How to recognize psychological abuse in your relationship


How to recognize psychological abuse in your relationship

A crooked look, a controlling gesture, a “harmless” insult: we find excuses for a lot of what our partner does and try to excuse his or her behavior . But such “little things” are not always harmless – psychological violence in relationships is extremely stressful for the affected partner and many women do not manage to free themselves from this dependency .

Mag.a Dr. Bettina Zehetner from the counseling center ” Women advise women ” knows the worries and fears of women from their daily work and explains what early warning signals are and how women can break out of the structures:

How can psychological violence express itself in a relationship?

Bettina Zehetner: Psychological violence can manifest itself in many ways. Verbal abuse, humiliation and threats are psychological violence.

Are there ” warning signals ” that women can heed or recognize early in the meeting?

Excessive control behavior at the beginning of a relationship is often justified “out of love”, at the latest when there are attempts to limit contacts with friends or family, this should be an alarm signal. Even seemingly harmless taunts and devaluations are often a test of how far I can go without being set a limit.

What is the most common form of psychological violence in partnerships?

Statements that offend, weaken and hurt, that don’t take your partner seriously and undermine her self-confidence and threats, if you don’t behave the way I want, then I’ll make your life even more difficult.

Does this also correlate with financial dependency on the partner?

Financial dependency on the partner – for example when looking after children – can exacerbate the violent situation if the partner plays off his paid work against his partner’s unpaid work and uses money as a means of pressure.

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Why do women stay in such psychologically stressful relationships?

Women who have experienced psychological violence over a long period of time doubt themselves, their abilities and their own perception, they become unsure what is “normal” and adopt the perspective of their partner, who convinces them that it is their own fault what he does to them. The fact is: there is no justification for violence, the responsibility lies with the perpetrator, not the victim.

How can they free themselves from this? What strategies are there?

Having your own income and the fair distribution of unpaid housework and care work provides the basis for a balance of power. A good social network, regular contact with friends, activities that are fun – all of this strengthens self-confidence and prevents you from subordinating yourself to the rules that make you ill. This is also enormously important as a model for children.

Do you think that there is enough talk about this topic and that women are sensitized to recognize psychological violence?

Violence in relationships is still a very shameful topic. Many women who come to our counseling center have tried for years to improve their relationship, to do everything right, so that they are finally no longer exposed to insults and devaluations by their partners. Therefore my message to all women: You have the right to a life without violence! Trust your feelings when you have the impression that something is not going as it should, that I am not being supported but burdened, that my partner’s behavior offends me. Take advantage of our anonymous online consultation or make an appointment . Together we will find new perspectives and possible solutions.

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