Relationships can be difficult to manage but if both parties work at them with sincerity and love, they’re sure to prosper. That said, this is not always how things go. It may be that one side doesn’t reciprocate as much as they should, or perhaps changed behavior over time has caused real issues to arrive.
It’s important to remember that if you’ve noticed this change, it’s not because you’re a bad person who deserves it. It can be hard to remember that when a partner may be giving us mixed impressions or causing us to walk on eggshells, which is why reaffirming your worth is so important.
However, this is a fractious topic and a difficult reality that many people may be experiencing. It’s never ripe ground for platitudes or well-wishing when you may need to take very real action to ensure your safety or to retain the respect you really do deserve – so let’s avoid that and move directly to the advice.
If you’ve found that your partner seems to exert control over you, and this is a fairly new occurrence, it’s important to consider some of the following steps:
Recognizing The Signs of Control
It’s important to recognize the signs of control being levied against you. Being restricted in your freedom, being detached from your friends and relatives, or having full financial control exercised against you are all signs that someone may be unjustly controlling you.
Of course, this is different from pre-agreed arrangements (like your partner taking care of the financial management while you care for the household), but those agreements can be altered or discussed at any time, they are never pressed upon you.
Note that control is not always physical, but can be emotional or intellectual. If you find yourself constantly having to justify yourself, worried about what to say next, or trying not to provoke your partner’s temper, then those are good examples of unjust control. If you’re unsure, write down your suspicions, and contact a charity designed to help you.
To the extent that you can, set boundaries and discuss your problems with your partner. Communicating and identifying the issue you’re unhappy with immediately, such as the control they’re having over what you wear, may help you with a solution.
Though this is not always an ideal situation. If you’re in any way afraid to communicate or set boundaries for fear of reprisal, then you may need professional help. That might involve contacting a domestic abuse helpline to find your next steps.
Sometimes, setting boundaries means recognizing you don’t have to take this treatment and you’re worth more than that – which you are. This can inspire you to take the next steps.
Do Not Accept Mistreatment
You don’t “deserve” mistreatment because you “said the wrong thing.” You do not deserve abuse because you didn’t dress perfectly, or cook the evening meal perfectly, or because you aren’t as accomplished in the job market as your partner.
It can be hard to recognize this if you’ve only had your partner’s input in your life for so long, but it’s important to remind yourself of this. It will inspire you to find the help you need. Also, don’t persist in a tough situation like this because you may have children in the household, you can still contact the relative services or trusted individuals and ensure their safety.
Confide In A Trusted Friend Or Relative
It’s essential to confide in a trusted friend or relative, someone able to provide you with resources or to assist. Make sure they’re not a friend of your partners or relative just in case they communicate with them first.
Make your problems very clear and give specific examples. Discuss your intent to leave or to gain help and what you may need them to help with. This could enable you to get away from the home more easily.
If you don’t have a relative or friend to help you – contact your local authorities. They take domestic abuse cases very seriously and will not ask you to justify yourself nor pass a test before they come to assess the situation. At the very least, this can get you away from the household. There are also online resources and messaging services if you can’t talk on the phone outside of earshot.
Notify Emergency Services
It’s essential to know that emergency services will be at your door in a matter of minutes if you’ve been physically harmed in any way. If you’re unable to leave your home, that’s false imprisonment and can be prosecuted in the same way.
Sometimes, you may just approach a police officer at the side of the road to gain a pair of safe hands when out in public with your partner, even if it causes a scene. Emergency services are highly aware of the telltale signs of domestic abuse and will help you escape that situation.
Speak To The Appropriate Services
Untangling your life from a partner that tried to exert control over you is tough, emotionally draining, and often full of regrets. But that’s much better than persisting in that situation and not seeing a way forward.
With a domestic violence divorce lawyer you can more easily prosecute your case and gain the compensation you deserve, as well as determine a healthier and more stable future for you and your children.
For example, lawyers like this can assist you in securing full custody rights over your children if you’ve been subject to domestic violence at home. With the appropriate services to guide you, you’ll be in the best possible position to persist and develop in the most capable manner.
Have Empathy For Yourself
You’ve made it through a tough situation. It may take years to fully come to terms with your mistreatment, but note that there is a much better tomorrow ready for the taking and you do deserve it.
It can be hard to take that step if a partner has knocked your confidence, but rest assured, showing yourself some empathy and allowing others to do the same will help you heal quicker than you think. It will also help you avoid falling into that relationship situation (which was never your fault) again, as you’ll know the warning signs and can set boundaries from day one.
With this advice, we hope you can find the help you deserve.