Signs to look out for in an abusive relationship

by Itunuoluwa Adebo

Abusive relationships are one of the trickiest situations to deal with, whether firsthand or as a third party observer.

Women don’t plan to go into abusive relationships. In fact, many women swear to themselves that they will never be victims of one, only to find themselves falling into that dark, bottomless pit.

So, why not plan to avoid being in an abusive relationship in the first place?

It’s easier to avoid an abusive relationship if you’re able to detect early, so if your partner displays the following behaviours, you just might be in an abusive relationship.

1. He pushes for quick attachment. He comes on really strong, claiming, “I’ve never felt loved like this before by anyone.” You get pressured for an exclusive commitment almost immediately.

2. He’s controlling. He interrogates you intensely about who you talked to and where you were, checks mileage on the car, keeps all the money or asks for receipts, and insists you ask for permission to go anywhere or do anything.

3. Uncontrollable jealousy.  Your partner is excessively possessive, calls constantly, or visits unexpectedly.

4. There’s isolation. He tries to cut you off from family and friends, deprives you of a phone or car, or tries to prevent you from holding a job.

5. There’s verbal abuse. He constantly criticizes you or says cruel things. He degrades, curses and calls you ugly names. He will use vulnerable points about your past or current life against you.

6. He has very unrealistic expectations. He expects perfection from you and for you to meet his every need.

7. He makes everyone else responsible for their feelings. The abuser says, “You make me angry” instead of “I’m angry.” “I wouldn’t get so pissed off if you wouldn’t…or if you didn’t…

8. He uses “playful” force during sex. He enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will; He intimidates, manipulates or forces you to engage in unwanted sex acts.

9. There are rigid gender roles in the relationship. He expects you to serve, obey and remain at home.

10. He has sudden mood swings. He switches from loving to angry in a matter of minutes.

11. He has a past of battering. He admits to hitting women in the past, but states that they or the situation brought it on.

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