To start, you need to recognize the signs that you’re in an unhealthy relationship:
There are times when you could be wrong in a relationship: You guess the wrong answer when playing Trivial Pursuit; grab a Pinot Noir rather than a Grigio;, or think it is okay if your drinking buddies come along on your one-year anniversary. Other times, an abusive mate will constantly put you down or tell you that you’re wrong, regardless of topic. It’s more like an automatic and inevitable response. No one is wrong that often.
Those who are abusive and inspire toxic relationships are great at manipulation. They’ll have you believe that you’re the spawn of all things evil and they’re the innocent victim of your schemes. To a rational person, some arguments could seem downright insane and impractical. However, don’t be fooled. An airtight and likely story is not an abuser’s agenda. Rather, they will use tone of voice, name calling, and other tactics to gain the upper hand and have you feeling depleted and confused.
Abusive mates are great for ruining what would otherwise be special events for couples. Whether it’s a holiday or birthday, there’s a pattern of sudden and uncontrollable irrational behavior. In some cases, the abuser may revert back to a normal interaction, but in worse cases, abusers may storm out of restaurants, take flights back home, or decide to forego plans altogether. In normal abuser fashion, it’s likely that they make you feel at fault for whatever argument takes place.
It’s easy to lose oneself when in an abusive relationship. An abuser’s pattern of behavior involves selecting mates who are vulnerable and possibly malleable, willing to let others create a new you. In bad situations, a mate could be verbally abused as well as manipulated into doing and saying things that would be uncharacteristic. Some behavior is not a natural evolution but the result of an abuser’s manipulation and bullying.
There’s no doubt that it’s normal to argue when in a relationship, but such interactions should be few in number and low in intensity. However, a toxic relationship is filled with arguments, loud shouting, and even hitting, slapping, shoving, etc. If any form of physical abuse happens, the authorities need to get involved. In many cases, it’s best to report forms of emotional abuse, threats, and periods of shouting too. Some argument is normal but shouting and abusive language is not.
Those in abusive and toxic relationships have limited time for those who were once dear to them including friends and family members. Abusive mates often want to keep victims close to them, sheltering them from the rest of the world, including the people, places, and things they love. If you find yourself with limited time or that you’re not allowed to go out or see certain people, you’re in a bad relationship. Get more relationship advice at anewmode.com.
Now that you can start to identify a pattern in behavior or relate to a number of the above signs, it’s time to take action. Here’s what you should do.
Distance yourself from your abuser whether that means avoiding phone calls or moving out of a living space. It’s likely that you’ve attempted to communicate your feelings or rectify issues within the relationship before to no avail. Therefore, the longer you take to make a move, the harder it will be to get out of the relationship and the more power you give your abuser over you. You must take action to increase the distance between the two of you.
Seek a Professional
Seek professional assistance, which should include filing a police report if your mate has abused you in any way. Remember abuse does not need to take physical shape such as bruises. Alternatively, you may be suffering from emotional and verbal abuse. You can take immediate legal action to ensure your mate cannot come within close proximity to you. You don’t have to take abuse and you don’t have to feel unsafe.
About the Author
Harrison Walsh is a relationship therapist. He writes about relationships and shares some tips to help you, whether you’re dating or divorcing on a selection of lifestyle and relationship blogs online.