Abuse is a pattern of behavior that causes harm. The harm may be physical, psychological, financial, or legal. Physical, financial, or legal damage is easy to identify. Psychological or emotional abuse often happens under the radar.
I’ve previously created an emotional abuse test that you can use to see if you’re being abused in a close relationship. It’s applicable to any relationship.
However, there are some nuances to a romantic relationship that make it a fertile ground for abuse.
Abuse is a pattern of behavior, not a one-off event. You may perceive that you’re being abused when you really aren’t. When two people enter a romantic relationship, they come with their own set of perceptual filters that can make them see reality incorrectly.
Conflict is not abuse. How a person deals with conflict renders them abusive or non-abusive.
If your partner gets angry with you or yells at you, it’s not abuse. If it happens persistently and they keep degrading you, that is.
Jealousy is not abuse. Doing things to harm you and the things you value out of jealousy is.
I should also mention that psychological harm can be subjective. Some people are easily harmed while others are not. What a person sees as psychological harm is often shaped by their unique psychological makeup.
Taking the abusive partner test
This test consists of 16 items with options ranging from Strongly agree to Strongly disagree. When answering the items, avoid thinking about one-off events. The test is 100% confidential. Your results are only shown to you and not stored in our database.