Couples, married or simply dating, get into fights and disagreements – however, there’s a very distinct line between healthy arguments and abuse. Unhealthy relationships benefit from abuse counseling, for both parties involved. Below are some of the types of abuse that one might encounter in the confines of a relationship- these types may not fit what you normally consider ‘domestic violence’ or abuse, but make no mistake, they are detrimental to the relationship and have the potential to be massively damaging to the individuals involved.
Physical abuse is what most people think of concerning domestic violence or abuse. Hitting, slapping, biting, punching, or anything that physically hurts can be considered physical abuse. If you see a family member or friend with unexplained or suspicious bruises, begin the dialogue about what constitutes a healthy relationship and start asking questions. Abuse counseling is likely necessary to deal with the anxiety and depression that comes along with being physically abused. Seek a qualified abuse counselor or PTSD counselor like those we employ at Great Lakes Psychology Group.
Mental abuse happens when one dating partner mentally manipulated the other partner. This form of abuse is insidious but relatively easy to spot when you look for the right behaviors. Clues that mental abuse is happening are derogatory names being used to describe the partner, verbal threats, accusations, and verbal assault. This sort of behavior is harmful to the mind and creates an atmosphere of unease and anxiety in the relationship.
Emotional abuse is often tied directly to mental abuse and uses the feelings of the other partner as leverage in arguments. The abusive partner controls the victim’s behavior by preying on their need to please, instilling guilt, fear, or any other emotion that benefits them. If a loved one is withdrawing from outside relationships because their significant other doesn’t like their friends/family/peers, this is a major red flag that this form of abuse is happening.
Sexual abuse includes unwanted touching, putting pressure on someone to have sex or even rape. Rape can occur in relationships, no matter if the couple is dating or married. Sexual abuse can often be linked to physical abuse as well.
Financial abuse often goes unreported until major damage is done. This sort of abuse happens when one partner controls the finances, or racks up debt in the others name (or as a couple), steals money or moves money to private accounts, makes demands of what can and cannot be bought, or otherwise nullifies the victim’s ability to have financial security. Victims of this abuse may not even know that the abuse is happening until after discovering large sums of money missing, or may believe that their partner is taking care of them financially only to discover that the money has been squandered or allocated elsewhere.
Abuse counseling can make a huge difference in successful recovery from abuse and domestic violence. If you or a loved one are in an unhealthy relationship, we can help.