What is an abusive relationship?
An abusive relationship is a behavior that involves power and intimidation to establish control over another person. It consists of any form of violence and threat that make the abused party live in fear towards the abuser. Usually, such situation comes from people who are into an intimate relationship. It is then referred to as domestic violence.
Knowing more about physical assault
According to Brandy Parris, MA, LMHC “Being in an abusive relationship is incredibly confusing, and multiple myths about abuse can make it difficult to identify when it happens to you.” The most common form of abusive relationship is with the presence of physical assault. It comes in various types:
- Breaking bones
- Gunshot wounds or bullet grazing
- Punches and slaps
- Severe Shaking
Understanding sexual abuse and marital rape
Sexual abuse can occur in a marriage. This topic comes about when intercourse between the two is not consensual. The primary purpose of the sexual act is to demonstrate power, control, anger, and violence when it is supposed to be about love. As Christine Scott-Hudson, MA MFT ATR explains, “Examples of physical abuse are behaviors like pushing, shouting over you, screaming in your face, physically taking things away from your grip, grabbing you tightly, squeezing, pinching, hitting, slapping, punching, biting, kicking, shoving, forced sexual contact, restraining, and destroying your property,”
Marital rape is the act of penetration, may it be vaginal, oral or anal, of the aggressor’s penis on the female’s vagina, mouth or anus in the following situations:
- When the woman resists the act for personal reasons, and yet it still transpired against her will
- When the woman is not able to withstand or express her objection to the act due to physical abuse and drugs
What is sexual coercion?
Sexual coercion is the act when the other party is being persuaded to have sex or any other form of intimate relations. It usually occurs when a couple has this “unequal power” issues in their relationship. Sexual coercion can be any of the following:
Pressure. The thought of sex is the evidence of love for the other, and you are obliged to have sex with the person no matter what the situation may be.
Threat. Threatening to leave or physically harm just to have sex is also sexual coercion.
Flattery. It is luring or bating the other party to have sex with the use of flattery words.
Buying gifts, putting the other person down and guilt tripping just to have sex are some forms of sexual coercion, as well.
Reasons why women stay in a marriage enveloped by domestic violence and physical assault
Despite their experiences, some women who experience domestic violence and physical assault, still choose to stay with their husbands/partners for the following reasons:
- Because of fear that the situation or the other party will only get worse upon the woman’s departure
- Because of that notion that she is alone in this fight
- Because of her economic status. Majority of the women who experience abusive relationship have no jobs or any means to generate income for themselves, leaving them dependent to their husbands, who is the abuser.
- Because there are times when the other party is in a good mood, very loving and caring.
- Because she doesn’t know where to seek support and safety.
Why does abuse take place in a relationship?
The act of being an abuser is correlated to the person’s experience. It has something to with the person’s relationship with his parents, or what he sees in his parent’s marriage as well. Some psychological needs were probably not met. These are called the attachment issues.
Below are the typical attachment needs:
If the person is not emotionally or physically safe during his childhood, the tendency is for them to perceive marriage with the following apprehensions:
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of abandonment
- Fear of failure
- Fear of not recognizing self-worth
- Fear of not being lovable
- Fear of being controlled
Your husband is supposed to love you unconditionally and must never ever hit you physically or trample on your emotional well-being. If you are in a relationship like this with your husband, partner or boyfriend, the best way to live your life is to cut ties with this person. After doing that, you also need counseling. Online therapy may be one of the ways to help you start a new life. (Go to this link if you need online support – https://www.betterhelp.com)
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. A lot of people will back you up and assist you if you want to get away from an abusive spouse or partner. Jason B. Whiting, Ph.D., LMFT said, ” For many women, the safest choice is to just leave. As the brave women in our study shared, by finding courage and seeking out support from loved ones, victims of intimate partner violence can break free of abuse and build a life of dignity and safety.” Everyone should consider that.