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Unhealthy Relationships-Domestic Violence

Relationships are hard. Relationships are tough, they are a lot of work, I have heard this said so many times, and I seem to be hearing a lot of it lately, as different friends are at different stages of life, of relationships, what their concept of a relationship is and what they believe they should contribute to, compromise on, work on, and even accept in a relationship. Now when I say relationship, I am talking about a committed relationship between two people, so it could be at any stage up to marriage.

I have heard interesting things of what many partners tolerate, for different reasons. Some verge on the normal, others verge on the slightly beyond normal, and even some others veer towards the strange. But I guess everyone is different and people have a choice that they can choose to exercise at any point in time, in any way that they want to.

But I do not understand why people tolerate or accept violence from their partners. Okay, let me re-phrase that: I do not know why people would be violent to their partners. I do not know why a person would choose to be violent to another person, let alone their partner, the person they claim to them is special, that they love, the mother or father of their children (because even though society has allowed us to think of domestic violence only in terms of men being violent to women, women are violent to men too).

Why this happens, I do not know. I know that it means something must be truly wrong, psychologically with the health of the relationship. I also know that people will behave as badly as you allow them to. So the question is what is stopping a refusal, a downright non-acceptance? Many things come into play – love, the hope that they might change, that love perseveres – yes Love should persevere but not at the detriment to your health, mental, physical, emotional or otherwise. It could be because of the children – but I tell you that the children viewing such violence are even worse-off as this would affect their view of the world and sometimes provide a warped sense of what relationships ought to be about. It could be because of shame, shame to accept the death of something that has already died. It could also be due to other factors, depression, drugs, at which point then I suggest the person needs to get help and their refusal to get help is not an excuse to continue to bring hurt.

It could also be because it is hard, hard to accept that this is happening, even sometimes, we think it must be our fault, and see it as a penance for past wrong-doings. Now I do not know what exactly applies in any of these cases. What I do know, from children of abusive relationships is that it is unhealthy and it is unnecessary. Violence is violence, full stop. It is not acceptable in society, and should not be acceptable in relationships.

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Adun Okupe
Adun's interests are wide and vaired but suffice to say she enjoys reading, cooking, hosting friends, organising events and exercising. Yes, fitness. She will be writing on our fitness column on the road to fitness. Fitness is a journey and not a crash course, more like a marathon as opposed to a 100m race. When she's not trying out taebo, jogging, tennis, swimming, cycling, riding, yoga or pilates, she's reading or writing her PhD thesis in Intelligent Leadership at the University of Surrey.

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