You might be out there, loving, caring, and sharing yourself with other and find yourself the object of someone’s affection. Even the best of us aspire to put our best foot forward at the outset of a potential relationship, as also do those with less than your best interests in mind.
Before you know it, you could find yourself in an abusive relationship.
While all abusive relationships have certain commonalities, they vary wildly across the spectrum of abusive potentialities. Among them, there are 7 signs which might indicate that you are in an abusive relationship.
7 Signs You’re in an Abusive Relationship
1. Does not trust you
2. Criticizes and puts you down
3. Asserts superiority over you
4. Puts down your opinions or accomplishments
5. Abuses you, then turns it around and blames you
6. Makes self-serving demands irrespective of your desires
7. Threatens you, your well-being, your reputation, or family
All this dysfunctional madness can leave you feeling like a victim of abuse, even if the abuse is not physical, the pain of being in an abusive relationship can be very real and just as painful, if not worse, because there is no physical manifestation of the abusive relationship.
You are never required to stay in an abusive relationship. No one has the right to abuse you. You should (and there are resources available to you of you need help getting out) remove yourself from the abusive environment as soon as possible.
This doesn’t mean the relationship is over, you and your partner (if he or she is willing) could seek counselling to see if the relationship is salvageable. If the abuse is likely to continue, it is not.
Someone is waiting to love you for who you are in true love, without subjecting yourself to further abuse.
What Can You Do If You’re in an Abusive Relationship?
The first rule is to remove yourself, get out, find a safe place where you can collect your thoughts. This is the only way to stop the abuse while you can take the time to figure things out.
If you feel like you’ve been victimized, after you’ve found a safe place to do the work, an important step might be to find a way to prevent yourself from being victimized.
How to Not Be a Victim of an Abusive Relationship?
You can prevent yourself from ever being in an abusive relationship by not participating in the abuse… at all.
You’re likely to feel like a victim in an abusive relationship if you assume the role of the victim, feeling as though you have a weakness which can be exploited which makes you feel bad, while your abuser assumes the role of “the bad guy.”
What if there was no good guy, no bad guy, just two people who disagree?
If you can realize your potential abuser is only expressing his- or her-self in such an abusive way because they are suffering inside from some pain or trauma from his or her past, then you can understand his or her outburst has nothing at all to do with you.
This is the most common underlying motivation for abusers who have no other way to release the pressure from deeply hidden pain or trauma suffered in their past except to strike out at someone else.
If you can wrap your heart around this concept, you can feel compassion for the one who is striking out at you, being careful not to feel pity for him or her, because that would assume that you are in some way better off than him or her.
The truth is, we’re all flawed and just doing the best we can with what we have to make it through this journey. Even though some of us have more tools than others, we are in no way any better off than anyone else.
None of us makes it through this life without struggle or gets out alive.
But that doesn’t mean you have to succumb to the whim of anyone else to abuse you.
What to Do
The next time someone tries to interrupt your life with abusive behavior, understand it has nothing to do with you, bless them, and walk away.
If someone does or says something disrespectful to you, acknowledge their right to feel or say anything they want. For, after all, they are only asserting his or her own perspective, and you honor their right to do so. You have no need or requirement to defend yourself, or respond, except to acknowledge their right to their own opinion.
You may do so by saying, “You’re absolutely right,” (which disarms their assault) and compassionately walk away, because if history teaches us anything, it is that arguing with someone, or even engaging in a debate, has little of no positive result, and only makes things worse.
You cannot reason with someone who is unreasonable.
It’s up to you to establish your own sacred space and to protect it.
One thought on “Abusive Relationship”
Thanks for this post David – some really good and important advice, but in a nice concise format as well. I think the most difficult thing is people accepting or admitting that they are in an abusive relationship – that is the first and hardest step. So you 7 signs are a really good rule of thumb. Then it is important to try and remove yourself, somewhere safe and amongst people who truly care for you.