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How to Know You’re in an Abusive Relationship

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You think you’ve found the perfect person to have a relationship with. Everything he/she does is so touching, especially in the initial stages of the relationship. He/She is so thoughtful, and goes out of the way to ensure that all of your needs are met. There are red flags, tiny ones … but you choose to ignore them, thinking that these are merely your imagination. (i.e.: the glare you receive when you smile at a waiter … is just one example).


As the relationship progresses, you find yourself altering your behavior to accommodate him, or to please him. Then, as it moves forward, more warning signs start to appear.


Gradually, the communication deteriorates because anything that you say will force an adult conversation to erupt into him losing his cool and unleashing a tirade on you.


I’m listing some other signs that you are in an emotionally abusive relationship below. If you can recognize most of them, maybe eliminate three—you have a serious problem that requires professional help from a psychologist. Most emotionally abusive couples opt out of this, and instead break up—surrounded by a confused bewilderment. How did things go so terribly “wrong”?


Answer: They were always there, you chose to not acknowledge the red flags because he/she was so attentive initially and just the greatest person in the world.


  1. Are you frequently misunderstood, and your intentions deemed dishonorable or manipulative? Do you end up feeling perplexed and frustrated?
  2. Do you feel as if there is something wrong with you, you feel bad and can’t figure out why?
  3. Does your partner almost always disagree with you, and the smallest of discussions evolve into a major fight?
  4. Do you feel obligated to “give in” just to keep the peace in the relationship? Are you continually finding yourself fighting back what you’d like to say?
  5. If you approach your partner to talk about an issue with him/her, do you feel made to believe that it’s insignificant and not worth talking about?
  6. Do you think that everything is your fault and that if you can somehow fix your flaws that everything would be okay in the relationship?
  7. Do you often give into sex and your partner’s sexual demands just to keep peace—even if you don’t want to?
  8. Can your partner laugh at his own mistakes, or even admit his own weaknesses and shortcomings…or is he too busy focused on why you make his life miserable?
  9. Does your partner have total control of all the finances in the relationship, and criticize you for spending anything?
  10. Would your partner feel uneasy or criticize you for even reading this blog?


Continually having someone pointing out your faults, telling you things that are false about you, and you are jumping through hoop after hoop trying to “fix” yourself to accommodate the relationship is a futile effort. You will never be what he/she wants you to be, even if you do manage to “make things right”—down the road there will be contradictions—and all the things you’ve “made right” will be wrong.


There are serious emotional issues with your partner that stem so far back into his/her life, and the only way that he/she is able to validate his/her life is through the total control and belittling of his partner. Is this “love”? No. But it certainly presents itself as love initially … until the internal monster emerges.


As tough as it may be, if you value you and your own sanity, stop. The only person you can “fix” in this relationship is you.


Originally written by ProConnect Member Jane Wilcox for YourTango.com

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