Friday, February 25, 2011

another post about a streetcar named desire: ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS

So I got a checklist off a counselling website and I've filled it out for Stella:

Many people think an abusive relationship is only when there is physical violence. 
Physical abuse is easily recognizable as there are visible scars, cuts, bruises, and broken bones.   
Emotional abuse has no visible scars.  All of the bleeding, bruising and breaking occur internally - to the soul.  Because the damage is invisible, emotional abuse is minimized and internalized.  Often women who are being emotionally abused will think it’s all in her head.  She is on a constant quest to figure out what she did wrong and blames herself.   Her self-esteem is damaged, and she is on a slippery slope towards depression.

Look over the following questions. Think about how you are being treated and how you treat your partner.  Remember, when one person scares, hurts or continually puts down the other person, it’s abuse.

Does your partner....
  YES   Embarrass or make fun of you in front of your friends or family?
  IDK    Put down your accomplishments or goals? Does Stella HAVE accomplishments/goals?
  IDK    Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions?
  YES   Use intimidation or threats to gain compliance?
  NO    Tell you that you are nothing without him/her?
  YES  Treat you roughly - grab, push, pinch, shove or hit you?
  YES  Track your whereabouts by frequently calling you or showing up unexpectedly?
  YES  Use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?
  IDK   Blame you for how he/she feels or acts?
  IDK   Pressure you sexually for things you aren’t ready for? I DON'T WANT TO KNOW.
  YES  Make you feel like there "is no way out" of the relationship?
  YES Prevent you from doing things you want - like spending time with your friends or family?
  YES Try to keep you from leaving or abandon you to "teach you a lesson" after an argument?
Do You...
YES    Sometimes feel scared of how your partner will act?
YES    Constantly make excuses to other people for your partner’s behavior?
IDK     Believe that you can help your partner change if you change something about yourself?
YES    Try not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner angry?
NO      Feel like no matter what you do, your partner is never happy with you?
SOMETIMES Always do what your partner wants you to do instead of what you want?
NO      Stay with your partner because you are afraid of what he/she would do if you broke up?

Read through the questions and then take a closer look at your relationship. You also may want to look for patterns by considering past relationships

IDK     Do you feel like you don't have any power in your relationship?
NO      Are you afraid to disagree?
YES    Are you afraid of your partner's temper?
YES    Are you constantly apologizing for your partner's behavior?
SORTA Are you justifying everything you do to avoid your partner's anger?
YES    Are you being put-down by your partner and then being told that he/she loves you?
YES    Are you being told not to see your friends and family?
YES    Are you being told what to do?
NO      Are you being forced or pressured to have sex?
IDK     Are you afraid to say "no" to sex?
IDK     Are you afraid to break up?
YES     Is your partner saying he/she can't live without you?
YES     Is your partner jealous and possessive toward you?
YES     Does your partner try to control you?
YES     Does your partner abuse alcohol or other drugs and/or pressure you to take them?
NO      Does your partner blame you when he/she mistreats you?
IDK     Does your partner have a history of bad relationships and blaming the other person for all of his/her problems?
YES     Does your partner believe he/she should be in control all of the time?
YES     Have your friends and/or family warned you about the person or told you they were worried for your safety?
YES     Has your partner hit, kicked or shoved you or thrown things at you?
NO     Have you been wrongly accused of flirting or having sex with someone else?
IDK     Do you feel like you can't do anything without your partner's permission?
NO     Does he/she tell you that he/she wants you all to himself/herself and not let you do anything on your own?

What is your healthy relationship score?
For each of the eight categories below, rate your relationship from 0-10, with 10 being very good and 0 being very bad.

Negotiation and Fairness
Each partner seeks mutually satisfying resolutions to conflict. They accept change and are willing to compromise.

Non-threatening Behavior
Each person talks and behaves so that his/her partner feels comfortable and safe expressing him/herself

Couples will value each other's opinions, listen to each other non-judgmentally, and provide emotional affirmation and understanding.

Trust and Support
Each partner supports the other's life goals, and respects their rights to their own feelings, friends, activities, and opinions.

Honesty and Accountability
Each partner takes responsibility for him/herself and communicates openly and truthfully.

Gender Equality
The relationship decisions are based on individual needs rather than gender.

Shared Responsibility
There is mutual agreement on a fair distribution of work and decision-making.

Economic Partnership
Money decisions are made together, and both partners benefit from financial agreements.



70-80    Great, it looks like you've got a good thing going. Shoot for 10's in every category!
60-69    You're doing fairly well, but there are definitely areas that could use some improvement.
Target the categories with the lowest scores, and try to identify with your partner ways in which you both can improve your health relationship score!
40-59    You might want to evaluate your needs and desires in this relationship. Consider seeing a counselor, if both partners are willing to look at changing for the better.
< 40      There is a serious imbalance of power in this relationship. If it continues like this, it can be very psychologically damaging to the partner who is being controlled. Continue to read more about domestic and dating violence.

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