Is it abuse? I’m not so sure

Everyone has arguments, but it can be more serious than that. Find out what to look out for.

Is it abuse? I’m not so sure

Everyone has arguments, and everyone disagrees with the person they’re seeing every now and then. And we all do things that we regret, and which cause unhappiness to those we care about. This is just part of being human.

Remember, you can be in an unhappy relationship without it being abusive. Maybe you’re hurting each other’s feelings by playing around with other people and making each other jealous – and making each other miserable.

An indication of abuse is when one person begins to feel scared because of a pattern of controlling behaviour, or confused because of being told they’re loved but only if certain conditions are met. Love shouldn’t be conditional – especially if those conditions are to change key aspects of yourself.

These are the types of unhealthy behaviour to look out for:

• gets really jealous when you spend time with your friends

• tells you what to wear and what not to wear

• tells you what to do and who you can talk to

• accuses you of flirting or cheating when you’re just being friendly

• has frequent temper outbursts

• accuses you of stuff that isn’t true

• criticises you or puts you down in front of your mates

• makes you feel like you can’t do anything right

• makes you feel nervous all the time, like you’re walking on eggshells

• forces you to do sexual things that you don’t want to do

• stops you from working or going to school/college/university

• takes your money away or controls it

• threatens to hurt you if you do not behave in a certain way

• checks what you are posting on social media

• threatens to break or damage your stuff e.g. your phone

• threatens to post up naked or sexual pictures of you unless you do what they want

• says they can’t live without you.

This sort of behaviour is not loving. This behaviour is deliberately selfish and controlling. It is about the other person, not you, and it will make you feel bad about yourself.

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