Domestic Violence

Celebrity relationships can give us a glimpse into our own relationships. While we may sit back and read stories of celebrity gossip for entertainment, they are lives of real people who are also get overwhelmed with stressors, struggle with mental illness, and may turn to maladaptive ways to cope.

Consider the following scenarios inspired by recently leaked-messages and celebrity relationships that have become quite public and led to responses from the fans.

Fill in the blanks to see if these narratives are not too far off from your own experience:

Scenario #1

You finally got the courage to leave _____ for good. They have been struggling with _________ for years and after multiple attempts to make things work, you decide to separate due to “__________”. You move on by ____________, meanwhile your ex is relentless in their attempts to “win” you back. You are concerned by their ___________.

Scenario #2

You and your partner have been having ongoing conflict. At times, your arguments end in ______.  You recognize a pattern of ________. Trust around ________seems to be an ongoing issue; you don’t fully trust them and suspect ______. Rumors surface about your relationship. Friends and family warn your that your relationship is “__________”.

What do you do next in response to more subtle pink flags and/ or the obvious red-flags in relationships?

Some people have difficulty recognizing how to identify-abuse. Patterns of behaviors that are used to gain or maintain power and control are at the core such as love-bombing, overly jealous/ controlling behavior, and gaslighting.

While grand romantic-gestures may be used a lavish expression of love, it can also be used as a means to control the relationship.

Here are several warning-signs of abusive behavior in a partner.

  • Showing extreme jealousy, being “possessive”, and preventing time spent with others
  • Preventing or controlling you from making important decisions in the relationship
  • Pressuring you to have or perform sexual acts you are not comfortable with which may also involve pressure to use drugs or alcohol
  • Using put-downs, insults, threats and/ or intimidation, possibly escalating to property damage

While I don’t have all the answers of what exactly is going on in celebrity’s relationships, I recognize a variety of concerns that are common in dysfunctional and abusive relationship patterns. Seeking individual therapy support and reaching out to a specialist can help you sort out thoughts and feelings for your own relationship. Hotline resources can also assist with emotional support, safety planning, crisis assistance, and connection to additional resources.

National Domestic Violence Hotline:

Call: 1-800-799-7233

Text START to 88788

Violence Free Minnesota:

Call 1-866-223-1111

Written By : Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC

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