These are my notes from the "About Abusive Relationships" Minnspec presentation by relationship therapist Rebecca Chesin
People stay in the victim role because of who they are--and that core self is also what will affect future relationships.
Strong-willed, independent characters will not stay unless they have a fear of something:
* removal of job capability
* access to money
* control of children
* control of pets
Alternating honeymoon/controlling behavior
"Grooming" a victim
Consider normal desire for hierarchy vs. abusive behavior--and the potential for a sliding scale in alien relationships.
Interesting relationships always have someone doing something wrong sometimes.
Tragedy is caused by outside sources.
Prove they love them enough to "do what you want."
There is reassurance in familiar patterns.
We never fully understand another person, only what we perceive.
We have relationships with the people we perceive - homunculus theory (do we allow the person we perceive to change)
Different (incorrect) assumptions about what the correct way to do something is are often created in childhood.
Loss of trust leads to greater conflict about the previous point.
Jumping through hoops to earn trust doesn't work unless offendee decides to re-trust.
For conflict, consider the different languages of love (see 5 Languages of Love) and the 4 mistaken goals of misbehavior.
We fall in love with people who reinforce our idea of ourselves (usually unconscious). And falling out of love happens when one or the other changes their beliefs.
Remember that not all relationships are romantic, but the same dynamics hold true.