14 thoughts on “Are You Normalizing Abusive Behavior? 5 Signs that You Are

  • February 20, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Wow….you just described me to a T.

    • February 21, 2017 at 3:58 am

      I Felt as if it was told about me. It is me who always fear and insecure about everything in life . I just accepted the stamp they put on me instead of realising that they themselves don’t know what they were doing.

    • February 24, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      this is me too; I was the ‘too serious’ kid, who couldn’t stand being teased, made fun of for reading lots of books, being ‘too serious’, shy (I’m NOT shy, I am an introvert) fearful of strangers, people who got too close. My older brother is mom’s kid, my way younger sister was dad’s kid..and I rattled around in the middle, not having a place for myself. Likely why I rebelled at 18, married a man (29 years of verbal/emotional abuse)..I came to feel that I married a version of my family. After years of being divorced, I am STILL figuring out WHO and WHAT I am. Its been a long rough road to find out that I am ME, and that I am OKAY as ME.

      • February 26, 2017 at 8:47 am

        But you did leave eventually Vanessa. I know of some women in their 80’s who are still hanging in with a ridiculous relationship…because they don’t think they have THE RIGHT to make changes in their lives. I was in a dangerous Parent/Child relationship for 33 years. I swung out a bit too far when I finally ‘walked’…but today…I’m living the Dream! Tell all you come into contact with that it’s never too late to make the change. I was 52 when I left the crazy marriage, and 57 when I graduated from University. I am trying to piece together a book which ‘gives permission’ for all bullied people (women or men) to ‘walk the walk’. It’s not about money…it’s about having your spirit to your SELF. I can be found on Linkedin.

        Kind Regards,
        Cindy Foreshaw in Oz.

      • February 26, 2017 at 8:51 am

        Just a thought Vanessa. Try to remember what you were like as a kid. When you were about 7 or so! I mean the real you! That is who you are! For example…I used to say when I was asked:P “What will you be when you are grown up?” I would say “I’m going to Cambridge University”. You can imagine the laugh that got. Women were not even admitted to Cambridge then. The minute I ‘walked’ I walked towards Sydney University. The rest is History. What were yoiu like as a kid? What did you think and what did you say you wanted to ‘be’?

        Cindy in Oz

  • February 20, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Oh wow. This totally hit home for me. I do all of this.

  • February 21, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    My husband blamed me for everything, It felt disgusting. I wonder if I find a great job if I can gradually see less of him. These past few yrs and I’m just sick of the abuse. And the exaggeration and doble standerd.

  • February 22, 2017 at 12:46 am

    I’ve been physically abused 5x’s .hospitalized once . I can’t win an argument . He has stole all my banking codes and checks all my emails .i can’t escape without loosing Everything . Said i try to escape I’ll be locked ang gaged into a dog cage in the back of the basement. I don’t want to go to a shelter . Last time I went there I got lice , bedbugs and every child sickness . So what do I do ?

    • February 22, 2017 at 8:21 am

      Diane, I’m neither a therapist nor a psychologist but you should call The National Domestic Violence Hotline. 1-8000-799-7233, Their expert staff is there to help women who are being physically and psychologically abused. Peg

    • February 22, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Diane, temporary bug problems are worth enduring while you find your own apartment.
      Power to you!

  • February 22, 2017 at 2:58 am

    I can relate to all of it. 🙁

  • February 22, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Be sure to differentiate between ‘stonewalling’ and someone actually trying to end an abusive (or any other kind of) relationship.
    I get accused of this as I am in the process of disengaging from a person I no longer trust.

  • February 22, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Great blog that shines a light on the impacts of an insecure attachment.
    In my experience, this IS an inter-generational problem.
    As one generation freezes out their feelings through various defenses as kids, or is raised as a prince of princess w no skills for conflict, they render themselves empathy handicapped for their own kids and/or spouses in their future relationships. Recovering ones frozen feelings is part of the path for wholeness.(Good conflict resolution skills are also essential)
    I last thing for those in a couples relationship w a partner that reminds them of the mean parent (BTW: this can happen for males or females grown up w mean dads or moms!):
    I disagree that it is always necessary to leave, as implied in the blog.
    At certain higher levels of pathology in a spouse, yes…
    but as a therapist, I find that it is very important for people to have a third category of choice for setting a boundary w a choice given…in a shared power way (rather than fight or flight way- which the latter would be the “you are messed up, and so I am leaving choice. Again- SOMETIMES necessary, but often causes regrets, guilt re impact to kids, etc)
    The 3rd category option sounds like this:
    “I love you, but I need someone that realizes how to validate feelings and share the power of decisions, no matter how much love I feel.
    SO, YOU have a very important decision re whether you are willing to get help for your problem of dominance, difficult “owning pain and fear”, lack of empathy, and control.
    IF you are willing to get help, AND make some progress in understanding what I mean, (I cannot be your therapist or savior), I would join you for couples work…IF a therapist tells me that you “get” how you are hurting people you care about.
    THEN, we MIGHT have a chance to reach a level of respect that we can work, but that takes time.
    IF not, IF you are not willing, (though you getting help to heal yourself and our relationship IS my preference, but I cannot and will not control you back!), then YOU are choosing to end our relationship, as I cannot live this way any more.”
    Of course, there is *more, but this IS another possibility where one person does not grab all the power unless they are forced to by the other’s choice to not admit AND work w their problem.
    Sometimes should only be delivered in written form.
    IF there are kids, then the partner can be take the responsibility to tell them, but as another choice you will, IF they won’t, and/or IF emotions are managed, you can tell them together. (If they do, you will also check w the kids for the fidelity of the message given to them)
    IF the partner chooses therapy, then there needs to be a ritual when they start to go back to old habits, which I call “The Fade”. It includes an immediate choice to de-escalate, some sort of agreed upon consequences if there is no cooperation to do so, addressing impact when de-escalated, w/ a plan to stop the behavior in its tracks in a similar future situation…AND including another 3rd party that knows what happened – usually the therapist in the beginning, though expanding to support person over time.
    Finally, I prep w the client for an immediate defense response from the other when giving the original choice, w a safety plan that includes calling a support person, going to a shelter if the controlling or put down behavior does not stop, etc.
    This is LOTS of work for a couple, but a way to avoid ANY feelings of regret or “what could I have done?” responses later.
    It also teaches the necessary limit setting that the abused person will need in any future relationship anyway…whether this relationship works out over time or not!
    The lapses that occur w The Fade ritual also serves as a measure of success … or not…as they are tracked on a calendar, and should, after the 1st 1 or 2, start to occur WAY less frequently w decreasing intensity before the de-escalation.

  • February 22, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    You make it sound like this is unusual. Actually you’re just describing every-day life. (Note – this is a very sad attempt at humor – don’t take it seriously)


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