personal development concept

An Abusive Relationship

June 20, 2022

An abusive relationship describes a relationship where one person manipulates his/her partner either psychologically, physically, financially, emotionally, or sexually. It’s a relationship where there is an imbalance of power, and one person try to control and have power over the other person. I believe that some victims do not like to admit that they are in an abusive relationship, because they may feel that they’ll be judged by their family and friends. Another fact is that sometimes is hard for the abused person to recognise when abuse is involved if there is not physical or sexual abuse. Emotional abuse victims tend to convince themselves that the abuse is not really relevant.

If you are reading this article and you feel confused about the relationship you are in, or you feel you may be a victim of abuse, it’s important to recognise the signs. If your partner tries to control any aspect of your life, he/she may have the intent to manipulate your sense of reality and your opinion about what is right and what is wrong: you may be a victim of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse has the power to lower your self-esteem, cause you emotional pain and scarring, and make you lose your confidence. An emotional abusive partner can make you think that everything is your fault, make you feel guilty all the time, constantly criticise you, embarrass you, threaten you and isolate yourself from others. Sexual abuse involves any form of sexual activity that you don’t want to participate, from obligating you to watch sexual content, to actually rape you. Physical abuse does not only involve someone punching, biting or slapping you. It can also happen if your partner threaten you with something, drive aggressively while you are in the car, break your belongings or destroy them, or physically block you the access to leave a situation. Being in an abusive relationship is not easy. Most of people who never experienced being abused wonder why the victim wouldn’t leave the relationship. Sometimes victims can only fully recognise the amount of abuse involved when they actually leave, because they are always trying to minimise the facts, and their self esteem become really low. Breaking up can be more complicated than it seems.

It is harder to recognise that your relationship is unhealthy if you grew up in an environment where abuse was common. If your partner constantly puts you down and blame you for the abuse he/she is causing, you may end up believing that what your partner is saying is correct, and take the blame for all the issues inside your relationship. I’ve once stayed in an abusive relationship hoping that my abuser would change. When your loved one promises you that he/she will change, it’s normal that you believe this person. We want the abuse to stop, but most of the times we are not ready to end the relationship. If you are a victim of abuse, look for the warning signs. Be aware when your relationship begins to cross the line and starts to become abusive. Talk to a trusted friend if you need help, before it goes too far.

Prioritise your own wellbeing and always take your emotions into consideration when deciding to leave an abusive relationship. It’s a good idea to keep a journal to write about how you feel, and understand how the abuse you are receiving is affecting you. Any kind of abuse can make a very bad impact in your health. Keep track of your emotions and consider if you are having more negative than positive emotions when it comes to your relationship. Remember that every couple disagrees, but in an unhealthy and abusive relationship, things are dealt in a very negative and controlling way. You can also use your journaling to write positive affirmations about yourself in order to gain some confidence back, and decide when is the right time to let go of a harmful relationship. It’s a challenge to move on from a toxic relationship, and it’s normal to have negative feelings like loneliness, depression and anger after you leave, but be kind to yourself, and be patient as healing doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve been there, and I know that it takes a lot of courage to let go of a relationship and start a whole new life. It is a very scary feeling to get out of our comfort zone. The only way you can do it is if you focus on a positive outcome, and maintain a positive perspective. Reconnect to yourself and remember that your relationship to yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have. Love yourself because you are braver than you think.

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