Healthy relationships have proven to improve the quality of life. No one starts a relationship even considering that it may turn abusive. The abuser tends to rope in their victim by building a trusting foundation. Once the victim is committed to the relationship, then the abusive behaviors begin. It’s important to be able to recognize warning signs of an abusive relationship so that you can take the necessary steps to move out of harm’s way continuing to get more involved. When you hear about abusive relationships, most people think of physical abuse. However, emotional abuse can be just as damaging, if not more damaging to a person’s well-being. Abuse is meant to strip down someones’s self-worth and independence. When you are a victim of this type of abuse you may feel like there is no way out of the relationship and without your partner, you are worth nothing. You become powerless and before you know it you feel trapped.
Here are some signs that you may be in an abusive relationship:
Jealousy- An abuser shows insecurity and lack of trust in you but they call the jealous behavior “love”. If your partner is constantly calling, showing up at your job and questioning your every move, that’s a sign of jealousy. They may feel the need to control your every move and be quick to accuse you of something you did not do.
Fast moving relationship- Often in the beginning of abusive relationship, the abuser is very charming and the romance is often intense. They claim to be in love from day one. They may say they have never felt this way before. You feel pressured right away to commit to a serious relationship.
Controlling behavior- An abuser controls every aspect of the relationship whether it’s your job, the money, what you do with your free time, how you can dress, who you speak to etc. Your relationship may feel like a parent/child relationship. This is because the abuser needs to feel in charge of the relationship. They expect you to listen and obey at all times.
Humiliation- The abuser will do what they can to make you feel bad about yourself. They think that if they get you to believe that you are worthless then you’re less likely to leave. You can recognize this behavior from things such as name calling, shaming in front of others and insults.
Isolation-The abuser cuts off people from your world in order to increase your dependency on them. They will keep you from seeing family and friends. You have to ask for permission to go anywhere or see anyone. They also may prohibit you from even going to work.
Blames others and downplays the abuse- Abusers always like to blame others for their own actions. They tend to say that it was your fault, you made them do it. If they do not blame it on the victim then they are using other excuses such as a bad childhood, or a bad day in general. They also will say things like, I did not mean to do that or you know that wasn’t my fault instead of accepting responsibility.
The sooner you can recognize these signs then the quicker you can protect yourself from staying in an unhealthy situation. You do have options. There are people out there that can help you. There is a way out. Don’t lose hope out of fear. For more information on how to seek proper help to leave an abusive situation please schedule a therapy appointment with me or with my intern Tyra. Or for immediate assistance you can call 1-800-799-7233.