Both in marriages and in other partner relationships, there are clear indicators of abusive partners in those relationships. Identifying an abusive relationship is often complicated by the facts that relationships are unique and that abuse can take many forms. What is more, partner abuse occurs among people of all demographic groups. It is not unique to the rich or the poor. It also accelerates quickly.
Some of these forms of abuse are easy to identify; others are often hidden and, therefore, more difficult to identify. Yet all forms of abuse are harmful and are potentially dangerous. For example, emotional or psychological abuse is just as harmful as physical abuse. Unfortunately, these forms are often difficult to recognize and prove. What is more, it is not uncommon to find that psychological and/or emotional abuse and physical abuse typically happen at the same time.
What are the indicators of abusive relationship partners? Here are a few of the most common:
- Abusers often try to control every aspect and moment of the partner’s life. They often prevent their spouse from making decisions or acting on their own.
- Abusive partners make frequent accusations against their partners, even when they are completely unjustified.
- Abusers commonly humiliate or debase their partners. In the presence of others, abusive partners point out the other partner’s flaws or appearance, embarrass the partner, or debase them.
- Communication with their partners often breaks down. They don’t want to hear what you have to say, and if confronted with abusive behavior they become angry.
- Abusers often withdraw affection or set limits on affection. It is not unusual for abusive partners to try to dictate the requirements and conditions for affection.
- Abusers often engage in other relationships and demand that the abused partner tolerate the behavior. Typically, it will not be tolerated of the abused partner does the same.
- Manipulation takes the form of threats of one kind or another should the abused partner try to end or exit the relationship. This might take the form of suicide threats or threats on the abused partner’s life if they leave.
- Abusive partners are typically moody. Mood changes are often unjustified and extreme.
- Abusers are often sarcastic when speaking to or about the partner, both in private and when in the company of others.
- There are clear conditions for their love. This love depends upon some behavior or action they demand of their partner.
Unfortunately, abused partners in a relationship are afraid to speak out. Instead they become overwhelmed by fear, shame, or silence born of fear. If you suspect that someone you know is in an abusive relationship, ask how you can help.
The attorneys of Altizer Law, P.C., witness abusive relationships often in the practice of family law. If you are in an abusive relationship and you are afraid to act or don’t know what you can do, call us. We know the law and we understand your needs.