Sometimes, everyone can see what is going on in your relationship except you. One of the things that abusive spouses excel at is convincing you that their actions toward you are normal, or that you deserve to be treated in this way.

Here are some telltale signs that you may be in an abusive relationship:

  • You feel scared of your partner: Does a flush of fear run through you when you hear them pull into the driveway? Do you run around making sure everything in the kitchen is perfect, and how they like? Being scared of your partner is not usual.
  • You have injuries: Maybe you have gotten used to the sight of bruises when you look in the mirror. No one deserves to be injured by their partner, but it’s easy to convince yourself that you’re somehow responsible for their temper flares — especially when they blame you for everything.
  • You do not see your friends: Think back to when you last saw your friends. Now think back to life before your current relationship. Did you have a more active social life before you met your current partner? If you have lost contact with people, especially if you cut the ties because your partner did not like your friends, it could be a red flag. Abusive partners know that to control someone, they need to remove the influence of other people.
  • You have to ask your partner for money: Financially controlling someone is a way to keep them dependent. If you need your partner’s permission before you spend anything, something may be wrong.

You do not have to put up with domestic violence or an abusive relationship. Seek legal help to understand your options to end your marriage and live without fear.