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Overcoming abusive relationships Watch

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    I adore the relationship I am I n and the person that I am in it with but certain aspects of it are extraordinarily unhealthy. Is it possible to fix an abusive relationship without breaking up?

    What kind of steps should we both be undertaking to resolve the emotional a use?
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    You could get counseling so you cna discuss it in a neutral venue, but imo NO. The person doing the abusing has to change and they have to want to. Easier to find someone else.

    I'd imagine talk about it and be open minded.
    be commited to wanting to change.
    Identify the patterns of behaviour and effect of the abuse.
    Accept responsibility.
    Identify acceptable alternative behaviours (by bith parties) and put into acion.
    Review on a regular basis and adjust as needed.

    the chances of getting another person to do it is small imo.
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    It's certainly possible.
    And no, you do not need counselling unless you're middle aged Americans with zero social skill.

    Communication and Compromise. It's as simple as that.
    But it has to go both ways, you have to be willing to communicate your feelings openly to your partner with complete honesty. No sugar coating, no white lies. If your partner does something horrible, you have say to them "you've done this and this and it's not okay". You cant be worried about hurting their feelings or 'being harsh' if their actions are unhealthy for the relationship.
    It also shouldn't be a closed door. they have to be able to respond to you in an open way and be willing to communicate their feelings. Being able to be completely honest and open with each other is the only way you'll be able to successfully compromise and have a healthy relationship. It can take a long time to develop that sort of openness and trust so don't be disheartened if things don't change overnight, everything takes time.

    That said, there's always two sides to the same coin, so don't assume you're perfect either.
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    It depends what you mean by extraordinarily unhealthy and why the other person is acting in an abusive manner towards you. Having been in an abusive relationship and considering I am still dealing with the fallout and aftermath 6 years on and it's given me lifelong mental health problems, I'd urge you to walk away ASAP :sadnod:
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    (Original post by insert-username)
    It's certainly possible.
    And no, you do not need counselling unless you're middle aged Americans with zero social skill.

    Communication and Compromise. It's as simple as that.
    But it has to go both ways, you have to be willing to communicate your feelings openly to your partner with complete honesty. No sugar coating, no white lies. If your partner does something horrible, you have say to them "you've done this and this and it's not okay". You cant be worried about hurting their feelings or 'being harsh' if their actions are unhealthy for the relationship.
    It also shouldn't be a closed door. they have to be able to respond to you in an open way and be willing to communicate their feelings. Being able to be completely honest and open with each other is the only way you'll be able to successfully compromise and have a healthy relationship. It can take a long time to develop that sort of openness and trust so don't be disheartened if things don't change overnight, everything takes time.

    That said, there's always two sides to the same coin, so don't assume you're perfect either.
    How do you know that they dont need counseling or that it could be highly useful/ you do not have the information to reach that conclusion.
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    If its physical abuse, it is probably better off leaving the relationship for both individuals
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    I was in an abusive relationship. In my experience, wanting to save it just led me to make even more excuses for his behaviour and to accept even worse treatment. I know this might not be what you want to hear, but abuse isn't just a misunderstanding for the two of you to work out. I used to think that my ex didn't really know what he was doing and that once he saw it. everything would be fine. That was naïve wishful thinking that put me in am extremely bad place.

    When my friends and family learnt what had been going on, they were horrified. I had kept it from them because I didn't want them to have a bad opinion of him (I kept telling myself, "It's not as bad as it might look to them, they just don't understand him"). Really I was so caught up in the situation and so desperate to fix it that I was the one who didn't understand. But their shock was the beginning of a wakeup call. I started to ask myself what I would say to a friend who was in my position. I certainly wouldn't be encouraging anyone to stay in that relationship, so why was I putting myself through it?
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    How do you know that they dont need counseling or that it could be highly useful/ you do not have the information to reach that conclusion.
    Like I said, relationship counselling is for people are already in a failed relationship.

    If you can't even communicate with your partner without the need for a 'middle man' to provide neutral ground for you to talk to each other then your relationship has already reached a point of no return and you should just end it.

    It's all fine and dandy getting individual counselling to help with particular issues which may in turn help that person's relationship, but having "couple counselling" does nothing but worsen the problem. It doesn't solve the underlying issue which is the lack of healthy communication in the relationship but makes the couple dependent on the presence of a 3rd person before they can resolve their conflicts. When that therapist is gone that lack of communication is still there the whole thing just repeats.

    It's a waste of money for a relationship that's already doomed. So I hope for the OP's sake that he/she doesn't reach that point. Save your money and move on.
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    (Original post by insert-username)
    Like I said, relationship counselling is for people are already in a failed relationship.

    If you can't even communicate with your partner without the need for a 'middle man' to provide neutral ground for you to talk to each other then your relationship has already reached a point of no return and you should just end it.

    It's all fine and dandy getting individual counselling to help with particular issues which may in turn help that person's relationship, but having "couple counselling" does nothing but worsen the problem. It doesn't solve the underlying issue which is the lack of healthy communication in the relationship but makes the couple dependent on the presence of a 3rd person before they can resolve their conflicts. When that therapist is gone that lack of communication is still there the whole thing just repeats.

    It's a waste of money for a relationship that's already doomed. So I hope for the OP's sake that he/she doesn't reach that point. Save your money and move on.
    Some people find counseling very useful. it does attempt to address the fundamental issue of getting people to talk to each other and a 3rd party in a neutral enbironment can often facilitate party A feeling safe enough to address the situation and party B coming uner the scrutiny of someone else and facing up to the abuse. Where the parties relationship is uneqyal in the sutuation of abuser and abused, then the imbalance mean one part is afraid to talk and the other doesnt have enough respect to pay attention.

    As i said you dont know enough about the relationship to know what is going on, how serious the abuse is and whether there are any other issues like a child.
    Its poor adbice to rule things out before knowing what the facts are.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Some people find counseling very useful. it does attempt to address the fundamental issue of getting people to talk to each other and a 3rd party in a neutral enbironment can often facilitate party A feeling safe enough to address the situation and party B coming uner the scrutiny of someone else and facing up to the abuse. Where the parties relationship is uneqyal in the sutuation of abuser and abused, then the imbalance mean one part is afraid to talk and the other doesnt have enough respect to pay attention.

    As i said you dont know enough about the relationship to know what is going on, how serious the abuse is and whether there are any other issues like a child.
    Its poor adbice to rule things out before knowing what the facts are.
    Yes, dear, thanks for pointing out that nobody on TSR knows enough about some random stranger's relationship. This is a student forum, OP has literally posted a two sentence question with zero context and no fundamental information about the relationship. They asked a question "can an emotionally abusive relationship be fixed without breaking up" and I answered.

    I'm not interested in having some redundant debate with you about how useless couple counselling is or "who's advice is more correct" so stop replying to me like a child. I wrote a reply to the OP not to you, you dont need to be so butthurt if you can't handle someone having a different opinion to you.

    Most couples who undergo couple counselling receive therapy for an excess of 3 years (they become dependent) and the majority usually end in separation/divorce and/or no change whatsoever. Like you said, such situations involving a 3rd party only put the abuser/abused under scrutiny, how a couple behaves in a therapy session will be very different from their behaviour when they get back home. If there are fundamental problem with a person's behaviour, they need to have individual therapy or treatment to fix the underlying concerns, because it will affect all their relationships.

    Anyway it's not up to you to decide who's advice on here is the most useful. If you don't agree with my advice to the OP then cry me a river. There are going to be different people commenting with different opinions and advice.
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    (Original post by insert-username)
    Yes, dear, thanks for pointing out that nobody on TSR knows enough about some random stranger's relationship. This is a student forum, OP has literally posted a two sentence question with zero context and no fundamental information about the relationship. They asked a question "can an emotionally abusive relationship be fixed without breaking up" and I answered.

    I'm not interested in having some redundant debate with you about how useless couple counselling is or "who's advice is more correct" so stop replying to me like a child. I wrote a reply to the OP not to you, you dont need to be so butthurt if you can't handle someone having a different opinion to you.

    Most couples who undergo couple counselling receive therapy for an excess of 3 years (they become dependent) and the majority usually end in separation/divorce and/or no change whatsoever. Like you said, such situations involving a 3rd party only put the abuser/abused under scrutiny, how a couple behaves in a therapy session will be very different from their behaviour when they get back home. If there are fundamental problem with a person's behaviour, they need to have individual therapy or treatment to fix the underlying concerns, because it will affect all their relationships.

    Anyway it's not up to you to decide who's advice on here is the most useful. If you don't agree with my advice to the OP then cry me a river. There are going to be different people commenting with different opinions and advice.

    Your the one that started it based on information that wasnt there, I just find it odd when people rule things out before knowing what the situation is, thats just dumb. It may be appropriate or it may not, but you would need more info from the OP.
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    if you're the victim OP then be careful about how you're justifying his behaviour, you probably can fix an unhealthy situation but only if both parties are happy to change and able to be open, honest, compromise and take criticism. It needs to not land on the victim's head to 'fix' things.

    you would need to talk about where you both want the relationship to go and what unhealthy behaviours need to be changed, what standards you need to have and then you need to call the other person on it if they're doing anything wrong
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    (Original post by sunnydespair)
    If its physical abuse, it is probably better off leaving the relationship for both individuals
    abuse comes in many forms and each one can be very insidious and can leave deep rooted scars.

    OP if there is abuse, i would say get the hell out of dodge. If you are a victim, you may well be trying to defend what is happening. Get out of there.

    I have seen it, just go. Its not worth it
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    I think it's not worth fixing a relationship with a person who is abusive. I don't understand how somebody can love a person who abuses them in so many ways.

    In my opinion, there's so many people in the world who can treat you better. I don't think anyone should settle for less than what they truly deserve.

    Why should you force something that is not meant to be?




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    (Original post by unsurewhattodo)
    I adore the relationship I am I n and the person that I am in it with but certain aspects of it are extraordinarily unhealthy. Is it possible to fix an abusive relationship without breaking up?

    What kind of steps should we both be undertaking to resolve the emotional a use?
    You should leave. They just don't change, ever.
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    (Original post by doodle_333)
    if you're the victim OP then be careful about how you're justifying his behaviour, you probably can fix an unhealthy situation but only if both parties are happy to change and able to be open, honest, compromise and take criticism. It needs to not land on the victim's head to 'fix' things.

    you would need to talk about where you both want the relationship to go and what unhealthy behaviours need to be changed, what standards you need to have and then you need to call the other person on it if they're doing anything wrong
    Agree with this. If one party in a relationship is abusive, counselling can actually make things worse, as there's a significant chance that they can manipulate the counsellor to take their "side" and make it look like all the issues are the victim's.

    OP, have a read of "Why does he do that?" by Lundy Bancroft, it might be a bit of an eye opener. In general though, if you feel a relationship is abusive, the best thing to do is to get out - it's rarely possible to fix them.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
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    (Original post by insert-username)
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
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    i think i've quoted in everyone that replied, firstly, thank you so much for responding. i guess i can try to provide a little bit more context and where we are currently at and stuff.
    So both are 20-23, students in the UK, I'm currently studying in a different country (definitely something that has impacted our relationship - In fact i'd say the abuse and unhealthy aspects of our relationship have only come up while I've been half way across the world for 10 months)

    We both have mental health issues and have struggled with mental health for many years before meeting each other, and for the first year of dating everything was wonderful and I can certainly say I hadn't ever been close to something as healthy and full of mutual trust and love and support before, and then once I went away it became harder and harder.
    I keep trying to put what he's been doing into words without it sounding ridiculous.
    but it's usually whenever i bring up my mental health he will invalidate it, tell me i'm being irrational or purposefully encourage the negative emotion i'm feeling?[trigger warning for talking about abuse more specifically and particularly body-image related stuff, for example part of my disorder is that im incredibly insecure and always seeking more validation and i told him that i thought i was too fat and ugly for him and he didn't find me attractive, and he told me i 'wasn't his sexual preference'. he gets angry at me when i tell him how im feeling and has told me that he can't support the both of us when in reality he offers me no support, because when i tell him that i'm not doing well he gets angry at me so I haven't told him about any of my mental health going down hill for the last two months. He constantly tells me im overreacting, im too sensitive, he trivialises things im concerned about and other things in my life and is constantly invalidating me and deny my emotions and i call him out on it but he won't apologise. whenever we try to talk about things it ends up with me apologising and saying i'll change and be different but (and not to be bigheaded) i don't think i need to change much at all and i think im extraordinarily good to him.
    He is never there for me emotionally but expects me to be on call to his needs 24/7 - if he's working on an essay he can't talk to me, but if i'm working on an essay i have to drop it and stay up all night to finish what i should have done when he needed me - as if his work and life are more important than mine.
    Whenever I'm really struggling and do open up to him about feeling bad he disengages and will actively ignore me for a few days or until i tell him that i'm feeling good, that not only makes me feel like i don't matter and like i shouldn't open up to him, is really bad for my mh because i am terrified of being abandoned and he knows that so he actively ignores me.

    BUT we do have excellent communication - I finally called him out on everything last night, and we've been talking today about all the things that have got to change and got to happen.

    I guess I'm just thinking should I stick it out for the 8 weeks until I can see him in person again and if it's still like this I will quit, or if it's back to how it was I'll stay? because like i said before me studying in a different country there was absolutely no signs of this kind of treatment or behavior so once the catalyst of the distance is removed will things return to how they were before?

    If things don't return to how they were before I would like to try and resolve things. I do see a therapist and am on medication, and I've told him that for us to continue he has to do the same, but he's been unable to go for the last couple of years anyway because of extreme anxiety, so he says he doesn't know if he can - i do understand and his anxiety has been a huge issue with him not seeing medical professionals before.
    I don't know do you all still think I should just give up? I'm so lost and wishing I hadn't decided to study abroad for a year because it wouldn't have triggered this?
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    (Original post by unsurewhattodo)

    We both have mental health issues and have struggled with mental health for many years before meeting each other, and for the first year of dating everything was wonderful and I can certainly say I hadn't ever been close to something as healthy and full of mutual trust and love and support before, and then once I went away it became harder and harder.
    I keep trying to put what he's been doing into words without it sounding ridiculous.
    but it's usually whenever i bring up my mental health he will invalidate it, tell me i'm being irrational or purposefully encourage the negative emotion i'm feeling?[trigger warning for talking about abuse more specifically and particularly body-image related stuff, for example part of my disorder is that im incredibly insecure and always seeking more validation and i told him that i thought i was too fat and ugly for him and he didn't find me attractive, and he told me i 'wasn't his sexual preference'. he gets angry at me when i tell him how im feeling and has told me that he can't support the both of us when in reality he offers me no support, because when i tell him that i'm not doing well he gets angry at me so I haven't told him about any of my mental health going down hill for the last two months. He constantly tells me im overreacting, im too sensitive, he trivialises things im concerned about and other things in my life and is constantly invalidating me and deny my emotions and i call him out on it but he won't apologise. whenever we try to talk about things it ends up with me apologising and saying i'll change and be different but (and not to be bigheaded) i don't think i need to change much at all and i think im extraordinarily good to him.
    He is never there for me emotionally but expects me to be on call to his needs 24/7 - if he's working on an essay he can't talk to me, but if i'm working on an essay i have to drop it and stay up all night to finish what i should have done when he needed me - as if his work and life are more important than mine.
    Whenever I'm really struggling and do open up to him about feeling bad he disengages and will actively ignore me for a few days or until i tell him that i'm feeling good, that not only makes me feel like i don't matter and like i shouldn't open up to him, is really bad for my mh because i am terrified of being abandoned and he knows that so he actively ignores me.

    BUT we do have excellent communication
    - I finally called him out on everything last night, and we've been talking today about all the things that have got to change and got to happen.
    oh sweetie - you really dont.

    HE invalidates you at every turn, wont let you do your work, doesnt listen and wont do anything to help himself unless you do it for him, makes you feel bad about yourself, when your low you cant talk to him but he expects you to be listening at all times to him. And refuses to talk to you for days on end until your feeling better. And uses his anxiety as an excuse.

    He is very selfish and yes aspects of your relationship would fall into mental and emotional abuse in some sense.

    I also suspect a heavy layer of co dependancy is here as well - which is not healthy.

    As to what you should do - well the fact that your posting about it shows you dont think there is much left in the relationship. So ask yourself this? Do you think it (and i mean him) is worth saving?

    You both have issues (no judgement intended) and but surely it is better to concentrate on fixing yourself that fixing both of you. Especially that in you require validation in order to feel valued when the simple truth is you should be your own validation.
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    Exacly what silverbolt says. You do not have good communication an for his own reasons he doesnt respects, bit in fact undermines you. I also agree about the co dependency.

    His behaviour is causing you stress. Your behaviour may be causing him stress.
    If you want to save it then write down the issues and what the agreed solution is i.e stop saying im fat because thats hurtful and undermines me etc.
    He can do the same with you.
    Look at what youve agreed and see if you can both agree with that level of change. If no call it a day. If he cant agree with listening and respecting you then call it a day. I doubt he will or make an extent to stick to it. in a healthy relationship he should be interested in supporting you and how you feel.

    If you are in exams, then i'd focus on those and put this aside for now.

    I get the feeling that its much better for you to work on your therapy if thats CBT or NLP to improve your self esteem and resilience and reduce anxiety because that give you independence. Give yourself a personal time-out and stop worrying about it. You cna deal with it after the exams, when you have the energy. It sounds like its just run its course or its not worth fixing.
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    (Original post by unsurewhattodo)
    i think i've quoted in everyone that replied, firstly, thank you so much for responding. i guess i can try to provide a little bit more context and where we are currently at and stuff.
    So both are 20-23, students in the UK, I'm currently studying in a different country (definitely something that has impacted our relationship - In fact i'd say the abuse and unhealthy aspects of our relationship have only come up while I've been half way across the world for 10 months)

    We both have mental health issues and have struggled with mental health for many years before meeting each other, and for the first year of dating everything was wonderful and I can certainly say I hadn't ever been close to something as healthy and full of mutual trust and love and support before, and then once I went away it became harder and harder.
    I keep trying to put what he's been doing into words without it sounding ridiculous.
    but it's usually whenever i bring up my mental health he will invalidate it, tell me i'm being irrational or purposefully encourage the negative emotion i'm feeling?[trigger warning for talking about abuse more specifically and particularly body-image related stuff, for example part of my disorder is that im incredibly insecure and always seeking more validation and i told him that i thought i was too fat and ugly for him and he didn't find me attractive, and he told me i 'wasn't his sexual preference'. he gets angry at me when i tell him how im feeling and has told me that he can't support the both of us when in reality he offers me no support, because when i tell him that i'm not doing well he gets angry at me so I haven't told him about any of my mental health going down hill for the last two months. He constantly tells me im overreacting, im too sensitive, he trivialises things im concerned about and other things in my life and is constantly invalidating me and deny my emotions and i call him out on it but he won't apologise. whenever we try to talk about things it ends up with me apologising and saying i'll change and be different but (and not to be bigheaded) i don't think i need to change much at all and i think im extraordinarily good to him.
    He is never there for me emotionally but expects me to be on call to his needs 24/7 - if he's working on an essay he can't talk to me, but if i'm working on an essay i have to drop it and stay up all night to finish what i should have done when he needed me - as if his work and life are more important than mine.
    Whenever I'm really struggling and do open up to him about feeling bad he disengages and will actively ignore me for a few days or until i tell him that i'm feeling good, that not only makes me feel like i don't matter and like i shouldn't open up to him, is really bad for my mh because i am terrified of being abandoned and he knows that so he actively ignores me.

    BUT we do have excellent communication - I finally called him out on everything last night, and we've been talking today about all the things that have got to change and got to happen.

    I guess I'm just thinking should I stick it out for the 8 weeks until I can see him in person again and if it's still like this I will quit, or if it's back to how it was I'll stay? because like i said before me studying in a different country there was absolutely no signs of this kind of treatment or behavior so once the catalyst of the distance is removed will things return to how they were before?

    If things don't return to how they were before I would like to try and resolve things. I do see a therapist and am on medication, and I've told him that for us to continue he has to do the same, but he's been unable to go for the last couple of years anyway because of extreme anxiety, so he says he doesn't know if he can - i do understand and his anxiety has been a huge issue with him not seeing medical professionals before.
    I don't know do you all still think I should just give up? I'm so lost and wishing I hadn't decided to study abroad for a year because it wouldn't have triggered this?
    Oh hun :jumphug:

    When you're in the thick of it, it can be really hard to see... but what you've described is emotional abuse My heart breaks for you.

    I would hope your boyfriend doesn't mean to be so abusive - maybe it's just his own mental health affecting the way he treats you. Either way though, it's not right and it's not something you should have to put up with :no:

    I agree with the person who said you need to focus on your own self-esteem and your own therapy, etc, rather than trying to save a relationship that is inherently one-sided and abusive. I would strongly urge you to think about ending this relationship and putting distance between you both, for your own sake. I appreciate that is an incredibly hard thing to do though :sadnod:

    Huge hugs! :jumphug:
 
 
 
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