Trigger warning: Abuse, emotional, physical and psychological. Rape, trauma, PTSD.
I have been in three-relationships throughout my life. My two exes were decent guys, who I don’t hold any ill will against- and I’ve been very fortunate that I have never experienced any level of physical violence.
However- sometimes when I re-evaluate past experiences, I feel that I might have been subject to a few things that I would classify as unacceptable nowadays in a relationship.
Things that make me think ‘fuck I deserved better’- that I didn’t pick up on because hell, I was crazy about that person.
But here are the things I believe are unacceptable in a relationship. The things that if I was to talk to a friend honestly, and they told me any of this was happening- I would tell them to get out:
The term “emotional abuse” is thrown around a lot, and out of respect for people who are victims, I don’t want to pigeonhole what constitutes it into a couple of sentences. However, my belief and understanding about what it is would be is; guilt tripping, criticism, belittling, indifference to you, blame, discouragement- and the feeling that you are being drained of all energy in trying to keep the other person happy when you yourself are suffering at their words or actions.
It’s so difficult as I’ve known people in emotionally abusive relationships, who when I’ve highlighted the problematic behavior- have denied that it’s happening. It can be tough, but as a friend or family member- you need to make them see that this isn’t normal. They need the support from you to make the change and to seek the help they deserve.
If your partner is intentionally physically hurting you in any way- then you are subject to physical abuse. Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. There are many different forms that this can take, but if you are fearful of your partner, then please- don’t remain silent for their benefit. Violent people are criminals. You deserve to feel safe and protected in your relationships. Please. Don’t let it be unsaid. The police will take this seriously.
Guilt about sex
If you’re with someone who makes you feel guilty when you don’t feel like it, who tries to push themselves on you- or visa versa, who embarrasses you for your sexual preferences- then you deserve more. Sex without your full-consent is rape.
I’ve been guilted into sex by someone before. They were my boyfriend so I thought nothing of it- but actually, if they push you to do things that you aren’t comfortable with- then are they really the right person to be hanging around with?
Belittling your aspirations
I think this ties in with emotional abuse. If you share your dreams, aspirations, and goals with someone and they laugh at you or tear you down- then they are a cruel person. Healthy relationships are full of support and even if you don’t always agree with your partners’ decisions- there is a way to voice that, without tearing them down, snorting or snidely commenting on their ideas.
Keeping it ‘secret’
I don’t even classify the first guy I dated as a relationship anymore- because he wanted to hide our relationship from everyone. If someone is trying to hide you from their friends, family or others- then there’s a reason for that. It’s a huge warning sign to get out while you can in my book.
He wanted it to ‘be exciting’- but there’s a difference between privacy and secrecy. If you can’t tag them in photos, talk to them openly or feel like they don’t want to be associated with you- then you deserve better. Get the person who shouts about you from the rooftops.
Calling you ‘psycho’ or ‘crazy’
UGH, I don’t appreciate anyone who refers to their exes as ‘psychotic’ or ‘crazy’- because I’ve been called that, and it doesn’t feel good. Even the decent guys I’ve dated have said this at times and I try to back the ex up at that point. Hurt, anger, and sadness can make us behave differently- we do things that we aren’t proud of, but it’s unfair to label someone like this. Believe me, I’ve been captain of the crazy train and I would never act like that in a rational mindset.
Invasion of privacy
If you date someone who reads your diary (eye-roll), checks your personal messages, goes through your things and just doesn’t give you that personal space- then there’s a clear lack of trust and insecurity.
I don’t think in any sense it’s abnormal to be curious, but talk to your partner about this. Find the root of the insecurity, and avoid invading their privacy.
Telling you that you’re too sensitive
I’ve been victim to this. People being cruel, me reacting to it in the way that I see fit- and then being told that I’m ‘oversensitive’ or ‘it was only a joke’.
If someone has made you feel like shit, then you’re entitled to feel like that. You’re allowed to voice upset- even if it wasn’t their intent.
Shaming you for your sexual partners
I’m writing a whole damn post about slut-shaming because it gets me so riled up, but if you share your ‘number’ with someone and they shame you for that, then YOU DESERVE BETTER. The past is the past. Let it go, accept that you’re with them now and that there’s no shame in what you’ve chosen to do before. It’s odd but the only people in the world who actually know my number is my work wife Emma (who I tell everything) and Luke.
I’ve never wanted to disclose it before or felt comfortable enough with a partner to tell them.
If you feel that you might be suffering from any form of abuse, then please speak to a trusted individual, seek help from others or contact the police. These websites are also useful for any further information: