Abusive relationships not limited to physical harm

Has your significant other ever accused you of cheating, stopped you from talking to friends or family or constantly kept track of your time?

Perhaps they criticize you, act possessively, pick arguments with you or physically fight with you?

According to, http://www.recovery-man.com, if you answered yes to any of these questions you may be in an abusive relationship.

Some abusive relationships are physically violent, while others are mental, causing the victim psychological pain.

“(My boyfriend) did not want me to (wear) any of the things that attracted him. He did not want my phone on vibrate and he wanted me to answer on the first ring,” said Natalia Mack, 24, a sophomore psychology student from Orlando.

According to the book, “Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft, many people who are abusers in a relationship feel they are powerless so they take out their anger on their significant other.

“Abuse is about power. A person’s power to control another person,” said Melanie Martin, a mental health graduate student who works at FAMU’s counseling services.

Psychological, emotional and mental are all forms of verbal and nonverbal abuse.

Though thought by many that abusive relationships only happen on occasion, according to The National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control estimate that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are the victims of abusive relationships each year.

Mack admits that two of her relationships have included physical, psychological and emotional abuse.

No matter if the abuse is physical or mental, the abuse always weighs heavily on a person’s well-being, leaving effects that could last a lifetime unless counseling is sought for both people involved.

“Initially it was highly depressive,” Mack said.

She added that as a result of her last abusive relationship she flunked out of school, lost her job, cut her hair and lost 41 pounds.

“Some signs of an abusive relationship are isolation, sullenness, poor eye contact, make-up to conceal bruises, denial and erratic behavior like missing classes or work,” Mack said. “You can tell the abuser from the person prone to abuse. I think that abusers usually think highly of themselves and place blame on the abused.”

Martin suggests the Refuge House for a means of help. “The Refuge House is set up to specialize (in) offering counseling,” Martin said.

The Refuge House offers emergency housing for people with no place to go, counseling, support groups and programs for children who have witnessed domestic violence.

According to http://www.bbc.com, there are some warning signs.

He or she puts your friends down and / or makes it difficult for you to see them. He or she loses his or her temper over trivial things.

He or she has very rigid ideas about the roles of men and women and can’t/won’t discuss it reasonably. His or her mood swings are erratic It’s difficult for you to get emotional or physical space away from him or her — even if you directly ask for it. And if you do get it, he or she ‘grills’ you about where you’ve been and who you were with.

He or she criticizes you all the time about your weight, your hair, your clothes, etc.

He or she makes all the decisions in your relationship and ignores your needs or dismisses them as unimportant.

It is important for anyone in a relationship to watch out for these signs and seek counseling immediately or the support of friends and family immediately if they are in an abusive relationship.

Contact Chelsie Kindell at famuanlifestyes@hotmail.com