Abuse comes in many forms. No two relationships are the same. However, there is definitely a common thread on the patterns and behaviors that we see, I talk from experience.
Some forms of abuse are easy to identify and understand, but sometimes abuse is not so easy to see. Emotional and psychological abuse often fly under the radar, and not considered as abuse. However, they can be just as dangerous. Usually, if someone is getting physically abused there is always emotional abuse. Unfortunately, the two go hand in hand. Knowing the warning signs and prevention is key. Believe me, once you start getting abused it can escalate quickly and unfold before the blink of eye. All of sudden you’re curled up in a ball in the corner of the room wondering how you got there. It’s never as easy as, “Why don’t you just leave.”
The aim of this article is to give you not only an understanding as to the warning signs of abusive behavior, but also tell you how you can ask a question that might save someone’s life. Abuse is not tied to one particular demographic. It affects one in three people and it can be lead to any number of other things, such as mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders, and obesity — or death.
Certain personality traits in a loved one can be seen as “cute” in the beginning; however, they can quickly turn into abuse. For example, a little jealously or the constant “checking in” to see what you’re doing, is just one sign of an abusive partner. Look to this list for further examples.
They Try To Control You
Whether it is the constant calls, dictating what you do each day and where you can go, your finances, the friends you have, or the clothes you wear, they’re always trying to control you. These are warning signs that they are not letting you be the person you want to be. You just don’t know when the day is going to come when the control turns into something they can’t control.
They Belittle and Humiliate You
They put you down and embarrass you in front of other people. They begin to point out flaws in your appearance or your personality.
They Make Constant Accusations
They constantly think you’re doing something when you’re not. They think you’re flirting with others, looking at the opposite sex, and having affairs. Or they don’t like how you spoke to “that person” for too long.
They Withdrawal Their Affection
An abusive sign is when the relationship’s affection and intimacy is on their terms. They also might become uninterested in affection, or it only comes with conditions.
They Lack Communication
You can’t talk to them without them getting angry. They also never want to hear what you have to say.
They Make Threats
If they make threats of suicide, or if they threaten your life if you leave, they’re definitely manipulating you. This is just another form of abuse.
They Commit Adultery
They may conduct provocative behavior with the opposite sex. However, they could also expect you to allow them to sleep with other people, but deny you the same “benefit”.
They Are Sarcastic
They use an unpleasant tone of voice, sometimes even being negatively sarcastic towards you.
They Are Moody
They have an array of volatile emotions, It seems to swing from extremes, for no apparent reason. Somehow they find a way to blame you for their mood, when it’s not even your fault.
They Only Love You If…
Their love comes with conditions, “I love you but…” or “I will love you if…” Real love is unconditional. It doesn’t verge into abusive territory like this.
When someone is in an abusive relationship, silence, fear and shame consumes them. This could be your relationship, especially if you recognize any of those listed qualities in your partner. As much as you want to speak up, you can’t. But you want to, more than anything you want to. So ask yourself the question: “Do I think I know someone who is being abused?” If so, ask them to take a seat and have a chat. Simply ask them, “Are you okay?” Their answer could change their world.
Once we empower people to use their emotional guidance system and how to deal with their emotions, the less we will see domestic violence, as well as sexual and emotional abuse in society. The most important thing is to break the silence and open up about our experience, so we can help others.
About Renée Mayne
Renée Mayne came from a life of physical abuse and transformed it into one that is filled with love. She lives life wide-awake.