“Relationships” such an easy word, describing such a complex thing. To be honest with you from the very beginning, I’m really bad at maintaining a relationship. I mean the theory of relationships is perfectly clear for me, but the actual thing. I just don’t get it, people are confusing as hell and so hard to please. Honestly the best relationship I have is with my dog.
But yeah, even though I’m not the best person to be in a relationship with, I’m quite good at talking about them. Or so I heard from many people who deliberately “tracked me down” so I could help them. If I’d have a thing for money, I could have a legit relationship patching and advice giving business in high school.
Okay, okay, enough about me! Moving on to the actual topic. So by my personal opinion, all relationships are equal and equally important, as long as they are not toxic. Here I’m talking about family relationships, friendships and about having a partner. Now at this point I have to point out that it doesn’t matter what kind of partner you have.
Yes I’m talking about same sex relationship, mixed (meaning ethnically and culturally mixed) relationships. I don’t see what the big deal about them is. I mean they are just people who love, respect and take care of each other. Who are you to have the right to say that’s wrong?
All that hate towards people is not logical to me. I mean we’re all human, people, we are mammalian amniotic tetrapodal sarcopterygian osteichthyen gnathostomal vertebrate cranial chordates. It is true that people are naturally driven to fear what we’re not familiar with, it’s a natural reaction. But in all this time, people should be able to adapt to the fact that some people are gay and that some people just don’t give a shit about what color someone’s skin is, in order to love them.
But of course not all relationships are hearts and butterflies, topped with whipped cream and cherries. I already briefly talked about abusive relationships here, so I’ll try to not repeat myself too much.
However, because I AM talking about relationships, I feel it’s suitable that I mention them AGAIN. Sexual, emotional, mental abuse, it’s not fun. Yet it’s present and a serious problem. We have to be aware that is exists. You could have a neighbor who’s being abused and you never even thought that it could happen.
Maybe you even stumbled across an abusive relationship, yet you thought that it’s just a parent scolding their kid. I’m not saying that you have to jump in whenever you see a parent scolding their kid or anything like that. I’m just trying to point out how clueless you, we all are.
Maybe your best friend from elementary school is forever scarred, because his/hers partner abused and mistreated him/her, but you don’t know because you lost touch.
Now you might thing that I’m just trying to make you feel bad. I don’t I really don’t. It’s just that I’m aware that abusive relationships exist and they are mostly not noticed until it’s too late and something horrible happens.
I’m also writing this to tell YOU that if you are in an abusive relationship, may it be your family member, your partner even your friend. Just get out, get help, tell someone. It helps, if nothing else if you’ll “complain” about it to someone, you’ll feel better. Even though it won’t help your situation, it’ll help you, because you’ll know that there’s someone who’ll listen.
Down below you’ll find out about types of abuse and examples. The following text is taken from http://www.loveisrespect.org/, make sure to check out the website yourself in case you’re experiencing anything from the below lists.
1) Physical abuse is any intentional and unwanted contact with you or something close to your body. Sometimes abusive behavior does not cause pain or even leave a bruise, but it’s still unhealthy. Examples of physical abuse are:
- Scratching, punching, biting, strangling or kicking.
- Throwing something at you such as a phone, book, shoe or plate.
- Pulling your hair.
- Pushing or pulling you.
- Grabbing your clothing.
- Using a gun, knife, box cutter, bat, mace or other weapon.
- Smacking your bottom.
- Forcing you to have sex or perform a sexual act.
- Grabbing your face to make you look at them.
- Grabbing you to prevent you from leaving or to force you to go somewhere.
2) Emotional abuse includes non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring or “checking in,” excessive texting, humiliation, intimidation, isolation or stalking.
There are many behaviors that qualify as emotional or verbal abuse:
- Calling you names and putting you down.
- Yelling and screaming at you.
- Intentionally embarrassing you in public.
- Preventing you from seeing or talking with friends and family.
- Telling you what to do and wear.
- Damaging your property when they’re angry (throwing objects, punching walls, kicking doors, etc.)
- Using online communities or cell phones to control, intimidate or humiliate you.
- Blaming your actions for their abusive or unhealthy behavior.
- Accusing you of cheating and often being jealous of your outside relationships.
- Stalking you.
- Threatening to commit suicide to keep you from breaking up with them.
- Threatening to harm you, your pet or people you care about.
- Making you feel guilty or immature when you don’t consent to sexual activity.
- Threatening to expose your secrets such as your sexual orientation or immigration status.
- Starting rumors about you.
- Threatening to have your children taken away.
3) Sexual abuse refers to any action that pressures or coerces someone to do something sexually they don’t want to do. It can also refer to behavior that impacts a person’s ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstances in which sexual activity occurs, including oral sex, rape or restricting access to birth control and condoms.
It is important to know that just because the victim “didn’t say no,” doesn’t mean that they meant “yes.” When someone does not resist an unwanted sexual advance, it doesn’t mean that they consented. Sometimes physically resisting can put a victim at a bigger risk for further physical or sexual abuse.
Some think that if the victim didn’t resist, that it doesn’t count as abuse. That’s not true. It’s still is. This myth is hurtful because it makes it more difficult for the victim to speak out and more likely that they will blame themselves. Whether they were intoxicated or felt pressured, intimidated or obligated to act a certain way, it’s never the victim’s fault.
Some examples of sexual assault and abuse are:
- Unwanted kissing or touching.
- Unwanted rough or violent sexual activity.
- Rape or attempted rape.
- Refusing to use condoms or restricting someone’s access to birth control.
- Keeping someone from protecting themselves from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Sexual contact with someone who is very drunk, drugged, unconscious or otherwise unable to give a clear and informed “yes” or “no.”
- Threatening someone into unwanted sexual activity.
- Pressuring or forcing someone to have sex or perform sexual acts.
- Using sexual insults toward someone.
4) Financial abuse can be very subtle — telling you what you can and cannot buy or requiring you to share control of your bank accounts. At no point does someone you are dating have the right to use money or how you spend it to control you.
Here are some examples of financially abusive behavior:
- Giving you an allowance and closely watching what you buy.
- Placing your paycheck in their account and denying you access to it.
- Keeping you from seeing shared bank accounts or records.
- Forbidding you to work or limiting the hours you do.
- Preventing you from going to work by taking your car or keys.
- Getting you fired by harassing you, your employer or coworkers on the job.
- Hiding or stealing your student financial aid check or outside financial support.
- Using your social security number to obtain credit without your permission.
- Using your child’s social security number to claim an income tax refund without your permission.
- Maxing out your credit cards without your permission.
- Refusing to give you money, food, rent, medicine or clothing.
- Using funds from your children’s tuition or a joint savings account without your knowledge.
- Spending money on themselves but not allowing you to do the same.
- Giving you presents and/or paying for things like dinner and expecting you to somehow return the favor.
- Using their money to hold power over you because they know you are not in the same financial situation as they are.
5) Digital dating abuse is the use of technologies such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. Often this behavior is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated online.
In a healthy relationship, all communication is respectful whether in person, online or by phone. It is never ok for someone to do or say anything that makes you feel bad, lowers your self-esteem or manipulates you. You may be experiencing digital abuse if your partner:
- Tells you who you can or can’t be friends with on Facebook and other sites.
- Sends you negative, insulting or even threatening emails, Facebook messages, tweets, DMs or other messages online.
- Uses sites like Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and others to keep constant tabs on you.
- Puts you down in their status updates.
- Sends you unwanted, explicit pictures and/or demands you send some in return.
- Pressures you to send explicit video or sexts.
- Steals or insists to be given your passwords.
- Constantly texts you and makes you feel like you can’t be separated from your phone for fear that you will be punished.
- Looks through your phone frequently, checks up on your pictures, texts and outgoing calls.
- Tags you unkindly in pictures on Instagram, Tumblr, etc.
You never deserve to be mistreated, online or off. If you’re experiencing digital dating abuse, we encourage you to chat with a peer advocate. Remember:
- Your partner should respect your relationship boundaries.
- It is ok to turn off your phone. You have the right to be alone and spend time with friends and family without your partner getting angry.
- You do not have to text any pictures or statements that you are uncomfortable sending, especially nude or partially nude photos, known as “sexting.”
- You lose control of any electronic message once your partner receives it. They may forward it, so don’t send anything you fear could be seen by others.
- You do not have to share your passwords with anyone.
- Know your privacy settings. Social networks such as Facebook allow the user to control how their information is shared and who has access to it. These are often customizable and are found in the privacy section of the site. Remember, registering for some applications (apps) requires you to change your privacy settings.
- Be mindful when using check-ins like Facebook Places and foursquare. Letting an abusive partner know where you are could be dangerous. Also, always ask your friends if it’s ok for you to check them in. You never know if they are trying to keep their location secret.
6) You are being stalked when a person repeatedly watches, follows or harasses you, making you feel afraid or unsafe. A stalker can be someone you know, a past boyfriend or girlfriend or a stranger. While the actual legal definition varies from one state to another, here are some examples of what stalkers may do:
- Show up at your home or place of work unannounced or uninvited.
- Send you unwanted text messages, letters, emails and voicemails.
- Leave unwanted items, gifts or flowers.
- Constantly call you and hang up.
- Use social networking sites and technology to track you.
- Spread rumors about you via the internet or word of mouth.
- Make unwanted phone calls to you.
- Call your employer or professor.
- Wait at places you hang out.
- Use other people as resources to investigate your life. For example, looking at your facebook page through someone else’s page or befriending your friends in order to get more information about you.
- Damage your home, car or other property.