Myth: Guys show you how much they love you by being possessive.
Truth: Abusive guys will often isolate their partner in order to maintain more control. At first it might seem charming to have a boyfriend that is slightly jealous of you spending time with other guys but the truth is this can be a sign of future problems.
Myth: A girl must show her loyalty to a girlfriend by giving up friends, family and activities to be only with her.
Truth: This is another form of isolation that happens in all sorts of relationships. If a partner doesn't want to share you with anyone else, it is eventually going to be a problem. Humans can't have healthy balance in life experiences if we spend 100% of our time with only one person.
Myth: It is better to stay in an abusive relationship than be alone.
Truth: Abusive behavior gets worse over time, the longer it is allowed to continue the harder it is to stop. Someone who only shoves you will eventually get the message that you won't leave them and they will raise the bar to hitting or punching. The more you agree to tolerate, the worse the abusive behavior will get.
Myth: Romantic partners can define how the other dresses.
Truth: Unfortunately, a partner who does this is asking you to pretend to be someone that you are not because they expect you to behave in a way that they have defined in their mind. Eventually, you will want the freedom to wear the things you like even if your partner doesn't like them as much as you do.
Myth: Friends and family are usually critical of a partner because they have high expectations.
Truth: Family and friends usually want what is best for you, so if they see a pattern in your relationship that worries them it is a good idea to take the concern seriously rather than assume they are simply being overly critical of your partner.
Myth: If my boyfriend hit his previous girlfriend, it is only because she deserved it.
Truth: People who have a tendency to control or abuse their partners do not change simply because they have a new partner. Anyone who has a history of violent behavior is likely to repeat this behavior unless they have professional help addressing the reasons they tend to become physically violent when stressed.
Myth: I am lucky to have a partner who loves me.
Truth: As unfortunate as it is, when someone feels this way it is a sign that their self worth in general is very low. Everyone deserves to have people who love them exactly the way they are. If you are tolerating the poor behavior of someone else just because nobody else would love you this is a good reason to get yourself some help to identify why you feel this way.
Most of these myths encourage passive behavior in response to domineering partners. When you love someone who is abusive to you, it can be very difficult to see the negative ways these beliefs are impacting their relationships. If you believe that someone you love needs help, take the time to talk with them and share your concerns. Have specific examples of the behavior that concerns you and be prepared to include a trained professional in the discussion if you are worried about your loved one.
Sometimes the first step to stopping abusive patterns will be having a heart to heart discussion about your concerns.