This week I’m discussing the honeymoon stage in the cycle of violence wheel. This is the last of the three stages: tension building, abuse, and honeymoon phase. Keep in mind each stage can last from days to years.
The cycle is complete when the honeymoon phase is reached. At some point after the physical violence, the abuser becomes loving, asks for forgiveness, gives gifts, makes promises. He will do anything to woo the victim back to him. During this deceptive phase, the victim becomes convinced that the abuse is over. He says he’s changed. No, he hasn’t. His behavior is just as manipulative as it was been, if not more during this phase because he makes promises he will not keep.
During this phase the victim may drop any pending charges against her abuser, stop divorce proceedings, return to him if they’ve broken up. She may isolate herself from family and friends or stop counseling. He becomes her ‘support system’ and she may feel she doesn’t need anyone else.
The saddest part of this phase is that the abuser gives her hope. It is false hope because he will go back to his old behavior. Promises will be broken, the stress will return, and there will be violence again.
Please note that the cycle of violence does not address other forms of abuse such as: financial, spiritual, or sexual. I hope this series has helped you understand the relationship between an abuser and the abused. The more we understand, the better we can help the victim and give her the resources available to leave the relationship. All forms of abuse are about manipulation and control. Each part of the cycle is equally controlling.
If you’re being abused or know someone who is, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help. 1-800-799-7233.
Remember, if we can help just one victim, we’ve done our job.
I’ve used a male as the abuser, but it can be either male or female that abuses.