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(If you are concerned for your safety or want to learn more about possibly abusive relationship patterns, visit ) 1. It may start subtly, but this is often a first step for a controlling person.
If you notice more than a couple of these signs within your relationship or your partner, take it seriously.But ultimately, no matter how individually small a criticism seems, if it's part of a constant dynamic within your relationship, it would be very tough to feel accepted, loved, or validated. Some people think that threats have to be physical in nature to be problematic.If every little thing you do could use improvement in your partner's eyes, then how are you being valued as a true equal, let alone loved unconditionally? But threats of leaving, cutting off "privileges," or even threats by the controlling person to harm herself or himself can be every bit as emotionally manipulative as the threat of physical violence.As a thirty-something, accomplished, ambitious, fiercely feminist, professionally successful and socially confident woman, I never expected that I would or could ever fall victim to domestic abuse. It wasn’t arrogance on my part, but rather the product of an otherworldliness that belonged to the stories I had read; they weren’t relatable to me. He doesn’t really mean to be so hurtful, he has emotional problems." "But he really loves me, unlike anyone else could." "If only I wasn’t so sensitive, so thin-skinned." "If only I could take criticism and realise he’s doing it out of love." "If only I wasn’t so insecure, I wouldn’t take everything so personally." On it went.However, on a cold and wet January evening, on my triumphant return to therapy following a recent break-up, I was confronted with the harsh reality of my situation. "If only" followed by "if only", blame directed squarely and consistently at myself.