Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Five Factors that Set the Stage for Abusive Relationships


Sometime last year, I read Dr Phil’s life code, and one thing he kept reiterating in the book is that in life, there are no victims; there are only volunteers. It may seem like a harsh statement especially if you’re in an abusive relationship, or just got saved from one by the skin of your teeth. I recently came to the conclusion that victims of abusive relationships set the stage for their abuse by engaging/indulging one of the five factors below:

Settling for less than what you are worth: Many people engage and entertain people who do not deserve them in a bid to satisfy misguided teachings on humility. People go into relationships with the intention of giving up who they are to make the other person more comfortable around them. The moment you begin to do this, you are sending a message to your partner that you do not value yourself, and you don’t mind being subdued. Once the message is clearly received, abuse is inevitable. 

Dating insecure people: We often claim jealousy is a sign of love, and sometimes that can be true. However, there is a thin line between jealousy that comes from a place of love, and jealousy that comes from a place of insecurity. Does your partner want to know everyone you have spoken to during the course of the day? Do you get accused of cheating every time you answer a phone call or speak fondly of a friend? Then you are with an insecure person who will lash out in ways you least expect. Insecure people often show their true colours when you start to get to know them. They talk about their exes being gold diggers. They talk about people being too pompous. They belittle the achievements of others to a point where you feel you need to shut up about your own achievements (factor number one). If you see any of these signs, abuse is on the horizon. 

 Pretending you want nothing in return: You make yourself available for abuse if you constantly offer to give and give, and do not expect anything in return. If you are the type who gives off the vibe that you are willing to do anything to make a relationship succeed without any input from the other individual, then you are up for long-term abuse. People will not only take what you offer. They will take much more than that and leave you empty. Always have it in mind that your efforts alone cannot sustain a relationship. It takes two to tango. 

Not setting the tone straight from the start: Many people are too scared of coming across as shrewd, so they let a lot of things slide during the inception stages of a relationship. They tie up loose ends, and try as much as possible to tolerate what they can’t. After a while, they burst at the seams and try to switch back to default, resulting in a defensive response (abuse) from the other person. Always make what you can and cannot take clear from the beginning. Yes, you will lose some potential partners, but the one who stays will be completely worth it. 

Isolating friends and family: This one is a big factor, and many people do it subconsciously. When you start a new relationship, you want to spend as much time as possible with that person. That is not a bad thing. It becomes an issue when you start to cancel plans with friends, and avoid spending time with family all in a bid to show your partner you’d rather spend time with him or her. The message you are sending across here is that your partner is more important to you than the life you had before the relationship started, and you would give up everything for him or her in an instant. This suggests that you worship (in a wrong way) the ground your partner walks on, and all aspects of your life revolve around him or her. 

Be careful guys and ladies. Stay away from abusive tendencies.

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