Channel: Haleh Banani
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What are the signs of being in an abusive relationship? Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I'm going to dedicate each marriage mending Mondays, to talking about abuse, since it's so prevalent in our communities and just throughout the world. So I'm going to share with you the seven signs, the seven signs that you are in an abusive relationship, and inshallah it will shed some light. And each time we'll discuss how to deal with it. So the first sign first of all, tell me if you know, anyone who is in this situation, and I'm sure majority of people will respond, you can just say me, or you could say I know someone. And this way we can see how prevalent it is, most of
the people that I have worked with, I've had the privilege of working with 1000s of people over the past 24 years internationally. And what I see is that it is so common, so whether it is seeing your parents be in an abusive relationship, seeing your family members, sometimes your siblings, and sometimes you're in it yourself, so just indicate if someone that has experienced domestic violence, and I just want it to be very evident that most people have experienced some level of domestic violence. Okay, so the first sign of being in an abusive relationship. One is that the person is extremely possessive, they're possessive, they are controlling, they want to know where you are, who
you're with what you're doing, they try to limit your, whether it is your spending, whether it's who you're spending time with. So this level of control is very common. With people who are abusive, they want to control where you're going, what you're doing, and who you're spending time with. The second characteristic is a person is very jealous, they're jealous. And so they're always accusing you of either flirting or cheating, they could really restrict your interactions. And this jealousy is not just for the opposite gender, they may be very jealous of any relationship that you have any close meaningful relationships that you have, will create this level of jealousy. The third
characteristic is that they will put you down. So these put down it could be publicly or privately. And there is a constant criticism about your abilities, your intelligence, your looks, your capabilities, whatever it is that you're doing. So there's a constant putting down. And this is a way of making you have low self esteem. Because when you have low self esteem, and there's this constant reminder that no one would be interested in you, only I can put up with you is a way to lock the victim in the relationship. So they feel that they are worthless, they feel that they have nothing to offer, and that no one else would be interested in them. And sadly, this happens with so
many of the clients I've worked with, they feel completely depleted of energy, they have no sense of self worth. And that's why they feel like they deserve it, that they they should be abused, because they're such bad people. And this is a wrong analysis. And we're going to talk about this further. Inshallah. The fourth characteristic is constant threats. So there's the threat of I'm leaving you, there's the threat that I'm going to be violent with you, there's the threat that I'm going to tell people about you. So whatever it is, that is constantly making you feel fearful, right. So this is a tactic that is used to also keep a person in place so that they're not responding back, that they
don't run away. So they feel so fearful all the time. The fifth sign is that there's actual physical violence, and this is quite common. And something we need to realize is that domestic violence does not is not limited to a certain culture. It's not limited to a certain socio economical background. It's not limited to certain places it is affects everyone it affects people affects the rich and the poor, the same, it affects the educated and the uneducated. I have surgeons who have this habit of domestic violence. I have people who are extremely knowledgeable within the deen. So it's not about someone if they're religious, then they won't do this. If they're educated, they won't do if they're
wealthy. Unfortunately, everyone is affected by the domestic violence. So you find that these threats that physical the physical violence is is when usually people start taking action right
When they start getting physically hurt, and other people start becoming aware of it, then the sixth characteristic is someone who has a bad temper, when they have a bad temper, and they are constantly yelling, they may be cursing, they are using, they're breaking things, they may break the items that you love, just in spite of you just to make you angry just to hurt you. So you find that the bad temper is one of the signs of an abusive relationship. And the seventh is a person who has very unpredictable behavior. People are always walking on eggshells, it could be the spouse, it could be the children, they never know what is going to trigger the person. So it's like walking a minefield.
And it's it's still a lot of fear. So you need to really become aware of the signs. And once because it's very easy to dismiss them. It's very easy to overlook. But once you see that many of these checkoff and I would love for you to jot these down for those who don't have time to watch the video. So first, we said possessiveness, second was jealousy. Third was put downs. Fourth was threats. Fifth was physical violence, six was bad temper, and seventh was being unpredictable. So if you find that you are in a relationship like that, or someone who is in a relationship like that, it's very critical to open up your eyes and really evaluate the danger, evaluate what you are
experiencing. And realize, first and foremost, that it's not your fault, because I know many of the clients that I've had, they blame themselves, the victims, because they have been stripped of their self esteem, because they've been constantly criticized, it's very easy to feel that they are to blame for this. And so I want you to first know that you deserve to be respected, you deserve to be loved, you deserve to have peace in your home, you deserve to live without fear. So you need to evaluate what you need to do if you need to get professional help if you need to get the support of friends or family. And you need to be able to assess what is the danger of this. Now, sometimes it
could be to a person just has a bad temper, they're a little bit moody, and they don't have the other characteristics and you feel I can deal with the mood. And other times you find that every single sign of an abusive relationship is there. And and you're not doing anything about it. And something I want to remind everyone is that being patient does not mean taking a beating. I know that this there's a misconception within our communities. And it is very sad for me to say this, but many of the sisters I have worked with, they think that being a good Muslim, being a good wife means staying quiet and not speaking up when there is physical abuse. And that is not the case, you're not
expected to stay in an abusive relationship. Now you can talk to the person, maybe take some measures and realize set some strong boundaries. And we'll talk about this more. But real that is not necessarily a sign of a good moment, just taking a beating. Because this is going to destroy your self esteem, it's going to destroy your spirituality, it's going to destroy everything about you. And there is a way of resolving conflict, there is a way I'm not telling you to necessarily leave either it is about recognizing assessing, I don't know your situation. I don't know how severe it is. But it is important to assess the seriousness of the situation. Many times I have found that
people may fall into these abusive relationships. And they don't even realize that maybe it's because of their past. It's because of their upbringing, and they learn the right marriage skills and they're able to correct themselves. So I'm not telling you to end it. I'm not necessarily telling you to stay in an abusive relationship you have to assess and if you have a hard time assessing, make sure you talk to a professional seek that guidance, get that support and realize that being a good Muslim
means respecting yourself. And it means living in peace and making sure that you your children are safe. And I have seen many cases of domestic violence when the man is the victim as well. So we usually tend to think of it as only something that women go through, but men have been subjected to domestic
violence as well. And it can get quite serious. Sometimes knives are pulled out, sometimes it's quite serious. And so you need to really assess the seriousness of it. And really recognize that there can be steps to either making the relationship better stopping the abuse, or recognizing that this is dangerous for yourself for your, for your kids, and having to end it. And I pray that all of you who are going through this, I can understand how deeply wounded you may feel, it's hard to imagine it's hard to put ourselves in the shoes of a person who has gone through this. But we have that empathy of those who are going through it, how it really breaks you, I have seen friends go
through this, I have seen clients go through those family members. And it is heartbreaking. And I just want to let you know, you're not alone if you're going through this. And you don't have to continue suffering like this. So please, either make the situation better, make it a safe place, make your home a place of peace and tranquility, or recognize that it is dangerous, and find a way to get yourself out of this. I would love to help you in getting yourself out of this situation or making your relationship better. Inshallah I have some free resources if you can download. If you go to holep unani.com. Under courses, you can get some free video training, or you can download the
free PDF, there seems to be some questions.
What if the person changes all the signs you've mentioned? But it's only because we have eyewitnesses all around the country in our neighborhood? What if you see, it may not be sincere? Can it be long lasting? Very good question. Alina, it can be and it really varies with individuals. If a person really wants to change, I believe that change is possible. This is why I'm in this professional if I didn't believe that people can change. I would never choose this profession. I've seen people transform. But there has to be a sense of commitment. I find those who let's say seek counseling and they're consistent with the counseling. I've had clients who will go to anger
management consistently they will do let's say they will do the psych evaluation and find out what is it a lot of times there's underlying psychological problems. And when they address it, and they treat it, then things becomes tremendously better. So it's a matter of commitment, it's a matter of what are they willing to do. I don't want you to just believe that I'm going to be better they have to show it with their actions. And if there are any other questions, let me know. But in sha Allah that Allah guides each and every one of you if you are in this situation, may Allah make it crystal clear what it is that you're supposed to do that you've that you are provided with the support the
love the understanding, and please don't be hard on yourself. And don't think that you have to just take the abuse, take with care to Sakala Hayden's Salam Alikum