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Am I in an Abusive Relationship? 17 Sure Signs!

Are you being abused without even realizing it? Use these self reflecting signs to find the answer to your question, ‘Am I in an abusive relationship?’

abusive relationship

You love your partner.

And your partner loves you.

And the world’s a beautiful place.

But what do you do when abuse finds a way to seep into your romance?

Of course, as humans, we won’t be sitting ducks just waiting to be abused by someone else.

But what do you do if you don’t see the signs?

What if you just don’t realize you’re being abused by your partner or someone in the family?

After all, many lovers are abused in relationships in one way or another. But how many abused lovers even realize they’re being abused?

[Read: 16 sneaky abusive relationship signs of a devious lover]

What is an abusive relationship?

An abuse relationship is a relationship between two people, where one person controls and dominates the other person in different ways, be it sexually, emotionally, physically, or economically.

The abusive person could dominate the other person in one of these ways or in all of these ways.

And because it starts so slowly and works itself into the relationship, it may be very hard to see the signs of an abusive partner even if you’re neck deep in abuse already.

A bruised arm or a busted lip is easy to see, but when abuse comes in other forms, you won’t realize what’s happening. You’d only feel weak and helpless. [Read: 15 ways to stop selfish people from hurting you all the time]

How abuse enters the relationship

Your love for someone can blind you from all the abuse they’re hurling at you. You love them so much that you may choose not to see the glaring signs of abuse.

You can feel it, like there’s something wrong in the relationship, but you just don’t know for sure. [Read: The ugly consequences of making someone a priority when you’re only an option to them]

And each time you wonder if something’s wrong, your partner does something romantic or nice to suppress those fears down.

Why we fall prey to abuse in a relationship

Not all lovers are abusive. But any of us can fall prey to abuse in a relationship. When you truly love someone, you’d be willing to let them into your heart and life. But instead of doing the same in return, an abusive partner takes advantage of the access you’ve given them.

You’re willing to give your power to them. You’re willing to bend over backwards for them. You sacrifice your time and your dreams in the hope that your partner would respect you, love you and learn from you. You see the selfish side of your partner, and wait for them to change. You believe that love can change everything with time and patience.

And one day, you’d realize that love does change everything. But your abusive partner has chosen to love power and control in the relationship, over the love they have for you. [Read: 20 glaring signs of a control freak who wants to control everything]

You can’t change an abusive partner

An abusive partner can change only if they truly believe they need to change. If an abused partner tries to change an abusive partner by confronting them, the abusive partner would only get more abusive or aggressive.

After hurling abuses at you for several months or years, their abusive nature merges with their ego, and makes them truly believe they’re completely in control of the relationship. And when their ego senses you trying to regain control back again in the relationship, your partner would do everything they can to withhold that power from you. [Read: 15 subtle signs of a controlling boyfriend]

The only way to change an abusive partner is by walking away. When they truly realize what they’ve lost, their pride and ego may break down and they may realize your worth.

But then again, the abusive traits of an abusive partner are ingrained in them. They can’t change, and very few abusive lovers ever do.

Even if you do get back with this person after taking a break in the relationship for a few months, the relationship may seem perfect initially. But once they get a taste of your forgiving and self sacrificing nature again, the abusive monster in them would reawaken all over again. [Read: How taking a break in the relationship really works]

Am I in an abusive relationship? – The 17 sure signs to find out

If you feel like you’re being abused in the relationship, whether in a small or a big way, just read these 17 signs and ask yourself if you can relate to these signs. If you can relate to these signs, but still don’t believe your partner is controlling or abusive, talk to them about it.

By helping your partner see these signs sprouting in them, both of you can work together to overcome these issues, and better the relationship with time. [Read: 25 topics all happy couples talk about in a relationship]

So are you in an abusive relationship? Read these 17 signs, and you’ll have your answer!

#1 You feel alone. You feel lonely and helpless all the time. You may be in a happy relationship, but somehow you feel powerless and weak in it.

#2 You don’t ask for help. You don’t always realize it, but you’re scared to ask your partner for help. You believe you’re not asking for help because you don’t want to bother your partner or trouble them with your worries. But could it be because your partner makes you feel small and dumb each time you ask for help?

#3 Anger. You’re scared of your partner’s anger. You don’t like confrontations with your partner. You never argue with them about anything, and just choose to accept what they say. You convince yourself that it’s better to do something behind their back instead of confronting them. [Read: 18 critical signs of an unhealthy relationship]

#4 You bend over backwards for your partner. But at the same time, you’re completely aware that your partner would never do the same for you.

#5 You can’t get anyone else. You don’t want to leave your partner because you think you can’t get anyone better than your partner. You believe all people are bad within closed doors and your partner is one of the better people in the world.

#6 Unpredictability. You feel like your partner is unpredictable. You just don’t know how they’ll react to what you have to say. Every time you have to talk to them about something, you feel nervous or awkward. [Read: 22 early warning signs of a bad boyfriend]

#7 You convince yourself. You know your lover isn’t good enough or is full of bad qualities, but yet, you convince yourself that they have other traits that make up for it.

#8 You don’t go out. You fear going out with your lover because you’re afraid of being humiliated in public by them. You realize your partner loves putting you down and humiliating you in front of others, and instead of confronting it, you choose to avoid such situations completely. [Read: How self respect affects you and your relationship]

#9 Your partner is manipulative. Your partner abuses you physically, yells at you and treats you badly. And every time you’ve collected the strength to face your partner, they give you the silent treatment or bring up old issues that make you feel stupid or helpless.

#10 Everyone thinks you’re wrong. An abusive lover isn’t just abusive. They’re very good actors too. They pretend to be the victim in front of everyone else. Your partner would tell everyone with ears that you’re the bad one and they’re having such a hard life only because of you, your stupidity, your dumb nature or your attitude.

And before you realize it, your partner would convince everyone that you’re the one who’s bad. And many people may even start to believe your partner over you.

#11 You doubt yourself. Sometimes, you wonder if there is something wrong with you. Your partner constantly puts you down or makes a big deal of a small issue each time you make a mistake. You start to doubt yourself and wonder if you’re the one who’s not good enough for your partner. [Read: 10 signs your negative thinking is ruining your life]

#12 You try hard to please. No matter how hard you try to please them, your partner always finds a flaw with what you do. And each time a flaw is pointed out, you just feel more like an idiot.

#13 Your big excuses. Every time your partner treats you badly or behaves arrogantly, and someone tries to sympathize with you, you make excuses for your partner’s behavior and tell everyone that you deserved it just to make your partner look good in their eyes.

#14 You’re scared. You’re constantly scared your partner will leave you or find someone better. You start to believe that you’re not good enough, and you feel grateful to even have a partner who can put up with you. [Read: 12 signs you’re walking on eggshells in your relationship]

#15 You believe you’re being abused. You may try to paint a rosy picture to the world, but somewhere deep inside, you feel like you’re being abused in some way. You just can’t pinpoint the actual ways, but you can feel it.

#16 You feel guilty. You feel guilty about everything, for taking a stand, for arguing back, for deciding something on your own or buying something without asking for permission from your partner first. All of a sudden, you feel helpless and need your partner’s approval to do anything at all. You constantly ask yourself “would my partner be alright if I did this?” for the silliest of things. [Read: 20 signs you’re a people pleaser and don’t even know it!]

#17 You think this is your destiny. You realize that you’re being abused. You know you’re in an abusive relationship. But you also genuinely believe there’s nothing you can ever do about it. You think you’re cursed to live through this with no hope, and you don’t fight the abuse. Instead, you just put up with all the abuse quietly.

[Read: 21 big signs of emotional abusive to watch out for in your partner]

But all said and done, you must remember that you have a choice here. Now that you’ve read these 17 signs, ask yourself the big question again, “Am I in an abusive relationship?” And stand up for yourself. Really, it’s easier than you think! [Read: 16 ways to change an abusive partner and make them better]

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Elizabeth Arthur
A mom of two who’s currently working on a novel, Elizabeth Arthur lives in Cornwall. And when she’s not chasing her boys around the house, she enjoys sittin...
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