Guest blogger: Dinorah Nieves, Ph.D.
One in three teens experience some form of violence in their romantic relationships. Often it starts slow with minor fits of rage and jealousy, all in the name of “love.” For both teens, the attachment builds before the respect, and losing the other person becomes so scary, so saddening, that either will do almost anything to keep that from happening. Soon, what once looked like love feels like powerlessness and fear for both.
Don’t ignore the signs:
- Jealousy/distrust. “He constantly checks my phone for texts, and says that if I love him, I’ll give him my Facebook password.”
- Rage/anger. “All of a sudden, she gets so mad! She yells at me and starts throwing things.”
- Guilt/manipulation. “You’re not really going to that party without me, are you?”
- Isolation/over-attachment. “Don’t listen to what your friends say. They’re just jealous. You shouldn’t hang out with them anyway. They don’t understand me. They don’t understand us.”
- Threat/intimidation. “If you ever try to leave me, I’ll tell everyone how easy it was to get you.”
Every person has the right and the ability to be loved in the way that makes them feel valuable, respected, safe and independent. Only then can a relationship truly be healthy and its members truly be happy.
If you see these signs in yourself or loved ones, The Guidance Center of Westchester can help. Call us at 914-613-0705.