When you are in a relationship with an abusive or alcoholic partner, you may spend a lot of time feeling like you are walking on eggshells. Even the slightest thing can cause a spark of aggression which can quickly escalate into a dangerous situation, so it is helpful to understand some of the most common triggers. These include:
Environmental factors: an unwashed pan, dirty carpet or something being left in the “wrong” place can easily cause an abusive partner to fly off the handle. Equally, noise, distractions and being unable to access drugs or alcohol can quickly lead to aggressive behaviour.
Embarrassment and humiliation: if someone who is prone to aggression feels they are being criticised, laughed at or not treated with respect they can quickly become dangerous.
Fear: even people who seem to be strong and confident can easily become fearful of the world around them, and this is often an important factor in those with abusive tendencies. Fear of not being good enough or losing something/someone important to them can easily transfer to aggressive or threatening behaviour.
Rejection: this is a common trigger of aggressive behaviour, often related to relationship breakups, disinterest from a potential partner or failing to secure a job or promotion.
Tiredness: sleep is important for all aspects of our wellbeing, including our mental health. Tiredness can make us people short tempered and more likely to fly off the handle if something goes wrong.
Drugs and Alcohol: drink and certain drugs, such as cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, amphetamine and spice, can all trigger aggressive behaviour and loss of control.
It is important to understand that while these triggers can help to explain the causes of aggressive behaviour, they should never be seen as an excuse. If your partner is aggressive it is not your fault, and you have the right to live a peaceful life without fear.