It’s scary to think that some of the most common signs of an abusive relationship hide in plain sight. No matter who you met at the beginning of your relationship, people tend to change over time. Whether you’re finding yourself in an abusive romantic relationship or an unhealthy friendship, it’s important to know the signs so you can make sure you’re emotionally protected.
Abuse takes many forms, and it might not appear in the same way for different people or couples. It’s crucial you’re able to notice the initial signs of abuse to prevent them from escalating into dangerous territory. Have you seen any of these signs for yourself? If so, it might be time to look for a way out.
Gaslighting is a tricky way for abusers to take advantage of victims. It’s a form of psychological manipulation that causes the victim to question his or her own sanity. The worst part about gaslighting is that it’s not always possible to tell if it’s really happening to you until it’s too late. Gaslighting is common in personal relationships.
You might hear an abuse say something like “Why are you making such a big deal out of this” or “You’re too sensitive.” These are sure signs of gaslighting behavior. This article from Thought Catalog share more signs and symptoms of this dangerous practice.
No matter what Hollywood might say in chick-flicks, possessiveness is not flirty in real life. While possessiveness is most likely to occur with romantic relationships, it’s completely possible in friendships as well. When does a relationship veer from interested to possessive? The line isn’t always clear. If your partner always needs to know where you are or tries to control who you see, this is a bad sign.
Jealousy is toxic in any form, but it sometimes creeps its way into relationships. Romantic partners might accuse you of not being faithful or of flirting with other peoples. On the other hand, friends might become jealous if you spend more time with someone else. If you notice your friend or romantic partner becoming jealous when you spend time with anyone, including friends and family, it’s a red flag to worry about.
Put-downs are not only embarrassing but also do a number to your self-esteem. These behaviors stem from personal insecurity, and they’re a sign your friend or partner feels poorly about themselves. They might put you down either in public or in private. They can attack anything from your looks to your intelligence.
Over time, put-downs add up to big pain. Your partner might cover these things up by saying they only want you to be “your best.” They might blame you for all the problems in the relationship. The truth is that this a dangerous sign, and it is one that should be avoided.
Finally, the most vital early sign to look out for is threats of further abuse. Many abusers will resort to threats before a violent outburst, so it’s important you take these seriously. They might yell or break things in front of you, or even say they’ll use violence against you or your family.
Even if you’re able to brush these up as “passion” in the heat of the moment, recognize these behaviors for what they are. No healthy person reacts this way to stress, and your relationship isn’t worth risking your own safety. If your partner ever pushes, shoves, hits, or grabs you, you should go to someone you trust for help.
Freedom From Abuse
In a perfect world, all relationships would be kind and loving. Unfortunately, abuse does happen. What’s important is that you know the early signs so you’re able to escape from any situation before it escalates into something more dangerous. If you or someone you know is currently experiencing abuse from a partner, seek help. There are local and national resources for those facing domestic violence, threats, or harm. Make sure you know these signs so you never have to make that close call for yourself.