The Petition to the APA asserts the right of targeted parents for professional competence in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of their children and families. Article 3 of the Petition to the APA describes four domains of great concern regarding potential violations of the APA ethics code: Standard 2.01 Boundaries of Competence Standard 9.01 Bases […]
When many people hear that someone is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, their first question is, “Why don’t they leave?” If you’ve never been through an abusive relationship, this sort of response might seem logical. Just throw the deuces up and move on with your life – right? But here’s the thing – when it comes to relationship abuse, it’s never as easy as “just leaving.” We’re here to tell you why.
Leaving an abusive relationship is hard for many reasons. Here are 11 of the many reasons that someone in an unhealthy or toxic situation might stay with their partner.
1. Society normalizes unhealthy behavior so people may not understand that their relationship is abusive.
When you think that unhealthy or abusive behaviors are normal, it’s hard to identify your relationship as abusive and therefore there’s no reason to seek help.
2. Emotional abuse destroys your self-esteem, making it feel impossible to start fresh.
Oftentimes, people in emotionally abusive relationships may not understand that they are being abused because there’s no violence involved. Also, many will dismiss or downplay emotional abuse because they don’t think it’s as bad as physical abuse. It’s hard for those in abusive relationships to leave their partners after they’ve continuously been made to feel worthless and like there’s no better option for themselves.
3. The Cycle of Abuse: after every abusive incident comes a make-up honeymoon phase.
Often when an abusive situation happens, it is followed by the abuser doing something nice or apologizing and promising that they will never do it again. This makes their partner minimize the original abusive behavior.
4. It’s dangerous to leave. Like, VERY dangerous.
Many times, leaving an abusive relationship is not only emotionally difficult, but can also be life-threatening. In fact, the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is post break-up. Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the weeks after leaving their abusive partner than at any other time during the relationship.1
The best way to protect yourself if you are in an abusive relationship is to create a safety plan. For help creating one, check out our My Plan App.
5. It’s not just hard to breakup safely, it’s also hard to escape the cycle of control.
People in abusive relationships often attempt to break up with their partner several times before the break up sticks. On average, a person in an abusive relationship will attempt to leave 7 times before finally leaving for good. People in abusive relationships often attempt to break up with their partner several times before the break up sticks. On average, a person in an abusive relationship will attempt to leave 7 times before finally leaving for good.2
6. Society perpetuates a ride-or-die mindset.
Those in unhealthy or abusive relationships might stay with their partner or get back together after a break up because they feel pressure to not give up, forgive and forget or “ride it out.” Pop culture glamorizes being a “ride-or-die” for your friends and partner, making people out to be in the wrong for leaving their partner. And while being loyal is a great thing, a good friend or partner would never endanger or hurt you.
7. They feel personally responsible for their partner or their behavior.
After a conflict, an abuser will turn the situation around and make their partner feel guilty or as though they are somehow at fault. This type of behavior is known as gaslighting.
8. They believe that if they stick it out, things might change.
A lot of people in abusive relationships stay in them because they love their partner and think that things will change. They might also believe their partner’s behavior is due to tough times or feel as though they can change their partner if they are a better partner themselves. Never stay in a relationship in which you count on someone to change their behavior for the better.
9. There is social pressure to be in a perfect relationship.
There is incredible pressure to be in a perfect relationship, and some cultures and social media only accentuate this pressure.
10. Fear of how others will react.
People in abusive relationships often feel embarrassed to admit that their partner is abusive for fear of being judged, blamed, marginalized, pitied or looked down on. For example, in some LGBTQIA* relationships, someone may stay with their partner for fear of being outed.
11. They share a life together.
Marriage, children, and shared finances are often huge reasons that people in abusive relationships stay in them. This dependency is heightened in relationships where one partner is differently abled. But there are also similar factors that affect young people’s decisions to stay in relationships, including shared friend groups and living situations.
There are lots of elements that influence a person’s decision to stay in an abusive relationship. And while seeking help to get out of these relationships is the most important thing, blaming someone in an abusive relationship is never okay. There is a big difference between judgment and responsibility. While someone might have used bad judgment by staying in an unhealthy or dangerous situation, it does not mean that they are responsible, or asking, for the abuse perpetrated against them.
Lack of this emotion helps identifies a certain type of narcissist. Many narcissist do not feel much envy, research finds.
If the growing number of matchmaking businesses is any indication, most everyone in this world wants to be in a relationship.
“I draw a line down the middle of a chalkboard, sketching a male symbol on one side and a female symbol on the other. Then I ask just the men: What steps do you guys take, on a daily basis, to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? At first there is a kind of awkward silence as the men try to figure out if they’ve been asked a trick question. The silence gives way to a smattering of nervous laughter. Occasionally, a young a guy will raise his hand and say, ‘I stay out of prison.’ This is typically followed by another moment of laughter, before someone finally raises his hand and soberly states, ‘Nothing. I don’t think about it.’ Then I ask women the same question. What steps do you take on a daily basis to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? Women throughout the audience immediately start raising their hands. As the men sit in stunned silence, the women recount safety precautions they take as part of their daily routine. Here are some of their answers: Hold my keys as a potential weapon. Look in the back seat of the car before getting in. Carry a cell phone. Don’t go jogging at night. Lock all the windows when I sleep, even on hot summer nights. Be careful not to drink too much. Don’t put my drink down and come back to it; make sure I see it being poured. Own a big dog. Carry Mace or pepper spray. Have an unlisted phone number. Have a man’s voice on my answering machine. Park in well-lit areas. Don’t use parking garages. Don’t get on elevators with only one man, or with a group of men. Vary my route home from work. Watch what I wear. Don’t use highway rest areas. Use a home alarm system. Don’t wear headphones when jogging. Avoid forests or wooded areas, even in the daytime. Don’t take a first-floor apartment. Go out in groups. Own a firearm. Meet men on first dates in public places. Make sure to have a car or cab fare. Don’t make eye contact with men on the street. Make assertive eye contact with men on the street.”
― Jackson Katz, The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help
From my Book – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist! @ https://www.amazon.com/Charm-Harm-Everything-Narcissist-Narcissistic/dp/1523820179/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468595784&sr=1-1&keywords=from+charm+to+harm It all begins with the nightmare of going from being in love (idealized) to being hated (devalued and discarded.) Then discovering the web of deceit and lies at so many levels. Next coming to […]
She was raped at the age of 8. Her rapist was found guilty, but spent only one day in jail. After he was released, he was murdered. Because of this, she became mute for almost 5 years, believing her “voice killed him.” “I killed him that man. because I told his name. And, then I thought I would never speak again, because my voice would kill anyone …”
Her name was Marguerite Ann Johnson. Later in life, she would change her name . . . to Maya Angelou.
During this time, this period of suffering, this period of shame and guilt, this period of silence that she “developed her extraordinary memory, her love for books and literature, and her ability to listen and observe the world around her.” A teacher and friend of the family helped Angelou speak again, introducing her to the world of books with authors such as Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare.
When she finally did speak, she said she had a lot to say.
Maya Angelou became a voice for women, a voice for the black community, garnering respect and admiration for her honesty.
She would say, “There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.”
Angelou was challenged by her friend, author James Baldwin, to write an autobiography, which became “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”. The book would be critically acclaimed, but banned in schools and libraries because of its honest depiction of rape.
When asked by an interviewer why she wrote about the experience, she indicated that she wanted to demonstrate the complexities of rape. She also wanted to prevent it from happening to someone else, so that anyone who had been raped might gain understanding and not blame herself for it.
She would also later write another book titled “Letter to My Daughter”, which was dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her.
In the book, she says, “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
She would also write in her poem,
“And, Still I Rise”
“Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries…
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise…”
Do you know someone who tends to lie frequently about any and everything?
Have you caught them in a lie or two and wonder why they continue to lie?
If so, you are obviously dealing with a pathological liar.
What most people fail to recognize about pathological liars is that they often lack the ability to empathize with others (walk in your shoes),
feel guilt about their behavior, and have trouble controlling their inborn impulse to lie.
For most of us, it is very difficult to lie with a straight face and quite easy to feel guilty about the lie.
But for someone with “psychological deficits” or pathological behaviors, it is rather easy for them to lie while exhibiting behaviors and emotions that make the lie believable
.What is most interesting about pathological liars is that many of them know how to control their emotions in such a way that lying can look like the truth to us. This article will explore pathological lying and offer tips on how to protect yourself from their wrath. Having worked with adolescents for the past 7-8 years in the mental health field and juvenile justice system, I have seen my fair share of teens with socio-pathic, borderline, narcissistic, and histrionic traits that includes lying behaviors. The lying behaviors are typically chronic, destructive to others, purposeful and nonpurposeful at times, calculated or impulsive, manipulative, and confusing for everyone. In many cases, pathological lying occurs when you least expect it. I’ve heard many parents make statements such as “I know he is lying when his lips are moving” or “she just tells lies with no problem. She does it with ease.”
The lying is insidious, evil, and sometimes vindictive. Some individuals have developed skill in lying to others and have no fear or regret in engaged in lying to a Judge, police officer, therapist, psychiatrist, family member, spouse, supervisor, etc. They can also present as very calm or charming, provide appropriate eye contact, maintain norming breathing rhythms, be personable or friendly, and have calm body language. These
individuals certainly fit the description of a sociopath and can be very dangerous for society and the lives of those who are in relation to them in some form or fashion. The tragic reality of those who work with, live with,or know a pathological liar is that there are almost always victims. Sometimes you are a part of a lie and may not even know it. Other times, you may know the person is lying, but due to the person being very personable and friendly, you struggle to even consider the fact that maybe you are being lied to. In other cases, you might also struggle to convince others that a respected or liked person is in fact lying. As a result of some pathological liars tend to be charming, sometimes intelligent, have good jobs, and are sociable, we can be blinded to their obvious social, emotional, and cognitive deficits. Because of this reality, it is very important that we understand how to protect ourselves against a pathological liar.
It is even more important that you understand just how damaging these individuals can be. Denial makes it very difficult for some people to believe they would ever
be lied on, harmed, or nearly destroyed by a dangerous liar. Sadly, these are the individuals who become victims. It’s also important to understand that some individuals who pathologically lie also suffer from certain disorders or have been diagnosed with a myriad of diagnoses such as conduct disorder (CD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), or ADHD (i.e., some youths with this diagnosis also have ODD or antisocial traits that contribute to frequent lying) for children and adolescents. For adults, the diagnosis might include but are not limited to borderline personality disorder (BPD), histrionic personality disorder (HPD), antisocial personality disorder (i.e., sociopathy), and some psychotic disorders.
There are certainly ways to protect yourself from a destructive person who sends whirlpools of confusion into your life. You should take every lie seriously and strive to remember:
1.Avoid engaging the pathological liar: If you sense that you are being lied to, perhaps you are. We all have an “internal compass” that signals trouble or peace, truth or fiction. Trust that. There are situations in which you might feel someone is being untrue but later find out they were telling the truth. But in many cases we, as humans, are good barometers.
If you sense that someone is lying to you, don’t make the person feel comfortable by agreeing, nodding, or laughing about it. A blank stare might do the trick in shutting down the lie.
2.Call them out: Sometimes it’s perfectly fine to point out that something isn’t adding up.
You could most certainly put it on yourself by saying “for some reason,
I am confused. Can you explain that to me again?” In counseling sessions the use of confrontation can be powerful if used appropriately and with the right amount of tact. Confrontation does not mean creating an argument but creating an acknowledgement that information isn’t adding up. For example, a confrontation might include you stating “…that’s not what I see happening because I spoke with the Principal and he showed me documentation that you skipped school at 2:00pm on Monday.” Confrontation is using facts to undercut the lie.
3.Play “stupid” : I use this technique quite a bit in sessions with adolescents and young children. If I want a youth to open up or I’m looking to build rapport, I make statements such as “…that’s not what I was t
old, can you help me understand because I’m a bit confused…as always?” Individuals who tend to lie are usually seeking some sort of power over others. If you are able to take a step back and appear unassuming, you can actually become the person “on top” and coax the individual into explaining things so you can evaluate it.
You’re not trying to catch the person in a lie per se, but to clarify information in a nonconfrontational manner.
4.Don’t believe anything until you confirm it:
Someone with a track record of lying behaviors should never be believed at face value. The moment you begin to appear as if you believe what the pathological liar is saying, they will run with it.
Any kind of approval or trust the pathological liar can sense makes them feel powerful and energized to continue the behavior. It’s always good, when speaking to someone who frequently lies, to remain neutral, detached, and focused.
You should weigh everything you are being told against the facts.
5.Don’t argue or fight with the pathological liar:
It’s not worth your energy to argue with someone who lives in a fantasy or psychologically unstable word. Most liars lack an identity and struggle with feelings of insecurity and abandonment. Other pathological liars are simply sociopathic and overly confident. Either way, don’t argue or get into a confrontation with the liar because they will use circular arguing, demean you, and possibly create more lies to use in the future (possibly against you).You will never get to the truth, even with the use of intimidation. In some cases, you might get only half of the truth. It’s best to step back, work
around the pathological liar, and keeping a safe distance. Pathological liars are difficult to live with or work with because you can’t determine what is true and what is false.
You also cannot determine when the next lie will come. I have found in my work that many of the individuals and families who live with pathological liars can also struggle
with their own sense of reality. It’s difficult to sometimes to weed out fiction from the truth when all you know is the lies the person tells you. It’s very easy to second guess yourself or question if something is wrong with you.
My suggestion to people struggling with this issues is to keep your distance, if you can, and remain focused on the facts.
Be mindful of your emotions and learn to question how you feel about what you are being told by the pathological liar.
Questions to ask yourself may include: “Do I feel comfortable with what is being said to me?”
“Do I feel foolish or silly while listening to this story?”
“Why am I questioning the legitimacy of what is being said to me right now?”
The most important goal for anyone who is dealing with a pathological liar is to always remember your dignity and self respect.
A pathological liar typically has very little to no empathy and will take you as far as you let them.http://blogs.psychcentral.com/careg…
Helplessness and isolation are the core experiences of psychological trauma.
Empowerment and reconnection are the core experiences of recovery.”
~Judith Herman M.D.
I’m going to do something a little different today. Something that has a lot of stigma. Something that is battled worldwide and so many few know but don’t really “know”. Child abuse effects so many children and so many more than that are recorded because so many stastitsics won’t make much of a difference. So […]