Emotionally Abusive Relationship
How to Help Your Adult Child
Recognize Partner Abuse
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
Your son is in an emotionally abusive relationship and you donít know how to break the news. You see the signs like writing on the wall, yet you realize he canít read. He is blind to the controlling abuse dynamic that he lives with his girlfriend.
You fear that their ďloveĒ will continue to grow along with his deafness, blindness and tolerance to the abuse. Then, the day will come when he is gone. He can only be, feel, think and do as she approves. All else that he was simply isnít anymore.
It is so clear to you that this is happening. What is unclear is how to open his eyes to what you see.
The Tight Rope of Disclosing Emotional Abuse
If he were a stranger or an acquaintance, it would be easier. You could simply say what you think and move on. What he chooses to do with that is his business.
However, the problem most parents face when the abused is their own child is the repercussions to their relationship with their child once the cat is out of the bag.
These parents know that such a disclosure could net them no contact with their own flesh and blood. It could result in their son pulling back to protect his relationship with his girlfriend or wife.
Even worse is when this news travels to the abuser. His partner will tighten the leash around your sonís neck all in the name of love. What is a parent to do?
Shining the Light on Partner Abuse
I have found that the easiest way to shine the light with the least amount of resulting conflict is to bring the attention to what is felt. Feelings are undeniable. Itís hard to say they donít exist when they are staring you in the face.
The oppression of living in a controlling relationship is so very real. You can taste it. And when it is yours, it can make you sick.
No one really enjoys the restraint of being denied who they are. Unfortunately, however, when youíre in an abusive controlling relationship, you convince yourself that this is the price of ďlove.Ē
The abused quickly learns that they are responsible for their partnerís well-being. In order to preserve peace and insure their own personal comfort, they must deliver on supporting that which aids their partnerís happiness above all else. But, that is not love. Far from it! It is puppy co-dependence at best.
When you focus on the smothered and oppressed feelings rather then your parental observations, you facilitate your childís revealing his own truth. And that truth will support his reaching for his highest good.
For more information on helping your friend or child in an abusive relationship visit http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/helping_stop_abuse.php . Psychologist Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps peoples worldwide end and heal from domestic abuse.
© Jeanne King, Ph.D. ó Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention
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.