Run away! Run away! And take care of yourself!

Every so often I get emails— and, sadly, I have to report that I am not always great at responding to them. Although, I do love getting them. I got an email 5 days ago from S.P. and I feel I want to respond.

S.P. wrote because she is in, what to me sounds like, an abusive relationship with a Chilean and she wants advice. She describes him as “overbearing, controlling, extremely, jealous, pushy, macho, inconsiderate, rude, selfish, suspicious, distrustful”, but also at times “sweet”.

My first reaction is that what S.P. is experiencing is all too common and is an abusive relationship.  It has nothing to do with the fact that the partner is Chilean… but rather the controlling tendencies can be found in people (male or female) from all cultures.  Here are some signs that you are in an abusive relationship:

To determine whether your relationship is abusive, answer the questions below. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you’re in an abusive relationship.

Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior
Do you:

  • feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
  • avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
  • feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  • feel emotionally numb or helpless?
Does your partner:

  • humiliate or yell at you?
  • criticize you and put you down?
  • treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
  • ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • blame you for his own abusive behavior?
  • see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or Threats Your Partner’s Controlling Behavior
Does your partner:

  • have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  • hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • threaten to take your children away or harm them?
  • threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
  • force you to have sex?
  • destroy your belongings?
Does your partner:

  • act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • control where you go or what you do?
  • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
  • constantly check up on you?

My next thought was about a statistic that I used to know: on average, a woman leaves an abusive relationship 7 times before actually leaving for good.

Being in a very positive relationship, it is hard for me to imagine the position that S.P. is in.  But I hope that in her position I would leave.  I would leave for myself.  For any future children that might be part of the family.  And for the knowledge that I deserve more.

S.P. , you asked my advice.  Here it is: run.  Find a way out.  If you need, find help.

Women don’t have to live in fear:

Male victims of abuse can call:

In the US, The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men & Women specializes in supporting male victims of abuse and offers a 24-hour helpline: 1-888-7HELPLINE (1-888-743-5754)
UK: ManKind Initiative offers a national helpline at 01823 334244.

Australia: One in Three Campaign offers help and resources for male victims.



One comment

  1. Thanks for posting this information. I agree that it sounds like she should get out of that relationship ASAP.

    S.P., if you’re in Chile, try calling 149 (Fono Familia). It’s a police-run hotline dedicated to helping people facing domestic violence.

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