Domestic Violence in Relationships

When Marci (not her real name)  made her first appointment with me, she asked if her fiancé could accompany her.  There were some issues in their relationship.  I agreed and so they came in together.  

When Marci and Donald came in, there was a frown on Donald’s face.  Maria looked sad.  Marci complained that Donald had hit her several times.  He had apologized later, brought her gifts and promised it would never happen again.  She believed him.  But it turned out that this cycle kept repeating and Marci didn’t understand why Donald would hit her.  Sometimes he even said it was her fault.

However both insisted that they loved each other and wanted to start a family.  I saw them for a few sessions and suggested that each one come in alone and that Donald join a men’s group specializing in Anger Management.  At that point they dropped out of therapy.  

Marci returned to therapy two years later.  She had left Donald, but was now having symptoms of PTSD and not being able to establish a loving relationship.  She confided that she was desperate to get into a relationship, but she was afraid of men and a repetition of past violent episodes.  For some reason she kept on attracting the same man, but with different last names.

What are some of the signs of an emotionally or physically abusive relationship?

 He calls you names, insults you or puts you down.
 He discourages you (or perhaps prevents you) from seeing friends or relatives.  
Wants to control what you wear or where you go or who you’re with
He’s jealous or possessive
Is violent with you, your children or your pets.
Sometimes forces you to have sex when you’re not in the moo
Blames you for his violent behavior or tells you deserve it.

You can heal.  There is something called post traumatic growth.

It took courage for Marci to leave Donald.  Yes, it takes courage to leave an abusive relationship because it can be very dangerous.  It takes courage because sometimes the man has convinced you that you’re so bad that no other man would want you.  It takes courage to really look at yourself.  Marci called an Domestic Violence hotline and got help in leaving.  If you are in an abusive relationship, make sure you call for help.  

When Marci returned we worked on her PTSD.  We also looked at at her patterns of always attracting the wrong man.  We used EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) — often called “tapping”.  Through these tools Marci learned to handle her stress.  She began to heal her underlying fears and false beliefs.
She gained clarity on what she really wanted and learned how to test each man very quickly.  

Since she was no longer acting time with Mr. Wrong, and she gained clarity in what makes a great relationship, she soon found a man who became a loving partner.  

It is possible to attract a loving partner in your life.

I’m Sheila Henry, California licensed Marriage Counselor and EFT Certified Relationship Coach.  I specialize in helping women find and enjoy a loving great relationship.  I can be reached at: 858 450 1965 or

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