10 Telling Signs You’re Trapped in an Abusive Relationship

By Emily Lockhart.

The thing that hurts most about an abusive relationship is realizing that you were tricked into it. Most abusive relationships don’t start out with a black eye. Commonly, they begin just like any other relationship or may seem too good to be true, but slowly, your partner may begin to subtly blame you for things beyond your control or pick at your faults. This may slowly evolve into full blown verbal or physical abuse.

The trauma suffered in an abusive relationship gradually ramps up. It slowly drains you of self worth and alienates your support system, leaving you feeling trapped and miserable before you even realize the signs.

Regardless of if you suffer from emotional, verbal, or physical abuse, it can be difficult to comprehend that someone you love, and who claims to love you, could victimize you. And sometimes, your partner may not even realize what they’re doing is wrong.

Here are ten sneaky signs that you’re trapped in an abusive relationship…

1. Humiliation

Humiliation as a form of abuse may start out with subtle jabs or insults in private and then become full blown yelling and embarrassment in public before you even realize it. It doesn’t take much for an abuser to get angry for the smallest of reason and convince you that you’re the guilty party. This type of humiliation is meant to make you submissive and to control you in front of others if they know that they’re public outbursts will make you subservient to their wants and needs.

2. Verbal Insults

You or your partner may lose your cool in an argument, but that never excuses name calling or foul language. Verbal abuse can range from insulting your looks, your intelligence, or your worth and it doesn’t always include foul language. The main purpose of verbal abuse is to wear down your self esteem so that you’re compliant and reliant on your partner—and no one else.

3. Physical Violence

Physical abuse almost never starts with a busted lip. Abusers typically begin subtly with an intimidating stance, a hand raised, a grab at your arm, or a quick slap to get your attention. This almost always graduates to harsher physical slaps, chokes, grabs, or even punches if you let the previous abuse slide. Abusers know that it takes time to breaking their spouse or partner down so they think they deserve the abuse

4. Controlling Behavior

The controlling abuser aims to alienate you from everyone else in your life other than them. That way, your friends or family won’t recognize the signs of abuse or come to your aid. Most abusers want you to be totally dependent on them and no one else. At first this may appear that your partner is just really invested in your life and your decisions, but it will slowly spiral into them being in total control.

5. Unpredictable Mood Swings

The mood swings of an abusive individual can be staggering. For instance, they can go from pleasant and romantic to total rage in a matter of seconds. This extremely unpredictable behavior is almost only aimed at a submissive partner who they know won’t challenge them

6. Picking at Faults

Does your partner treat you like a child? Most abusers who use verbal abuse as their prime tool will treat you like a misbehaved child, yelling and disciplining you as they demean and point out your every fault. However, if you try to correct them, get ready for a seriously defensive and angry backlash.

7. Alienating Your Friends and Family

An abuser knows that they won’t get away with mistreating you if you have supportive friends and family in the picture to challenge their behavior. That’s why they will slowly try to convince you that others don’t appreciate you or value your relationship. Soon you will lose all sense of yourself and only have them for support. What better way to control your every behavior, right?

8. Placement of Blame
You can bet if you choose to stay with an abusive partner that you’ll be blamed for everything that goes wrong in their lives. An abusive lover will never accept personal blame for anything. They are masters at turning things around on their spouses so they never assume any guilt.

9. Manipulation

Abusers are skilled at manipulation—so much so that they actually convince their partners that their physical or verbal outbursts are the result of misbehavior on your part. The aim is to make you doubt yourself and your self worth as a good person. That’s why most victims of abuse continue to excuse or forgive their partner’s cruel behavior

10. Calculated Outbursts
Doesn’t it seem strange to you that your partner only demeans you, yells at you, or hits you in private? They will try to convince you that they have no control over their violet or verbally abusive tirades, but ask yourself why they never lose their cool in front of others or in public.

Stop Sexual Assualt

          By  Damilola Ojomu  CEAF STAFF
             Sexual assault is something that is  increasing day by day, women are sexually assaulted by their legally married husband at home, this are also seen in among our teenagers. Our women are not secure anymore and are  been preyed on just because they are weak and unable to protect them self.
             Married women at home face this at  from their so called husband while young girls sexually assaulted by their boyfriend who drug them or use force on them. Research shows that about 1 in 3 (35%) women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
            Sexual violence is defined as a sexual act committed against someone without that person’s freely given consent. Sexual violence is divided into the following types: Completed or attempted forced penetration of a victim. Completed or attempted alcohol/drug-facilitated penetration of a victim.
Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner in their lifetime.
        Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by a male intimate partner.
Violence can negatively affect women’s physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health, and may increase sexual transmitted diseases. Factors associated with increased risk of perpetration of violence include low education, child maltreatment or exposure to violence in the family, harmful use of alcohol, attitudes accepting of violence and gender inequality.
       Stories and News about sexual assault in our society is getting out of hands, its not encouraging at all i was discussing with a friend of mine who eventually told me the story of her cousin facing this issue and this story made me shed tears.
      My friends cousin got pregnant for a young man when she was in secondary school just because she want to put an end to her street hawking and not knowing she will face more danger on the long run. she moved in with the young man who she think was a caring man, they lived happily for some month not until her so called husband began to show is true color, he comes home late in the night drunk and feels her presence as a trash, he then turn the poor girl into punching bag and he sexually assaulted the poor girl until she lost her  pregnancy. i felt sorry for the poor girl when i heard the touching story.
        Women should be treated with respect, they should be cared for, Violence against women by any one is always wrong, whether the abuser is someone you dated; a current or past spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend or a stranger.
Steps to take when you are sexually assaulted
1. Stay as far as possible away from that kind of person who assaulted you sexually because such person can do something worst to you that can end your life
2.Call a friend or family you trust when this happen and narrate what happen to them.
3. Notify the law enforcement on what happen and make sure you provide evidence for them to know you are telling the truth.
4.Go to the Nearest hospital for you to be examined and treat any injuries inflicted on you.
5. Ask for a support group you can attend.
Assist anyone you who is facing domestic violence, lets join in this campaign  and end this.
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How I Met My Abusive Husband” – One Woman’s True Life Domestic Violence Story

My name is Omalinze Okonkwo. I am a 33 year old Nigerian woman, who fled to the US to get away from a violently abusive husband/marriage. It had been hell, pretty much from day one of our 10 year marriage, with lots of hospitalizations and two separations in between. And it was ALL forms of abuse, from physical to emotional to psychological to mental to financial. This is the story of how I left, it was not and has not been easy, but I’m glad I’m free.

Ours was a funny history. We met in ‘98 when an 18 year old me (music director/trainee pastor) accompanied my BFF (of blessed memory) to UNEC for her fellowship’s camp meeting. I was to help arrange her music as well as perform in a play and a special Acapella as the alto. As was our usual practice, we didn’t eat all day prior to the performance so as soon as we had sung, my friends and I rushed to the nearest “burger ” joint we could find. As we waited for our eggs to be fried, four young men frolicked rather loudly in our line of vision.

All four were trying to talk to me and I was famished, so I was not in the mood. Eventually, our meal was ready and No four, who was the biggest and loudest, tried to get my room number. I told him and he said he would visit. Unknown to him, we were to leave first thing in the morning so I knew I would never see him again. Good riddance “I thought” as I personally believed it was disrespectful of any man to toast a girl while he was with his friends. 

A year later, while I was home on holidays, my family phone rang and it was some guy asking for me. Normally, I would have discharged him to avoid getting caught by my dad but he was out and I was bored so I didn’t hang up. Apparently, he had tricked my friend into giving him my number. Next thing, I knew, we were spending hours on the phone. Before long, I was sneaking out to meet him in front of my gate and we would drive in his mom’s Toyota Cressida to his friend’s place where we would make-out for hours. Soon, though he went for Youth service so we lost touch. 

We started dating properly when a year after his service he came back to Enugu. Coincidentally, I was around. So he looked me up and we hooked up the same day (I had lost my faith after a series of tragedies including losing my youngest sister to malaria, failing out of Medical school and losing my best friend in a fire). He left the next day promising to call even though I had told him not to bother. So started our long distance relationship which he broke off by phone exactly a year later because “the Lagos girls were a distraction”. 

Years later, we somehow reconnected and became friends even though we had separate relationships. Soon, we were “friends-with-benefits”. Anyway, he had issues that led to his suspension for months and in that time there was a shift in our relationship. Suddenly, the *commitment-phobe* started becoming more controlling, calling to know where I was or flying into rages if I sent him some credit bought with my meager modeling earnings. I figured it was the pressure of the job and soon after, he was recalled to work and became sweet and adorable again. 

 

“Moooommmmmy! I’m coooooooold” wailed Ada, my little 2 year-old daughter as she stood shivering in the bitingly cold, windy and foggy UK early morning.

“Let’s go back in and sleep a little, please Mommy!” begged Obi, my 8 year old son, his voice muffled by my head-tie-turned-scarf.

“I’m really sorry, babies! We can’t go back in. We have to be out of the church at 5:30 am or they won’t let us back another time. Remember what I said about adventures? There are some really-hard parts and some super-exciting parts. This is one of the hard ones,ok? But I promise, it’ll get better, please sweeties?” I tried to comfort them.

“Ok, mommy!” they chorused and instantly start to argue about something inconsequential like they almost always did.

I shook my head, fondly and thanked God for the millionth time at how resilient and easy to please kids were. Or maybe, God just blessed me with extra-special kids! As we sit huddled up at the bus-stop, all of our luggage (2 big boxes and 2 over-stuffed backpacks) strewn around us, I struggled to hold back tears of bitterness and regret at all the years I wasted with Emeka, my husband and father of my kids.

One of the most recent incidents, a few days before I left Nigeria, kind of shook me up a little bit. I had just left the cinema where I had gone to see “The Interns”. I was bored and worried about the time (it was about a little past 7pm) so I left half-way through the movie. On my way out, I saw a former business prospect (I run a small fitness consultancy for women) and we made small talk for a few minutes before we hugged goodbye and I hurried to try to catch a cab.

As I waited impatiently outside the Leisure Mall , I decided to start walking home and catch any empty one. Plus I needed the air, I wasn’t in a good place emotionally. Eventually, I walked all the way home. I was almost at our gate when suddenly, all hell broke loose. I thought I was about to be kidnapped or robbed and my reflexes are less than zero so I stood petrified, chanting “Blood of Jesus!”

Turned out to be only Emeka, my painfully-handsome but spitting-mad husband. He had been in the mall too (coincidence or not? hmm) and had seen me talking to the lady as we had hugged at the end. I didn’t even know he was in he building complex but apparently, he had driven behind me as I walked home and as soon as I got to the gate, he speeds up and screeches to a screaming halt, startling me.

Before I could react, he grabs me the throat, calling me a “perverted lesbian slut”, that how come when he tried to get me to sleep with a girl on his birthday, I cried rape but I was picking them up on my own. I tried to tell him I was just “counseling” someone referred to me by one of my “virtual” boot-campers. He was already past that point. He says,” I am going to end this tonight.”

He drags me kicking and screaming to the kitchen and asks me to pick out a knife, I begged him to forgive me but he takes the big, pointy one and drags me back to his bedroom. He then flung me on the floor, and put a foot on my throat to keep me still. I break loose and he grabs me and twists both my arms by the thumb and forefingers till the pain forced me to my knees. With his other hand , he loops the TV cord around my thigh so tightly I felt the rope cut into my skin. [picture left]

He starts on the other thigh but the door slams as my youngest sister and the kids return from fellowship. He quickly unties the cord and hides the knife.

“This isn’t finished.” He hisses, seconds before the kids burst in excitedly…

 

I used to think he was the ultimate Alpha-male. So did everyone else. He’s loud, charming, aggressive and full of energy. He’s the life of ANY party and women throw themselves at him. But as the years passed, I realised he was just a bully. He always sought out people he was bigger than or that he could dominate so women were an easy prey for him. He had NO respect for women and generally referred to them (including myself) as sluts,bitches, and believed they were not fit to be anything other than housegirls or prostitutes. He treated me like a stupid child and would talk down at me like I was retarded. 

His favorite phrase was “Let me repeat myself…” And then proceed to repeat loudly and slowly with as minimal facts as possible so I almost always never performed the task the way he liked it. He had this weird entitlement thing where he says things like “Don’t I have the right as your husband to tell you to do something and you obey me unquestionly?”. He had a selfish streak and believed that me and the kids existed solely for his pleasure. He was amazingly self-centred and never once put me or the kids first or even second. 

I remember one day , his uncle from the UK wanted a car to use while he was in Enugu and my husband promised him one. Now ,we had only two cars so I wondered but said nothing. As I got ready for school runs and work, he asked me to leave the keys to my car but I snuck out. Later that day, he calls me and asks me to bring the car back so his uncle’s driver could pick up the car and I asked him real quietly,which car he wanted me to use. He was livid that I dared question him and said he was coming to kill me at work. He actually drove all the way from VI to Surulere where I worked and ran menacingly up the stairs.

I saw him from the window and ran down to meet him because I was trying to avoid a scene. I tried to remind him that I needed the car for school runs but he demanded for the keys. When I didn’t comply, he grabbed me roughly by the throat and twisted my arm with the other.When he got the keys, he shoved me hard and I fell into the gutter behind me. He didn’t even look back as okada/keke drivers helped me out. For the whole month, had to do school and hospital runs (my son had frequent asthma episodes) by cab. And he never even dropped us or paid for the fares.. 

He had a deep unnecessary need to “control” (one of his favorite words) and dominate me which he achieved through derision, criticism, and cruelty. And the more empowered/independent I became the more his need to keep me under his control deepened. For example, when I resolved to build my company from nothing but sheer innovation and faith, he told me that his father and himself had decided that the kids and I should move to the village. 

Another way he maintained control was by constantly making contradictory statements so that I was in a permanent state of confusion thereby reinforcing his declaration that I was stupid and retarded. For example, he would berate me constantly that I was lazy and good-for-nothing. Then, I’d come up with myriads of business ideas but none seemed to meet his approval which I needed as he was the one to give me capital. He would tell me that I was useless as a daughter, parent and wife because I couldn’t be of any financial help to anyone, that all I knew was fitness and fashion. 

One day, as I wept into the night, I had a moment of clarity and the next day, I registered my business. I’m not even going to bother mentioning his harem of women and how he would tell me that he wouldn’t need them if I was a good obedient woman. I had learnt to block that aspect out of my head. 

 

I’d previously moved out twice over the years, both times following hospitalizations as a result of severe beatings. The first time in December, 2007, I moved to another Local Government Area in Lagos. This was at my uncle’s home as my father had refused to let me stay with him because the family name would be ruined and he’d rather attend my funeral, than have divorced daughter. Moreover, according to him, the bible is against divorce.

I had to take my son out of his preschool to another closer to me. I was there for a few months, picking up extra shifts as a Customer Service Rep to be able to afford basic stuff for my son like diapers and food. But even there, I wasn’t safe. He would sit outside in his car for hours either at work or at my uncle’s home. I had to get my cousin to drive me once or twice so he backed off. He had seized my car and only released it when my huge cousin who lived abroad and was visiting Nigeria asked him to give it back.

And little did we know that he had cut the brakes of my Toyota Camry. He sent his mechanic to come park it at Festac and I didn’t drive it for a few days because I was a new driver and didn’t know my way around from Festac so I would take buses/cabs/okadas. And unfortunately for me, the first day I drove it was the day, I had my son and was on my way to work. As I drove down the winding bridge trying to connect to Orile, the car sped down uncontrollably.

I pumped and pumped my brakes as I prayed and prayed and cried and cried. It was really early, like 4:30 am because I tend to get lost a lot and generally just like to leave about 2 hours earlier than the required 6 am. So, because of the time, there were few cars on the highway . And the fact that I can barely see at night heightened my fear. Miraculously, I got all the way to my office at Orile-Iganmu without running into anyone or anything and the car having lost a little momentum on flat ground, was brought to a halt only at my office gate. I rolled the car into the compound and sat, shaking like a leaf till early light when people started coming.

I tried to call and email him about the car, hoping it was a mistake but he called me all sorts of shocking names, saying , he will still get me some other way. I told this to the case-worker, Dr Sanya at the Surulere LGA Welfare who was supposed to be mediating our case. It was only when I caught them one morning ,exchanging hugs with Dr Sanya saying, Thank You for the other day” with my husband replying, “There’s more where that came from” that I knew he had once again bought him off. I was well and truly sunk. So, when my uncle and my father summoned me to tell me that my “holiday” was over and I needed to “stop all this nonsense and go back and be a good wife and save the family name.” 

The second time, in Dec 2011, I decided to move all the way to Abuja. I’d hoped he’d be too busy to come there. This time, I didn’t tell my parents right away that I’d left. I gave them the impression that I was just visiting for Christmas. Eventually, my inlaws had told my parents that I ran away . So, my mom who was at the Abuja home at the time, had told me that I was welcome to stay out the Christmas but that I had to go back and try to make it work.

When I tried to explain to her that my life was in danger, her heartbreaking response was that “ There has never been a divorce in our clan. So, your father and I would rather keep it that way even if it meansattending your funeral . Moreover, as long as he pays the kids school fees, then he is pretty much a model husband. Close your eyes to everything else and try not to do things that would earn you a beating.”

When I refused to go, my mother got upset and violent , slapping me and shoving me out and feverishly throwing all our bags out in the streets, screaming “This is exactly why your husband beats you.” “You are stubborn and disobedient and frankly, I think you deserve everything because of the shame you bring to us. Please, go to your husband’s house. There is no room for you here.” ”You are not the first woman and you will not be the last that her husband beats. If I lived through it so will you.”

I was sobbing and wailing “What of my children? Are you also going to throw them out?”
Her response, “ They ,like you , are their father’s property . Take them back to him.”
And she slams the door.
My kids and I sit huddled out in the drizzling rain and my son, wide-eyed, asked me , “Mommy, is it because Im naughty that Maa-Maa is upset?” I weakly reassure him that it was not the case.
“Mommy, why does no one love us anymore?”
“I love you, baby!” I whisper fiercely and hugging them to my tear-soaked chest. “And God loves you. That is all that matters!”
I try to call my brother in Canada to let me stay at his Abuja apartment and after a few moments of silence, he says he’d get back to me. And that was the last, I heard from him on that.

When I saw that the kids were cold and hungry , I knocked and begged my mom to please let us stay a few more months till the school term runs out. She would hear nothing of it and after numerous calls to my uncle and siblings and father, I told her I would have to call her fellow politicians to see if they’d house us for a while. Then she grudgingly agreed.

In the meantime, I had to deal with violent phone-calls from my husband and he even showed up at the family home a few times. He would whisper to me “See? I will kill you and your family will do nothing about it.”

He would also threaten to have me bombed and people would think it was Boko Haram, which had just started attacks that same period. And my daughter’s school was in one of the churches (Dunamis International ,Garki) rumored to be on the list to be bombed next so I was terrified daily. And I knew it was true. He had the means and connections to commit murder and get away with it. And as no one had at the time figured out their target, I was naturally afraid.

So, between him and my parents making life painful for me and the kids and the terrorist situation in Abuja, I fearfully moved back to Lagos around Easter, 2012. But, of course, I had to go back to the village to be judged by the clan and was humiliated again for days and the kids taken from me before I was grudgingly allowed back to my marital home.

_______________

Myne’s note – October is Domestic Violence awareness month and Oma thinks this was a great time to share her story and reach out to other women for support and also to encourage others to speak out or take action. 

Over the next few days, you’ll read more of Oma’s story. Names, Dates and Places have been changed to protect Oma and her children. Oma is currently in need of help, financial and otherwise and if you’re able to, please contact me at myne@mynewhitman.com. We’re trying to work as quickly as possible for the safety of Oma and her ability to keep her children.

_________________

Harrison “Harry Baba” Nwozo’s note-

Folks, this is a True story. Please Help. Let’s Save our Women. Let’s Save this young woman. Please email Myne above and see how you can be of assistance.

Join me in saying NO!! to Domestic Violence in Nigeria and Around the World!!!

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10 Signs You Should Run for Your Life

Joe No-Show

You meet in a city where neither of you lives, at a convention or a wedding. The calls and e-mails are making the phone lines sweat; two months later he’s begging you to visit. You tell the woman next to you on the plane that after years of searching you think you’ve met The One, and the two of you giggle with anticipation all the way to baggage claim. Thirty minutes later, when the carousel stops going around, she looks at you with deep pity and asks if she can give you a ride somewhere. That’s the moment to go straight back to the ticket counter.

 

Mr. Jealousy

At first, he’ll get a little short with a waiter who flirts with you. Then he’ll be exasperated by how long you and the postmaster discuss the rising price of stamps. When he points out that you and your brother hug too long to be appropriate, or that your gynecologist is a lesbian and obviously has the hots for you, it’s time to give him his walking papers. However flattering his jealousies may seem in the first five minutes of your relationship, they’ll get old and confining more quickly than you can imagine, and when you do finally break up with him, he will hang the scarves you left behind on your trees like nooses and follow you and the next man you date all over town.

 

The Bully

This is the man who sits you down, grabs your arm, pulls your hair, or pokes your chest. While most of us know better than to let ourselves get socked in the mouth the way Ralph Kramden was always threatening to do to Alice (but even then never following through), there’s a whole universe of more “minor” infractions in the violence department that should disqualify your new beau instantaneously (but all too often does not).

 

The Two-Timer

For the first time since you’ve been dating, he’s too sick to make a date. You try to ignore the fact that it happens to be your birthday, and you assemble the ingredients for your famous chicken soup. You drop it off inside his door. Two days later, he’s still sick, but you’ve been invited over. You ask if you can heat up some soup for him, and he says, in a small, congested voice, “That would be wonderful.” You pour the soup from the Tupperware into the pot, and you see that there are mushrooms in it. Your famous chicken soup doesn’t contain mushrooms. Conclude that this man has another source of soup and will continue to cheat on you for as long as you give him the chance.

The “Liberated” Man

I used to have a friend who said, “I seem to have a very liberating effect on whatever man I’m dating. We go on three dates, and the next thing I know he’s moved in with me, he’s quit his job, and his car is up on blocks in my yard.” Certain men are more prone to this type of liberation than others, I have found: Carpenters, river guides, and flamenco guitarists all fall into the category of men who are perfectly willing to hand themselves over to the care of a good woman, as well as visual artists, stage performers, and racers (ski, bike, boat) of all kinds.

The Betrayed

I seem to have dated an inordinate number of men who have just been left by a woman for a woman. In general, these men are angry beyond all reason, no matter to what lengths they may go to disguise it, and if you date one, be ready to give up all your girlfriends, or you will be accused of being a lesbian, too.

 

The Narcissist

He doesn’t like your dog? Do we even need to talk about this one? Put it at the top of the category that includes he won’t make eye contact with your kid, he doesn’t want to meet your sister, and he whines the first time you make plans with your girlfriend. A man threatened by the love you have for the dog you sleep with is going to be threatened by more things than you can name. Dating him is inviting the type of conflict into your life that will make you tired before you even get up in the morning.

 

Mr. Resentment

Pay close attention to how he handles your accomplishments. If you get a promotion with a raise and he breaks it down to show you how it really only amounts to six dollars a day after taxes, that’s the first strike. When he uses any expression like “your little project,” count that as two. Just because men are having a hard time adjusting to the idea that women are capable breadwinners doesn’t mean you have to martyr yourself into helping them make the transition. There are men out there who are more than happy to bask in the glow their women cast and to consider your talents a positive reflection on them.

 

The Virtual Lover

What a relief it is when a man doesn’t try to force you into bed on the first date. How charmed you are when, on the third date, he says he wants to wait until “you both can’t stand it anymore.” How sympathetic you become when, on the sixth date, he tells you how badly he was hurt by your predecessor. How confused you are six months later when you’ve realized his pager goes off every time you get naked, but he’s still sending you roses and talking teddy bears. A surprising number of great romancers out there never get around to having sex. To the date-weary woman, this can seem like not the worst combination, but beware. Eventually he will blame his problems on the smell of your breath or the size of your thighs.

 

The Guy Who Had the Happiest Childhood This Side of the Beav

His mother was perfect; his father never smoked or drank or cheated. He hates the way his friends blame their parents for everything, when he and his seven brothers and sisters had love pouring down on them from the moment they woke in the morning until they went to bed. However refreshing this might sound the first time you hear it, listen carefully for a voice that is trying to convince itself, listen for the creak and crack of a personal mythology in the throes of shattering. When it comes crashing to the ground, it’s going to make a very big noise, and most likely your relationship will come crashing down with it.

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When It’s Time to Leave a Relationship

Five women who were stuck in unfulfilling relationships share their wake-up moments.

Alexis Smith: “I wanted to believe him”

Her Story
Alexis was a party girl studying fashion, and George was a shy art student when they met in college. “We were attracted to what the other had to offer,” Alexis says. After years of dating, she married George, shortly after giving birth to their first son.

Alexis began to notice a change in her marriage once her husband opened an art gallery and started staying out late. George admitted to cheating on Alexis while she was pregnant with their third child.

Wake-Up Moment
George begged forgiveness, and Alexis, who was eight months pregnant, gave him another chance. They moved from Manhattan to a quaint country house. But, on the first Christmas Eve in their new home, Alexis discovered that George was in love with another woman and decided that it was time to leave him—for good.

Resolution
George moved out, and Alexis was on her own. That’s when she realized she’d been on her own for years. When George was once again ready to reconcile, Alexis had an epiphany: “If I go back now, I’ll lose any self-respect I’ve mustered over the past months.” She carried on building up her own clothing line and then, unexpectedly, fell in love. “I never thought I’d find love again. Or that someone would love me for me.”

Myra Tillotson Nuriddin: “Seven years of invisibility piled up”

Her Story
Myra was 47 years old and divorced when she met Sulaiman, a man who had 10 children from three previous relationships. Myra, mother to a grown son, and Sulaiman eventually said their “I dos.” Their decision not to invite all of Sulaiman’s children to the wedding backfired, and Myra’s relationship with her stepchildren suffered. Tension built up for years, and Myra often felt disrespected and resented by Sulaiman’s children. “But if I brought it up with Sulaiman, he’d say, ‘Don’t play children’s games—you’ll never win,’” Myra says.

Wake-Up Moment
One Christmas Eve, Myra invited all of Sulaiman’s children over for dinner. After a full day of cooking, her stepchildren trickled in more than an hour late. Angry and hurt, Myra remembers Sulaiman’s oldest son walking right past her when he finally arrived for dinner. “Seven years of painful invisibility piled up into that one moment, and I lost it,” Myra says.

Resolution
After confronting Sulaiman with her concerns, she found a therapist who suggested that she and Sulaiman try an Imago workshop focusing on couples and communication. At the workshop, they learned how to “mirror” each other. “When I’m angry, Sulaiman repeats what I’m saying to him before he responds. That calms me instantly,” Myra says.

The Imago method has also helped work things out with her stepchildren. For their 10th wedding anniversary, Myra and Sulaiman renewed their vows. “All the kids were invited,” Myra says. “When I first said ‘I do’ to Sulaiman, I thought it was just the two of us. This second time around, I knew it was actually 13.”

Michelle Barrett: “We’d get meaner with every fight”

Her Story
Michelle began dating Joe, a rival marketing rep who proposed a year later over ice cream cones in the park. Soon after, the fighting began. “We were constantly getting into stupid arguments that left me feeling alone,” Michelle says. They sought help but the arguments continued to escalate. “We’d get meaner with each fight,” Michelle recalls. “I threatened to leave, and he called my bluff. That’s when I got really scared.”

Wake-Up Moment
Michelle’s biggest fear was losing Joe. A friend mentioned a weekend “reconnecting” workshop for couples, but Michelle had burned out on therapists. Faced with a decision, Michelle’s mother asked her, “If you don’t do this, are you prepared to live with the consequences?” That struck Michelle like lightning. “Joe and I were in a hurtful holding pattern,” she says. “My mom’s words jolted me into action.”

Resolution
At the workshop, the first exercise was an exorcism. “We had to act out a scary childhood moment,” Michelle recalls. “[My stepfather] was extremely verbally abusive to me, and my model for how men acted. So if Joe disagreed with me, I’d hear my stepfather and freak out.”

Following the workshop, Michelle confronted her stepfather, who apologized for treating her badly. Now, she says, “whenever I’m mad at Joe, I ask myself, ‘What’s this really about?’” As a result, the arguments don’t escalate. “We love each other too much to let minor blowups tear us apart,” Michelle says.

Megan Davis: “I wanted to help him get better”

Her Story
Megan met Greg while studying abroad in Australia. He was a free spirit who often needed time by himself and would often go off for weekends alone. Meanwhile, Megan took on all the domestic duties of their relationship. “I was so often worried about his feelings that I would do all these things to make his life easier,” she says.

After eight years of dating, Greg confessed to Megan that he was depressed and began taking antidepressants. Soon after, he proposed to Megan during a trip to Taiwan. Six weeks before their September wedding, Greg came home in tears and wanted to postpone the wedding. He started therapy and, two months later, asked Megan to join him in seeing the therapist. “I readily agreed,” she says. “I wanted to help him get better.”

Wake-Up Moment
After eight sessions, Megan felt “we were going in circles.” The therapist told them to work on their communication skills, but they still hadn’t done the assignments from the first session. “I knew then that I had done all I could, and that Greg’s moodiness was going to be his lifelong struggle,” Michelle says. “I wanted him to be happy, but I finally realized that I couldn’t do that for him.”

Resolution
At first, the loneliness was palpable. “I spent my 20s with one man, and suddenly I was alone,” she says. “Regaining my self-confidence was hard.”

Now, Michele says she knows she made the right decision. “I have a therapist friend who once told me if I was meant to leave Greg, I’d know in my gut when the time came,” she says. “Acting on that moment made me realize I can trust myself.”

Sarah Albertson: “He was a good man, but he was dull”

Her Story
After Sarah’s first date with Richard, she didn’t plan on seeing him again. But after getting fired from her job and facing a July 4 weekend alone, she called him back. He was different from the guys she normally dated, but he filled a void. “I was very lonely and insecure—and unlucky in love,” she says. “I thought he was as good as it would get for me.”

They married, moved from Manhattan to Santa Barbara and started a family. “My life seemed full, but it wasn’t. I didn’t love my husband,” she says. “I faulted myself for not liking him more—he was a good man, but he was dull.”

Wake-Up Moment
One night, Sarah came home late, exhausted and looking for comfort. Instead, she found her husband and two children asleep in her bed—leaving no room for her. After putting her kids to bed, she decided that she couldn’t pretend anymore. “My husband initiated sex,” Sarah recalls. “And I started crying. He asked, ‘What’s wrong?’ I said, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’” He didn’t fight it.

Resolution
“I had finally found the courage to leap,” she says.

Sarah signed up for Match.com several months after the split. “Everybody told me it was too soon to date,” she recalls. “I was like, ‘I’ve waited my whole life for romance.’”

Through Match, Sarah met Adam, who she married in 2000. Their relationship isn’t perfect—”we have disagreements that leave me frustrated—but I feel passionate about him. That’s the big difference.”

 

 

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Verbal Abuse: How To Save Yourself

By Annie Gottlieb

 

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. How many women think of that schoolyard rhyme while reeling from a partner’s put-downs or angry outbursts? The rhyme’s a lie, says Patricia Evans, author of The Verbally Abusive Relationship—the book that helped change Brandy’s life. Cruel words can do worse than break bones: They can break your spirit, cripple your confidence, even make you physically ill.

“This can happen to any woman, with any family background or career,” she says. “It’s happened to psychologists, lawyers, doctors, teachers, Web designers, mommies—even the director of a women’s shelter.” A woman falls into the trap because the abuse takes her by surprise. “He isn’t abusive while he’s courting you,” Evans says. “But once he gets you, he switches—and you have no idea why.”

How can his voice drown out your inner knowing? Patricia Evans explains.

    • The abuse only happens when you’re alone with him. Friends and coworkers might think he’s a prince, so you doubt your own perceptions or believe his anger must be your fault.

 

    • Verbal abuse escalates gradually; you adapt. (The abuse might also become physical.) He’s Jekyll and Hyde, with just enough sweet times to keep you hoping the relationship will improve.

 

  • Assuming he’s rational (aren’t all men?) and wants what you want (loving mutuality), you strain to make sense of what he says. But it’s nonsense, designed to confuse you. The shocking truth is, he seeks control, not intimacy.

Yet you can save your spirit. Evans maps out the steps to emotional rescue:

    • Recognize that the abuse has nothing to do with you or your actions or qualities.

 

    • Stop trying to explain and defend yourself. Instead, start setting limits: “Cut that out!” or “I don’t want to hear that.”

 

    • Listen carefully to your feelings. Believe them, not him.

 

    • Get support from a counselor or therapist. Make sure she understands that this isn’t just a “conflict” or an “argument.”

 

  • Keep in mind that an abuser might be able to change himself if he really wants to—but you can’t change him. You can honor and nurture yourself.

Seven Signs You’re In A Verbally Abusive Relationship

A checklist from the book that woke up Brandy:

    1. He seems irritated or angry with you several times a week. When you ask why he’s mad, he either denies it or tells you it’s in some way your fault.

 

    1. When you feel hurt and try to talk with him, the issues never get resolved. He might refuse to discuss your upset feelings by saying “You’re just trying to start an argument!” or claiming he has no idea what you’re talking about.

 

    1. You frequently feel frustrated because you can’t get him to understand your intentions.

 

    1. You’re upset—not so much about concrete issues like how much time to spend together, but about communication: what he thinks you said and what you heard him say.

 

    1. You sometimes think, “What’s wrong with me? I shouldn’t feel so bad.”

 

    1. He seems to take the opposite view from you on almost everything, and his opinion isn’t stated as “I think,” but as if you’re wrong and he’s right.

 

  1. You can’t recall saying “Cut it out!” or “Stop it!”

Adapted from The Verbally Abusive Relationship © 1992, 1996 by Patricia Evans. Printed with permission from Adams Media.

 

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The Good Relationship

By Damilola Ceaf Staff

 

Trying to have a good and promising relationship is not something that comes easily; there are serious obstacles that make it unbearable and un-enduring. When seeing two people with mutual feelings and qualities trying to maintain a good relationship but still they make errors. Having qualities sometime does not guarantee a perfect relationship but how the relationship is been maintained by each partner is paramount.

Sometimes people find it difficult to realize that they were in the wrong relationship but still they wanted to continue just because they believed other partner can change over time. Some even contemplate if they should find another partner so as not to waste time and energy on a phony relationship. Here are few ways to improve and maintain a good relationship.

Communication: This is important in a relationship because it enable individual to share common and related interest/story or gist, the way we talk and listen to each other.  Trying to know each other matter a lot, so as not to offend each other, keeping silence kills a relationship. What we want to communicate to our partner should be clear and positive. Some people find it difficult to discuss some things with their partner but this should not be so, both partners should be free to talk to themselves about their feelings and other things. With this, both partners will correct their errors and maintain a lasting relationship.

Trust: This is why most relationship fails; trust really matters in a relationship, when partners trust themselves there will be freedom of expression of any issue with each other.  When there is no trust one party might thinks the other is cheating and does not have the same feeling he or she have. When there is no trust several accusations of wrong doing shall be brought up.

Honesty: when both party are honest with each other the relationship tend to work perfectly, because with this no one has something to hide, being sincere to each other do not only prove our honesty but makes others learn from us.

Knowing how to apologise and forgive: We are all human and we all make mistake some time, so no one is a saint but, when we make mistakes we should be able to tender an apology to our partner and as well forgive one another when we make mistakes after all, to err is human, and to forgive is divine.

Dialogue: In a relationship issues/matters should be discussed thoroughly though argument will arise but conclusion should be met, no one should try to blame a situation on another partner.

Separate feelings from fact: When you love someone, it actually gets into your head but when trying to do something you should try and act or say the fact and not base it on feeling.  Because this actually will be your weakness and it will be used against you.

Ask questions: sometimes it might be a foolish question but try to ask what you really don’t understand, so as to make you know who you are dealing with. This really help in trying to know you partner very well.

And lastly be Committed: putting everything in Faith is also important and because he never fails.

With this I think we have helped someone in his or her relationship

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Why some Marriage fails

By Damilola CEAF Staff

 

 

People want to be love, have a good family, and prove to their mate they are responsible but they never know how to keep their marriage moving on the right track. Deadly mistakes are made before marriage and this always bring on  the red flag, there are mistakes been made that cost you your marriage. In fact, this mistake may be done without even realizing it.

Do you actually complain about your partner a lot, do you actually bring up issues that do not really matters and make it a serious on, when this is done there will always be a constant fight between the both of you because unnecessary issues will be brought up every time, if this is true about you and that is actually one of the mistake killing your marriage.

Each partner start monitoring each other and finding fault in themselves, when giving and receiving a ring on your wedding day, signing that document and also making vows to accept you partner in good and bad times are not just regular things made to be done on wedding days, but this are done for each partner to accept each other’s flaws. We are all human and we make mistake, but mistakes are meant to be corrected and not for accusation “every single person in this world has flaws”.

It now become  too common that as time goes on people get comfortable and take each other for granted, these little  issues become large in our mind and we forget to appreciate what our partner does so well because we’re focusing on that one thing he or she can’t do right.

Fixing this issue takes two steps. The first one is realizing you’re doing it if you don’t already. The second is how to stop and what issues are worth letting go… and what aren’t.

Are You Slamming Your Partner Too Much?

Do you actually tell close people and about your partners flaws or wrong doing? Do you nag at your partner so if this really happens you really no focusing on how to improve your marriage but killing it gradually.

How to Stop

First, you should know why you get obsessed over these small issues or why you keep nagging at your partner so much, are you really happy with it? If you aren’t happy with it, you should get yourself back to happiness, and that may means seeing a counselor. Perhaps you need to devote some time alone with your man. Maybe it’s time to even spice things up a bit. Or why not try a new hobby or activity with your partner?

Stop doing the same thing over and over. The trick is to break out of it when it’s happening. Don’t resist. Be open to change.

If you start to contribute to your partners life positively, quit complaining and checking your partner’s flaw, Every time you have something good to say, you’re investing in your partner life positively and every time you have something bad to say, you’re withdrawing. What marriage require is by saying to you partner that “Even if you drive me crazy, I love you too much to be without you.

 

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Ways to know someone will be your real match

By Damilola CEAF Staff

 

There are different people finding themselves in a relationship but at time it is very difficult know who their real match is. In a relationship you want to find someone who you share the same belief, interests, and goal together. In a relationship you should know and understand your partner, compatibility matters in a relationship as well so has not to have a fail or broken marriage.

 

How do you know if your partner is your real match: There ways to assess the level of compatibility in your relationship.

  1. Examine your partner carefully: Time should be created by you and your partners to know each other very well, with this, similarities and differences between you will be revealed.
  2. Know your qualities: What are the things you have and don’t have, things that are you are share in common, what you are looking for, what you want and what you want to stay away from. With this you will really what you are dealing with.
  3. Don’t pretend of having mutual feelings: Don’t ever pretend of having the same feelings or interest, don’t act out just because you like what you see but let your partner know what you really enjoy doing if you do this you are really not pulling your legs over time, this false passion will fade away.
  4. Assess your combination. Try to know what you have in common, what you like and what your partner likes as well, so with this you will know the kind of activities you can both do together.
  5. Share family background: Meeting and showing your family to your partner is also help because it makes you know the kind of relative you will be dealing with in future.
  6. Identify the differences that do exist. No matter how you share the same interest, there will definitely be a certain difference between the both of you. Having differences doesn’t make it the end of the relationship, this are thing you should work on.
  7. Ask question about future. Know what you and your partner have for yourself in future. Ask question about how your partner see himself self in the nearest future, how he hope to build up a family. Know if your goals and aspirations for the future match each other’s?

 

  1. Evaluate your adaptability. This will be a vital point for handling each other and also know areas where you aren’t compatible.

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What real mean want in a woman

By Damilola CEAF Staff

There are certain things about a woman that will always make any man want to go after her and make him come to a decision to get to know her on a deeper level. Dressing well and applying make ups does make you a great woman or doesn’t make a man want to make you is wife but there are different things men want from women which you need to know.

So what does a mature, REAL man want in a woman?

#1) A Real Man Wants A Woman Who Is Playful
Men really like to be playful, they play a lot and want to connect that with their woman and also people around them but most women makes mistakes of trying to be free sometime, have fun but they will actually get serious all the time and want to talk and talk to the man thinking they will get the heart of the man with this way.  Sometimes your words is not actually the main thing that get a man attracted to you, it’s what you create with him.

You can watch or play sports together, be competitive in casual games you’ll really ramp up the attraction and interest.

#2) A Real Man Wants A Woman Who Is Independent

Women definitely make the mistake of believing that men are looking for someone who they can exercise power on, give other to and then they will follow, but they gotten it all wrong at this point because men really want someone will motivate them, impact new ideas into them and also give advice.

Men want a woman who inspires them because she has great things going on her own life. They want a woman who has her own idea other than being in a relationship.

What matters to a man is that a woman still has space in her life for a great relationship and is grounded and present when she’s with him.

When women stays busy in their own life and not suddenly make man is priority.  Don’t neglect your own personal activity, interests, responsibilities and friends just to be with him always.  And also when you are with him let him feel your presence have fun and give your attention to him and what you’re doing together.

#3) A Real Man Wants A Woman Who Is Emotionally Mature

A woman should learn how to handle are feelings to a man in a calm way and make him understand she is mature, a man should be able to understand you feelings in other to connect to you world.  How a woman controls her emotions is really important and these are things men look for when deciding whether or not to get serious with a woman.  If she lets her emotions get out of hand it is dangerous.

On the other hand, if her feelings are presented in a calm manner, she will win his respect and make him feel like a better partner to him.  He’ll see that she can handle things very well rather waiting to be treated like a queen.

#4) A Real Man Wants A Woman He’s Intensely Attracted To
You are not to force a man to like you that fast in a relationship but instead you should keep calm and let thing work naturally,  There’s nothing more interesting in relationship to a man than to have a great woman who knows how to relax and have fun.

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