When you think of abuse, this isn’t love as God has commanded. Today’s topic is centered on the 4 types of abuse in relationships. Statistics have proven that you or someone you love is being abused. Sweet friend, first and foremost, I want you to remember…Abuse, This Isn’t Love. The questions today will be the following.
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- What is domestic violence?
- What is emotional abuse?
- What is verbal abuse?
- Why you can’t just walk away?
- Why do people not want to get involved?
I’m sorry if you find the following image hard to view but it’s a reality for those who are a victim of abuse. Do you think the photo I have chosen is displaying what love is? Absolutely NOT! In ANY form Abuse, this isn’t love!!
Friends, This Isn’t Love. This image is anything and everything but Love! It’s clearly NOT showing the Love as described in the Ephesians verse below. It is showing anger, fear, abusiveness, mistreatment, cowardice, assault, fury, cruelty, destructiveness, and vehemence.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25
Abuse, This Isn’t Love: What are the 4 Types of Abuse?
- Domestic Abuse and/or Domestic Violence
- Emotional Abuse
- Verbal Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
God has laid this on my heart to bring awareness and I want to obey. However, this is a topic I do NOT like to discuss or want to remember. As a matter of fact, to this day I avoid confrontation of ANY kind because it still makes me extremely nervous. The abuse was my life for almost fifteen years.
Abuse, Why This Isn’t Love: LET’S BEGIN WITH DOMESTIC ABUSE
Let me start by stating that just because you don’t have visible broken bones does NOT mean you aren’t being abused first and foremost! In my case, specifically to this day, he will not admit that he abused me. Friends, this isn’t love!
Sadly, he didn’t see his behavior as was wrongdoing because I didn’t receive physical breaks! However, the physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse broke my spirit. See how this isn’t love?
WHAT IS ABUSE…AKA…DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
What Are the Warning Signs of Abuse?
- Feel afraid of your spouse much of the time?
- Avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your spouse?
- Feel that you can’t do anything right for your spouse?
- Believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
- Wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
- Feel emotionally numb or helpless?
Does your Spouse:
- Humiliate or yell at you?
- Criticize you and put you down?
- Treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
- Ignore or put down your opinions?
- Blame you for their own abusive behavior?
- See you as property, rather than as a person?
- Call you all kinds of nasty names?
Does your Spouse:
- Have a bad and unpredictable temper?
- Hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
- Threaten to take your children away or harm them?
- Threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
- Force you to have sex?
- Destroy your belongings?
Does your Spouse:
- Act excessively jealous and possessive?
- Control where you go or what you do?
- Keep you from seeing your friends or family?
- Limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
- Constantly check up on you?
This list sums up the biggest majority of what life was like for me. I never thought I would’ve found myself in this kind of position.
Defining Emotional Abuse: Source One Love Foundation
Understanding emotional abuse is complicated for many reasons. One reason is that there are several different names used interchangeably to refer to the same kind of abuse, including emotional abuse/violence, psychological abuse/violence, and mental abuse. For simplicity, we’ll use “emotional abuse” going forward.
Another complication is that there isn’t one accepted definition of emotional abuse. It seems that everyone has a slightly different version.
We’ve identified several common threads that make up the most widely accepted definitions and combined them here to create the following description of emotional abuse:
Emotional abuse is any abusive behavior that isn’t physical, which may include verbal aggression, intimidation, manipulation, and humiliation, which most often unfolds as a pattern of behavior over time that aims to diminish another person’s sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth, and which often results in anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Refusal to ever be pleased
- Silent treatment
- Ranking and comparing
- Arbitrary and unpredictable inconsistency
- Threatening harm
- Forced isolation
Defining Verbal Abuse: Source One Love Foundation
Verbal abuse happens out of nowhere in a relationship. It’s a lot more calculating and insidious, causing people on the receiving end to question themselves, wonder if they are overreacting, or even blame themselves.
Verbal abuse usually happens in private where no one else can intervene and eventually becomes a regular form of communication within a relationship.
For people experiencing it, verbal abuse is often isolating since it chips away at your self-esteem making it more difficult to reach out to a friend.
Many people who experience it rationalize the abuse in their minds and don’t even realize it’s an unhealthy form of communication. But that doesn’t make it any less distressing or mentally exhausting for people on the receiving end.
Ultimately, verbal abuse is a means of maintaining power and control over another in the relationship. And there are many subtle forms verbal abuse can take, making it even harder to recognize.
For example, verbal abuse includes being subjected to name-calling on a regular basis, constantly feeling demeaned or belittled, and being subjected to the silent treatment by a partner.
If you can’t tell whether your partner is being “funny” or “belittling,” here are a few tell-tale signs you are being diminished in your relationship.
Here are the 11 most commonly verbal abuse patterns to look out for in a relationship:
This type of verbal abuse is probably the easiest one to recognize. This includes being called names and/or being shouted at on a regular basis. Arguments that always resort to yelling and the use of aggressive phrases in a conversation are all signs that your communication with your partner is anything but healthy.
In a healthy relationship, partners step away from an argument or try to talk through the issue. In a verbally abusive relationship, the abuser will yell until they get what they want.
Example: “You idiot, now you have made me angry!”
light sarcasm and a sarcastic tone of voice should not be a constant part of your interactions with a partner. This can also include being the constant butt of your partner’s jokes. It can start off funny, which is why it often goes undetected, but over time condescension becomes belittling.
Example: “No wonder you are always moaning about your weight, look how clean your plate is!”
Sometimes it can be easy to spot a controlling personality, especially when someone continuously pushes their partner to do and say things they are not always comfortable with. Manipulation, on the other hand, can be more difficult to detect. It can be subtle, like turning situations around and putting the blame on the abused partner.
Example: “If you really loved me you wouldn’t say or do that.”
It’s OK to provide constructive criticism when requested on occasion; being honest with your partner is healthy. However, constant criticism and belittling of a significant other are NOT healthy, and over time can lead to a significant loss of self-esteem.
Example: “Why are you so disorganized? I can always count on you to ruin our nights out!”
5. Demeaning Comments
If a partner puts you down using demeaning comments that refer to your race/ethnic background, gender, religion, background in general, it is unhealthy. This doesn’t even need to be consistent, if it happens once, it is no doubt going to happen again, and should not be normalized. A partner who loves and respects you will not use something that is an inherent part of you to put you down.
Examples: “I’m not surprised, you are Asian, you all do that” or “You women, always crying stupid tears for nothing.”
While this may seem like an easy one to recognize, it isn’t always the case. Threats can be dressed up in a way that makes them appear as if they “aren’t so bad,” or in a way that makes you question if you really heard right. But a threat is a threat and a loving partner does not resort to them to get their way.
Examples:” I will hurt myself if you leave me tonight” or “If you don’t do that you might find that your cat spends the night outdoors!”
Blame is one of the most common forms of verbal abuse and involves constantly putting the blame for one’s actions onto their partner instead of taking responsibility for them. This can include blaming a partner for something they had nothing to do with, blaming the partner for the abuser’s emotions.
Examples: “You are the reason why we are never on time for anything!” or “Look what you made me do now!”
Often stemming from severe jealousy, repeated accusations are a form of verbal abuse. Being constantly accused of something often leads a partner to start questioning themselves on whether they are doing something wrong/dressing inappropriately/talking too much, etc.
Examples: “I bet you are cheating on me!” or “I saw you had fun flirting with your boss again, while I was stuck chatting to your boring coworkers.”
Sometimes a partner may walk away from an argument, preferring to let the dust settle to engage in a more constructive conversation without flaring emotions.
While this is definitely a sign of a healthy relationship, the silent treatment, often called withholding, is not. Withholding may include your partner refusing to answer your calls when they don’t get what they want or downright ignoring you over nothing.
Example: You are discussing restaurant options and don’t want to go with your partner’s preference. They leave the room and refuse to talk to you until you apologize for being “mean.”
Gaslighting includes discounting a partner’s emotions and making them wonder if their feelings are meaningless and/or wrong. This is a very common form of emotional abuse and often goes undetected, as it can be discreet and severely manipulative.
Gaslighting can make one feel isolated and unable to express their feelings. People being gaslighted often find themselves apologizing for behavior that they never committed.
Examples: “Why are you always so sensitive to everything?”
11. Circular Arguments
If your partner constantly disagrees with you and starts an argument whenever they see an opportunity, or if conversations and arguments seem to go round in circles, leaving you tired and drained, then these are all signs of an unhealthy relationship.
People on the receiving end of these types of disagreements tend to feel like they’re walking on eggshells in order to avoid going back to the same argument again and again.
We do not need to always agree on everything in a relationship, but there should be a mutual acceptance of this, rather than an atmosphere of one-upping the other or engaging in arguments you can never win.
If you feel like you are constantly on edge and walking on eggshells around your partner, or if some of these patterns feel familiar to you, you may be in an unhealthy relationship.
Also, if your trusted friends and/or family are telling you that something is wrong, hear them out. They may be seeing or hearing, something that you cannot. Remember, by setting boundaries and being honest about how something makes you feel, you can learn to empower yourself in a relationship
FORGIVING AND FORGETTING ABUSE IS A BATTLE
First and foremost, as children of God forgiving the one that wronged us is what we’re commanded to do. That being said does not make it easy for us to do so. We are human, flawed, and far from perfect. However, when we repent Jesus forgives us and he remembers our sin no more and we’re commanded to do likewise.
In all honesty, however, it took me a long time to forgive him and that was only by the grace of God working in my heart. My sincere hope is he repents and rekindles a relationship with Jesus Christ again.
ABUSE ISN’T LOVE OR HOW GOD INTENDED MARRIAGE TO BE
I’m sharing my experience and input so you will have an inside point of view to follow. Abusers will often quote Scripture, to justify themselves and their wrongdoing. But their behavior does not line up with the core message of the Bible, which is LOVE!
HOW THE BIBLE DESCRIBES LOVE
- Never envious
- Not boastful
- Nor proud
- Not ill-mannered or selfish.
The sad part is they truly feel their behavior isn’t wrong. There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The sign most common is Fear. You walk on eggshells all the time cause you’re afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing that will escalate their temper. Ask yourself these questions:
BE SURE TO PIN ME FOR LATER
LOVE IS CLEARLY NOT ABUSIVE
I thought I was doing all the right things. Plus I was a virgin when I got married and even back in 1985 that was unheard of in girls my age. To be so young, naive, and completely vulnerable made me an easy target.
I was brought up that Divorce is wrong, and I didn’t want to break the vow I took before the Lord, You don’t associate love and abuse together. Abuse, this isn’t love!
I tried to make my marriage work, for a very long time. This post isn’t to put shame or belittle my first husband in any way. He is the father of my children and I hope he knows I hold no grudges now. I’m writing this particular post to bring awareness to others in the hope it may help someone else.
WHY IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SOMETHING MOST DON’T WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN?
In all honesty, it’s fear of retaliation and they’re afraid to do so. Simply stated is it gets swept under the rug leaving women to feel they have no one to turn to. I have had many people ask me this:
Why did you stay in that type of situation for so long? I would never stay with someone who treated me that way! You’re Crazy! You should have just walked away!
WHY A VICTIM OF ABUSE CAN NOT JUST WALK AWAY
It’s not that simple! Unless you have been in an abusive relationship, you have NO IDEA what it’s like. You don’t know the shame, remorse, and fear. The abuse has likely gone on for a long time as well more often than not.
You become so beaten down and left with no self-esteem whatsoever. You start believing the lies that it’s your fault and deserve to be treated that way. If children are involved that’s another issue because they get used as pawns.
WOMEN WHO HAVE SUFFERED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WANT SAFETY, SECURITY, AND HEALING
But the only one who can bring these things is God. Without God, you will not have peace. Trust me I tried to find it without him and it didn’t work. I went another route by attempting suicide.
During this time span off and on I turned my back on God. However, I thought I was being punished in some way to receive the life I had been dealt with.
THERE IS HOPE AS A VICTIM OF ABUSE
You will see a light at the end of the tunnel and How to Find Hope again. If you lay all the hurt at the feet of Jesus he will comfort you in his loving arms. I want to come to the knowledge that there are no excuses for violence and abusive behavior.
For someone to say, ” I did it because she made me do it,” is a lie straight from Satan’s lips. Sweet Friend, Satan is a deceiver and we MUST Avoid the Lies of Satan. Seek help and get protection from someone who is harming you.
If you are abused mentally, verbally, sexually, or physically it’s not your fault or justified. I have a resource page set up for you to refer back to when needed for help and guidance, and I also have a Free E-book I’ve written on my personal experience of abuse so that it may help someone else.
BIBLICAL SUBMISSION DOES NOT INCLUDE HAVING TO TAKE ABUSE IN ANY FORM
Ultimately, God will be your deliverer so Replace Fear caused by Abuse with God’s Peace. You can receive the happiness and the life you deserve. I will tell you how I know this to be true. My husband now Mike is the definition of a Godly husband. He treats me better than I deserve.
In Closing On Abuse, This Isn’t Love: 4 Types of Abuse in Relationships
I am by no means encouraging ANYONE to leave your husband. Unless your husband will admit to himself he has a problem he will NOT change it will only get worse. I STRONGLY suggest that if both are willing to seek counsel from a Pastor or a Christian friend you can trust before going that route. Remember, you can find healing from abuse.
If you feel the only choice you have for your safety is to leave? I want to leave this post with a hotline if you’re seeking help to leave the harmful situation you find yourself in I have listed the contact info below. My sincere prayer is that you aren’t involved in any of these however realistically speaking I know firsthand that this is not the case.
ABUSE HOTLINE CONTACT 1−800−799−7233
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