There are a number of aggressive behaviors which unfortunately occur quite frequently in members of different ages, which is why they have come to be categorized into what is known as the “levels of aggression in a couple” which allow us to check the quality and health of a couple.
The levels of aggression in the couple by offering us the possibility of measuring the quality of a couple allows us to see that a relationship is toxic and thus to realize that when certain limits are exceeded, it is perhaps more makes sense to end a relationship because of the risk that these behaviors will escalate into more serious behaviors.
In this article we will briefly explain what the different levels of aggression in the couple consist of. and what are some of the behaviors that often occur in each.
Levels of aggression in the couple (explanations)
In any couple there are certain conflicts, there are discussions which can lead to certain ups and downs and even come to say certain hurtful words which will then cause remorse on the part of the person who said them. Although we are not proud of it, it is normal that sometimes we come to have such discussions, it is common that the situation does not escalate or that neither part of the couple.
However, there are some people who overstep the bounds of respecting their partner and they come to act aggressively on different levels, both physically and psychologically, which erodes your relationship and will cause the other person great discomfort.
When these limits are exceeded, it is common for aggression to increase, giving rise to various behaviors categorized into the different levels of aggression of the existing partner and therefore it would be best to slow down these cycles of aggression before they set in. go up. .level.
Schematically, we will explain below the three major levels of aggression towards the couple, within which are grouped a set of behaviors that transform a relationship into a relationship of the toxic type. These levels are ranked in ascending order according to the degree of violence inflicted on the couple, with one member usually being the aggressor and the other the aggressor, although there may be reciprocal abuse.
Level 1: symbolic aggression
The first level of aggression in a couple is where a class of aggression called “symbolic aggression” occurs. In this first level of aggression against the partner, psychological violence occurs above all, without any physical aggression having taken place..
When there is symbolic aggression in a couple, it is because there are behaviors such as those described below or similar. When there are certain levels of aggression in the couple, giving a symbolic aggression, it may be that one of the parts of the couple is ridiculed in public several times by his partner, because besides, it is normal that the ridiculed part of feeling humiliated.
On the other hand, symbolic aggression is often the subject of bad taste jokes that can offend the feelings of the other party, as well as the frequent use by the aggressor of offensive phrases towards the other part of the couple. Sometimes it can happen that the aggressive part of the couple has gone so far as to threaten the couple.
When behaviors like the ones just mentioned or similar take hold between the members of a couple, we could say that the relationship begins to be toxic, so it is very important that the abused and harassed party ends it before the abuse goes further.
In the most extreme cases of violence at this level (for example, there are threats), the affected party is likely to need to seek legal assistance for various reasons. The first is that this type of behavior must be intolerable and, second, the risk that these threats end up being carried by the aggressor member of the couple.
Level 2: Coercive Aggression
The second level of aggression against the couple is that of “coercive aggression”, where the levels of violence have increased compared to when there was a level of symbolic aggression.
When there is coercive violence, the levels of aggression against the partner are considerably more severe than at the previous level, being frequent, there is emotional abuse and it can even happen at the physical level too.
At this level, it is common to have behaviors such as forbidding the abusive part of the partner to do certain things, such as hanging out with their party friends, chatting with certain people, among others, so that their freedom seems very limited. Therefore, in these cases, the abuser would exercise control over the abused part, so he might end up spying on his partner due to an urgent need to know what he is doing at all times.
In the most extreme cases there may be intimidation by the abuser towards his partner in order to scare him and make him more submissive. with their impositions or may even reach the limit of recourse to physical aggression.
Here we would see a completely toxic relationship in which the abused party should end immediately because their physical and mental integrity is in danger. Faced with this type of relationship, it is difficult to get out of it because most likely the aggressor of the couple will not accept that his partner wants to leave the relationship and act in an even more violent way. It is common for the abuser to stalk the other person when that relationship ends, or he may also be apologizing to give you another chance.
In these cases, it is likely that the affected party will have to file a complaint to seek protection because, faced with these levels of aggression in the couple, it is possible that they run the risk of suffering future aggressions for having refused to abuser to end the relationship.
Level 3: direct aggression
The third level of aggression against the couple is what is called “direct aggression”, where constant and extreme abuse has taken place.
When these levels of aggression are imposed on the couple, the physical aggressions generally occur continuously, and can be daily, as well as threats of all kinds. (for example, threats of blackmail). In these cases, it is common for the abused person to feel intimidated by the fear of further aggression from the partner.
In these cases, the other behaviors characteristic of the other two levels of aggression towards the couple that we have seen above could also occur, so we can see that we would be facing the most serious level of abuse and harassment that can occur in the couple. couple. too much very cruel aggressive behavior could occur, as would be the case with indirect violence, which occurs when intended to harm the partner through violent behavior towards a loved one (e.g., his child).
There are well-known examples in the news of indirect violence in which a parent kidnapped his children in order to make his ex-partner suffer, in some cases even committing the murder of his children, which shows the more cruel expression and ruthless possible that there could be all levels of aggression in the couple.
In such cases it is crucial that the abused party end their relationship before it’s too late and ask for help. The most common of these cases is that the party concerned needs legal assistance (for example, from a lawyer and/or an association that collaborates in cases of domestic violence), having to file a complaint at the police station, as well as the help of a mental health professional, either a psychologist or a psychiatrist.
- Conca, ML (2013). Dyadic adjustment to the couple: theoretical review. Forensic and Forensic Clinical Psychopathology, 13(1), p. 177-189.
- Muñoz, JM & Echeburúa, E. (2015). Different forms of violence in the relationship: implications for forensic psychological assessment in the Spanish legal context. Yearbook of Legal Psychology, 26, pp. 2-12.
- Navarro, J. (2015). Violence in intimate relationships: a clinical perspective. Barcelona: Editorial Herder.