Healthy Relationships: 3 Red Flags That Signal Emotional Abuse in a Relationship
Last week, we had a Family Therapists/Clinical Counsellor speak to our Villagers about healthy relationships. The therapist, Jane Kuria answered some of the questions, offered expert advice on various topics and got to shed light on some of the issues that were raised in the WhatsApp chat. We are going to share the pieces of advice in a series of articles. In this article, we share the red flags that signal emotional abuse in a relationship.
Your Partner Wants To Change You
First, the person you’re in a relationship with will do whatever it takes to make you CHANGE something about yourself they find threatening. Maybe change how you dress so no one finds you attractive or even tell you not to put on makeup. They may even go to the extent of asking you to do plastic surgery to reduce the size of your boobs…
They want to take away anything they know makes you happy and comfortable about yourself. They think God made some mistakes and created you with some parts that were in excess or defective.
Your Partner Controls and Isolates You
They want to CONTROL your life. They have to be the only person that has the influence and power over your life. They may decide to isolate you from your close family members or anyone who has a positive impact on your life. If you come from a close-knit family, they may add some vocabulary in their statements and call you clingy, co-dependent or even Mama’s baby. They will withhold affection as punishment and ‘reward’ you when you do what they want.
They will strip away anything that makes you a better person including your job or church activities. They may even be the ones choosing for you who you visit or where you go and with who. This makes it possible for them to continue mistreating, humiliating and bullying you.
Your Partner Never Admits To Wrongdoing And Pins It On You
They will HIDE anything they do wrong that may sabotage the relationship. In fact, they may twist the story when caught to make it look like it’s your fault. Their affairs, porn addiction, alcoholism or gambling problem is all your fault because you ‘refused’ to do certain things they wanted you to do or try a certain sex style they watched online. They may vehemently deny when you confront them about that strange text and say you are jealous or insecure. You may eventually start thinking there’s something wrong with you or you’ve lost it.
Abuse is not only physical but also emotional and psychological. Any kind of abuse leaves the abused in a state of confusion, depression, doubts and many other effects due to trauma. If you are going through abuse or you know a person going through abuse, the Gender-Based Violence-free hotline is 1195. Furthermore, if you would like to join a community of women healing from abuse, WhatsApp +254736275978.