Recognizing signs of an abusive relationship
By Barbara (Unbreakable♥)
When most people think of abusive relationships, they think of physical abuse: the kind that is portrayed in movies or books or even the news. What they don’t realize is that there are different types of abusive relationships, some of which can be a lot less obvious. This happens more often than you would think, especially with teenagers (1 in 4 teenage girls deal with repeated verbal abuse). They may think, “They’ve never hit me, so it’s not an abusive relationship”. There are actually a lot of things that can be considered abusive or controlling, and no matter the severity of each action, none of it is considered healthy or right. Your partner may be abusive if they show these signs:
Jealous, possessive, and controlling
Now, while it may be normal for some jealousy to develop in relationships, it’s not normal for it to be over everything, such as friendships or just talking to other people. Jealousy can even extend to them thinking you’re cheating on them, when you’ve given them no reason to think so. Asking to check your phone to see who you’re talking to or wanting to be with you every time you want to hang out with your own friends is not okay. They might even want you to text them wherever you go to “check in”. It’s a sign of being controlling and possessive which signifies a lack of trust and could indicate you have an unhealthy relationship.
Blames you for everything or belittles you
People make mistakes, it happens. But the blame shouldn’t constantly be on one person. They shouldn’t be blaming you for every fight that occurs, or for how they act. This is what occurs in a lot of abusive relationships: never taking responsibility. This can make you feel like you have to try harder to make everything better, when relationships need effort from both people. Constantly criticizing you or making you feel bad can fall into this category as well. Feeling bad all the time isn’t right. Healthy relationships are supposed to make you feel happy and good about yourself, not crying all the time or being depressed and unhappy.
Violent or threatening
This person could be the stereotypical abuser and be violent toward you, but threatening is also considered abusive. Even if they don’t necessarily harm you, just hitting the walls or grabbing you in a threatening way is scary. If people are worried about you with this person or you’re scared for your own sake, it’s abusive. Even just worrying about their reactions to some things could mean that this person isn’t right for you.
Pressuring you into doing things you don’t want to do can be a form of abuse. It’s making you uncomfortable and you do things you don’t want to do. This can include sex, drug use, or even just avoiding friends. If you say you don’t want to, yet they repeatedly make you feel obligated to do so, that’s not right.
No one should be treated this way or have to deal with the pain that comes with any of these behaviors. If you believe that you are being abused, talk to someone you trust about it and figure out what your next move is. It’s never easy to end a relationship, whether they’re abusive or not, but once you get past it, you’ll realize it was worth it to leave the relationship.
On the other hand, it is possible that you could be the one considered abusive in the relationship. In that case, it would be best to consider the following things:
Do you constantly make your partner feel guilty for doing innocent things such as hanging out with their friends?
Do you have them text you to tell you where they're going or exactly what they’re doing all the time?
Do you check your partner’s phone, e-mail or Facebook for private messages?
Do you blame them for every argument that occurs?
Do you threaten your partner in some way that makes them fear you?
Do you pressure them into doing things you want but maybe they don’t want to do?
Relationships are there to encourage the best in people, not bring them down or make them feel like they have no rights or privacy. If you believe that you are treating your partner unfairly, it might be best to sit down and talk with them about whether they’re comfortable in the relationship and feel like they’re treated as an equal. Communication is key in any relationship. Be sure to listen to your partner and try to see their point of view about how they feel on certain things, such as how they’re treated, so both of you can work to making your relationship healthy and successful.
Whichever person you happen to be in the relationship, remember that relationships are supposed to make you happy and grateful to be with that person. Besides the occasional arguments, relationships shouldn't be about being upset all the time or thinking that someone is allowed to treat someone unfairly because they're dating. If you think you're doing something wrong, then change it. You don't have to continue acting a certain way because that's what you're known for or because you think you'll lose this person if you lose your grip. Similarly, you do not have to be treated horribly by a person who is supposed to treat you better. Set boundaries on how a person should act and if they cross them, then it's time to decide whether this relationship is best for you or both of you.