You Deserve an Abuse-Free Life
Abuse is perhaps the single most self-defeating behavior in relationships.
Posted June 22, 2022 | Reviewed by Vanessa Lancaster
- Many of us have learned to normalize yelling, name-calling, putdowns, and other controlling behaviors in our romances.
- There is no conceivable scenario in which, with just the right amount of abuse, things will get a whole lot better.
- Abuse tears at our ability to work together as a couple and as a family.
In our romances, many of us have learned to normalize yelling, name-calling, putdowns, and other controlling behaviors, like telling someone how they should dress or who their friends should be.
We justify this by saying, "Well, sure, we argue—who doesn't?" And by "argue," most of us mean the sort of exchanges that include everything mentioned above (yelling, name-calling, etc.) and other behaviors, like guilt trips, silent treatment, and even throwing things.
Isn’t Some Abuse a Part of Normal Life?
No. Abuse is not normal.
Abuse, at any level, destroys a couple's ability to engage in successful and productive problem-solving. It is perhaps the single most self-defeating behavior in relationships.
Why Is Abuse So Common?
Sometimes, ironically, we abuse because we're trying to preserve the relationship—so we guilt-trip the spouse who works too much or yell at the partner who flirts too much. However, in the very act of using abuse as a tool to get them to stop the over-working or over-flirting, we’ve destroyed the very thing we're trying to save.
There is no conceivable scenario in which, with just the right amount of abuse, things are going to get a whole lot better. Abuse tears at our ability to work together as a couple and as a family. We must, after all, feel safe to be together under one roof before we can work on being happy under that same roof.
How to Live an Abuse-Free Life
One way to live an abuse-free life is to approach your significant other and say your version of: "I want an abuse-free life with you. I want the sort of relationship where no matter how upset we are with each other, we keep a commitment to treat one another with respect. I am willing to stop all of my abusive stuff, and I'm committing to doing this on my own, but I think it's important that we both do it if we want to have a sustainable relationship that would be good for both of us."
Now, most of us wouldn’t be expecting this conversation (and please, do it when you're both rested and comfortable), but no reasonable person turns down an offer like this. What's not to like? Well, some people would miss the control over another person, and none of us relishes having to tender a sincere and heartfelt apology when we've failed in our obligation to respect our partner.
When the Abuse Won't Stop
If you're in a relationship with someone who's not reasonable (it happens more than you think) and doesn't desire an abuse-free life, you have a very clear decision to make once you've had enough abuse.
Also, there are those who make a commitment to an abuse-free life, but (surprise!) they simply can't fulfill it. Again, you have a clear decision to make once you've had your fill.
The Life You Want (and Deserve) Is Possible
We all have the power to live an abuse-free life, so the question we must ask ourselves is, "What's stopping us?"
None of us can afford to lose our faith in love and the power of relationships to make our lives better. Love is worth defending and should be free of yelling, name-calling, putdowns, and other controlling behaviors. Give yourself the life you want (and deserve) and start living an abuse-free life today.