Are You With an Abuser or Just an Asshole?

Where exactly is that line?

Suzanna Quintana
The Virago

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Photo by Chien Nguyen Minh on Unsplash

We all know what physical abuse looks like.

If you’re being hit, pushed around, or punched in the stomach, there’s little doubt you realize this is not okay and the person doing this to you is abusive.

I apologize for the visual. But the point I’m trying to make requires a type of honesty that I wish someone had offered me all those years ago — when I used to want my husband to hit me so that I could prove my pain.

And if that doesn’t reveal the trauma of non-physical abuse and how equally damaging it is, I don’t know what does.

So I want to talk about that fine line I used to walk (tiptoe on eggshells is more like it) in a marriage where I disassociated on a daily basis to avoid seeing the man I’d married as he really was.

An abuser.

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s complicated when you’re in it, when you’re in love. Especially if there is no physical abuse involved.

But what about the other behaviors of someone, like the tactics used by the person you’re in a relationship with designed to take your power away and keep you under control?

How are you supposed to tell if they’re an abuser or just an asshole? Or what if…

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Suzanna Quintana
The Virago

My voice is my superpower. Editor-in-Chief of The Virago. Founder of The Online Sanctuary for Healing After Narcissistic Abuse. www.suzannaquintana.com