It’s all too common these days for each of us to be so enwrapped in each others lives. We always know where most of our friends and family members are at any given moment thanks to the non-stop news feeds across all social media platforms. We know when our cousin arrived at the local coffee shop and which friend is going through their 5th breakup within a month. This behavior almost snuffs out the old thought of, “beware those who want to know your every move.” That used to be a clear sign that your partner – whether you just met or you have been together a few years was controlling and borderline abusive and it was time for you to cut them out of your lives. But what are some other signs that you are potentially in an abusive relationship and it is time to sever ties and move on?
The three main types of abuse are: Physical, Emotional, and Sexual. These can happen whether you are starting out in the dating word, are back in the dating scene at 65 or older or anywhere in between.
- Physical abuse: When another person puts their hands on you. It can be a slap, punch, or kick with or without a weapon.
- Emotional Abuse: When another uses words to maliciously hurt you or making threats against you.
- Sexual Abuse: Manipulating you and coercing you into sexual acts against your will. You never have to prove yourself or your love to another person by giving up your body unless it is YOUR choice to do so. No always means no!
None of these behaviors equate to love in any form.
So, what does an abusive relationship really look like?
We have all met someone who we want to spend every waking moment with and forget the rest of the world. We all know that consuming fire that some relationships start out as – it can be very romantic, like something out of a movie (or fantasy). When the fine line between enjoying each other’s company and going above and beyond by demanding to go through their phone, or demanding they check in with you every hour like they are your parole officer is crossed is when it is time to either communicate how wrong that is in an effort to get them to see they are not respecting a boundary or end the relationship. No one should be made to feel they are being imprisoned in order to say, I have a boyfriend or girlfriend! It’s not worth it. I blame the “change relationship” feature on Facebook for that specifically. Everyone wants to take their relationship to the level of “status change” to rub it somewhat in their friends’ faces and not thinking about the important things that require a relationship to actually change in status. Some tend to overlook not only red flags, but red flashing signs of dysfunction and disorder just to have someone (anyone) in their lives.
What can we do about it if we see our friend or loved one in an abusive relationship?
Speak up! Abuse always works on a slow burn until the eruption happens. Your intervention could potentially save a life or lives.
I always advocate that both parties in a relationship (married or not) make their own money independent of each other. Whether you are a stay at home parent or not, always have a stream of income coming in in the event you may have to pick up and leave or start over. In our modern world there is no such thing as a secure income anymore. I don’t care how hard you hustle. Whatever your opinion of money is, there is one thing that money can buy: freedom. This is not to say you can not depend on another person but it is imperative for everyone to learn how to survive on their own to avoid the pitfall of, “I have to stay because I have nothing.” That usually changes to, “I have to stay because I am nothing.”
If you need some place to turn The National Domestic Violence Hotline has advocates standing by 24/7 to help you. 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)