October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and while most women would agree that physical violence has no part in a love relationship, what are more subtle signs that you are not being treated well? not just every once in a while, but most of the time. He never caveats his views with “I think” or “In my opinion.” He doesn’t show interest in how you or others see the world. He says you flirt with other men, even though you don’t. But, if you recognize yourself in these above examples, you should know this is not normal and it’s not okay. Seek the counsel of family, friends, clergy, online forums, professional counselors/therapists and other resources local to your town.
Where do you draw the line between ordinary arguments and emotional abuse? You never know what mood he will be in, or what you did this time to upset him, but he is always sure it’s your fault. He may call you dumb or naïve or otherwise try to undermine your self-esteem. Keep in mind that abusive behavior typically has a circular pattern, so even if things seem better this week, the tension may soon build up again, eventually erupting into ugly arguments and the cycle begins again.
No one should live in fear of the person they love.
If you recognize yourself or someone you know in the following warning signs and descriptions of abuse, reach out. When people think of domestic abuse, they often focus on domestic violence.
For more information, visit The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied.
Consequently, you find yourself walking on eggshells trying to avoid problems, but it never seems to work. Interestingly, while he belittles you in private, he may be quite the charmer in public. Don’t assume that things will get better on their own.
You feel a knot in your stomach whenever he is around you. This is extra confusing, because none of your friends or family are able to validate what you’re experiencing. Often, they tend to get worse over time and might even cross over into the realm of physical attacks.
He repeatedly blames you for all misunderstandings, mocks your concerns and throws them back in your face. The best way to describe your feelings is “confused.” You aren’t happy, but you’re not sure of your alternatives.
Trying to preserve things as they are in the name of harmony is simply not in your best interest.
You’ve tried talking to him about the problems with your relationship. You have a lot of empathy for him and think that with your love he will change, if only you hang in there long enough Now, I don’t know your particular situation and cannot tell you if your boyfriend falls into the abuser category. Educate yourself about emotional or psychological abuse.
Now, editing your thoughts and second-guessing yourself has become second-nature. You’ve become an expert in trying to see the world from his point of view.
But domestic abuse occurs whenever one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person.