Abuse: Where to Draw the Line

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so I thought it was an appropriate time to address the common question as to where to draw the line between problems in a relationship versus abuse. Most people discount the term “abuse” if they have not been physically assaulted. This is unfortunate because many are threatened and intimidated by their partners, but do not realize that it fits an abusive pattern and therefore, they do not seek help. If it feels more comfortable to replace the word “abuse” with “bullying,” go right ahead. What is important is to understand and to digest the information, not the word you choose to use.

In addition, I am referring to the abusive partner as “he” and you, the reader, as “she.” However, many men find themselves in abusive relationships and experience difficulty in standing up to their partners, though the reasons for staying in an abusive relationship often differ between the sexes. The behavioral patterns described here can apply to men or to anyone who finds themselves in an abusive dynamic.

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Relationships That Hurt Part II

Relationships That Hurt Part II

Are You in a Relationship with an Abuser?

Abuse is not something that typically comes up in casual conversation. In fact, most people go to great lengths to keep it private. However, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner (1).

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Relationships That Hurt Part I

Relationships That Hurt Part I

Understanding Abuse, Misconceptions, and Warning Signs

“He’s not abusive, he would never hit me.”

These are words I hear often in my practice. Women describe controlling or abusive behavior in their relationship and then follow up with something about how their partner would never cross that obvious line

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