How to know you are in an abusive relationship – relationships therapist Grace Kariuki

You should leave that relationship before it’s too late

Sad couple

Have you ever been in an abusive relationship? The problem is that you could probably be in a toxic relationship without even knowing it. People have been stuck in bad relationships hoping that things could get better but only got worse. You don’t want to be one of them.

If you are in an abusive relationship that is not getting any better, it is only best if you left the relationship. You are probably wondering how you can know that you are in a toxic or abusive relationship. Well, we talked with Grace Kariuki, a professional in marriage and family affairs who shared with us some of the signs that indicate someone is in an abusive relationship.

Signs of an abusive relationship

Here are some of the signs as pointed out by this therapist:

1. Explosive anger that leads to blaming you even when it wasn't your fault in the first place.

2. Silent treatment as a form of punishment.

3. Criticizing you including your friends, job, family, decision-making, career, etc. They don't seem to ever celebrate what is good about you.

4. Intimidation and threats to leave you.

6. Emotional manipulation including threatening to commit suicide if you leave them.

7. Any and all manner of threats to harm you or kill you.

8. Asking you to stop working or doing something that you love to do.

9. Making you change who you are and what you stand for.

Codependent relationships

Grace notes that if you have to change who you are and what you stand for, then you are in a codependent relationship.

“A codependent relationship is where the relationship is not mutually satisfying. One person stays despite being unhappy and unfulfilled. They feel desperate to stay or think they can make it work, or can change the person.” Says Grace.

She adds that “codependent individuals are also considered relationship addicts. They feel like they can't live without a relationship and therefore are more likely to enable toxic and abusive habits as a way to save themselves from the fear of being alone.”

Why people stay in abusive relationships

This therapist also notes that these types of relationships tend to follow the abusive cycle pattern.

“When there's no conflict, the love is ecstatic! When conflict occurs, the abuse is painful and very hurtful. The good, loving experiences are what keeps the relationship going or keeps the abused in it.” Notes the therapist as we conclude the interview.


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