**DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TRIGGER WARNING** I’ve been watching the docuseries “I Am A Stalker” on Netflix, which led to thoughts about consent within conversations in relationships.
There is a common behavior that kept coming up within the relationships and that is that the “stalkers” would get upset when their victims would not engage in conversation with them. From that point, their physical aggression would increase, sometimes over several encounters until the victim was physically harmed.
Here are 3 behaviors to consider as possible red flags or maybe even behaviors you may find yourself doing at times to consider changing:
1.) When you ask for space, your partner relentlessly pursues you (often blaming you for not wanting to work things out).
2.) Blame their trauma or attachment/trust issues for their behavior but never work to change their behavior or process their trauma.
3.) Your partner frequently crosses boundaries that you put in place and justifies their behavior when questioned.
With that, let me provide a healthier option for managing disagreements in relationship…
When you have something that has bothered you, even if it’s small, talk it out. Ask your partner when they would have time to talk about something important to you. They may choose to in that moment, so be sure you aren’t asking on their way out the door in case they do.
Keep a level head and communicate assertively. Check out our blog post on assertive communication HERE.
When you feel yourself or your partner feels themself get to about a 5 on a 0-10 distress scale, state that you need a break AND set a time to revisit the conversation. Take some space. Space can be good. Space is necessary at times to allow your amygdala to cool off and let logic take the reigns again.
Come back at the appointed time and if you are still just as distressed, take some more time to cool off.
Signs you may need a therapist’s intervention:
- If you can’t resolve the issue within a reasonable amount of time
- If you consistently yell when arguing
- The argument brings up numerous issues from the past, not just the current issue
If you find yourself in these situations and would like assistance, Anchoring Hope can provide counseling across Virginia. You can complete our online form at bit.ly/ahchopeq or call us at 276-298-5034 to get started today.