If your partner is abusing your child, this is going to cause emotional and psychological damage to your child. You need to be cautious once you start noticing signs of abuse in this way. Your child does not even know how to communicate the way they’re feeling, and that’s why you need to be there to support them.
In this article we will be looking at the reason why your partner has been abusing your child, how to protect your child whilst protecting yourself and so on.
- Why is my partner abusing my child?
- How can I protect myself and my child?
Why is my partner abusing my child?
Your partner could be abusing your child for the following reasons:
- They have mental health issues
- Substance abuse
- They have past trauma
- They’re going through stress
- They’re toxic
They have mental health issues
When a person has mental health issues they can try to hide this and in that process it can become complicated. The key with any kind of mental health issue, be it depression, anxiety , or even something like psychosis, is acceptance.
To put it into focus, when you have a fever or common cold, and you refuse to accept you’re sick. On the contrary you decide to go out for ice cream, naturally this is going to over complicate things because you already had a cold and fever. The key naturally over here as well is acceptance. If you were to accept the fact that you were sick, then you’d focus on taking care of your health instead of having ice cream.
This is a simplified example, but if you leave mental health issues untreated, they can complicate your life. And the end result of that won’t just be a terrible cold or fever, but it could be more.
So if your partner has been abusing your child, if it’s physical abuse then you need to keep in mind that the more you bare with it, the more your child also learns that it’s normal. Your child might also grow to believe that this kind of behaviour is normal. Children learn concepts and behaviour by observation. So not only are they learning to be abusive physically, but they’re also learning to tolerate such behaviour.
Incase your partner is abusive in other ways, emotionally or mentally, this means they’re toxic in nature. This can really affect the emotional growth of your child. The child will grow to believe that he/she/they aren’t worthy of love. They might also be facing a lot of rejection that could affect their self -confidence.
This causes problems because it is going to become easier for people to hurt your child in the outside world. They’ll probably grow up living in fear for most of their life and this will also affect their overall growth.
Your partner might be depressed, anxious , bipolar or they can have a narcissistic personality, and so on. There are many mental health issues that could lead to this kind of behaviour.
Is your partner abusing substances of any kind? This can go from alcohol, marijuana or even heavier drugs like MDMA. Substance abuse over a period of time affects the psyche of a person.
It alters behaviour, memory capacity, orientation and even temperament. We’ve heard that alcohol addiction leads to physical abuse in most households. From fighting for money to spend, to food to eat.
It also ruins families because most likely the breadwinner of the family ends up getting addicted to substance and thereby affects the whole family. While it’s not wrong to enjoy alcohol at a wedding or recreationally, too much of anything is always harmful.
They have past trauma
Your partner might have themselves had a bad childhood that has caused them a lot of trauma. And the thing with trauma is , each of us have different triggers , even though issues might be similar.
If your partner hasn’t worked through their issues then they might be getting triggered over and over again in different eyes. Chances are that your child is the one who ends up triggering a situation, or getting in the middle of it.
Naturally it’s difficult to explain such things to a child. So if there is something that can be done, it’s up to your partner. By letting their trauma go untreated for so long, it has proven to grow bigger and affect the family as well.
They’re going through stress
Your partner might be having a stressful time at work, or they could be having other issues with family and friends. By not sharing such things and speaking their heart out, they end up bottling up these feelings.
This naturally has to come out at some point, and the easiest target seems to be your child. That’s why your partner is probably taking it out on your child. If they’re pressuring your child for results academically, it can be due to their own needs and Insecurities. For example someone who isn’t given any power at work, might try to command this power at home.
So in that way they’ll try to be authoritative and have control of everything that goes on in the house. This could be a reason for the current issue as well.
Whatever may be the case, you cannot let it affect the future of your child and their mental health.
How can I protect myself and my child?
Firstly, educate yourself about the legal help you can reach out to in your state or area. It’s important to understand that even if you believe that this is not how your partner actually is, it’s affecting your child’s mental health.
Your child is at risk and you can’t stay with the hope that it will get better. You can still have that hope when it comes to your partner, you can work on it from a distance, but right now it’s important to remove your child from this situation.
Secondly, keep your near and dear ones informed about the current situation. If your partner has intimidated you , find someone they cannot reach. Try to communicate to them what’s been going on and the fact that your child needs help.
More than focusing on the relationship at hand this is the time when you focus on your child’s wellbeing. The more time you spend in this environment, the more it’s going to impact your child’s growth and health.
Thirdly, stand up for your child. As mentioned above the more you tolerate this behaviour from your partner, the more your child believes that this is acceptable behaviour and it is normal. They will go on to accept this behaviour from others as well.
This is when a pattern is formed of toxic relationships and alot of emotional manipulation. Along with this a toxic environment starts to become a comfort zone for your child.
They tend to gravitate towards those who treat them the same way, they will feel weird if a relationship is easy going instead of chaotic and filled with commotion.
The extent to which your child’s might be affected by this is long-term. This is why you need to show your child that come what may, you’re there to stand up for them. This gives them hope and belief and a stronger sense of self.
Lastly, seek help, not just for your child but for yourself as well. Most people leave such things unaddressed. When your child has been subjected to abuse from your partner, it can lead to a lot of questions, feelings and doubts. It’s important to give your child the space to explore these emotions and work them out.
A child psychologist can help in providing that safe space for your child. By letting them know that their feelings are valid and acceptable. They don’t have to be afraid of expressing themselves as well. They can also look for any red flags or signs that point towards post-traumatic stress disorder, depression , anxiety disorders and so on.
If your partner has been abusing your child, physically, emotionally, or mentally, it’s time to take a stand against it. You need to show your child that you’re here for their protection and support. Get the help your child needs , also make sure that your child meets a counsellor who can evaluate their mental health as well. This is important inorder to understand to what extent your child has been affected. If you do feel that your partner is a good person and they can change, you can work on this from afar, by setting boundaries, however it’s detrimental to remove your child from this environment.