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Am I In An Abusive Relationship? 66 Early Signs, Effects & Ways to Get Out

When you first started dating your partner, they were perfect. But as time goes on, you think you might be in an abusive relationship. Here are the signs.

abusive relationship

You love your partner. But what should you do if you start wondering whether or not you are in an abusive relationship?

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 abusive 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. [Read: 15 ways to stop selfish people from hurting you all the time]

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’ll only feel weak and helpless.

The world of abusive relationships

If you’re experiencing an abusive relationship or have experienced one at some point in your life, you’ll understand the helplessness of the situation.

You feel isolated and alone, and no one seems to understand the quicksand you’re stuck in. [Read: The 15 worst types of toxic relationships to watch out for!]

But you need to understand something here. You aren’t alone. There are many people who are victims of abusive relationships who understand exactly what you’re going through.

It isn’t just women who experience abusive relationships. More often than not, several men experience it silently without ever talking about it with anyone.

Kinds of abusive relationships

Abusive relationships don’t always come in the form of a black eye or a busted lip. [Read: 16 abusive relationship signs of a devious lover]

Many people think it’s only an abusive relationship if there’s physical evidence someone injures you. Although that is definitely a type of abuse, it’s not the only kind.

You can also be emotionally and mentally abused. Maybe someone doesn’t physically hurt you, but they threaten you to the point where you feel as though they would. 

You could also have an abusive partner that uses manipulation and insults—both of which are still abuse. [Read: Signs you’re walking on eggshells in your love life]

Physical abuse could shatter you from the outside, while emotional abuse would shatter you from within. Both kinds of abuse are traumatizing, but it hurts the most when you experience them together.

And it isn’t always a boyfriend or a spouse who traumatizes you with abuse. You could experience some form of abuse from your siblings, parents, kids, your coworkers, your boss, or just about anyone else you interact with.

If someone drains your happiness, makes you feel weak and helpless, or makes you feel miserable for any reason, chances are, you’re being abused by them, and you don’t even realize it! [Read: How to stop selfish people from hurting you and ruining your future]

If you’re living through an abusive relationship where you see no way to escape, don’t give up on hope. Don’t give up on making yourself stronger. And most importantly, don’t give up on life.

You will survive through this. All you need to do is read on and understand what you need to do to get stronger.

How abuse enters the relationship

Don’t be fooled, an abuser always knows what they’re doing. They’re very purposeful about when and how they introduce abusive behaviors into the relationship.

When you first meet them, you’d never believe that they’d be any sort of abusive person. They’re so sweet, romantic, kind, caring, and compassionate. They surprise you with thoughtful gifts, they charm your friends and family, and they treat you so well that you can’t help but feel dazzled by the ‘perfect’ person in front of you.

But it’s all just a front, and the thing about facades is they eventually slip. But when they do, they do so slowly. When it does, the abuse usually starts small. For instance, they might get jealous about a coworker or possessive over your phone.

They’ll start small because they don’t want to scare you off. Instead, they’ll slowly chip away at your confidence, knocking your self-esteem so that you’re vulnerable enough to put up with their further abuse, with small acts that you can easily justify to your friends and family.

Unfortunately, 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. [Read: The ugly consequences of making someone a priority when you’re only an option to them]

You feel like there’s something wrong in the relationship, but you just don’t know for sure.

And each time you wonder if something’s wrong, your partner does something romantic or nice to suppress those fears down. This is intentional, have no doubt about that.

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. [Read: 25 topics all happy couples talk about 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 backward for them. Also, you sacrifice your time and your dreams in the hope that your partner would respect you, love you, and learn from you. 

But 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. [Read: 20 glaring signs of a control freak who wants to control everything]

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 instead of you.

You can’t change an abusive partner

An abusive partner can only change 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. [Read: 15 subtle signs of a controlling boyfriend]

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.

The only way to change an abusive partner is to walk 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 abusers ever do. [Read: How taking a break in the relationship really works]

Even if you do get back with this person after taking a break from 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.

Signs of an abusive relationship

The first step to finding the solution, and finding an escape from the abuse, is to read the signs for what it is. 

For most of us, recognizing the problem is always harder than overcoming it. If a partner slaps you or verbally abuses you in front of your friends, what do you do? [Read: Secret signs your relationship is starting to go bad]

Do you believe that you deserved it because it was your fault? Do you confront your partner? Or do you wait for your partner to calm down before you have a word with them in private? What you do here makes all the difference.

It’s not easy to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship, especially when you’re madly in love with someone. But after reading these signs, the truth will unfold before your eyes. 

If you’re experiencing even a few of these signs, it’s time to be worried because you’re probably locked in an abusive relationship already. [Read: How to let go of a relationship that you know is bad for you]

1. You feel alone

Unfortunately, you feel lonely and helpless all the time. Perhaps you are in a happy relationship, but somehow you feel powerless and weak in it.

2. You don’t ask for help

You’re scared to ask your partner for help, although you don’t always realize it. 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? [Read: 18 critical signs of an unhealthy relationship]

3. Anger

You’re scared of your partner’s anger and don’t like confrontations with them. You never argue with them about anything and just choose to accept what they say. 

So, you convince yourself that it’s better to do something behind their back instead of confronting them.

4. You bend over backward for your partner

But at the same time, you’re completely aware that your partner would never do the same for you. [Read: 22 early warning signs of a bad boyfriend]

5. You can’t get anyone else

The reason you don’t want to leave your partner is that 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.

7. You convince yourself

You know your lover isn’t good enough or is full of bad qualities, yet you convince yourself that they have other traits that make up for it. [Read: How self-respect affects you and your relationship]

8. You don’t go out

There is a fear of going out with your lover because you’re afraid of being humiliated in public by them. 

Also, 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.

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. [Read: Manipulative behavior – why is it toxic and signs you shouldn’t ignore]

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. [Read: Are you overlooking the signs of emotional abuse?]

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.

12. You try hard to please

No matter how hard you try to please them, your partner always finds a flaw in 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. [Read: Signs your negative thinking is ruining your life]

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: Signs you’re walking on eggshells in your relationship]

15. You believe you’re being abused

Although you may try to paint a rosy picture of the world, 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 for 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

It’s likely that 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 abuse to watch out for in your partner]

18. A big disappointment

Your partner always treats you like you’re a big disappointment. They always pick flaws with what you do, even if everyone else thinks you’re perfectly capable. 

This creates a deep need within you to constantly try to please them by bending over backward because you don’t want to upset them. And most importantly, you crave their acknowledgment and compliments more than anything else!

19. The embarrassment

Your partner embarrasses and insults you in public for the smallest of reasons. They do this to embarrass you into submission in front of others and prevent you from confronting them again in public. [Read: Emotional abuse signs: How to spot an emotional abuser]

They may even raise their voice or create a scene just to make you feel awkward and submit to their demand.

20. Verbal abuse

Does your partner abuse you verbally by using foul language every now and then? It doesn’t matter what the reason is, but if your partner uses bad language, you need to give this a very serious thought.

21. The first hit

One of the biggest signs that you’re stepping into the sad world of abusive relationships is the first physical outburst. Has your partner ever hit you at least once in the heat of the moment? There is no justifying this behavior; it’s abusive and inexcusable.

22. Making up after the fight

An abusive partner who hits you or verbally abuses you will always try to make up after a fight. They may even try to win you back with sweet words and eternal promises. [Read: How to use the silent treatment effectively in a relationship]

On the other hand, a few abusive partners may give you the silent treatment and sulk in a corner and pretend like the fight was entirely your fault. 

Either way, you may end up feeling sorry for them and try to cheer them up.

23. Forced endings

Your partner may use force to end an argument, either by pushing you away, standing really close to you in an intimidating posture, or raising their hand and walking away. [Read: 25 memorable life lessons that can help you change your life]

24. The slap

Your partner may slap you now and then. Initially, it may be a quick and sharp pat on the cheek for silly errors, and at other times, they would slap you harder to punish you for being stupid or careless. 

Don’t put up with it. It’s a physically abusive person’s way of weaning you and breaking you down, so you get used to the abuse.

25. The controlling partner

In the beginning, your partner may try to behave like they’re involved in your life. But very soon, you’d start to see that you’re being completely controlled by your partner. [Read: 16 ways to stop abusive and controlling behavior in a relationship]

And eventually, you’d lose all your friends, and you’d be all alone and completely dependent on your partner, which is just what they want.

26. The dominant abuser

Your partner is dominating and always wants things their way. They never give in to your wishes, and even if they do, they may sulk or argue with you until you give in to their bidding.

27. Blowing hot and cold

An abusive person is extremely unpredictable in their behavior, and their moods change from happy to angry in a flash for no apparent reason. [Read: Blowing hot and cold – why they do this, the stages, and how to handle it]

And this unpredictable bipolar behavior is almost always directed only toward you, not at their friends or their boss.

28. Dominance and submission

Your abusive partner grovels at your feet when you pick up your courage and take a stand or when you pack your bags to leave. And just when they see you softening or feeling pity for them, they stamp you down at the first sign of your weakness.

29. Picking faults

Your partner always bristles with rage when you pick their faults. They walk away in a huff when you request them to correct something. [Read: How your self-respect affects you and the relationships you have]

On the other hand, they treat you like a spoilt child and expect you to listen to them completely as they yell at you for even the smallest mistakes you make.

Additionally, abusive partner’s never apologize. And the only circumstance when they do apologize is when you start yelling louder than them and take a strong stand.

30. The support system

They convince you that you can’t exist without their support. You lose your own individuality, and you start to doubt yourself and your capabilities. [Read: Family oriented – the meaning, and what it means to be this person]

Eventually, no matter what anyone else says, you’d never be able to walk away as you can’t imagine living without your abusive partner’s support because you’re so dependent on them.

31. The blame game

An abusive lover will blame you for their problems. Right from why they were late to work to their miserable life, they’d always blame you for it. 

And on the rare occasion when they can’t fault you, an abusive partner will never accept blame. Instead, they’d place blame elsewhere or on someone else. [Read: What is a toxic relationship? 53 signs to recognize love that hurts you]

32. Persuasive behavior

A person who abuses you is also a skilled manipulator. They’d speak to you convincingly and make you believe that their outburst was because of your fault or mistake and not theirs. 

This person will always make you doubt yourself and make you believe that everything was your fault and that none of this would have happened if you were a better person.

And because of this, you always end up giving them another chance. [Read: Should you make someone a priority when all you are is an option to them?]

You feel convinced that you somehow had a big part to play and that it was you who caused the outburst because of your faults.

33. Out of control

Your partner may make it seem like their outburst is out of their control, and they can’t hold themselves back. 

But yet, they seem to lose their cool only around you! It’s surprising, isn’t it, that your partner never loses their cool around people whose good books they want to enter? [Read: 25 relationship rules you need to follow for a successful romance]

34. You’re always apologizing

But you don’t really know what you’re apologizing for. In fact, you haven’t done anything wrong. 

People in abused relationships will often apologize because they’re either scared to start an argument or have become so used to being blamed for everything. Apologizing becomes second nature.

35. You’ve pulled away from friends and family

In the beginning, you probably won’t notice this happening because when you’re in love, you want to spend all your time with your partner. [Read: How to be your own hero and re-take control over your life]

But eventually, you make time to see your friends and family. If your partner is pushing you to end relationships and distance yourself from family, end this relationship.

36. They punish you

This doesn’t mean they spank you or lock you up in your room *if that does happen, it is abusive behavior*. But usually, abusers will punish their partners by withholding something of meaning from their partners. 

This can be money or affection. By withholding these things, they make their partner have to work for them. And that is sick. [Read: You should never, ever tolerate these signs of a bad relationship]

37. You need permission for everything

Listen, there’s nothing wrong with telling your partner where you are going. But there’s a difference between letting them know what you’re doing and receiving permission for plans. 

If you must ask for permission before committing to plans, then that’s a red flag.

38. They always change plans

Though they like to tell you it’s a “surprise,” they’re always changing plans last minute. Though it sounds sweet in the beginning, this is them exerting their control over the relationship. [Read: Controlling relationship – 42 signs and ways to love without bullying]

These changes don’t come with any discussion between you; they make the decision, and you must follow.

39. They don’t support you

Maybe you just graduated from university at the top of your class or received a job promotion. Those are amazing achievements and something you should be proud of. 

But your partner doesn’t celebrate those with you. Instead, they make degrading comments and insult your strengths. But this is their insecurity. [Read: Controlling vs. caring – a thin line controlling people love to cross]

They can’t handle being with someone who achieves more than them.

40. You always need to check in with them

It’s one thing if you’re walking home alone at night, and your partner asks you to text them when you get home; that’s fine. 

But if you’re at school and your partner asks you to take a photo of yourself to see who’s sitting next to you, that’s a big problem. Trust issues and low self-esteem are the ingredients of abusive behavior.  [Read: The subtle signs you’re being manipulated by your lover]

41. You have to walk on eggshells

You’re terrified of making your partner upset or angry, so you walk on eggshells to avoid any conflict. 

But if you have to make yourself feel uncomfortable for them to be emotionally stable, then you’re already experiencing subtle abusive behavior from them.

42. They’ve threatened you

Maybe you’ve tried to break up with them, but it didn’t go down so well. [Read: How to play mind games with a guy over text and stop him from using you]

When you brought up the topic, your partner made numerous threats about hurting you, your family, or friends, and maybe even themselves.

This is a manipulation tactic to get you to stay in the relationship. If they’ve made those threats, tell your loved ones, and go to the police.

43. You’re not sexually attracted to them anymore

If you’re in an abusive relationship, your trust has been broken. Once that happens, it’s very hard to become sexually aroused by someone you trusted and loved. [Read: Not attracted to your husband? 30 signs and ways to fix a loss of interest]

Though you still may love them, the feelings of anger and hurt override everything. Your body no longer sees them as a partner.

44. They’re very jealous

We all can be jealous from time to time. But there’s a line. For most people, jealousy never reaches an abusive point. 

If your partner is accusing you of cheating on them or makes aggressive comments when you speak to someone of the opposite sex, then this is a huge red flag and one of those clear signs of an abusive relationship.

And it’s not going to get better. [Read: 15 subtle signs of a controlling boyfriend most girls don’t notice]

45. They insult you

We all like to make jokes and tease each other, whether it’s with our partners, friends, or family members. But there are jokes, and then there are insults disguised as jokes. 

Your partner likes to use “jokes” as a way to put you down with harmful comments. When you address this, you’re told you’re overly sensitive and “can’t take a joke.”

46. You feel if you leave, no one will want you

Maybe you thought about leaving your partner, and if you have, you already know something isn’t right in your relationship. [Read: Low self-worth – 5 steps to see yourself in a better light]

But you feel if you leave, you’re going to be alone. No one else will want to be with you. That’s simply not true. 

47. You feel bad for them 

They abuse you, but you feel bad for them. This isn’t a natural reaction; they’ve manipulated you to the point where whatever they do has some sort of past trauma connected to it. 

While they’re hurting you, you’re feeling bad for them. But their behavior is something they can control and get help for, so don’t fall for that. [Read: The devious signs of manipulative behavior you should never ignore]

48. They’ve physically hurt you

Whether they pushed you, slapped you, or grabbed you, that’s physical abuse and cannot be tolerated or accepted. If your partner has touched you with the intent to hurt you, that’s abuse. 

It will not get better from here. It will get worse. Call the police, leave the area, and go somewhere safe.

Effects of abusive relationships

No one wants to be in an abusive relationship, but so many people do find themselves in one. The long-term effects of abuse can take a toll on the victim and result in feelings such as these. [Read: The biggest and most obvious signs of a controlling personality]

1. Confused

At the beginning of the abuse, confusion will set in because you wonder why your partner has suddenly turned from someone who was nice to you to someone who is abusing you. 

Why would they do this to you? They love you, right? Thoughts of confusion surrounding these issues are very common.

In addition to that, many abusers also gaslight their victims. Gaslighting is trying to confuse a victim into thinking that they’re crazy. This is very effective for abusers as it weakens your resolve and makes you think you’re somehow deserving of their abuse. [Read: 18 signs of a manipulative woman that can leave you lost and confused]

2. Hopeless

If you have been in an abusive relationship for a while, eventually, many victims feel hopeless. They might be very fearful of their abusers, and so they don’t see any way to get away from them.

Many abusers isolate their victims and keep them away from their friends and family. They might not even allow them to have a job, a car, or even leave the house. In these cases, it’s very likely that hopelessness will set in for the victim.

3. Guilty

The abusers will criticize and belittle their victims. They will tell them what they’re doing wrong, and all of these can result in the victim feeling guilty for their actions. [Read: Guilty conscience – what it is and 21 emotional signs of guilt people feel]

However, this is ironic because it’s actually the abuser that should feel guilty for their actions – not the victim. Many victims start believing their abuser’s false narrative that they are a bad person, and so the guilt can be overwhelming.

How to get out of an abusive relationship

No matter which situation describes what you’re going through, you need to get out. Nobody is worth compromising your mental and physical health.

If they really loved you in the first place, they wouldn’t be treating you so terribly. [Read: Should I break up with my boyfriend? 36 signs you MUST do to be happy]

However, it’s often easier said than done. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the steps to take to get out of an abusive relationship. Don’t let your abusive relationship ruin you. Please get out before it’s too late.

1. Realize you are actually in an abusive relationship

Many people in abusive relationships are in complete denial. You must first realize your relationship is unhealthy before you try to get out of it.

Notice the warning signs and ask others if they think it’s an abusive relationship as well. Normally, your friends and family will have already mentioned something about the unhealthy behavior in your relationship. [Read: 17 relationship red flags most people completely ignore]

2. Go to your support system

Go to your friends and family members and talk to them about your situation. Odds are they’ve been waiting for that day to come so they can help you out of something terrible.

Your support system helps you throughout the whole process. Their main purpose is to ensure you never revert to staying there. 

They can be present whenever you need them, and they should always help you get out of that abusive relationship. [Read: Love is a trap – why, the signs, 30 signs you’re trapped and ways to free yourself]

3. Keep your decision quiet

A lot of the time, voicing the fact you’re going to leave only places your significant other on edge and makes them angry—which leads to more abuse.

If you’re planning on leaving and trying to get your affairs in order to leave peacefully, then keep your decision quiet. Don’t announce it. 

Don’t go around talking about it to anyone other than your support system. This gives your abusive partner nothing to get angry about and allows you to leave without a fuss. [Read: 25 ways to end a relationship without making it messy]

4. Avoid abusive situations

If you’re trying to get out of the relationship, the best thing for you to do is gain back some confidence and power.

You may need to just avoid them, in general, to stay away from this. That’s perfectly fine. However, don’t arouse any suspicion in them because that only makes matters worse. 

Just keep your distance to help the process of leaving them to go a lot smoother. [Read: Sexually abusive situations – subtle signs you’re being abused]

5. Have somewhere you can go

Make a plan on where you’re going to go when you leave them. This can be a friend’s place, your parents’ place, or even a new apartment if you get it together before leaving them.

The point is you want to have a place to go that is safe for you to stay away from them. 

When they find out you’re leaving, it will not go over well, so be sure you have a place to go where they won’t be able to bother you. [Read: 16 clear signs it’s time for you to leave the relationship]

6. Gather all important documents

If you’re living together, then you probably have all your tax documents and identification in the shared place. 

You can’t just walk out and then politely ask for them. Your abusive ex-partner is not going to be willing to just hand them over nicely.

Make sure to gather all these forms and cards before you leave without making them suspicious. [Read: Selfish boyfriend – 23 signs he’s totally self-centered and how to deal with it]

Get them out and to a friend’s place, where they can be stored safely until you’re completely out of the relationship and away from them.

7. Have someone with you when you actually leave

If you do live with them and need to move your belongings, you’ll want to have someone with you because it won’t be a fun situation to be alone. They’ll be angry and hurt—two things that cause some people to act abusively.

Get a few different friends or family members to be with you just so they don’t even have the chance to try and make you stay, and so you can get everything out of there quickly. [Read: How to recognize and end toxic relationships]

8. Remind yourself why you’re leaving

If you’re in an abusive relationship, it can be hard to keep your wits about you. You’ve been abused for so long that you get lured back into their charm and forget about leaving.

Constantly remind yourself why you’re leaving and why you two can’t be together. Put yourself above anything else when you’re in an abusive relationship. It can help you see clearly.

9. Get the police involved if necessary

Some people can’t hope to get out of an abusive relationship if it’s severe enough to warrant police involvement.

If you don’t feel safe and are terrified to even attempt to leave, the police can escort you. [Read: How to recognize and stop selfish people from repeatedly hurting you]

The law enforcement in your area will come to your aid and simply stand by as you move your things and leave them. They protect and help you in any abusive situation if it’s so extreme that it needs it.

This makes it easier for you to get over them and to see clearly, and it doesn’t give them the opportunity to further the abuse.

10. You don’t need this person

Stop convincing yourself that you need your abusive partner to exist. It’s not easy because you’ve been manipulated into believing that you’re dependent on them. [Read: Emotional manipulation: ways people mess with your mind]

Start one step at a time and try to do things independently.

11. Take back control of your life

Don’t put up with the abuse quietly. Don’t be afraid to make a scene. It’s almost always the one thing that scares an abuser away. 

You may be scared to take a stand, but the very minute you do, you’ll start to feel your own confidence and independence welling up inside of you. [Read: How to be happy again – 20 ways to draw happiness from within]

12. Have a code word

If your abuser still allows you to talk to your family and friends, then it would be wise to come up with a code word. The purpose of a code word is to alert others when you are in danger. 

For example, when you’re on the phone with them when your abuser is around, you can talk about how you want to eat some ice cream. “Ice cream” could be your code word for “I’m in danger.”

13. Have a “go” bag ready

If your abuser keeps you in the house all the time, then you might not know when you will be able to make your escape. [Read: How to leave a toxic relationship – 24 steps to end it and find happiness]

Also, if they are at the house all the time, you never know when they are going to leave.

That’s why having a “go” bag ready is important. When you have one, you can be ready to leave at a moment’s notice – as soon as your abuser leaves you alone.

14. Do a practice drill

If you can, it also helps to do a practice drill for when the time comes to get away from your abuser. Do it with the help of a friend if you can.

Practice how you’re going to leave and where you’re going to go. [Read: 36 signs of disrespect in a relationship that reveal a lack of love and respect]

15. Don’t use a phone that your abuser has access to

Abusers will always keep tabs on your every move, and that includes searching your phone. So, if you can, get a secret phone that they don’t know about. Have a trusted family member or friend pay the bill and have it sent to their house.

If you can’t do that, there are apps that can be put on your phone that alert a person or the authorities that you’re in danger. It looks like a regular, normal app so that your abuser won’t notice or figure out what it is.

16. Get help from a therapist

When you’re involved in an abusive relationship, it’s never easy to confront it all by yourself. [Read: Reasons couple’s therapy isn’t working for you]

Get some kind of support – a therapist would be ideal if you can. But if you can’t, at least get help from a friend or the family and let this person know what you’re experiencing.

Talk to them about how you should handle the abuse, and if need be, get professional help.

17. Cut them out of your life COMPLETELY

Now that you’ve got out of the relationship, you must remove them from every other aspect of your life.

COMPLETELY get rid of them and everything about them. Otherwise, the abuse continues even without them. [Read: No contact rule – what it is, how to use it, and why it works so well]

Get rid of all their stuff, delete and block their number, unfriend them on all social media, and don’t let them have any way of contacting you. 

18. Find your own happiness

For a very long time, you’ve forgotten what it feels like to be genuinely happy without having to worry about what your abusive partner would want or think. Put the abusive relationship as a bad page in your life and move on. 

Try to find happiness by staying around people who care for you and who want you to be happy. [Read: How to fall out of love when you see no future in your relationship]

Over time, you’ll look back at the abusive relationship and wonder what took you so long to walk away!

Nip it in the bud

This is something everyone needs to know. Address abusive behavior as soon as you sense it in your relationship. Your first reaction to abuse makes all the difference.

Most of us overlook the first abuse because we’re in love or care too much about this person. But your reaction to the first verbal abuse or the first punch will determine how the future of the relationship would turn out. [Read: Top 20 reasons for divorce that most couples overlook!]

If you accept it meekly or even try to apologize for making a mistake, you’re paving the path to more pain and darker abuse.

The last word about abusive relationships

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. You probably know that line already. 

By continuing to live in an abusive relationship where you’re putting everything aside just to get your partner’s affection, you’re not just affecting yourself. [Read: 16 subtle and yet shocking signs of a controlling partner]

You’re affecting your family, your friends, and your kids if you have any. 

And one day, the people who stand up for you may eventually start disliking you and distancing themselves from you because you don’t listen to them and yet ask them for help all the time. [Read: How to break up with a narcissist and fly off their gilded cage]

Take a stand. As hard as it may seem right now to confront an abusive partner, it’ll seem much easier, and you’d feel more confident the very next time you take a stand for what you believe in.

And lastly, remember this – you are not responsible for an abusive lover’s actions, nor can you change an abusive partner. Some people can’t change, and the safest bet you can take is walking away. [Read: 16 ways to change an abusive partner and make them better]

When it comes to intimate relationships *or any relationship*, the moment you see these signs of an abusive relationship, get out now and go somewhere safe.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...