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Domestic Violence Survival: 3 Keys to Surviving..
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Domestic Violence Survival: 3 Keys to Surviving.. 9 Years, 10 Months ago Karma: 0

Domestic Violence Survival: 3 Keys to Surviving the Conditioning in an Abusive Relationship

By Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

Understanding the conditioning that occurs in abusive relationships is key to one’s survival in, and after, the relationship. Here are three keys to help you see the role and effects of conditioning in abusive relationships.
1) You did not make him/her do it or say it.

You probably know this from the core of your being, but may have trouble believing it with your thinking brain, due to the ongoing conditioning that happens in abusive relationships. With most things in the relationship—when the finger is pointed— it usually lands on the person with the less power.

And when that person owns the fault for whatever transgression is up for consideration, then rewards are bestowed upon them. This is where and how the conditioning occurs. Be mindful of it. And always know you can only be responsible for your own thoughts, feelings and actions; never for someone else’s thoughts, feelings or actions.

2) You don’t deserve to be punished or put in “your” place

This is another way in which conditioning is accepted as the behavioral norm. While it is true that on some level conditioning occurs in all relationships, “negative reinforcement” conditioning is another story. That’s what we do with criminals when we jail them. They are negatively punished for doing something not acceptable to society at large, or shall I say by the standards of law.

I see so many individuals who truly feel they are in the “dog house” when they have disobeyed the wants and wishes of their abusive partner. You can almost feel their tail between their legs when they talk about it. Pull yourself out of the dog house. You don’t deserve to be there.

3) You deserve to receive all that he/she demands you give to them

It might not feel like such when you are enmeshed in an abusive relationship, but it is a fact that your “deserving-less-ness” is all made up. He/she made it up and so did you.
And as with the other standards and beliefs among couples in abusive relationships, your deserving-less-ness is nothing more than another “rule” driven home through conditioning. However, it is a more serious culprit because of its kinship to the power/control entitlement issues central to domestic abuse.

This may be obvious with your appreciation of the “power and control” issues inherent in abusive relationships. But even people who claim to understand this show signs of struggling with their deservingness, their worthiness.

I find that when people pull themselves out of the dog house, discovering their worthiness follows. Knowing your worthiness and the boundaries of your responsibility to, and for, yourself are important keys to survival in an abusive relationship.
If you want deeper understanding of what maintains and what prevents abusive relationships, see the Intimate Partner Abuse Screen® Dr. Jeanne King helps individuals recognize and end domestic abuse, and heal from abusive relationships.

This series of eInsights is presented to you by Partners in Prevention, a nonprofit organization. If you find this eInsight article useful, we invite you to contribute to the maintenance and growth of the Survivor Success Tips & eInsights. To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit www.EndDomesticAbuse.org.
©Copyright 2008 Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. www.PreventAbusiveRelationships.com
Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.
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