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What is Emotional Abuse?

Characteristics of an emotionally abusive relationship include:

• Using money as a means of control
• Threatening to walk out or abandon you
• Creating fear through looks, words, threats and actions
• Destroying things (and often things you value) – either in a cold and heatless way, or in an angry outburst or fit of rage
• Using blaming, shaming, minimizing and denial to control you
• Verbally attacking and demeaning you (includes name calling, shouting at you, criticising and putting you down – especially in public)
• Attacking and putting you down in private, and acting loving and charming in public
• Minimising the abuse; acting as if you’re over-reacting and it’s “no big deal”
• Deliberately withholding approval, affirmation, affection and as a means of punishment or control

The effects of living with emotional abuse include:

• A fear of being natural and spontaneous
• A loss of enthusiasm or their old joie de vive
• Insecurity related to how they coming across to others
• An inner belief that they are deeply flawed
• A loss of self-confidence and self esteem
• Growing self-doubt (so they’re afraid to make even the smallest decision, or to take on even the simplest of tasks)
• Never trusting their own judgments (as they believe that they misunderstand or misread everything)
• Having a constant critic in their head
• Feeling they should be happier and more upbeat than they are (in order to meet the approval of others)
• Feeling they’re too sensitive, and ought to “toughen up”
• Fearing they’re going crazy, or losing their mind
• A tendency to live in the future (“Everything will be OK when/after ….”)
• A desire to break free, escape or run away
• A distrust and fear of entering into any close relationships again.

Filed under emotional abuse abuse relationships counselling psychology therapy self improvement mental health mental illness online counselling college

1,188 notes

How to Escape from an Abusive Relationship

It’s important to have a safe exit plan from an abusive relationship. The following tips might help you with this:

• Make a note of the phone numbers for your local women’s shelters.
• Confide in someone you genuinely trust (a good friend, a colleague at work, or a family member. Develop a code so they can help you if you are in an emergency (like a word you can text to them.)
• If your partner harms you, go to the emergency department and ask the staff to document your visit, and your reason for seeking medical attention.
• Journal each threat or abusive incident (with dates). If possible photograph any injuries.
• Prepare your escape in advance. Plan where you will go, and how you will get there.
• If you have a car, keep it backed in the driveway, with plenty of gas, and the keys close at hand, so that you can make a quick escape. Hide an extra set of car keys in case your partner steals and hides yours.
• Set money aside, either in a secret bank account or with a trusted friend or family members.
• Leave a packed bag with a friend or family member. This should contain an extra set of keys, essential ID (birth certificates, social security card, credit card, bank information, important phone numbers, passport, medical records etc), some clothes and any medications. If possible, avoid making use of neighbors or mutual friends.
• Know your partner’s schedule, and plan ahead for safe times to leave.
• Be especially alert to securing help through your computer or phone. Delete your internet browsing history, any websites you’ve checked out for resources, and all your old emails. If you called for help just before you left the house, dial another number afterwards in case your partner hits redial.
• Leave a false trail behind. For example, call hotels or rental agencies that are several hours away from the place you are planning on moving to.

Filed under abuse domestic violence relationships counselling psychology therapy self improvement inspiration motivation goals mental health mental illness online counselling college

1,206 notes

Exploring Emotionally Abusive Relationships

Characteristics of an emotionally abusive relationship include:

· Using money as a means of control

· Threatening to walk out or abandon you

· Creating fear and anxiety through looks, words, threats and actions

· Destroying things (and often things you value) – either in a cold and heartless way, or in an angry fit of rage

· Using blaming, shaming, minimizing and denial to control you

· Verbally attacking and demeaning you (includes name calling, shouting at you, criticising and putting you down – especially in public)

· Attacking and putting you down in private, and acting loving and charming in public

· Minimising the abuse; acting as if you’re over-reacting and it’s “no big deal”

· Deliberately withholding approval, affirmation and affection as a means of punishment or control

The effects of living with emotional abuse include:

· A fear of being natural and spontaneous

· A loss of enthusiasm

· Insecurity related to how they coming across to others

· An inner belief that they are deeply flawed

· A loss of self-confidence and self esteem

· Growing self-doubt (so they’re afraid to make even the smallest decision, or to take on even the simplest of tasks)

· Never trusting their own judgment (as they believe that they’re likely to get it wrong, or to misunderstand or misread everything)

· Having a constant critic in their head

· Feeling they should be happier and more upbeat than they are (in order to meet the approval of others)

· Feeling they’re too sensitive, and ought to “toughen up”

· Fearing they’re going crazy, or losing their mind

· Having a tendency to live in the future (“Everything will be OK when/after ….”)

· A desire to break free, escape or run away

· A distrust and fear of entering into any close relationships again.

Filed under abuse relationships emotions love mental health mental illness counselling psychology therapy self improvement online counselling college

1,374 notes

What is Emotional Abuse?

An emotionally abusive person may “dismiss your feelings and needs, expect you to perform humiliating or unpleasant tasks, manipulate you into feeling guilty for trivial things, belittle your outside support system or blame you for unfortunate circumstances in his or her life. Jealousy, possessiveness and mistrust characterize an emotionally abusive person”[1]. In summary, emotional abuse includes the following:

1. Acting as if a person has no value and worth; acting in ways that communicate that the person’s thoughts feelings and beliefs are stupid, don’t matter or should be ignored.

2. Calling the person names; putting them down; mocking, ridiculing, insulting or humiliating them, especially in public.

3. Controlling through fear and intimidation; coercing and terrorizing them; forcing them to witness violence or callousness; threatening to physically harm them, others they love, their animals or possessions; stalking them; threatening abandonment.

4. Isolating them from others, especially their friends and family; physically confining them; telling them how they should think, act, dress, what decisions they can make, who they can see and what they can do (limiting their freedom); controlling their financial affairs.

5. Using that person for your own advantage or gain; exploiting their rights; enticing or forcing another to behave in illegal ways (for example, selling drugs).

6. Stonewalling and ignoring another’s attempt to relate to and interact with them; deliberately emotionally detaching from a person in order to hurt them or “teach them a lesson”; refusing to communicate affection and warmth, or to meet their emotional and psychological needs.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy self help inspiation motivation self improvement emotional abuse abuse mental health mental illness online counselling college

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Relationship Issues: Healthy versus Unhealthy Boundaries

The following comparisons highlight the difference between healthy and unhealthy boundaries.

Healthy: Being your own person.

Unhealthy: Feeling incomplete without the other person.

Healthy: Accepting responsibility for your own happiness.

Unhealthy: Relying on others (especially your partner) to make you happy.

Healthy: Being able to balance separateness and togetherness.

Unhealthy: Wanting either too much or too little togetherness.

Healthy: Having meaningful friendships outside the partnership.

Unhealthy: Being unable to build and maintain close friendships with others.

Healthy: Being able to see and focus on your own, and your partner’s, good points.

Unhealthy: Always focusing on your partner’s flaws and worst qualities.

Healthy: Achieving intimacy without the use of substances.

Unhealthy: Using substances to reduce your inhibitions and achieve a false sense of intimacy.

Healthy: Communicating in a way that is open and real.

Unhealthy: Playing games; being manipulative; not being willing to listen in a non-defensive way.

Healthy: Being loyal and committed to your partner.

Unhealthy: Displaying jealousy and relationship addiction; being uncommitted to your partner.

Healthy: Respecting and accepting the ways in which you and your partner are different.

Unhealthy: Blaming and criticising your partner for having different traits and qualities from you.

Healthy: Being open and asking for what you want, in a clear and unambiguous way.

Unhealthy: Being unable to ask for what you want.

Healthy: Accepting transitions and endings.

Unhealthy: Being unable to change, let go and move on.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy relationships love boundaries mental health mental illness abuse online counselling college self help self improvement

933 notes

What is Emotional Abuse?

An emotionally abusive person may “dismiss your feelings and needs, expect you to perform humiliating or unpleasant tasks, manipulate you into feeling guilty for trivial things, belittle your outside support system or blame you for unfortunate circumstances in his or her life. Jealousy, possessiveness and mistrust characterize an emotionally abusive person”[1].  In summary, emotional abuse includes the following:

1. Acting as if a person has no value and worth; acting in ways that communicate that the person’s thoughts feelings and beliefs are stupid, don’t matter or should be ignored.

2. Calling the person names; putting them down; mocking, ridiculing, insulting or humiliating them, especially in public.

3. Controlling through fear and intimidation; coercing and terrorizing them; forcing them to witness violence or callousness; threatening to physically harm them, others they love, their animals or possessions; stalking them; threatening abandonment.

4. Isolating them from others, especially their friends and family; physically confining them; telling them how they should think, act, dress, what decisions they can make, who they can see and what they can do (limiting their freedom); controlling their financial affairs.

5. Using that person for your own advantage or gain; exploiting their rights; enticing or forcing another to behave in illegal ways (for example, selling drugs).

6. Stonewalling and ignoring another’s attempt to relate to and interact with them; deliberately emotionally detaching from a person in order to hurt them or “teach them a lesson”; refusing to communicate affection and warmth, or to meet their emotional and psychological needs.

[1] http://www.focushelps.ca/article/addictions-abuse/verbal-and-emotional-abuse/emotional-and-verbal-abuse?gclid=CNvZx7vP6rACFWQ0QgodTEvatg

Filed under abuse counselling psychology therapy relationships self help self improvement mental health mental illness emotions online counselling college

2,091 notes

What is Emotional Abuse?

An emotionally abusive person may “dismiss your feelings and needs, expect you to perform humiliating or unpleasant tasks, manipulate you into feeling guilty for trivial things, belittle your outside support system or blame you for unfortunate circumstances in his or her life. Jealousy, possessiveness and mistrust characterize an emotionally abusive person”[1].  In summary, emotional abuse includes the following:

1. Acting as if a person has no value and worth; acting in ways that communicate that the person’s thoughts feelings and beliefs are stupid, don’t matter or should be ignored.

2. Calling the person names; putting them down; mocking, ridiculing, insulting or humiliating them, especially in public.

3. Controlling through fear and intimidation; coercing and terrorizing them; forcing them to witness violence or callousness; threatening to physically harm them, others they love, their animals or possessions; stalking them; threatening abandonment.

4. Isolating them from others, especially their friends and family; physically confining them; telling them how they should think, act, dress, what decisions they can make, who they can see and what they can do (limiting their freedom); controlling their financial affairs.

5. Using that person for your own advantage or gain; exploiting their rights; enticing or forcing another to behave in illegal ways (for example, selling drugs).

6. Stonewalling and ignoring another’s attempt to relate to and interact with them; deliberately emotionally detaching from a person in order to hurt them or “teach them a lesson”; refusing to communicate affection and warmth, or to meet their emotional and psychological needs.

[1] http://www.focushelps.ca/article/addictions-abuse/verbal-and-emotional-abuse/emotional-and-verbal-abuse?gclid=CNvZx7vP6rACFWQ0QgodTEvatg

Filed under emotional abuse abuse counselling psychology therapy mental health mental illness self help self improvement inspiration motivation relationships love self esteem online counselling college

1,231 notes

How to Deal with Emotional Manipulators

1. Don’t negotiate with them.  For emotional manipulators, it’s all about having, exerting and gaining more power. So they’ll always push for more and they’ll never compromise.

2. Don’t engage with them.  Don’t try to talk, or reason, or discuss some matter with them - as they’ll try to twist your motives, and leave you feeling “bad”.

3.  Don’t confront them. They’re quick to take offense and they love an argument. They’ll then turn and attack you – and never let things go.

4. Know your own personal buttons. They’ll aim to press your buttons to get a strong reaction. But knowing yourself well means you have the upper hand. Plan how to “not react” and to stay detached and calm.

5. Refuse to accept help as they’ll treat you like “you owe them”. You’ll then be in their debt – so it’s hard to feel you’re free.

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What are the Different Types of Abuse

Abuse can take many forms. It can include:

1. Physical abuse such as hitting, pushing, pinching, shaking, misusing medication, ; withholding food or drink; force-feeding ,scalding, restraint and hair pulling, ; failing to provide physical care and aids to living.

2. Sexual abuse such as rape, sexual assault, or sexual acts to which the person has not or could not have consented, or pressurising someone into sexual acts they don’t understand or feel powerless to refuse.

3. Psychological or emotional abuse such as threats of harm or abandonment, being deprived of social or any other form of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse and being prevented from receiving services or support.

4. Financial or material abuse such as theft, fraud or exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property, or inheritance, misuse of property, possessions or benefits.

5. Neglect such as ignoring medical or physical care needs and preventing access to health, social care or educational services or withholding the necessities of life such as food, drink and heating, or failing to ensure adequate supervision or exposing a person to unacceptable risk.

6. Discriminatory abuse such as that based on race or sexuality or, harassment, /slurs / maltreatment because of someone’s race, gender, disability, age, faith, culture, or sexual orientation

7. Institutional abuse can sometimes happen in residential homes, nursing homes or hospitals when people are mistreated because of poor or inadequate care, neglect and poor practice that affects the whole of that service.

Source: http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/acs/sites/safeguarding/identifying/index.asp?pageid=12140

Filed under abuse counselling psychology therapy psychiatry social work relationships self help self improvement online counselling college

2,680 notes

Relationship Check Up

Signs of a Healthy Relationship

A healthy relationship means that both members of the couple are…

1. Communicating with each other: Talking about problems without screaming and shouting; listening to each other, and respecting their viewpoint; being willing to adapt and to sometimes change their mind.

2. Showing respect for one another: Valuing the other person’s culture, beliefs, viewpoints, opinions and boundaries. Also, treating each other in a kind and caring way.

3. Demonstrating and conveying trust: Each person is trustworthy and trusts the other person – because they have been shown that they are worthy of that trust.

4. Honest with each other: Both are open and honest – but are private as well; and they don’t demand the other person tells them everything.

5. Equals: They make joint decisions and treat each other well. No person calls the shots or determines all the rules.

6. Able to enjoy their own personal space: As well as spending time together, they spend time on their own. They’re respect the fact they’re different, and they need their own life, too.

7. Decisions about sex are discussed, and are consensual: They discuss sex together, including birth control. There’s no one individual sets the rules and standards here.

Signs of an unhealthy relationship

An unhealthy relationship develops where one, or both, of the partners is…

1. Failing to communicate: Problems are ignored, or not talked about at all. One or both don’t really listen, and they rarely compromise.

2. Acting in ways that are disrespectful: One or both are inconsiderate toward the other person; and they don’t behave in ways that send the message that they care.

3. Refusing to trust the other person: One or both is suspicion of their partner’s loyalty. Hence, they make false accusations, or won’t believe the truth.

4. Acting in a way that is dishonest: One or both is deceptive, or they lie and hide the truth.

5. Acting in a controlling way: One person thinks that they should set the one who rules, controls the other person, and say how things should be.

6. Beginning to feel squashed and smothered / cutting themselves off from friends and family: One partner is possessive, or feels threatened and upset, when the other’s with their family or spends time with their friends.

7. Attempting to pressurise the other into sexual activity / refusing to talk openly about birth control: One partner wants the other to participate in sex, or to engage in different practices against that’s person’s will. Or, one of the partners stops using birth control, or expects the other person to “take care of all that.”

 Signs of an abusive relationship

An abusive relationship develops when one of the parties…

1. Starts to communicate in ways that are abusive: When arguments occur, one of the partners screams and cusses, or they verbally threaten or attack the other person.

2. Shows disrespect through acting in abusive ways: This is where one of the partners abuse, harms or threatens the physical safety of the other individual.

3. Wrongly accuses their partner of flirting or cheating: One of the partners is convinced – with no real grounds – that their partner is cheating or having an affair. Thus, they lash out verbally, or hurt, the accused partner.

4. Refuses to accept responsibility for the abuse: When they fly into a rage or act in ways that are abusive, they miminise their actions and refuse to accept blame. They may even blame their partner for “causing the abuse.”

5. Starts to control the other partner: One partner has no say as the other sets the rules – and arguing against that simply leads to more abuse.

6. Does what they can to isolate their partner: One partner has control of who the other person sees, the way they spend their time – and, even, clothes they buy and wear. Thus, they start to lose their confidence and personality.

7. Forces sexual activity: The frequency, type and circumstances for sex are determined by one partner – and the other must comply. If they don’t acquiesce it leads to violence or abuse. Also, sometimes violence is included in the sex.

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Getting out of an Abusive Relationship

If you are in an abusive relationship bear the following truths in mind:

·         You did not cause the abuse. No-one deserves to be treated in that way.

·         It is not your fault - you are not to blame.

·         You deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

·         You deserve to feel safe and to have a happy life.

·         You are not alone. There are people who can, and will, help you.

As you consider leaving the relationship, remind yourself of the following:

·         The chances are it will happen again. Abusers have serious issues which are hard to change. That will only occur if the abusive person accepts responsibility their actions and stops blaming you, anything else, or anyone else.

·         You’re not helping the person to fix their problems by remaining in an abusive relationship. You are simply reinforcing their behaviour and sending the message that “it’s OK”.

·         Even when the person begs for your forgiveness and promises to never do it again, those promises are usually empty in the end as the person is stuck in a destructive pattern.

·         Although it feels scary to walk away, and you may be worried about repercussions, don’t allow your fear to keep you stuck. Remaining will usually have worse consequences.

Signs that an abuser is not changing (despite what they said – or promised in the past):

·         The abuser minimises the abuse or says you are blowing things out of proportion.

·         The abuser keeps blaming you for their words or actions. (“It’s all your fault. If you didn’t …”)

·         The abuser says it’s not them – you’re the one who is actually abusive.

·         He (or she) tries to push you into going for couples’ counselling.

·         They say they deserve another chance.

·         He or she says they can’t change without your help – so you need to stay in the relationship.

·         He or she tries to pressurise others (family or close friends) to see you as “the bad guy”  and to sympathise with them.

 Abusive Relationships – Safety Tips

 These safety tips can make the difference between being severely injured or killed and escaping with your life.

Prepare for emergencies

-      Know your abuser’s red flags. Be on alert for signs and clues that your abuser is getting upset and may explode in anger or violence. Come up with several believable reasons you can use to leave the house (both during the day and at night) if you sense trouble brewing.

-      Identify safe areas of the house. Know where to go if your abuser attacks or an argument starts. Avoid small, enclosed spaces without exits (such as closets or bathrooms) or rooms with weapons (such as the kitchen). If possible, head for a room with a phone and an outside door or window.

-      Come up with a code word. Establish a word, phrase, or signal you can use to let your children, friends, neighbors, or co-workers know that you’re in danger and the police should be called.

Make an escape plan

-      Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Keep the car fueled up and facing the driveway exit, with the driver’s door unlocked. Hide a spare car key where you can get it quickly. Have emergency cash, clothing, and important phone numbers and documents stashed in a safe place (at a friend’s house, for example).

-      Practice escaping quickly and safely. Rehearse your escape plan so you know exactly what to do if under attack from your abuser. If you have children, have them practice the escape plan also.

-      Make and memorize a list of emergency contacts. Ask several trusted individuals if you can contact them if you need a ride, a place to stay, or help contacting the police. Memorize the numbers of your emergency contacts, local shelter, and domestic violence hotline.

Source: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_help_treatment_prevention.htm

Filed under counselling therapy abuse mental health mental illness self help self improvement psychology social work online counselling college

4,047 notes

Exploring Emotionally Abusive Relationships

Characteristics of an emotionally abusive relationship include:

· Using money as a means of control

· Threatening to walk out or abandon you

· Creating fear and anxiety through looks, words, threats and actions

· Destroying things (and often things you value) – either in a cold and heartless way, or in an angry fit of rage

· Using blaming, shaming, minimizing and denial to control you

· Verbally attacking and demeaning you (includes name calling, shouting at you, criticising and putting you down – especially in public)

· Attacking and putting you down in private, and acting loving and charming in public

· Minimising the abuse; acting as if you’re over-reacting and it’s “no big deal”

· Deliberately withholding approval, affirmation and affection as a means of punishment or control

The effects of living with emotional abuse include:

· A fear of being natural and spontaneous

· A loss of enthusiasm

· Insecurity related to how they coming across to others

· An inner belief that they are deeply flawed

· A loss of self-confidence and self esteem

· Growing self-doubt (so they’re afraid to make even the smallest decision, or to take on even the simplest of tasks)   

· Never trusting their own judgment (as they believe that they’re likely to get it wrong, or to misunderstand or misread everything)

· Having a constant critic in their head

· Feeling they should be happier and more upbeat than they are (in order to meet the approval of others)

· Feeling they’re too sensitive, and ought to “toughen up”

· Fearing they’re going crazy, or losing their mind

· Having a tendency to live in the future (“Everything will be OK when/after ….”)

· A desire to break free, escape or run away

· A distrust and fear of entering into any close relationships again.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy self help self improvement abuse relationships self esteem motivation mental health mental illness online counselling college

865 notes

What is Emotional Abuse?

An emotionally abusive person may “dismiss your feelings and needs, expect you to perform humiliating or unpleasant tasks, manipulate you into feeling guilty for trivial things, belittle your outside support system or blame you for unfortunate circumstances in his or her life. Jealousy, possessiveness and mistrust characterize an emotionally abusive person”[1].  In summary, emotional abuse includes the following:

1. Acting as if a person has no value and worth; acting in ways that communicate that the person’s thoughts feelings and beliefs are stupid, don’t matter or should be ignored.

2. Calling the person names; putting them down; mocking, ridiculing, insulting or humiliating them, especially in public.

3. Controlling through fear and intimidation; coercing and terrorizing them; forcing them to witness violence or callousness; threatening to physically harm them, others they love, their animals or possessions; stalking them; threatening abandonment.

4. Isolating them from others, especially their friends and family; physically confining them; telling them how they should think, act, dress, what decisions they can make, who they can see and what they can do (limiting their freedom); controlling their financial affairs.

5. Using that person for your own advantage or gain; exploiting their rights; enticing or forcing another to behave in illegal ways (for example, selling drugs).

6. Stonewalling and ignoring another’s attempt to relate to and interact with them; deliberately emotionally detaching from a person in order to hurt them or “teach them a lesson”; refusing to communicate affection and warmth, or to meet their emotional and psychological needs.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy abuse emotional abuse mental health mental illness self help self improvement online counselling college

1,294 notes

How to Cope with Flashbacks

Flashbacks are memories of past traumas. They can occur in a number of different forms – as sounds, images, smells, body sensations, numbness (or a lack of sensations). Often they’re accompanied by a feeling panic, where the individual feels trapped and completely powerless. Flashbacks can also occur in dreams. Because the sensations are so frightening and intense – and are unrelated to what’s happening in the present - the person often feels as if they’re going crazy.  

What to do to cope with flashback:

1. Tell yourself that you are having a flashback – that it will pass in time – and soon everything will return to normal.

2. Remind yourself that the worst is over – as these terrifying feelings are re-experienced memories. The event that took place is now lodged in the past, and you managed to survive it, and will survive it now.

3. Allow yourself to express the powerful feelings of terror, panic, hurt and/or rage. It is right that you honour your experience.

4. Ground yourself firmly in the here-and-now. Breathe deeply. Notice the sounds and sensations around you in the room.  Allow the feelings of panic and terror to slowly dissipate. Keep breathing deeply, and exhaling deliberately. Allow a sense of calm to gradually replace the faintness, shakiness, dizziness and tightness.

5. Reorient yourself. Keep focusing on what you can see, hear, feel, smell, touch and feel in the present. Feel the chair supporting you. Use your five senses to bring you back to this point in time.  

6. Speak to your terrified inner child. Reassure them that they are going to be OK. Tell them they are safe in the present. They are not trapped. They can escape at any time.

7. Seek professional support to deal with your flashbacks. Find an experienced therapist who is trained to guide you to a place of healing. You do not have to do cope with this alone. There is help available for you. 

Filed under counselling psychology therapy mental health mental illness flashbacks abuse PTSD self help self improvement online counselling college

549 notes

Relationship Check Up

A healthy relationship means that both members of the couple are…

1. Communicating with each other: Talking about problems without screaming and shouting; listening to each other, and respecting their viewpoint; being willing to adapt and to sometimes change their mind.

2. Showing respect for one another: Valuing the other person’s culture, beliefs, viewpoints, opinions and boundaries. Also, treating each other in a kind and caring way.

3. Demonstrating and conveying trust: Each person is trustworthy and trusts the other person – because they have been shown that they are worthy of that trust.

4. Honest with each other: Both are open and honest – but are private as well; and they don’t demand the other person tells them everything.

5. Equals: They make joint decisions and treat each other well. No person calls the shots or determines all the rules.

6. Able to enjoy their own personal space: As well as spending time together, they spend time on their own. They’re respect the fact they’re different, and they need their own life, too.

7. Decisions about sex are discussed, and are consensual: They discuss sex together, including birth control. There’s no one individual sets the rules and standards here.

Signs of an unhealthy relationship

An unhealthy relationship develops where one, or both, of the partners is…

1. Failing to communicate: Problems are ignored, or not talked about at all. One or both don’t really listen, and they rarely compromise.

2. Acting in ways that are disrespectful: One or both are inconsiderate toward the other person; and they don’t behave in ways that send the message that they care.

3. Refusing to trust the other person: One or both is suspicion of their partner’s loyalty. Hence, they make false accusations, or won’t believe the truth.

4. Acting in a way that is dishonest: One or both is deceptive, or they lie and hide the truth.

5. Acting in a controlling way: One person thinks that they should set the one who rules, controls the other person, and say how things should be.

6. Beginning to feel squashed and smothered / cutting themselves off from friends and family: One partner is possessive, or feels threatened and upset, when the other’s with their family or spends time with their friends.

7. Attempting to pressurise the other into sexual activity / refusing to talk openly about birth control: One partner wants the other to participate in sex, or to engage in different practices against that’s person’s will. Or, one of the partners stops using birth control, or expects the other person to “take care of all that.”

Signs of an abusive relationship

An abusive relationship develops when one of the parties…

1. Starts to communicate in ways that are abusive: When arguments occur, one of the partners screams and cusses, or they verbally threaten or attack the other person.

2. Shows disrespect through acting in abusive ways: This is where one of the partners abuse, harms or threatens the physical safety of the other individual.

3. Wrongly accuses their partner of flirting or cheating: One of the partners is convinced – with no real grounds – that their partner is cheating or having an affair. Thus, they lash out verbally, or hurt, the accused partner.

4. Refuses to accept responsibility for the abuse: When they fly into a rage or act in ways that are abusive, they miminise their actions and refuse to accept blame. They may even blame their partner for “causing the abuse.”

5. Starts to control the other partner: One partner has no say as the other sets the rules – and arguing against that simply leads to more abuse.

6. Does what they can to isolate their partner: One partner has control of who the other person sees, the way they spend their time – and, even, clothes they buy and wear. Thus, they start to lose their confidence and personality.

7. Forces sexual activity: The frequency, type and circumstances for sex are determined by one partner – and the other must comply. If they don’t acquiesce it leads to violence or abuse. Also, sometimes violence is included in the sex.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy relationships abuse mental health mental illness self help self improvement online counselling college