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6 Ways Your Abusive Relationship Is Hurting Your Child

Most healthy, responsible parents don’t set out to hurt their child, either physically or emotionally. We know that our job is to protect, nurture, and unconditionally love them. We work hard to show them that we love them. We hug, talk, laugh, play, and guide them through their lives. We even shelter them from behavior that we know is detrimental to their development. We’ll even act as a shield, thinking that taking the brunt of a negative behavior will prevent it from having any impact on our children. We couldn’t be more wrong.

When a child is sheltered from emotional abuse, their opinions and ideas begin to skew. Like looking through a foggy window, their vision is limited to what they can see. And not being able to see will make them anxious about themselves, their parents, and their future. The impact of that anxiety will be felt for many years, and can manifest itself in a multitude of ways:

Your child will be distrustful of you and/or your partner.
Even if your child never sees or hears an argument or fight, he will know when things aren’t okay between the two of you. This will lead to behavioral problems as he tries to get an answer to the mystery. As you continue to shield, he’ll continue to act out, creating another cycle of dysfunction that is difficult to break, and may very well continue into adulthood.

Your child will think that relationships are supposed to be painful.
Even if you don’t outwardly show any signs of abuse or neglect, your child is very intuitive and will read between the lines and believe that the dynamic in a relationship is one of tension, uncertainty, and pain.

You teach your child to accept a life of unhappiness.
When your child grows up, watching you go through the motions, she may pick up on your dissatisfaction. Couple that with the mantra “life isn’t fair” and you’ve got something to be concerned about. The last thing you want is for your child to think, “Life isn’t fair, so I should take what I get and not expect or ask for more.”

Your child is at risk to be emotionally abused by the same person who is abusing you.
The number one predictor of child abuse is spousal abuse.

You’re not fooling anyone.
Even when the parent tried to keep the abuse “quiet”, 80-90% of children are aware of it.

Your child is more likely to be abused, or be the abuser.
Gender roles play very heavily into this. Although it is well-documented that women engage in abusive behavior, boys who see their father abuse their mother are more likely to grow up to be the abuser. Girls that witness abusive behavior by their mother are more likely to be abusive in their own relationships.

If you or someone you love is in an abusive relationship, with or without children, please do not wait to get help. Get to a safe place, file a protective order (if necessary), and talk with one of our attorneys to begin the legal process of separation and/or divorce.

It will not get better. You cannot protect your children from the indirect or direct damage resulting from abuse. The best chance at a healthy and happy life for yourself and your children is to be in a safe and nurturing environment.

Don’t wait. Get help today.

Need assistance?

The Sol Mahoney Law Firm is here to help, simply contact us via the method below of your choosing and we will be happy to assist you.

Office: 203-307-5060
Cell: 203-912-9141
Fax: 203-549-0937