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Are you in an abusive relationship? People in these relationships sometimes mistake the abuse for intense feelings of caring or concern. It can even seem flattering. Do you know what signs to look for? Research shows that nearly 60% of women have experienced an abusive relationship, and men make up 40% . Rescue.org reports that 1 in 3 women experience some form of abuse (physical, emotional or both). According to BatteredMen.com, 5.3 million men are abused per year with 40% severe physical violence but more often psychological. Below are some warning signs of potentially abusive partners.
They are extremely jealous- They accuse you of flirting if you acknowledge someone else. They think everyone wants you. They imagine situations that don’t exist.
They run guilt trips – They tend to manipulate a situation to make you feel guilty (going out with friends, being happy, enjoying a new job, doing something nice for yourself, etc.). They attempt to make you feel guilty moving your feelings of positivity to a mood of negativity and self-neglect. Eventually you will stop enjoying the pleasures in life, because they have imposed and associated feelings of guilt with joy. You may also find yourself apologizing unnecessarily.
Your partner is controlling – In the beginning of a relationship it may seem endearing that your partner wants to know where you are at all times. To you it seems they really care for you. They keep tabs, and they say they want you to feel safe. They may call or text-stalk you if you take too long to respond. This may be a subtle sign in the early stages, but it can quickly turn into more aggressive behavior with wanting to know where you are every waking moment.
You have been isolated from family, friends and those who “have your back” – an abusive partner doesn’t want you to have any allies so that they can continue to abuse you without opposition. Also, making sure you are alone ensures that no one can help you see the light or encourage you to stand up for yourself. This is a subtle type of control; isolating the individual and creating an environment where you are totally dependent on them. They use the guise of wanting to spend time with you and will make excuses for you not to be with others.
Your partner constantly puts you down – Breaking a person’s self esteem is another form of emotional abuse and control. This form can be considered the most dangerous. Once your partner has you in a vulnerable state they can control everything about you.
You change / You lose yourself – You once had a bubbly spirit & now you’re emotional tone is aloof and/or depressed.
Your opinion doesn’t matter – a healthy relationship is a partnership. Both parties involved should have equal input in what happens in it. Your feelings and opinions should be as important as the other persons.
You have a constant feeling of hopelessness – a relationship should enhance your life, not stifle it. You should not constantly feel like you have no choices or that you are being forced to stay in the relationship.
You have more fear than respect – there is a very thin line between fear and respect in most relationships. There is also a distinct difference in watching what you say or how you say it out of respect and not saying anything, because you are afraid.
[dropcap_orange]How To Break Free[/dropcap_orange]
Re-establish those relationships that were lost. Make phone calls and take time to meet up with those family members and friends. Make time and opportunity to attend family functions and festive events that you once enjoyed.
Make a list of positive affirmations (use the Internet if need be) to repeat to yourself daily to help re-establish your self-esteem.
Get involved in volunteer work to reconnect with others and form a support base.
Establish a “sponsor”, whether it be a friend, family member, minister, etc. for those moments of weakness when you feel the need to call the abuser. There will be times when you feel that you are strong enough to engage in conversation with him/her, however this is precisely when you should not call. This person has the ability to break you back down to zero. Therefore, do not leave it to chance. When you find yourself wanting to call or text this person, call your “sponsor” pronto!
These signs and tips were brought to you by Alicia, Bridgett, DiLauris, Niedria, Ebony , Kimyon and Kemba.