When we think about relationships,
we assume two people come together because they love each other.
The word “love” is often associated with positive connotations.
When we hear it, we might connect it to actions
like support, affection and interest.
On the flip side, however, toxic love exists, too.
And the scary part is that it’s not always obvious.
When you get caught up in your feelings and passion for your partner,
you can become blindsided.
Psychologists discovered that when we fall in love,
the areas of our brains that help us pick up on suspicion
and make good judgment become less active,
which is especially dangerous for those who are involved with a toxic partner.
So, what does an abusive relationship look like?
Let’s start out with the more obvious signs.
Does your partner hit or force intercourse with you?
Physical and sexual abuse should never be tolerated.
So, why do victims never walk away immediately?
Because abusive partners tend to be very manipulative.
They might not always be violent like most movies and social media portray it.
“I’m sorry babe, I didn’t mean to.”
They’ll often say as they embrace their partner
with a loving hug.
Or, “I was just having a bad day,
I won’t do it again.”
This is how it all starts.
And because the victim usually sees the best in their partner,
they’ll believe them.
Abusive partners may even make it up to their victims
by showering them with gifts the next day.
They know when to use just enough kindness
to win them back every time.
When this happens, they’ll keep pushing the boundary of what is allowed
to see what they can get away with.
And that’s how this cycle repeats.
And abusive relationship can also be mental or emotional.
Common tactics the abuser will use
are love bombing and gaslighting.
When the victim fells like they’ve had enough
and tell their partner they’re going to leave,
the abuser will use love bombing
and might say something like
“If you leave me, I won’t know what to do with myself.”
This is why on average victims usually attempt to
leave seven times before actually leaving for good.
When the victim is being gaslighted,
the abuser will make them feel as though
they’re going crazy or not remembering things right.
Consequently, the victim will start to blame themselves
for the actions of their partner.
This is how the abuser stays in control,
pulling at the strings of the victim,
whether they guilt trip them,
or threaten to hurt themselves if they leave.
More often than not,
the victim will be too afraid to leave the relationship,
worrying it’s not a safe decision.
In extreme cases, it can even be life-threatening
where women are 70 times more likely to be killed
after they leave the relationship.
And sometimes, it can be the social pressures
that caused victims to suffer longer than they wish.
Some abusers will seem like the perfect spouse
who is financially and professionally successful.
Friends and family members of the victim might get
easily sucked into the abusers’ dangerously charming ways,
and believe they’re Mr. or Mrs. Perfect,
dismissing the victims’ horror stories.
The list goes on, but the relationship doesn’t have to.
If you believe you’re being abused by your partner,
or know someone who might be,
please report this to the police.
Change will seem scary at first,
but staying in a relationship until it worsens
will only put you in greater danger.
Remember, you’re worthy of being loved in a healthy, supportive way.
记住 你值得拥有一份健康的 相互扶持的感情
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and stay tuned for our next video for this series.
When we think about relationships,