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.
Signs You’re in an Abusive Relationship
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 realise this isn’t how a normal relationship should be.
Read the signs below. If you recognise 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 this whirlwind romance. In the beginning, you’ll notice that an abusive partner is sweet and considerate. They’ll have plenty of nice things to say that make you feel unique and genuinely in love.
You may feel that the words are nice, but they usually have a concealed urgency. This urgency is their way of gaining control over you as quickly as possible.
Do you feel like you’re getting pressured to start a relationship, get married, or have children? This can be a telltale sign that you’re in an abusive relationship.
4. You’re Always in the Center of Their Impulsive Mood Swings
Mood swings are natural. We all have them for one reason or another.
What’s not normal is having to endure abrupt mood swings that come out of nowhere. Your partner may be sitting there all calm and pleasant. Then something triggers them and they become insulting and furious for no apparent reason.
After a few minutes, they return to their calm self. Not only that, but they can be apologetic or swear to you they were only joking. These minute-to-minute changes in behaviour create confusion and guilt.
There are two things to remember when you’re in a similar situation. One, this isn’t normal behaviour. Two, this isn’t your fault in any way.
You must be aware early on that this is dangerous territory. This is the time to take a step back and evaluate whether you want to continue with this person or not.
3. You Constantly Get Blamed
Abusers accuse their victims of anything that doesn’t go their way. They usually throw out accusations and blame without any thought or planning. As a victim, you get used to hearing these accusations regularly. Soon, you begin believing it to be true.
Take note of whether this happens to you in your relationship. If you notice it happening often, you have to end it.
Another thing you have to pay attention to is whether your partner keeps tabs on you. Do they want to know you are at every moment of the day? While it’s nice to have that kind of harmless attention, it’s a dangerous pothole to fall into.
2. You’re Made to Feel Isolated
One type 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.”
The whole point of doing this is that they want to make you feel isolated. They want you to feel dependent on them and only them.
Another way they isolate you is by gaining control of your credit cards or bank accounts. Or maybe you can’t go where you want without their permission.
All these actions force you to rely only on your partner. This 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 will rely on intimidation tactics to frighten you. This keeps abuse victims in a state of dread and uneasiness. You’re scared of upsetting your partner, who could publicly insult or humiliate you. Then, there’s the fear of being physically assaulted.
Fear comes in varying degrees. It can even take a toll on your physical and mental health simply by eating away your self-confidence.
It’s worth noting that even if your partner hasn’t physically abused you, just being fearful of them is a bad sign. Fear shouldn’t be part of any healthy relationship.
A Final Note
It’s not uncommon for abuse victims to downplay the severity of their situation. The abusive relationships have drilled into their subconscious that they’re powerless and worthless. They wear down their self-esteem until they truly believe everything is their fault.
If these five signs sound familiar, tell yourself that this behaviour isn’t acceptable. You don’t have to put up with any of it.
That’s the first step. The second step is to try and salvage the relationship. Give your abuser a chance to own up to their negative behaviour. They could have it in them to change for the better.
If they fail to do so, it’s time to walk away. That may sound easier said than done, so reaching out to friends or professionals for support can help you make this transition smoother. By getting the right advice and having a reliable plan, you can feel safer about finding a way out.