By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
New Delhi, Jun 10 (IANSlife): "Marriage is the institution we all look forward to at some point in time in life. It is not surprising that we all hope for it to be a smooth experience and recognise the fact that there will be bumpy moments and endurance during these is key. However, if the bumps are rigid and keep you at unrest for longer than usual, chances are you can be in an abusive marriage," says Author Kanchan Bhaskar.
The author of the book 'Leaving - How I Set Myself Free from an Abusive Marriage' tells IANSlife that there are always warning indicators that might help you distinguish between a good marriage and an abusive one. Let's have a look at some of Kanchan's examples of early behavioural warning indicators of an abusive marriage:
Possessiveness and Controlling Behaviour: Restrictive controlling behaviour is an early trigger to watch out for. Isolating you from friends and family, and telling you who you can talk to or what to wear and how to be are all signs to watch out for. Does your partner restrict you from working, or having a life of your own, are they suspicious and controlling? Have they asked you to cut ties with not one but several people from your group of friends? These are signs of possessiveness and controlling behaviour. Recognise them as abusive traits which can erupt into full fledge abuse at any stage. If dialogue helps, then the trait can be worked upon, but if the person only feels attacked and disregards their partner's voice regarding the subject, it can be a sign of an abusive partner.
Dismissive of others' feelings and situations: There can be several instances in which feel overwhelmed or emotional about a situation. It could be upset, annoyance, feeling disrespected, or any emotion. If these are overlooked or dismissed or mocked, then you are facing stonewalling from your partner. For example, you won an award at the office and you want to share the news with your partner and they respond by saying, "Should I undrape a red carpet for your arrival?" though jokingly but in an attacking way. You may want to discuss with them what behaviour triggers you, to make peace and not let the conversation get violent and negative with time.
Lack of respect for person and property: Does your partner simply act like they are entitled to having you and your assets as theirs all the time? Do they make a joke out of everything you say without taking anything seriously? Uninformed decisions which may affect you and justify their decision while keeping you in the dark in a very disrespectful way? These are certainly signs of an abusive person who feels they can be entitled to everything that is yours without drawing clear lines of boundaries.
Rigid gender roles: Has your partner mentioned to you to leave your corporate career and follow the household path; or contrarily have they told you that you must earn the bread being the male in the house? Specific rigid gender roles wherein one refrain from understanding the perspective of the other and their capabilities in doing certain tasks are signs of giving leeway for abuse to enter your relationship.
Use of force, threats, and verbal abuse: If your partner is rigid about you doing certain things according to them failing which they threaten to punish you or simply hurl abuses, then you must take things seriously and seek help on tackling the situation. Have you encountered instances wherein your partner has abused you physically or verbally? Take this as the tip of the iceberg of their inability to have an equal relationship. Force, threat, and verbal abuse have a long-term impact on an individual and can affect their physical as well as emotional health in the long run.
"There can be many more signs that one can infer if their partner is an abusive one. If they constantly gaslight situations trying to play the victim card and how your actions are not in-line with their thought process, etc. It is best to seek help by keeping your parents, siblings, close friends, etc. informed about the unusual instances occurring in your relationship which you feel are not healthy for it to prosper. It is never late! One can seek help and vocalise their suffering in a relationship at any point in time. Years spent together cannot pay homage to accept it as fate and continuing to suffer," says concludes Kanchan.