Hi, I saw your post about abuse. How can you tell if your partner is abusing you? I’ve been told by a few of my friends that what my boyfriend is doing is “abuse”, but I don’t think it’s that severe. I don’t know how to feel about the situation.
- Your friends might be wrong, but I think you should hear them out
- Let them completely explain what they mean
- In the course of that conversation, don’t argue or defend your boyfriend
- Listen, and make sure you completely understand what they are saying
- Take some time to process and consider whether they have a point
- What do they think is abusive about your relationship?
- Do you think the things they’re talking about are actually happening?
- If so (whether or not you’re comfortable using the word abuse) do you agree that those things are hurting you?
- If so, do you think there is a way to get your boyfriend to stop doing those things? Is this something you and he can work out?
- If he doesn’t stop, are you willing to tolerate those things long term, or are they dealbreaking?
- If you’re having mixed feelings about this, it’s probably a good idea to go back and talk to your friends some more about what they’re seeing and what you’re seeing
If you consider what your friends are seeing and whether you think you’re being hurt, you’ll get a better answer than you’ll get by considering in the abstract which things are bad enough to count as abuse.