An abusive relationship depends upon a pre-existing power imbalance that gives one partner the power to abuse in the first place

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In other words, you abuse your partner by abusing the power you have over the partner. You do this systematically. You do this over time. An abusive relationship might or might not be physically violent, but it is always — always — a massive mindf*ck in which the abused partner begins to accept the abuser’s twisted version of reality for reality itself. Anything that contradicts that reality — including the abused partner’s own instincts that something is very and increasingly wrong — gets cut off at the root.

https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/22535545-tainted-love
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