Healthy relationships involve respect, trust, and consideration for the other person. Sadly, some relationships can turn bad. People in these relationships sometimes mistake the abuse for intense feelings of caring or concern. Abusers create a void around their victim that leaves the victim even more dependent. Love involves respect and trust; it doesn’t mean constantly worrying about possible end of the relationship. If you feel nervous or insecure about your relationship, it’s important to talk it through with your partner or boy/girlfriend, not to try to control their behavior.
How do you support them?
You need to be clear about the distinction between helping and supporting them. Simply acknowledge and respect their right to make choices, or else stick with the situation. However disastrous it may appear from outside, they are making the best choices they can at the time. They already feel pretty bad about themselves; your continued respect may make more of a difference than you could imagine.
Don’t give up on them. There is a very human temptation, at some point, to say “Whatever”, and walk away. It’s very easy to end up becoming irritated with the victim. When you do, you’re actually colluding with the abuser.
If an abused loved one can’t hold on to the thought of life beyond their relationship, then that is something important you can do for them. This simply means believing and trusting that they will come out the other side of this; even if neither of you can predict the timescale.
Hold onto the knowledge of who they truly are. You can hold – and remind them of- their gifts, their qualities, their uniqueness, their lovableness, until they are able to do it for themselves. Your vision may be the resource that starts them on their journey to recovery.
Here is a list, incredibly empowering for her/his treasures. It reads like this:
1) You are blessed with good and loving friends.
2) You inspire great love in those around you.
3) You have two wonderful children – maybe not easy, but definitely wonderful.
4) You have enormous strength.
5) You have a vast reservoir of talents.
6) You are an extraordinarily loving and supportive person.
7) You have a talent for creating beauty.
8) You have an extraordinarily attractive personality
9) You have formidable energy
10) All this and there is still, you’d guess, about another 85% of capacity that you are currently not able to access efficiently.
Remember, abuse leaves the victims starving, because it systematically closes down any channel of nourishment. Often, by opening up a channel, you offer them more sustenance than you could possibly imagine. You are uniquely gifted and wonderful. Yet you may need to have your eyes opened to this fact! You support others best, when you offer them a valid, empowering vision of themselves.