If you have never been a victim of emotional or physical abuse in a relationship, then you should consider yourself lucky. But even at that, abuse can still manifest itself in even the most loving relationships.
In fact, a lot of times, the love a person has for their partner can cause that individual to be blind to the abuses and mistreatment they are subjected to in the relationship.
This explains why in some cases, a partner finds it hard to quit a relationship despite being abused and counselled to walk out of the union.
In such case, the partner ends up returning to the abuser and at times, it can result in more emotional or physical injury or even death.
According to experts, one thing about abuse is that sometimes it is subtle that it only takes an outsider to identify it. An abuser is usually good at practising their art subtly that it gets to a point that the victim does not even know they are being abused.
According to relationship coaches, Stephanie Tran and Gemma Rudy, co-founders of Relationship Rules based in Singapore, love makes an individual trust their partner. Unfortunately, some individuals take advantage of the trust and use it as a tool to abuse their partners.
A Lagos-based psychologist and relationship coach, Mrs Esther Onifade, said the signs of abuse were always there from the beginning of a relationship, except if a partner chose to close their eyes to the pointers.
Another relationship coach and Ibadan, Oyo State-based pastor, Noah Adewale, advised intending couples to stay vigilant from the onset of a relationship and “flee” should there be any sign of abuse.
He said, “I particularly caution ladies because they seem to be the ones vulnerable to abuse in relationship. Due to the society we live in, there is a form of pressure on single ladies to quickly hook up.
“However, in the race to hook up, they can be exposed to danger. There are usually signs to know if a partner is abusive and when they are ignored, it can spell doom for the relationship in the long run.”
The relationship experts identified the following seven signs to tag a relationship as abusive.
Dictating resources spending
According to Tran and Rudy of Relationship Rules, abusive partners feel entitled enough to tell you how to spend or save your money and other resources. They feel they have ownership of your finances because you are in a relationship together. Be cautious if you see any sign of this in your partner. The experts also cautioned against putting up with a partner who always uses money to exercise control in a relationship.
According to Ms Bonnie Koehn, a psychologist based in the United States, abusers like to assess how much you will take. They will start out by testing you with small arguments to see if you’ll forgive them.
“Over time, these fights will get as big as you let them. They increase so gradually that you don’t realise you’re falling deeper into an abusive situation.
“The common element of these tests is that they usually make absolutely no sense. You will not be able to figure out what you’ve done wrong or why you’re apologising,” Koehn told the HuffPost.