The longer people stay in abusive relationships the harder it gets for them to tell whether or not these relationships are abusive. The main reason why is that abuse, in all its myriad forms, always has the same goal which is to instill self-doubt in order to maintain control. The self-doubt part of the sentence above is why people don’t know if their relationships are abusive. They start to question everything, even their perceptions of reality.
Here is a checklist to help you clarify things. These are all yes/no questions. If you answer yes to most of them it points to an abusive relationship:
Have I come to feel isolated from my friends and family?
Does my partner embarrass me or make me look stupid in public?
Am I often made to doubt my perception/interpretation of events?
Do I feel like I need to watch what I say or think around my partner?
Does my partner have to win every argument?
Does my partner ever use threats and intimidation to get his or her way?
Does my partner often invalidate my opinions?
Is always being in control important to my partner?
Has my partner ever been physically violent towards me or threatened physical violence?