1. You discover what you won't tolerate off of others despite your putting up with your emotional and/or physical abuser. Look at your own life before holding the microscope under someone else's.
2. You realize that you are not as strong as you think and that you have a lot of work that still needs to be done to self-improve. You may not be physically beaten, but emotionally, you are scarred.
3. Your partner has mental and/or physical issues that you can't solve, so why bother trying?
4. You begin to look toward people and things you think you can control, but realize you are pushing them away, because you don't have yourself together.
5. You notice that you are not enjoying the people and things you once did, because a judgmental mate is taking up too much of your time and energy while changing your opinion of others due to his or her negative talk.
6. You aren't growing old gracefully. You are often in pain or under some degree of stress.
7. You have frequent mean thoughts.
8. You might not be doing so well in other areas of your life like you did prior to meeting him/her.
9. Your identity is getting lost or has long been discarded since meeting your partner.
10. You may be moody, impatient, abusive, rude, brazen, and more just like your mate.
11. You lie or exaggerate to yourself and others about your relationship, rather than tell the truth.
12. Your children don't respect you.
One of the valuable things I learned about loving difficult people is I don't have to love, like or care for them especially when I know full well I have my own share of personal troubles. Time-out for me! Life goes on for me! I put them in God's hands. I am simply a messenger, an assistant, and a friend, but not a scapegoat or something that someone can wipe their feet off on!
Difficult people will put demands on you. They will tell you what they expect from you and how you should deliver on meeting their needs, but who cares about yours!? Well, I don't know about you, but no one in this life is so important that I have to lose my mind, body and spirit in order to get what little from them I think I deserve from a compliment to money--no one! When you do things like that, you are putting that person in a godlike position in your life that should be reserved for your heavenly Creator.
When you are programmed/charmed/swindled into thinking someone sincerely loves you, the truth begins to unravel. You start realizing that what he or she claims is love really is not. You discover you are merely being used and abused. They might boast much about how much you mean to them and thank you a lot for all you do, but the truth still remains, he or she isn't in love or like with you, but in what you might call a relationship and secretly they see as an opportunity that the individual sunk his or her teeth into. (Some of you readers might even have partners that literally like to nibble you with teeth or suck skin until they see a mark.) These people are emotional vampires! They suck your time and energy and before long you are left feeling much hurt inside.
When you see yet another relationship storm coming, the best thing you can do is remain quiet, look for that umbrella of shelter (money savings, job, home, hobby, etc.) and make plans to get away from the abuser. Whether you walk out of a room or pack up and move out of the home. It doesn't matter if you are 20, 30, or 40 plus or been married three months or 30 plus years! Now if you can't leave, you will have to tolerate some things whether you want to or not. It's unfortunate but men and women who have been in abusive relationships for so long do this. They have trained themselves to just sit or stand and take the abuse while hoping things will be better tomorrow and the next and the next. There are always options: leave, listen and take it, or argue, curse, threaten, and more right back, but all you are doing when you choose the third option is turning into an abuser too. Two wrongs don't make it right!
Laboring to love is just that, you are working to love someone who doesn't really show you the kind of love that uplifts, encourages, cautions, and assists you emotionally and physically. With each passing day you love someone who is mentally disturbed (abusive people have personality disorders), while feeling sick yourself, you are getting further away from your core being, closer to the grave, and not fulfilling your calling in life. If you pray, ask Him to direct your path and before long your world will no longer be as you know it today! you will see your life with a different pair of eyes and will want to do some things differently. Your abuser won't like the new you, but keep pressing on anyway while you do you just might need assistance from a pastor, social worker, law enforcement, attorney, trusted friends, etc. utilize what is out there! Don't try to do everything alone and end up far worse.