The term "intimate relationships" is used here to be maximally inclusive of any romantic and/or sexual relationship between two non-biologically-related people, including dating or courtship relationships, relationships in which the romantic partners live together in the same household (cohabiting), relationships in which two people have children in common but are no longer formally romantically or sexually involved with one another, and marital relationships. Ideally, such relationships are loving and supportive, protective of and safe for each member of the couple. Unfortunately, some people, while fulfilling these nurturing, positive needs of their partners at least some of the time and at least early in their relationship's development, also behave abusively, causing their partners (and often others as well) substantial emotional and/or physical pain and injury. In extreme cases, abusive behavior ends in the death of one or both partners, and, sometimes, other people as well.
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