We’re all familiar with physical abuse, it’s something you can see, and if you’re in an abusive relationship, something you can define.

Unfortunately, there are so many other forms of abusive relationships where you can’t “see” what’s being done. And if you’re in one, you may even be told that you’re “crazy” or that “these things happen, it’s nothing to worry about.”

However, non-physical abuse can be just as harmful, sometimes even more so, and it needs to be understood.

Let’s take a look at some other forms of abuse:

Last month in “How to Know if You’re in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship” we talked about emotional abuse in more depth. Feel free to check it out.

Emotional/Verbal Abuse

Emotional abuse involves threats, insults, put-downs, humiliation, and even stalking. Here are a few behavioral traits to be on the lookout for:

  • Putting you down and/or calling you names
  • Often yelling at you for no apparent reason
  • Intentionally embarrassing you, especially if it makes them look better
  • Telling you how to dress
  • Stalking you, both in-person and online
  • Threatening to harm you, or your pet or someone you care about, if you leave
  • Making you feel guilty
  • Holding a secret over you and threatening to expose your secret

While verbal and emotional abuse might not cause physical pain, it does cause significant emotional scarring.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is usually quite subtle, making you wonder sometimes if it’s really happening or it’s normal behavior. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Giving you an “allowance” and wanting to know how you spend it.
  • Depositing your paycheck in their account and not allowing you access, claiming that they’ll take care of everything for you.
  • Keeping bank records and statements from you.
  • Preventing you from working or limiting the number of hours you can work.
  • Using your identity to obtain loans and credit cards for themselves.
  • Maxing out your credit cards without your knowledge.
  • Paying for things then expecting you to “return the favor.”
  • Holding their own financial situation over you because they are in a better financial situation then you are.

Financial abuse is usually part of emotional and/or verbal abuse.

Digital Abuse

With the expansion of social media and technology comes a new type of abuse that we haven’t seen before.

Digital abuse uses texting and social media to bully, stalk, and intimidate their partner. It looks similar to verbal abuse, yet it’s out in the open where other people can see. It includes things like:

  • Telling you who you can and cannot be Facebook friends with.
  • Sending you negative or insulting messages, tweets, or emails.
  • Using social media to always know where you are – online stalking.
  • Making harassing or negative comments on your status updates.
  • Insisting on having your passwords, or stealing them.
  • Constantly texting you so you’re not able to be away from your phone.
  • Pressuring you to send explicit photos, videos, or messages through text.
  • Using phone GPS to constantly track where you are.

Many of these things are coupled with emotional and/or verbal abuse in-person as well.

Abusive relationships aren’t always so easy to see and we can often question if it’s really abuse, or just someone loving us and wanting to take care of us.

Healthy relationships should never put you down, make you feel like you are “less-than” your partner, encourage you to do things you’re not comfortable with, or take away your personal right to privacy. If you feel that you are experiencing these things, seek help.

How Horses Can Help

Often times, being strong enough to leave an unhealthy relationship involves building your self-confidence, creating boundaries, being grounded and creating safety and security; something that is done well through Equine Gestalt Work.  If you want to come and experience the horses call for a FREE consolation at 970-682-4405.Learn more about Equine Gestalt