If one was to hear about someone who is in an abusive relationship, they could wonder why they haven’t walked away from their partner. This could be seen as not just what is right but also what is logical.
Now, this could be someone they know, or it could be someone who they have heard about through another. What could confuse them, even more, is if they were to hear that this person has been in this relationship for a number of months, if not years.
What is clear is, when it comes to the person who is in this relationship, is that it is in their best interest to cut their ties with their partner. They are being harmed and they will probably continue to be harmed if they don’t draw the line.
This is something that most people are likely to think and also say to them if they were to cross paths. Ultimately, there will be no point in them staying with someone who is undermining them on many different levels.
At the same time, if they have been in this relationship for quite some time and they haven’t left, it is highly likely that they are unable to simply draw the line. What needs to be kept in mind is that as they are in a situation where they have been undermined for however long and continue to be, it will have affected their ability to function at their best.
The person on the outside is then going to be like a spectator of a boxing match, while this person will be the one who is continually being knocked down. Naturally, no matter how sensible and rational their advice is, this person is not going to be in a position where they can actually heed it.
By being in a very bad way both mentally and emotionally and perhaps physically, a big part of them can believe that they deserve to be treated in this way. To this part of them, being treated like dirt and as though they are nothing will then feel comfortable.
Consequently, the part of them that doesn’t want to be treated this way and wants to leave will be outmuscled by the part of them that is very different. This part of them may also believe that their partner’s behaviour is their fault and that they can change it.
In a way, it will be as if another entity has entered their being and is doing what it can to control how they feel, think and their behaviour and thus, destroy their life. This part of them can also cause them to stand up for the person who is mistreating them.
With this in mind, it would be accurate to say that they have lost themselves and are not the same person they were when they first got into the relationship. Like the boxer who keeps getting knocked down, they will have very little strength left inside them.
A Big Risk
Furthermore, they can believe that they need to stay with their partner in order to survive. Without this person in their life, irrespective of how destructive they are, it will be as if their life will come to an end.
Another part of this is they can believe that their partner would end their life in one way or another, if they walked away. Also, along with the fear part of this can be a feeling part, which can mean that they would be overwhelmed with guilt if they were to think about it, let alone cut their ties with them.
The Seeds Were Sown
There is the chance that this is the first abusive relationship they have been in; then again, they might have been in a number of them. If they have been in a number of relationships that are like this, it is likely to illustrate that their early years were not very nurturing.
This may have been a stage of their life when they were mistreated by one or both of their caregivers. As a result of this, they would have missed out on the nutrients that they needed to be able to grow and develop in the right way.
The Foundations Were Laid
They wouldn’t have developed a felt sense of safety, security, deserving, worth and love. Instead, they would have developed a felt sense of vulnerability, insecurity, undeserving, unworthiness and being unlovable.
How they were treated by one or both caregivers, who are likely to have been deeply wounded themselves, would have set them up to feel comfortable being treated like dirt and as though they were nothing. Due to this, it is then not a surprise that they have ended up in abusive relationships as an adult.
Not only will this period of their life have greatly wounded them, making them an attractive option to those deeply wounded beings who like to harm others, but a big part of them will want to replay what happened in the hope that they will finally receive what they missed out on during their formative years. This is what is known as repetition compulsion.
So, while this stage of their life is over and their unmet developmental needs will never be met, facing up to this would cause them to come into contact with pain that is too much for them to handle. The outcome of this is that they will continue to re-experience what took place all those years ago; of course, the people will be different, but the experience will be very similar and the feelings will be the same.
What matters right now, is that if someone is in this position, they reach out for the help that they need. Regardless of how they were treated as a child and what they have been through as an adult, they don’t deserve to be treated badly, they are not crazy for tolerating what is going on and neither are they to blame or at fault.
They need to find that spark inside them that knows that they deserve better and to take the first step. Their life is unlikely to change overnight but it will change if they keep going and don’t give up on themselves.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.