Watch the video above and talk about it with a group or mentor. Learn more.

You may not realize you’re in an abusive relationship until it’s too late. Learn how to spot the tell tale phases of a toxic relationship.

Key Points:

  • The “honeymoon phase” is when all seems great in the relationship. This is when you feel connected and fulfilled.
  • The “tension-building” phase is when you feel like you’re “walking on eggshells.” You know your partner is upset and you’re trying to keep the peace so an explosion doesn’t occur.
  • The “explosion phase” is the main event. This is when your abuser lashes out in anger. They may be physically or verbally abusive. This phase is terrifying and de-stabilizing.
  • The “return phase” is when the cycle goes back to the beginning. The abuser “apologizes” by telling the abusee what they want to hear and things seem like a “honeymoon” once more. But as in the first honeymoon phase before the abuse ever started, it will always come to an end and the abuse will rear its head agian.
  • If you or someone you know are being victimized in an abusive situation, reach out for help.

Quote This:

Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.

See Also: Abuse, MarriageRelationships

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What are some stereotypes of “abusers” and “victims” that you notice in the media or in your community? What are some things you can do to change how you think about those stereotypes?
  3. How would you describe what the Honeymoon phase looks like in a typical relationship?
  4. How often, if ever, do you feel like you’re walking on eggshells in your relationship? Describe what you observe from your partner to make you feel that way. 
  5. What are some different ways people can assert power over another person that might not be clear at first? Have you experienced any of those? Explain.
  6. Have you experienced the Explosion phase in your relationship? What did you do after it happened? What might you still need to do?
  7. Read Proverbs 6:16-19. Based on this passage, what do you think God would say to an abuser? What do you think he would say to the one being abused?
  8. Why is it important to talk to people who specialize in abuse? What do you need to do to find helpful resources in your area for yourself or for a friend?
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.