Oh, I just must add something to this remark about MANIPULATION. We know isolation is one action of an abuser.
A few years after my second marriage, I was visiting my mother and the phone rang. My mom said "You might as well answer that, it's (my husband's name)".
I looked at her in amazement, not comprehending at all why she would say that.
He had not shown me ANY actual abuse I could identify at that point - was still in the charming, manipulative stage... Well, why abuse? Everything was going his way. Needless to say, I answered the phone and it was him. "Honey, I miss you, when are you coming home?" he crooned sweetly.
Then I saw. I always thought how cute that he misses me and wants me with him. We were getting along, I missed and wanted to be with him, too, at that point... After the call, my mother said, "He always calls you about 30 minutes after you get here." I had not noticed...
But I realized he was using sugar and smooth-talking charm to always get his way or change me into what he wanted. First stage.
Shamefully, I was very happy and he was good to my two sons, so I allowed him to get away with it for a while until something came along that I really cared about. I'm the type who is laid back and easy going, if it's something I don't really care about I will go along with what other people want; but if it is something I have firm beliefs, values or intensely want, I won't budge an inch. When I finally stood up to him, he tried gradually escalating stages of different abuses up to the point of choking me unconscious.
I come from several lines of Irish, all mixed up in my DNA, so that might explain my response to being choked almost to death ((laugh) - can you say stubborn?), when I became conscious again, I said...."You're bigger and stronger than me - you can kill me physically. BUT YOU WILL NEVER WIN. I will never change. I am who I am. With the last breath I blow out I will still be ****** and you will NOT have broken me. Ever. You lose. No matter what." He looked at me for a long time, then walked away and left. I believe I astounded him or at least dissuaded him from continuing that venue to change me. Needless to say, we separated and I obtained an order of protection from him.
For many years I was angry against him. We had many happy years together without problems. We actually had such a nice life, people called us 'the perfect couple' (gag). I was very bitter he would ruin that...it kept me from dating for 10 years. I prayed and prayed but couldn't forgive him. Then one morning I awoke with his phone number in my head and knew I was supposed to call him. I called, he apologized, we both cried. He had ruined his life after we separated (losing our house and business). He told me he harmed himself in futile anger at me. My husband died not too long after that. When he died, we had forgiven each other (I am not an angel (laugh)). It may seem like a sad conclusion, but it is an appropriate conclusion for us .
There are signs but I wonder why some women don't want to acknowledge the signs. Is it because they're so in love with the guy that they can't see he is abusing her?
I have lived with abuse for many years but at the time I took it as being normal part of life. It made me hate living, I just wanted to die. I couldn't see why people experienced this kind of thing and could still be happy until someone showed me that it wasn't normal and I was a victim of abuse. I never saw myself as a victim... This was the first step.
I agree with what most of you have said about abusive relationships but I will like to add one point if I may. The abuser in some cases if not many cases was once abused as well. They believe life is naturally like this: abusers and abusees. The vicious cycle only stops when the abuser is arrested or killed. I don't know of any abuser that has gone from beating up their partners to being a lamb. Even if they stop the physical abuse they come out with mental or calculated abuse.
Abuse can be subtle that you don't know that you are being abused. Its important to recognize this as well and not accept it as normal.
Edited: Stacia on 9th Jan, 2016 - 2:09pm
These people, who are abusers. Usually they themselves were abused, right?
Is it never OK to make the sacrifice and decide to stay with the abuser even after you understand that it's never going to stop completely, that no matter how patient you are, sometimes that person is going to abuse you again? You know you can't change the person more than a little bit here and there, gradually. You know you can't "Fix" them.
What if you have decided to accept the abuse, to love this person the best you can, and understand that even though they are a hurt and almost broken person, that they have problems, that they will keep hurting you - that they are still a human being, they are still capable of love, and they will spend the rest of their life hurt, alone, and lonely except for the fact that you accept them as they are, no matter how much it hurts you.
I know that taking another human into your life is not like adopting a stray cat, or saving a bird with a broken wing. I also know that somebody who wants to try to "Save" somebody else is probably messed up and has problems themselves.
But I also know that if you are tougher and stronger than your abuser, and you don't fight back, you don't hurt them, that sometimes the pain inside them gradually lessens, sometimes the raging demons quiet down, sometimes, they start to slowly recover and heal, from all the years of Hell they had been through before they met you. Sometimes years can go by, and you can look back and see that the cycle of abuse that had been passed on for generations, has finally been broken.
Edited: Chris on 4th Mar, 2016 - 1:49am
That's a good observation. How someone reacts to abuse can be to either look for someone to continue to abuse them, become an abuser or move themselves away from anyone that will hurt them. The main problem is most people do not recognize abuse when it happens. Chris makes a good point that even when they know they think they can stay and help the person to change out of love, but they are just hurting themselves - the abuser needs help.
A sign that shows you are in an abusive relationship is when you start do some crazy things for your abuser that you would not normally do or that you know are wrong but you still go through the motions anyway.