Abusive relationships: Prioritizing yourself
I have observed this tendency: people who suffer from abusive relationships put the aggressor above themselves.
First of all, let me explain what I want to say about “abusive relationships.” I’m not talking about obvious abuse where your partner constantly disrespects and hurts you as a person. Some examples of what I mean, among others, include:
- Physical or virtual betrayals
- Emotional blackmail
- When your partner takes advantage of your money effortlessly in order to make money for themselves
- Sexual demands which are selfish and against your will
- Tactics of intimidation
- Addictions which put you at risk
- Total control over your life
- Isolation from your friends and family
- Emotional abuse, such as verbal attacks, bullying and humiliations
- Using the love of your children to get what he/she wants
- Taking advantage of your love as a way to threaten ending the relationship in case you don’t meet their demands.
Men and especially women suffer from abusive relationships every day. What intrigues me, however, is not the cruelty of the aggressor but the acceptance of the victim. It’s like she doesn’t see that she has become a victim of the abuser.
If you are in a similar relationship, it is time to open your eyes to the truth. One of the most basic conditions in order to be in a relationship is to know your self-worth. This is only possible when you first prioritize yourself, meaning that you put yourself in first place, before the other person.
God himself said that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. That means that, if you don’t love yourself, you are in no condition to love someone else.
When you don’t prioritize yourself, other people may take advantage of you. And that is what happens in abusive relationships. The abuser “can smell” the low self-esteem of the victim and uses it to control her.
What should you do if you’re in an abusive relationship?
- Recognize that you’ve been abused
- Decide that you’re not going to take it anymore, even if it means losing the relationship
- Speak to a trust-worthy person and seek help in order to put an end to that abusive relationship
- “Putting an end to it” can mean having a serious conversation with your partner setting limits and conditions that may include a separation, even if temporary, so that he or she changes
- Prioritize your security, and begin to develop your sense of self-worth, that way you won’t give in to empty promises of change without any real evidence
People only respect us when we respect ourselves.