Behind the Couple Photos: A Relationship Advice Blog

Fear controls people, but it shouldn’t control you in your relationship. Behind the "Instagram goals" photos can come an emotionally abusive relationship and a cry for help that no one hears. Coming from someone who’s no stranger to emotionally abusive relationship, it breaks you down and you don’t even realize what is it until you’re in too deep. But no matter what, there’s always an escape route. Life is always better without them, eventually.

 

Photo by Naomi August on Unsplash

7 Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

If the following 7 signs sound familiar, you need to take action.

They claim they love you through jealousy

One wrong text when they’re looking and its hours of raised voices and promises. A common trait of emotionally abusive relationships is one partner being so untrusting to the other that it causes mayhem in the form of control over your social life. If they ban certain people for you to talk to and/or monitor who you’re texting, its not a good relationship. Jealousy comes in many forms, but it should never get to that extreme.

Total control

Dictatorship doesn’t live only in politics. In an emotionally abusive relationship, one partner decides everything you do: from who you see, what you do in your free time, to your finances. Obviously, it isn’t that blatant at first— it’ll start with minor favors like asking you to not talk as much to a certain person, to not go out to that concert, and so on. Every time they paraphrase it with an empty “I’m just looking out for you safety” that really means “I don’t want you eventually leaving me for someone else so I’m going to confine you to only me.” Don’t fall for the false sincerity.

Subtle threats

They’re always there, creeping up when you two have a fight. In the back of their mind, they’re thinking of a new way to scare you into staying. As demented as it sounds, it’s quite common in unhealthy relationships. The second they sense an incoming quarrel, a threat in the form of a suicide threat, to leave you, or take away something of yours. If someone is threatening to leave you at every fight, let them.

Blame game

It’s always your fault, at least that’s what they make it seem. They started a fight about a slight problem from two weeks ago and, by the end, you’re apologizing for being an inconsiderate significant other. Your relationship should be about equality, not an uneven, constant round of the blame game.

Disregarding your feelings

There’s a difference between playful banter and making fun of a deep-seated insecurity: know the line between the two. If no one has told you today: your feelings matter, your opinions matter, and you matter. A common form of emotional abuse is belittling your feelings by making jokes at your expense, showing no support, or crossing your boundaries. If the person you’re with right now constantly belittles your mindset and opinions, why are you with them? It’s not funny, and it’s not a quirk of their personality— it's abuse.

Never happy? Think about it.

When was the last time you two had a day with no fights? When a day it is more like a day walking through eggshells and landmine, more than a conversation— there’s a problem. Emotional abusers thrive on turmoil in relationships, without them even knowing sometimes. But most of the time, they want to be your only source of happiness. It sounds romantic until they isolate you to the point of only depending on them for the little happiness there is.

They promise they’ll change

Almost the motto of emotional abuse, “I promise I’ll change.” And they do, for only a matter of time before they go right back to square one. It’s a constant cycle that you need to break because I’ll be the one to tell you- they won’t change.

I know it’s hard to find the line between a rough patch and a rough relationship, but fear shouldn’t be the lead in your relationship. The most common contributing factors of people who stay are fearful in many forms ranging from life after the relationship to their partner's actions, normalization of their actions, believe that they can go back to the honeymoon phase, self-esteem issues, isolation, or social pressure.

Talk to your friends, talk to your family— they’ll still love you and will help you get out of it.

If you look at yourself in the mirror and think “Who is this? Why do they look so beaten down?”, then you need to reevaluate what the relationship is.

 

Photo by Fabian Møller on Unsplash

Safe words are not optional!

Listen up, it’s another mini sex talk. 

The concept of safe words is so both parties are aware that whatever you’re doing in the moment, isn’t working out and needs to stop immediately.

They can range from many different methods: one being the traffic light colors or ridiculous words. Traffic light colors go as red meaning “stop now”, yellow meaning “slow down”, and green saying “For the love of God, please keep going.” Other safe words can come in as words like “unicorn", “oreo”, “pies”, or “fireball.”

(If you’re in a position to not talk, do a tapping motion that both of you understand means "no.")

Don’t date people who think they’re more suggestions than anything, date someone who respects not only the safe word but your boundaries in general. If someone doesn’t understand that they’re pulling your hair a little too hard or going a little too fast, dump them, honey. Your safety comes before an orgasm.

Something to take away from this week: Know your worth. Throughout the pivots in life, the highs, and everything in between you need to know to love yourself and your worth. It’s a struggle, don’t get me wrong, but learning to start now will save you so much grief. Stay lovely!

 

Photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash

Cover Photo by Wyron A on Unsplash