Battered Wife Syndrome Is Not Always Physical

Battered Wife Syndrome aka Battered Women’s Syndrome Is Not Always Physical. Domestic Violence comes in many forms. I see quite a few women in therapy due to tolerating bad behavior. Statistic show 1:4 women will be a victim at some point. (Family Violence Prevention Fund 2004). You don’t have to be physically abused to be a Battered Wife. In my opinion verbal abuse, gas lighting, belittling is just as bad as a black eye/broken ribs. Males/husbands in relationships can also suffer from batter wife syndrome, however, this article focuses on women.

Battered Wife Syndrome Is Not Always Physical

I’ve been working with a middle aged women who has been married for 10 years. She is an accomplished well educated professional working in the capacity where she takes pride in what she does. She is independent in that she makes her own money. The problem is she tolerates a verbally abusive husband. She understands she possesses some codependent traits. Her rationalization about their relationship and why he is the way he is has made life quite difficult as she has lost her sense of self and is depressed.

Her husband suffers from a psychological disease that is treatable but is in denial about his condition. His highs and lows have created disdain for this client as she is deciding whether she should stay or go. As she makes an informed decision she understands she has three options:

  1. Keep the status quo and do nothing
  2. Require him to manage his mood swings and move forward in marriage counseling
  3. Move on to separation and divorce.

She cares about and loves her husband but cannot remain in a relationship where there is verbal abuse. The high level of anxiety she experiences is making her life a nightmare as she doubts her every move. Because his illness is treatable it is his choice to accept the treatment available. Because you can only control yourself and not another person, it is basically his choice to get better or not. It is up to my client to put boundaries in place and stop enabling his bad behavior so she can live the healthy life she desires and not the codependent life she has been living.

At this point she needs to concentrate on herself and know what she wants so she knows what she wants and deserves in a healthy relationship.

There is good prognosis if her husband decides to move forward receiving the treatment necessary to manage his emotions.

For more information on codependency and getting out of an abusive relationship contact me at (858) 735-1139.




Stop With The Codependency

Stop With The Codependency. If you already know what codependency is all about this could be an overkill talking about it.  We are all codependent to a certain degree. I look at it as being on a spectrum.  From offering help in a kind and appropriate way to losing yourself all together in a dysfunctional world of trying to make everyone happy and meeting their needs by sacrificing your own.

Codependent woman

If you find yourself constantly seeking validation from others, questioning your own thoughts and opinions or feeling obsessed with trying to control others’ actions, you may think you’re going crazy, but the truth is you’re not crazy—you may just be codependent. You may be conditioned to believe that if you aren’t perfect then others will leave you. This can cause you to feel the need to constantly give of yourself until there’s nothing left. This can also cause you to have no boundaries, because you believe that if you set boundaries you won’t be loved for who you are. You may be so convinced that the only way to keep others around is to try and control them through manipulation or guilt.

As a young mother and until just about a few years ago, I was behaving in a codependent way with my eldest daughter who is 30-years-old.  She is a bright and beautiful young woman who often times asked me for things I didn’t want to say “yes” to.  Because she was a compliant kid with aspirations she acquired through dedication and hard work, I wanted to reward her with giving her what she asked for.  As she didn’t ask for much as a child I overcompensated and agreed to some requests she made as she got older and resented it.  As a result, my conflict avoidance in not telling her the truth created a lot more conflict than I had expected.  Conflict avoidance leads to conflict.  It hurt our relationship for a short time.  I have since been more assertive and being more forthcoming in saying what I need and want to say and it has improved our communication.

The only way to heal from these behaviors and build healthy and stable relationships is to face what’s really going on internally. You have to first start by rebuilding the relationship you have with yourself. You have to see yourself as worthy and get the help you deserve. For a codependent, looking inward can be so painful, as it’s so much easier to focus on others than to face what’s really going on within yourself. However, once you face your codependency, the healing process will open doors you never imaged. It changed my life, and it can change yours.

For more information on understanding and recovering from codependency call me at (858) 735-1139.