It is sad that in today’s society where the environment is stressful and so many people suffer with anxiety and depression, the chances of being in an abusive relationship is higher than we would like to believe. It is highly likely that someone you know is in, or has been in, an abusive relationship. And, the chance that you are in, or have been in, one is also high.
The scariest and hardest part to understand is that most abusive relationships don’t begin that way. The abuser is manipulative and sets the stage in an attempt to control the relationship. The change can be so subtle that the signs are not easy to detect. But, the abuser is working to reprogram his partner until he feels confident that he is in control of the relationship.
By the time the abuse becomes recognizable to people outside the relationship, the abuser has successfully brainwashed his partner to the point that she doesn’t believe his actions are abusive. As is often the case, she will begin to make excuses for his behavior and even take the blame for what is happening. She will have been brainwashed to believe she has done something wrong that is causing her partner to act the way he is acting.
It is frequently impossible to convince the victim that she is being abused. She is too busy justifying the behavior of her partner that she can’t see it for what it is. On the other hand, there is a part of her that makes it hard to admit that she has been duped and is allowing this to happen.
Signs That Indicate An Abusive Relationship
Have you been gradually cut off from your family and friends? Does your partner try to cause conflicts between you and people you’re close to? Does he taunt you with the idea that if you love him, you don’t need anyone else? Do you feel that you have to choose between him and your family and friends?
If your answer is “yes” to any of the questions above, then your partner is trying to isolate you. The abuser seeks true dominance and knows that he must have absolute power over you. He doesn’t want competition and he is doesn’t want anyone else around to witness his abusive behavior.
What role do you play in control of finances? When it comes to finances, you should be equal partners. If your partner controls the finances, then you don’t have any say in decision making regarding how money is spent. But the worst part is that he has made it extremely difficult for you to leave him even if you want to.
Does your partner strike out at you in anger and put you down, call you names, or communicate in any way that causes you to feel inferior? These are very clear signs of mental and emotional abuse. Not all abusive relationships are physically abusive, but that doesn’t mean they are any less abusive.
Does your partner push or shove you, roughly grab you by the arm, or hit you? Early signals that your partner is abusive may be that he will “play” too rough and then get agitated or angry if you complain.
Clearly there are other indications of physical or mental abuse in relationships. But, keep this in mind: if you feel abused, then you are being abused!
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No One Deserves to Endure the Pain of An Abusive Relationship
If you find yourself in an abusive relationship reach out to a counselor at a domestic violence center and ask for help, or move out. If you have burned your bridges behind you and feel you can’t turn to your family and friends, you can always find a local women’s shelter for temporary relief.