By: Tamara Ince
We all know that Valentine’s Day is a great day for people who feel celebrated by their loved ones through acts of kindness. There are many people in love who are sharing their quality time together, celebrating their love and surprising each other.
However, let’s not forget that Valentine’s Day is not the same for everyone. There are also quite a few partners who will suffer in silence on this day. This is why today- we are highlighting the painful side of Valentine’s Day.
Recognizing The Signs Of Abuse (Physically, Financially And/or Psychologically)
Abuse can happen in many ways when it comes to toxic relationships. However, the problems are often overlooked, excused or denied by people in relationship - especially when the abuse is psychological, or financial rather than physical.
In most of the cases, abuse escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. And while physical injury may be the most obvious sign that you can get, the emotional and psychological abuse is even deeper and can destroy your self-worth or lead to anxiety and depression. This can make you feel helpless, alone and without a plan to move on.
Basically, there are many signs of an abusive relationship. However, the most telling one is fear of your partner. So, if you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around him (or her), your relationship is probably unhealthy and abusive.
Other signs may include avoiding certain topics with the fear of angering your partner, feeling that you cannot do anything right for him/her, wondering if you are crazy as he/she may have claimed, or feeling emotionally numb and helpless.
Moreover, if your partner humiliates you, yells at you, criticizes you and puts you down, treats you badly that you are embarrassed of anyone to see, withholds financial support with unreasonable conditions, or even blames you his/her behaviors, it’s time to ask yourself some questions….
A Few Important Questions To Ask Yourself
The first steps towards distancing yourself can be less abrasive and very minute. It is about your readiness with your- safety in mind. You can simply take the time to reflect on how you landed in the situation in the first place. In order to move forward, you have to peel the layers back and discover what is the core of why you stay - beyond your fear.
Some of the questions you may want to ask yourself include:
●Is there a shared benefit to the relationship (financial or companionship)?
●Am I willing to take a step back in life and secure a safer outcome for myself and my future?
●Am I financially, emotionally or socially dependent?
●Have I processed my own childhood as a barrier to my self-esteem?
●Have I established a safe and support network of people to cope with the changes in the future?
●What would it cost me to stay (in the relationship) - and what it would cost to exit?
A Final Word
If you are in an abusive relationship, you should do your best to exit the negative energy, contempt and criticism. However, knowing that exiting can be a risk to your safety and take time, start with building out your safety network- whether its joining a support group, creating a financial fund, taking on new skill sets, or identifying where and how you can better thrive.
At Ince Counseling, we have had the privilege of partnering with many like you (pre and post their exit). Time after time, we have realized that it is necessary to exit when YOU are ready. Exiting my not occur this year - but whenever you are ready to make huge changes to your life, financial circumstances and external environment – team up with therapist who can assit you with debriefing the traumatic experience.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, remember that there are many resources available to help: