Five Signs Your Relationship Is Bad for You
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably seen the explosive coverage of high-profile abuse cases involving celebrities such as Chris Brown and Ray Rice. It's easy to sit in judgment of other women who stay in abusive relationships. Often, though, a woman in an abusive relationship doesn't realize the relationship is abusive until it's become extremely difficult to get out. Whether you're starting a new relationship or have been with the same person for years, here are five signs it's time to consider leaving.
Your Partner Tries to Control You
Every relationship involves some negotiation about how you spend your time and what relationship rules you adopt. If you feel like you're dating a parent who controls your ever move, though, you're almost certainly in an abusive relationship. Abusers commonly try to isolate their targets by alienating them from friends and family. Some even attempt to undermine financial independence or health.
Your Partner Berates You
Everyone occasionally says things they regret in the heat of an emotionally charged fight. If every fight means listening to a litany of crimes you've committed, being called abusive names, or being systematically torn down, though, your relationship is abusive. Your partner should make you feel better about yourself, not worse.
Your Partner Won't Communicate
Communication difficulties are part and parcel of just about every relationship. A partner who refuses to practice open and egalitarian communication, though, is a problem. If your partner is uninterested in your health or family, tells you to shut up, or won't share his feelings openly, you deserve better. And if your partner lies to you or says bad things about you to third parties, run.
Your Partner Hits You
It doesn't matter what you said or did. It doesn't matter how angry your partner is or how fervently he promises not to hit you again. A man who hits out of anger is a man who feels entitled to take his emotions out on others. This sort of person won't stop without intensive intervention. Promises aren't enough. If your partner hits, smacks, slaps, chokes, grabs, or otherwise physically harms you, leave. Right now.
You're Not Sure Whether the Relationship is Abusive
A quick Google search yields hundreds of checklists designed to help you determine whether your relationship is abusive. The truth, though, is that you probably already know if you're in an unhealthy relationship. If you're looking for these checklists, it's a good indication that somethings gone wrong in your relationship. At the very least, consider seeing a relationship counselor. And if things have turned sour, don't be afraid to take stock, then get out. It could save your life.
If you need help getting out of an abusive relationship, or are just looking for someone to talk to, contact the Domestic Violence Hotline here.