Love is 'inclusive'. Love protects, defends, shelters and cares. Love believes the best, love prefers you. Love never gives up on you, doesn't interrupt you, love listens to you and hears you.

Abuse is 'exclusive'. It fails to protect and defend you. Abuse pretends to care, but doesn't. Abuse does not believe the best in you, but rather, brings out the worst in you. Abuse talks over the top of and doesn't ever really 'hear' you.
Abuse will make sure you are excluded and left out if you don't behave how it wants you to. Abuse is fearful and insecure, threatened by your presence. Abuse maintains a sense of perceived power, by deciding who is worthy to be inside the 'inner circle' and who will be kept out. Abuse withholds information and keeps secrets.

Love is inclusive, and doesn't leave others out, everybody's welcome. Love is secure and firm, love is not afraid. Love celebrates others, (not seeing one as better than another), but enjoying diversity and uniqueness in all people. Love will maintain a sense of privacy as a boundary, but doesn't use secrecy as a weapon.

Abuse will keep you stunted, but Love will cause you to flourish.

~S.E. Castelli

Expectations In Relationships; Good Woman, Good Man

Many people grow up expecting any romantic relationship they have to look a certain way, and when the person they choose to be with ends up not filling that expectation, they treat them like they're doing something bad and wrong. So a woman who has preconceived expectations of what her boyfriend or husband is "supposed" to be like may fight with, belittle, and try to shame him for not fulfilling t...he character role in her head.

Classic examples of this in Western culture include a man who does not fix things around the house, or only knows how to fix certain things, a man who's not into the Sports culture, a man who likes to clean or cook, a man who does not make a lot of money, a man who is kind to others outside of the relationship, a man who doesn't try to act "tough" or "run with" other males, or a man who is not obsessed with sex, violence, alcohol, or random rebellion behavior.
A man who has preconceived expectations of what his girlfriend or wife is "supposed" to be like will do the same thing, treating a person as if they're "bad" or "wrong" when they don't fill the character role they hold in their head. Classic examples of this in Western culture are often a woman who doesn't make cooking and cleaning her first priority, a woman who repairs and builds things, a woman who enjoys activities outside the home, a woman who does not defer to other's opinions but treats others as equal persons, a woman who speaks, laughs, and behaves with the same confidence as the men around them. Both men and women who create these roles for others in their minds also often have the way the other person is supposed to look in there as well; their character role they have pictured in their minds is usually pretty fleshed out. Their clothes and their hair is "supposed" to look a certain way, if it doesn't, they're not being a "good person".

Even if there is more than one "version" of the appearance, there will still be obvious similarities between the versions. (For instance a thin Irish woman or a very thin Nigerian woman; the requirement is still "thin". A tall Polish man or a tall Indian man, the requirement is still "tall".)

Those who have preconceived expectations for other people will judge them by how close they match to this character role. They won't be interested in getting to know the person and therefore can not have a genuine relationship with the person. When the person fulfills the role, they are approved of; when they don't because of perfectly normal or even GOOD things, they will be rejected and discarded.

This same character role issue can be seen in other relationships as well, including parents and children (both ways), other family members, friendships, employees, communities, pretty much anything that involves humans. It can be seen on a global scale with citizens of governments (political leaders, presidents and dictators who have this character role issue), religions, and other organizations.

Those with "character role expectations" of others don't care much about another's personhood, their real talents, strengths, or experiences, they have already created their "profile" FOR them. No matter how "good" the other person actually is, no matter what they actually do, they will be judged only on how close they come to filling the role of the character they have been cast in by the other person.

Camaraderie With The Opposite Sex

People who think of the opposite sex as "other", and only think of members of their own sex as "camarades" can have a harder time with romantic relationships, and human relations in general. Some who don't have much experience with real friendship with the opposite sex due to however they happened to grow up may not realize that they have more similarities than differences, and that they're human ...beings with the same vast array of emotions, perspectives, experiences, aspirations, strengths and weaknesses, fears and intelligences as their own sex. One may have this perspective from just an absence of peer friendship and regularly shared activities with the opposite sex. They may have had a sister or brother, but were raised to think of one another as very different "species" due to their parents' cultural issues. They may have not had an opposite sex sibling, and the adults in the area inside or outside of the home may have separated girls and boys purposely, creating groups, teams, and clubs that excluded the other sex. (And taught that this is required and try to justify it with all kinds of rationalizing, but have never actually tried anything different.) Many adults even actively "teach" children skewed perceptions about the opposite sex, and convey that ethics and integrity don't apply in the same way to "them" as it does to "our kind".

One is not going to have a healthy, respectful, reliable, supportive and fun relationship with a person who thinks of them as "Other", as "not my kind".