Healing Victimization Habits - How to Get
Your Needs Met After an Abusive Relationship

Dr. King

by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.


“When you make a request of your partner and he blows you off as though nothing was said, then you must swallow your desire or try putting it out there again.” Now this is as subtle as it gets, so look closely and you will see the victimization habit dangerously embedded.

Domestic abuse survivors let their inner most desires fall upon deaf ears and then do nothing about it. Why?

They may think what’s the point if they already got their “No.” They could believe that the other person’s position is more valid than theirs and instantly dismiss their desires. Or, they simply may not be accustomed to asserting their needs and desires.

Asserting Your Needs and Desires

A challenge facing domestic violence survivors is learning responsible assertiveness without becoming the “bull in the china shop.” In other words, how do you bring that which you want into the forefront, respecting your need and all the while respecting the boundaries of others?.

Sometimes, what we see is the domestic violence survivor will let her own desires and needs go, because it is the path of least resistance. Or, she will clobber her partner over the head with her request for that which she seeks.

Neither of these options serve herself, her partner or their relationship. The former has the potential to result in her being dissatisfied or having an important need remain unmet. The latter is her merely being that which she knew on the receiving end in her abusive relationship.

Responsible assertiveness, on the other hand, has the quality of honoring both parties. There is a healthy respect for the integrity of the one’s desire and an equal respect for the limits and boundaries of the other person.

Practicing Healthy Responsible Assertion

Going back to our opening image...How does she get her needs and desires out there after being blown off the first time?

1) Hold onto the desire because chances are it still exists.

2) Seek to understand your partner’s resistance.

3) Find and share the personal meaning in fulfilling your request.

So, what are we saying here? Be firm without being stubborn. Be compassionate, not controlling. And lastly be open to understanding and sharing yourself when having your needs met is a priority.

For more information about ending victimization habits and breaking the cycle of abuse, browse our domestic violence resources at www.preventabusiverelationships.com/ebooks.php and claim your Free Instant Access to Survivor Success eInsights. Psychologist Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people nationwide recognize, end and heal from legal and domestic abuse. Copyright 2010, Jeanne King, Ph.D. Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention

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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.