Time and time again, the same type of tweet will occur. It’s usually a guy telling his girlfriend how to and how not to dress, or that she’s not allowed to talk to any other men beside him. Or the girl threatening any woman that tries to come at her man or even talk to him, or coming after any woman that isn’t her who tries to talk to her man.
People on and off Twitter praise this type of behavior as people being loyal. Yet they don’t realize that that is a sign of an abusive partner. They control who you can and can’t come in contact with and control what you wear. Because there are no bruises, people think that this is okay and that it’s normal. It’s not. It is not normal to have control over your partner.
This type of abusive behavior has been so normalized that people think that control is an actual part of a relationship. While scrolling through my twitter, I saw a tweet that people spread around.
She deserves girlfriend of the year pic.twitter.com/X9WHQ57sMq
— ️ (@imWaavey) November 30, 2016
Many applauded the girl for telling the man who wanted to ignite a conversation with her, that out of respect for her boyfriend, she does not talk to any other men. Not only is it bad that she feels the only man she is allowed to talk to is her boyfriend, it is normalizing the behavior that your partner is the only person you are supposed to talk to.
So many guys tell their girlfriends that they are not allowed to speak or acknowledge any other man beside them, and sadly, women end up agreeing. Why? Because they believe that that is loyal behavior. They think that their man is “jealous” when seeing their girlfriends speaking to other men. First of all, if your partner is jealous, get out because jealousy turns into anger, which turns to rage, which turns into abuse. So many men and women are ignoring the firsthand signs of an abusive relationship and passing them off as jealousy.
If your partner is telling you who you can and cannot speak to, that is not jealousy. That is having a form of control over you: isolation. You are not allowed to speak to anyone other than your partner. And when you agree to cut off ties with someone you’ve known for years because of puppy love for someone you’ve known for a few months, you are allowing yourself to be controlled. You are giving them the power that you did not know. If they are telling you what you can and cannot wear, that is control over your body. You are giving them control over your body. If they are telling you to cut off that friend of the opposite sex because they probably have “feelings” for you, you are letting them have control over your mind.
Your partner is not jealous, they are abusive. Abuse comes in many forms, and it is not always physical. A partner can be emotionally, mentally, sexually, verbally, psychologically, academic, economic, and more. Lifetime Movie Channel even made a movie Reviving Ophelia, about a girl who refuses to see the signs that her boyfriend is abusive, and even when he starts hitting her, she still refuses to leave. The movie itself reminds me of an anecdote commonly used to express abusive relationships:
If a frog is put suddenly into a pot of boiling water, the frog will jump out. If you put a frog into a pot of cold water and gradually turn up the heat to a boil slowly, the frog will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.
To learn more about abusive relationships and recognize the signs quickly, you can visit Capital EAP.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is also available.
Or call them at: 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)