Battered Wife Syndrome Doesn't Have To Be A Dead End Street
Authored by William G. DeFoore, Ph.D.
The battered wife syndrome is exactly like "not seeing the forest for the trees." When you're in among the trees, you can't see the forest, and when you're in among the battered wife issues, you can't see the syndrome.
If you can't see what's really happening, you will feel trapped and helpless--and you're not.
By the way, we could just as easily be talking about the "battered woman syndrome." This can happen to anyone in a relationship.
So, on this page you will learn to identify the trees (issues), so that you can find your way out of the forest (syndrome).
Loving and caring for yourself is the key. You are worthy of respect, and that has to start with self respect.
And keep in mind, you can be in this syndrome even if there is not physical abuse. Emotional and verbal abuse can be just as devastating.
What Is Battered Wife Syndrome?
This is a condition that you find yourself in with someone you love, or someone you have loved and are afraid to leave.
How did this happen? You never planned for your relationship to turn into a battered wife syndrome. Let's look at an explanation of how relationships become abusive:
The obvious first part is where you fall in love.
Then, because you both have unfinished business from your past, old pain and fear is activated over time. This can happen anywhere from the first few days to the first few years, but it happens to virtually all couples.
Because of your husband's issues, he got caught up in trying to control you, and he resorted to physical aggression.
You didn't like it, but you didn't leave...or you left and came back. And that's because you love him more than yourself.
Things got better, and you hoped for the best, but it happened again, and again, and again.
This may have happened to you in one relationship, or in multiple relationships. The point is that you have gotten caught in a battered wife syndrome pattern in which you're being abused, and you need help getting out.
By the way, you'll find some helpful information on our page about abusive relationships, where you'll learn about how it happens and what you can do about it.
The battered wife syndrome always involves some kind of verbal abuse, which is inevitably emotional abuse. It's important to learn about those types of harm in relationships, as well.
NURTURING YOUR INNER CHILD Affirmations & Visualizations For Self Love & Healing
Get this revised and updated version of Dr. DeFoore's classic CD/audio download program! Using a combination of visualization and affirmations, he will guide you on a journey of emotional healing that will lead to greater self esteem and self love. Don't miss this opportunity to connect with the tremendous value of your true, original nature and begin your journey to a joyful, fulfilling life.
First priority is your physical safety and the physical safety of your children, if there are children involved. Child Protective Services and Family Services agencies in your area will be able to give you contact information for shelters where you can go and be safe from the abuser in your life. If you don't value yourself enough to seek protection, then at least do it for your children.
Next you need to think about breaking the cycle of abuse. The components of the cycle, as you can see in the image, are unmet needs, anxiety, seeking love, finding relief, pleasing and appeasing, control and abuse, anger and fear, reconciliation and "back to normal."
You break the cycle by taking responsibility for your safety (and your children's safety if they're part of it), rather than worrying about whether "he will get better" or focusing on the fact that you love him.
You break the cycle by respecting yourself enough to only maintain relationships in which you are treated with care and respect. You begin to recognize that you are a good person and you are worthy of respect in your relationships.
One of the best ways out of the battered wife syndrome is with healthy anger. Anger is a protective emotion, and you need to have some healthy anger if you and/or your children are being abused. You are your own best anger management resource.
If you don't take care of yourself, no one else can! In other words, you have to take the first steps, to reach out for help, then there will be others to help you.
If you just stay in the cycle (read all of the parts carefully, in the image above), the abuse will only get worse, and could even become fatal.
Learn more in this article by the National Institute Of Health.
You are a good person, worthy of respect and care!