Besides the obvious things like committing dangerous crimes, there are certain signs of an abusive relationship that you should never ignore…

Everyone makes mistakes and we should give people the gift of forgiveness – for ourselves as much as for the sake of the individual who hurt us.

Some romantic partners deserve second chances. After all, no one is perfect, and sometimes it takes tweaking and life lessons to make the love between two people great.

But other times, your boyfriend or girlfriend’s actions are so heinous, offensive and unkind that you can never give them a shot at love again. When bad behaviour turns to abuse, a breakup is definitely in order.

Besides the obvious things like committing dangerous crimes, there are certain signs of an abusive relationship that you should never ignore, and some of them are sneaky.

WIN a R 2,000 Woolworths Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

1. Sleeping with your friend or someone close to you

Infidelity happens and, in some cases, forgiveness is a sign of growth for both parties. But if someone sleeps with your close friend? No. This is not someone you should get involved with.

A stranger, I could “understand”. But if your partner goes and sleeps with your bestie, it’s not okay. That’s not about cheating, it’s about hurting you. That’s abuse. Burn the bridge – for both of them. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

2. They publicly humiliate you

If your partner tells everyone you had a drug problem, and shares deep secrets publicly (and not just with a close best friend) for all to know, burn that bridge.

3. They harm your child

If you have a child and your spouse or dating partner harms your kid, that is unforgivable. Children are innocents. If this person is abusive to kids, there is no hope for that awful soul.

If your partner threatens you with divorce or to dump you every single time you do something wrong – day after day, after day – that is cruelty right there

4. They start stalking you

If someone stalks you, this is scary and not normal or loving. This is pretty much a no-brainer. Run for cover!

5. Forcing you to do something sexually

A partner does not push or force anyone to do something they don’t want to do sexually. It doesn’t matter how committed you are, if you’ve done it in the past, or even if you’re married. Sexual abuse in marriage can happen, too.

If your partner tries to rig up a threesome or belittle, force or verbally or physically abuse you to do something you do not want to do, this is never normal. Sex is supposed to be consensual, always. Otherwise, it’s high time for a breakup.

6. Threatening you with divorce or abandonment

If your partner threatens you with divorce or to dump you every single time you do something wrong – day after day, after day – that is cruelty right there.

Do not go back to someone who makes you anxious that they’re going to leave you if you do not behave well all the time. That person is clearly obsessed with control, and this is one of the major signs of an abusive relationship.

7. Lying in therapy

If the two of you go to marriage counselling or couples counselling and your partner is lying in therapy, run away. If they can’t be honest in a therapeutic setting in which the two of you trying to work things out, that person is in denial.

Walk away unless they are ready to come clean and explain that they are lying.

8. They’re verbally abusive

Obviously, physical abuse is a no-no, but a partner that degrades you by calling you names, or speaks down to you as if you are lesser-than, is worth slamming the door on for good.

Do we all get mad sometimes? Yes. Someone calls you a jerk or an assh*le, but life goes on and that person should apologise and never do that again. None of us are perfect, but verbal abuse is different to having a bad moment.

Verbal abuse can be defined in so many ways, but if someone orders you around, denies your feelings or belittles them, talks down to you, and makes nasty jokes at your expense, run as fast as you can.

9. Using you – financially, sexually, or otherwise

A person who uses you for gain, whether it’s for a green card, for money or for sex, is someone that needs to be cut out of your life. That is not someone who cares about you but only cares about one thing… and in this case, that is clearly not you.

This article was first published on YourTango.