Some women who stay in abusive relationships and marriages must have seen the signs but instead of running for their lives, think a miracle will happen.
The domestic abuse recently suffered by Nollywood actress, Mercy Aigbe in the hands of her husband, Lanre Gentry, once again brought to the fore the abuses many women suffer from some of them leading to permanent injuries or deaths.
Many Nigerian women have been suffering in silence partly because of the society we live in, the fear of being alone and taking care of the children and the thought that people will see them as failures if they leave the marriage.
Abusive relationships can either be physical, emotional, mentally or all of them rolled into one. Most times, it is difficult to get out of, often because the abuser has controlled and brainwashed the victim to feel powerless.
Abusive relationships don't always mean a man abusing a woman. There are plenty of unstable and abusive women out there but most of them are played down, especially if the woman has no one to run to.
However, abusers show some tell-tale signs of what they would turn out to be but most women are so blinded by love or desperation that they go into a marriage without knowing what they are in for.
Some of them think the men who exhibit these signs are madly in love with them and will change with time until the abuses come in torrents.
Some ladies believe their husband or boyfriends do not abuse them because he does not beat them but do you also know that the subtle insults, constantly finding faults in everything you do, and correcting you in public are all abusive behaviors designed to destroy your self-confidence and maintain control over you?
You do not know that it won't escalate into physical violence until it actually happens to you.
It is easier to get out of an abusive relationship or to avoid one if you know what to look for and these are 10 warning sing you should run away from if they start to manifest.
1. Declaring love for you on your first date
Love at first sight may sound quite romantic but someone who is totally in love with you on the first date usually become dangerous later on. Emotionally stable people take the time to get to know you. Abusers are trying to sweep you off your feet before you have a chance to evaluate them.
2. Cutting you off from friends and family
This can happen so slowly that you almost don't notice it. An abuser knows that friends and family are not as emotionally invested in the relationship as you are and will try to talk you out of it. The objective is to make you feel alone and dependent on your abuser.
This often comes in the disguise of wanting to spend more time together. The abuser will disparage all of your friends with cutting remarks about them, trying to make you question your relationships.
3. Wanting to know every move you make
Most women think this is a sign of true love because they think a man who wants to know where they are and what they are doing at all times must be in love with them.
Tracking your every move is a sign of trouble as your privacy will be eroded little by little. The abuser reads your email, opens your mail, checks your phone, goes through your drawers, handbag, wallet and pockets, calls you constantly when you are not home, just to check on you.
If you are not living together, he will come to your house at odd hours just to see who you are with.
My dear, run as fast as your legs can carry you when you meet this man. There are not great signs.
4. Telling you he will kill himself if you leave him
This is an old trick a man uses to keep you in line. He actually values himself too much to kill himself if you let go.
He could tell you that his very life depends on you and if you leave him, he will become useless as if you are Siamese Twins. He is setting you up for a big hit when you stick with this.
5. Inflicting pain
When a man starts hitting, pushing, pinching, or squeezing you, usually leaving marks than clothes can cover, this is just the beginning. This is to let you know who's boss. It's one of the biggest warning signs that you should get out.
If you put up with it, he will become confident that you are not going to report bigger things. The more the abuser gets away with, the more violence will escalate.
6. Blaming you for everything
A man who is an abuser will always blame you for everything that goes wrong in your relationship. Everything that goes wrong, in or out of the relationship, is because of you. They have this well-worn line: 'I wouldn't have to do this if you didn't provoke me into it.'
Don't you think it amazing how it is that you are always at fault? Don't you wonder why you always make him angry as if you are his remote control?
He never blames himself for anything but you, after all, you are his pet and object that must be conquered. So what else do you need to get out fast?
7. Always to be the man that must be obeyed
All abusers see themselves as the Lord and as such, they must be obeyed at all times. Their laws and rules must be adhered to at all times and once you step out of line, there will be trouble.
You may mistake this for discipline and try to always keep to the rules but what is a relationship or marriage where partners do not make mistakes and laugh about it?
If you wait for too long, you will be shocked at what you will get later, after all, you endured them all when they started.
8. Always throwing tantrums
When a man throws tantrums like a baby at every opportunity, he is getting on to something and is not only designed to scare you but to keep you in line and to let you know he is the man.
You may feel the need to help him overcome his weakness or pray that he changes with time but my dear, that is a sign to 'borrow yourself some brain' and help yourself instead.
9. Controlling your life
A man who sets it upon himself to control you, your job, your career and your finances is a potential abuser.
He could insist you quit your job, after all, he is the man and it is his mandate to take care of his wife.
Do you really think the allowances he gives you is a sign of his love for you? It could be his way of controlling you and making sure he has the run over you. Do not be fooled, an abuser will only these because he wants you to answer to him alone.
10. Wants you at his beck and call
Most women erroneously that the man who wants them to be around every time must be crazy about them. You really think that is love?
Have you forgotten that a secure man would allow you to have your own freedom, make your own friends, go out with the girls and also take decisions concerning your life?
An abuser in the making thinks he owns you and you owe him a duty to always be at his beck and call. He wants you to catch a cold whenever he coughs and this is also a kick in his ego.
If you see some or all of these in a man, don't wait to leave because you're are blinded by love. Those feelings are going to cling, sometimes no matter how badly you were abused.
You're going to hang on to the memories of the good times before the abuse started. But, staying in this relationship is going to kill you, one way or another. It will never be the way it was before.
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