Mood Swings are Normal
The Schizophrenic Artist

You Might be in an Abusive Relationship...

The recent tragedy between Rihanna and Chris Brown has left many people scratching their heads.  How could someone as beautiful as her get into such a relationship?  How could he do that to her?  Why would she put up with it?  Why did she go back to him?  Abusive relationships are difficult to explain in a simple article.  Their dynamics are complex. 

Abusive relationships don't start out that way.  Most abusive relationships start out with candy and flowers, courting and romance.  The abusive slips in, slowly and maliciously.  It may not seem so obvious to the person in the relationship that things are getting out of hand because they have slowly progressed to that point over time.  How can you tell if you are in an abusive relationship before someone gets hurt?  What are some of the warning signs?

You might be in an abusive relationship if:

  1. You're afraid to break up with them
  2. You feel tied down, like you have to check-in or account for your whereabouts
  3. You feel afraid to make decisions or bring up certain subjects because the other person gets too mad
  4. You are afraid to contradict them
  5. You tell yourself if you just try harder and love your partner enough that everything will get better
  6. You find yourself crying a lot, being depressed or unhappy
  7. You find yourself using more drugs or alcohol to deal with the anxiety or fear in the relationship or to numb yourself out
  8. You find yourself worrying and obsessing about how to please your partner and keep them happy
  9. You feel like you are walking on eggshells all the time
  10. You find the physical, verbal, mental or emotional abuse is getting worse over time
  11. You are being cut off from family members and friends more and more
  12. You partner makes decisions about where to go or what to do with little or no input from you
  13. You are being belittled and called names when the two of you are alone
  14. You are being embarrassed and humiliated in front of others, or your partner talks about you as if you are not there
  15. You are having sex that is forced or rougher than you prefer
  16. You find the intensity you had in the beginning of the relationship quickly waning
  17. You are being treated like a servant by your partner
  18. You are prevented from having access to your own money or the family's money
  19. Money is used to control and manipulate you
  20. You are made to feel guilty about the children, being told the children need a two parent home
  21. The children are used to relay messages between you and your partner
  22. You are being threatened with having the children taken away from you
  23. Visitation rights are being used to harass you
  24. Your partner minimizes the abuse, tells you it didn't happen or that you are crazy
  25. You are feeling intimidated by your partner when they hit objects, abuse pets, brandish weapons, or verbally threaten you

If you are feeling this way in your relationship, talk to someone.  Call a domestic violence hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).  Talk to a friend or family member you can trust.  See a counselor or mental health provider.  It's important to deal with this before you get hurt.  Love should not be about fear. 

If you have children, it's even more important to get help.  If a parent allows a child to be hurt by their spouse and stays in the relationship they can now be charged with failure to protect in many states.  Children also learn their relationship patterns from their parents.  If you are being abused, you are teaching your children to either; 1) be abuse victims or 2) be abuse perpetrators.  You probably learned this pattern by watching your own parents.  This cycle of abuse that is handed down from generation to generation has to stop somewhere.  Let it be with you.


 

Comments

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Gwen Carden

This is one of the best lists I have ever seen. It ought to be in pamphlet form. Someone in an abusive relationship reading this might still simply make excuses for their partner and not be able to help themself. I hope anyone reading this list who knows of someone suffering from abuse step in and do what they can to help the victim get free. It's not unlike pulling someone from a burning building who has become paralyzed by fear.

Kellen

Hi Gwen,

I never know if I have harped on this enough of if it warrants saying one more time. Thank you for the feedback. It is greatly appreciated.

Kellen

Zoom

Holy shit.

YES. YES. YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES.

These are all things that have happened in every abusive relationship I've ever been in, though not necessarily all at once.

These were all (with the exception of the sexual/romantic/child ones) facts of my existence when I was living with my family.

Thank you so much for this.

I talk a great deal about how I lived in an emotionally abusive family, but it always feels empty to me. A couple months ago, I figured out that I don't believe that if I have to be the first one to call something abuse, then it obviously isn't. And it doesn't apply to other people, just me. They're telling the truth, but I'm just putting on a show.

#24 was always very prominent in that, I think.

Oh, I also wanted to mention that I've passed this blog on to a few friends I think could use it. It's very good.

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communication in their relationship with each other. They said they're not looking for their partnership to be a free-for-all, and that polyamory seems a more fitting word for the presence of emotion they sustain with one another.

Lori

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I married my husband May 11, 2013. We were having problems because he bought a farm in Arkansas and suddenly, after he had lured me (embarrassingly, I might add) into the relationship with how much money he had, decided he wanted to create a trust to leave the farm to his children after his death. Well, this would leave me homeless! In the months before our wedding, we had meetings with our pastor, the Christian trust attorney who drew up the trust (which could be changed down the road, I feared). Little problems avalanched into big ones,and after the wedding, on the drive from California to Arkansas, all of our possessions in the moving van, our finances joined together in a joint bank account, he tells me he does not want an emotionally intimate marriage, that he married me because I have no children and "of course" I would not object to him leaving his "fortune" to his children (!). I made a U-turn in Amarillo, and he spent all the money in our joint bank account. He still has everything I own (clothes, furniture, etc.) on his cattle ranch in Arkansas, while I'm homeless in California. He supports his five adult children and their families (he's a millionaire). Finally, because I'm his wife, a judge allowed me control of our California home where his grown daughter had moved in. I'll be leaving as soon as I can, but if this wasn't abuse, I don't know what is. I'm finding a lot of comfort on your site. Thanks a whole lot.

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