Abusive relationships are a leading cause of death around the world and Africa especially. So many people have been lost their lives through abuse, yet an abusive relationship is still difficult to identify by many. In every relationship, there are red flags. These red flags are early signs of an abusive relationship, early warning signs of a future abusive relationship and more. Abuse comes in different forms and can be identified in different ways. Unknown to many, domestic violence isn’t the only form of abuse. However, there are different types of domestic violence. In our hopefully progressing environment, domestic violence laws have been put in place to checkmate abusers. There is also an abusive relationship cycle. It doesn’t mean abuse has stopped or will stop, it just means the system will help reduce its occurrence. There are various causes of domestic violence, if that is the case, however, it is never the fault of the victim. To get more insight on such abuse you can read domestic violence articles, domestic violence facts, domestic violence statistics, domestic violence signs and domestic violence hotlines. Abusive relationships can occur in any form. a form of abuse that is always downplayed is emotional abuse and the effect of emotional abuse. It could be marital, in courtship, friendship, between siblings, co-workers, parental figures and children. This article focuses on signs of abuse in romantic relationships, as love tends to cloud judgment.
Here are 12 signs of an abusive relationship.
Jealousy is the foundation of every abusers’ persona. Jealousy is an emotion that drives the evillest actions. Jealousy is the thoughts or feelings of insecurity, fear, concern, and envy over relative lack of possessions, status or something of great personal value. A jealous heart can kill. Jealousy is either suspicious or reactive and an abuser will display extreme jealousy over the littlest things like spending time with your friends, your partner at work or school, your career, your favourite item. An abuser wants to be your one and only interest. The feeling of jealousy can drive them to deluded thoughts and actions, which could involve physical, verbal, emotional or mental abuse towards you and people around you.
No man is an island, but an abuser will make you one. An abuser will try their hardest to isolate you from your friends and family so as to become your only source of support. An abuser will sever their victims’ ties to outside support and resources leaving victims with no other option, and during abuse victims will have nowhere to turn to. It is a way of keeping abuse victims on a leash. This abuse method is very common as some spouses do not have access to basic needs like financial resources outside what the abuser provides, hence they cannot think about leaving. Also, being cut off from family, friends and information, a victim in this situation will have to where to go or who to cry to.
Eager to commit
Abusers are always eager to commit to things. Abusers, unlike others, are quick to express deep emotions and the desire to take things to the next level. They pressure their victims into moving quickly in their relationship. Abusers are the type to have you move in with them in three months and propose in eight. They are just always eager to formalize the status of your relationship. Abusers are just too good to be true.
Blame others for their problems
When your partner always blames others for their problems it is a possible sign that he or she is abusive. An abuser feels someone else is out to get them and blames the inability to achieve their goals on other people. They claim someone is the stumbling block responsible for their misfortunes. As ironic as it may be, abusers love to play the victim.
Controlling behaviour is another sign you’re in an abusive relationship. An abuser will always try to control the victims’ life. It includes close monitoring, dictating and more. An abuser will at first, attribute controlling behaviour to concern for the victim’s safety, however, such behaviour is stemming from a feeling of entitlement and possession of the victim’s life and other selfish desires. Abusers want you to be who they want you to be, when they want, how they want, complete submission is what they desire. As time goes by an abusive person will begin to control the victim’s finances, career choices, social life, beliefs and more. An abusive partner will cross all lines regarding personal space and snoop through your phone, other personal belongings and possibly follow you secretly.
Abusers are easily angered. They get upset over trivial things due to their insecurity. The moment they feel they are not in control, they snap. If your partner is easy to anger, they just might be quick to react too, which is dangerous.
Guilt/ Emotional blackmail
An abuser will guilt trip you. They do this by making you feel that your claim to your life is an attempt to hurt them. They make you feel ungrateful and sorry for wanting to think of them as an abuser, they make you feel guilty. Abusers are emotional blackmailers.
Insecurity is the daily struggle of an abuser. Insecurity is the state of uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence. In an abusive relationship, the abuser will project their insecurities unto their victims by controlling and dominating them in a bid to regain what they feel should be their social value. The fear that drives insecurity is the fear of not being loved or lovable.
Unrealistic expectations are actively present in an abusive relationship. An abuser will want their victim to live up to all their expectations which is unrealistic. An abuser will expect you to take care of all their needs be it emotional, domestic, social, physical and more.
In an abusive relationship, the abuser will exhibit dual personalities, a real case of Jekyll and Hyde. This minute they are sweet and kind the next minute they are vicious and hurtful. You wonder how someone who claims to love you can put you through so much pain. They switch personalities like an Oscar award winner. This behaviour is common among abusers who beat their victims.
Violence is always present in an abusive relationship. Unlike what most people assume, violence is not only physical, it could be emotional, mental and verbal too. An abuser makes violent threats from time to time to scare their victims into submission. Said person will then proceed to excuse their behaviour by attributing it to the heat of the moment or saying it’s a joke or even claiming everyone talks that way. Soon enough, those violent words will become actions.
Verbal abuse is the first language in an abusive relationship. Verbal abuse is the use of vile and hateful words towards another with the intention to hurt them. A partner who intentionally uses hateful words towards you or structures their speech to hurt you is a verbal abuser.