People seeking to break the cycle of abuse know the bullies, babies and lack of boundaries in abusive relationships. What they long to understand is, "Who are these people, and where do they end and I begin?"

Who are the Bullies?

The bullies are those that want what they want when they want it. And most important to them is that you are expected to deliver. You heard me. They want it from you!

So, on the outside looking in, one may initially see them as empowered in their aggression. But the fact is that these aggressions don't emerge out of a place of invincibility. To the contrary, they emerge from vulnerability.

Who are the Babies?

They come from a place of longing what they have vested in you. They are the baby part under the roar. They are the hurting "little one" seeking their "fix" through you.

The so-called "fix" could be reassurance that you are not leaving them, confirmation that you care about them, verification that you love them... It is a "fix" that says, "Through something you give or show me, I'm okay." It's their emotional dependency that gives them their baby-like characteristic.

Where are the Boundaries?

Now here is the part that gets you, as a survivor, in trouble. Here is what gets you enmeshed in the cycle of abuse with your bully-baby.

When your bully-baby reaches out aggressively and abusively, you internalize the aggressive abuse. It pours in...and colors your day and defines your moment. And, in some cases, it may even define you.

The same thing happens when your spouse's vulnerable baby-like persona shows up, too. It oozes out from him/her, spilling over into you. It is as though there are no boundaries individuating you from your partner, much less your partner from you.

Your recognition of the bullies, babies and lack of boundaries in abusive relationships could be your first step in breaking the cycle of abuse.

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