Anyone can be a victim of abuse, regardless of age, gender, or economic status. The word “abuse” conjures up mental images of black eyes and broken bones. However, it does not always start out that way. At the beginning of any relationship, it is only natural for both parties to only show their positive aspects. As the relationship progresses, the abusive nature of an individual comes to light. An abusive individual is often charming, attentive, and sweet at the beginning. He will go the extra mile to make you feel appreciated and loved. You may not even notice he is trying to control you, perhaps even until it’s too late. Read on for the warning signs you can look out for to decide if you are in an abusive relationship.
|SEE ALSO: 13 Signs of Emotional Abuse within a Relationship|
1. An Abusive Individual Intimidates His Partner
In any relationship, you should never feel scared. Although there are several signs of an abusive relationship, fear is usually the most prominent. Your partner is someone you are supposed to open up to. If you feel you have to walk on eggshells around him, you may be in an abusive relationship. If you are constantly keeping a close eye on what you say or do because you are scared of him, chances are this is an abusive relationship that you need to get out of.
Abusive individuals may also threaten their partners to ensure they never leave. It you feel afraid of leaving the person you are with because they have threatened you or someone you care about, this is abuse. In some cases, abusers often blackmail the victim and threaten to harm themselves if she leaves. An abusive husband may prevent his wife from working to ensure that she never has enough financial stability to abandon him, so many victims feel they might not be able to make it out there on their own.
An abusive individual will have aggressive tendencies that make his partner scared. They may throw or smash objects when they are irritated. Even the pettiest of frustrations can make them very angry. They may threaten to harm their partners or punch walls, chairs, or tables when they get angry. In some extreme cases, an abusive partner may start making death threats.
2. An Abusive Individual Is Excessively Jealous
Many people think of jealousy as a healthy sign of love. Abusive individuals might not show any signs of jealousy at the beginning of the relationship. However, they become excessively jealous as the relationship progresses. Because of their desire to control, they want you to belong to them only. They may start getting uncomfortable when you speak to people of the opposite sex. This behavior may be considered “sweet” at first; however, the intensity of the abuser’s jealously will increase and might even develop into a lethal attack if you do not abide by their rules.
An abusive husband will always keep an eye on the people you speak to when he is not around. You may find yourself accused of flirting with other men. Abusers will even be jealous of the time you spend on activities that do not include them or with other people without them. He may prevent you from working because he is scared you may meet someone else and leave him. An abusive husband is so insecure that he may frequently call you or drop by unexpectedly to see what you are doing when he is not around. You should always be able to tell if your husband’s jealousy is within its normal boundaries or if it has turned into full-blown abuse.
3. An Abusive Individual Uses Emotional Abuse
An abusive relationship does not just leave people with battered bodies; it may leave them with battered egos as well. The relationship does not have to include physical violence to be called abusive. Even if you do not have visible scars on your body, this does not mean you are not being abused. Emotional abuse is not less destructive than physical abuse. An abusive partner will try to attack your feelings of self-worth and independence. They will make you feel that, without your abusive partner, there is nothing to live for. An abusive partner may insult you in public and in private.
An abusive partner may use verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming. He or she may isolate you from other people, intimidate you to do as they please, and try to control you by all possible means. They may threaten to physically hurt you. Although physical violence can leave you with visible scars, emotional abuse is not any less dangerous. The scars of emotional abuse can impact the way you view yourself forever.
4. An Abusive Individual Always Puts Blame on Others
An abusive individual rarely takes responsibility for any negative situation they may cause. Whether it is failing a test or getting fired from a job, it is never their fault. Someone else is always to be held accountable for their own mistakes. They believe that life has always been unfair to them and that everyone is out there to get them. When they actually do hurt someone, it is also always the victim’s fault.
An abusive husband may put the responsibility of his emotional well-being on his wife. He will manipulate you into believing the abuse was somehow your fault. He will repeat it so many times until you end up believing it. An abusive individual will not take responsibility for their own feelings. They will say things like, “I wouldn’t be so mad if you did as I asked you.” He will also hold you accountable for his own positive emotions. If the abusive person is happy and satisfied, it is because of you, and if he feels angry or depressed, it is also because of you.
5. An Abusive Personality Has Stereotypical Sex Roles
An abusive individual maintains rigid and stereotypical gender roles. A woman is expected to adopt her traditional role as a stay-at-home wife; she is expected not to have any career inspirations and to obey her husband in everything he says. A male abuser thinks of women as inferior to men; he might use derogatory female terms, all with the purpose of damaging her self-esteem and manipulating her into obeying him. An abusive husband will make his wife feel that she is not complete without him. An abusive female partner will expect her husband to provide for all her financial needs. She may accuse him of not being a real man if he shows any emotion or weakness. These are all behaviors that are typical of an abusive personality.