A lot of people think that they know signs of an unhealthy relationship even when they don’t really. An abusive relationship is when one partner uses various tactics to control and overpower their partner. If you are at a point where you might be a little suspicious, I encourage you to continue reading because one of the ‘symptoms’ of being in an abusive relationship is denial, which hugely minimizes and justifies the abusive behavior. Although it may be popular opinion that a majority of abusers are male, this is in fact not true.
What types of abuse are there? There’s physical, financial, verbal, emotional and sexual.
When it comes to physical abuse, it often comes in the form of pushing, choking, hitting, kicking or any form of aggressive physical contact. This could also include threats of such violence or damage to surrounding property in order to vent.
This is the kind of abuse we often think of when we abusive relationships are involved. We also tend to think of the battered wife. Contrary to popular belief there is nearly an equal number of ‘battered’ men. These men are just as vulnerable because they are just as likely to suffer serious physical harm, but apart from this, there are pretty limited resources to help such men, they afraid that they won’t be taken seriously, and because of their nature, they would find it very hard, if not impossible to discuss such a problem with friends or family.
Financial abuse is where one person in the relationship uses finances to control their significant other. This could take a number of forms. It could be that you have to constantly ask your partner for money when you need it for normal household expenses or your significant other could spend large amounts of money putting your household in debt, or just leaving a very small amount of money at your disposal. It could be that you have to constantly justify what you have spent to your significant other even though there is more than enough to go around or your significant other may hide their assets so you have no idea how much money they have.
Verbal abuse is when your significant other resorts to calling you names or undermining you verbally. This could take a number of forms such as calling you an idiot, stupid or ugly. It could take the form of blaming you for all the problems in the relationship, or any events that your partner does not like. It may be that you are regularly judged and criticized by your significant other or even humiliated in front of family and friends.
All types of abuse are insidious in nature, but this form of abuse is particularly so. This could take a large variety of forms so I’ll give just a few examples. In every abusive relationship, it is important that the victim is isolated as much as possible. This allows the abuser an increased amount of control because the victim loses the support of loved ones and friends, so the emotional abuser will try to restrict access to them. They may try to control the places you go and what you wear. They may undermine and humiliate you either at home or in a company. They may also fly into a rage when challenged or withdraw any kind of affection or support if you do something that does not sit well with them.
This type of abuse could take a number of forms. Your significant other may frequently insist that you perform sexual acts that you don’t want to perform. It could also be that your significant other tries to persuade you to have sex when you don’t want to. He or she may then fly into a rage if you won’t comply or threaten to go elsewhere for sexual pleasure.