There are many signs of an abusive relationship I will be highlighting here. Before I go into the signs of an abusive relationship I want to make a point I think is very important.

Often these days we hear that abuse in relationships is just as likely to be perpetrated by women as much as men. As such some think it is unfair to focus on men as the perpetrators. To put this in perspective let us look at some of the abusive relationship statistics that are well known.

Firstly, we know that at least 1 in 3 women throughout the world is in an abusive relationship.

Secondly, 3 women are killed every day in the States by a partner/ex-partner/cohabiting male. In Australia 1 woman is killed every 5 days. Only yesterday a woman and her daughter were found dead at the bottom of a cliff near Sydney having been thrown there by her husband.

At least 5000 women and girls are killed each year in so called ‘honor killings’, often after having been raped by a member of their own family.

Countless numbers of women are terrorized by partners/ex-partners every day.

Women are raped regularly by husbands/partners/boyfriends. It is often not seen as being rape but this is what it amounts to as many women are afraid of what might happen if they don’t ‘come across’ as it were.

These abusive relationship statistics highlight the reality that men are more likely to be the perpetrators and women the victims.

To suggest that women are just as likely to be abusive in a relationship as men is not accurate. It is what I would call a ‘red herring’, that is to say it takes us away from dealing with the real problem and arriving at a solution. That is not to deny that there may be occasions when women are the perpetrators in an abusive relationship.

I find, when you start looking at relationships, there are so many signs of an abusive relationship as there is such a wide range of abuse.

In this section I want to focus on the signs of an abusive relationship that do not include the physical abuse. My purpose for doing this is that when discussing abusive relationships it is the physical abuse that gets focused on more often than not to the exclusion of other abusive behavior.

Often the person on the receiving end does not detect the abuse as it can be difficult to analyze or describe. This can be especially so when they have been told repeatedly they are the one at fault. This can lead to confusion and lack of confidence and believing that the one being abused is somehow responsible.

I recall seeing a woman as a client at one stage whose husband was an ogre in the home. He was not physically violent but he treated her and their two children appallingly. Early on in the session I said to her “it has nothing to do with you.”

From that point on she was transfixed, and even though we talked of other things, she came back to me several times during the session and said “you mean it has nothing to do with me?” She had been convinced by him that she was at fault and that is why he treated her and the children so badly.

Other signs of an abusive relationship are when women are put down in all sorts of ways. They are told they are no good in bed, no good as cooks, no good as mothers etc.,etc.

They are told they are sluts, whores, bitches, nymphomaniacs.

When men demonstrate they think they can do whatever they want with no regard for their partners, these are signs of an abusive relationship. I believe not sharing in domestic and parenting responsibilities is unfair and constitutes signs of an abusive relationship.

I was speaking with a woman recently, who teaches at an elite school, and she told me her highly paid professional ex husband who abused her in a range of ways, never cooked once during their eleven year marriage.

Men who are aggressive by means of tempers, anger or moodiness, demonstrate signs of an abusive relationship. Also when all sorts of threats are made, such as threats to kill the woman or kill himself if she were to leave. Throwing objects, slamming doors very forcefully, punching holes in walls etc., are signs of an abusive relationship.

There are so many signs, I could go on and on. Another one is where women are isolated and cut off from their family and friends. Their whereabouts is questioned all the time.

The question often asked is, “why are so many men like this?” In my view the answers given a lot of the time, are not very helpful.

Signs of an abusive relationship are a manifestation about the belief that males are superior to females and can treat them any way they want. Any other explanation is totally inadequate.

Author's Bio: 

Leo Ryan is a counselor with over twenty years experience in the field dealing primarily with relationships. He has given many talks, seminars and workshops on the subject, as well as being interviewed by all sectors of the media about his work. He is passionate about people having great relationships, and his website is dedicated to that purpose. He is the author of the ebook "How to Have An Extraordinary Relationship"