Abusive Relationship Signs – Unilateral
Decision Making in Abusive Relationships
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
“When I tell you ‘no,’ you wear me down until I tell you ‘yes.’ And then I wonder what I’m doing with you, because deep down inside I know I’m not happy.” Sound familiar?
Domestic violence survivors tell me that they frequently have no say in couple’s decisions. Instead, they have a routine charade of “getting her consent” when the fact is what she really does is give up on holding her own.
One-Way Decisions in Abusive Relationships
The push-pull becomes so unpleasant that pursuing her wishes costs more in turmoil than not having her wishes fulfilled in the first place. She becomes practiced in the path of least resistance.
It is not even about compromising. It’s more about keeping his battering or whining at bay. And then one day she wakes up and realizes that she no longer knows what she wants. She has grown to push it away...to shield herself from wanting in the first place.
It is the way she copes with realizing that if she doesn’t buy into his wishes, then “all hell will break out.” So, she becomes preoccupied in her efforts to appease him so as to avoid the conflict.
Decision Dynamics in Abusive Relationships
What she has been conditioned to do, over time, is to make compromises to keep a lid on her partner. Her flexibility and willingness to compromise are not in the interest of the relationship. To the contrary, giving in as she does is actually detrimental to any relationship in the long run.
While it does make for immediate peace, eventually the decision dynamics of abusive relationships become solidified. Suddenly, it is clear that there is one person voting on options that mutually affect each party. This unilateral decision dynamic becomes the foundation by which all choices within the relationship are made.
Breaking the Cycle and Casting Your Vote
How dare me to even suggest that you can wake up one day and cast your vote. Right? I’m certain that if you have been in an abusive relationship, you have forgotten how to vote, much less what you’d vote for anyway.
This unilateral decision-making relationship pattern can only be broken by addressing the dynamics from two ends—her part and his part. It is critical that both parties engage in a process to successfully over-haul these ingrained abusive dynamics.
Can it be done? Yes…if, and only if, both individuals care more about the union of their relationship than getting the other person to embrace their perspective or keeping peace dysfunctionally.
If you are in an abusive relationship characterized by this unilateral decision process, then you will want to know about the dynamics of abusive relationships and how to break the insidious cycle of intimate partner abuse. You will amaze yourself at how you feel as you begin to live your life from your shoes, as well as from his.
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Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.