People who hurt others in a relationship are often the ones hurting the most themselves deep inside.
There are two fundamental red flags that if you see in your partner you should never ignore! AND walk away immediately if you see either of them.
Because there are some pains that people can be experiencing which are toxic for you (or anyone) and trying to help them get out of their hurt and pain – is useless.
They will end up hurting you more than you can ever help heal them.
The Two MAJOR Red Flags Are:
Physical Abuse (initiated from a man or woman)
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
In this blog, I’m only going to cover the first one – physical abuse – and why it’s important just to walk away rather than sticking around and trying to fix the relationship, or your partner, or yourself – because you may be blaming yourself for the cause of all of this showing up in your partner.
To avoid creating a really long blog post, I will cover the second major red flag regarding Narcissistic Personality Disorder in my next blog titled: “Signs That Your Partner Has A Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).“
Any man or woman that initiates physical abuse is doing so because they have a deep-rooted belief within them – ‘that it’s OK to hit’ AND they have deep-rooted anger… and very righteously indignant about it!
These beliefs are formed during a person’s early development and it can happen for many different reasons. They might have seen their parents doing it to each other or maybe just one parent hitting the other. It could have been that they witness the powerplay between their parents in a different way, perhaps one parent was overbearingly dominant and manipulative over the other.
When a person is physically asserting themselves in a relationship, it ultimately boils down to several reasons, here are just some of the key ones: their inability to control and defuse their deep-rooted anger, a need for power and control, their inability to use their words to communicate so they use physical force, and a sense of righteous indignation.
The following are considered forms of Physical Abuse:
Physically restrained (pinned down or tied to something)
Shaking (like a ragdoll)
Twisting hands, limbs, or joints
Pulling, dragging, pushing, or slamming
Squeezing or crushing
Hitting (slapping, punching, or kicking) or using an object to hit
Cutting, or stabbing, shooting (anything), or burning
Withholding sleep or medical attention
Forcing unwanted sexual acts
While there are other forms of abuse, such as emotional, spiritual, and financial – physical abuse is severe enough that if it is left unchecked and allowed to continue it can lead to serious injuries or in the worst-case scenario – loss of life.
Absolutely none of the forms of abuse should ever be tolerated in a relationship. If you have children, they will inevitably be exposed to this and learn behaviors you’d rather they didn’t.
If you are a WOMAN and your male partner initiates physical abuse towards you…
You might be thinking: “this is both shocking and frightening all at the same time. How could someone I love and care for truly want to hurt me – is he doing this out of love to get our relationship back on track?”
Or maybe you’re thinking: “oh boy I’ve really pissed him off this time and now he’s going to let me have it – I can never seem to get it right with him because I’m always messing things up.”
Often the women who find themselves in an abusive relationship tend to blame themselves for their partner’s behaviour.
Let me tell you something, you’ve done nothing wrong! There is no reason to justify his physical abuse towards you. AND this is NOT how a man should be expressing his LOVE for you. Ever!
You’re supposed to feel Safe and Secure with your man. Not Bruised and Hurting.
Here’s the tricky part for women, because if you allow the physical abuse to continue it can go one of two ways:
It escalates from restraining, shaking, twisting, or crushing, etc. the first time(s) …to then slapping, kicking, biting, hair pulling, punching, etc. …to then using objects to inflict physical pain. He’ll continue to level up because it is being allowed, by way of your silence and because you remain to stay with him. This can only get worse over time – not better. Sadly, many women who find themselves in this situation either decide to stay and endure physical abuse or they end up badly injured or in some case loose their life.
You try to defend yourself. Over time you begin to anticipate when he’s about to have another one of his outbreaks. You might try to escape by wanting to walk or run out of the room. You might try to resist being restrained and even push back to get past him in an attempt to move to an open space or a public place in order to defend yourself. Now, this is tricky, because your man is not going to appreciate you challenging his attempt to control you and the situation so this will anger him even more. As well, he might begin to spin the story and say that you’re the abusive partner in the relationship. Perhaps, in the midst of you defending yourself, he gets angry at you for resisting and sees it as an opportunity to call the police on you saying you hit him or scratched him. It may be that he’s a really strong storyteller and can fabricate a creative story for the authorities. Then what happens…? Then you might have to leave your home or go into custody – and if you have a child(ren) then you have to leave them behind. Is any of this worth it for you to stick around in a relationship where he initiates physical abuse? You have to shut that down and walk away from it the moment your relationship takes that turn. Consider the relationship over and done with!
What are some of the possible reasons why you’d want to continue to stay with him after he’s abused you…?
You might actually think that you are the cause of his violent outbreaks. Perhaps you are aware that you have some relationship issues and you blame yourself in some way for causing him to be upset. You might love him and have formed a dependency on him. You might be drawn in by his charm and charisma. He might be a very good talker and very convincing – perhaps a good liar and storyteller! Maybe you are worried that if you do not stay with him he will increase the financial abuse and you’re concerned about losing everything – that’s a legitimate fear especially if you have a child(ren). You don’t know where to turn to and you don’t want to be homeless with your child(ren). You might not be aware of all the resourcing available to you in support of you leaving an abusive relationship. You might be feeling shame, fear, or guilt. There are so many reasons why you might choose to stay longer than you need to in this abusive relationship.
What are some of the possible reasons why he’d want to stay with you if he’s physically abusive towards you…?
You would think if he’s physically abusive that then he’s not happy… so why does he force or manipulate for the relationship to continue? Because people hurting deep within their soul need other people to hurt. It’s an outward projection of how they are feeling – BUT they want to avoid their own feelings so someone else has to be the antagonist and that someone is …well who ever that chooses to accept staying in that relationship. I hope that’s not you or anyone!
If you are a MAN and your female partner initiates physical abuse towards you…
You might be thinking: “well I’m bigger and stronger than she is so there’s no possible way she could ever do any serious damage to me.”
Or maybe you’re thinking: “let her blow off some steam because I’ve made some mistakes and hurt her emotionally (cheated, lied, etc.) so this is just her way of expressing that anger and frustration to me.”
Often the men who find themselves in a situation where their female partner is abusive, they tend to undermine the severity of the situation because she’s smaller and “weaker” relative to a man.
Let me tell you something, size does not apply to a person initiating physical abuse because what it boils down to is that it’s just not an acceptable form of expressing oneself!
Man or woman. Big or small.
Here’s the tricky part for men, because if you allow the physical abuse to continue it can go one of two ways:
It escalates from slapping, kicking, biting, hair pulling, etc. the first time(s) …to then using objects to inflict physical pain – which is considered a level up since she recognizes that her own bare hands won’t cut it and she badly wants to hurt you. She’ll continue to level up because it is being allowed, by way of your silence, using bigger objects or ones that are much more effective at causing serious physical harm. Once her anger and desire to control reach top levels – she’ll start to get more creative.
You snap and hit her back. During one of her outbreaks, you might snap and hit her back because either you’ve had enough or she hits you in a spot that immediately triggers your reflexes. Now, …is this ok? You might be thinking – “well she started it!” Even though she started it, it’s NOT OK to hit back. You do NOT hit a woman! AND nor do you stick around in a relationship where she initiates physical abuse. If she ever initiates physical abuse, you shut that down and walk away from the relationship. Done! Think about it, if you hit her then she’ll call the police on you and you lose EVERYTHING. Is it worth being in this relationship when your partner is physically abusive towards you?
What are some of the possible reasons why you’d want to continue to stay with her after she’s abused you…?
Maybe because she’s the mother of your child(ren), or you still love and care for her, or you’re so accustomed to being in this relationship after investing so many years that leaving feels foreign, or scary, or even depressing to fathom.
What are some of the possible reasons why she’s want to stay with you if she’s physically abusive towards you…?
Financial support is typically the number one reason. She might be accustomed to a certain standard of living either on your income alone or both your incomes combined. Or she is used to being in this relationship after so many years and maybe after having a child(ren) with you she’s concerned how life will be life as a single parent, especially since she’ll likely have the children most of the time – it will impact her current lifestyle in a big way. She might not be ready and willing to give that up… so she stays.
Change is a difficult thing for anyone to process. So leaving an abusive relationship is not going to be easy. Believing that she’s smaller and weaker than you is misleading because she will have cleaver ways – suddenly being OK, forgiving, and accepting of possibly some of your inappropriate behaviors (i.e. cheating or lying) – what is behind her sudden tolerance…?
Now, you might be thinking that you caused this anger somehow (i.e. cheating, lying) and that’s why this anger is showing up in her. Truth is – you might have triggered her anger, but she had this anger long before you two ever met. This is why it is best not to be in a relationship with a woman who will physically abuse you because of both the anger and belief that hitting is deep-rooted within their programming.
In my coaching experience, when the physical abuse stops it morphs into an inward facing abuse. Typically the abuser will turn to alcohol or drugs (maybe both) to sooth the deep rooted anger within them that is causing the physical abuse in the first place.
Whether your a woman or a man – you do not need to accept your partner initiating physical abuse! Leave and end the relationship as soon it happens for you – if any of what I mentioned above resonates with you.
Ultimately, if you’re not able to resolve your relationship problems, you both have a decision to make whether you want to stay or leave. Physical abuse is never one of the options. So there’s never a good enough excuse why physical abuse should ever take place.
Lastly, it only gets worse – never better! Silently enduring physical abuse can lead to serious injuries to you or in the worst-case scenario a potential loss of life.
In my coaching practice, I will never coach you on how you can make a physically abusive relationship work for you so you can stay. However, I will coach you to heal from this experience and remove any love blocks you might be experiencing in order to avoid attracting another abusive partner ever again.
Because you deserve the best – and nothing but the best!