar (some have even been known to pass lie detector tests when it is pathological lying) and, because they don't need help, then it's highly unlikely that they will ever seek help and if they do, they will be able to convince a therapist that they are now fine and no longer require their services.

Problems with the mind are the same as physical problems - everything can be fixed. But, in order for this to happen, your partner has to be willing to undergo therapy and in the case of the sociopath, their only chance of any kind of progress, is if you can first of all get them to admit that their behavior is abusive.

If you're reading this and currently experiencing any type of abusive relationship, then please stand strong. We are all unique and wonderful human beings put on this earth to enjoy life, to love and help one another; to live each day like it's our very last and to be happy. No-one deserves to be treated badly. Every one of us deserves love and respect and should settle for nothing else.

Please recognize the issue in yourself that has attracted this character to you, work through this and then take steps to improve your situation. If your partner can't take accountability and take steps to change, then you have to free yourself as soon as possible.

You may be left in a situation (as is often the case) where he/she has taken all of your finances and you're scared to leave. Believe me, if you can close that door, stand up for yourself as a human being and have faith, then there are agencies out there that can help you. God/the Universe will open doors and provide for you. You and your children especially (if you have any), deserve to have a very happy, peaceful, normal life. They deserve nothing less to give them a good start in life.

Remember, it's not the person you will be missing, but the dream of the life that you thought you would be having together.

It was just that, unfortunately, a dream. Remember, that he/she will never change until they decide that they need help and that they will continue to treat people as they treat you. Whoever they have chosen next is being/will be treated as badly as you were (if not worse) because, without help, their behavior will have accelerated.

But, that dream can easily come true for you when you allow yourself to let go and set yourself free to find someone who will truly love and respect you, and who would never hurt you - in any way.

There's one more, very important, thing to remember though, when you do decide to break free - you look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself:

"I am a wonderful, beautiful person. I deserve nothing but the best in this life and will never allow anyone to treat me like that again".

We don't want to be falling into the same trap next time around now, do we?

If you're reading this and in an abusive relationship of any kind, then please seek help at: National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TDD). The hotline has information about shelters, mental heath care, legal advice and other types of assistance.

Source: EzineArticles
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