Positive relationships may provide fulfilling experiences that help raise self-esteem and feelings of worth. However, troubled relationships can be a source of stress and anxiety and lower self-esteem. Excessive jealousy, controlling behaviors, isolation from friends and family, and verbal and physical assaults are signs of an abusive relationship that may demonstrate the cycle of violence. The cycle of violence has three phases: phase one is marked by a state of perfection or bliss, stage two is marked by tension-building behaviors that lead to stage three, the verbal or physical assault. The relationship then returns to a bliss state, and the cycle continues. Many times the abused partner feels trapped and helpless, but help is available.
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