If This is Love, Why Do I Feel So Bad?

A healthy relationship is based on trust and respect. In a good relationship, you have fun together. You feel like you can be yourself. You can have different opinions and interests. You listen to each other and trust each other.

You can compromise, say you're sorry, talk arguments out, and spend time on your own. Sometimes abusive relationships can start just like healthy ones — full of love, excitement, and romance. Abusive relationships have good times and bad times. This can be very confusing and painful when there is love mixed with abuse.

Some signs of an abusive relationship are extreme jealousy, not wanting you to be with friends, threats, name-calling, possessiveness, and shouting. It can escalate to hurting someone physically and forced sex.

You may feel nervous and scared, like you're not good enough. You may be confused and do things you don't want to do. Someone who abuses you may also make you feel like you are to blame for their behavior.

Remember if you are in a relationship and when someone loves you, you must be treated with respect and feel valued and free to be yourself. You shouldn't be made to feel intimidated or controlled. Someone who loves you should help you feel good about yourself.

Get help if your love hurts.

If something about your relationship scares you, and you need to talk, call us:

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) (TTY 1-800-787-3224)

Help is available in English, Spanish, and many other languages.

All contact with the hotline is free and confidential.