Recognizing abuse in relationships may not be as simple as it sounds. Our society often characterizes the abuser as throwing punches and leaving bruises, however, there are many different types of abuse. It is important to recognize abuse because it does not get better, and realizing it sooner rather than later will be much better.
This is a very common type of abuse which can accompany physical violence or not. It is just as damaging as physical abuse because it can leave deep psychological damage. Verbal abuse can lead to depression, low self-esteem, poor decisions, loss of friendships, anxiety disorders, trust issues in future relationships, inability to be independent, and many other psychological problems. It is important to keep in mind that psychological trauma can and commonly does result in physiological symptoms.
Verbal abuse can be characterized as language that is harmful. Examples of this may be screaming, yelling, making threats, calling names, controlling behavior, or any other verbal actions that are intended to harm the other person. This is only a very small description of verbal abuse, but if you feel that you are in a verbally abusive relationship then you are probably right. If you are sitting there wondering and trying to figure out if certain components of your relationship constitute as verbal abuse, then it is probably not healthy and not worth the emotional trauma.
If you are thinking that sexual abuse simply means physical restraint or forced sex, you are wrong. If you feel that you partner intimidates you into sexual activity or uses manipulative techniques to cause you feel obligated-this is wrong. If you’re partner becomes angry, or if you fear that your partner will become angry or a fight will result, these are also signs of sexual abuse.
I want to gear away for a minute from some of the less obvious forms of physical abuse to talk about other actions that are not always considered abuse my some. For one, any actions that cause any type of physical pain must be recognized for what they are and not ignored. Just because there are no marks left or temporary/permanent damage caused, does not negate the action and it is still inappropriate. Some examples of this are hair pulling, twisting of wrists or fingers, grabbing and squeezing (neck, wrists, etc.), and pulling. If you are experiencing any of these abuses, it is important that you do not brush it off or take it lightly. You must remember that someone who is healthy for you and cares about you, would never lay a finger on you.
Other Unhealthy Behaviors
While some things do not necessarily fall into any of the above categories, it is necessary to recognize other behaviors as unhealthy and signs that your relationship is abusive.
If you have a partner who is controlling, tread cautiously. If he or she is preventing you from socializing with others, discussing your relationship with others, trying to tell you where you can go and when, is constantly demanding to know your whereabouts, or any other actions that take away your independence-please stop and think that this is not healthy and this relationship may not be good for you. If your partner is also having a great impact on your life decisions, such as where to go to college, where to live, who to be friends with, etc., this is also not a good sign.
It is difficult to end a relationship with someone, but it is a part of life and in the end you will be better off. If I was able to point out some behaviors that you recognize or at least get you thinking, please turn to someone for help because you only have one life to live and nobody deserves to be miserable.