Can’t Stop Abuse?

This post is part of a series dedicated to the resolution of critical love-life problems. The problem is you’re in an abusive relationship. You are being controlled and mistreated by your lover in some way and you are conscious of having an intermittent feeling of fear. At this point in time, the thought of leaving scares you too much.

Right now you feel trapped in the relationship and you feel too paralyzed to make any changes in the way you are being treated. To make matters a bit worse, you tend to deny that your love-life is in trouble, sometimes to yourself, but always to everyone else. You’re feeling trapped and alone.

First and foremost, you have to begin seeing yourself as a ‘victim’ of abuse. This doesn’t mean you have to be a passive recipient of mistreatment and disrespect. I’m just asking you to identify the problem honestly to yourself. Once you admit this fact to yourself you can begin to plan a solution to your problem.

Admitting that you are a victim won’t be easy. You’ll resist it at first. You’re so used to hiding you’ll try to continue hiding. Being a victim means you do not under any circumstances deserve the abuse you are getting. You’ll know when you’ve accepted the reality of what you are trapped in because your feelings will change. They will go from the fake smiles, hiding, and avoidance of truth to a feeling of unhappiness, frustration, and even a beginning anger that is going to prove useful to you as you organize a plan of change.

Now that you’ve admitted the problem, your next correction is to dispel the notion that you are ‘powerless.’ This is an error based on fear. You have to substitute the truth that you are the true architect of your life. We all get to create our lives. Unfortunately until we wake up and realize that we have this ability we are creating in the dark under the influence of past experience that isn’t always healthy. You are going to need your true ability to shape your own existence now more than ever.

It’s time to stop the abuse. You can do this and stay in the relationship. Or you can do this and leave the relationship. This choice is yours alone and you’ll be using your feelings and the reactions of your abusive lover to determine which it will be. Either way, the abuse stops. In my experience over the years helping victims of relationship abuse change their lives, change always comes when their fear diminishes.

Fear is most often replaced by the conviction to stop abuse. The actions you decide to take to stop the abuse, whether you set your limits alone or with the help of the police or family members, the first change is in your attitude. You now know you deserve better. You are now dedicated to taking better care of you. However you decide to change your living situation and your relationship, you’ll do it with conviction and a dedication to protecting and taking care of yourself first and foremost.

The relief you’ll feel comes from the fact that you will eventually stop living in fear and whatever mistakes you’ve made in your love-life up to now will never again be repeated. You’ll see to that. You’re in charge of your own life again. You get to decide how you want to live. You get to decide what kind of treatment you’ll accept and refuse in your love-life.

Life is too short to substitute abuse and control for love. Remember these changes indicate that you are bringing love back into your life first in the form of loving yourself. Because we’re all human, we have to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we make trying to have love in our lives. Taking good care of you first in your life is never selfish. It’s the foundation of having a healthy you and healthy love-life.

Comments? Welcome. Dr. T. Jordan






Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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