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10 “Normal” Behaviors That Are Actually Really Abusive In a Relationship

There’s a lot that goes into relationships. That’s a phrase we hear all the time. But often, we mistake common mistreatment as part of a normal relationship. Plenty seems okay when in the thick of it. Learning what’s abnormal is a process, and accepting that it’s abusive takes time. Here are some abusive behaviors to alert you to exit the relationship.

1. Silent Treatment

It’s not uncommon cool off after an argument with a loved one. But silent treatment is something else. Several people who experienced this explain it goes on for days to months. Not only does their partner not talk to them, but they do not make eye contact or anything. They treat their loved ones as though they do not exist. Many realize the reason they believe this behavior in a relationship is normal. They witnessed it in their family.

2. Love Bombing

People who go through this think the start of the relationship is fantastic. One points out all the gifts and trips, tricking them into thinking the person cared for them. In actuality, it’s a setup for abuse. When they become abusive, the victim often works harder. The hope is to get them to switch back. But the loving partner wasn’t the real them. The abuser is them. Like pretty wrapping concealing a horrible gift.

3. Keeping Tabs

It’s normal to want someone you care about to check in and let you know they’re okay. It’s a wild world, after all. But several discussed excessive check-ins that were almost hourly. Others had partners that wanted names and locations when they went out with friends. It may seem like, “oh, how sweet, they think about me all the time,” but that’s dangerous, especially when you don’t return it.

4. Double Responsibility

Being responsible for all aspects of your partner’s life seemed normal to many posters. But that’s not a partnership; that’s raising a child. Few mentioned the crushing anxiety when something went wrong because, somehow, it was always their job to fix or prevent the problem. Often they bring that fear into their next relationship. They had to learn it was not their job to shoulder all their partners’ burdens. If your partner oversleeps and misses work, that’s on them.

5. Ridiculed For Showing Emotions

I’m familiar with this one, as are a slew of others. Belittling your partner for crying. Many women experience this, and the implication is that women make a mountain out of a molehill. They all explain how it took years to realize they were not hysterical women.

It’s a form of gaslighting that make you feel like your emotions are over the top given a situation and does a lot of emotional damage. It takes a long time to realize having your partner insult you is not remotely normal.

6. Permission Required

Many thought needing your partner’s blessing before visiting family and friends was normal relationship behavior. A couple even pointed out how their partner, confident from controlling them, would try to control their friends. Like checking in, there’s a difference between keeping your partner abreast of your whereabouts and being incapable of interacting with friends because your partner said no.

7. No Discussion Just Let It Go

Discussing problems in the relationship creates a larger issue. Their partners accused them of “looking for a fight.” Again this is sadly familiar. Either the partner gets angrier, making talk pointless, or they question every aspect of the issue. They need specific dates, times, and a verbatim account, and by that point, you feel foolish.

8. Being Touched While Asleep

Initiating any sexual encounter while a partner is asleep is assault. Several women added they believed it was okay because that’s their boyfriend, husband, etc. Often the partner even said that.

Another pointed out that their husband would get angry, sulk, and use the silent treatment to guilt them. You do not owe your partner sex, nor do they have a right to your sleeping body. Is it common? Sadly yes. Is it normal? Never.

9. Coercion

One woman highlights that her ex used to employ the standard “you don’t really love me” tactic to browbeat her into sex. Healthy relationships do not have this kind of emotional manipulation. Others resented the years they accepted this treatment but are grateful they’ve escaped the relationship.

Understand that you can say no and do not need to justify your answer or prove your love by doing something you do not want.

10. Joy Buster

In healthy relationships, couples have healthy banter. They may joke with each other, but they also show affection, complimenting their partner. Then there’s the partner that enjoys taking you down a peg. It’s to avoid you getting “bigheaded,” one lady called it. This isn’t only compliments on appearance. Sharing triumphs with her boyfriend was deflating for another woman, as he just looked bored.

This thread inspired this post.


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