Self-Love is Protective
While growing up, a friend of mine was used as a punching bag by his father. He was the daily target of misplaced rage, disappointment and feelings of inadequacy. Today my friend is a loving, peaceful and thoughtful father. He chose to break the cycle of abuse by assuming responsibility for dealing with his emotional wounds so he would not take his baggage out on himself, other people or living things.
My friend knew he had to behave better so he made the deliberate choice not to be like his father. He realized no amount of fighting back or screaming at his father changed the man or ever got him to own up to his negative and physically abusive behavior. The only option my friend had was to do better because he knew abuse is never love.
If you are currently in an abusive situation, you must set a boundary with those people who hurt you. Let go of the fantasy of how you think someone can be and accept their current behavior as proof of who they are.
No matter how much you think someone should know better than to abuse others, accept knowing better with our head and knowing better with our heart, so we actually do better, are two different things. Accept the fact that unless someone is actively working to heal from their past pain, he or she unconsciously passes their wounding onto others. Those people who hurt others are clueless how to make positive changes to themselves to better their lives. So you must be the one who chooses to take responsibility for yourself, by remaining emotionally awake to respect yourself and walk away, if necessary.
No matter how your heart might long for the other person to know better, he or she will not have a clue about their negative behavior until they choose to look at themselves with the honesty of their own heart. Love you by protecting yourself from abuse. Because you know better you must choose to do better than allow yourself to be mistreated, because mistreatment is never love.