Ladies, following up on my posts on healthy relationships and toxic relationships, I thought it would be helpful to include a post on abusive relationships.
Oftentimes, an abusive relationship is seen more from the outside than from the inside. This is because the person who is being abused doesn’t want to believe that their “loved one” is actually hurting them.
Fear, devotion, guilt, depression and loneliness are just some of the reasons why people stay in abusive relationships.
If you’re not sure if you’re in an abusive relationship, consider these signs:
- His moods are unpredictable. He has a bad temper. You don’t know when or even why he’ll get mad.
- He’s verbally abusive. Your boyfriend speaks rudely to you and even yells at you. Maybe he makes fun of you in a mean way. It goes beyond fun teasing. He’s very critical of you and you’re left feeling worthless.
- He’s physically abusive. It could start with a grab of the arm or a push, but eventually leads to hitting, kicking and punching as time goes on. He even tries to convince you that you deserve the physical abuse.
- He’s emotionally abusive. He calls you names or tells you that you’re not good enough. He’s always putting you down. Maybe he tells you that you’re lucky to be in a relationship because no one else would go out with you. Then when things calm down, he tells you he loves you and he’s sorry. And he begs you not to leave him and may even threaten to commit suicide if you do. Now you wonder if the abuse is your fault.
- He’s extremely jealous. He checks your cell phone, asks where you’ve been or who you’ve spoken to. He limits who you see or hang out with. He may even stalk you to check that you’re telling the truth.
- You’re isolated. He’s caused a rift between you and your family and friends. And now you feel like you have no one you can turn to. Of course, he tells you that you have no one because no one cares about you.
- He’s controlling. He makes all the decisions about what you do and where you go. He tells you what to wear and how to act. He treats you like a possession, not a person.
- He’s manipulative. He makes you feel bad when you don’t give him what he wants or do what he wants. He tells you he’s the only one who loves you and talks negatively about your friends and family. He’s convinced you that you’re the one causing the strife in the relationship.
- He punishes you. He does this by giving you the silent treatment when he’s angry at you or even someone else. He withholds acts of kindness.
- You’re afraid of him. You’re afraid to talk because you might upset him. So you do what he wants so that he doesn’t get mad.
Ladies, an abusive relationship is not one of love. Rather, it’s one of control. The person who abuses usually feels out of control in other areas of his life, or maybe he was abused in the past. Regardless of the reason, he abuses in order to feel powerful, worthy or in control.
Oftentimes when you’re in an abusive relationship, it’s difficult to see the signs because you don’t want to believe that it’s happening to you. Maybe you love the guy and pray he’ll change—after all, he’s promised to. Or maybe the alternative is worse. Sometimes, you deliberately ignore the signs because you believe that you’re worthless and don’t want to be alone.
Ladies, no one should endure an abusive relationship. You may feel lost in one, but there is a way out. There are many resources available to people suffering in abusive relationships. But most importantly, know you’re not alone. You can still turn to your friends and family, regardless of what your abusive boyfriend has told you. And you also have your church.
Ladies, are you in an abusive relationship? Do you know someone who is?