Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Am I in an Abusive Relationship?
QUESTIONS ABOUT AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP Questions that may help a person decide if he/she is in an abusive relationship: Do you often doubt your own judgment or wonder if you are crazy? Are you often afraid of your partner? Do you express your opinion less and less freely? Have you developed fears of other people? Do you tend to see others less often? Do you ask your partner's permission to spend money, take classes, or socialize with friends? Do you spend a lot of time watching for your partner's bad and not-so-bad moods before bringing up a subject? Do these statements fit you? I am frightened of my partner's temper. I am often compliant because I am afraid to hurt my partner's feelings. I am often afraid of my partner's anger. I have the urge to rescue my partner because my partner is troubled. I have been hit, kicked, shoved, punched, bit, spit at or had things thrown at me by my partner when he/she was jealous or angry. I find myself apologizing for his/her behavior when he/she has treated me badly. I make decisions based on what my partner wants or how my partner will react. My partner drinks or uses drugs. Why men won't tell: Many men cope with being abused by taking on a macho "I can handle it" attitude. Even if you have been hurt much worse than an athletic playing field, that is not the same thing as being physically attacked by your intimate partner, which hurts emotionally as well as physically. Allowing this pattern to continue can result in depression, substance abuse, loss of confidence, even suicide. Men typically face a greater degree of disbelief and ridicule than do most women in this situation, which helps enforce the silence. Domestic violence victims make excuses for injuries that show ("It was an accident" or "it happened while playing sports") when friends or medical personnel ask about them. Abusers are expert at making victims feel no one is on their side, which is a self-fulfilling prophecy--the more you withdraw from friends and family to protect your partner, the less other people will be able to help you by confirming your experiences.