Abuse in a relationship can take many forms. Its not just physical. I work with many clients who didn’t realise they were in an abusive relationship until someone else pointed it out to them, often me. The abuse had become “normal” as they had often lived with it for many years. They didn’t know any different. Recognising you’re in an abusive relationship is the first step forward. Then if you want to leave the relationship, its important to do so safely. You’ll need specialised support and advice on how to do this.
Caron Kipping is a divorce coach who specialises in supporting those coming out of an abusive relationship. She has years of experience and knowledge to provide valuable expert advice on this sensitive issue. Here she sets out 5 signs that you’re in an abusive relationship:
This is the most obvious sign but don’t just think of punches or black eyes- it could consist of pinching, hair pulling, poking, a slap. Physical abuse doesn’t just happen out of the blue. There is usually a build up to this – it is either a pattern of controlling behaviour that escalates when something triggers a violent response or it is carried out as a persistent pattern of intimidation, designed to silence you.
‘’He used to grab me when he walked past me just to let me know he could. He would be rough with me, pushing past me as he walked past or grabbing my hand tightly to stop me moving away from him when we were in public, to let me know he was in control.’’ – Clare, Kent.
Not being allowed access to your own money, being asked to justify all your spending, having to ask for permission before spending, not being allowed to work, being asked to sign over property. For more info on economic abuse, click here.
Conflict over parenting
Undermining your parenting, criticising you in front of the children, trying to turn the children against you, threatening to go for full care of the children.
As well as gaslighting, lying about things that have happened to make you doubt your own sanity, criticisms, put-downs. Constant emotional abuse designed to chip away at your confidence and self-esteem.
From friends and family, making it awkward when they visit, pestering you when you visit them, sabotaging any contact with friends/family and trying to turn you against them or vice versa.
‘’ He used to tell me that my friends were all useless. He used to criticise them even when he didn’t know them. If he knew I had plans to go out he used to come home late, blaming work, but any other day he would be home on time.’’ – Jane, Windsor.
Domestic abuse is not always obvious
It can be subtle, but once it exists, there is no going back. If you feel like you are ‘walking on eggshells’, please speak up in confidence, find out about your options and find a way forward. Nobody deserves to be abused and there are many ways you can get help. I did it and you can too.
Caron Kipping is a survivor of coercive control, a domestic abuse specialist and accredited Divorce Coach specialising in abusive/controlling relationships. To find out more about her valuable specialist services, get in touch with her here.
If you have found the tips in this blog useful then you’ll find lots more in my eBooks, which you can purchase and download today.
If you’d like to work with me 1:1, for help preparing for your divorce/or support during or after the divorce process, please get in touch to find out how I can help.
Why I became a divorce consultant.