When abusive relationships are being discussed, the first thing that comes to mind is domestic violence. The truth, in reality, is domestic violence may not even be the only case in question. Manipulation, gaslighting and emotional abuse generally are also known behaviours that can cause a relationship to be tagged as abusive. More often than not, abuse, in any of its forms, is not easily recognized early enough in a relationship. This is mostly because it is common practice for abusers to mask their behaviour with an excessive show of affection. 


For instance, Sol (who is now known as Bandile, by the way) claims he has become a better person and no longer involves himself in the ‘bad’ things he used to do. He has decided to act brand new just to impress Mbali, the new girl he’s trying to get with. But we know Sol, we know how he messed with Tsholo’s life just to get his way and as I predicted, some of those red flags he’s trying so hard to hide keep popping up here and there. There were a number of red flags that showed up in the early stages of Kabelo and Dineo's relationship also.


The following are red flags that should never be ignored in a relationship.


A relationship filled with love is what we all dream of, no doubt. But when your partner wants you to believe they can offer you everything while coercing you to shut out the rest of the world, there is a HUGE problem that must be addressed. An excessive show of affection is a well-known manipulation technique. They would do absolutely anything to gain your trust, win you over and detach you from your support system. If you ever feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your partner’s emotions, take some steps back to reevaluate the entire situation.



Controlling partners do all they can to dominate their partners. They feel the need to know all your movements and actions. They dictate who you can interact with and the places you should go. Privacy and boundaries are no longer respected. This is pretty unhealthy if you ask me.


Many abusers lash out angrily at the slightest provocation. Sometimes, abusers use anger as a tool to ‘punish’ their victims, forcing them to do their bidding.


Abusers manipulate their partners until they go crazy. Denying facts and acting like certain events did not happen puts people in a place where they have to question their sanity. This is unacceptable.

Leaving an abusive relationship can be difficult. The first step to being free of this is identifying the loopholes and admitting that the relationship is indeed a toxic one. 

Next, you need to speak to a professional. This is extremely important to guide you in picking yourself up and protecting your mental well being. 

If your partner assaults you physically, please reach out to these organizations for help:

Click here to find help in Nigeria/SA/Kenya