Domestic Abuse Isn’t Just Physical

Domestic Abuse Isn’t Just Physical

Have you ever sat with your friend and listened to their troublesome relationship over and over again?

Have you ever thought that it could be something more than just a ‘troublesome relationship’?

One of my best friends was in a relationship for around 5 years and it was a constant on/off situation. The thing was though, it was such a repetitive cycle that it baffled me as to why she would always go back to him.

I feel really bad for admitting this but I got bored in the end of her constant war zone of a relationship… there are only so many times I can say the same thing.

Here is how the cycle went:

  1. They would totally be in love.
  2. She would move into his flat.
  3. They would go on lovely days out together.
  4. They would have a petty argument.
  5. He would call her terrible things such as “fat”, “slag”, “c*nt” etc.
  6. He would throw her out.
  7. He wouldn’t let her see the dogs (they are like her babies).
  8. She would drink gallons of wine to drown her sorrows.
  9. He would continue to text her saying he has slept with other women.
  10. They would get back together and the cycle would start again.

My friend used to be so independent and I now feel she has lost that trait along with her confidence. At one point, she was living in her own house and gave the landlord notice of her moving out to move into her boyfriend’s flat.

They broke up so she had to contact the landlord and beg him not to let the house go even though he had already started viewings.

She got to keep the house and a couple of months later she handed her notice in again to the landlord to move in with her boyfriend but the same thing happened again.

A couple of months later, she handed in her notice for the third time but when they broke up again, the landlord did not let her keep the house this time and she was forced to move back in with her mum.

This constant cycle over the last 5 years has really taken its toll on my friend and it wasn’t until I stumbled across an article online that I looked into emotional abuse in relationships. I was so shocked to find that so many things in the article rang true for my friend.

I decided one day to sit down with her and show her this article and a few other stories I found online. She cried at first but then, surprisingly, started to defend her boyfriend’s actions and was adamant he wasn’t abusing her emotionally. I didn’t quite know how to react to this and so I left it alone.

It wasn’t until a month or so later that my friend asked to go for a coffee because she wanted to have a chat. She told me that, over the last month, she could not get the article and stories out of her head and had noticed the same traits in her boyfriend.

She cried and cried to me that day because I think she finally realised just how much of a bad relationship she was in and that she knew she had to end it for good.

I would just like to make the point, that perhaps everyone should be aware of their friends’ ‘troublesome relationships’. There could be a lot more to the situation than you or your friend might realise.

There are also some great resources for those who have suffered from domestic abuse.

By Michelle Murphy