If you are being abused, without doubt you must know it, right! However, that’s normally a well said false impression. But abuse is about power and controlling a message. An abuser will often make the victim feel as if it’s his or her fault. That’s called manipulation. Manipulation creates confusion and wrongly placed blame. Eventually, a victim of abuse can’t clearly see that she’s a victim, until someone shines a light on the situation.
Romantic Abusive Partner
An abusive partner is often quite romantic and even sweet, especially at the beginning of a relationship. However, there are suspicions to his actions. He may feel a need for a quick commitment, saying that you’re unlike anyone he’s ever met before. The words are nice to hear but the underlying meaning is “I want to gain control as fast as possible.” If you feel pressure to have an exclusive relationship or even to get married quickly, this can be a sign.
For example, your partner surprises you after work with a bouquet of flowers and he tells you he’s made reservations at your favorite restaurant. The sign couldn’t be nicer, but when you inform him that you have a ready commitment with your best friend he becomes angry and insulting. Seconds later, he swears he was only joking and he says he loves you more than life itself. This is a red flag you need to evaluate whether to continue dating him.
Victims of abuse often buy into an idea that they are to blame for their situation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Since accusations are frequently thrown by abusers, it’s easy for a victim of abuse to eventually begin holding herself responsible for anything that goes wrong. An abuser tends to blame others. Rather than say “I’m responsible for my actions”.
Isolation from loved ones
If you are being cut off from friends or family by the person you are dating, this is a sign of abusive relationship. Be aware that abusers often claim that the people who were closest to you are actually meddling in your life. You may be isolated in other ways, too. Take finances. You are being isolated if you no longer have control over your own banking account or credit cards. If you can’t go where you want to go without permission, you are being isolated. All of these forms of isolation force you to have a greater dependence on your partner, which is exactly what he wants. Isolation is dangerous and needs to be taken seriously.
The Fear of the Victim
Fear comes in many forms and in varying degrees. The fear of irritating your partner and having another argument. The fear of being insulted and humiliated in public. Or the fear of being physically attacked. There’s the fear of ending a relationship and the fear of continuing with it. Fear, in whatever form or degree, is not a healthy part of a loving relationship. Even if you haven’t been physical abused, fear can take away confidence and even compromise your health. It’s common for an abuse victim to minimize the severity of her situation. However, the earlier the disturbing signs of abuse are acknowledged, the easier it is to move on. You can then find a healthier, happier existence.
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