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If you are anything like me, you have wondered why some of the same relationship issues keep happening. Or you may wonder why some people continuously go through the same situations when they already know the outcome. This post is delving right into the cycle of destructive relationships. I think understanding the different positions along this cycle is a great starting point in understanding why abusive and/or destrutctive relationships.
POWER – The entire cycle of destruction is centered around power and control. Abusive, violent, or destructive relationships are a direct result of one parties desire to control the other. Because of the need to satisfy this desire, the abuser takes their mate along this vicious cycle.
INFATUATION – This is how majority of all relationships begin. It’s the first dates! The talking on the phone for hours! The special text messages or emails. All the little cutesy things that happen when a relationship first begins. These are things that draw you into the relationship.
BLIND LOVE – The next stop along the cycle is the blind love phase. This is when your mate can do no wrong and you believe they are perfect in every way. You find ALL the little things to love about the person. For example, I knew a woman that began dating a man she wasn’t physically attracted to. She continued dating him anyway and eventually began to seek out the things she liked to block out the things she didn’t. She would often say “he has the cutest ears” to justify her attraction to him.
MANIPULATION & CONTROL – Once the blind love phase is in full motion, the abuser begins to exercise his desire for power. This is when the manipulation and control start. The mind games begin here! The abuser usually will begin to alienate their mate from their friends and/or family. They also become more vocal on their expectations from their mate. These expectations are expressed as threats and ultimatums. “If you really love me then you will do whatever it takes to make me happy even if you don’t agree”.
DESTRUCTION & ABUSE – Once the mind games begin abuse and destruction enter. One main reason relationships become abusive or destructive is because one party is not satisfied with their level of control or lack thereof. This section in the cycle of destruction is marked by physical violence, verbal abuse, sexual assault, financial abuse, and other forms of abuse. The partner’s self-esteem is usally affected and the de-valuing process begins. 80% of victims in this section don’t show physical signs of abuse which makes it extremely difficlut to identify.
APOLOGY – The abuser usually has a period of remorse and this is when the endless apologies begin. In my personal experiences, the apologies were always so great and grand. They would fall to their knees crying, begging for forgiveness. I would receive lavish gifts, surprises, and trips. These are manipulation tactics. Although some abusers are truly remorseful, it is usually just an attempt to “fix” things. This is the section when he/she returns to the relationship with excuses such as, “he was just having a bad day”, “he’s so stressed at work”, or “it’s my fault”. There is NO excuse for someone to abuse any person!
GUILT & SHAME – Once the apology stage ends and their mate is still hesitant, the abuser usually preys on their emotions. “If you loved me, you would understand and stay by my side”. The guilt and shame associated with the abuse will be projected onto the partner. This is another emotional game used to keep the partner in the relationship. most time it works because the partner has no clue they are in a destructive relationship.
It starts ALL over from the beginning!
If you know anyone that is part of a cycle of destruction in their life, my best advice is don’t alienate them any further than what they already are. Be a friend! Be there when they need you! Don’t judge or criticize. Help them see what you see because they almost certainly don’t see what you do.
Until next time….