Domestic abuse affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime. Sometimes I get scared about what kind of man I’ll end up with. Will he treat me the way I watched my father treat my mother? What if I become like him? These questions drove me into a dark place of thoughts and upon reflection, I’ve gathered my 4 indicators of an abusive person in a relationship.
1. They will try to control you
Whether it’s your finances or people you want to go out with, they will ensure that you are cut-off from the rest of the world. Abusers tend to have this desire to be noticed and almost worshipped, but nothing will satisfy them for long. They get thrills out of taking away people’s power and making sure they are the centre of your attention.
2. They will play the victim
Abusers are master manipulators. They will build a strong attachment between you two and somewhere down the line, they will snap. They may hit you or lash out in anger – but they know that love is blind and they will use this to their advantage. They may say things like “don’t you love me?” if you try to leave. Unfortunately many people fall for this trap and stay with an abuser because they are blind to their actions. This gives the abuser the chance to do it over and over again which is unacceptable.
3. They will turn everything into an argument
Everything. Abusers prey on the opportunity to hurt and feel powerful. They thrive on negative reactions – it satisfies them. I personally believe that disagreements in a relationship are inevitable and completely normal, but great couples know that they have to pick their battles. Working through a disagreement should be productive, not destructive.
4. They will get physical
They may cause you physical harm by pushing you, beating you and carrying out many other violent acts. They may break things in your presence to create threat and fear. They may have sex with you when you don’t feel like it. Remember that rape is possible in a relationship – sex must always be consensual.
Note: Abuse is not restricted to a gender and it is always wrong.
If you think this post may help someone recognise that they are in an abusive relationship then please share.
If you are being abused, please call the 24hr freephones:
National Domestic Violence Helpline (UK) – 0808 2000 247
National Domestic Violence Hotline (US) – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
If in doubt, please report it to the police in your country. Abuse must not be tolerated.