Domestic Violence Counseling - Finding Peace Amidst Abusive Relationship Fury

in Relationship

"I love the enthusiasm of our interaction, but when we get on a heated roll, I hate the destruction of our mutual ambush." Sound familiar?

Sometimes violence in a relationship can go two ways: from him to her and from her to him. You may have heard me refer to this as interactional relationship abuse.

It is relationship abuse wherein each party carries the control alternating overpowering the other. In the example introducing this article we see a stage ripe for an interactive discussion, heated argument and the use of abusive behavior to get one party to listen and enlist in the belief system of the other.

This common interaction invariably runs havoc when the couple is not practiced in "cooldown time-out" protocol. And moreover, verbal, emotional and physical violence can erupt for couples who are not accustomed to mutual respect and honoring the space and integrity of one another.

Failed Cooldown Time-Out

When one person is flooded with their own intensity and/or experiencing the outpouring of the other person, a time-out may be requested...simply to diffuse the energy and cool it down. Both individuals appreciate the concept; however, in the heat of the moment, one party may not let up and let go. And herein lies the problem.

For example, let's say person A declares, "Time-out" and person B feels compelled to remain on the pursuit of closure and fulfilling their unmet needs from the unfinished interaction. This then is the stage for an "abusive aggressor-violated victim" assault.

Then this assaultive behavior becomes the trigger for subsequent abusive aggression on the part of the violated party. Before you know it, you are entangled in a romantic free-for-all with two bulls locking horns until one falls down.

Successful Cooldown Time-Out

Now since we know that we choose our behavior—it does not choose us—we can appreciate the fact that those accustomed to failing at cooldown attempts can instead be successful. Here are some pointers to practice...

1) Be mindful of what sets you off.

2) Cultivate sensitivity to your own internal cues of escalating emotion.

3) Hold reverence for the same in your partner—i.e., their external triggers and internal cues.

4) Let the heightened affective state (emotion) be your friend, not your enemy.

5) Yield to the signal that intuitively says, "Back off."

6) Trust that you are more likely to get your needs meet when the two of you revisit this exchange...calmed down.

7) Choose actions that keep you safe and ensure your partner's safety over violence at all times.

Practicing effective time-out will provide you and your partner with strategies for successfully dealing with conflict. These relationship skills will add to your employing fair fighting routines that maintain honor and respect.

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Jeanne King, Ph.D. has 1 articles online

For more information about domestic violence counseling in the context of relationship therapy, visit and claim your Free Instant Access to Survivor Success eInsights. Psychologist Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people nationwide recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse. Copyright 2010 Jeanne King, Ph.D. - Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention

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Domestic Violence Counseling - Finding Peace Amidst Abusive Relationship Fury

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This article was published on 2010/09/12