Five Signs You’re in An Abusive Relationship
How to Safely Remove Yourself
by Marlene Wagner
Understanding Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse has existed since the stone age but has become more prevalent. At no time has it accelerated more than during the COVID pandemic.
Anger and uncontrolled emotions have spilled out more in our society than ever.
Last week my email article on abuse opened a response from my readers that surprised me, and I decided to write one more weekly email on the subject.
I know I have readers in loving, happy relationships, and the information doesn’t apply to those readers.
You could do me a big favor if you were to forward the email to someone you may know whom this information could be helpful.
I have written this week’s email to help identify relationships with signs of abuse. Abuse comes in different forms, not always physical but emotional abuse that is just as damaging.
There’s a common misconception about anyone in an abusive relationship. People think it’s easy for the abused to know they’re in a bad situation.
People assume it’s easy to move away from the abuser and start a new life.
Sadly, that’s far from the truth. Before we begin our article, there’s something important you have to remember. Abuse is all about manipulation and power.
Read on to find out whether or not you’re in an abusive relationship or know someone that is.
Signs You’re in an Abusive Relationship
I have dedicated an entire chapter in my book Attract Love at Any Age on signs of abuse. One of those signs often overlooked and excused away is roughhousing.
Roughhousing can be playful, fun, and even romantic until it becomes too rough and starts to hurt.
Once you let your sparing partner know he’s being too rough, and he dials it up, it’s not a good sign. It’s often the start of more intense ways to hurt you physically.
Abusers are known for placing the blame on their victims. They create confusion and guilt, which they hide behind things like ‘protection’ or ‘playfulness.’
Does this feel like something you, or someone you love, are experiencing? If you answered yes, you must realize this isn’t how a normal relationship should be.
Read the signs below. If you recognize any of them, it’s time to take action.
5. You Feel Pressured to Do Things
We all know the age-old love story of two people seeing each other’s eyes from a distance. Somehow, they know they’re meant for one another, and they can’t wait for their relationship to start.
An abusive relationship has traits very similar to that of a whirlwind romance. In the beginning, the partner is sweet and considerate.
They’ll have nice things to say that make you feel special and truly loved.
The words are nice, but they usually have a concealed urgency, and this urgency is their way of gaining control over you.
Does it result in feeling pressured to start a relationship, get married, or have children? It can be a telltale sign you’re in an abusive relationship.
4. You’re in the Center of Their Impulsive Mood Swings
Mood swings are natural, and we all have them for one reason or another.
What’s not normal is abrupt mood swings that come out of nowhere. Your partner may be lovely one minute, but then something triggers them and sets them off.
They become insulting and furious for no reason. You feel it’s your fault, and will always tell you it was something you did.
Behavior like this has you walking on eggshells, not to set him off and trigger angry behavior. When they calm down, their behavior swings in the other direction.
They are apologetic and promise it won’t happen again. He works you back into his good graces until the next time, and the behavior repeats.
These minute-to-minute changes in behavior create confusion and guilt. You come to believe it is your fault and fear the next outbreak because it will repeat.
There are two things to remember when you’re in a similar situation. One, this isn’t normal behavior, and two, this isn’t your fault.
You must be aware early on that this is dangerous territory. It’s time to take a step back and evaluate whether you want to continue with this person or not.
3. You Get Blamed for Everything That Happens
Abusers accuse their victims of anything and everything that doesn’t go their way. They usually throw out accusations and blame without any thought.
As a victim, you get used to hearing these accusations regularly. Soon, you begin believing it to be true.
Take note if this is happening in your relationship. If you notice it happening often, you have to end it.
Another thing to pay attention to is whether your partner keeps tabs on you. Do they want to know where you are at every moment of the day?
While it’s nice to have what looks like harmless attention, it’s a dangerous pothole to fall into. It’s not uncommon to get blamed for cheating on them with someone.
2. You’re Made to Feel Isolated
Another form of control abusers have is to keep you away from your family and friends. They give excuses like, “They’re meddlers” or “They’re trying to break us up.”
They’ll stop at nothing to isolate you from the outside world. They want you dependent on them and only them.
They gain control by taking away your credit cards or bank accounts. You can no longer go anywhere without their permission.
You are forced to rely only on your partner. It gives them more and more power over you while making you feel less and less in control of your life.
Isolation in all its forms is dangerous and should be dealt with promptly.
1. You’re in a Constant State of Fear
Abusers use intimidation tactics to frighten you and keep their victims in a state of dread and uneasiness.
You fear upsetting your partner, insulting you, or humiliating you in public. Then, there’s the fear of being physically assaulted that he threatens you with and eventually initiates battering you.
Fear comes in varying degrees. It will take a toll on your physical and mental health simply by eating away at your self-esteem and self-confidence.
It’s worth noting that even if your partner hasn’t physically abused you, emotional abuse is still abuse and often worse because there is never any physical evidence.
Just being fearful is a bad sign. Fear shouldn’t be part of any healthy relationship.
A Final Note
It’s not uncommon for abuse victims to play down the severity of their situation. Their abusive partners have drilled into them that they’re powerless and worthless.
They wear down their self-esteem, their self-worth until they truly believe everything is their fault
If any of these five signs sound familiar, know this behavior isn’t normal or acceptable. You don’t have to put up with any of it, nor should you.
The first step is recognizing you are in an unhealthy relationship, and the second is whether it’s worth salvaging the relationship.
Is it worth giving your partner a chance to own up to their negative behavior? They could have it in them to change for the better. If they fail to do so, it’s time to walk away.
It’s important to understand two basic kinds of abusers to help you to recognize what sort of abusers you may be dealing with.
The first abuser is the easier of the two to identify. He has been raised and conditioned to disrespect women. He believes women are for one purpose to accommodate him and bare his children.
Initially, his primary focus is to gain control of his relationships and call all the shots. His partner has no voice and is treated in demeaning ways.
He will frequently beat up his partner for no reason but believes it is to keep her in line. He knows it will increase the fear factor and gain him ongoing control.
The other type of abuser is harder to identify. He is a nice guy and someone you’d never suspect of being abusive.
But he comes with his insecurities and emotional issues that show up over time while getting to know him. There are subtle signs to pay attention to.
He gets jealous and insecure about any attention paid to the object of his affection. These men are afraid of losing their partner, and the behavior manifests into abuse.
His jealousy because more intense. His fear drives him to become increasingly desperate and eventually becomes abusive.
Granted, this is just touching the surface of identifying the potential abuse in a relationship. I am very committed to educating and providing information to women, so they don’t unknowingly fall into a relationship that is unhealthy.
Abuse in any form can have dire consequences and one you don’t want to be a part of. I encourage getting out of such a relationship as fast as possible.
However, getting out must be carefully planned with safety resources to protect the victim. It’s the time the situation becomes the most dangerous.
In my final closing, I want to leave you with this. Abuse is abuse. I have referred to the male gender in this article, but women are also abusers, and men are their victims.
We don’t hear about it as much because men are reluctant to come forth and seek help. They look at it as a sign of weakness in not being able to handle the situation on their own.
That’s unfortunate because the consequences are no less tragic and often play out in the same way as when the male is the abuser.
Abuse is also rampant in gay and lesbian relationships. Again, you rarely hear about such relationships until the worst happens and then often hushed up. But common nonetheless.
I hope you all have found this helpful information for yourself or a loved one in such a situation.
If you’d like more information on this subject, please reach out to me. Again, I cover an entire chapter in my book on abuse.
You don’t have to buy the book. Let me know I will send a copy of the chapter to you.
If you’d like to see more information like this, please send me an email and let me know. I will be sure to notify you when I publish my articles.
Be great to your magnificent self,