Good relationships don’t make you feel that way that you are not important. Abuse is not always as obvious as being hit or shoved, called degrading names or cussed out. In fact, it can very well be underhanded or subtle. You may find yourself feeling confused about the relationship, off balance or like you are “walking on eggshells” all the time. This is the kind of abuse that often sneaks up on you as you become more entrenched in the relationship.
All abuse takes a severe toll on self-esteem. The abused person starts feeling helpless and possibly even hopeless.
If your partner displays the following behaviour, it is possible that you are in an abusive relationship:
- Violent Behaviour: They make statements which threaten to physically harm you but later apologise saying they didn’t mean it or making you believe that they might say anything but they won’t do anything to hurt you.
- When you don’t agree with them, you hear things like “you’re crazy,” that “this is all in your head,” or that you’re making a big deal out of nothing: This is called gas lighting, and it’s a kind of emotional abuse in which your partner makes you start to question your own perception of reality.
- They move into your life too quickly: The classic Hollywood romance where a man sweeps an unsuspecting woman off her feet might sell cinema tickets but, in reality it can indicate that a new partner may seek to control the relationship.
- They coerce you in bedroom: Sexual coercion is especially concerning among young people, with a recent survey by VicHealth revealing that 20 per cent of people aged 16-24 believe that women often say no when they mean yes.
- They isolate you socially: A pattern of dictating who you see and separating you from family and friends is a classic warning sign. A partner may be jealous and not want you to spend time with your family and friends.
A relationship should make you feel safe and happy.