WARNING SIGNS FOR WOMEN
Recognizing a violent type of man is not easy. At the beginning of the relationship, they often seem very loving and attentive and the violence happens only after they are sure about their partner’s affection.
A sincere interest about how you spend your time, about your hobbies and friends is, naturally, nice and normal.
The problem arises when the interest develops into control and restrictions. If you want to have coffee with your friend or go dancing and you need to ask your boyfriend before if he will let you go, or even are afraid about his reaction, it is not all right.
Basically, it is normal if he cares about you. It stops being normal if he forbids you from doing something or seeing someone, checks up on where you are, and with whom all the time. It is not normal if he texts you every five minutes when you are out or blames you for not replying to him immediately. Nor it is normal when he all of a sudden appears in a pub without an invitation, especially when you and your friends are having a girls’ night out.
Every one of us has a right to privacy. In the past, we used letters to deliver all messages and the privacy of correspondence is still protected by law even today. Equally, as no one has a right to open our letters, no one has a right to control our e-mail inbox or our phone.
If you get a new phone from your partner and you were suspicious of him before, let someone technically skilled check the device for any background-running software that spies on your location or sends copies of your texts and pictures without your knowledge. It takes only a few moments to get such software into your phone. Protect your privacy, protect your phone.
Of course when we are freshly in love, we want to spend as much time as possible together.
It is really hard to find the difference between an urge to be together and an urge to isolate you at the beginning of a relationship. One of the first signals is that the man is trying to separate the woman from her friends or family. The perpetrator tries to make her feel she is the only one who understands him and they do not need anyone else.
In many cases, it is not a direct order that he gives to stop her from meeting friends or family but more of a manipulation by slandering or defaming other people which makes her isolate of her own will. Women often loose interest in their hobbies or things they used to love doing before the relationship.
Thus, a woman remains in an abusive relationship isolated from her social contacts which makes it even harder for her to leave.
Take care not only of yourselves but also your friends who cut all contacts without any obvious reason.
A fear of losing someone close is a normal part of life and a healthy level of sweet jealousy may be natural, too. However, jealousy originating from a feeling of owning someone else and can be a huge problem. If your partner wants you to be with him all the time because he thinks you cheat on him when you are not with him, it is not all right. Trust is a very important part of every relationship.
HUMILIATION AND CONSTANT CRITICISM
It is normal when you tease each other from time to time. It is healthy to laugh and gently make fun of each other too.
However, humiliation, insults, and offensive language cannot be considered funny. If it hurts, it’s not funny. And it does not matter if it happens at home, in public, at school, or a party. If someone calls you words, calls you “frigid” when you did not want to have sex with him last night, or humiliates your skills, knowledge, and abilities, that’s not all right.
He does not like your figure. He does not like the way you dress. Your dress is too “provocative”. You shouldn’t wear skirts, jeans fit you better. He does not like your make up. He grumbles over anything you cook.
Women living in abusive relationships often complain that nothing they do is good enough for their partner. It applies to important matters, such as work or raising children, as well as simple things, such as organising dishes in a cupboard.
Constant humiliation and unconstructive criticism may completely destroy one’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Never let anyone do that. That is not what love is about.
EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL AND MANIPULATION
If anyone pushes or manipulates you to do something you do not want to or do not feel like doing yet, it is probable that they care more about themselves than about you.
If you don’t want to do something, then simply don’t do it. It is important to have your boundaries about what is comfortable and what is not anymore. And your partner should respect these boundaries.
If he gets angry when drunk, he’s aggressive. At home, he screams, bangs on a table, slams the door, or breaks a plate. It is a sign that he has a problem to control his aggression and although it doesn’t have to lead to physical violence, creating such a fearful atmosphere itself is a manifestation of violence.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE A MANIPULATOR?
It is important to know when a perpetrator manipulates your feelings. However, it’s not as easy as it may seem. Manipulation graduates slowly, that is why a person may not even realize that it is really happening. Luckily, emotional manipulation can be detected, if you know what to look for.
Do you suspect you have a manipulator in your surroundings? Answer these 9 questions and find out:
Does the person make you doubt your memory, mental health, or judgement?
Emotional manipulators are unbelievably skilful liars. For example, they will claim that there was no accident even if one happened. They are so good at lying that you’ll doubt yourself, in the end. The statement that “the problem is only a product of your fantasy” is a particularly strong manner of emotional manipulation.
Are their words and actions in concord?
Emotional manipulators will tell you exactly what you want to hear but do the exact opposite. They will promise to support you but when the time comes, they pretend that your needs or requests are inappropriate. It is only another way of weakening your confidence in your own sense.
Does the person blame you?
Manipulators are experts in shifting the blame onto their victims. If, for example, you say something that troubles you, the manipulator will make you feel guilty about even mentioning it. You may often feel that whatever you do is wrong regardless of the type of the problem, it’s always your fault.
Does the person put themselves into a victim’s role?
Regardless of what manipulators do or say, it is always someone else who made the mistake. Someone made them do it – and it is usually you. Emotional manipulators are not responsible for anything. Ever.
Do you feel that they want some things too quickly?
Emotional manipulators often skip a few steps in a relationship. At early stages, they seem extremely sensitive and vulnerable, but it is only pretence: they expect you to behave the same way. A manipulator wants to make his victim feel sympathy for him or responsibility for his feelings.
Does the person pull other people into their own problems?
Manipulators are often emotional blackholes. Whatever they feel, they make the others feel the same way since they count on the other’s sympathy. If a manipulator is in a bad mood, everybody knows. Moreover, he is so skilful that not only does everybody know but everybody also feels responsible for it. That indirectly makes victims feel some kind of duty to improve his mood.
Has the willingness to help ever become off-putting?
At first, emotional manipulators eagerly agree to help and later behave like martyrs. Provision of any kind of help or support is suddenly a huge burden for them. The target is to make you feel you owe them.
Do you start to feel that the person still pretends to be in a worse situation than you?
Regardless of your problems, emotional manipulators always have bigger ones. They undermine the seriousness of your problems by reminding you of their own problems. Basically, they try to establish that you have no right to complain.
Do you feel that the person abuses your weak spots?
Emotional manipulators know your week sports and often misuse this knowledge against you. If, for example you have a weight issue, they often comment on what you eat or wear. They use knowledge about your feelings to manipulate you, not to make you feel better.
The best way to prevent these toxic manipulators from using you for their own purposes is to erase them from your life, uncompromisingly. If you work with such people and thus need to spend time with them, the best defence is to set boundaries.
If you are able to recognize manipulators, it is often easier to foresee their behaviour and understand it. That can make you think rationally about when or where you must talk to them. In other cases, you can use your boundaries. But you need to do it knowingly and proactively.