Sunday, November 15, 2015

Your Relationship is Not a Special Snowflake

Your relationship is not a special snowflake. You are unique, and so is your partner, but when abuse enters the picture, being unique will not save you.

When your partner injures you physically, he is not a kind man who made a mistake. He is a man who is willing to use violence to win a dispute.

When your partner calls you a fucking son of a bitch, she is not a loving woman dealing with PMS. She is a woman who uses contempt and name calling to avoid dealing with the real issues at hand.

When your partner handles ALL the money, and occasionally hides or lies about financial issues, he is not a control freak who just wants to protect you. He wants to control you via money.

When your partner with PTSD or anxiety or other mental illness uses violence of any kind against you, she is not "doing their best" to deal with it. She is failing to deal with mental illness and needs to adjust current treatment before regaining the privilege of access to you.

When your partner abuses a dependent child, your responsibility is NOT to do a better job of managing the interactions between the child and your partner. Your responsibility is to call the police and get the child away from the partner.

We all want to believe that our relationship is different: that our partner will not really "go so far." 

We all want to believe that our family will survive domestic violence because we have some secret ingredient (love, remorse, God, Jesus, Buddha, GMO-free diet, forgiveness). We want to believe our abuser when s/he apologizes and swears eternal love and devotion. But when your partner abuses you, s/he is sending you a very clear message.

This relationship is about me having power over you.

It takes a woman an average of seven attempts to permanently leave her abuser. We don't know how many attempts it takes a man to leave his abuser, because we often don't even acknowledge that women can abuse men.

If your relationship shows any signs of abuse, leave. Abusers can change. But they can only do so if they begin to suffer the consequences of their choices.

Check out the Power and Control Wheel for more insight into your relationship.

And please, don't wait to leave. Your relationship is not a special snowflake when it comes to abuse. Save your life and the lives of your children by getting out immediately. Abusers can change their ways, but they must do so alone so you are not a victim of a relapse.

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