Is your partner prone to abusing you?
By Nancy Fagan, Author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Romance"
Women who get involved with abusive men are typically those who had abusive childhood home environments. This kind of upbringing tends to normalize abusive behavior in all relationships. What this means is that women from this kind of a background are not as keen to the subtleties of abuse the way "healthy" women are.
On a positive note, there is a silver lining here-all behavior can be relearned, including the ability to recognize early signs of abuse as unacceptable behaviors in a relationship. Once this is learned, a woman will be able to break free from unhealthy relationships with men who are no good for her.
Below is a list of common
abusive behaviors to watch for:
Criticism about your good qualities;
Past abusive relationships;
Drinking or drug problems, past or present;
Discourages your successes;
Abusive family members or spouses of siblings;
Attempts to control your whereabouts;
Disrespect toward your publicly or privately;
Violations of others rights;
Attempts to keep you isolated;
History of truancy, delinquency and running away;
Streaks of meanness toward others for no reason;
Threatened by relationships with other men, past, present or imagined.
In order to recognize early abusive signs, a woman must stop rationalizing "abusive" behaviors as "normal." If she sees ONE abusive behavior, regardless of how small, she needs to remind herself that it IS abuse. Period! With this new skill, she will soon be dating men who treat her with dignity and respect-the way all women deserve to be treated.
Q: When I met Mark six years ago he was married (he still is). Today we share a four-year-old daughter. Out of the blue he disappeared and after two weeks of searching, I found out he was in jail. He didn't contact me because he wanted to let me know. I am a born again Christian and I believe people can change and deserve a second changed. He says he loves us and promises to help me out when he is released (Nov. 2004). Am I wrong for wanting to wait for him?
A: Love makes people do things that they regret later on. Wanting to wait for him is a natural thing--it's your love speaking. However, it's also an irrational thought.
Being in love, it's natural to make excuses or accept his excuses for his unacceptable behaviors. The hardest thing to do is to see him for who is--a cheater, liar, and disrespectful man with a criminal history.
If you keep him in your life, he will eventually treat you the way he currently treats his current wife--poorly with disrespect and an inability to honor his vows. If this is the behavior you desire in a partner, then by all means, stand by your man. If not-and hopefully not--close that door tight, head to church and find yourself an honorable man to respect you and raise your child in socially acceptable ways in which the two of you can be proud of.
Aroused by Smells
Q: I have lived with my boyfriend for 2 ½ years. During this time, I have experienced bouts of temper with this man—I’m the one who yells and acts like a spoiled child, not him. He is a good person, gives me everything I need and tells me he loves me at least twice a day. Sadly, he’s had enough and asked me to move out. How do I deal with the guilt, get over him and move on?
A: Your focus needs adjustment. Rather than direct your concern away from how to “get over him” or “moving on,” it needs to turn toward the reason the relationship is ending—your uncontrolled fits.
The end of this relationship will not put a stop to your behavior. Just the opposite, it will escalate with time, destroying future relationships. Because of this, you need to explore what motivates your immature expressions.
Gaining insight is one thing, but applying change to your well-oiled behavior will require you to stretch yourself—to fight the urge and go against what feels natural. People’s behaviors, both good and bad, are learned. And...what is learned can be unlearned.
© Copyright 2004 Nancy Fagan - Published with permission
Nancy Murphy, M.S.
11622 El Camino Real, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92130 (in Carmel Valley)
Nancy Fagan, M.S., best-selling author of 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Romance' and 'Desirable Men: How to Find Them' has appeared on several hundred radio and television shows including Ricki Lake, Men are from Mars/Women are from Venus, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, The Berman & Berman Show, FOX News. She has been featured in most major newspaper in the United States and worldwide as well as regularly mentioned in the nation's top magazines such as Ladies' Home Journal ('Can this Marriage be Saved?'), Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Men's Health, Bride's, Seventeen, Women's Day, Family Circle,Women's Own, BBW, Complete Women and dozens of others.