Spousal Abuse - Stopping the Cycle of Fear

Spousal Abuse - Stopping the Cycle of Fear By Steve Wickham

WE ALL have the right to a life free of fear, where loving relationships can blossom without impediment. Thinking about life turning out this way is often the easy part of the battle. The difficult bit comes in when we suddenly find we're being used, or worse, abused in a key relationship. What do we do when we're caught in this trap?
I recently heard a story of a young woman who'd become trapped in a relationship with a much older man, one with numerous "life issues." He wouldn't let her do anything without his permission; she couldn't eat without his say-so, she was limited to her contact with her family and friends (her vital support system), and he even though he 'hadn't hit her,' he was physically violent-meaning it was only a matter of time before she would cop it.
What gives in this sort of relationship? Not much. He is the tyrant, she learns to submit-or else. Not that it's like this all the time. Far from it. He is often very weak, and even dependent on her; she feels sorry for him; he's given her reason to feel this way-after all, "it's not his fault." He was brought up abusively, or has been dealt a rough deal... there's always some excuse. It's no-win. It's lose-lose as the cycle of co-dependency continues on and on.
That's only part of the story. What about the extended family-how does this affect them? The parents of woman are distraught. They're suddenly disempowered over their daughter's life. They grieve the loss of the relationship and fret each day that they'll get a call to go to hospital, or worse-it's not as simple as simply knowing their girl is unhappy. There are siblings too. There's retribution in their minds; for the perpetrator, or ironically, for what their sister is doing to Mum and Dad.
It is very sad all round. Yet it goes on. There are hundreds of thousands of these relationships happening now, as you read this. So, what's the problem and what do we do?
The problem: Fear rules the relationship. She's stuck with a child of a man. It probably isn't his fault. He's probably been abused himself-how the cycles of generational abuse continue is a very sad phenomenon.
Transactional analysis tells us that the man in this relationship is obviously acting predominantly out of his "wounded child" state. We all have a wounded child state, yet most of us, as we become adult, learn that the best way to deal with ourselves and other people is to negate this and work on being a responsible, reasonable, rational, realistic, and logical adult. When we're threatened or treated badly we have a tendency to slip back into that "wounded child." We start behaving like a child, which is anything but responsible, reasonable... you get the picture. The problem is when he does it, she is often drawn into her wounded child state to aid the communication-a trap in itself. Suddenly you have two adults behaving as children. Not a good recipe for a healthy relationship.
The solution: Even if it were that simple it never is. You can feel trapped and I empathise. Whether you're stuck in it, or you're the parent or sibling or friend, you've got it tough. Solutions are never easy, but it helps to correctly define the problem. It helps to see someone (a trained counsellor perhaps) to help you. You can't help others unless you're okay. There are a lot of good books on "boundaries." All relationships need boundaries. Learn about it.
If it were as easy as saying, "just leave the relationship"-get out! I would say it, but it's rarely that easy. If the person who's being abused can leave, they should. Most perpetrators of abuse won't change. It's a fact. They can change, but most don't choose to.
He won't change unless he is genuinely repentant-this means he is prepared to get tough on himself and spare her any anxiety. It is very rare that people are genuinely repentant enough that they will seek proper help and follow through with it. It will be a long road and it is better for both parties to break it now. If he does change he will be better in his next relationship and he will probably feel more empowered, and have a better chance of change, with a "fresh start."
If you're the object of abuse, you too deserve a fresh start. In your next relationship, you could take your time and be discerning in your choice on who you'll even talk to. Avoid the loser type of guy. Watch and wait for a good guy with a good temperament who will love and care for you. Seek others' views on him, especially your closest, most trusted friends and family-he won't mind if he's the right guy-you see, he isn't ruled by fear. Don't be afraid to include others and ask for their feedback. And, be open to it. Do it respectfully and the right type of guy will respect your discernment in this way. He'll see it as good judgment on your behalf.
The great possible here is for both parties is new life. It's not the end of life for the guy who's been abusive-help can show him that it is really the beginning of a brand new life, filled with hope and joy. The life he's always wanted.
© Steve J. Wickham, 2008. All right reserved Worldwide. Steve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BSc) and a qualified Christian minister (GradDipDiv). He is also has training and leadership Diplomas. His passion in vocation is facilitation and coaching; encouraging people to soar to a higher value of their potential. Steve's interest in psychology is matched by years of experience in the psychology of safety in workplaces. Steve's key passion is work / life balance and re-creating value for living, and an exploration of the person within us. An advocate for a fair and just life, Steve implements wisdom strategies to his life through a passion for Proverbial wisdom. His highest goal is doing God's will, in enhancing his life, and the lives of others. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Wickham Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/921839

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