Records of abuse in relationships have greatly increased in recent times and it has been observed that most people do not know that they are in abusive relationships. Abusive relationships are difficult to identify and even when identified, helping the abused is another difficult task.
Abuse in relationships is not always obvious as some people think. Psychologists say that many women remain in abusive relationships because they do not see their partner’s nature or worse, because they keep thinking that they’ll change.
Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship
Abusers are very good at what they do and even find exquisite ways to cause suffering and maintain control over their victims without being noticed. A sophisticated form of psychological abuse is often referred to as “gaslighting”.
Gaslighting happens when false information is presented with the intention of making victims doubt their own memory, perception and sanity.
Examples can range simply from the abuser denying that previous abusive incidents have occurred to enacting bizarre events with the intention of confusing the victim.
Another sophisticated form of control that abusers do is something like “giving crumbs” to victims. Suddenly they give gifts, provide good moments, as if that would erase all the mistreatment that the person suffered.
We must understand that this is part of the abuse cycle and dynamics. It is one of the effective ways they find to further arrest the victim.
Abusers are very good at what they do and are also great manipulators. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the warning signs.
We made a list of common signs of an abusive relationship. If you find that at least 4 of these items are a constant in your life, seek help.
These signs include:
- Does he constantly humiliate and embarrass you?
- Does he constantly put you down?
- Does he always criticize you?
- He refuses to talk to you, especially when there are problems in the relationship (such as hearing that you are sad, signs of infidelity, etc.)
- Does he ignore or exclude you? Sometimes it blocks you temporarily to make you unstable?
- Does he have extramarital affairs?
- Does he usually hit women in front of you?
- Does it seem like he’s irrationally jealous of you?
- Does he talk down on your achievements?
- Do you have extreme moodiness, especially when you are at home and alone?
- Does he make jokes or constantly make fun of you, as a form of bullying ?
- Does he exhibit constant domination and controlling behavior?
- Did the initial affection of the relationship diminish to the point that it almost no longer exists?
- Does he blame you for everything? This goes for both small and big things.
- Does he isolate you from friends and family? This is not always easily noticeable.
- Do he use money to control you?
- Do he call all the time and still send constant text messages to query your whereabouts when you are not with him?
- Does he threaten to commit suicide if you break up?
We reiterate that if the answer to at least 4 items on this list is yes, you need to seek help. The services of a psychologist at this point is very important as it will help you to identify the abusive relationship and guide you on how to act.
Remember, psychological aggression is just as damaging if not worse than physical aggression. And it is very common for abuses to grow to the point of acts of violence that even threaten your life.
There is a lot of trauma and strong manipulation involved, having the support of a psychologist or a support group advisor is essential for you to be able to break with the abuser and also for you to rebuild or resume your life. If you need help, you can always reach out to us and we will be glad to help.