The scars from mental cruelty can be as deep and long-lasting as wounds from punches or slaps but are often not as obvious. In fact, even among women who have experienced violence from a partner, half or more report that the man’s emotional abuse is what is causing them the greatest harm.
― Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
Relationships are vital to survive. Even if the world is running at an uncatchable pace, spending the life as a loner is not possible. Everyone of us need someone out of love and commitment. But with time, even best of the romantic relationships come across hurdles. Be it commitments, promises, expectations, the scenario differs pre marriage and post marriage. Previously discussed articles have dealt with the subjects of issues like Relationship Stresswhich crop up in any such relationships. Here is stating the fact that lack of fulfilment of promises or frequent arguments due to disagreements are not the only ugly faces of a dying relationship, the ugliest facet of any romantic relationship is when it becomes abusive.
Types Of Abuses In A Relationship
Many of you would be astonished to know that it is not only the physical assault which defines abuse in a relationship. These can be of many types and features such as:
- Physical Abuse- It is any intentional or unintentional contact with you not necessarily causing pain or hurt, eg: throwing phone, books or any other things at you out of anguish, grabbing you and pushing or pulling you, forcing you into sex or any sexual act out of your wish etc.
- Emotional Abuse- An emotional abuse is devoid of any physical contact and is usually about frequent texting to keep a check on you or stalking you or the use of inappropriate remarks and words to address you whether alone or in public, eg: he/she screams at you frequently or is rude with you, passes comments or mocks at you in front of others, he/she blames you for everything, threatening to separate you from your children etc. all are indicative of the fact that you are a victim to an emotional abuse.
- Sexual Abuse- Any sexual act forced upon you without your consent is termed as sexual abuse. Resisting to such an abuse is not essentially physical. If someone doesn’t resist your physical advances, it doesn’t mean that a consent has been given, eg: drugging someone to establish a sexual contact, attempt to rape, unpermitted physical touches etc.
- Financial Abuse- This is one of the most prevalent ones and the most unnerving fact about the same being that its faced by every second woman and one in every ten men face it around the world. A casual restricting from spending money which gradually increases to frequent limitations in a dictating manner clearly signifies financial abuse, eg: keeping the bank details hidden from you, availing you with a set amount of money and watching how you spend it, disagreeing and not allowing you to work to earn etc. symbolise a financial abuse.
Ten Signs That Your Relationship Is Developing Into An Abusive Relationship
According to the data, more than half of the times, the victim of abuse in a relationship is unaware of the situations being abusive in nature. Following are some of the obvious scenarios which indicates towards you being a victim of a gradually and perhaps invisibly developing abuse in your relationship:
- Your partner has become excessively demanding and possessive about you.
- He/she has started comparing you with others in order to tell you how unfulfilling you are to his/her expectations.
- You are insisted and pushed to do something without you willing to do so. Decisions are imposed upon you without your ideas.
- He/she refrains to take the responsibility for any mistakes committed and instead prefers to hold others responsible for the same.
- You are interrogated every now and then about your whereabouts which includes checking your car mileage, stalking you etc.
- For all the feelings of anguish and an insolent act, he/she blames you or everyone else.
- During your intimate sessions, he/she overpowers you and tries to dominate you with his/her acts whether or not you like it.
- There is an increase in his/her impolite behaviour and cruel acts whether it is towards animals or humans.
- He/she is insensitive to others’ feelings.
- He/she frequently threatens you with dire circumstances which includes intimidating you from not letting you meet your children.
How To Know That It’s The Onset Of An Abusive Relationship?
A relationship turning disparaging and insulting in nature is best recognised when in its beginning period. It is only then that it can be mended with some efforts:
- You are isolated and there is no sense of togetherness left.
- You are excluded from gatherings or your presence is ignored by him/her.
- You find him/her indulging into extra-marital affairs ignoring its effect on you.
- His/her frequent mood swings and increased rudeness towards you and a jealousy without any specific reasons.
- He/she has become too critical about your acts or anything you do. Whatever you do to please him/her are almost every time in vain or not taken into account.
- You are now a mere subject of sarcasm and laughter.
- He/she hurts your sentiments and feelings and if you react, you are served with him/her threatening to take an extreme step such as of committing suicide.
- You are the victim, but still are made to feel guilty for everything that goes wrong.
- The level of a physical intimacy between you two has rapidly decreased.
- Your abuser is a strong manipulator. He/she can commit wrong and then manipulate to pose himself/herself as innocent.
- He/she is either not serious at all or suddenly too serious about the relationship with you which is suggestive through acts like he/she compelling you to increase or start a family.
- You are treated differently when alone with him/her and in an entirely different manner when among everyone else. This is usually called a double standard behaviour.
How To Save An Abusive Relationship?
If you have recognised your relationship as an abusive one, then the first thought that strikes you is whether or not you would be able to save your relationship from falling apart. Following are some of the promising ways to save your relationship from scattering:
- The first step to saving any abusive relationship is to meditate and know the main underlying reasons which have brought the relationship at this stage today. Consider the pattern of events which have gradually led to the current state of the discord between you and him/her. In some cases you might have to refer to a therapist or a marriage counsellor for your spouse.
- Secondly it’s important to know your role in the entire scenario, your behaviour and your acts to know how much you have contributed to the deteriorated state of your relationship. If you see your spouse depressed and thus changed into his/her current condition, do you think you can take him/her for a nice walk in the sunshine to cheer him/her up? If yes, you have the capability to save your falling marriage.
- Communication or rather lack of communication is in most of the cases the reason why such relationships end up in divorce instead of repair. If you feel that a direct conversation between you and him/her is not possible then it’s a favourable idea to take a counsellor’s help as an intermediary to help you converse with him/her. This way a possible argument or serious reactions from either of you are avoided due to a third person’s presence.
- In any romantic relationship, love mends all. If lately your intimacy has reduced with your partner, then try to spice up your bedroom sessions and build a closer contact with him/her. This is inclusive of flattery, appreciation, frequent expressions of love towards in each other.
- Never live in an assumption that you can change them Rather make that your priority and goal.
Note: If despite of all the efforts, abuse, especially physical continues or increases, it is best and in your favour to walk out.
I strongly believe that love is the answer and that it can mend even the deepest unseen wounds. Love can heal, love can console, love can strengthen, and yes, love can make change.
― The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine
Relationships are beauteous and are important. Kept and nurtured with love and care, they can bloom into something magnificent for you both, but if ignored, you can end up being the sufferer. So if you are in an abusive relationship, it’s the mending times calling!