8 Strategies Used By Domestic Abusers Against Their Victims

Tweet Shares 92 Many relationships run into trouble because one partner seeks more closeness while the other seeks more distance. Typically, during the initial infatuation stage, you both want to spend as much as time as possible together. Then, reality sets in. The more the pursuer clings and asks questions, the more the distancer criticizes and pulls away. To make things more confusing, when the pursuer decides to move on, the distancer often starts trying to win them back. Minor fluctuations are natural in any relationship, but this cycle can become destructive if it becomes too intense or persistent. If you see such warning signs in your relationship , try these more effective methods for maintaining your personal power and showing up for yourself.

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It happens regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race or economic background. An abuser is morbidly insecure about their own value. As a result, to feel superior to or, at the least, as good as others they use domination and exert control over their victims. Most abusers fear two things, they fear not being lovable and they fear appearing weak.

One thing it does do is create fear in their victim. Once a victim understands who they are dealing with, a fearful, insecure bully, they will begin to feel more empowered when it comes to exiting the relationship.

If your partner seems overwhelmed, encourage them to take a break.

Although men often manage emotional intensity by seeking distance, the distant partner in your relationship may be the woman. Keep in mind that the same advice holds, no matter who is the “distancer. One of my favorite cartoons shows a dog and a cat in bed together. The cat is saying. Call off the pursuit. If you chase a distancer, he will distance more. Consider it a law of physics. Sometimes the sheer number of sentences or edge in our voice is the culprit.

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While they are in love, they see each other infrequently. This is fine for the distancer, but not so for the pursuer. In long distance relationships, distancers promise the moon, but deliver little. This is why the couple rarely sees each other and the phone, email, and text become a large part of the problem. Technology works as a substitute for one on one closeness and the face to face interactions that the distance needs to avoid.

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Typically, during the initial infatuation stage, you both want to spend as much as time as possible together. Then, reality sets in. The more the pursuer clings and nags, the more the distancer criticizes and pulls away. To make things more complicated, the roles can sometimes change during the course of the relationship. For example, when the pursuer decides to move on, the distancer may suddenly start trying to win them back. Minor fluctuations are natural in any relationship, but this cycle can become destructive if it becomes too intense or persistent.

If you see such warning signs in your relationship, try these more effective methods for staying close. Meet your own needs. Try making new friends, cultivating outside interests, and fixing your own dilemmas. Ask for what you want. Your partner is more likely to respond to polite and reasonable requests than nagging and vague hints.

Pursuer/Distancer Dance

Twitter There are certain dynamics and patterns that come up repeatedly in relationships. This year I will be reaching out to other experts in the field of relationship therapy and asking them for their perspective on some of these topics. Lancer is author of several books on Codependency including: If one partner moves in, the other backs-up. Partners reverse roles as well, but always maintain a certain space between them.

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Blog-ish Opposites attract relationships: This is when one partner is trying to get closer while the other partner is trying to pull away. The specifics can vary a lot. For some couples it is amount of time spent together; for others it is how much they talk about their feelings with each other. Sex often becomes representative of the struggle. Many people assume that this is a gender issue — men distance and women pursue — but this is not always the case. There are good reasons why these two types frequently get together, especially when they are more pronounced versions of their personality type.

Each sees in the other person something lacking in themselves. The original person tends to be excruciatingly sensitive to their own emotional experience, and sees the peaceful person as attractively calm and stable. The peaceful person tends to be somewhat emotionally numb, and sees the original person as attractively vibrant and alive. This combination can work very well. The peaceful person is good at focusing on others and understanding them, which makes the original person feel special and acknowledged.

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Privacy Policy Tag Archives: What is the best way to demonstrate the beauty of connection to a typical Distancer? A Distancer prefers to keep physical or emotional distance because unconsciously he fears that he will be manipulated or obligated to give up his autonomy. Distancers dislike setting boundaries Strangely enough, Distancers are typically uncomfortable setting boundaries in a clear but compassionate way with people they feel close to.

Setting boundaries, therefore, became dangerous for the Distancer because of the risk of incurring a hostile reaction from someone he or she depended on for survival. Thus, the Distancer learned to protect him- or herself by staying emotionally distant and no longer needing to set boundaries in an intimate or personal situation. Avoid pressure and manipulation Thus, Distancers are particularly uncomfortable with people who are prone to want something from them, for example, people who are needy, controlling, or manipulative.

Thus, it is important to avoid manipulating or pressuring your boyfriend into doing things he may not want to do, such as spending more time with you or opening up and talking more. Have a great evening. Over time, he may feel that it is not as threatening to resist accommodating you as it was for him as a child. In these ways, the Distancer will learn over time that the earlier hazards of intrusion and control no longer threaten him.

As a result, he will probably open up a bit more especially if he is younger. He will likely remain somewhat on his guard. Focus on yourself Part of the beauty of a relationship is learning from the person you are drawn to.


SHARE There are many reasons why people enter into committed, long-term relationships or marriage that have little to do with physical attraction. Some people marry to please others such as their parents: One client became engaged to a man she had little attraction for primarily because of enormous pressure from her mother to settle down. As an older, Italian woman the mother placed a high value on marriage and family.

This is also when the divorce becomes public to family and friends, whose reactions may be supportive or may further polarize the couple.

The pursuer-distancer cycle is extremely common and one worth mentioning because it is a major contributor to relationship breakdown. When a couple is not able to find a good balance between the two, they may wind up in the frustrating dynamic of the pursuer and the distancer. What pursuing and distancing looks like Pursuing occurs when one partner, usually the woman wants togetherness and seeks more contact with the other.

Her partner feels overwhelmed by her pursuit and relieves anxiety by withdrawing. When he distances from her, she pursues even more commonly with criticism and anger , creating a cycle of pursuing and distancing. When the initial distancer realizes that his partner may actually walk out, he may flip into the position of pursuer. According to renowned relationship expert and psychologist Harriet Lerner, pursuing and distancing are normal ways that humans navigate relationships under stress, and one is not better or worse than the other.


Many relationship conflicts are caused by a failure to set healthy boundaries. Setting healthy boundaries comes down to two things. So the first step is to get clear on what you want. A good place to start is noticing your preferences. When you go to a restaurant, how do you know if you want a sandwich or ice cream?

A 30 day program to feel more love and attraction for your partner , and discover that the relationship of your dreams is standing right in front of you.

Ann Dear Tricia, I’m so sorry you are going through this also. Its heartbreaking to read that so many others are going through it. Did you ever feel Like you didn’t look similar to your sisters? Ever have any kind of doubt at all? I have a couple times but never thought this. Its good that he is willing to do the test. You are very smart to get it done before you don’t have that option to.

The Long Distance Balancing Act

The Pursued-Pursuer Cycle in Relationships In the initial, ‘infatuation’ stage of a relationship, both people are showing their best selves to the other. Each creates a fantasy about the other, and the other unconsciously tries to live up to that fantasy. There is lots of energy and optimism during this stage, a feeling of oneness, ‘we can conquer the world,’ emphasis on sameness and ‘how much we have in common.

As a result, much of each person’s personality is actually being hidden at this stage. Although people in the infatuation stage typically tell each other their ‘secrets,’ these secrets are edited and have usually been mostly worked through before now. Both partners feel they are revealing their ‘true selves.

Whats crazy to me is that WE are all trying to do the mending and they all seem to be sweeping it under the rug.

Abandonment — is a pattern that emerges in relationships where one individual wants more of something or wants the other person to change in some way — this is the pursuer— and the other individual resists or withdraws — this is the distancer. When the pursuer moves forward, the distancer is pushed back. When the distancer withdraws, the pursuer is pulled forward. Pursuer — wants something from the other person Distancer — resists or withdraws from the pursuer While everyone needs a balance of attachment and autonomy in their lives, the ideal formula varies from person to person.

When one person in a relationship wants more attachment and the other wants more autonomy, this is often the perfect storm for an AAC to develop. The AAC can be an overarching pattern in a relationship or it might occur only within certain hot-button issues. In marriages , these issues often include sex, money or parenting.

For example, one partner might want more frequent sexual intercourse with the other partner or may want them to spend more time with the children, manage the money better, engage in more house work or go out on more dates. For example, how often an adult child visits their parents or the degree to which friends confide in each other.

It is tempting for each person to think they are in the right and the other is wrong, but its really often a matter of personal preference and both people are responsible for their part in perpetuating the pattern. The pursuer typically appears to over-function in the relationship and the distancer appears to under-function.

Pursuer and Distancer in a relationship