Abusive Relationship: Signs of Abuse, and What to Do Next

  • 9 mins read

Have you ever been in an abusive relationship?

Maybe it was with a lover, or maybe it was with a friend—but either way, it’s hard to know how to deal with abuse. Sometimes, we’re not even aware that what’s happening is abuse.

And other times, we’re so used to being treated badly that we don’t know there’s any other way to be treated.

No cap, a good relationship should be built on trust, respect, and love. When one of these pillars is missing, it results in an unhealthy relationship. In some cases, abuse may be present in the relationship. Abuse is a form of behavior that takes place when one person uses power over another in order to manipulate or control them. While abuse isn’t limited to romantic relationships, it’s common for people to experience this type of behavior from their significant others.

Signs of relationship abuse

An abusive relationship is one in which one person has control over another’s life and actions.

Abuse can be physical (like hitting or punching), emotional (like yelling at the other person), or verbal (like calling them names). It can also be financial, like taking all of the money earned by the other person for themselves.

When you’re in an abusive relationship, you may feel like you have no power to leave—and that’s because the abuser wants it that way. But if you’ve been noticing signs of abuse in your relationship, don’t stay silent! You deserve to be treated with respect and kindness, and it is never okay to be abused by someone else.

If you think your partner might be abusive, the following are signs that you may be dealing with an abusive partner:

1/ Emotional Abuse

When you see someone or something as a threat, your response may be to attack it in some way. This is called “fight or flight” and is an important reaction for our survival: if we can’t fight or run away from danger, we need to use other means of protecting ourselves.

However, when people are exposed to long-term abuse and trauma—whether it’s emotional abuse (the more common type), physical abuse, or sexual abuse—this instinctive response gets muddled. The victim becomes conditioned not only to accept the abuse but also to react with fear and anger toward anyone who tries to help them escape it.

Here are some signs that someone might be experiencing emotional abuse:

  • They’re often embarrassed by their partner’s behavior but don’t want others to know about it because they’re afraid no one will believe them;
  • They stay in abusive relationships because they think all relationships are like this;
  • When trying something new like learning how to drive a car at night on country roads, they become easily stressed out by small things like traffic jams or having trouble counting backward from 10;

2/ Financial Abuse

You may be in a relationship with someone who is financially abusive. This is when one person, usually a woman, is controlled by the other person. Financial abuse may also be referred to as “economic abuse.”

Financial abuse can happen when:

  • You are forced to give up your paycheck or money from household chores or paid work (such as babysitting or yard work).
  • Your partner makes all of the financial decisions for you and you don’t have access to any of the bills.
  • You are not allowed to spend any money without their permission and they frequently withhold money from you at times that are inconvenient for you (for example, if they know that payday isn’t until next week but need something right now).
  • You owe them money because they have made bad decisions on behalf of both of you but claim that it’s your responsibility since “you’re an adult.”

3/ Physical Abuse

Signs of abusive relationship

Physical abuse is the use of physical force against someone in a way that injures or endangers their health. It’s also possible for one event to be considered physical abuse, but more often than not it’s a pattern of behavior that constitutes this type of relationship problem. Physical abuse can be carried out by a partner anything — whether they’ve known the victim long-term or are just beginning to date them.

Physical abuse includes things like pushing, shoving, and restraining someone; punching and kicking; burning with cigarettes or other objects; throwing objects at others; attacking with weapons such as knives or guns; threatening violence with weapons such as knives or guns; sexually assaulting someone (rape); forcing someone into sexual acts.

4/ Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is any type of sexual activity that you don’t want. This includes touching, kissing, or intercourse. You may be forced to do these things by your partner or someone else. Sexual abuse is a form of physical and emotional abuse. It can happen to anyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. If your partner forces you against your will or tries to manipulate you into having sex with them, then it is abuse.

5/ Cyber Stalking

This is one of the most common forms of domestic violence. Cyberstalking can make you feel like your personal safety is at risk, and it can cause serious damage to your self-esteem, confidence, and sense of security.

Cyberstalking can happen in person or online, but either way, it involves repeated threatening or harassing behavior over time. In some cases, cyberstalking is done specifically for the purpose of intimidation—to frighten someone into doing something they don’t want to do (like leaving their relationship). In other cases, cyberstalking may happen alongside other forms of abuse such as physical violence or emotional abuse that are meant to dominate their victim’s life choices by making them feel trapped in their situation.

This usually happens when you break up with your ex. They’d want to do anything to get to your skin. Please, don’t take it lightly. Report to the police if at any time you notice this.

Help for Abusers — Getting the Help You Need

signs of abusive relationship

If you’re an abuser, there are ways to help yourself. You can seek counseling or attend support groups with other abusers who are making changes in their lives. It may help to talk with someone who understands your experience and can give you guidance on how to change. Some abusive men have learned that they need help with their behavior but don’t know where to start looking for it. Connecting with a professional who has experience working with abusers can be beneficial in understanding the impact of your behavior and identifying what needs changing in order for the abuse cycle to stop.

To get started on changing your behaviors, consider these steps:

* Seek counseling from someone who is trained in domestic violence work or has some knowledge about abuse issues (there are many organizations that offer free resources). If you’re interested in seeking individual counseling as opposed to group therapy, look for a therapist who is aware of domestic violence issues so that she can understand the complexities of an abusive relationship; this will allow her to provide more effective assistance when working through problems together!

* Understand your role in the abuse. If you’re an abuser, it’s important for you to recognize that your actions have consequences for others. Take some time now to think about how your abusive behavior has affected your partner and anyone else who might be impacted by it. Understanding how domestic violence impacts everyone involved can help guide where you should focus your efforts at change.

* Get help for your behavior, not just the outcome of it. If you’re an abuser, then chances are good that there is something inside yourself that makes it difficult to be respectful towards others. Consider seeking counseling or therapy as a way to deal with these issues. * Recognize the impact of your behavior on your partner and others. Understanding how domestic violence impacts everyone involved can help guide where you should focus your efforts at change. * Learn better communication skills such as active listening.

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Knowing how to identify abusive relationships can help you get out of them and get help.

One of the most important things that you can do if you’re in an abusive relationship is to know how to identify the signs of abuse. The best way to do this is by recognizing the difference between healthy, loving relationships and unhealthy ones.

There are many reasons why people stay in abusive relationships. Some people feel like it’s normal because they’ve never been exposed to anything else; others don’t want their kids or family members involved, so they stick it out at home until they can get away from their abuser on their own terms; some might not realize that what they’re experiencing is abuse at all. No matter what your situation is, it’s important that you know how to recognize and deal with an abusive partner—or even yourself!

If you are in an abusive relationship (that means being treated violently, physically, or sexually by another person), there are resources available for help with getting out safely (and legally). You may also find these articles helpful: “How To Leave An Abusive Relationship”, “Identifying Signs Of Domestic Violence” and “Moving Towards Change: Ending Sexual Assault In Your Community”. If someone has assaulted or abused you sexually please visit RAINN’s website for information about reporting options in your area as well as support services available through them directly here: https://wwwrainnorg/get-help/sexual-assault


If you’re in an abusive relationship, it can be hard to know how to get out of it. But the first step is always identifying what kind of abuse you’re experiencing, and then taking steps towards getting help. If you need some help with this process or just want someone to talk to about your concerns, call a hotline like RAINN at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website (www.thehotline.org). You’ll find resources for support groups and more on their website as well!

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