Do you feel anxious when you think about your current relationship? Are you always second-guessing yourself? Most importantly, are you unsure if you’re actually happy? These are all important red flags that deserve your attention. Without even realizing it, you may be in an abusive relationship. I personally experienced one myself when I first started dating, and it took me years to learn that my ex-husband was emotionally abusing me. I don’t want other women to fall into the same trap. So, here are some ways you can tell if you’re in an abusive relationship.
Not All Abuse Is Physical
When we think of abuse, our minds tend to go straight to violence. Unfortunately, it’s more complicated than that. A good amount of abusive relationships are actually emotional. If your boyfriend insults you, calls you names, and blames you for things that aren’t your fault, he’s exhibiting abusive behavior. This kind of emotional abuse isn’t always obvious, either. Abusers are capable of subtly manipulating their partners to get what they want.
Abusive people can be possessive, which leads to extreme amounts of jealousy. Has your boyfriend ever berated you for going out with your girl friends, just because men would be at the bar, too? Does he “ban” you from talking to your male friends or coworkers? And lastly, does he constantly suspect that you’re cheating on him? These are all signs of an abusive relationship. Remember that you’re a person, not a possession. And you deserve to be treated with respect.
Lack Of Respect
Respect encompasses everything from following set boundaries to listening when someone else is talking. Creating boundaries is a healthy way to understand what each person’s expectations are in a relationship. Purposely violating those boundaries is a serious offense, especially if your boyfriend doesn’t show any remorse for his actions. Your boyfriend is disrespecting you if he has lunch with his ex, even though you’ve previously asked him not to because it makes you uncomfortable. Likewise, if he constantly talks over you in conversations or arguments, he’s showing you that he doesn’t value what you have to say.
Sometimes, people aren’t even aware that they’re showing codependent behavior. Nonetheless, it’s still abusive. Codependence is when one or both partners bring out the worst in each other by enabling their bad habits, addictions, or mental illness. Oftentimes, codependent people seek approval and rely on their partner to function from day-to-day. You might be experiencing codependence if your boyfriend is holding you back from bettering yourself and getting your life right.
While these are only a few signs of an abusive relationship, you should seriously think yours over if you’ve noticed any of these behaviors in your boyfriend. Overall, the most important thing to keep in mind is that relationships are all about mutual support. If you feel that your partner is always trying to bring you down or doesn’t accept you for who you are, it’s time to leave.