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6 surefire signs of an abusive relationship in the beginning itself

Nearly all of us have grown up listening to stories and fairy tales that feature beautiful princesses who fall in love, get married, and ride into the sunset for their happily-ever-afters. Although the smart women of today know better than to rely on such tales, one can’t ignore the fact that it’s an ideal that has been set as the standard for any relationship, particularly marriage.

Although all of us wish for pure bliss in a relationship, it doesn’t always happen. Real life gets in the way and many bubbles are burst. And in some cases, it can lead to some really rude surprises, like in the case of an abusive relationship. Most people enter a relationship with an optimistic attitude and with the hope of finding everlasting joy. But when that is not the case, even admitting that one is living with an abuser can be a huge hurdle to overcome. The longer the life of the relationship, the more difficult it is to face the truth of an abusive relationship. However, by keeping an eye out from the start, you can spot some of these early signs of an abusive relationship that will let you know to protect yourself.

Suggested read: How to set boundaries in an abusive relationship

1. Instant love

instant love

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There is something called chemistry between people and it’s usually identified as something that ‘clicks’ between two people. But this isn’t the same as the instant shower of love from an abuser. The abuser usually makes an instant commitment and can be very ‘loving’ from the word go. This might seem a little unusual, but the other person is usually lost in the intensity of the emotion to realize that this instant intense attraction is a little unnatural.

2. Possessiveness

abusive relationship

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A jealous partner at the beginning of a relationship is generally taken very lightly, and the jealousy is often seen as something ‘sweet,’ and a sign that they want you all to themselves. But then possessiveness soon rears its ugly head and before you know it, you aren’t allowed to speak to anyone, not even your own parents. This social isolation is exactly what the abuser wants, so that you can’t reach out for help. The abuser alone remains as the person on whom you have to solely depend upon – for everything.

Suggested read: Does your partner control every aspect of your life?

3. Blame

woman crying

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This is a subtle sign that is very easy to miss, especially at the start of a relationship. Abusers usually blame everyone but themselves for their present circumstances. It is never their fault that they are not good at their job, woke up late, put on weight, or did anything that has affected them adversely. Someone else, including you, is to blame, and this refusal to take responsibility for one’s actions can lead to worse events.

4. Disrespect

couple disagreement

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Mutual trust and respect form the cornerstones of a relationship, and lacking in either of the two can lead to trouble. Abusers generally disrespect their partners. Their ideas aren’t given any weight, their jobs are considered unimportant, and their friends and family members are often ridiculed or made to feel inferior. This disrespect shows itself subtly during the early days, mainly through non-verbal cues, and becomes increasingly verbal later.

Suggested read: Are women the only sufferers of domestic violence?

5. Male Chauvinism

abusive relationship

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It’s unfortunate but true: there are still men around who don’t think of women beyond being sex objects or reproductive machines along with doing housekeeping. This is easy to spot at the beginning itself, since such deeply ingrained attitudes are hard to miss. This is especially true of Indian men who can’t think of women as having dreams and aspirations of their own, and having an equal part in taking decisions regarding the relationship or anything that affect them both.

6. Control Freak

woman hurt

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Some control freaks are of the mild kind, a good example of which is Monica from ‘Friends’. This behavior qualifies just as a personality quirk and not much more. But abusive control freaks have a much bigger problem, and it is often accompanied by other conditions like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. They want to control every aspect of their as well as their partner’s lives. When even minute details of your life like – what you should and shouldn’t wear, where you should or shouldn’t go, who you should or shouldn’t talk to – appear to be micromanaged by your partner, it is a surefire sign of abuse.

Suggested read: An addictive relationship never brings anything but misery

Abusive people usually control their emotions till they reach their saturation point, after which they can completely lose it. While they are in control, they can appear to be very lucid, patient, and forgiving people which can fool unsuspecting partners into thinking that this is their basic nature. But once they explode, there is no saying how far they’ll go, and once they do it, they’ll do it again and again. A good way to watch out for this is to see how they behave with others, like the house help, drivers, waiters, security guards, etc.

Most abusers have unresolved issues and some may even have some kind of mental illness. Waiting and watching rarely yields good results, and some kind of intervention is nearly always necessary. Keep an eye out for these signs in your own or a loved one’s relationship so that steps can be taken early on to turn the situation around.

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Article Name
6 Warning Signs of An Abusive Relationship
Abusive relationships are more common than one might like to think. Here are 6 signs to determine if you are in an abusive relationship.
Fabida Abdulla

Fabida Abdulla

Fabida is an erstwhile Software Engineer and current Freelance Writer cum stay-at-home mom to her boisterous 6-year-old. In between all the writing, baking, nagging, reading, and cuddling, she manages to blog a bit about her crazy life at Shocks and Shoes. []