Advertising
Advertising

The Invisible Violence in Relationships That Destroys People

The Invisible Violence in Relationships That Destroys People

Everyone feels mistreated by someone at some point in their lives. It can be a time being neglected or intimidated, or a time you were threatened by someone you cared about. It could also be being discouraged or criticized in a negative way. Maybe someone was indifference to you when you turned to them for help in a difficult situation. Perhaps you have experienced some, or even all of this.

Having any of the above negative experiences is not a minor thing. In fact, it reflects a deeper issue.

Not every type of violence is visible, and therefore some people may try to justify the way they have been treated. But make no mistake: just because it doesn’t leave a scar or blood, it does cause an intangible violence on a person’s psychology. Such violence is called Cold Violence.

The Cycle of Violence

An abuser won’t risk becoming abusive until they are confident that the other person won’t leave. Sadly, this is why cold violence is popular in a family, marriage, or romantic relationship. The feeling of being depended on can make the abuser more confident and therefore more cruel.

The first step an abuser does is to win the target’s heart

    Advertising

      To win the heart of the target, an abuser will do things that seem like the only good person. Meanwhile, they will make the target’s friends and family seem like the enemy. Maybe they will emphasize how great they are while criticizing the target’s family. Or maybe they will make things up about the target’s loved ones to turn you against them.

      Then, the abuser will test the target’s limit

          They may shame the other person by neglecting, criticizing or intimidating them frequently, or telling the other person that they’re lucky to have him/her. This forces the target to depend more on the abuser, enhancing the belief that they have no one else but the abuser to rely on.

          Every time they accept the abuser breaking their boundaries, the abuser breaks further. The abuser knows how to keep them hooked so they won’t leave so easily. It’s always a cycle of building up tension, attack, then comes the apology and a honeymoon period of loving gestures. The honeymoon period is like a short break for the target to forget about their bad, and for the abuser to prepare for another round of attack on the target’s boundaries.

          The false sense of kindness drives the target to stay in the relationship

          Advertising

            Once the abused person has accepted the abuser’s false kindness, they will begin to rationalize what their loved one does: maybe it’s just the way they handle anger, maybe they should accept their true personality like that, or perhaps they should change, or maybe one day their loved one will change.

            When the abused person accepts the abusers’ behaviors, this starts the cycle over while pushing further into their boundaries. For this reason, violence doesn’t tend to start until the abuser is confident of their control. The false sense of dependency drives the abused individual to stay in the relationship while becoming oblivious to what is happening. This only encourages the other person to continue with the abusive behaviors and become more controlling.

            After being with the abuser for some time, the abused person has lower self-esteem and confidence. They feel that they can no longer find anyone else to care about them but the abuser. The fear of being abandoned makes them hold on to the relationship.

                The Invisible Wound

                Advertising

                  While people may begin to feel that the relationship will eventually improve, it will only continue to be painful and chaotic. It’s always an imbalanced relationship. One person accepts all the negative behaviors from the other, while the abuser ensures the abused is on their best behaviors. While the abused person will hurt, their pain will be physically invisible.

                  It can be worse than physical wounds which can be seen because when you see someone who is physically wounded, you’ll ask how they’re doing or may suggest ways to heal the wounds. But when the wound is invisible, others will never know how painful it is. The wound may keep bleeding without getting a fix.

                  A wound that can’t be seen can last for so long that it damages a person’s life. The abused person will lose confidence in themselves. And they will never be happy staying in such relationship.

                  Breaking the Cycle of Violence

                  If you aren’t sure whether you, or someone you know has fallen victim of cold violence. Check for these behaviors of an abuser:

                  • Insists on having his or her way and won’t compromise
                  • Has outbursts of anger
                  • Criticizes you or people close to you
                  • Is possessive
                  • Threatens you in different ways

                  Anyone who has done one or all of these things to you or someone you know is possibly a cold violence abuser. To end the cycle of violence, take the following steps.

                  Stop engaging in those damaging behaviors

                  Abusers want your attention. When you stop engaging or responding to that behavior, they fail to control you.

                  Advertising

                  Even if this results in them sending you hundreds of texts or phone calls, know you don’t have to respond to everything they say or do – this is not rude, but one way to protect yourself from being hurt again.

                  Cease all communication with the abuser

                  Getting rid of these people doesn’t mean you’re too weak to face them, it only means you’re brave enough to stand for yourself and let them go.

                  It’s not easy to end a relationship, many choose to stay even though the relationship is sad and unfulfilling. But it’s necessary to leave an unhappy relationship. Read my other article to find out how to end a bad relationship: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

                  Don’t fight alone

                  You need someone to help you that is not the person you’re dealing with (the abuser). Be open to share your feelings with someone close to you, maybe a friend who you’ve known for long time, or a close family member. Even if the person you turn to is someone your abuser turned you against, they will understand and forgive you once they understand what’s happened.

                  Find someone who truly thinks from your perspective and will help you organize your thoughts and help you rebuild your own boundaries so you know how to deal with the issue.

                  Tolerate No Violence

                  No one should waste their time and energy on someone who only wants to break them down to lift themselves up. If you recognized yourself or someone close to you in this article, please reach out to someone for help. Even though it can be hard to recognize cold violence when you’ve been in a bad relationship for so long, there is hope and happiness to be found.

                  No matter what you have been told. No matter what you have been made to believe about yourself and the people you once loved, you matter. Cold or not, no violence should be tolerated.

                  Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

                  More by this author

                  Anna Chui

                  Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

                  How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing The Desire to Be Liked Will End You up Feeling More Rejected Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering This 4-Year Old Girl’s Explanation On the Problem with New Year’s Resolutions Is Everything You Need

                  Trending in Social Animal

                  1 What to Do If You Find Yourself in an Unhappy Marriage 2 13 Essential People Skills to Succeed in Your Career 3 15 Signs Of Self-Absorbed People 4 Why Some People Have a Lack of Empathy (And How to Deal with Them) 5 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts

                  Read Next

                  Advertising
                  Advertising
                  Advertising

                  Last Updated on July 15, 2019

                  41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About

                  41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About

                  Some things in life are hard to describe, yet we can recognize them when we see them.

                  Love is one of those things.

                  True love comes in many different forms, but here are some that many of us know well.

                  True love means supporting those who can’t support themselves

                  supportive couple

                    A young man comforts his date in Times Square, New York City. Image by mbtrama

                    strong hug

                      A young man holds his significant other close to him. Image by Brad Fults

                      running help

                        A young track competitor helps one of her injured opponents over the finish line. Image from ViralNova.com

                        feeding kitten

                          A soldier in the Korean War takes time to feed a baby kitten. Image from US Naval Insititute

                          It’s having the perfect selfie partner

                          mom and daughter selfie

                            A mother and her daughter take a selfie together. Image by Andrew Fysh

                            girlfriends

                              Two young girls pose for the camera. Image by Rolands Lakis

                              selfies

                                A happy couple takes a picture together. Image by Kayla Heineman

                                Advertising

                                selfie

                                  Two best friends take a selfie together. Image by Jason Wahido

                                  dude selfie

                                    Friends take a selfie together. Image by Glenn Scofield Williams

                                    It’s all the warm fuzzies

                                    12748262703_84c008f4e5_z

                                      A young man spends time with his dog on a beach. Image by Magdalena Roeseler

                                      DSC06952

                                        A pet owner hugs his dog while on a day trip in San Francisco. Image by Taro the Shiba Inu

                                        It means having a friend to photobomb you

                                        photobomb

                                          A boy makes a funny face as he poses for a picture with his brother. Image by Michael Bentley

                                          old man photobomb

                                            A man photobombs his wife while their grandson snaps a picture. Image by Frank

                                            family photobomb

                                              Family members photobomb their relatives’ Thanksgiving day family photo. Image by Beth Scupham

                                              boyfriend photobomb

                                                A friend photobombs the photographer and their friend, the woman in the foreground of this photo. Image by Lachlan Hardy

                                                True love means being there even when life gets unbearably hard

                                                Advertising

                                                shoulder to cry on

                                                  A family watches the Vermont National Guard depart for Afghanistan. Image by The U.S. Army

                                                  flood dog

                                                    During a monsoon in the Philippines, a boy carries his dog to safety. Image by Romeo Ranoco

                                                    A woman is rescued from flood waters by a resident standing on top of her car during heavy rain in Chalandri suburb north of Athens

                                                      A man helps a woman out of her vehicle during a flood in Chalandri, Greece. Image by John Kolesidis

                                                      lunch

                                                        A woman has lunch with her husband every day, even after he’s passed away. Image from ViralNova.com

                                                        hug

                                                          A woman hugs the mother of 6-year-old Noah Ponzer, who was one of the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. Image by Spencer Platt

                                                          rubble

                                                            An Oklahoma couple pauses while trying to salvage belongings from a family member’s home after a tornado. Image by Adrees Latif

                                                            sister and brother

                                                              A girl puts her arm around her little brother as they wait outside of Sandy Hook Elementary after gunshots are fired. Image by Reuters.

                                                              headstone

                                                                A woman sits at her husband’s grave the day before their wedding anniversary. Image from NBC news

                                                                It means taking the time for long goodbyes

                                                                110321-N-BT887-100

                                                                  A man says goodbye to his son before deploying. Image by Official U.S. Navy Page

                                                                  Advertising

                                                                  national guard goodbye

                                                                    A South Carolina man says goodbye to his son before deploying for Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard

                                                                    saying goodbye

                                                                      A Sergeant hugs both of his sons before being deployed to Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard

                                                                      And cherishing reunions

                                                                      husband home

                                                                        A woman hugs her husband as she sees him for the first time since his deployment to Iraq. Image by The U.S. Army

                                                                        boyfriend home

                                                                          A young  woman hugs her significant other as he returns home for Kuwait. Image by The National Guard

                                                                          mother hug

                                                                            A mother drops to her knees as she hugs her son on her return home from the Persian Gulf. Image by The National Guard

                                                                            True love is letting yourself feel young when they’re around

                                                                            elderly women

                                                                              Two friends on their smartphones. Image by Robert Neff

                                                                              feeling young

                                                                                A young couple getting their picture taken. Image by db Photograph

                                                                                sprinkler dad

                                                                                  A father plays in a sprinkler with his daughter at Millennium Park in Chicago. Image by Ben Forsberg

                                                                                  Advertising

                                                                                  subway couple

                                                                                    A young couple on a subway enjoys sharing time together, while the girlfriend’s father sneaks a photo of them. Image by Gareth Williams

                                                                                    wheelchairs

                                                                                      A couple holds hands on a fall day. Image by David Amsler

                                                                                      It’s letting yourself be silly… just because they’ll enjoy it

                                                                                      silly faces

                                                                                        A grandfather makes faces at the camera with his granddaughters. Image by Tim Pierce

                                                                                        vote for pedro

                                                                                          A woman’s father wears a Napoleon Dynamite t-shirt to make his daughter laugh. Image by emdot

                                                                                          True love is allowing yourself to show how you really feel

                                                                                          date night

                                                                                            A young couple kisses in the back of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Image by Derek Key

                                                                                            playing violin

                                                                                              Violinist Nancy Dinovo plays at a memorial service for the victims of 9/11. Image by Christopher Morris

                                                                                              True love is timeless

                                                                                              old friends

                                                                                                Friends spending some time together. Image by Cristian Bortes

                                                                                                sitting around a fire

                                                                                                  A group of friends sits around a campfire eating. Image by New Old Stock

                                                                                                  elderly couple

                                                                                                    An elderly couple walks down a street together. Image by Matteo Paciotti

                                                                                                    Featured photo credit: Matteo Paciotti via flickr.com

                                                                                                    Read Next