The Cycle of Abuse – When You Are On the Outside Looking In

by Annette Young

Do you know someone who is stuck in the middle of an abusive relationship? Are you worried about their safety or fear hearing the news that they have tried to commit suicide? It can be the most difficult and frustrating of situations if you are worried about someone close to you and yet, feel powerless to act. You may feel undecided how to make things better for your loved one, should you report it to the police? Should you confront the abuser? Will your interference make it better or worse? It can be incredibly difficult to reach out and offer assistance to someone caught up in the middle of an abusive relationship, however close your relationship has been. Understanding the cycle of abuse though may help to prepare you for action, whether it’s giving emotional support or, making the decision to step in and make a stand. It will certainly give you an insight into the make-up of an abusive person.

Understanding the pattern that seems to go hand in hand with abusive relationships can give you some idea of how volatile the relationship can be. The cycle of abuse is a repetitive one. If the relationship remains, the abusive behaviour repeats over and over, until something or someone buckles under the strain.

First, there’s the actual abuse. This may be physically violent behaviour, threats or aggressive and manipulative word play that’s designed to make the victim fearful, isolated and to feel less than worthy. This abusive behaviour may last for days at a time. Guilt then seems to make an appearance, but usually, it’s not guilt through the cruel words spoken, or the damaging actions, it’s the fear of being caught.

Abusers will always blame someone else for their actions and usually their partner. Something was said or done and this was unacceptable, in fact, it triggered their behaviour. It’s never the fault of the abuser.

The control of the abuser is quite considerable. Make no mistake; the abuser will do everything in his (or her) power to keep full control over the victim. Once the abuse and then guilt cycle has completed, life returns to some normality. The relationship may even improve, life is less like walking on eggshells, and it lulls the victim into thinking that things will change for the better, just when things seem settled and positive, the mood changes again.

The next cycle of abuse is the deadly planning stage. This is where the abuser contemplates ways in which to make the victim pay. Because the normality stage may last for a period of time, there are plenty of opportunities to plan and to construe reasons for future abuse. The fantasy develops and then erupts. It spills over into everyday life and the physical act of abuse starts all over again. Once the abuser can justify the act of belittling and hurting the victim, there is little that can stop it until the scenario has played out and the next stage of the cycle of abuse starts.

Knowing what to look out for may give you a way to step in and to pre-empt volatile situations, but trying to communicate with your loved one and to provide emotional support may be all that you can do until they reach out and ask for help.


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Emotional Abuse

It’s filled with personal stories and content that will help you to understand your situation.
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The Truth about Abusers

Victim of Domestic Violence

by Annette Young

It’s hard to view life with any type of clarity when you are in the midst of an abusive relationship. Domestic abuse clouds judgement, understandably, it impacts every aspect of life and all too often, the victim makes excuses for the abuser.

“He doesn’t mean the things he says.”

“I know he loves me.”

“He’s promised to change.”

But here’s the reality of abusive relationships. Abusers are in control of their behaviours. They pick their victims and they often save up their abuse for those people whom they profess to love. Abusers won’t just pick on everyone who supposedly irritates them, instead, they paint a false picture to the world and act out their role in it and when they come home, they look for a victim and guess who then gets the brunt of their vile behaviour?

You may not want to believe it if you are caught in the restrictive confines of an abusive relationship but, abusers choose their moments to abuse. They are not fuelled by temper and lose control because of something that you may have said, far from it, they can switch back to normal mode in an instant – when it suits them.

Think carefully….just for a minute…..

Have you ever witness your partner stop the act of emotional or physical abuse when interrupted unexpectedly? Have you noticed the face of anger and control dissipate, the mask changing from violent abuser back into the face of reason and normality?

For domestic violence, the abuser often directs those physical blows to the areas of your body that won’t show bruises. There may be some physical marks on those exposed features but, your arms, legs, and torso may end up black and blue. So if you think that they are acting in a mindless rage because of something that you have said or done, STOP right now and listen. An abusive man knows exactly what he is doing, he chooses when to pick on you, he chooses when and where to hit you. You do not deserve to be a punching bag, or, to be the victim at the brunt of endless disparaging comments.

Don’t wait until it is too late to make a move.
For help and support, sign up for our FREE newsletter or take time to read Emotional Abuse – Get Out of My Head and Out of My Bed! 

Emotional Abuse

It’s filled with personal stories and content that will help you to understand your situation.


Note: We are aware that men become the victim of abuse too and do not condone such acts, however, the majority of abuse victims are women and this site reflects the current statistics. We urge any individual who is experiencing abuse to seek help.

photo credit: dangerismycat via photopin cc