The first step to deal with abusive relationships is admitting you are actually in one. Most people tend to deny they are in one because all relationships take time and effort to create and maintain and we don’t want to believe that the time and evergy that we have spent are going to waste or against us.
Then something might happen to make you alert that the person you are in relatioship (does not have to be romantic relationships, it can be parents, relatives, co-workers, social encounters etc) with actually tend to be a taker, a manipulator, or a user. When situations like this happens, some people critisize the other person for being inconsiderate and be very angry at them while others tend to tell themselves that everything will be fine and wishfully think the other person will change for them. Very few people really look at the the cause of the issue and how the relationship was formed in the first place. However, this is an important step to deal with all relationship problems. We have to really understand what situation we are in and what the next step to take that will bring the best solutions for everyone involved.
Most emotional and physical abusive relationships form when both parties have insecurities, looking for another person to help deal with our problems (or to complete us). Then, we have to ask ourselves, what do we want to experience from this particular relationship? Are we trying to get something from it in order to ease our fears, anxieties or insecurities. Relationships based on co-dependnece will always meet challenges down the road and it will get harder and harder as time goes by because both parties refuse to learn and baggage carried by each people grows day by day.
To deal with it in a healthy way, we really have to detach ourselves from the situation for as long as we need and feel the emotions that come up. The emotions we feel is what created the event and even the relationship. Common emotions include anger because of feeling not getting what one wants, grief due to feeling sacrificing so much for nothing, fear because not knowing what the future will be etc. It’s very important to know we are responsible for everything we feel. We are not responsible for how others treat us because everyone has free will. But we are in total control of how we feel and what actions we take. If what other people do have effect on us, it is beause we are not strong enough internally and we have expectation on others to please us. The expectations we put on others really come from deep-rooted selfishness because we make ourselves the centre of a relationship and we demand others to please us. So it is not surprising that relationships formed based on selfishness create pain for both sides and will not last long. People who are attached to their expectations tend to stay in abusive relationships longer because they are more susceptible to illusions that the other person will become who they want them to be.
Once we are clear about our feelings and where they come from, we are ready to start taking action that will help us grow and free us eventually.
- Do not play the blame game: meaning completely own your own emotions, thoughts, and actions. If someone is not loving to you (eg: criticism, ridicule, condemn, manipulate, blame etc) tell them how you feel, and give them a choice to change. If they do not change, leave. You do not have to put up with that.
- See what you can change in order to improve the situation: all abuseive relationships are created by more than one person. See what you have done has created such an relationship. Change your attitude, actions and intentions. Communicate with the other person. If he/she is willing to change in the positive direction, you can choose to grow together. If the other person is closed off and not willing to change, leave the situation because the other person is being selfish and controlling and you do not have to be the victim.
- Persistence: Roman Empire was not built in one day. Usually abusive realtionships are quite difficult lessons to learn and takes time and effort to change or leave them. You have to be persistent in what you do and how you feel. You need to make new ways of thinking, perceiving, and responding your new habits, replacing the old ones, so that you life keeps going in the desired direction. To achieve that, it takes time, effort and constant practice. Remember: nothing worthwile comes easy.
- Celebrate accomplishments: We tend to overlook our needs and under-appreciate ourselves. This is actually one of the reasons why we even get into abusive relationships because we do not love ourselves enough. We tell ourselves it’s okay that life is stressful and frustrating. But in truth, life doesn’t have to be that way. We choose to experience the events we want to experience. No matter how difficult it seems at a particular moment, we always have choices and the right choices always give you hope, peace and freedom. What you choose may take you out of your comfort zone, but it’s good for you and you need to trust your ability to deal with challenges and trust that the universal laws are meant to help your grow and prosper, but you need to take inspired actions and face some challenges first. We also need to understand that challenges/difficulties in life are not meant to be punishment. They are only consequences of what you have done or not done in the past. So the faster you deal with a problem, the less severe consequence it will be.
- Start to give more: The purpose of life is to prosper, to grow, be abundant, be confident, be happy, be loving, be generous, be helpful, be compassionate and make your contribution to help others and make the world a better place. The universe will generously return its favour at the right time . The more you give, the more abundant you will be. The more you love, the stronger you will be. The more you smile, the happier you will be. The more you try, the more confident you will be. The more you help, the more successful you will be. The secret to live an abundant, joyful and fulfilling life is to give generously and receive graciously.
Love and light
Founder of MasterSource Spiritual Guidance