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How to Tell if you are in an Abusive Relationship

Updated on March 16, 2015
Tashaonthetown profile image

Natasha Pelati began with publishing three books of poetry and with the help of psychology can write on real life experiences.

Your partner should be your best friend
Your partner should be your best friend

Love and how it should be

Most of us find a guy or a girl that we fall deeply in love with and remain happy for the rest of our lives but for many finding the perfect partner means losing yourself along the way. You absolutely love the person that you are with but every day is a battle and your stomach is in knots, whilst trying to walk on egg shells in order to keep the peace.

While love is so very important so is your mental health and if a relationship is draining you and making you feel unhappy with more tears than laughter, then you might be in an abusive relationship and it is TIME TO GET OUT!

Love doesn't mean that there will not be an argument or two along the way but making up and saying sorry does help.

Communication and trust are important in a healthy relationship along with mutual respect and when you are down, your partner should be the one to pick you up again.

Healthy relationships come with compromise and understanding towards each other with both partners able to speak out when something feels wrong or right.

Love should be patient and kind and your partner is supposed to be your best friend.

An abusive relationship is mentally draining
An abusive relationship is mentally draining

How to Tell if you are in an Abusive Relationship

There are many ways to tell if you are in an abusive relationship because you can feel the hurt. For those of you who are not sure about verbal and mental abuse, then here are a few signs just in case you have thought that you might be in an abusive relationship but you might just be a little too sensitive.

If you feel as though your stomach is in knots most of the time and you are scared to speak to your partner about an issue just in case he/she might have a blow out, then there is already a sign that your relationship is no good for you.

Waking up in the morning and feeling as though you are the least most important person in your partners life is also a sign that things are not right.


Feeling insecure and unattractive will make you lonely
Feeling insecure and unattractive will make you lonely

Feeling Insecure and Unattractive

Your partner told you once that you are beautiful and once you started dating, you were told to lose weight or change your hair, make- up or the way that you dressed.

In most cases you probably picked up weight because of the way that he/ she made you feel and the way that he/she ogled other people.

It is natural to look at other people that are beautiful and appreciate their good looks but it is not acceptable to be made to feel that you are not as nice and have your partner comment over and over again about how you should look like that.

Most people that are in an abusive relationship have had their partner obsess about weight, looks and age, making you feel insecure and not good enough!

It destroys your confidence and no matter what you do to try to look good or feel good, nothing works and you go unnoticed or you are criticised.

There comes a point where you just don't feel good about yourself and you feel that any attempt will be worthless as your partner will have something to say no matter how hard you have tried.

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Constant Criticism

Constant criticism from your partner can have an effect on you later on in your relationship. Many can switch off and ignore the critic but others become drained and insecure.

If your partner continually criticises everything you do, from your cooking to the way you walk, laugh, talk or smile, then it will eventually take its toll on you. Nothing that you do will ever be good enough and you can continue to try and impress for as long as you like but it will be a waste of time, unless you get a patronising tap on the shoulder and a "well done," which, coming from a partner and a lover is demeaning.

"I like this but you should've done it this way" or "you look nice but I wouldn't wear my hair like that."

Does this sound familiar?

It is great for a partner to be honest but don't mistake it for someone that is breaking you down constantly in order to make you feel insecure on your way out.

The control freak must have everything done their way
The control freak must have everything done their way

The Control Freak

A controlling partner can create havoc in your home and he/she must be the head of every decision and plan made in the home. You are never discussed about the plans you are just told, when to watch television, when to go to bed, what you will be doing and he/she only takes you out when they are up to going out themselves. The control freak does everything to suit themselves without consideration for you.

If you decide to get up and think for yourself, it causes chaos because you are then called the control freak, with blame that everything has to be your way, when in fact, it never goes your way and you find yourself compromising all the time, sacrificing your own personality to avoid conflict by just going with the flow.

A controlling partner will decide when to do something, what to watch on television, what time to go to bed, when to wake up, when you can go out and what you will be cooking for dinner.

Things must be done his/her way no matter what and to the point where you end up feeling as if it is not your own home and that you are an outsider just following someones lead.

You can continue to go with the flow and follow his/her lead but it will never get you anywhere and your entire existence will be to cater for someone else's needs by sacrificing your own.

This could lead you to eventually have an outburst or a nervous breakdown. Taking a stand will not help you as if it has gone on for this long, your partner will refuse to change and you will always end up being the control freak if you speak out.

Let him/her go because if you can't speak to your partner about changing their controlling ways then you will be a caged animal for your entire and mundane existence.

This partner will always treat you like a child and as an adult you need to be independent, confident and allowed to have a mutual decision making process in your relationship and your own life.

The Raging Temper

Control freaks often lose control of a situation at work, on the road or with a peer and because they are not able to fight back and retaliate, they will come home and take it out on you. The emotional punching bag is you and whatever has upset him/her on the outside without being able to manage or control the situation, to make him/her feel better and back in control, you will be the target of an emotional and verbal attack.

You will find that your partner will go off at you for no reason at all and an outburst will be out of the blue and one that you just cannot understand.

This is often due to the fact that they have lost a battle on the road or with a work colleague and to feel as though they are in control, they lash out at you, leaving you to feel weak and in tears.

Arguing back is what they want you to do so that they can retaliate and repair their loss of ego afte the bad days event. By entertaining this you will achieve absolutely nothing and it is always best to walk away and ignore his/her attempt to fight with you.

In saying that, you also need to face the facts and understand that the person that you are with is just simply no good for you, your emotional status and your future. You are probably a very strong and understanding person but it will affect you in the long run because nobody can take too much without cracking in some way.

Your partner needs help to deal with the control issues and the abusive habits that have been bestowed on you and your family.

His/her abusive methods could have come from childhood with a bullying parent or sibling, being teased at school or even just someone that was insecure and unable to fight back when he/she was bullied. The abused becomes the abuser and nothing that you do can change that, they need help to work on this, with or without you.

The problem is that if he/she is controlling and has a tendency to bully verbally, then you will be unable to let them know that they need help and that it is hurting you as they will always think that you are the one that is wrong and has problems.

Walking away from this relationship is the best thing for your own well being because there is a life and a partner out there that will love, adore and respect you, without having to compromise and change your own self.

A raging temper is no good in a relationship
A raging temper is no good in a relationship
The relationship bully is a no, no!
The relationship bully is a no, no!

The Bully

Your partner will humiliate you in public by making you look stupid or by shouting and screaming at you, causing an embarrassing scene which he/she will not even notice is out of the ordinary.

If you have kids then your partner will think nothing to belittle you in front of them in order to let everyone know that he/she is in control and that you are insignificant.

They often tend to lash out for no reason and let you have it by calling you names and making you feel worthless, stupid, insignificant, unattractive and you end up crying in the bathroom because defending yourself would be a waste of time.

Your bully partner has no respect for you!!!! End of story, no respect leads to them being able to lie and eventually cheat on you because without respect, a relationship cannot exist.

A bully will shout at you for nothing, in the presence of your children and will always make you feel like the joke of the day.

Stress and situations that they cannot control will be taken out on you and that will not change.

Verbal abuse is no good in a relationship
Verbal abuse is no good in a relationship
Verbal abuse is still abuse
Verbal abuse is still abuse

The Verbally Abusive Partner

Although your partner is sometimes affectionate, they do not really make you feel loved and adored as if you are the most important person in their entire world.......because you are not! This partner is self absorbed, self centred and although they do often have compassion, it is not everlasting and the highs and lows in your relationship will continue to go that way until you are unable to fight back anymore.

If you are in an abusive relationship then you will be feeling as if you do not really matter to the partner, you don't feel like the girls in the movies that are swept off their feet by a man that absolutely adores them and will fight for their honor.

You will feel as though you are never defended, not loved enough, you lack attention and conversation and when asking for those things, it is made to be a big deal and all you get back in return is a screaming abusive partner that cannot fix the problem because he/she does not realise there is one.

Why have the knotty feeling in the pit of your stomach continuously?

Why feel ignored and unloved?

Why do you have to walk around nervous and without being able to communicate what's wrong?

Is it worth staying in a relationship where you feel battered and abused, emotionally drained and alone?

Your partner will not change who they are and without them admitting to having a problem, you will never be able to have a normal relationship with peace.

Your life with this partner will never know peace and harmony as you continue to follow the lead and take the verbal punches, your life will deteriorate and you will end up getting hurt anyway.

LEAVE this relationship and feel what it feels like to be truly loved and adored and made to feel as though you are the best person in the entire world, know what it is to be respected and loved in a meaningful relationship where you are able to speak freely and feel free to love, be loved and to live a healthy, happy and emotionally fulfilling life.

Are you in a verbally abusive relationship?

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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 3 years ago

      "Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

      - Oscar Wilde

      Too often people justify the actions of their mate or they've bought into the "Relationships require a lot of work" myth. They con themselves into thinking this is all part of trying to get along. Being loved should not hurt.

      In other instances they want to avoid being a "divorce statistic" or want to prove others wrong who told them they were making a mistake. Some people have such low self-esteem that they're uncomfortable with those who treat them with respect and kindness.

      Each of us chooses our own friends, lovers, and spouse. There's no getting around that. The goal is to learn to make better choices for ourselves in the future. It starts with taking responsibility for our choices.

      The beautiful thing about a door is it lets those who want in (in) and those who want out (out). No one is "stuck" with anyone! If someone is unhappy in a relationship/marriage and they choose to stay then (they) are (choosing) to be unhappy.

      The world may not owe you anything but (you) owe yourself the world! It's your life. Take the wheel!

    • realtalk247 profile image

      realtalk247 3 years ago

      Great article. Verbal and/or physical abuse should never be tolerated in a relationship.

      The key to not experiencing abuse is to: address individual issues (absent of a relationship) with a therapist AND love yourself. If you love and appreciate yourself you are less likely to allow just anyone into your life. When you love yourself you have criteria, standard, and deal breakers. You realize that a relationship with you is an elected privileged invitation and not the right of another person. The creator gave you a purpose and gift. The creator did not put you on this earth to be hurt and abused by others.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Great hub dealing with the many aspects of abusive relationship!

      There is no point in carrying on a relationship, devoid of love and respect.

      Your points are quite effectively presented. Thanks for sharing!

    • Tashaonthetown profile image
      Author

      Natasha Pelati 3 years ago from South Africa

      I love the Oscar Wilde saying! It is true you and love is easy if you are with the right person. Sure every couple have arguments now and again but love is light and to stay in a relationship with someone that treats you unfairly and makes you unhappy is not worth it.

      Abuse should not be tolerated and we should all know that certain things cannot be tolerated and if you are really loved by the one that hurts you, you wouldn't be hurting at all! Many of these cases people started off in the relationship with self esteem and love for themselves but have been torn down and broken down so much that they end up feeling not good enough for anyone and accept their relationship to be that way. It is terrible and if only people could know that there is a way to find themselves again and to not accept any form of abuse in any way.

      Thank you for the response! Hopefully people will read it and learn that they can walk away and be found by love that is worthy of them.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      That was a great hub on relationships. I became a marriage counselor and practiced for six years at a center for abused woman, until I was ready to walk out of my own 33 years of marriage due to the constant criticism from my partner. He was my best teacher in finding out what made me happy, so I followed my dreams. Thank you for this great article.

    • Tashaonthetown profile image
      Author

      Natasha Pelati 3 years ago from South Africa

      Good for you! Hopefully others can do the same as there is a life with love as light as a feather and as free as a bird.

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