Beware of The Bully Lurking in Your Office
You Can Get Out Of An Abusive Or Violent Relationship!
Estimates vary but roughly between 20 to 25 per cent of women will at some point be in an abusive relationship. This figure sounds shocking but what we forget is this includes emotionally abusive relationships too.
Emotional and physical abuse both have serious consequences. There may not be actual scars that can be seen on women that have been emotionally abused, but there can be tremendous damage to her self-esteem and confidence. Never under estimate the impact of emotional abuse and often a destructive relationship starts with emotional abuse that leads to eventual physical abuse.
What Type Of Men Become Abusive?
We tend to expect abusive men to be a drunken brutes that are unkempt and laze around the house demanding this-and-that from his partner. Yes, it is true that some violent men are like this caricature - but many are not. In fact many violent men come across as plausible - decent and charming.
Remember the TV classic of about 15 years ago when actor Nigel Havers played "the charmer"? He ended up displaying murderous tendencies when at first appearance he appeared to be charming, suave and caring. Abusive men maintain a front of being a good husband or boyfriend but behind closed doors it's a very different story. A good example of this is the recent story line of the "youth worker" on BBC drama Holby Blue who was a vicious wife- and child beater behind closed doors.
Sometimes a man doesn't show his true colours until it's triggered by an event like losing his job - this can take a month or a number of years into the relationship. This is why it can be quite shocking for a woman when the man she loves becomes violent or emotionally abusive.
At the heart of their behaviour is the fact that they feel very insecure and so want to control the one person in their life that they're able to - their partner. And also that they find difficult situations or powerful emotions, like anger, impossible to handle and react with anger.
You might say everyone gets angry in a relationship from time to time and of course that's true. However an abusive person's anger is out of all proportion to what's happening and is directed solely at their partner even if their partner has nothing to do with the problem - like a problem at work. Also they become violent - and that is never ever acceptable - or they use violent language and emotional abuse to try and destroy their partner's confidence.
How Do I Know If My Boyfriend/husband Is Just Plain Difficult Or Abusive?
Because everyone has arguments and stresses and strains in relationships it's important to look out for the signs of what crosses over into abuse. Here are some common signs:
He criticises it your family and friends and tries to make you think that they're no good for you.
He starts to make decisions for you about any aspect of your life even when you haven't asked for his opinion.
He begins to tell you what to wear.
He encourages you to be dependent on him - not only for money, but for company and anything else.
He tries to isolate you from your friends and doesn't what you to go out.
He becomes very unpredictable - one minute charming and the next minute moody and aggressive.
When apart, he starts to ring repeatedly and checking on what you're doing and who you’re with.
He will use appalling language and say horrible things to you when angry.
During disagreements he always says that you're the one who has a problem. And if you question why he doesn't like your friends or why he rings you so much he'll deny that he has any problem with jealousy.
When physical violence starts he'll probably say things like, "you made me do it. You shouldn't behave that way!"
He'll make repeated promises after he's been violence never to do it again.
Often the abuse starts after something critical happens in your life - you get pregnant, you lose your job, you have to move in with him to spend more time with him, etc. These critical points are when you become more dependent on him and he uses these to break your confidence.
What To Do If You Feel You're Being Abused
Get in touch with the women's refuge organisation 0808-2000-247. www.refuge.org.uk - they will help you explore your situation. They are there to help and not judge you. They can offer you practical advice and emotional support as well as a refuge if you need to leave your home. This is all done confidentially - they won't tell anyone.
It's important that If you feel you’re being abused you shouldn’t let pride stop you from telling your friends or family. Don't feel that you've brought this on yourself and so you have to deal with it on your own. Let your family and friends know.
If you have young children (under-fives) then talk to your health visitor. They will know about local sources of help for you. Also some have specialist training in dealing with more serious family problems like domestic violence.
Don't forget your GP will also want to help. Make a double appointment to see them so they have plenty of time to hear your story.
Police stations are now usually have an officer with specialist knowledge of domestic violence issues so you can seek confidential help there.
Many women who are being abused have unrealistic hopes that their partner will change. They stick it out to the very worst behaviour. If you're in this category than please keep hidden a little stash of cash that can be your escape money if you need to run out the door and jump up in a taxi.
If he checks your mobile then keep a cheap pay-as-you-go one hidden.
I urge you to seek help. It's out there, you just need to reach out for it.
Once out of the situation or if he agrees to go to anger management then you'll need to rebuild yourself esteem and confidence.
Published on MSN.co.UK
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