While there are all sorts of abuses that can absolutely wreak havoc in any relationship; one of the most abusive signs which may or may not include physical violence, is the contempt that one party gives to another, or even both parties do to one another. When there is contempt, basically what is happening, is that one party is dismissive in a condescending manner towards the other party; basically treating the other person as if they are beneath them, or trivial to them, or as an entity that has little value or worth. That type of behavior, is obviously unhealthy, and even if this contempt occurs on only an occasional moment of weakness or frustration, it is quite emotionally devastating for the recipient of that condescension.
So too, when one party exercises contempt, there often is a tit-for-tat response, of which, the offended party, strikes back, and therefore, each party ends up taking shots at the other, and because they know each other so well, often will indirectly or even directly attack one another at their weakest and most vulnerable spots. The thing about these attacks is that once the no-hold bar contemptuous attack has occurred, there really isn't any good way to, after the fact, when things have seemingly calmed down, to take back what has occurred, for to destroy can take only a moment, but to rebuild can take ages.
This so signifies, that while apologies have their place, and the symbols of apologies such as in gifts, also has their place as well as their purpose, the fact of the matter is, that the damage has been done, and it cannot be undone. Further to the point, those that are contemptuous in thought, need to think thoroughly about their coming actions, before expressing such contempt in their words of action and thereby making the situation worse for having acted upon it, because once done, it cannot be undone, and it surely is in the doing that relationships are often irreparably damaged or seriously harmed.
The thing that makes contempt so devastatingly brutal to the other person that it is directed against, is that it can often be correctly seen as a violation of the most sacred trust that one person has given to another person. That is to say, when someone who knows your vulnerabilities and weaknesses deliberately makes a conscious choice to exploit such in a manner in which it essentially eviscerates the very things that define who you are as a person, that is contemptuous, as well as being extremely hurtful.
In a nutshell, contempt of another person, indicates that the other person receiving such, somehow is unworthy of receiving instead the love, empathy, concern, patience, and compassion necessary in order to have and to maintain a healthy and wholesome relationship. Instead, they behave in a manner that demonstrates that they care more about being “right”, then in finding common ground. This means that those that are contemptuous in their demeanor lack the very attributes of what a good friend should and must be.