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Abusive Relationships:
Cloaked Under the Guise of Love(c) Bonnie Moss 2007

Statistics show that over 90% of known cases of abuse are women."But he loves me" is often a justification of staying in an abusive relationship.

A story that would break anyone's heart is this woman who suffered physical abuse and somehow, a bouquet of flowers after such episodes seemed to ease the hurt, the pain. She felt guilty. It was her fault. So she stayed on. Until one day, there was no need for flowers- she had no another day to face.

There are warning signs of a man who is capable of inflicting physical harm. Remember that abuse goes beyond the physical- with this comes mental, emotional, financial and yes, sexual abuse.

It is well and good to fall for that man, even if he has quirks that seem to show after a while. Be wary. Not that you will prepare a checklist and get paranoid every time you have an argument.

A touch of animosity is good for a relationship. The sun does not always shine. But- this is to a point. You have to feel safe and comfortable under these circumstances; that you feel free to express yourself without fear of getting hit physically. You could pout and even scream and know that he's not going to physically muscle you.

If ever you have this fear of the man you love, fear that he can hit you physically, bail out as fast as you can. Listen to your intuition.

We enter a relationship for mutual love, care, protection, respect, trust and security. We want to feel safe when we are with our loved one.

Fear of physical abuse should never be an issue in a loving relationship where the man you love is a gentle being. Any form of abuse is a betrayal of all that love stands for.

Warning signs:
At the start of a relationship, there could be early warning signs. In the beginning, these can be shrugged off as spur of the moment lapses, even flattering. There is no such thing.

1. Manipulation

Often, a woman is manipulated into a relationship where she endures humiliation, lack of appreciation, sense of duty, lack of financial independence till she feels trapped, made to feel that she is unable to fend off for herself. She bears the guilt.

2. Jealousy

Excessive possessiveness demands that you cut off relationship with your family , close friends and business colleagues. Streaks of jealousy may involve your relationship with your children.

Know that if he is not interested in meeting your family and friends, there can be a potential for abuse. There is no one to answer to, no accountability.

How can a relationship be healthy if he cuts himself off the other people you care about in your life. For sure, he expects that eventually, you will too. Are you comfortable with this situation? This means no social life at all.

3. Unsupportive of your interests

A healthy relationship encourages mutual respect and shows support for each other's hobbies and other interests. This allows both to grow while enjoying separate interests. You maintain your space.

A partner who tries to restrain your pursuits to develop and grow in other ways should get you thinking deeper of the future of such a relationship. You have personal power. To maintain peace, to avoid arguments, you relinquish your personal freedom, your power.

4. Does not show respect for your privacy

Everyone is entitled to personal privacy and respect of one's space. How much respect does he show for your privacy? Does he demand to inspect your purse, your mail, listen to your communications with the outside world? This is controlling your world. Yet, you have no right to ask him his wherabouts, or why he is late , He does not apologize for his negligence.

5. Berates you, humiliates you, downgrades your self-esteem,

This is self-explanatory. Do you end up in tears when you talk? You can not do anything right, you don't look right from head to toe. You have to explain or justify all your moves lest you displease him.

6. Mood swings

We all have our bad days. Pay attention to unreasonable mood swings, from very caring, passionate and loving to demanding and terrifying. Uncontrollable anger makes you cower in fear. This can come with destructive behaviour. When you start to feel scared when he's in a bad mood, watch out. There are people with anger problems, but they are not necessarily violent. Know the difference.

7. Sexual demands

No matter how deeply in love we are, there are times that we are not interested in having sex.

It does not matter whether you want sex or not, he goes ahead and satisfies himself. He shows no tenderness, no feelings and is actually using you for sex brutally. Or he accuses you of having sex with someone else.

8. Drug and other substance abuse

These are known to bring about erratic behaviour.

There are other warning signs and every woman should be aware of these.Do not expose yourself and your children to the dangers of abuse.You may not be able to free yourself.

Get out while you can and please do not go back for more when on bended knees he begs you to come back and promises never to lay hands on you again. He really loves you .These can be empty words.

There is no peace and harmony, you live in fear. How can there be love?




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