Can we unconsciously pick abusive partners? Sounds crazy right? Why would someone choose a partner that would hurt them? How do some people become preys to these predators? Why do some people end up in abusive relationships?
Have you ever felt that you always fall for the wrong guy after a series of bad relationships? Or are you the one who forgives her boyfriend/partner the zillionth time every time he apologies after treating you bad? Do you happen to know someone like that?
Why the lethal choice? While it is true that the people with abusive tendencies use a whole lot of manipulation and sneaky tactics to keep their victims trapped and many unsuspecting, happy people become their victims. There are also a number of reasons why a person may become programmed or vulnerable to gravitate towards someone that may hurt them later.
Victims of abusive relationships were made to feel, as children, that they are not valued; so they don’t matter. So when they get abused in adult relationships, they might easily believe that they deserve it or they provoked it.
Their parents didn’t pay sufficient attention to them and so when they grow up they lap up attention any which way they can get it and abusers are adept at doling out attention in doses
They weren’t well cared-for, emotionally, during childhood and feel extra-vulnerable as they grow up. Even a little bit of emotional display from someone is enough to bind them to that person for life because that person fills a void even if he hurts them sometimes.
Since people with a difficult past are already used to less-cared treatment, they don’t mind if their partner treats them badly as long as he/she is there in their life and they are not alone.
Signs you may be hurting. You may be allowing this person to hurt you by giving him/her power over you if:
You keep telling yourself you’re at fault.
You truly believe that you over-react at his/her actions and that you anyway expect too much from him/her.
You let them control all the finances of the house, thinking they know best and you may mess it up.
You believe they genuinely love you despite all the hurt (physical or emotional).
You dismiss every abuse they inflict on you as “something all couples have”. NO. There is no relationship that warrants any kind of hurt.
The point of learning this perspective is to become more aware and informed of how your past might be impacting your present choices and knowing that you always have the choice to make a decision that gets you out. Your past cannot hold you prisoner! If you think domestic abuse exists only in the lower middle classes and only happens to uneducated people, you couldn’t be more wrong, especially when it comes to women. One doesn’t even have to lay a finger on you to hurt you. Sometimes just words are enough. So if you’re a homemaker, or a career go-getter, in abusive relationships – for an abusive partner it makes no difference; so just stop for a moment and think: Is he treating you the way you deserve? Because if someone is hurting you, you definitely deserve better!
If you’re not sure whether you’re in a toxic relationship, ask Clinical Psychologist Prachi S Vaish and let her help you find hope! Find out about her here.
Indira Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
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