By definition, abuse means to use wrongly or improperly, to hurt or injure by maltreatment. Now, how does one define an abusive relationship and how does one get out of it? An abusive relationship is when one partner starts to hurt his/her partner physically, verbally and emotionally and victims of an abusive relationship don't know when to break up until the damage has been done.
What determines an abusive relationship? Does it involve an exchange of physical altercations or verbal barrage of insults and putdowns or does it involve hurting the other one emotionally? The answer is a simple yes, whether it's either one or all of the mentioned determinants. Breaking up with an abusive partner is the only option to get out of an abusive relationship as early as possible. But when people in a relationship fight, it always involves an exchange of hurtful words and yet after the fight, promises of the fight not happening again are made and broken. It's one vicious cycle, to tell you the truth. Here are some early tell-tale signs that your partner is abusive and/or your relationship into an abusive path:
1.) Verbal abuse - your partner tends to say mean and hurtful things to you with no regards for your self esteem and dignity. He/she demeans your whole being.
2.) Physical abuse - your partner starts to lay a hand on you when you fight, be it a strong grab in the arm, a pinch or slap here, or a punch. A physical altercation is already a tell-tale sign that he/she is abusive when angry.
3.) Emotional abuse - your partner neglects your relationship by not showing up for dates, forgetting important issues like anniversaries, and the worst part cheating. He/she suddenly and drastically changes his/her entire being.
Bad break ups often come from an abusive relationship because one is more hurt the other and a break up from an abusive relationship has its share of hangovers and aftershocks. When people come out of an abusive relationship, it's already been too late and the damage has been done to their:
1.) Self esteem
2.) Self respect
3.) Value of self importance
Battered women have a hard time moving on from their broken marriage/relationship because of the trauma caused by the abuse. I am not saying that only battered women feel this way, but also for men who have weak foundations in their being.
When these signs have already started to show, then you already know when to break up and it is best if you do it fast. When all you get out of that relationship is heartache, then breaking up is the only option for you.
Emotionally abusive relationships are not always obvious. Unlike physical abuse, that leaves external marks, emotional abuse can be more subtle and challenging to recognize. Often, victims of emotional abuse feel unworthy inferior, incapable, and even crazy. When reality is questioned, the victim may not be sure that his or her perceptions of what is happening are correct. Over time, this can leave a person in a state of believing the abuser is right about all of his or her defects, and feeling as if he or she deserves no better. Here are 6 signs your partner is behaving in an emotionally abusive way toward you:
1. It seems that no matter what you do, large or small tasks, your partner puts you down. You might even be receiving criticism for how you are as far as your personality traits, beliefs, or morals. This could be in the form of name calling, or it might be more subtle.
2. At the end of your day, you feel obliged to give a "report" of your activities to your partner, then proceed to defend and justify yourself. At times it might seem easier just to perform activities you know your partner will approve of, just to avoid criticism and anger.
3. You are finding yourself increasingly isolated from the rest of your support network. When you want to make plans with others, your partner either prohibits it or puts pressure on you to cancel or "choose" him or her instead.
4. When you explore the possibility or work or career opportunities, you meet resistance from your partner. This is true of most endeavors which might make your more independent of your partner.
5. Sex is less an expression of love and caring, and is more a tool of manipulation. Either you are coerced into intimate acts regardless of your feelings, or you are rejected and sex and affection are withheld purposefully.
6. When kind acts occur, they seem randomized or as a result of bad behavior on your partner's part - ultimately, your partner is nice to you in order to keep you in the relationship if you are starting to pull away. Overall, your sense is that there is an implied non-physical threat to not doing what your partner wants.
By F Kearns and S Cooke