At least one in four women will be abused by a current or former partner at some point in her life. It’s a statistic we are familiar with, but often ignore. We think abuse is something that happens to someone else, when in fact, it happens to women we know. And, it can happen to us.
Abuse is more than just physical violence, though it often escalates to that point. A partner who is abusive will use many tactics to maintain control over their partner.
If you are in a toxic, abusive relationship, you may recognize some of these behaviors.
He may tell you who you are allowed to speak to. He may disrespect you, call you names, and put you down. Or he may manipulate you by being caring and loving one day, and cold and distant the next. He may cheat on you repeatedly and then blame you for his actions.
Or, he may constantly accuse you of cheating. And he will likely isolate you from friends and family, so you are left believing that he is all you have. But, he will probably also be very charming, considerate, and romantic – which will probably leave you feeling confused.
If you are being disrespected, manipulated, controlled, or hurt in your relationship, you are definitely not alone – many women end up in abusive relationships. If you are starting to realize that your relationship is not as healthy as it should be, you may be wondering whether you should leave. And if you have reached out to anyone for help or advice, they may have told you to leave, or that it’s your obligation to stay and try to fix it.