You deserve to feel safe in your relationship. Emotional, verbal, or physical abuse is not your fault. Here’s how to recognize the signs of an unhealthy relationship and get help.
Sure, nobody’s relationship is perfect, and people make mistakes. But if you feel like you’re being treated badly, you probably are. Listen to your gut. Healthy relationships make you feel good about yourself — unhealthy relationships don’t.
Lying, cheating, jealousy, and disrespect are signs of an unhealthy relationship. So is trying to control a partner. That includes:
Anyone can find themselves in an abusive relationship, no matter their age, gender, or sexual orientation. Movies and TV shows that depict abuse might give you the impression that an abusive relationship is only when someone is getting hit or physically hurt. But there are different types of abuse that can affect your body, your emotions, and your self-esteem.
Each relationship is different, and the signs of an abusive relationship can vary. But all of these behaviors are ways that one person tries to maintain all of the power in a relationship and control their partner.
Sometimes abusive behaviors begin slowly and get worse as time goes on. If you’ve been feeling devalued, afraid, or controlled, get help. Everyone deserves to be in a relationship where both people feel safe and are respected, trusted, and loved.
If you’re in an abusive relationship, know that you’re not alone and you deserve better. If your partner hurts you physically, emotionally, or sexually, remember: nothing you said or did justifies their behavior. Everyone gets mad sometimes, but talking things through is the way to deal with problems — not hurting you or putting you down.
Abuse doesn’t happen because you did something wrong, or weren’t good enough to prevent it from happening. Domestic abuse happens because someone made a choice to manipulate and control you to make themselves more powerful. Remember, you deserve healthy, happy relationships. Abuse of any kind is never OK.
When you break up with an abusive partner, it’s important to have a safety plan if you’re afraid they might hurt you, your children, or other people you love. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) to get support and advice and check out their safety plan. If you’re in high school or college, you may find the safety plan at Love Is Respect helpful. If you feel like you’re in immediate danger, get away from your partner and call 911.
Leaving an unhealthy relationship can be really hard and can take a long time. In fact, it takes an average of 7 tries before someone leaves an abusive partner for good. So don’t give up on your loved one if they’re not ready to leave or they keep going back. The best thing you can do is listen, be supportive, and when you get the chance, talk about how much better life could be.
Here are more tips: