Forgiveness Won’t Fix Your Toxic Relationship
I recently had coffee with a victim of an emotionally abusive relationship. Every time she was ready to leave him after an outburst, he would return the next day and apologize profusely, sometimes with flowers or big displays of affection, begging her for forgiveness.
After her somewhat unemotional description of his violent behavior, she asked me, “Can you help me learn to forgive him?”
She didn’t need forgiveness. She needed clarity to understand that her boyfriend’s behavior was abusive and would continue to fall in that category.
Why did she stay with him? Why do any of us stay in toxic relationships? Simply put: love. Love is a powerful force that can also be treacherous.
A Glamour relationship survey revealed that nearly 60 percent of women ages 18–35 have experienced relational abuse. The study also indicated that emotional abuse almost always escalates to physical abuse.
Over the last two years, I’ve received close to 1,000 emails from women and girls in emotionally abusive relationships. A common theme that has emerged in these emails is many of the women believe they have a forgiveness deficit rather than a toxic man in their life. Many self-blame because thinking “I messed up” is often easier than thinking “he is bad”.
11 Signs Forgiveness Isn’t What Your Relationship Needs
- Your significant other treats you like a project, not a person.
- He/she forces you further sexually than you’re comfortable with. You say no and he/she acts as if you said yes.
- Your significant other screams at you or uses derogatory language.
- He/she twists Scripture to accuse you of wrongdoing.
- Your significant other calls you a slut when men “notice” you; you can never “act appropriately” around men.
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