The cycle of abuse is toxic. The good news if you could call it good news is that there are patterns in domestic violence. These patterns relate to the behaviour of the perpetrator before during and after a toxic or abusive episode.
Understanding the patterns and how they relate to you could help you anticipate where and when you are likely to encounter abuse. More importantly you can recognise the signs to take massive action and break free.
How much abuse in a relationship are you prepared to tolerate?
How many cycles of domestic violence would you suffer before you took action?
Transformational life coaching with The Relationship Breakthrough Coach could help you, or someone you know. Unleash the power of life coaching to break free from suffering and give yourself a breakthrough to transform your future relationships.
Before you begin here are some quick links to break down the information:
There are reasons you need to know about the cycle of abuse in a relationship. Relationship abuse is more than just domestic violence. It is more than a black eye here and there, or finger marks on your arms, or red marks around the neck. Read more about the Signs Of Abuse in a Relationship here.
Relationship abuse is toxic. It is unacceptable and unnecessary.You don't have to tolerate it. But you do have to consider your options alongside your personal safety. Especially if there are children in the relationship. It wont be long before the cycle resets and the abuse, the threats, the aggression starts all over again. Are you ready for another ride?
For a cycle of abuse to unfold there has to be a bond. Two people. Likely living together, although not absolutely necessarily. One party needs to abuse. The other to be abused. It is unlikely for these bonds to happen over night. You wouldn't go on a first date, take a slap in the jaw and think to yourself "I fancy seeing them again real soon." Highly unlikely.
At some point the relationship dynamics change. What was once persuasion becomes manipulation. What was once connection becomes control. What was once seduction becomes coercion and betrayal.
Once upon a time in a relationship you didn't want to be apart. Once the abuse starts you feel afraid in their presence, and you are even more feared to leave. Then the manipulation and controlling behaviours can take hold and the cycle begins.
Relationship abuse will lead to a roller coaster of emotional turbulence. Uncertainty in abundance, lack of contribution, lack of self worth, loss of social connections, loss of a sense of identity, and so on. Once you recognise how the cycle of abuse manipulates your emotional state you can begin to see beyond the veil. Try the Master Your Emotions life coaching course, its free!
Relationship abuse statistics can be useful and lead to eye opening information. It isn't only women who suffer relationship abuse. According to the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) around 26% of domestic abuse crimes recorded by the police were committed against men. Roughly 155,000 offences per year in the UK alone!
Around 11% of male victims (against 7.2% women victims of abuse) have considered taking their life. Over a five year period between 2015-2020 on average 12 men per year had been killed by a partner or ex-partner (74 women per year). **Source: Mankind**
The perpetrator of abuse in a relationship in the main are men against women. Statistics on relationship abuse reveal that where men play the role of victim, the perpetrators are overwhelmingly played by a woman.
The cycle of abuse is also known to occur in same sex relationships.
The perpetrator will exhibit certain behaviour at different points along the cycle of abuse. It is the perpetrators emotional state that defines that stage and sets the wheel in motion.
In the UK, it is recognised by law enforcement that perpetrators of abuse go on to abuse future partners. If you are concerned in any way about a partners behaviour you have a right to ask for a disclosure of their past records from the police. This is known as Clare's Law but the official title is The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme(DVDS)
If you are or even think you are a victim of abuse in a relationship you could be at risk. So could any children to the relationship.
If the police attend an incident at your home they may make a disclosure to you under the DVDS. if there is any relevant criminal history to disclose about your partner you have a right to know. This is information intended for you take some action to protect yourself.
A victim of abuse could be facing life or death dilemma's on a daily basis. They may not even realise that they are a victim until it is too late. The fear, confusion, and suspended disbelief can blinker the victim from seeing the cycle of abuse for what it is.
In fact, the victim is just as important as the perpetrator for the cycle of abuse in relationship to continue. The victim can often minimise or even hide the abuse. They tell their own story, known as rationalising. They may convince themselves it was a one off. They give their partner another "chance." Another chance for the cycle of abuse to continue?
Life coaching is an option for victims of relationship abuse. Whilst life coaching is future focused you will also be able to work through some of the things that have held you back. Unlock unconscious programming to break free from your own limiting behaviours. Your initial consultation is free, with no obligation to invest in future sessions.
As well as the perpetrator and victim of relationship abuse there is another important party referred to as "The Rescuer"
The rescuer is someone who steps in to prevent domestic violence getting even worse. They be a close friend, a family member or even the emergency services.
The rescuer can be a precarious role in the cycle of abuse.
The rescuer has the best intentions but, not necessarily the support or even agreement of the victim. In fact in some situations the rescuer can become the focal point for both perpetrator and victim. Neither want any outsider to see what is really go on.
The trouble with an outsider trying to resolve the cycle of abuse is that the roles are not exclusive to one or other of the parties. Each party can take on any of the roles depending on the prevailing circumstances. The entanglements run deep, like the roots of a tree. You might think the tree is in the wrong place, but if that tree doesn't want to move, you leave it.
In Stage One you have the actual abuse. The type of abuse in a relationship is irrelevant. It could be verbal abuse, physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse. It could be sexual abuse or even financial abuse.
The abuse is often a power play, just to let the victim know who's boss. The victim may experience dominance, humiliation, isolation, threats, intimidation, blackmail, violence, sexual violence.
In cases of domestic violence, anger can be present. Anger can and does lead to violent outbursts. Violently eruptive anger is a surface presentation, or a symptom of a deeper rooted problem. Think of an ice-burg. Only the tip shows on the surface doesn't it?
When it comes to the cycle of abuse, uncontrolled anger is merely an outward manifestation in stage one. Uncontrolled anger experienced in relationship abuse can be totally destructive. Even fatal.
After the dust settles you may notice a period of reflection which leads the perpetrator to express guilt. Guilt is a powerful emotion that carries with it destructive behaviours. They may feel guilty about leaving a bruise on your body, and having hurt your feelings. There will be apologies, and they may ask for forgiveness.
The true purpose of guilt is to minimise the emotional impact on the abuser. Guilt is a neuro signal that shows the abuser that they do have a conscience after all. When the abuser feels guilty, it lowers the impressions of being a bad person. After all if the perpetrator does not feel guilty after abusing their partner or spouse (spousal abuse) it may be a sign of psychopathic tendencies.
Guilt and forgiveness become the rescuers after stage one. Body language experts understand the tells of the perpetrator of a lie. They tend to smile inappropriately, but only fleetingly when they believe the victim has swallowed the lie. You may have seen this look in TV and film drama. So the cycle of abuse goes on.
This betrayal is a significant element within the cycle of abuse. The illusion of deeply loving connection and commitment, interspersed with explosive anger, shame and hurtful psychological abuse. Seeing only the good qualities in an abuser is just as much a self betrayal as the abuse itself.
Confusion reigns with the illusion that the abuse won't happen again. The betrayal bond is the trap which is repeated over and over again.
Exposing the behaviours that create a cycle of abuse is the first key to breaking the cycle and breaking free from relationship abuse. See the behaviour for what it is. Recognise where you are and the potential threat that may exist within your relationship.
Perpetrators of abuse in a relationship are very good at making excuses for their behaviour. The learn to excuse the inexcusable. Not just outwardly either. Internally the abuser will rationalise the behaviour. They might blame their behaviour on a troubled childhood or a bad day at the office. They can even blame the victim.
Gaslighting may be apparent, which means convincing the victim they were wrong, even when they weren't. The perpetrator will commonly shift the responsibility for the incident on to the victim.
The perpetrator may minimise the abuse or even flat out deny that it occurred. One way or another, they will find an excuse for their inexcusable behaviour.
In business when a customer makes a complaint there is often a gesture of goodwill to help resolve the matter. In an abusive relationship there may also be gestures. These gestures are intended to stop the victim leaving, or even reporting the perpetrator to the police.
As a life coach I am a firm believer in the Power of Forgiveness, but I would advocate this until the cycle of abuse has been broken. Make sure you break free first. Then you may be ready to experience the healing power of forgiveness. After all, forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.
At stage four of the cycle of abuse a relief of normality appears once again. You may even believe it is a "new" normal. Because things wont ever really be the same again. Your thought pattern changed.
What do you consider normal behaviour? A brief respite to a victim of abuse might be a shift from violent physical aggression to emotional or verbal abuse. Anything would be better than suffering more violence.
Things settle down, they may even become enjoyable again. The perpetrator will appear caring, charismatic and even charming. This is only to regain control and keep the victim in the relationship.
The victim will feel relief and may believe the abuse is behind them. They will rationalise and justify the behaviour. They will minimise the impact in order to maintain some sense of dignity.
Whilst this may look like a relationship breakthrough, this is a critical time for the victim. This could be the time to gather resources and make plans to break free. But that it isn't what victims of abuse will do.
Days, weeks or even months may pass without any further issue. But the perpetrator may begin to fantasize about abusing again. This then becomes stage five of the cycle of abuse. The wheel keeps on turning.
If you recognise any of the stages one to four of the cycle of abuse you will understand that stage five could be very dangerous territory. The victim must already know this. You have lived it breathed it and worn the T-Shirt so you know what comes next.
The perpetrator can spend time thinking about what they can use against their victim. They may just be waiting for the opportunity to explode over what you’ve done wrong. They fantasise about how they will make their victim pay.
It is just a matter of time before the right circumstances occur for the fantasy to be played out. The perpetrator may even bring about the right circumstances just to get to the next stage.
Whist the victim has been relishing the respite the perpetrator has been stewing. For stage six of the cycle of abuse all they have to do to set up a situation that allows the victim to break their rules.
Since the victim is not even aware of the rules they have no idea they will break them. It doesn't matter. The abuser sets their plan in motion.
For example. A perpetrator asks for their victim to collect something from the shop. The victim thinks this an opportunity to makes things better and accepts the task. The victim see's an opportunity to enhance the relationship further. The victim takes their time to get the request "just right" but misses the one vital piece of this psychopathic puzzle. They arrive back home five minutes later than expected. Tick tock, tick tock.
And that may be all that is required to trigger the cycle of abuse reset. The whole process begins again. Another horrific episode of verbal abuse, emotional abuse and even physical abuse.
It is likely that the physical and psychological suffering will be worse than the last time. The phrase "Build Back Better" should fill you with dread.
If the victim survives the full cycle of abuse there will be a decline in their self belief. Lack of self interest. Loss of friends and support. The victim may well lose their sense of identity. Depression and anxiety will be an expected new normal.
If you are in a toxic relationship it may be difficult, even impossible to think beyond today.
How can you make goals for tomorrow?
Remember who you really are! You are not the abuser. You are not the abuse. You are not insignificant.
If you are a victim of relationship abuse and are concerned that the above pattern may be present for you ask for help. There may be an easy way out or you may need a ton of support.
Breaking the cycle of abuse means letting go of the shackles holding you back. You may sever the ties in the physical world, but you will still need to unlock the emotional ties that keep you stuck.
Why would you just take a break from the cycle of abuse when you can achieve a full blown relationship breakthrough and break free!
Having clear awareness of a problem is the first step towards finding the way out. You might say a problem well stated is a problem half solved.
Breath deeply and fully once again. This too shall pass. You can look to a future that will inspire you to be the best you.
Fill in the form above and request a free coaching consultation. Find out what you will become.
To your success!
Relationship Breakthrough Coach provides life coaching for men, women and couples in Mossley, Tameside, Uppermill, Saddleworth, and all surrounding areas. I also work with english speaking international clients via Skype and Zoom.
Life coaching is a journey of self discovery. Your journey starts with your next step. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the next step. The power of life coaching will unlock your personal power to overcome obstacles that show up while you get to work on your dreams.
I sincerely hope you found what you were looking for.
I am adding new content all the time but if you have any idea's or topics you would like to see, get in touch and let me know.
Click on the image to visit the contact me page:
In the meantime here are more great pages dedicated to transforming your relationship breakdown or break up into a breakthrough: