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Healing from Domestic Abuse: How to Know if You Are Ready to Avoid an Abusive Relationship
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

People say once a victim, always a victim. I beg to differ. Over the years I have been watching men and women grow to become self-sufficient, self-respecting people who have no tolerance for being abused any more. These people have completely healed from domestic abuse. How do you know if you are going to be one of these people instead of a person that ends up in another abusive relationship? Here are some pointers for knowing you’re home free when it comes to being victimized by intimate partner abuse:

1) You are more interested in being centered, than being right.

We know that abusers need to be “right.apostrophe That’s part of the dynamics of abusive relationships. Batterers maintain an unequal balance of power in these relationships, by always coming up on top—always being right.

Now if you have been in one of these tug-of-wars, you have experienced yourself struggling to be right as you duke with your bully. Whether you win or not; well that’s another question. The point here is that you know this struggle and, from where you stand today, no way would you walk down that road.

2) You do not need to control others, nor will you be controlled by another person.

It’s no secret that abuse is all about control. But most people think all of the control strategies go in only one direction. They assume abusive relationships are about one partner controlling another. However, this is not completely true. In fact, the mechanics by which abusive relationships remain in tact have more to do with misplaced responsibility and inappropriate mutual control issues. The victimized partner exists in the relationship hoping to change—fix—the other person, or at least serve up to his/her pleasing so as to keep a lid on their partner.

Between you and me, this positioning and maneuvering is privately about containing/controlling the other person’s behavior with respect to oneself. The moment one awakens to the fact that it is not her job, nor is it within her means to control another person, she stops actively seeking and privately hoping to do so.

3) You require being honored and respected in order to be involved.

When you discover this one in yourself, you are holding the gold! You can trust you will not end up in another abusive relationship. And if you are completely clear about this concept, you will find yourself walking away from bullies on the job, bullies on your block, bullies in the world. You simply won’t be bullied.

If you discover these three ways of being in yourself and with others, you are not likely to fall prey to another round of intimate partner abuse.

About the Author:
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. is a 25-year seasoned psychologist, author of Psychological Healing from Domestic Abuse and Domestic Abuse Healing from Within and leading expert in identifying the subtle communication patterns of battering relationships. She helps people recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse. For more information about domestic violence recovery visit