Abusive Relationship Characteristics – How To Tell If Your Partner’s Behaviours Are Abusive

20 Apr 2010


Having worked with many, many women
who have been trapped in an abusive relationship, one thing is very clear: they
don’t realize that the relationship is abusive.


That is a key reason why they stay.


They stay because they lack the
ability to take a good, hard look at their abusive partner’s behaviour and say: “No,
this is not acceptable.”


Now, you might think that adult,
intelligent people would be able to see what is staring them in the face.  But the truth is that they cannot. 


They have been brainwashed so
effectively by an abusive partner that they are no longer able to access their
critical faculties properly.  Their
partner tells them that they are stupid, selfish, inadequate, ugly, a lousy
partner, and parent, and they believe it. 


After all, if their partner says
that, if the partner who knows them most intimately, sees them in that light,
then it must be true, mustn’t it?


Wrong question!  All the abused partner can say, with any
degree, of accuracy, is that that is the point of view that their abuser is


Why would anyone express such a harsh
judgement if it is not true?  Simple,
really.  An abuser comes from a
different mind-set to you.  He is not
concerned with truth or accuracy.  But
he is very interested in his own agenda.


And what is that agenda?


That agenda is all about making you
feel small, and weak, and powerless, and unlovable.  Because when an abuser succeeds in doing that, he:


feels much better about himself

leaves you feeling powerless and therefore dependent on him.


Because there is one key thing
that no abuser is going to tell you: he needs you hugely – not because he loves
you, or anything nice, and reassuring, like that.  He needs you because, venting his negative feelings about you,
cushions all he negative feelings he has about himself.


One lesson to learn is that it is
pointless for an abused woman, who is struggling in an abusive relationship, to
try and discover what is good about herself. 
For as long as she is with her brainwasher she is not going to register

But there is another lesson also
that is well worth taking on board: however crushed and worthless an abused
woman may be feeling, she can still arrive at a fairly accurate assessment of
her partner’s behaviours.  She may get
her interpretation of what they mean for her completely wrong, but still, she
will assess those behaviours accurately.

So, one quick, accurate measure
or whether or not the relationship is abusive is this: does your partner behave
around you in ways that are: 




you answer “Yes” to all three, then your partner is clearly abusive.  If you answer: “Well, not all the time, and
he has so much potential”, the chances are your partner is abusive.  


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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