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Many of us think abusive relationship is when a man beats a woman up and maybe end up killing her someday, right? That is a misconception, because abuse is mainly about power and controlling a message, so you don’t necessarily have to be beaten up to know a partner is abusive. Also an abuser who could be a man or woman will often make the victim feel as if it’s his or her fault; he/she manipulates, creates confusion and eventually wrongly places the blame on the victim. Most times, a victim of abuse can’t clearly see that he/she’s a victim — that is, until someone shines a light on the situation.

Most abuse victims are ‘conditioned’ to believe they are the cause of the mistreatment, but the truth is, a victim of abuse never causes the mistreatment; the abuser decides his/her course of action.

In most abusive relationships, control can masquerade as “protection” or a violent reaction could be ‘rightly’ labeled as a response to “being hurt” until something goes terribly wrong. Even cruelty sometimes, can be called “playfulness” by an abuser and the madness continues until the victim realizes and get out or someone comes to the rescue. So, if the 5 indicators below seem familiar and the situations listed are similar to what you live with, it’s time to have a rethink and re-evaluation.

  1. Extreme reactions and Dangerous outbursts

If anytime you do something or say something which your partner deemed wrong or inappropriate, and reacts extremely; for example, your boyfriend ordered you to get out of his car on third mainland bridge at 11pm just because you are having an argument about some guy that you hugged at the Silverbird galleria on your way home after seeing a movie, then he later reversed after few minutes to say he was only joking and he loved you more than life itself, be watchful. While certain reactions are normal and part of healthy relationships, when they go to the extreme like that, they’re indications you’re entering dangerous territory in your relationship and you need to evaluate whether to continue seeing him

  1. Reversed Accusation

An abuser tends to blame others. Rather than say “I’m responsible for my actions,” they will rather say, “You made me do that!” I had a friend who after beating his girlfriend to a pulp, would call her up, buy her chocolates and let her know she was the cause of that ‘fight’ and only if she had listened to him, if she had not allowed the devil to take charge of her actions and pushed her into getting him angry, he wouldn’t have reacted that way; then she would apologize and the cycle simply continued. So, if your boyfriend behaves like this or says these things, then I think you should run.

  1. Isolation

If you’re being cut off from friends or family by the person you’re seeing, recognize that this is a tell-tale sign. If you can’t go where you want to go without permission, or if you have to give a detailed account of your whereabouts during every moment of the day or if a harmless interaction is deemed to be flirting, and you must not talk to anyone unless he/she approves, you are being isolated. An abuser wants to take absolute control by subtly forcing you to have a greater dependence on him/her; these signs are dangerous and need to be taken seriously.

  1. Fear

If you constantly have the fear of irritating your partner and having another argument, you are always scared of being insulted and humiliated in public thereby making you to stay quiet most of the time as to avoid a dress-down from him/her; you are being abused.  And even if you haven’t been physical abused, the constant fear can erode your confidence and even compromise your health.

  1. Unnecessary Pressure

An abusive partner is often quite romantic and even sweet, especially at the outset of a relationship. But there’s immediacy to his or her actions, he/she may have and present a ‘valid’ need for a quick commitment, telling you that you’re unlike anyone he/she’s ever met before and would want to settle down before the romance even kick starts; you might want to watch it. Those words may be nice to hear but the underlying meaning is “I want to gain control as fast as possible” So, If you are unnecessarily rushed or being pressured into having an exclusive relationship or even to get married quickly, it could be a sign of impending abusive relationship.


So, once you notice these signs, please do something about them; the earlier the disturbing signs of abuse are acknowledged, the easier it is to move on and find a healthier and happier relationship. Stay loving and keep safe.


Christopher Bamidele

Christopher Bamidele

Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian; an amateur writer and aspiring TV director who holds a first degree in Mass Communication, but majored in Radio and TV Broadcasting. He is cool headed, a realist, and an optimist to the core. Chris Bamidele blogs African stories on www.degreatest2.wordpress.com and tweets @degreatest2. He currently lives in Lagos.


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