Domestic abuse is often cyclical. There is the initial phase where tension builds in the relationship until it eventually reaches a breaking point and the abusive phase begins. After the abuse there is usually a "honeymoon" stage where the abuser apologizes and may buy gifts or give special attention to their partner. This stage, while appearing to be sincere and apologetic, usually just serves to perpetuate the abuse. This can be confusing for the person being abused and make them want to stay in the abusive relationship. Some may even feel that they deserved to be abused due to emotional issues like low self-esteem or depression.
Both parties in an abusive relationship can benefit from therapy. The person being abused can visit a therapist to learn when a relationship is abusive, how to raise their self-esteem, or how to deal with any emotional trauma they may have from the abuse. The abuser can also benefit from therapy. Many people who engage in domestic abuse were abused themselves as a child, or witnessed abuse in their home. They also might have problems controlling their anger. During therapy they can discuss past events that might have led them to this behavior, and discuss how they can go about changing it. Finding other outlets and ways to deal with their anger can prevent them from domestic abuse in the future. If you are in an abusive relationship or feel that you may have anger management problems that cause you to abuse your partner please call in immediately. I can help you find a way out of your abusive relationship, or teach you ways to deal with disagreements and anger in more productive ways.