Types of Abuse

There are many different types of abuse that occur in relationships.  Listed below are some of types and what they consist of:

Emotional Abuse includes:

  • Criticizes you constantly
  • Manipulation
  • Never keeps promises
  • Does not let go of the “wrong” things you’ve done
  • Destroys property
  • Constantly possessive and jealous
  • Humilates you
  • Threatens to break up with you
  • Withholding/Silent treatment
  • Makes you feel guilty
  • Expects you to agree with him
  • Tells you what you can and can’t do
  • Accusses you of cheating
  • Isolates you from family and friends
  • Plays mind games

Verbal Abuse includes:

  • Calling you names
  • Belittling you
  • Telling you you’re worthless
  • Swears or yells at you
  • Interrupts you constantly
  • Telling others you are crazy
  • Blaming you for the abuse
  • Saying that you are a bad parent

Physical Abuse includes:

  • Shoving or pulling you
  • Pinching or grabbing
  • Spitting on you
  • Driving recklessly
  • Slap or hitting you
  • Punching or kicking you
  • Choking or smothering you
  • Restraining you from leaving
  • Holding you down
  • Using weapons

Sexual abuse includes:

  • Not taking “no” for an answer
  • Coerce you into unwanted sex
  • Cheating on you and exposing you to STD’s
  • Forcing “make up” sex
  • Demanding sex acts
  • Forced sex with another person or object

If you are being abuse, get help immediately.  Experts say that abuse only escalates, regardless of an abuser apologizing and stating they will stop.  There are many resources available to you.  Please visit our resource page and get help today.

Did My Abuser Choose Me?

In an abusive relationship, victims often wonder “why me?”  They do not know why they were the ones that ended up in such a horrible and unhealthy relationship.  Although victims are not a fault for being chosen to be abused, there are some characteristics that may make them more likely to find themselves in an abusive relationship.  Read the list below to make sure your behaviors do not make you more likely to fall prey to an abuser.  Victims normally portray the following:

You do not trust yourself –

  • You do not go with your gut feeling
  • Need consent from another individual before making a decision
  • Do not think your opinion matters

Take criticism very harshly

  • Feel you do not deserve the best treatment –
  • Inconvenience yourself so that others won’t be inconvenienced
  • Expect to be criticized for your actions
  • Do not want to look like a “trouble maker”
  • Feel that if someone is mean to you, you deserved it

Giving up things that are important to you to keep others happy –

  • Discontinue hobbies that you enjoy because others do not approve
  • Hide photos rather than displaying them because he doesn’t like them

Being insecure about your competence –

  • Fear of looking stupid, weak or lazy
  • Worry about what others think of you if you quit
  • Fear of failing, you can’t make mistakes

Overlooking other people’s mistakes and flaws –

  • Feel that it’s okay for others to make mistakes, but not you
  • Believe that you can “save” others from their downfalls

Isolating yourself –

  • End friendships that your abuser does not approve of
  • Spend less time with family because your abuse does not like them
  • Do not go anywhere without your abuser

Do not cause disruption in the relationship –

  • Not willing to break up with your abuser because it will hurt him
  • Avoid conversations that will upset your abuser

Avoid making decisions –

  • Allow others to change your mind about something
  • Choose a course of action to please your partner
  • More likely to follow the crowd, rather than do what you want to

Living according to these behaviors makes you more likely to end up with an abuser.  Abusive men look for women who are “naïve” and “easy-going”.  They want someone who is not willing to stand up for themselves and gives in easily.  Don’t fall prey to someone who will take advantage of you.  Be an independent individual and if you find your partner trying to change any of that, it’s not in your best interest to still around.

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I encourage your feedback on your thoughts or experiences you may have relating to this topic.  Please post your comments below.

Warning Signs of an Abusive Man

 

There are many sure tell signs of an abuser.  Read the “red flags” below to be able to tell if you are in a relationship with an abuser.

Jealousy –

  • Does not want you to go out with friends or family
  • Does not like when you talk to other men, accuses you of cheating
  • Gets angry when talking to other too often
  • Is very possess of you, always asks where you’ve been
  • Tries to isolate you

Controlling –

  • Demands attention from you
  • Tries to take over your finances and possessions, ie car
  • Gets angry if you show independence
  • Needs to know your schedule constantly

Manipulates –

  • Tries to make you believe that you are crazy
  • Tries to make you think he is not abusive
  • Makes it seem like you are at fault for any trouble
  • Gives excuses for why he’s abusive

Punishes you –

  • Withholds things that you want
  • Does not want to talk about the relationship because you do
  • Criticizes you frequently

Doesn’t act the way he talks –

  • His actions are opposite of what he says
  • He breaks promises
  • Creates a cycle of abuse (fights, hurts you, makes up, repeat)

Superiority –

  • Feels that he is better than anyone
  • Feels above the law
  • He is always right
  • Has to feel powerful and in charge

Mood Swings –

  • Constantly caught off guard by his mood
  • Is happy, in love one moment, then turns abusive and mean

Won’t seek help –

  • Does not believe anything is wrong with him
  • Blames his past

Disrespectful of women –

  • Does not have respect for his mother, sister or any other women in his life
  • Thinks men are superior
  • Thinks women should stay “in their place”

History of abuse –

  • Was abused as a child
  • Has had abusive relationships in the past
  • Abuses animals

If you see any of these signs of abuse, run.  Any one of them can be a red flag and can escalate to another.  It’s only a matter of time until you look back and see all of the red flags.  If you are staying, thinking he can change, think again.  These men say they will change, but before you know it, you are under his power again and the cycle of abuse begins.

Breaking the Cycle of Abuse

Abuse occurs when someone is causing harm to another. There are many types of abuse, including: emotional, verbal, physical or sexual abuse. It is known that if abuse occurs, it will often continue in cycles. This means that when someone is abused, they experience a “honeymoon” stage of making up and apologizing, but then they abuse again. As this continues, the abuse often gets worse. Sometimes the victim eventually becomes the abuser in another relationship. Either way, abuse needs to be stopped. Here are the steps to stop abuse.

1. Face your past of being abused. Abuse will continue to create unnecessary challenges in your life if you do not get help. Being in denial about your past will not allow you to move on from it. You need to acknowledge what happened to you and talk about the issues. Then you can begin to heal from the abuse.

2. Understand that you cannot just ignore memories of abuse. It will come back around and this is what ends up creating the cycle of abuse. If you are being abused, you may try to push the memories out of your mind and go back to the abuser. But the abuse may continue and even escalate.

3. Don’t create excuses for abuse. Abusers often tell their victims that they didn’t mean it or “were abused as a child”. Then the victim feels bad for them and returns. If the abuser was really sorry, they would stop making excuses and get help.

4. Attend therapy or find a support group. Talking out your issues with a specialist or others who find themselves in similar situations can help for you to recognize and overcome abuse.

5. Become knowledgeable about abuse. Read self-help books to allow you to get an understanding of what you are going through. They also have a lot of advice on overcoming the situation you are in.

6. Recognize that it’s not your fault. Abusers have a mind of their own and do not know how to handle their anger. It is their fault for being the way they are, not yours.

7. Review your unhealthy relationship. Take a look at where it went wrong. Recognize where there may have been warning signs that you overlooked. Knowing the red flags in relationships can prevent future abuse.

8. Get assistance from an organization that specializes in domestic violence. There are many agencies that provide support to victims including a safe shelter, as well as, legal and emotional support.

Overcoming an abusive relationship can be one of the most difficult things you ever do. It’s important to seek support and learn ways to avoid abuse in the future. This will help to break the cycle of abuse in your life and allow you to move on to a healthy and more fulfilling relationship.

Closure from an Abuser

Getting closure from an abuser is like everything else that you’ve had to deal with him.  Like everything else you’ve wanted from your abuser – you never got it and he’s not going to start now.

As we all know, break ups are hard, but breaking up with an abuser is even more difficult. Abusers are manipulative and controlling. They will allow you to say what you want to say and then turn it against you.

Wanting to face an abuser after the relationship is over is a desire, just like in any normal relationship. However, it will do more harm than good. By facing your abuser, you are giving him the opportunity to re-victimize you all over again. He was not kind and sympathetic to your feelings the entire relationship, he’s not going to start now.

As a matter of fact, I know this from breaking up with my abuser multiple times. Every time I told him it was over, it wanted to explain to him why and end it on a clear note. And every time, my need to get closure backfired on me. He never gave me the closure I needed; he never said the words that I wanted to hear. I didn’t realize it until now, but he’s not capable of doing that. No abusive man is.

Most of the conversations would start out sincere. Me telling him “I’m really hurt by the pain you caused me. I tried so hard to make you happy. Why would you do something so horrible to someone you love?” I’ll stop myself right there. Knowing what I know now about abusive men, I would never in a million years say those lines again. I am showing a sign of weakness. I gave him an opportunity to convince me that “it wasn’t that bad” and he “didn’t mean to hurt me”. From there is it all downhill for me, I have given him the opportunity to say “I’m sorry, I’m going to change; I love you.” Instantly, I’m taken back and believe him. As do a lot of women. But it’s a ploy, part of his master plan. He is only trying to put you back under his control and unfortunately, it will probably work.

Instead of looking for closure in these types of relationships, you need to find other outlets to get over the breakup. Because you will not get it from talking to him. Here are some other ways to release your energy over the end of the relationship.

1. Write him a letter, but don’t even think about sending it. This will release all of the words that you’ve been wanting to say to him on how horrible he made you feel. It will be just like you told him to his face, but you are not giving him the power to say what he wants to say to re-victimize you.

2. Have a bon fire. Burn items that remind you of the relationship. Throw in photos, clothing, birthday cards, and anything else that reminds you of him. While you’re at it, burn that letter too.

3. Gain Knowledge. Starting reading and learning what you just went through and how to heal from the destructive pain inflicted on you. Knowledge makes you powerful and that’s something your abuser never wanted you to have.

4. Become you again. Abusers make us change into people that satisfy them. During the relationship, you probably lost who you really are. Set out to find your true, great self again. Do things you love, take up hobbies that you stopped because of him, and build positive relationships with others.

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why Women Stay in Abusive Relationships?

The famous question that every women faces while in an abusive relationship is: Why did you stay?  Many people outside of the relationship cannot understand why we stay in these unhealthy relationships.  Often times, we even loose friends and family members because they disagree with our decisions to stay and they don’t want to help us get out.  Or they think we don’t want to get out.  The thing is, we DO want to get out, but we are mentally manipulated to continue on-again off-again relationships with these men do to several reasons.  The truth is, there is no straight forward answer to this question.  It is complex and can even be difficult for the victim to understand themselves.  However, the following are the most common reasons women stay in destructive relationships.

  1. She’s in love:  Abusers are very manipulative.  Even though a man may be abusive to a woman, there are good times in the relationship.  Victims often push the bad memories out of their minds and live for the happy moments.  This is what causes the “Cycle of Abuse”.  She looks forward to the honeymoon stage after a violent act.  Which reminds her “how much he really does love her”.
  2. Money problems:  In abusive relationships, many times the men will control the finances, even if it’s her money.  He might also ask of money for this and ask for money for that and before she knows it, she has no money for herself.  She has gotten so far into a bind that she feels she cannot survive by herself financially.  This is especially true if there are children involved.
  3. Children:  Women feel that their children need to have both parents in the household.  They do not want their children to grow up without a father.  They want to keep their family together, so they just endure the pain he causes. 
  4. Loyalty to him:  She feels that she needs to stay by her man and “save” him from the problems that he is having.  Something from his childhood or something in his life made him this way and it’s not his fault.  If I had cancer, he’d stay by me.  We can get through this together, she thinks.
  5. Fear:  When a woman leaves her abuser, this is one of the most dangerous times of her entire relationship.  Abusers need to be in control and by her leaving, he has lost all control.  Even if he was not physically abusive, he may have made threats to her to ensure that the idea of leaving never crosses her mind.  She may feel that there will be consequences that not only put her in danger, but also her children, family and friends.

Staying in an abusive relationship is what many women think is the best or the only way to live.  They cannot view their lives any other way, even though they know they are suffering.  Finding the courage to leave may be what we really need to ask ourselves.  After being belittled and having our self-esteem crumbled for years, it is not exactly easy to say “it’s time to leave”.