Young woman who is being abused hides her faceYou meet someone at church services, and he is charming, single, and interested in you. This is exciting, and because you met at church, you believe he must be a good and kind person.
As your relationship grows, he starts to act jealous. He doesn’t want you to go out with your friends or hang out with your family. At first, you think it is kind of sweet that he wants you all to himself, but there is a little warning bell that goes off in the back of your mind. You push that feeling away because you know he loves you, and everything will be fine.
Unfortunately, you should probably listen to this warning bell. Abusers come in all shapes and sizes, and you can meet them anywhere from a bar to church. They are generally well-liked by those around them, and you may have no indication they are an abuser when you first meet.
Learn to listen to your instincts and watch for these 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship. Many times, the person who is being abused believes that it’s their fault and that they somehow “deserve” the abuse. It’s important to know that you’re never to blame for the abusive way this person is treating you.
Many times, women in an abusive relationship end up pregnant. Sometimes it is part of the abuser’s control strategy. It is used as a way to make the abused woman feel she cannot leave and is dependent on the abuser.
This is when you need to find the strength and courage to protect yourself and your baby. The abuse in your relationship will not end when the baby comes, and your child will be at great risk of becoming a victim of abuse as well.
You do have options. In escaping your situation, you may find that parenting is not the right choice for you at this time. Open adoption is a way to ensure your baby is safe and brought up in a loving, stable home. You can receive updates and even visit with your child.
An Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime can help you with your adoption plan. She can provide support, information, and referrals to counseling to help you move forward to a healthy and happy life.
If you find you are in an abusive relationship, do not try and handle it on your own. Ask a church minister, family member, or trusted friend to help you get out of the relationship. You must make sure you are safe. Get help and advice by calling the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Written by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).

Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.

“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!

Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.

I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.

It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”

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