18 Ways to Tell if you’re in an Abusive Relationship

Source: https://toobasiddiqui.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/domestic-violence-verbal-abuse-2.jpg

Source: https://toobasiddiqui.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/domestic-violence-verbal-abuse-2.jpg

Is it possible that you’ve been abused and you don’t even know it?

There are headlines daily about domestic abuse all over the news. It’s everything from celebrities and athletes to things going on in our own neighborhood. Maybe even in your home.

At some point, we all experience abuse but more commonly in the form of psychological and emotional-based abuse. We may not realize it when it’s happening, but usually when one has separated themselves from the situation, they begin to realize it. I’ve been one of those people. I knew that the relationship wasn’t the greatest, but I surely didn’t realize the emotional abuse I suffered during it. I took me a long time to cope with some of the things I dealt with and it’s as if I am still experiencing PTSD because of it. After the relationship had ended, I walked away feeling unworthy of love. I didn’t feel like I deserved anyone, and because of that I put up a large wall. I did so to keep everyone out and to prevent myself from getting hurt again.

I’ve been with my spouse for nearly 7 years, and he can even see the effects of that tumultuous relationship I had before him. I still find myself reluctant to wear my hair in a pony-tail. I was told I had a long face and was not allowed to wear my hair up. To this day, more than 7 years later, that is still effecting me. It’s little things like that which can really break someone’s spirit and affect their self-esteem and worth.

Here are some sure signs that you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship:

  • You are unable to be yourself when you’re around them
    • When you find yourself acting entirely different when you’re with them, it’s time to get out before you lose your identity and turn into someone you don’t want to turn in to.
  • You go out of your way to make them happy even if it means sacrificing your own
    • Never sacrifice your happiness for someone else. If someone loves you and appreciates you, they would never compromise or sabotage your happiness.
  • Arguments escalate easily and quickly
    • You find that when you try to have a constructive conversation, it in turns leads to an argument that turns into a screaming session.These arguments tend to escalate quickly and oftentimes can turn violent.
  • Your relationship is a constant emotional roller coaster
    • One minute your relationship is perfect, then something happens that changes that quickly and sometimes without reason.
  • You constantly rush to their defense
    • You start hearing your family and friends try to engage in constructive criticism about your significant other out of worry and concern for you. You find yourself defending him against them instead of listening to what they have to say.
  • They have extreme jealously issues
    • You can’t have friends of the same sex because your significant other has jealously issues and makes it their point to make things as difficult as possible for you to remain friends with that person or persons.
  • They threaten to hurt themselves in order to get your attention
    • During an argument or maybe when an argument hasn’t occurred and they’re seeking your attention, they do it in a way where they threaten to hurt themselves unless you come to their rescue.
      • I had an ex do this to me. We had separated a week or so prior, and while I was in Grand Rapids hanging out at a popular club, I got a call from him. It was clear that he had been drinking and he told me if I didn’t drop what I was doing and come get him, then he would drive his car into a tree. I did as he constructed.
  • They isolate you from your family and friends
    • You find that you are spending less time with your family and friends and more time with people they enjoy spending time with.
  • You start to believe that being treated poorly is deserved
    • The emotional abuse begins to take such a toll on you that you start to believe the things that they are saying to. The thought of feeling insignificant becomes a norm for you.
  • They make you feel unworthy of love and/or feel bad about yourself
    • They may convince you that no one else would ‘love’ you like they did and for you to go and try to find someone better was pointless. They may also make you feel insecure by criticizing the way you look, act or criticize the things that you do.
  • They put themselves above you making you less of a priority
    • They think of no one but themselves and don’t make you a priority in their life. You tend to come after them, their family, friends, job, hobbies, etc. They’re oftentimes selfish when it comes to your needs.
  • You’re embarrassed to bring them around your family and friends
    • You start not wanting to bring them around your family and friends because he either embarrasses you or it’s clear that your family and friends don’t care for him. His behaviors are inexcusable and you find yourself realizing that you might deserve better, but you’re not sure where to start.
  • They just don’t support you
    • They don’t support you, your goals, vision, dream, etc.
  • They don’t treat you like their significant other but rather a pet or an inanimate object
    • Rather than make you feel equal or significant in the relationship, they tend to make you feel like an object or a pet and thus treat you like it.
  • They’re a control freak
    • Everything that you two do is decided by them and you have very little insight into anything.
  • You’re always to blame
    • Every time an argument arises or something else goes wrong, they’re quick to point the finger at you.
  • You do what they ask of you
    • You are typically at their beck and call and when they ask you to do something, you do it without hesitation or question.
  • They try to convince you that it’s you guys against the world, so you find yourself feeling trapped
    • Again, this goes in hang with isolating you from everyone. They convince you that everyone is against your relationship, so they tell you that you two can only count on each other and no one else. Family and friends included. This is all part of their plan to isolate you and keep you away from all those who could possible convince you to leave them.

If you find yourself agreeing with several of the above statements, it’s time for you to take a step back and really take it all in. If you’re experiencing emotional abuse, it’s important for you to realize it. Some individuals chose to approach their spouse about it and try to fix the issues at hand while others realize it’s a lost cause and move on to bigger and better things. AKA, happiness.

If you have suffered from emotional abuse that lead to physical abuse, you need to get out. Again, I’ve been there. People don’t typically change. I wasted so much time and energy trying to change people that was otherwise clearly pointless.

You deserve happiness. Pure bliss. Serendipity. You owe yourself much more than being with someone who doesn’t care about you and who selfishly puts you behind their own needs.

Choose to put yourself first. You owe that to yourself.

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