I’ve gotten a lot of questions like:
"My partner makes me miserable and does a lot of things I hate and the relationship makes me unhappy and anxious all the time. Is this abuse?"
It can be hard to say from what I’m given. But the uncomfortable thing about questions like this is that I think they’re asking another question, which is: “Should I leave this person?”
And that should not be the same question. Something should not have to rise to the level of abuse to give you a reason to leave. You don’t have to stay in a relationship that makes you miserable unless (until?) it becomes actually abusive. Wanting to leave is reason enough.
There is power in the realization of “holy shit, this is abuse.” Sometimes that is what someone needs to leave. Sometimes when you can’t trust your own wanting to go, sometimes you do need to hear “yeah, that’s abuse.”
But it’s not true that abuse is the only justification to break up—hell, I don’t think you need any justification to break up. This is a decision you’re making, not a case you have to prove. Your partner doesn’t own you until you can prove that their behavior was so bad that they forfeit you. You own yourself and don’t need to make a case to anyone before deciding what to do with yourself.
"I’m unhappy with this person. Is it abuse?"
I don’t know. But I do know that you’re unhappy, and you deserve to be happy.