Unfortunately for many people, they will find themselves in an emotionally abusive relationship at some point in their lives. This is because they often just don’t recognize. Fortunately, there are some signs of an abusive relationship that can help someone identify what’s going on so they can get out.
1. Constant Criticism
If someone makes a mistake or hurts their partner’s feelings, it’s essential that those behaviors are brought to light and dealt with. However, an abusive partner will take criticism to the next level and continuously criticize everything about their partner, from what they say to how they say it.
2. They Need to Be Right
When someone values being right more than the feelings of the other person, it’s a definite sign of an abusive relationship. To them, it doesn’t matter who they are talking to, whether it’s their partner or someone else. This also means that the abusive partner refuses to take responsibility for their actions and nearly always blames others for their mistakes.
3. Their Opinion is The Only Opinion That Matters
In addition to always needing to be right, an abusive person will believe that their opinion is correct and that the other person’s thoughts don’t matter. Even when it’s something as simple as a song or food preference, they believe their opinion is only that matters and will often go as far as starting an argument over it.
4. Using Affection as a Weapon
Affection, intimacy, and sex should not be used as weapons.
These expressions of how much one cares are the backbone in a healthy relationship. They flow freely to and from both partners. An abusive partner, however, will often withhold affection or sex as a form of punishment over some seen or unseen offense.
5. Isolating Someone
Another sign of an abusive partner is when they shower the other with affection to the point of pulling them away from every different relationship in their life, especially close friends and family members. They may often encourage their partner to flee with them or get their partner to spend time only with them.
6. Making Comparisons
One of the subtlest signs of an abusive relationship comes in the form of making comparisons. An abusive partner will take every chance they get to point out traits in other people and remind their partner that they don’t measure up to others. Sometimes, it may be the person’s ex that they compare their partner to, or it could be a family member, friend, or co-worker.
7. Making Their Partner Responsible for Their Actions
If an abuser is willing to admit that there’s anything wrong with them, then they will immediately put the burden of change on their partner. They’re not asking for accountability or suggestions, as they genuinely expect their partner to change them and then blame them whenever they fail. This is also an isolating technique as they tell their partner only they can help them.
This is an extremely manipulative technique in which an abusive person makes their partner believe that they are crazy. They may remind their partner of events or arguments that didn’t happen, delete contacts from their phone or any number of things designed to convince the other person that they’re crazy or doing something wrong.
9. Ignoring Boundaries
Boundaries are important in relationships, and in healthy relationships, both partners respect those of their partner, whether it’s something like wanting to be home at a particular time or not wanting to be touched a certain way. Most abusers will start by ignoring boundaries in small ways, like being a few minutes late, but it quickly builds to completely ignoring all of their partners’ boundaries.
It’s important for anyone that is in a relationship where any of these signs are present to realize that even if their partner is only doing these things some of the time, there’s a good chance that the abuse is going to continue in both frequency and severity, so getting out as soon as possible is best.
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About the Author: Originally from Michigan, Melody now enjoys working as a freelance writer from her home in Nicaragua, which she shares with her amazing husband and their crazy cat that was raised on goat’s milk from the time her mother abandoned her at just ten days old. They’re excited to be expecting their first baby, who they thought was a girl, were told was a boy, and then was told was a girl. She also recently finished her first novel and is working on making a cat coloring book.