Recognizing Domestic Emotional Abuse:
The Reality of Rotten Romance

Dr. King

by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

You know your intimate relationship is toxic, yet you are at a loss as to how you can influence change. Even worse, you question if this is even possible in light of the domestic emotional abuse.

You feel depleted in the presence of your partner. And you know you cannot fully please this person because routinely there is error in who you are, how you are and what you are.

And for some reason, you find yourself continuing to try to satisfy this person. But the fact is you can’t. Keeping you in the place of “not enough,” “incomplete,” “inadequate” is inherent in the relationship dynamics that you live.

Abusive relationships thrive on an unequal distribution of power and control within the relationship. The individual possessing greater power within the relationship may use the mind game of “keeping you in your place,” “keeping you bobbing for more acceptance” as a way to maintain his/her control over the un-empowered person in the relationship.

So you must see this maneuvering is in no way about you; rather, it is about your toxic relationship. It is about the void of nourishment that your intimate relationship represents. It is for this reason that you cannot influence this dynamic by trying to be better, prettier, skinnier, smarter, etc.

Given this, you are best to take the yardstick back and muster all the wherewithal you can to let go of and stop trying to get this person’s favoring of least not in the bigger picture of your life.

Now, I do realize that very real safety issues may arise if you abruptly stop playing the game, so I encourage you to proceed with caution and only from an educated perspective. You will want to know all you can about the dynamics of emotionally abusive relationships, including what maintains them and what ultimately breaks the cycle of abuse.

Armed with this knowledge, you can best influence change for yourself, and maybe even for your relationship. Keep in mind that relationships, including toxic relationships, are dynamic. Any change to one aspect within the relationship influences the overall dynamic.

For information about domestic emotional abuse, visit, and get Free Instant Access to your Survivor Success eInsights.Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from 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.