Signs of an Abusive Partner

abusive-partnerBeing in a relationship can be maddening, especially when you become a tad obsessive with your partner. You want to spend every waking hour together or know their every movement. Unfortunately, if you immerse yourself too much in the relationship, it can turn into an all-consuming and suffocating bond. In addition, your partner might find it frightening to learn that your feelings have turned obsessive.

You have to know that obsession can quickly turn into emotional and physical abuse. Contrary to popular belief, abuse in a relationship is not due to the abuser’s inability to control his or her behavior. The truth is that the abusive behavior is a deliberate choice by the abuser to control his or her partner. With that said, you are in control of your behavior, and if you choose to control or manipulate, you will become an abusive partner.

Are You Abusive?

If you feel like you are being abusive toward your loved one, the first and probably the hardest part of changing your behavior is admitting that what you are doing is wrong. It is critical that you admit to your mistakes and take responsibility for your actions. It is also advisable to seek help to address your negative behavior. The first step to learning whether your behavior is that of an abusive partner is to learn about the three common elements of abusive relationships.

Abuse of Power: This is when you try to put down, hurt, control, or frighten your loved one because he or she is less powerful than you.

Abuse of Knowledge: This is when you feel more superior. You try to exploit and control your partner in a sexual or non-sexual manner.

Abuse of Resources: This behavior involves threatening your partner to withdraw certain resources, such as shelter, money, or sexual contact, if he or she refuses to satisfy your wishes.

Aside from understanding these three elements, it is also important to evaluate your behavior and actions. Do you…

  • …check in on your partner every time you are not together?
  • …call many times a day or check his or her mileage on the car?
  • …monitor his or her calls?
  • …isolate your partner or keep him or her away from family and friends?
  • …criticize his or her decisions and opinions?
  • …hurt your partner when they fail to follow or fulfill your wishes
  • …shove, slap, strangle, or physically hurt your partner?
  • …scare or threaten your loved one?

How To Stop Being Abusive

Changing your behavior will take some time, and you can’t do it alone. If you find yourself doing any of the actions and behaviors listed above, it is time seek help. With proper help and support, you can change and learn how to properly treat and respect your loved one. To take the first step, here’s what you can do:

  • Keep in mind that violence is a choice. You must not try to justify your abusive behavior.
  • Focus on how your behavior and actions affect your loved ones, and come into terms with how you have hurt them.
  • You must remember that you are not on your own. Your partner, family, and friends can provide you with the support you need.
  • Respect your partner’s wishes to be safe even if it means being separated from you.
  • You also need to understand that change is hard and you might feel the urge to give up. If so, you must remember your commitment to change.

Acknowledging your abusive behavior is the first step to getting help. It is crucial to seek immediate help to prevent inflicting further abuse towards your partner and to avoid legal consequences.

This article is written by Kris Lim who is a writer for family and relationship websites. She also occasionally writes for law firms specializing in criminal defense.

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