Some people have some issues with their relationships, but sometimes, they get to a point where people really struggle and they could be in an abusive relationship. If you are in a relationship that is having troubles, and you aren't sure if you could consider it to be an abusive relationship, that's why I've written this article. Let's take a closer look at abusive relationships, how you can discover whether or not you are in one, and how to get out if you have to do so. This information can help save you from a lot of hurt, so it's important that you read it.
How Do I Know If I Am In An Abusive Relationship?
Sadly, there are a lot of things that can be listed as abuse if there are things going on that don't seem quite right. They could range in anything, so we're going to break it down a bit for you so that you can know what you have to look for. Here are some of the signs of an abusive relationship.
- Manipulation on account of one partner or another.
- Physical abuse, such as hitting, punching, slapping, or other afflictions of physical pain.
- One partner is deeply afraid of the other.
- Humiliation, yelling, or constant criticizing of one partner to the other.
- One partner believes that they deserve to be mistreated or disrespected for one reason or another.
- Threats to hurt or kill the other partner.
- Jealousy and possessiveness.
- Forced sexual relations or unwanted touching.
- Threatening to commit suicide or do other types of harm if you leave the relationship.
- Limits your access to other people, whether by phone, email, or other means.
- Breaking items in the home or exhibiting destructive behaviors.
- Bad mouthing and lying to you about friends and family members.
So, as you can see, there are a lot of things that fall underneath the umbrella of abuse, and obviously, they may manifest themselves in different ways. But if any or all of these things are happening to you, you are likely in an abusive relationship and you need to find a way to protect yourself in one way or another. It may be hard for you to do so, but it is incredibly important for your health and your wellbeing that you get out of the relationship and go somewhere safe as soon as you possibly can. By doing this, you can break the cycle, live the life that you want to live, and be free from the abuse that you may have been experiencing for a long period of time in your life.
How Do I Get Out of an Abusive Relationship?
There are a lot of things that you need to be able to consider if you are trying to get out of an abusive relationship, and it can be really hard for you to do so if you aren't exactly sure where you are going to go after you've left. There are a few things that you can do in order to make sure that you get out of the relationship in such a way that the person in question will not come and find you or endanger you again after you've already been gone for a period of time.
Contact your local women's shelter or go to a health care provider of some sort. If you are injured, you want to go to the hospital or a walk-in clinic so that you can get the care that you need. Either way, you will likely end up in a women's shelter (or, if you are a man, you can end up in a men's shelter as well - abusive relationships can go either way) or you can go and stay with family members, if they feel as if they are able to protect you and give you what you need in order to get back on your feet after you've decided to leave the relationship.
Keep any evidence of the abuse that you can for proof that you can use later on. This is hard to do, especially if you're worried about your partner finding out, but you have to try and keep all of those things so that, when the case goes to court, you have everything that you need in order to prove that abuse was going on. Take pictures of the bruises, gather up broken items, record conversations that you've had, do everything that you can, in a subtle way, so that you have the proof of abuse so that you are able to prove your case and get the safety and protection that you need in order to move on.
Make a plan so that you can leave without your partner finding out or knowing. Plans are hard to pull off, especially if your partner is controlling, but if you have a plan in place, you're going to be a lot better off when you have to leave. Make sure that your car has a full tank of gas and that it is ready to go when you are leaving the home. Where will you go? Will anyone know where you're going? Who are you going to stay with? Will you be able to get what you need in order to get through? Having that all ready will make the process a little less stressful.
Set money aside so that you do not have to access a mutual bank account that you already share. Using a mutual bank account can actually leave a paper trail, and your abuser may be able to find you more easily. So by saving up cash and setting it aside with family members or putting it somewhere safe, you will be more likely to be able to get on your feet and you will keep yourself safe from the person who has been hurting you. It's also good to have money set aside for a backup plan, because you will need cash and it will help you to feel a little more secure in what may be going on.
Keep your children safe, if there are children involved in the situation. This is, perhaps, the worst part of dealing with an abusive situation. If there are children involved, you have to make sure that there is a way for them to stay safe and get out when you do. You can leave them with a family member, you can make sure that they get to where they need to go before you leave, or you can do any other number of things in order to keep them safe. Your children have to be a major priority, because they need your help in order to be safe and ready to go as well.
Have a bag packed with everything that you need, including important contact information and all of your identifying documents that you may need in order to function. The bag is incredibly important to have put together, because otherwise, you're going to be leaving with nothing. You want to have the security of your identifying documents and such so that you don't have to worry about all of the different issues that you may have trying to get them later. You will also have clean clothes and a number of other things that you need to get through a few days, until you can either get your stuff out safely, or until you get back on your feet again.
So, as you can see, there are a lot of things that you need to consider when you are looking at your relationship. But all is not lost - many times, help from a qualified therapist can help you to heal from an abusive relationship and it can help you to sort things out in your mind. In the cases it may not, you may need to seek out leaving the relationship. Either way, you will want to find a therapist that can help you through the difficult, painful process of healing from the wounds. Find one by using the Theravive site today.
Hartwell-Walker, M. (2007). How do I get out of abusive relationship? - Ask the Therapist. Retrieved July 4, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/05/27/how-do-i-get-out-of-abusive-relationship/
Radwan, M. F. (2011). The Ultimate Source for Understanding Yourself and others. Retrieved July 4, 2014, from http://www.2knowmyself.com/Leaving_Abusive_relationships/how_to_get_out_of_emotionally_abusive_relationships
San Luis Obispo Women's Shelter. (n.d.). Am I In An Abusive Relationship? Retrieved July 4, 2014, from http://www.womensshelterslo.org/get-informed/am-i-in-an-abusive-relationship
Smith, M., & Segal, J. (2014, February). Domestic Violence and Abuse. Retrieved July 4, 2014, from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm
Velez, A. (2012, July 13). 15 Signs You're in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship. Retrieved July 4, 2014, from http://thestir.cafemom.com/love_sex/138933/15_signs_youre_in_an
Christie Hunter is registered clinical counselor in British Columbia and co-founder of Theravive. She is a certified management accountant. She has a masters of arts in counseling psychology from Liberty University with specialty in marriage and family and a post-graduate specialty in trauma resolution. In 2007 she started Theravive with her husband in order to help make mental health care easily attainable and nonthreatening. She has a passion for gifted children and their education. You can reach Christie at 360-350-8627 or write her at christie - at - theravive.com.