How do you know if you are in an abusive relationship?

How do you know if you are in an abusive relationship?

There is a school of thought which states that every person has that special person out there that they are destined to be with. The idea is that humans are social beings which have the need to be loved and to love. While this may not be true for everyone, we cannot discount the fact that there are individuals who do need to find that special someone.

Whilst this is perfectly natural we also have to be realistic and admit that there are relationships which are not healthy for both partners involved. There are abusive relationships which can only bring harm to both parties.

How do you determine if you are in an abusive relationship? If there is one piece of relationship advice that you absolutely must take heed, it is to get away from an abusive relationship.

There are lots of signs – that will show you that you are in an abusive relationship. Before we go through those signs, though, let us define the term “abusive relationship” first. What does it mean?

Abusive relationships are characterised by many things, including extreme jealousy, emotional manipulation, verbal/emotional/physical abuse, infidelity, and so on. Often people immediately associate abuse with physical damage. While abuse can very well be physical, it is important to understand that many signs of an abusive relationship may not be physical at all.

So you are in a relationship and you think that it might be an abusive one. How can you tell? Here is a quick check list of questions you can ask yourself. By no means is it an exhaustive list of signs, but if you can identify with several of them, you might want to talk things over with trusted friends. Even better, you might want to seek professional help and see a counselor.

Is your partner overly possessive and jealous?
It is but human nature to feel a little jealousy every now and then. People tend to feel possessive about their partners. If the jealousy and possessive reach a point where your partner does not agree to you interacting with other people – whether they are friends or family – then it might be a sign of an abusive relationship. When you find yourself being socially isolated due to pressure from your partner, warning bells should be going off in your head.

Is your partner overly controlling?
This is in direct relation with the first question. In one sense, your partner is controlling you with his/her jealousy by isolating your from your other friends/family members. Other ways that a person can control the other in a relationship is through finances, access to other assets and resources, and demands regarding time. If your partner demands all of your attention practically all the time, then that might be a sign of an abusive relationship.

Does your partner try to manipulate you into doing things his/her way?
Manipulation is another way of control. Manipulation is more covert, though. The classic example is the abusive partner turning the tables on the other, making the abused think that he/she is the one at fault. This is a matter of emotions, most of the time, as opposed to physical abuse. One example would be if your partner makes promises to placate you and end up breaking them all the time.

Does  your partner have regular and extreme mood swings?
One moment your partner is happy, loving, and sweet. The next few hours, he/she will be all over the place arguing with you, maybe getting verbally abusive (swearing, insulting, degrading, etc.) or even throwing things around. The next day, your partner is apologetic and promises not to do it again. Once is understandable, even twice – but if this is a pattern in your relationship, you have to think long and hard.

Does your partner show disrespect towards you, even in public?
Some people have a dry sense of humor. Some are very very sarcastic. Some have a sense of humor that can hurt others. If this “sense” of humor reaches the point wherein you are degraded regularly (whether in private or in public), then you ought to examine your relationship and what it is doing to you as a person.

As mentioned above, this is by no means a conclusive list. If you are experiencing any doubts, do not hesitate to seek for help. An abusive relationship is not something that you want to stay in – even if you think otherwise right now. After all, if you are reading this article, it means that there is at least a small part of you that senses that something is wrong.

Disclaimer: We are not Medical Doctors! The suggestions and information contained in this website support the mission of the Cosmosis Mentoring Centre to provide insight into self actualisation of the human experience that we believe when combined with lifestyle habits such as drinking pure water and getting regular exercise produce wellness of mind, body and spirit. We encourage anyone with a health condition to seek advice from their health care professional.