How to Recognize Warning Signs of Dating Violence?
Courtship is a facet in the relationship in which people begin to know the other person and their families and friends’ first encounters are given. It is supposed to be a time full of good moments, and to get to know each other. However, abusers eventually start to show certain signs of violence that need to be identified immediately before falling into their manipulations.
From subtlety to the most obvious signs of violence, these are some of the signs that a safe courtship should not present1:
- Insecure and possessive attitudes: A woman or a man who is stuck in an unhealthy courtship will be constantly watched by his/her counterpart. In many aspects of his/her life that do not even need to be watched as such. The initial excuses may sound somewhat consistent, such as the need to protect the other person or ward off bad influences, perhaps showing concern for the partner’s safety. However, the rationality behind each of these excuses will be lost as time passes.
- The blame will always fall on a single party: A couple relationship comprises two people who share the same burden of duties and rights. The key to maintaining fruitful and healthy relationships is precisely sharing responsibilities when something goes wrong. But for an abuser, disputes or bad times are never his/her fault but others’. As obvious as it is, it is still not his/her fault.
- Pressure to do certain things: Manipulation and pressure to show “love” is what leads many victims to submit to situations they do not want. This is the reason why they are in a great state of vulnerability, and what is much worse, in a state where they will not know how or will be able to say “no”. For example, going to certain places, meeting certain people, or even pushing them to do things God does not accept. Everything is about control. A control to which the victim will be giving room without knowing it, in favor of seeing the partner happy.
- Mocking and humiliating situations: We are usually vulnerable to what others will say or the opinion that others have about us. That is why when a person goes to a social gathering in the company of someone he/she appreciates, that person is expected to take other person’s side if there is an awkward moment. But abusers do the opposite because they do not miss an opportunity to humiliate or let others know implicitly that their partner is irresponsible, imprudent, or not smart. While being in a courtship relationship, all these offenses may be disguised as passive-aggressive words, not spoken in a direct or explicitly violent way. Perhaps sometimes it is a matter of “harmless” expressions or comments when they are not, but, they are signs that need to be nipped in the bud. Most importantly, when the victim explains that he/she is hurt by the abuser’s attitude, he/she will minimize the situation.
The abuser will not take the victim’s pain into consideration because he/she thinks that the victim caused the situation that is overreacting.
How to Recognize Warning Signs of Violence in Marriage
Emotional violence within married couples generates a much greater sense of suffocation on the affected person since the sacred union of marriage involves implications that are often difficult to counter in regards to reality or the dark side of the human being.
By joining two lives, a man and a woman, to create this bond, it is thought and intended to be for the rest of their lives. Despite this, when emotional violence occurs, questions are raised that should not be denied: is pain love? Do I deserve to go through this situation? Don’t I deserve happiness? It is essential to understand that marriage is a love bond but it is also commitment, and a space to grow.
Therefore, when one of the parties does not want to admit that there is a problem and does not make an effort to change, that person is the one who is failing. Not the party that is trying. Trying is the key to overcoming many negative situations, because simply, it is a team effort.
The symptoms of emotional violence within marriage are usually more aggressive and notorious, there is no longer just an emotional bond, but there is also a legal one. If there are children, hundreds of important factors are added, and hundreds more depending on the number of children the couple has have, since each child is unique, and each child may react in a different way when witnessing this kind of violence. Children internalize everything they see around them, they may not know at that moment what feelings a situation generates inside them, but they keep it inside their memory and heart.
The following are some signs of violence within marriage relationships:
- Irritability when facing any situation: Hostility and frustration exercised by the aggressor will be detonated due to situations that are not justified. Restraints or disguises will not be as necessary as in the case of courtship.
- Intense verbal abuse6: Loud insults, provocations and sentimentally trampling on the partner’s feelings, all of this will happen in marriages where emotional violence occurs.
- To manipulate children: When the image of children enters the picture, everything will get seriously worse. Why? Because abusers tend to turn children into tools that will serve to blackmail the partner and to make them take sides. When the victims claims to file for divorce, for example, the abuser might act asking for the children’s custody or making false allegations before the authorities3 will be tactics the abusers will present. Unfortunately, when the necessary advice is not available, abusers may get what they want. A suggested reading in these cases is “Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder” by Bill Eddy.
I would like to know what you think about this article and invite you to share it if it has been a blessing. If you are experiencing violence in your relationship, do not hesitate to seek help. You can write to me at email@example.com or at 407-618-0212.