Millions of people, male and female alike, are in some kind of an abusive relationship. There are various degrees of how abusive relationships are and the reaction of people involved in them also varies. Abuse does not only mean physical abuse but also emotional and psychological abuse.
Emotional and psychological abuse is not that easily to recognize but it is as damaging, even more damaging in some cases, than physical abuse. When the wounds and scars inflicted by physical violence fade, those that are emotional and psychological in nature will remain. These cause self-esteem issues and deep emotional consequences for those involved in an abusive relationship.
The early warning signs of an abusive relationship usually go unnoticed or not taken seriously with the hope that it is just a one-time thing. If you have experienced some kind of verbal cruelty, it can be easily dismissed as just a simple emotional outburst of your partner that would not happen again. You may not realize at this point that it is already a beginning of a series of abuse that you have to suffer.
There are many factors why some relationships turn abusive. The verbal, physical, emotional, and psychological abuses that one suffers in an abusive relationship tend to get worse as time goes by. The severity of the abuse also tends to worsen over time. Abusive patterns usually escalate if the abusive partners feel that they are losing their partner. The earlier you are able to identify these warning signs of the making of an abusive relationship, the better.
Belittling Behavior. Does your partner ignore or put down your accomplishments and opinion? This is definitely a red flag, together with outright humiliation. If your partner would yell at you or severely criticize you or put you down, especially in the presence of other people, you may be in an abusive relationship especially if these happen often enough.
Other warning signs would be if your partner treats you badly and embarrasses you in front of friends or family. This could be a way of your partner to assert superiority over you. Another would be if your partner treats you as a sex object or property. An abusive partner would also blame your for his/her abusive behavior.
Threats Or Violent Behavior. One sign of an abusive partner is unpredictable and bad temper. Furthermore, he/she would threaten or actually hurt you. Threatening to kill you is also a warning sign and definitely a very serious one.
If your partner destroy your belongings or threaten to hurt people close to you in fits of rage, you are in an abusive relationship. Another sign is if he or she forces you into intimacy or anything that you don’t want to. Also, an abusive partner usually threatens to commit suicide if you leave.
Controlling Behavior. Possessiveness and excessive jealousy sure are warning signs of abusive behavior. Does your partner control what you do or where you go, to the point of keeping you from seeing your family or friends? If your partner behaves this way, he or she wants you to have your life revolve around him or her.
If your partner exhibit extreme behaviors like constantly checking up on you and limiting your access to money, the phone, or the car, it is high time you assess your relationship if it is still good for you.
What Does Your Inner Self Tell You? Is there that nagging feeling that your relationship is something you have not hoped for? Does your gut feeling tell you that you are better off without the relationship? Some of the warning signs here are if there are a lot of times when you feel afraid of your partner, if you avoid certain topics because you fear angering your partner, or if you feel emotionally helpless or numb.
There will also be times when he or she will successfully make you believe that you deserve to be mistreated or hurt and that you can’t do anything right for him or her. If there are times when you wonder if it’s you who is crazy, remember that this is a red flag and may indicate that you are in an abusive relationship.
If you pick up on any of these red flags, you should assess your relationship and see if you need to protect yourself from further abuse. If your relationship is not doing you any good, get out of it. You can seek counseling and find the strength to move on.