Skip to main content

You are in the: Abusive Relationships article section           

7 Surprising Myths Surrounding Abusive Relationships

Abusive relationships are probably one of the least understood areas of relationship and dating. This is probably because the abuse often goes on behind closed doors and is not available for view by people outside the relationship.

Abusive relationships are also often misunderstood due to the large amount of false information and myths that surround these kinds of relationships and the type of people that are likely to be involved in them.

In this article I’d like to examine 7 of the more popular myths surrounding abusive relationships so that you can get a better idea of either your situation (if you’re in an abusive relationships) or someone elses situation that you suspect may be being abused.

Myth Vs Reality

Number 1:

Myth: They must have done something to deserve being hit.

Reality: No person deserves being hit in a relationship. Abusers will strike their victims so as to show and exert control over them - they don't necessarily have had to do something to "deserve" it. Women can be struck for illogical reasons such as the tea wasn't brewed properly, the television was on a channel they didn't like etc

Number 2:

Myth: It's not an abusive relationship if there's no violence involved.

Reality: Emotional abuse can be just as, and more, damaging than physical abuse. Physical abuse can be more easily identified but that doesn’t mean that an abusive relationship is only defined on the physical level. Emotional abuse can result in long term health problems such as depression. It also results in other issues such as a damaged belief in ones self.

Number 3:

Myth: An abusive relationship is a private matter.

Reality: Assaulting, striking or raping someone else are criminal offenses punishable in court. Therefore you have a right to report such occurrences.

Number 4:

Myth: An abusive relationship is a rare occurrence.

Reality: Most women don't report to authorities or confide in their friends that they are in an abusive relationship. Consequently, it’s not openly visible in society despite being common.

Number 5:

Myth: If it is an abusive relationship she would have left.

Reality: People can't always just opt out of a relationship even if it is an abusive relationship. There can be financial, social, religious reasons etc to act as a bar. As well as this, abusive partners do a good job at destroying the self confidence of their victims. They do this as a way of exerting more control over them. If a persons self belief is damaged enough, they may find it difficult to leave the abuser.

Number 6:

Myth: An abusive relationship can only occur in poor, uneducated areas. They are associated with "problem" families and foreign nationals.

Reality: An abusive relationship can occur anywhere. They pervade all cultural and social economic divides. It doesn't depend on these types of factors but on an individuals’ own "need for power".

Number 7:

Myth: Abusive people are rough, drunken over weight men.

Reality: Abusers can be anyone. 3 out of 4 abusers don't commit any other crime. To the outside they can seem charming even if they abuse their partner at home.

Victims Of Abuse Often Ignore Reality However

Some people who find themselves in an abusive relationship will often try and ignore the fact of what’s happening. Sometimes people may not even be able to tell it's an abusive relationship. A girl might find it flattering if her boyfriend was insanely jealous every time a guy talked to her. However the reality lurking behind this jealousy can lead to an abusive relationship and controlling behavior.

If this happens over an extended amount of time, a girl might not notice that her relationship has turned into an abusive relationship until some one points it out to her. And even then she might deny such an idea if she has grown used to the relationship like that.

If your relationship is an abusive relationship, then you either need to get help immediately or leave. In almost all cases, the abuser will refuse the idea of getting counseling or anything that involves handing over power to someone else. Control and power are central to the psyche of an abuser. With that said, the only solution to an abusive relationship may be to leave it. No matter how hard it seems or what baggage you have connecting them to you, leaving an abusive relationship is never a mistake.

Need more help?

Yes, how do I deal with an abusive boyfriend?

What are some things I should know about the mind of an abusive husband?

Do we need couples therapy?

Can a negative self-image cause a man to cheat?

What do I do if I caught my partner cheating?