CAN YOU HELP A RELATIVE LEAVE HER ABUSIVE HUSBAND?
According to the American Institute on Domestic Violence, millions of women are abused every year by their boyfriends or husbands. If one of your relatives is a victim of abuse, you may wonder why she doesn't leave. Many women hesitate to leave an abusive husband for a number of reasons. However, there are steps you can take to convince your relative she needs to leave for her safety, sanity and self-respect.
Dealing with an abusive husband is generally not an easy task for any woman to deal with. However, this is not an environment you should stay in and no woman or person deserves to be abused by a spouse.THE PROBLEM SEEMS TO BE IN GETTING A WOMAN TO ADMIT SHE ALWAYS ABUSED EVEN WHEN IT IS OBVIOUS TO THOSE WHO SEE IT, BECAUSE ABUSE IS A CONSTANT CYCLE ACCORDING TO THE AIDV, THE MAYO CLINIC, AND DR. IRENE AT DR. IRENE'S VERBAL ABUSE SITE:
The classic abusive relationship is characterized by a three-stage cycle that may or may not be visible to outsiders. TIME IS NOT ON YOUR SIDE-ABUSE CHANGES YOU, SOMETIMES FOREVER
Victim Beware: You are on an emotional roller coaster ride that will wear you down and deplete your self-esteem!
The Tension-Building Stage: The angry person becomes increasingly controlling during this period, which may take days, weeks, or even years to evolve and progress. Limits are imposed on the partner. For example, the abuser may decide what clothes look "right" on the partner, or what image is portrayed. They may try to define whom the partner may or may not speak with and about what, etc. The control is insidious and progressive. As tension and control increase, the partner attempts to accommodate the abuser in order to keep peace, to please the abuser, or for some similar reason. Despite actions the partner takes, the abuser becomes increasingly remote, contemptuous, critical, preoccupied, or otherwise on edge. The tension and control increase until culminating in the abuse stage.
The Abuse Stage: A major verbal, emotional or physically abusive incident occurs that was instigated by the abuser. A trivial event is often used to trigger the main event. The abuser actively looks for excuses to blow up over, and may set their partner up in a no-win situation. One angry man found reason to verbally abuse his girlfriend and destroy her property because he did not like the size of the pot she was boiling eggs in. Needless to say, the pot had nothing to do with anything. This opportunist had simply received a nod from a former lover, decided to change girlfriends, and wanted an out. The victim is often left feeling hurt - and confused.
The Remorse Stage: Once the blows are delivered, the abuser is calmed. Having blown off steam and regaining composure, the abusive person is full of apologies and promises never to do "it" again - if the partner distances. The more distanced the victim, the more intensely the abuser pursues...and pursues...and pursues. The abuser can be so charming and complimentary, the codependent victim's heart breaks. There is a compelling need to believe their abuser's promises and pleas and take them back. The more codependent and insecure the partner, the more vulnerable they are to the partner's attentive remorse. Abusers during this phase are wonderful! A "normal" person is unlikely to be so compelling and persistent in winning over their partner's love - because they have no reason to be.
As the relationship progresses, the abuse cycle typically escalates in intensity and in the temporal contiguity of its negative aspects. The abuse lasts longer and becomes more pronounced, while the loving remorse dwindles.
The abuser loves a good challenge. The goal is to win the victim back, at any price. At a distance, the partner is perceived as emotionally "safe." The harder the abuser has to work to win back his or her victim, the more the victim is appreciated. Once the relationship resumes, the abuser's mistrust prompts their poor recall of any tender feelings. Their fear inevitably powers the resumption of the abuse cycle.
Doc's Advice: TRUST HIS PAST ACTIONS, not words TAKE ACTION AND GET OUT!
Listen to her fears. Determine if she has financial worries or concerns about her safety if she leaves. Address each fear, and help her find a solution. Discuss legal resources, such as restraining orders or getting child support.
Tell her what the abuse has done to her. She may need someone else to tell her how she has changed and how her self-respect is being hurt. Give her examples of how the abuse is impacting her life. If she has children, tell her how the abuse may hurt them.
Help her to understand she is not at fault. An abusive husband may convince the victim everything is her fault. Between the abuse and low self-esteem, she may believe him. Reassure her that he is at fault, and no one has the right to abuse another person.
Ask what she needs from you. She may need you to help her pack up her belongings or watch her children. Being in an abusive relationship has likely damaged her ability to trust. Tell her you will be there for emotional support and that she can count on you. TELL HER TO BLOCK HIS CALLS AND PLEAS FOR A MEETING!
Find her community resources. Locate a battered women's shelter in your area. Find support groups for her with women dealing with an abusive husband. Give her all the information you have gathered. Knowing she has support and resources may help convince her to leave her abuser. However, some will never leave and forever second-guess the correct decision to leave a toxic and dangerous situation, BUT BE PATIENT AND KEEP OFFERING PROOF OF HER ABUSE!
Unfortunately many abused never leave their abuser or they may actually return to their abuser and live out a miserable existence because of fear or feeling sorry for the monster. The truth is that abusers always abuse! For your own peace of mind and sanity GET OUT AND LET THE ABUSER LIVE IN SELF-TORMENT BECAUSE HE NOW HAS NO ONE TO ABUSE!
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