Despite hearing more about abusive relationships in today’s society, it can be difficult to comprehend that abuse often hits home. Abuse is traumatic, draining, and alienating. Below are a few telltale signs that could save you or someone you know.
Control is probably one of the biggest telltale signs of abuse. In the beginning, it’s common for the abuser to say they’re only concerned or worried about the victim’s safety or decision-making skills. It’s common that the victim feels a loss of independence, freedom, & personal growth.
Humor is definitely needed in a relationship. Honestly, sometimes, humor helps to get us through serious and tough situations. There is a fine line, however, that should not be crossed when it comes to humor in a relationship. Once the victim starts feeling humiliated, insulted, or put down by their partner, it has gone too far. Other common symptoms are being teased, & feeling inferior.
This word is commonly used to describe a situation in which someone ends up doing what they don’t really want to do, simply because someone has made an active effort to make the alternatives difficult. In abusive relationships, apologies can be quite memorable. Many of these apologies won’t be in efforts to actually change, but rather, they’ll be used as a tool of manipulation. Apologies either go one of two ways. #1- victims are manipulated into believing whatever went wrong is their fault and somehow end up apologizing for their role in “making” the abuser behave negatively. #2- IF an apology by the abusive partner actually is made, it’ll be an elaborate, grand gesture, filled with tears, surprise gifts, and perhaps even the claim of being somehow helpless and not in control of their emotions. These are all efforts to buy the victim’s silence and loyalty.
Once the isolation begins, it’s common for friends and family to begin raising eyebrows. The isolation can consist of the abusive partner telling you who to spend your time with and where to go. Over time, the victim may begin spending less time with their friends and family. Once a victim is isolated from their loved ones, it becomes much easier for the abusive partner to assert their control in efforts to make the victim become solely dependant on them.
This word derives from the 1944 film, Gaslight. In the film, a husband tries to convince his wife that she’s insane by causing her to question herself and her reality. Gaslighting is a form of brainwashing & manipulation. This causes the victim to doubt and ultimately lose their own sense of perception, self-worth, & identity. Gaslighting can have a victim not only question their own experience of events, but it can also result in plummeted self-esteem. Ultimately, these victims feel that they cannot lead a functional life without their partner.
If any of these signs remind you of yourself and your partner, it’s time to make some major changes in your life. Seek love that deserves you. Seek someone who knows how to love you. Seek professional help to rebuild and restore.
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