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3 reasons people abuse their partners

21 January 2016, 12:34 Agneta Murii

It is hard to understand the motive of people who are involved in abuse. The question of abuse in relationships has no easy answer and even the strongest attempt to establish why people make these seemingly irrational choices become more confusing.

Here are possible explanations as to why:

1. Difficulty tolerating injury

Knowing how to survive hurt without retaliating is an important relationship skill. Most people who abuse their partners do not know what to do with feelings like disappointment, hurt and shame. Being able to tolerate injuries without punishing the other person is one of the most important skills for survival of a relationship. Because inevitably you partner is bound to hurt your feelings or disappoint you from time to time.

Read Also: Broke men should avoid dating

2. Lack of empathy

We always talk of putting ourselves into other people's shoes but for some people, it is easier said than done. Abusive people do put themselves in their partners' shoes but not with generosity. They imagine that the other person wants to cause harm. The kind of empathy that helps us to be decent requires generosity and willingness to give people the benefit of the doubt.

3. Un-addressed trauma

Most abusive partners have a history of complex childhood trauma, living in homes where they witnessed or were themselves abused and a history of unresolved trauma which results in high reactivity to injury. For people who grew up in high conflict families, abusive behavior can seem very normal to them.

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