Relationship abuse involves tendencies of coercive and offensive mannerisms to assert one's control and power over their spouse. Arguably, when people get into intimate relationships, they expect their partners to behave in ways that show love and respect. However, things may start becoming ugly as time passes by resulting in discontented and hopeless states of mind, where the recipients of such practices are forced to become indulgent in an attempt to save the relationship or due to a sense of worthlessness caused by the fear of being left. In this line, this essay explores how relationship abuse obliges people to alter their ways most probably due to the fear of blame or vexing their abusive partners.
Gladwell (29) argues that the environment has a significant effect on one's behavior. This proposition is true in the sense that even though people exercise autonomy in making certain choices, their decisions are a function of the environment and may sometimes behave in ways that contradict their actual inclinations. Bullying and disrespecting one another in relationships will tend to change the victim's behaviors, who become permissive due to the fear of losing their spouses, being alone, or being blamed for behaving in a retaliatory manner (Stosny, paragraph 6).
For instance, in a hypothetical situation, during the early stages of a platonic relationship between Alice and Brian, they are excited to reveal their personalities, preferences and hobbies. With time, they begin developing a romantic connection and eventually decide to live and work together as lovers. However, Brian starts hurting and tormenting Alice willingly since he knows she cannot leave him due to her undying love. Due to this emotional and physical molestation, Alice starts exhibiting traits such as low self-esteem and tolerance since Brian threatens to dump her if she walks away or resists his antics.
The above example signifies a harmful behavioral adaptation of the victimized partner as a reaction to criticism and aggression from the perpetrator. Alice is compelled to walk on fragile grounds to maintain their "peaceful" relationship. Women are especially susceptible to such changes as portrayed in their unending self-criticism and self-editing behaviors to avoid aggravating a tense situation that is not actually their fault. Were it not for the abusive trends from their partners, such women would not have developed submissive demeanors to preserve the peace in their intimacy.
The above paragraphs have validated the proposition that the environment has a significant effect on one's behavior by showing how relationship abuse forces people to alter their ways as an adaptive mechanism to the emotional torture imposed on them. As such, the offensive and disrespectful partner ought to change his or her ways to avoid loss of self-esteem and self-criticism in the victimized individual.
Gladwell, Malcolm. The tipping point: How little things can make a big difference. Little, Brown, 2006.
Stosny, Steven. "What Drives Emotional Abuse And How To Begin To Recover". Psychologytoday, 2015, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201506/what-drives-emotional-abuse-and-how-begin-recover. Accessed 8 May 2018.
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