Is Your Partner Constantly Putting And Letting You Down?

cluster of red white flowersAre you wondering why your partner—who was once your savior—now seems perpetually angry or dissatisfied with you? Do you feel abused when your partner puts you down, but tell yourself that it can’t be abuse because you haven’t been assaulted or molested? Maybe you blame yourself for provoking the criticism, ridicule and dismissive ways your partner relates to you. It may be that you feel like you’re walking on eggshells and have become quiet or withdrawn to avoid arousing anger. Or maybe you feel like you’re constantly scrambling to say and do the right thing in an effort to please your partner. Have you tried so hard to keep your partner happy that you have lost touch with friends and family members? Do you no longer recognize yourself, and fear that you have become so focused on pleasing your partner that you’ve buried your true spirit and sense of resourcefulness?

Do you want to reconnect with that life-loving, confident and capable person you used to be?

Do you crave recognition and loving attention from a partner who treats you with respect?

Do you wish you could understand what’s going on in your relationship, figure out if you want to stay and if so how to feel safe and empowered in the process?

Finding yourself in an abusive relationship can be a confusing, isolating, exhausting and sometimes frightening experience. You may be trying everything you can think of to please your partner and feel the love and care you experienced early in the relationship. Or perhaps you have become emotionally, socially or financially dependent on your partner, and while you constantly consider leaving, you feel too trapped, threatened or frightened to end the relationship. You may feel ashamed to discuss it with friends or family, or worry that they will condemn rather than support you. Whether you’re looking for a way out of your relationship or are trying to figure out what you can do to reclaim your partner’s interest and companionship, you may be feeling increasingly alone, sad, scared, unsure of yourself, desperate or even suicidal.

Emotionally Abusive Relationships Are On The Rise

If you know or suspect that you’re in an abusive relationship, you are not alone. While some abusive relationships —especially those that are verbally, physically or sexually abusive — can become obvious, emotionally abusive relationships can be harder to understand and recognize. Because emotional abuse leaves no visual marks and the abuser often blames his or her partner for everything that goes wrong, truth and boundaries often become blurred. Victims of emotional abuse feel increasingly isolated and confused.

It might be difficult to believe that you are experiencing emotional abuse if your relationship feels kind of normal. It’s likely that what you are currently experiencing is the same discomfort, humiliation and sense of being controlled that you did growing up, so it doesn’t seem odd or out of place. Because we all have an innate need to feel loved, we often sacrifice other basic needs to keep the peace and learn to define “love” as “obedience.” We might also see our parents model similar patterns with each other or other partners, and begin thinking that control, neglect or abuse in relationships is normal.

white pink cluster close upYour relationship may have slipped into a world where you can no longer be yourself and you live in fear of what your partner will do or say next. But, you still don’t want to give up the hope that past, nice moments may return. The roller-coaster ride with an abusive partner who is adoring one moment and cruel or ambivalent the next becomes a cycle that makes it increasingly hard to understand what is happening and to decide whether or not to leave.

If this sounds familiar, you are likely in an abusive relationship. The good news is that there is help and hope. With the guidance, support and insight of an experienced, insightful relationship therapist, you can better understand your experience and make an empowered choice about how to move forward.

Abusive Relationship Counseling Can Provide You with Insight, Guidance and Support

If you feel stuck in an abusive relationship, an experienced therapist with an objective eye can provide the insight, understanding and support you need to begin breaking free of a damaging cycle. In confidential, nonjudgmental and safe abusive relationship therapy sessions, I will listen to your experience with compassion. I will pay attention to your pain and suffering. I will validate your experience as real, which can provide so much relief—especially if you are being blamed for everything that goes wrong and feel responsible for your partner’s moods. Talking through your experience and understanding it as your reality is vital to your emotional stability and survival.

Throughout the process of therapy, we can connect your past and present so that you can realize what brought you to this dreadful place. You will likely recognize that what you’re experiencing today is a continuation of the past. Unfortunately, we often unconsciously repeat patterns from childhood until we are forced to recognize and face them. The good news is that by becoming aware of your patterns and feelings today, you can break the cycle of abuse, build a healthy relationship with yourself and develop the confidence needed to make empowering choices that align with your needs. You can learn how to effectively express yourself, set appropriate boundaries and begin to truly honor yourself as a human being. Essentially, you can become your true self—not someone else’s version. As we do this important work, you may also notice other relationships in your life in which you do or have felt disempowered. I can help you learn how to effectively navigate those relationships as well—especially those you feel like you cannot end.

Rather than tell you what to do my goal is to help you make thoughtful decisions for yourself about your relationships and their trajectory. You get to develop confidence in yourself so that you never need to depend on anyone else to rescue you and then abuse you when you are sucked in. You can more clearly identify what choices will best support your needs, values, goals and overall well being. You matter, and you can start to value yourself in your own right. With the help and support of a skilled, understanding therapist, you can tap into your insight, commit to self-empowerment and create balance in your life. You can change the dynamic of your relationship(s), set healthy boundaries and begin truly taking care of yourself.

You still may have questions or concerns about abusive relationship counseling…

I’m not sure if I need therapy. The relationship isn’t that bad—at least not all the time.

Something landed you on this page, which likely means that things are worse than you’d like them to be or that you’re allowing yourself to accept. You may tolerate being put down for long periods of time and then want to escape. Then you feel guilty or scared and make excuses for your partner. This spiraling up when you are at the point of taking action and then spiraling down with the guilt or fear won’t change. Staying in the cycle of an abusive relationship can have upsetting and potentially long-term consequences. The ongoing stress caused by abuse can affect both your physical and mental health. And, if you have children, it is imperative that you break the abuse cycle and model a healthy example for them. If you’re still unsure if what you’re experiencing is abusive, I invite you to schedule an initial appointment. You can talk through your experience in a safe, confidential, compassionate space and determine if therapy is right for you.

orange cluster spiked tree flowerI’m worried about what my partner will do if he or she learns that I’m in therapy.

If you’re anxious about your partner’s reaction to therapy, you are clearly in an abusive relationship, and I urge you to seek help. It can be scary taking the first step to talk with me, but your well being is worth the risk. And, as we go through the therapy process, there may come a time when you feel comfortable telling your partner that you’re in therapy and inviting him or her to join for couples therapy sessions.

Can therapy really help shift the dynamic of our relationship long-term?

Often, individuals and couples go through relationship counseling, enjoy great results and then revert to old, ingrained ways of being. The way I work is to get to the root of your emotional experiences that keep you dependent on those who may abuse you. I can show you how past experiences are playing out now, and provide a space for you to build your own self-esteem and personal resources. You won’t need a savior any more, but rather a person with whom you can develop an equal, mutually respectful relationship. I will be right there with you as you engage in healthier connections with good boundaries, helping you maintain your newfound determination to be treated as you deserve

You Can Heal Past and Current Wounds and Live With Grace, Confidence And Intention

I invite you to take the next step and call my office at 310-985-2491 to schedule an initial appointment. I offer in person therapy in Los Angeles, California, and global relationship coaching. Your relationship happiness is an investment that matters.