By Chioma Gabriel

Are you in an abusive relationship which restricts your freedom and independence? Are you well equipped with  information on how to recognise when your partner becomes abusive?

The truth is, many people go ahead with such partners whose abusive behaviour they misconstrue as possessiveness, extra care or over affection. But it is, in fact, an abnormality in relationships and if not realized in time and resolved, abusive behaviour can spoil the relationship and affect the entire peaceful atmosphere of life itself. Certain people misconceive abusiveness as physical attack or dominance.

But in fact, abuse can be emotional, psychological, financial sexual or physical.

Many a time, abusive behaviour is a result of the imbalanced or unstable mentalities of the partner. When he/ she takes control over the partner or tries to express affection excessively, it may become abusive. Abusive relationships are unhealthy and destructive for both the partners in relationships. However, there are certain visible signs of abusive relationships.

Over-possessiveness is the most obvious sign of an abusive partner. While possessiveness is part of every relationship, in certain cases, a partner may become excessively possessive, even to the extent of obstructing the freedom and forgetting the dignity of his/her counterpart.

An over-possessive partner may keep track of your time and demand information regarding every movement you make.

In the modern world, every person, male or female, may need to interact with many people and move around many places. So if the partner insists that you inform or get permission from him/her to do everything in life, then it’s a kind of abuse. They may try to cut off all your social contacts and restrict you from even meeting your friends and relatives.

If your partner blames you for every misfortune in life, then he/she is exhibiting the classic sign of an abusive relationship. They may always look at you through the glasses of suspicion and may not let you take your own decisions.

Many times, the accusation may occur because of abnormal levels of affection and the partner is afraid or doubtful of your ability to perform certain actions. Whenever something goes wrong, he/she may assume that it is because of your inability the mistake occurred.

Having multiple affairs and being unfaithful to you in life is abusive, of course. Relationships mean mutual respect, understanding and faithfulness. In a true relationship, the partner should be considered the one and only person in life, not just one among many. Having multiple affairs may make someone less committed/affectionate.

In the same vein, it has been observed that abusive persons may criticise improperly with the intention of destroying the confidence of their partners. When somebody criticises or teases the partner for no reason  before friends or strangers, then he/she is trying to implement his/her authority over the person in the most undesirable way. This is an obvious sign of an abusive relationship.

Physical abuses like slapping, hitting, threatening are the most visible signs of an abusive relationship. People get into relationships not to be controlled or dominated. If, rather than show love and care any partner resorts to physical threats, then the relationship should be ended.

Another kind of abuse common in relationships is sexual abuse. That should however not be the case because intercourse is not the aim of relationships, but only a means to attain happiness in them.

The advised mode of sex is that which gives happiness and satisfaction mutually. But many people feel any sexual activity is accepted in relationships. It is even worse for women who, many a time, fall prey to the  weird fantasies of male partners.

The reality is, any sexual activity that is not enjoyed/accepted by both partners is abuse and should be resisted.


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