Fearing your partner


When you truly fear the reaction of your partner, then you must consider why you are with that partner. It do

esn’t matter the gender, or the circumstances, if your reaction is fear, then you need to examine your relationship.

There is a large difference between being concerned, or worried that the other person is going to be upset, but if your reaction is fear for your safety, or fear sufficient that you change your course of action, change your relationships and or change your habits, then something is wrong. Fear and your reaction to your partner, present or expected, is your gage of this.

Domestic violence is where our partners actual actions create that fear. The best course of action is to leave, but that is hard. There are often confounding issues, such as children, finances, low self esteem or a familiarity with violence in the past that keeps us fascinated with our abuser. Leaving is hard. Often people leave their abusive partners many times before they succeed. It is also risky, as the violence will escalate. Go somewhere safe and away from your abuser.

There have been many times that I have heard “but I love them” as an excuse to put up with more violence, whether that violence be physical, emotional, financial, relationship minimising, social, distancing or so on. Violence is anything where your actions are modified because your partner wants it to be, or where you are punished in some way because they see fit to do so.

You cannot change your partner. Generally because the relationship you have established is violent. This is not necessarily your partners fault, generally it isn’t yours. It just is. The only way go change is to separate and you get your act together. Look at your past – is there a violent childhood? Look at your previous relationships – have they been violent? Did you happen to fall into this one without a violent past? These questions give you history and can give you some clues about what you look for in a partner. Now the retraining begins.

I recommend you see a relationship counsellor for specific aid, but generally speaking the solution is to learn to accept that you are an awesome being who deserves respect and love. Once you have this perspective on yourself, it is time to begin dating again. Now go slow. If your partner gives you any sign of aggression or not respecting you for who you are, then get out. You are likely to make several errors of judgement when you first begin. After all, you are use to going out with the charming wicked people and this has to be different. You will be scared when nothing bad happens and this may prompt you to leave because the tension is too high, or you may be tempted to trigger an explosion just to get it out of the way. Try really hard not to. This is why you are taking it slow.

You may enter a relationship where you perceive violence from your partner, despite a lack of actual violence. This can be a confounding problem with having dated a violent partner previously, where your reflexes are geared up to expect abuse from your actions. You keep expecting an explosive reaction and you keep thinking its you. Examine the evidence and see if there is any actual evidence of violence and quell your fears for the future. Tread carefully.

Violence comes in many forms and you do not deserve any of them. While violence partners are predominantly male, they are not just male. Violence is often something we repeat from our childhoods, so consider that when you have children in a violent relationship – if that’s what it takes to leave, then use it. You deserve a good relationship – everyone does.

Resisting change

I was listening to the Sceptics Guide the Universe this morning, a pod cast that I recommend to anyone interested in increasing their critical thinking skills.

Steven Novella, the host, was talking about the PANDAS Controversy, where a hypothesis was taken on board by the community before the evidence existed to create a theory or a disproof. Quite interesting talk.

It prompted me to wonder – why do we become invested in an idea such that we resist reasonable evidence that the idea is faulty? I have caught myself doing this on any number of occasions, where my pet idea either fails to have any supportive evidence, or the supportive evidence is demonstrated to be either faulty or not as secure as I thought. I immediately want to invalidate the criticising evidence rather than actually test the validity of this evidence and my pet idea. (Normally I would use the phrase ‘pet theory’, but a theory is an idea/hypothesis with good supporting evidence, and some of my idea’s don’t have that).

In the lack of actual evidence, it is fine to speculate on any number of causes or contributing factors. It is even fine to assume these speculations hold water. Yet when evidence exists that disputes these ideas, we should let the idea go in favour of the evidence. Yet as a species we don’t. Otherwise evolution and science based medicine would be the unquestioned status quo, while pseudo science, alternative medicines and religion would be gone.

Is this a cognitive dissonance merged with constructive laziness issue? We have our own idea vs the evidence. They can’t both be right, so we modify the evidence to seem faulty rather than put the work into re-evaluating the world based on new evidence.

Or is there something else?