If you're being abusive toward your partner, the first and hardest part of changing is admitting your behavior is wrong. It's very important to take responsibility for the problem and get help to end it. If you've already taken this step, you're on the right track.
What Do I Need to Know?
Changing abusive behavior is a long and hard process that you cannot do alone. You may rely on some of your beliefs to justify your abusive behavior. But with help, you can change and learn how to treat your partner with true respect. It's extremely important that you get professional help through this process. Chat with a peer advocate to find services in your local area.
Remember that physical and sexual violence aren’t the only types of abuse. You may be harming your partner in verbal or emotional ways, like through intimidation, threats, isolation or other means of control. You should take steps to end ALL the types of abuse now. Addressing the roots of your behavior will take time, but if you want a healthy relationship, you need to make the commitment to change immediately.
What Can I Do?
- Remember, violence is always a choice. There are no excuses and no one else to blame for being abusive.
- Focus on how your abuse affects your partner, family and/or children. Fully accept how seriously you have hurt the people you care about.
- Accept the consequences of your actions. Your partner has the right to get help from police or the courts. You may face legal consequences for being abusive, either with jail time or a restraining order.
- Remember you are not alone. Your friends and family can support you through the difficult process of changing.
- Get help from a program that focuses on abusive relationships. A good program will help you stop being abusive and create a better relationship for you and your partner.
- Respect your partner’s right to be safe and healthy as you work toward change, even if it means you can’t be together.
- Because change is hard, there may be times when you may justify your actions or feel like giving up. Remember your original commitment to change and you'll be more likely to succeed.