In most relationships, the goal is to make your partner happy and to feel happy and loved. We form relationships to make deep connections with other humans and start families. No matter who we are, most people want to settle down someday.
If you’re in a relationship and feel that it’s not going exactly as you thought it would, you may be worried. How do you know if you’re going through domestic violence? How do you know if your partner is abusing you?
We’ve compiled a list that can help you figure out if you’re being abused and some resources at the end to get help.
They Are Physically Hurting You
Domestic violence often indicates a physical abuse component, although the definition has been expanded these days to include domestic abuse that is emotional, sexual, or verbal as well.
If your partner is physically hurting you or has done it even one time, it is considered domestic violence. Forms of physical abuse include:
If you’re being physically hurt by your partner, it’s essential to leave as soon as possible. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline here: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). They can help you.
They Isolate and Control You
Many abusive partners will also isolate you and try to control your actions. Isolation means they may refuse to let you speak to or see your family. They may want you to not go out with friends and will guilt you or hurt you if you try to.
They will also try to control your actions and who is in your life. If they don’t like your coworker at work, they may try to force you to let them look through your phone every night. Or they may tell you that you cannot work at that job anymore.
If you’re being controlled, this is a huge sign of an abusive relationship. Your partner should not be violating your privacy, going through your phone without permission, and telling you who you can talk to.
They Are Verbally and Emotionally Abusive
Many abusive partners are also verbally and emotionally abusive on top of being physically or sexually abusive. Since emotional abuse is often in more of a grey area, it’s hard to understand what it is.
Emotional and verbal abuse includes:
- Calling names
- Swearing at you
- Gaslighting (saying your experience is not accurate or didn’t happen)
- Yelling loudly
- Threatening someone
Verbal and emotional abuse tends to be followed by love bombing, which is a phase where the abusive person will tell you they’re sorry, buy presents, tell you they love you, and promise to change. It always ends up going back to the abuse, however.
That’s why it’s essential to leave, even if your partner isn’t physically abusing you. Emotional abuse has physical effects, just like physical abuse. If you are constantly being hurt emotionally, your body will build up the stress inside, and you can develop health issues and migraines.
You Are Arguing More Often Than Not
A relationship isn’t necessarily abusive if you’re arguing a lot. However, if constant arguing comes along with any of the other items in this list, you most likely are experiencing abuse.
You may find that in an abusive or unsafe relationship, you cannot go a day without “doing something wrong.” You may feel that you are “walking on eggshells” or unsafe in your own home. You may find your partner picking fights about things such as the way you stand or a lack of response to something.
If you are going through this, you are not alone. Many people experience constant fighting in relationships. It’s important to note that it should not be this way and fighting with your partner is not normal.
You Feel Anxious, Sick, or Unsafe
If you feel anxious, sick, or unsafe in your relationship, that’s your body signaling to you that something is wrong. Even if you’re not experiencing direct abuse, feeling unsafe is a sign that you may not be ready for this relationship or that it’s not good for you.
People can be incompatible for many reasons, and sometimes you may feel anxious or sick with someone who isn’t hurting you. In that case, it’s a good idea to think of what you want going forward. Is this really the relationship for you?
If you are being abused and you’re feeling physically ill, it is most likely due to the abuse. When you are able to leave, you’ll want to work on self-soothing practices and anxiety reduction techniques. You may want to also see a therapist to work on the trauma from your relationship.
How to Get Help
If you’ve determined that your relationship fits under the domestic violence category, now comes the step of getting help. It can be hard to reach out and get the help you need, but it’s so essential to finding a safer and more loving life. Here are some options.
Call the Domestic Violence Hotline for Resources
If you still haven’t left or are looking for resources to help you leave, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline here: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). They’ll be able to help you find resources in your area.
Find a Trauma Therapist
A trauma therapist can help you start healing the trauma you’ve gone through once you’re out of your relationship. You don’t have to talk about it right away, or even at all. A trauma therapist will simply help you develop skills to heal the deeper wounds you’ve experienced.
You can also check out BetterHelp‘s database of information on domestic violence and counselors.
Get a Divorce/Child Custody Advocate
If you are divorcing your abusive partner or going through a child custody battle, you’ll want to find an advocate. There are many divorce advocates for women going through abuse, so you can look and see if that’s available in your area.
Get a Restraining Order
If your partner is not leaving you alone, stalking you, harassing you, or contacting third parties on your behalf, you can open a restraining order against them. You will have to file a petition with a court, and the judge will grant your request depending on the circumstances.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.