Can You Spot the Signs of an Abusive Relationship?
What is an Abusive Relationship?
Are you in an abusive relationship? The term “toxic” is sometimes overused. The unfortunate truth is that many of the individuals referred to as toxic are abusive people. They’re referred to as toxic because they are engaging in unhealthy behaviors towards their partners, friends and family members.
These types of relationships can zap one’s self-esteem or leave them feeling constantly off-kilter.They can transform private moments into battlefields. They can leave individuals fearing the very homes that are supposed to provide a reprieve from the stresses of life.
Enough attention has been paid to physically abusive relationships that they can be relatively easy to spot. They produce bruises and broken bones, if not simply constant dread and nagging worry.
But what about the many cases of mental, emotional or psychological abuse? Did you know that physically abusive relationships are in part so damaging because of the emotional abuse contained within? Unfortunately, psychological abuse can be equally as detrimental to our health.
Signs of Abusive Relationships
Whether a relationship is physically, mentally or emotionally abusive, it is likely to thrive on control and stark power imbalances that will become clearer the closer you get.
Luckily, there are some common signs of domestic abuse to keep an eye out for. Physical violence of any kind is an obvious sign. This includes being bitten, hit or shoved. This also includes being forced into non-consensual sexual acts.
But even verbal swipes are considered a form of abuse. This includes name calling, yelling, shaming, blaming, and constant criticism. If the individual threatens to hurt themselves, pets, you or children, this is abuse. Some partners constantly threaten suicide in order to maintain control in a relationship.
Isolation is oftentimes a red-flag, particularly if one needs to be with their partner at all times or bombards them with texts and calls while they’re away.
A lesser known form of abuse is financial abuse. This can arise when one partner maintains complete control over all household finances. It’s easy to understand how this can create an unhealthy dynamic in a relationship.
Do not assume abuse in a relationship will always be obvious. Here are some signs of more hidden abuse:
- All-encompassing fear
- Blame shifting
- Withholding love
The truth is that abuse is truly insidious. Some may understand the way it makes them feel but lack the words to articulate what is taking place as it is often hidden from plain view.
How do abusive relationships thrive?
Abusive relationships thrive on an overt or covert assumption that what is done behind closed doors will remain there. There is certainly a place for privacy. However, extreme privacy can compound the shame of the abused. It may seem more and more difficult to “open the floodgates” and reveal the truth of what is happening when this privacy becomes a way of life. If someone can’t talk about what is going on in their relationship, it might be evidence that the relationship is in some way abusive.
Recognizing the signs of abuse allow us to spot when these behaviors crop up not only in our own relationships, but when they are damaging our family and friends as well. Further, it is the first step toward receiving necessary help.
Abusive Relationship Counseling Orlando
If you feel your in an abusive relationship then receiving abusive relationship counseling Orlando is the first step in healing. You will learn to set healthy boundaries and to identify the signs and how to end the toxic behaviors and patterns that keep repeating. At High Expectations Counseling we are equipped to support and guide you to live the full and healthy life you deserve.
Give us a call today at 407-967-1327. Let’s start the path to recovery. Your worth it.