Disagreements occur in most relationships. Sometimes these disagreements can become arguments and both people get loud and say things that hurt the other person’s feelings. However, in most relationships, both people say they are sorry and make up. No one gets hurt physically and no one uses power and control to make the other person feel worse.
When that happens, the relationship is domestically violent. In these relationships one person uses power and control over another to get what they want from the relationship. The person who uses this power and control may do so in a number of different ways. They may use emotional and psychological abuse, and/or threats of physical violence or abandonment. They may attempt to isolate the individual from family and friends, limit their use of the phone, track phone use, open private mail and belittle the other person, chipping away at their sense of independence and self-confidence. This is not a healthy relationship, it is domestic violence; regardless of how disagreements occur, how often they occur or who instigates them.