Many of us have been through an abusive relationship. And some of us still may be. Domestic abuse knows no boundaries, no matter what your socioeconomic status is, the color of your skin, race, gender, size or even sexual orientation. Yet many people keep living the nightmare in an abusive relationship because they have an image of a woman who has been badly beaten and compare their situation, rationalizing that "it's not that bad." This is especially relevant when the abuse is emotional, other than physical. Emotional abuse is especially minimized, because the effects of it are psychological or unseen. So, emotional abuse can be tricky for us to recognize.
Emotional and Physical Abuse
Learning the warning signs of domestic abuse and admitting to ourselves what is happening is the first step to healing and getting out of the unhealthy and abusive relationship. Knowledge of emotional or spousal abuse can help us recognize that perhaps our friend needs help. It is just not acceptable to live in fear. There are many helpful resources out there for women in a domestic abuse situation. Here are some signs of spousal abuse and information that will hopefully those of us that might be in trouble.
Abusive Relationships and You
- Spousal abuse, also called domestic abuse, is all about controlling the other person, whether emotionally or physically. It's about domination and can include violence and physical harm. People who are abusers have just one goal: to get control by using shame, intimidation, guilt and fear to keep you "under their thumb," so to speak. And if you have children, the abuser may use the aforementioned tactics on them as well.
- Women aren't the only victims of domestic abuse, although they are the most often victimized. Men can be abused by women too. Or perhaps teenagers can abuse their siblings or even parents. Same sex partners are not immune to domestic abuse either. No matter the situation, domestic violence and abuse is never acceptable, and a swift call to the police is what needs to happen.
- Abusive relationships often gather momentum, beginning with verbal insults and threats, then escalating to violence. Staying in an emotionally abusive relationship slowly destroys your self esteem, leading to depression and anxiety issues. And some of us don't even know we are being destroyed emotionally because the situation can be tricky. If there is any doubt in your mind, then seeking ways to end the relationship or talking with a professional is key.
Signs of an Abusive RelationshipFlat out fear of your partner is the biggest tell-tale sign of an abusive relationship, whether emotional or physical. If you feel like you have to watch what you say or do to in order to prevent a blow up, then you are most likely in an abusive relationship. If your partner belittles you or has control issues, then you may be in an abusive relationship. Here are some factors to consider.
- Frequent fear around partner
- Staying away from conversational topics that may set them off.
- Feelings of inadequacy, or that you can't do anything right.
- Emotional numbness or helplessness
- Questioning your own sanity or believing that you deserve the abuse.
It is still abuse if it is not physical, or even if the physical abuse seemed minor. Talk to someone about how you are feeling and get help. There are many resources out there.