Are you in an intimate relationship where violence is a
part of your exchange? Does one or the other of you lash out physically
toward the other? Do you want it to stop?

There
is lots of information out there about intimate partner violence. Just
google the term and today there were 378,000 entries on the topic.
Many offer research, explanations, opinions and advice.

I am not here to argue for you to stay or get out of a relationship
where you are inflicting or receiving violence in your relationship.
What I do want you to do, however, is look at your motivation and
decide if your behavior and your choices are going to lead you in the
direction you want to go for your life.

Violence Users:

Are
you the partner in the relationship who resorts to physical violence
when frustrated, upset or angry? Is this the person you want to be in
your loving, intimate relationship? What do you want that you are
trying to get by punishing your partner physically?

Because I am a firm believer in Dr. Glasser’s Choice Theory®, I know
that all behavior is purposeful. It is unacceptable to say, “He or she made me
do it!” No one has the power to make us do anything we don’t want to
do. If you think you can, have you ever tried to make a baby eat who
wasn’t hungry?

Sure you can crank up the fear and/or pain
factor far enough to get just about anybody to do anything but if it is
important enough, a person will choose to die rather than do something
they don’t want to do and you can’t make them do otherwise.

Stephen Covey tells us that between a stimulus and a response is a gap
and in that gap is our ability to choose our response. Maybe you are
giving away your choice to your partner but I don’t buy it. You choose
violence because it gets you something you want.

Maybe you are confusing fear with respect. Maybe all you care about is
compliance and quality is not an important factor to you. Maybe you are
scared and being angry helps you to feel stronger. Maybe these are
patterns you learned as a child.

Whatever the reason, if you want to have a loving relationship with
another person, do you think violence is the best way of getting one?

If a loving, caring, committed relationship is what you want, then you
must give up the idea of intimidating your partner with violence and
begin to allow that person to live life on their terms. Ensure that
they are in the relationship because they want to be, not because they
are too scared to leave. This new relationship will be based on love
and real respect—not fear.

Violence Receivers:

Are
you in a relationship with a partner who hurts you physically? Is this
the kind of relationship you hoped for? Does he or she treat you good
enough other times to make up for the times he or she hurts you? Are
you holding onto the hope that it will change?

Forget the thought that he or she will change. That may or may not
happen but you have no control over what your partner chooses to do or
not to do. You can only control yourself. What if your partner never
changes? Would you still stay in the relationship?

What do you get by staying in an abusive relationship? Is this the best
you think you deserve? Do you believe that he or she hurts you because
you ask for it? Do you believe that commitment means you will never
leave until death parts you? Do you hold onto that hope that he or she
can be the person you dream of?

Whatever your reason, I want you to examine your motives. Ask yourself
the question, “Is staying more painful than starting over?” When it is,
you will seek whatever help you need to make the move to leave.

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