For women, there can be plenty of suggestions about how to get out of a difficult, abusive relationship, but what can you tell women who aren’t able to leave or want to simply stay in the relationship? Now, that is not an easy situation. It’s difficult as it is to end a relationship with a husband, a sibling, or a family member. There will be sleepless nights just thinking about the decisions you’re about to make. The anxiety and anticipation will be killing you, and you want so much to free yourself from these hindrances. You want to free yourself physically but you can’t.
So what do you do if you are one of these women? Do you know how to protect yourself from this person who demands, cheats, blames? Someone who is insensitive of your feelings and verbally, physically, and emotionally abuses you? Is there a way that you can keep a healthy rift between you and this abusive person who just leaves you feeling hopeless and tired of his negativity and need for attention? “Emotionally abused people often come to believe that they are stupid, inconsiderate or selfish because they have been accused of these things so often by their partner.” ― Beverly Engel, psychotherapist and author of ‘The Emotionally Abusive Relationship.’
Experts suggest that you must detach yourself compassionately, meaning that you keep your distance while protecting yourself from harm. It means practicing your right to self-defense against a manipulative and vicious person. According to Dr. Mark Mayfield LPC, Board Certified Counselor, “If your spouse’s behavior escalates and you begin to feel physically unsafe, explore all of your options to ensure your safety.” Ultimately, it means that you treat this person with respect and love but not accepting responsibility for his bad behavior and wrong decisions in life.
Just because you’re a good partner, sibling, parent, or close friend, you don’t have to set aside your priorities and put others’ needs first. It doesn’t mean that you have to clean up other people’s mess to show them you love them. When you are compassionately detached, you are not abandoning your abusive loved one but you only refuse to be mangled with his mentality and rudeness. It is not at all shameful if you want to keep your distance from a person who sucks the life out of you.
No matter how you try to pacify manipulative people, you can never fill their emotional buckets. These types of people frequently feel like there’s something missing, and they try manipulating others to get what they want. If you let them be and feed their bad behavior, they are encouraged to continue doing it. However, if you learn compassionate detachment, you won’t be forced to provide your abusive partner’s needs. You don’t have to think about this person when you make personal decisions. You can get rid of the stress, worry, and anxiety that come together with being in this person’s life. “If you really wanted a good relationship, you wouldn’t keep going out with that guy,” advised psychologist Robert N. Kraft Ph.D.
Here are some ways to protect yourself from your abusive loved one by practicing compassionate detachment.
- Do not talk with someone who is being rude, disrespectful, or unreceptive.
- Remember that you are not accountable for other people’s mistakes, failures, or wrong decisions in life.
- Refuse to be affected by someone else’s preferences, suggestions, thoughts, or moods.
- Believe the truth that you can still care for someone while protecting yourself from him, the same person who hurt you.
- Think of the opportunities in front of you that will help achieve your dreams and make the life that you want.
- Believe that you don’t deserve to be treated with cruelty but only to be loved and respected.
Practicing compassionate detachment is a form of tough love, as you care about your loved one’s dilemma but not responsible for whatever the outcome is. You help them by allowing them to fix their own problems. Perhaps it will be easier to do if you initially think about why you are with this abusive person in the first place. You may have had this enabling characteristic when you were a child, or you might have this hidden desire to save someone from his or her predicaments to feel redeemed. You can ask yourself, “I am just using my partner/sibling/child and their issues to feed my inadequate soul? If you think that you need help uncovering this, therapy will be a great lending hand.
Keeping your distance from a manipulative loved one will probably not resolve all the issues in your relationship right away, and it’s less likely that you’ll be able to change someone or anyone. However, you have a higher likelihood of seeing positive change if you do not condone bad behavior. This is especially important if it involves your children. Showing them the value of compassionate detachment will help them learn how to cope with their difficult relationships in the future. They will learn early on that abusive behavior is not at all acceptable.
Most of all, keeping your distance while loving the abusive person in your life will help you concentrate on caring for yourself and gaining self-confidence and self-respect. You can better move on to a far better life.