m8Imagine this scenario we are about to paint to you for a second. You have a neighbor called Courtney who lives with her boyfriend. Some nights, you hear her cry. Other nights, you hear both of them laughing. On this particular night, Courtney keeps crying over and over again. She even screams a few times. It sounds like she’s in pain and her boyfriend is hitting her. The next morning, you see marks and bruises on Courtney’s body. She has a black eye as well which she desperately covered with makeup. What is your first thought about her situation? That she is in an abusive relationship?

When many of us hear that someone we know is in an abusive relationship, we imagine black eyes, swollen lips, bruises, and scratches. We hate to break it to you, but that is only one type of abusive relationship. Abuse can be physical, emotional, financial or sexual, and it can happen to anyone.

A lot of people are in abusive relationships, and they don’t even realize it. It is not because they are living in denial. Rather, it is because they don’t recognize the signs of an abusive relationship. However, we are here to enlighten you. If you are ever in a situation like this, you would know the clues to watch out for. Here are some signs of abusive relationship you should be aware of:

Jealousy: The foundation of a relationship is trust. Imagine your mother or your father always doubting everything you say. What would be your reaction? You would be angry and defensive. One of the things you should watch out for at this point is if your partner accuses of being unfaithful or flirting. The keyword here is it has to be “without good reason.” Let us paint a picture to you. You and your partner decide to go for a party. You suddenly see a friend of the opposite sex you haven’t seen in a long time. You are excited, so you hug and chat for some minutes about and all that connected you in the past. Later, if your partner should raise eyebrows about the exchange and accuse you of flirting, that is jealousy. If he goes further to make up scenarios that are false, but which to him are true, you are on the threshold of being in an abusive relationship.

Isolating You: You have a right to see anybody. You also have a right to go out when you please. Your partner should not limit your actions in any way. However, if your partner isolates you, you are in an abusive relationship. An instance where you can experience isolation is where you want to see your family and friends and your partner refuses. He or she might even lock you in the house. You have been made a prisoner in your home.

Physical Violence: This is the classic example of an abusive behavior most people know. However, it goes beyond kicking and punching. If your partner forces you to do things you do not want to do, that is physical violence. For instance, if you refuse to do his laundry and he throws the clothes at you, drags you to the washing machine and makes you do the laundry, you are experiencing physical violence. Nobody has the right to force you to do anything. Another aspect you can look at physical abuse from is if you are being compelled to take part in sexual intercourse. All these are signs of abusive tendencies.

Putting You Down Constantly: Everybody deserves respect. Even little kids. If you are in public with your partner, he or she should not try to make you look bad. Your partner should be supportive of you and should love you. If anybody does try to criticize you, your second half should stand up for you. However, if these things are not happening and you are experiencing the opposite, that is a sign you should not ignore.

Unwarranted Comparison: A truth that we live with constantly is that there is someone out there more good looking than us and more intelligent. However, your partner does not need to point it out every time and every day. Unfavorable negative comparison with the intention to hurt you is a terrible thing that can destroy you. Be watchful.

The “Silent Treatment”: Have you experienced this before? No? Okay. Let us help you understand. You have an altercation with your partner. Instead of communicating with you so it can be solved, he or she keeps mute. Every question or statement you say meets silence. You cannot get answers no matter how hard you try. If this is your condition, emotional abuse is taking place in your relationship.

Putting the Blame on You: Of course, you are responsible for your actions. Your partner or anybody that always puts the blame on you is not sensitive to your emotions or well-being. For instance, let us consider this hypothesis. A was supposed to empty the trash, but he forgot. He then blames B, his partner, for making him forget because of something she did in the morning. If your partner refuse to accept that some situations occur because of their actions, you might need to rethink being with them. Do you understand this point?

Threatens You: Before we explain further, you need to know that if anybody threatens to kill you, report to the police as soon as possible. That said, your partner should protect you from harm. He or she should not be the one threatening you. If your partner says things like “Next time you try that, I will hit you,” or “if you don’t do ____, I will _____,” you need to leave that relationship. If he or she throws your things around, you are in an abusive relationship. Lastly, if he or she threatens to harm people you love, watch your back.

Bottom Line

There are more signs than the ones we have listed above. You can do so much better than that person that makes you feel like you are nothing. No one should make you feel uneasy in a relationship. Your emotional, physical and mental state should be healthy at all times. Don’t let a person you should have let go a long time ago ruin your life. You are worth more than that!

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