Recognizing Abusive Relationships: The Subtle Communication Patterns of Emotional Verbal Abuse

Published: 29th July 2008
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How do you help someone who is abused to see the light? In screening thousands of people for domestic abuse, I'm convinced that showing the subtle communication patterns of abusive relationships helps someone being abused to awaken to their circumstances. Further, identifying these subtle, and often unconscious, interaction patterns helps the abused partner recognize what keeps the abuse dynamic going and, from here, what stops it.

Many people say they know they are in an abusive relationship, but don't understand what maintains it. If that has been your experience, look at the subtle communication patterns of abusive relationships and you will gain insight into the mechanism that sustains this dynamic. Seeing this will give you what you need to stop the cycle and will help to insure that you not engage in another abusive relationship.

A Closer Look at the Subtle Communication Patterns of Abusive Relationships

For example, look at the interaction pattern and internal dialogue surrounding the subtle communication pattern of "when 'no' means maybe." When you feel your answers, from the core of your being, to domestic abuse screening questions addressing this communication pattern, you see subtleties of the abuse dynamic unfold.

It is subtle and, at the same time, significant. If s/he hears your "no" as a "maybe" and as a challenge to convert into a "yes," you can see a lack of honoring your preferences and an obsessive compulsion to control the outcome of the exchange.

Further, if you're aware that your "no" sounds like "maybe," then you can recognize your hesitation in not fulfilling your partner's request. As you look closer at that, you can feel the basis for this hesitation. You will see and feel an internal dialogue that supports the domestic abuse dynamic.

Your Personal Inquiry: Discovering Communication Patterns in Your Own Relationship

Now we could go on from here; however if you're thinking of taking such a test, it would be best for your discovery to come from within. That will be more meaningful and more likely to move you forward, as it will resonate with you from your own personal experience.

Without that inward inquiry, the description may sound vague and without substance. Trust me, it's not. Domestic abuse is absolutely real and it's easiest to acknowledge, and to abort, in its most subtle manifestations. Recognize the subtle communication patterns of abusive relationships and learn to stop them before they spiral out of control.


If you'd like help identifying the subtle communication patterns of abusive relationships, I'd like to invite you to visit Dr. Jeanne King helps individuals, families and healthcare professionals to recognize and end domestic abuse

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