Every relationship has its ups and downs, and problems. However, there comes a time when harmless bickering (which at times can be a sign of a healthy relationship) crosses a line and becomes abuse. One of the most confusing factors for a man or woman to determine, is whether or not they are in an abusive situation. This is especially difficult because it is common in abusive relationships for the abuser to gain power and control over his or her victim and make them believe that their relationship is normal. Combine this with the fact that many abusers blame their victims and are masters at making them believe that they are the ones at fault.
Abusive relationships are more than just fights that resemble scenes of domestic violence and battery depicted on Hollywood movie screens. If you are in a relationship that robs your sense of self-esteem due to constantly being put down or being spoke to in a continually verbally degrading manner, then you are being emotionally and verbally abused. It is important to realize that verbal and emotional abuse is just as damaging as physical abuse, and often it might be harder to recover from. Since all cases of abuse damage the emotions, it is easier for a body to heal than it is to heal a wounded spirit, broken heart, and bruised self-esteem.
Understanding the nature of domestic abuse and domestic violence are the first steps in determining whether or not you are in an abusive relationship. Domestic abuse involves one partner using tactics such as guilt, fear, shame, or intimidation to try and gain power or control over the other person. Often the abuser attempts to isolate the partner from friends and family members as this helps them to gain more control. If they can isolate the person and cause them to become completely dependent upon their abuser, they can continue to abuse without fear that someone will discover what they are doing.
The difference between domestic abuse and domestic violence, is violence or physical assault. Once the fear, threats, and intimidation take on a physical nature it is domestic violence. Though society often pictures women as being the sole victim of domestic abuse or domestic violence, it is important to realize that abusive relationships have no gender or sexual preference. Same sex relationships as well as men and women can all be the victims of domestic abuse or domestic violence.
The main purpose of domestic abuse and domestic violence is to gain power and control over their victims. Though this is not an all inclusive list, the following are some signs that you might be in an abusive relationship. Ask yourself if your partner often humiliates, criticizes, or yells at you. Also, if you feel that he or she views you as a sex object or as his or her property and not your own person, than you are in an abusive relationship. These behaviors can translate into victims who feel afraid to discuss certain topics with their partner, or feel that they can never do anything right. If you are afraid of your partner or believe that you are in an abusive relationship, then you must get help. Contact your local community crisis center and explain your situation. They will be able to point you in the right direction and help you get the help you need.