Every day people find themselves in relationships that are considered unhealthy. Both physically and emotionally abusive relationships can take a toll on a person and it can happen quickly or over a long period of times. While physical abuse is more obvious because it leaves visible scars, emotional abuse can be just as bad and sometimes worse when a person is exposed to it over a period of time.
It's common that those that have been in abusive relationships start to evolve over time. From happy to constantly depressed. It's also common that the person being abused is in denial about the situation they're in or have become so ashamed and insecure that they refuse to tell anyone about their situation.
Abuse Isn't Always Immediate
In some cases, when two people are together it may seem like a dream come true. Movies, romantic dinners and nights out with friends all seem to be part of a weekly routine. They make each other laugh and every time they're seen holding hands or making out in the back of the movie theater.
Even at home they both seem happy and both of their families adore the couple in question. After two years, however, this same smiling couple may have all of a sudden disappeared from the face of the Earth. They barely hang out with their friends and have become hermits in the home they spent so much time building together.
Their mutual friends remember them being happy so they never consider that one partner has become abusive and that their actions have made their partner feel obligated to stay in this situation. They think the couple is simply focusing on each other and being happy together.
Signs Of Physical Abuse
There is a difference between playful nudging and physical abuse. Your partner shouldn't be shoving you across the room because you didn't fix the sink when you said you would or because you over cooked the steak.
Abuse is used as a form of control to belittle an individual. It happens to men and women in relationships as well as homosexual relationships. It doesn't discriminate.
You're in a physically abusive relationship if your partner:
- Yells at you and embarrasses you in front of family, friends and in public places
- Says negative things to you like making fun of your weight or calling you names
- Ignores the good things you do and ignores your opinions
- Blame you for the way they treat you
- Treats you more like a piece of property or a sex object instead of treating you like a person
- Threatens to commit suicide if you leave
- Destroys your property. (tv, favorite pillow, etc.)
- Threatens to physically harm or kill you
- Forces you to have sex or do other degrading acts even though you said "no".
Some other ways to determine whether or not you're in an abusive relationship is to monitor how you feel and how you've changed. Chances are, you're being affected in these ways if you're in an abusive relationship:
- You're afraid to be around your significant other while you're alone
- You don't talk about certain topics because you're afraid to upset that person
- Doubting your sanity. "Am I the crazy one?"
- You don't feel you can do anything right and that you don't please your partner
- You think you deserve to be mistreated
- You wear clothing that hides and covers bruises (this includes wearing shades to cover any bruises on the face).
Emotional abuse is something more serious than people seem to think. It's similar to physical abuse except there are no bruises. It's a mind game that uses words instead of blows to the face or the stomach but can leave internal scars that change a person's demeanor.
Some of the signs that your partner is being emotionally abusive include:
- Using finances to control you. This includes taking money from your bank account, giving you an allowance and telling you what you can and can't buy.
- Keeping you from your family and friends and watching to make sure you don't contact them without them being in the same room.
- Following you around even if you're going to work.This can also lead to getting you fired because you're constantly receiving phone calls from your partner while at work.
- Accusing you of cheating to try to justify why they follow you everywhere.
- Making threats that cause you to become fearful (even if you haven't been physically harmed).
An emotionally abusive situation is going to affect you in a negative way. Sometimes it's not obvious unless you stop to focus on your day to day activities and thoughts. If you start to notice these changes in your behavior, there is a good chance that the person you're with has already started to affect you.
- You've gone from happy and social to withdrawn and constantly depressed
- You have started telling yourself your partner is right about you. (you start talking to yourself as your partner talks to you)
- You begin to blame yourself for everything that's wrong
- You make excuses to not see your family and friends
- You sacrifice being who you are to make your significant other from being upset.
- You start to consider suicide
Abusive realtionships are no joke, no matter what kind of abuse it is. If you find yourself in one of these types of situations, it's time to consider getting help and moving on to become the best person you can.
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