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The When Love Hurts blog

“Mental Illness” or Abuse – Helping a Woman Discern the Difference

Sometimes women will say they believe their partner behaves the way he does because he has mental health concerns. Men who are abusive are sometimes diagnosed as having a personality disorder or of being bipolar. Men who are abusive may blame their hurtful behaviour on being depressed. This is very confusing for women; if their […]

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Survivors need to be given a choice not an ultimatum

Sometimes friends and family give women, who have experienced abuse, ultimatums. For example, “If you move back in with him, I won’t talk to you anymore.” Often when friends and family do this, they think that they are doing some version of “tough love”. Perhaps they are not doing a good job of managing their […]

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Stockholm Syndrome in the context of abuse?

Stockholm Syndrome was coined 40 years ago at the end of a six-day bank siege in Stockholm, Sweden. Sometimes women who are experiencing abuse from their partner wonder if they are experiencing Stockholm Syndrome because they feel a certain alliance with their partner. They may also be worried about their partner and care about what […]

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What should we be able to expect in our relationships?

Sometimes women impacted by abuse wonder if their expectations are too high. In our experience this is not true. Rather, it seems that over time, abuse lowers a woman’s expectations. For example, she starts out expecting that her partner will respect her feelings but over time he does not and so she gradually lets go […]

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Struggling to find the “right” words so your partner will stop hurting you?

Have you ever thought, “if I could just say the ‘right’ thing to my partner, then he would finally ‘get it’, understand and change?” Have you ever wondered if somehow you could make your relationship better if you just had the right combination of words… or tone of voice… or proper explanation? Abusive men often […]

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4 signs your counsellor might have training in abuse

If asked, most counsellors will say that they have training in abuse but it is not part of the standard curriculum for most counselling programs. So, how can you figure out if your counsellor really does understand abuse or simply thinks they understand? Here are a few things you could look for: Do they hold […]

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When Love Hurts