Aug 23, 2016


Domestic abuse falls into a common pattern, or cycle of violence:

  • Abuse – Your abusive partner lashes out with aggressive, belittling, or violent behavior. The abuse is a power play designed to show you "who is boss."
  • Guilt – After abusing you, your partner feels guilt, but not over what he's done. He’s more worried about the possibility of being caught and facing consequences for his abusive behavior.
  • Excuses – Your abuser rationalizes what he or she has done. The person may come up with a string of excuses or blame you for the abusive behavior—anything to avoid taking responsibility.
  • "Normal" behavior – The abuser does everything he can to regain control and keep the victim in the relationship. He may act as if nothing has happened, or he may turn on the charm. This peaceful honeymoon phase may give the victim hope that the abuser has really changed this time.
  • Fantasy and planning – Your abuser begins to fantasize about abusing you again. He spends a lot of time thinking about what you’ve done wrong and how he'll make you pay. Then he makes a plan for turning the fantasy of abuse into reality.
  • Set-up – Your abuser sets you up and puts his plan in motion, creating a situation where he can justify abusing you.
Your abuser’s apologies and loving gestures in between the episodes of abuse can make it difficult to leave. He may make you believe that you are the only person who can help him, that things will be different this time, and that he truly loves you. However, the dangers of staying are very real.

I may have to read this a few times before tonight. I may have to read and re-read and a third and a fourth time as I wait in the parking lot for the apologies that have already started.

They've happened before too, and just like this cycle. "I'm so sorry, I was such a jerk, I didn't think about you. I won't talk to her anymore...We have so many more problems than her and this is all your fault because you were mean and fighting with me before B and I ever starting talking. But I won't, I won't talk to her."

You'll be so sweet to me, you'll buy me dinner, you'll promise you'll get me to trust you again. Then you'll call me out for something stupid, "you rolled your eyes at me." "I didn't even feel it happen, I don't know what you're talking about." "Oh my god, I can't believe you won't just apologize for rolling your fucking eyes at me. I can't believe we're having a huge fight over this!" two weeks later. And right after that I'll have to sit through 57 minutes of agony as you talk to her in our dark bedroom with the tv on because you don't want me to hear.

It's exactly this cycle. You set me up to justify what you're doing.

I can't believe that I thought I deserved this for so long. I can't believe I let you talk me into thinking that you and B was my fault.

I can't believe I can't believe I can't believe.

Thank you for finally pushing me so far that I couldn't bend anymore. 

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