What is an Abusive Relationship?
Daily, on an increasingly rampant rate and on more gruesome scales we hear reports of violence at homes, in love affairs, in business partnerships and even in places of worship. Yet, when traditional media discuss these happenstances, they do so either as a carefree report of what is going on around the country or they use the news in an attempt to sell an ideology or promote agendas.
Today, most of the crimes committed in our country are committed against people who were once ‘loved’ and ‘cared for’ by people who were once ‘trusted’ and/or ‘idolized’. Abuse in relationships can now assume different forms not necessarily the man-woman abuse we all know. Abuse can be present in a relationship without the ‘wife beating’ that is largely shown on TV.
In this EB Exclusive series, we will examine abusive relationships, their symptoms, causes and possible solutions so that you will be able to spot a relationship with the tendencies of descending into a violent one and take preventive measures before things get out of control.
The centre for relationship abuse awareness defines an abusive relationship as “a relationship with a pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors used to maintain power and control over a former or current intimate partner”. This just means that abuse can be emotional, financial, sexual or physical and can include threats, isolation, and intimidation.
Generally, it is believed that abuse in relationships compounds over time. This means it starts off in one of the non-threatening forms until it escalates into the violent type. This means if you overlook a coercive behavior ‘one of those moments’, you are surely inviting many more of ‘those moments’ your way.
Something worth Noting
There is a very thin line between normal human behaviors in abnormal situations and abuse in relationships. As a woman, if your partner tried to control your behavior and insults you when you don’t get it right, he may be abusive and such behaviors should be checked. However, if he is trying to get you to control how you behave in certain places, maybe around his mom, he may just be trying to protect his and your image.
In the same way, if your wife is trying to withhold sex from you because she is observing a spiritual exercise, that may be considered as a normal behavior. However, if she is using sex starvation as a means to coerce you into some action, then she may just be exhibiting some abusive tendencies.
I hope this article has been able to clearly define what abusive relationships are and to enlighten you on the singular fact that abuse in relationship is more than just violence but can include starving, isolating you from your family, undermining your capabilities and any behavior that is targeted at making you feel unable to function well as such becoming vulnerable to control.
During the course of this series we are going to reveal the characterizing signs that you should watch out for in abusive relationships and how to nip them as they bud before they grow to destroy your relationship and harm you. We will also tell you where to seek help if it so happens that you are already in one.