Unfortunately for abused women, their partners often put a wedge between her and the people she depends on for social support by either badmouthing those who support her or badmouthing her behind her back.

Before women can effect positive change in their levels of vulnerability they will need to identify the particular tactics used by their partners. When these tactics are understood and identified, strategies can be put in place to counteract them. This will reduce the damaging psychological effects of abuse.

  • Disempower the criticiser. Instead of getting upset or being defensive you could benignly agree with him and say: “yes, I am like that” or “yes, I do that”. You may even find that the criticism loses its sting.

 

  • Stop explaining and justifying. . . . . .You are an adult and you don’t need his approval. If you can accept that then you can begin to slowly turn things around.

 

Women report being afraid to try something different in case this angers the abuser and their situation gets worse than ever. It is crucial that women experiment with change—taking one baby step at a time but only when it is a safe time to do so. This is very important. 

It is better to leave a relationship from a position of personal strength than one of hopelessness and defeat. Nor is there any rush (unless your life is in immediate danger).

If you are certain that separation is right for you it is absolutely crucial that you hold in your head—all the time—the reason you wanted to get away.

The more control you exercise over your personal circumstances the less stress you will feel and the less stress-related mental and physical illnesses you will experience. As you increase your personal agency you will feel stronger and more empowered, whereas feeling helpless will only make you want to give up and your strength will ebb away. The important thing is to act on your own behalf with your own best interests in mind.

If you want to make a good choice of partner then you need to learn how to assess men. Getting away from an abusive partner is difficult but getting into a relationship with the same sort of partner is easy.

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- Opening the Door from Inside

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