How to tell if you are in an abusive relationship?
HOW TO TELL IF YOU ARE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
Relationships are multi-layered and very complex. Often it is very difficult and confusing to determine if you are in an abusive relationship because you may not know about the nature of abuse, or you may mistakenly misidentify abusive behaviours. For example, considering what is actually abusive behaviour as a communication breakdown or attributable to anger issues or personality clashes, etc. You may also think that you are the cause of the problem, preventing you from taking the necessary steps.
If you are in a relationship where your spouse, partner, or significant other hurts you physically, emotionally, sexually, or psychologically, and you feel unsafe, that you cannot speak and are isolated, then you are in an abusive and unhealthy relationship.
The first step is to recognize the situation you are in as being abusive, and to also recognize that you are not alone and help is out there for you. There will always be help for you, but it will require that you leave the abusive relationship if you or your child(ren) are in danger.
If you feel as though you need to tip-toe around your partner, as though you need to watch even the most basic of actions to ensure they are perfect, then you are in an abuse relationship.
If you don’t feel physically safe, if you fear physical contact due to a fear of being hurt, or if you have been yelled at or threatened in anyway, and if you fear speaking up in case something worse happens, know that this is an unhealthy abusive relationship.
If you are being accused of being unfaithful or a bad partner, or you are told how to act, what to wear and what to do, then these are all signs of an abusive relationship.
If you are given an allowance, or withheld from money, or if you are asked to constantly explain how you spend your money or are limited and controlled financially, then these also are signs of an abusive relationship.
If you have been forced to give sexual favours and do sexual acts that you feel uncomfortable with or experience pain during these acts then these too are signs of an unhealthy relationship that you need to end.
Every person deserves to be safe and live in a dignified manner. There is help for those who need it. Always know that it is never the victim’s fault, and that help and support will be there for you when you are ready. It is vital to take the first step necessary to reach out in order to put your and your child(ren)’s safety, health and well-being first. Please reach out and talk to someone you trust, a family member, a friend, a neighbour, a faith leader, or a professional who would be best suited to help you. Understanding your options in advance in case of a crisis is the most important aspect of ensuring your own safety.
Abuse can happen to anyone and has no barriers whether you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, young or old, and its foundational purpose is to have power and control over someone’s mind, body and soul.
If you are planning and ready to leave an abusive relationship, click here to learn more. (link to safety plan)