As you know, abuse comes in many forms. In a relationship, there are several types of abuse.
Everyone wishes for a loving and healthy relationship, whether it’s a platonic or intimate relationship. Healthy relationships involve respect, kindness, selflessness, and many other beneficial qualities. While unhealthy relationships continue to grow worse ignoring most of the good qualities of good unions.
Different types of abuse are sometimes hard to recognize
Recognizing abuse and the different types requires being educated on each one. Many times a husband or wife can go through years of abuse without even knowing the truth.
In many of these situations, one partner is convinced that they are the entire problem, while the fault lies mostly with the other. This is an insidious way of the abuser being able to continue what they’re doing.
What are the different types of abuse?
1. Physical abuse
When you hear the word abuse, what’s the first thing you think of? For most people, that would be physical abuse, but not for everyone.
Physical abuse can be punching, kicking, slapping, strangling, shoving or any similar forms of forced physical contact. Believe it or not, physical abuse can also be neglect or abandonment because it deals with physical aspects.
Physical abuse can also include being restrained against your will or the invasion of your own personal space. The violence of this nature can often lead to severe injuries, hospitalization, or at worst, even death. This is the most common form of domestic violence.
2. Verbal abuse
This form of abuse can be loud or it can be subtle. Verbal attacks include shouting, insults or outward lies. Yes, lies are verbal abuse because they are usually pathological and designed to break down your reserves. Verbal abuse is used to make you think you’re crazy.
This can also be called gaslighting. If you know something to be true and it includes negative aspects about the liar, they will do whatever it takes to make you feel as though you imagined the whole thing. This often overlaps with mental abuse.
3. Mental abuse
Abuse of this caliber can isolate the victim so bad that there will be few people who believe what they’re going through.
Mental/ psychological abuse can also come in the form of gaslighting (making you think you’re crazy), but it can also do so much more damage than taint your reputation. Mental abuse includes lies when the truth is right in front of your face, and these can wear down your mental capacity.
Those who already battle mental illness can become progressively worse when dealing with mental abuse in a relationship. It is true, that someone can tell you lies for so long that even you believe them yourself.
That’s why this sort of abuse is so damaging. It turns you against your own logic, which can be devastating. It can even turn others against you and make them see your abuser as the “good guy”.
4. Sexual abuse
Did you know that sexual abuse can happen in a relationship? Yes, most definitely. Rape can occur as well. If either partner doesn’t want to engage in intimate relations, but it otherwise forced to do so, this is considered rape, or abuse.
While sexual abuse can be a physical act, it can also overlap emotional and mental abuse. Using sex as a way to get what you want, to assign value to your partner, or to insult them is also considered sexual abuse.
Intimacy was designed to do many positive things, but unfortunately, it can be twisted into a heinous form of abuse, whether married or unmarried, even in other related forms.
5. Emotional abuse
Although similar to mental abuse, with some overlapping, emotional abuse has more to do with the feelings than thinking. With this type of abuse, the victim’s feelings are often ignored when they don’t align with what the partner feels.
Control is a huge part of emotional abuse, where one partner tries to have reign over every aspect of their partner’s life. Control in emotional abuse can include financial control, where the partner isn’t allowed to work or have a bank account.
Sometimes this control develops due to past circumstances or jealousy, but it’s still emotional abuse. Other forms of emotional abuse involve making your partner feel worthless with insults and neglect. This includes racism, sexism, and making jokes about someone’s native language.
Most of the time, people outside of the relationship will have no idea any of this is going on until it becomes severe.
6. The abuse of addiction
The reason this type of abuse is mentioned here is that it can affect more than the person who is caught in its grips. Alcoholism or drug abuse damages the user, the user’s family, and many others who may be around the user.
In your relationship, if your partner is addicted to alcohol or drugs, or even other things, it’s best to seek professional help. Addiction tends to be an extremely difficult type of abuse to conquer.
Recognizing the abuse in relationships
It’s fairly easy to recognize types of abusive behavior when reading the categories above. If you’re experiencing physical discomfort, it could be physical or sexual abuse. If you’re starting to think you’re worthless or contemplating suicide, you could be experiencing a number of these types.
You see, all types of abuse overlap somewhere, so there could be symptoms of more than one type going on in your life.
One way to discover whether or not you’re being abused is if you’ve been labeled as “crazy” by your loved one. This label often masks all the other symptoms of abuse and it’s hard to get to the truth when gaslighted. If you’ve been told you’re crazy, this is a red flag. Seek help immediately to discover the truth of your relationship.
Take back control and take back your life!
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