From an early age we tend to create in our mind the definition of a happy relationship and how should our ideal partner be like. These thoughts are reinforced when we hear or see couples whose love flourishes and positively changes both partners.
As such, we enter relationships hoping that the love we give will inspire and motivate the other half to become a better version of themselves. While inevitably couples do influence each other on so many levels (i.e. eating and sleeping habits, moods, life perception, etc.) the desire of transforming a partner through love can often lead to the development of the Beauty and the Beast relationships.
In the fairy-tale, the Beast is illustrated as an arrogant, violent and frustrated character who is saved by Belle’s patience and love. Similarly to their story, individuals tend to remain in unhealthy relationships based on the idea that patience and love will change their partner’s behaviour. Unfortunately, ignoring the signs of an abusive relationship/marriage and making compromises will not lead to a happy ending unless the desire for change comes from both sides.
To this very day, domestic or emotional abuse continues being a serious problem amongst couples of all ages. This often occurs as a result of the false belief that the emotional abuse is merely an innocent aggressive reaction.
How to Spot a “Beauty and the Beast” Relationship?
The first signs of an abusive relationship are silent and generally come across as normal, which leads many individuals (especially women) to think that their partner is just different and a little bit difficult.
However, signs should not be ignored and as such, below there is a short list of few early signs of an emotionally abusive relationship, which have been described by people who sadly experienced them:
- “Use of sarcasm or harsh tone of voice”
- “Domination and control”
- “Humiliation as form of jokes”
- “Poor affection or involvement”
What To Do?
As hard as it may seem, leaving the relationship is the only solution. Making compromises at your own personal expense will not change your partner. Acceptance of differences can be healthy in a relationship as long as none of the partners are not negatively affected. Accepting behaviours or conversations that cause you discomfort should warn you that you are emotionally abused. In fact, tolerating such attitude from the partner could increase the abuse and as such, harm your self-esteem, cause you depression and emotional instability.
If you find it difficult to overcome the separation, seek professional support which will guide you through every step.
The purpose of relationships is to successfully create a propitious environment where the personality differences promote the self-growth and happiness of the partners.