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What is an abusive relationship? and How do you know if your relationship is abusive?

Updated: 5 days ago

Uncover the signs of an abusive relationship and learn how to break free. Find support and guidance from someone who has been there. You're not alone.
Recognizing and Overcoming an Abusive Relationship

I was in an abusive relationship for six years, it started out like any normal relationship, or so I thought, but I was tricked into a relationship with a Narcissistic Sociopath. Back then I didn't know about red flags and tactics of an abuser. I thought domestic abuse was a black eye, I didn't know that there are many different forms of abuse, and because I was never given a black eye by my now ex-husband, I thought our relationship was just passionate! I didn’t think it was abusive.

Abuse makes us feel bad about ourselves, I know it made me feel bad about myself and for the first time in my life I started to have a negative body image. After getting away, pressing charges and taking my life back I became a spokesperson for body image as an Ambassador for the Be Real Campaign, UK.

I also qualified as a Life Coach and Counsellor, and I now educate and support anyone who has experienced Domestic or Narcissist Abuse. I know how hard it is healing from abuse, but it is possible and you don’t have to do it alone, if you would like to talk with me, book in for a free consultation.

One of the first steps in healing is educating yourself, and there are 6 different types of abuse in a relationship, so let’s talk about them.

Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse is an attack on your emotions and feelings. If your partner makes you feel small, controlled or as if you’re unable to talk about what’s wrong, it’s abusive. If you feel like your partner is stopping you from being able to express yourself, it’s abusive. If you feel you have to change your actions to accommodate your partner’s behavior, it’s abusive. Examples include:

  • Calling you names and putting you down.

  • Yelling and screaming at you.

  • Intentionally embarrassing you in public.

  • Preventing you from seeing or talking with friends and family.

  • Telling you what to do and wear.

  • Blaming your actions for their abusive or unhealthy behavior.

  • Accusing you of cheating and being jealous of your outside relationships.

  • Threatening to commit suicide to keep you from breaking up with them.

  • Threatening to harm you, your pet or people you care about.

  • Using gaslighting tactics to confuse or manipulate you.

  • Making you feel guilty when you don’t consent to sexual activity.

  • Threatening to expose your secrets.

  • Threatening to have your children taken away.

Physical Abuse: Physical abuse is any intentional and unwanted contact with you or something close to your body. Sometimes abusive behavior does not cause pain or even leave a bruise, but it’s still physical abusive. Examples include:

  • Scratching, pinching, punching, biting, strangling or kicking.

  • Throwing something at you such as a phone, book, shoe or plate.

  • Pulling your hair.

  • Shaking, pushing or pulling you.

  • Grabbing your clothing.

  • Using a gun, knife, box cutter, bat, or other weapon.

  • Grabbing your face to make you look at them.

  • Grabbing you to prevent you from leaving or to force you to go somewhere.

  • Scalding or burning you.

  • Spitting on you.

  • Forcing you to swallow something that hurts you, or medication you don't need.

  • Damaging your property (throwing objects, punching walls, kicking doors, etc.)

Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse is any action that pressures or coerces you to do something sexually you don’t want to do. Examples include:

  • Unwanted kissing or touching.

  • Unwanted rough or violent sexual activity.

  • Rape or attempted rape.

  • Refusing to use condoms or restricting your access to birth control.

  • Sexual contact with someone who is very drunk, drugged, unconscious or otherwise unable to give a clear and informed “yes” or “no.”

  • Threatening you into unwanted sexual activity.

  • Pressuring or forcing you to have sex or perform sexual acts.

And on the flip side: Claiming you want sex too much, making you feel bad for wanting intimacy. Claiming impotence when there is no medical reason for it. Refusing to be intimate or sexual with you.

Financial Abuse: Financial abuse can be very subtle. It can include telling you what you can and can’t buy or requiring you to share control of your bank accounts. At no point does someone have the right to use money to control you. Examples include:

  • Giving you an allowance and closely watching what you buy.

  • Placing your paycheck in their account and denying you access to it.

  • Keeping you from seeing shared bank accounts or records.

  • Forbidding you to work or limiting the hours you do.

  • Preventing you from going to work by taking your car or keys.

  • Getting you fired by harassing you, your employer or coworkers on the job.

  • Using your details to obtain bad credit loans without your permission.

  • Maxing out your credit cards without your permission.

  • Refusing to give you money, food, rent, medicine or clothing.

  • Using funds from a joint savings account without your knowledge.

  • Spending money on themselves but not allowing you to do the same.

  • Giving you presents and/or paying for things and expecting you to somehow return the favor.

Digital Abuse: Digital abuse is the use of technology to bully, harass, and stalk you. In a healthy relationship, all communication is respectful whether in person, online or by phone. It is never okay for someone to do or say anything that makes you feel bad, lowers your self-esteem or manipulates you. Examples include:

  • Tells you who you can or can’t be friends with on social media.

  • Sends you negative, insulting or even threatening emails or online messages.

  • Uses social media sites to keep constant tabs on you.

  • Puts you down in their status updates.

  • Sends you unwanted, explicit pictures and/or demands you send some in return.

  • Pressures you to send explicit video or sexts.

  • Steals or insists on being given your passwords.

  • Constantly texts you and makes you feel like you can’t be separated from your phone for fear you will be punished.

  • Frequently looks through your phone, your pictures, texts and outgoing calls.

  • Uses technology (such as spyware) to monitor you.

Spiritual Abuse: Spiritual abuse happens when lies are told as if those lies are the truth of God. Spiritual abuse is not limited to a certain religion or denomination. Any person, of any belief system, is capable of perpetrating spiritual abuse. Examples include:

  • Ridicules or insults your religious or spiritual beliefs.

  • Prevents you from practicing your religious or spiritual beliefs.

  • Uses your religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate or shame you.

  • Forces the children to be raised in a faith that you have not agreed to.

  • Uses religious texts or beliefs to minimize or rationalize abusive behaviors (such as physical, financial, emotional or sexual abuse/marital rape.

Abuse is about controlling and using others for their own gain - its not love!

Abusers will use various tactics to keep you manageable, under their control and in their “possession”. These tactics are what keep you trapped, confused, going around in circles, not knowing what's happening. The only way to break this cycle is to remove yourself from it, you need to leave or get them removed from your home.

You may be like me, who thought my relationship was just full of passion, that we were culturally different, that I was doing something wrong and making him unhappy. It's not, you are being manipulated and controlled. These kinds of abuse caused me to change myself to try and win his approval. You might do what I did, I stopped seeing friends and family because he said they didn’t like him. I wouldn’t wear my favorite dress anymore because he said it made men look at me. He said he did all this to protect me and keep me safe, because he “loved me” – These are the normal reactions we have to the different types of abuse.

This is not love, this is abuse.

I want you to know that a happy ending is possible, but you won’t find it with and abusive partner.

I've been free for over 8 years now, and I'm happier now than ever before. He is in prison for what he did to me, and I am making a safe and happy life with my daughter, if I can get free, so can you! If you would like me to help you, send me a message so we can have a chat.


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