To develop a healthy relationship, it is important for all parties involved to feel empowered, respect each other, and have equal power in the decision-making. On the other hand, an unhealthy relationship tends to have imbalanced power and control. Once one person takes away power and control from another person or takes over the relationship flow, the relationship can become possibly abusive.

The national domestic violence hotline explains that “Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used to gain or maintain power and control.” People use many different tactics to gain control in the relationship. For examples:

Using Intimidation: by talking loudly, facial expressions, posing, making you feel afraid
Using Emotional Abuse: calling names, calling you crazy, humiliating, making you feel guilty
Using Isolation: controlling who you hang out with, checking emails and texts to control communication
Minimizing, denying: not taking you seriously, shifting responsibility
Using Children: using children to make you feel guilty, threatening to take children away
Using Privilege: treating female partner like a servant, using racial identity to threaten or minimize, using immigration status to threat
Using Economic abuse: preventing you to get a job, making you spend more, or limiting access to money
Using coercion and threat: threatening to leave you or hurt you, making false reports to thereat
All these abusive tactics can become physical or sexual violence.

Once you find yourself in this type of relationship, it can feel extremely difficult to change the situation. You may even feel stuck and think that you cannot do anything about it.

If you want to make a shift, let’s start with regaining the power and agency! Empowering yourself is the first step to shift your relationship. You can start with finding small things you have control over, such as how you take a deep breath before going to bed, or how you walk to the station in the morning. Recognizing small moments like this can help you find the power in you to eventually make a bigger shift in your relationship.

For more info visit:
National Domestic Violence Hotline: https://www.thehotline.org/

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