Dealbreakers: Does Domestic Violence Always Doom a Relationship?
2 weeks ago
Some say abusers can change
But the reasons for their hesitance vary. The National Network to End Domestic Violence reports victims can feel "a real fear of death or more abuse if they leave." They are also "made to think they cannot survive on their own" (often because abusers create financial situations that make leaving nearly impossible). And the most common, yet challenging reason: "She believes his promises to change."
Though many of you may be sighing and shaking your heads at the naiveté of a seemingly helpless victim, even experts with the National Network to End Domestic Violence don't deny that change is indeed possible -- if the abuser makes the "choice" to do so.
Can some couples truly overcome domestic violence?
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY:
Carole Lieberman, psychiatrist and author of "Bad Boys: Why We Love Them, How to Live with Them & When to Leave Them": "Once a man has become physically violent, you need to get out of the relationship, no matter how much he begs you to forgive him. The violence is only going to escalate. It may start as a push or a slap, but the next time it will go further, and then further."
Tina Tessina, psychotherapist: "Domestic violence doesn't have to be a dealbreaker if the person with the anger and violence issues gets help. Once that person acknowledges that and learns to control his or her temper and tantrums, then it is possible that the marriage can be saved. People who are violent often have an exaggerated sense that their anger is not a problem and are usually psychically wounded from childhood, so this requires some work to resolve."
Jim Bouchard, co-author of “Love Like a Black Belt: Cracking the Code to Being a Happy Couple": "Staying with someone who has a history of domestic abuse is, at best, a very risky decision. You need to consider why it is you would even want to give your partner a second chance. Is it really that you see the potential for change, or do you fear rejection, being alone or even continued violence outside the relationship? Also, you must be prepared to leave at the first sign of a return to past behaviors."
[ALSO READ: WHY ABUSED WOMEN STAY]
WHAT YOU SAY: