How do I know if I am in an abusive relationship? No two relationships are going to function in the exact same way because we are all unique individuals. Since we are all different, the ways that we interact and communicate with our partners are going to vary significantly as well. However, despite natural differences, there are some things that should never be taking place in any relationship, for the safety of everyone involved. A healthy relationship involves having problems but being able to move past them in an effective way. Relationship problems that cross the boundary of what is normal begin to enter the realm of abusive relationships.
First, it is important to understand what entails a healthy relationship. Here are some common signs that your relationship is going A-OK:
It’s important to be able to express opinions and feelings in an honest way. Your partner should not make you feel as if you can’t say certain things around them. Open communication one of the biggest indicators of a healthy relationship.
It’s great to spend a lot of time with your significant other, but it is also important to keep in mind that everyone needs their own space at times. You and your partner should be aware of each other’s space, allowing each other to take time for themselves when it is needed.
In a healthy relationship, partners will argue from time to time. Disagreements are completely normal, and mistakes happen. Without problems like these, the relationship does not experience much growth. Healthy fighting involves communication and being fair to one another.
Trust is a key element to a healthy relationship. You and your partner should both feel that your relationship is free from secrets.
It is important to be able to let go of problems and mistakes that your partner makes. Not every mistake or annoyance is important enough to lead to an argument. Therefore, it is healthy to differentiate between the two kinds of situations.
This can mean physically or emotionally. It is important to bond with your partner on multiple levels to allow your relationship to grow and remain close.
It is extremely important to be able to say sorry to one another. Doing so allows your partner to know that you care about their values and emotions.
Now that you understand some major indicators of a healthy, functioning relationship, let’s go over signs of an abusive relationship. It is important to remember that abuse does not have to be solely physical. Abuse can be physical, but it also can be emotional, verbal, sexual, psychological, and economical. In addition, abuse does not have to originate from a male. Females are also capable of relationship abuse.
Here are some signs of a person being abusive in a relationship:
Some things that an abuser might say to you include the following:
Here is a graphic by the organization New Hope for Women that explains all the elements that could be involved in an abusive relationship.
These are only some warning signs of abuse that can exist in a relationship. Therefore, there could be more going on with your partner that doesn’t fit one of these bullet points. If that is the case, it does not mean that you are not in abusive relationship. If you feel that you are being abused, it is best to seek help. No one deserves to be abused in any form, and it is important to take steps to separate yourself from this poor treatment. When trying to leave an abusive relationship, it is important to keep your safety in mind as your first priority.
Here are some important steps you might consider taking in this case:
There are many organizations that are available to help victims of abuse, both locally and nationally. Calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) is something that help with your specific case. Their hotline is available 24/7, and it is completely confidential and anonymous.
It is best to seek help privately so that your partner will not be able to discover what you have been researching, according to the National Domestic Violence website.
Friends and family can be a great comfort during times of distress due to an abusive relationship.
Use this as a motivating factor to help yourself, and others involved, leave the abuse behind you.
After you have been able to leave an abusive relationship, it is important to continue to ensure your personal safety. Law enforcement, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, or a local safe house/resource will be able to give you a more in-depth plan to maintain your safety. Here are some major things to do after you have left an abusive relationship, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline website:
Any type of relationship breakup will be a difficult experience, but leaving an abusive relationship is going to be significantly more challenging. There are many resources available to help those that have been a victim to abuse, and they are able to help individuals grow stronger and regain their lives. It is important to surround yourself with supportive people and to take care of yourself emotionally. Counseling might be a good option when moving on from a situation like this. The process will not be quick or easy, but you will be able to move past the abuse over time. There are many people and resources available seeking to help individuals experiencing abuse.
Here is a list of resources:
Remember, you are not alone out there, if you are suffering from an abusive relationship. There are many people that are in abusive relationships that are seeking help and have found safety, comfort, and confidence through others’ resilience.