Is pushing (not hitting) abuse?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I know somebody who is having trouble in her relationship. She seems to think her SO has abusive tendencies, but has never abused her yet. But when he gets angry he throws and breaks things and he has pushed her. Abuse? I think so. What do YOU think? She won't leave him right now so that isn't why I'm asking. Just trying to see if others agree with me or disagree. She says "It's not like I don't egg him on..." (rolling my eyes)
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Yup, pushing is definitely abuse.
    Pushing, breaking things that are precious to her, preventing her from leaving a space when she wants to leave. It doesn't have to be hitting to qualify as abuse. That situation sounds dangerous.
    Even if your friend is not in a position to leave, she might want to contact a DV shelter or other resource so that she sees the situation for what it is, and has the opportunity to make a plan in the event that she does decide to leave.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Absolutely it's abuse. I hope she opens her eyes!
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, it's abuse!!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Nope. She wants to try to "work it out." This, after she also found cell phone pictures of another woman. He has intermittent angry behaviors in between good ones so she thinks the good ones are the real him.
  6. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Of course it's abuse but if she won't admit it there's not much you can do. You can't help somebody who doesn't want to be helped. About all you can do is give her your opinion and let her know you'll be there for her when she finally opens her eyes (if she's able to open them when he gets done). It's hard to see our friends in these situations.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It's a close family member. I care a lot, but there is nothing I can do. She "loves" him (more eye rolling).
  8. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Of course, it's abuse. Pushing is still abusive physical contact aimed at demonstrating his power and his physical dominance over her and it is probably accompanied by verbal and emotional abuse also. My ex never actually hit me either but he made my life so miserable that I wanted to die!

    Of course, until she is ready to get help, there isn't a whole lot you can do. If she won't see a domestic violence counselor, perhaps you could go and they may be able to give you some hints on how to reach her. Many women don't want to discuss it because they are so ashamed - I know I was. After such a long time of being treated this way, they have come to believe that they brought it on themselves, that they are at fault and deserve to be treated that way. Does this woman have children? If she does, you might remind her that they are observing and picking up on all of it. Girls and boys both come to believe that this is a normal, accepted way for men to treat women. And she needs to know that these things follow distinct patterns and unless something happens to ward it off, it escalates. It starts with verbal and emotional battering, goes to physical bullying like pushing and shoving, then will cross over to actual physical battering.

    It must be so difficult to watch this happening to someone you care about and not really being able to get through to her. In a bad relationship, I've always heard that a woman willl stay until it becomes absolutely unbearable. A man will stay until he has somewhere else to go (like with another woman). I hope things start to look up for her very soon.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It is OK for her to want to work it out. If she is insisting this is what she intends, all you can do is be supportive of her decision and make sure she owns that decision 100%. But if she does intend to work it out, then she needs to do so with her eyes wide open, knowing that yes, this IS abuse.

    Abuse like this does not have to instantly be a dealbreaker. For some people, it is not. If she can see a clearer picture of what defines abuse, then she is better equipped to have success in working this out. Yes, she also has to accept responsibility where it lies with her, ad change her own behaviour where she believes it genuinely is triggering his. But they need to work together.

    Make sure she understands - denial won't help her succeed in saving this relationship. being open with herself gives her the best chance of success with him. And accepting the truth that this is abuse, does not mean she has to leave. If anything, it gives her a handle on which to hang her hat and get to work.

  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    For me? The "deal breaker" is the fact that this woman is accepting responsibility for her SO's actions by explaining that "She eggs him on"....

    Abusers LOVE to explain that they are not at fault because the abusee was "pushing their buttons" or otherwise "asking for it".

    The fact that your friend is buying into that theory is a HUGE red flag for future trouble. I hope you can find a way to gently point that out to her before things get worse...
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I just got a sick feeling in my own stomach seeing these exact words. I know someone I love dearly who is in this exact situation, but their S/O has never touched them.


    YES, it's abuse. Breaking things? Holes in walls, put downs, so many things can be abuse. It is up to her to decide if she has had enough, and to ask for help. Otherwise - all you can do is be there for her.

  12. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Sounds like she is in denial. Could be some co dependency issues, bounday stuff...self esteem work needed, etc.
    I would be gentle with her. Could she get to therapy? MIght you two go to the library and look for some books on the topics I mentioned above? It would also be good for her and her SO to go to couples therapy.
    She should be aware that she always has an option of doing something different...making a change....and she should be especially aware of places she should go to in cases of emergency! Certainly you should speak with her about not hesitating to call 911 if she feels she is in danger.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Our DV center specifically mentions pushing as a form of abuse. It is in their literature. MANY abusers will push, head-butt, even slam doors/drawers on their victim. The abuser often has the nerve to say that it "can't" be abuse because they didn't "hit" the victim.

    I am sorry you have to watch your friend be abused and make excuses for the loser who hurts her. Hopefully she will realize it and get out soon.
  14. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Any sort of intimidation is a weapon regardless of how it is manifested. Verbal, physical, or emotional all fit in there to me.
    Certainly not part of a loving or even friendly relationship.