A lot of people are in abusive relationships. Abuse isn’t always as obvious as being hit or shoved, called names or cussed out. In fact, it can very well be underhanded or subtle. You feel like you’re drowning in quicksand, clawing for air with no real way out. No matter what you do, nothing ever seems to make the other person happy, and they make you feel even worse when there is no recognition for the things that you do. As the relationship continues, you begin to feel that something isn’t right. Rather than listening to your intuition, you continue to stay with this person.
In case you didn’t already know, this is called emotional abuse — also known as mental or psychological abuse. This is the kind of abuse that often sneaks up on you as you become more involved in the relationship. It’s a horrible feeling, especially when you’ve invested any real time with the other person.
A lot of people new to the world of BDSM don’t have the education and/or experience to tell the difference of what’s considered normal and what is abuse in the this lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if you identify as a Dominant or submissive, it can happen (Yes, even new Dominants can have their emotions twisted from an experienced submissive).
Being in a relationship with an abusive person can lead to feeling loss of self, doubt in your abilities as a Dominant or if you’re truly a submissive, and make you become more and more withdrawn. And don’t get me started about the mental and physical damage that you could face, including insomnia, weight gain, stomach ulcers and PTSD — all of which could possibly plague you for the rest of your life.
Here are some signs to watch for, if you think that you may be in emotionally abusive relationship:
- Humiliating or Embarrassing you
- Constant put-downs
- Refusing to communicate
- Ignoring or excluding you
- Extramarital affairs
- Provocative behavior with opposite sex
- Use of sarcasm and unpleasant tone of voice
- Unreasonable jealousy
- Extreme moodiness
- Mean jokes or constantly making fun of you
- Saying “I love you but…”
- Domination and control
- Withdrawal of affection
- Guilt trips
- Making everything your fault
- Isolating you from friends and family
- Using money to control
- Constant calling or texting when you are not with him/her
- Threatening to commit suicide if you leave
It’s important to remember that psychological abuse is absolutely not your fault. Even though you may love this person, I want you to know that they don’t love you or respect you — at all.
These people are expert manipulators with a definite skill for making you believe that the way you’re being treated is somehow your fault. These people know that everyone has insecurities, and use those insecurities against you. Some abusers even act quite charming and nice in public so that others have a good impression of them. In private it’s a different story, which is also mind-boggling.
If you’re reading this and the words are resonating with you, you need to understand that your relationship is probably not going to improve. It would take a monumental amount of insight and motivation for the abuser to change and unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
If you are in an abusive relationship, you need to get out — with professional help, if needed. Sometimes the first step in leaving these people is getting counseling just to rebuild your esteem so that you can leave. I can almost guarantee you that you’ll get over this person over time if you get the hell away from them. You will be making the right decision.