Many of the signs we are taught to interpret as caring, attentive, and romantic are actually early warning signs for future abuse. Review the list of warning signs below.
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- Constantly asks where you are going, who you are with, etc.
- Insists that you spend all or most of your time together, cutting you off from friends/family.
- Accuses you of flirting/having sexual relationships with others.
- Monitors your clothing/make-up.
- Displays extreme anger when thing do not go their way.
- Attempts to make all your decisions.
- Secretive about past relationships.
- Gets very serious with partners very quickly – saying “I love you” early in the relationship, wanting to move in together or get engaged after only a few months, or pressuring partner for a serious commitment.
- Comes on very strong, is extremely charming and an overly smooth talker.
- Is extremely jealous.
- Isolates partner from support systems – wants partner all to themselves.
- Attempts to control what partner wears, what they do and who they see.
- Is abusive towards other people.
- Blames others for one’s own misbehavior or failures.
- Has unrealistic expectations, like expecting partner to meet all of ones needs and be the perfect partner.
- Is overly sensitive – acts “hurt” when not getting one’s way, takes offense when others disagree with an opinion, gets upset at small inconveniences that are just a normal part of life.
- Has ever been cruel to animals.
- Has ever abused a child.
- Has ever hit a partner in the past.
- Has ever threatened violence, even if it wasn’t a serious threat.
- Calls partner names, puts them down or curses of them.
- Is extremely moody, and switches quickly from being very nice to exploding in anger.
- If male, believes women are inferior to men and should obey them.
- Is intimidating, for example, using threatening body language, punching walls or breaking objects.
- Holds partner against will to keep them from walking away or leaving the room.
- Was or is abused by a parent.
- Grew up in a home where an adult was abused by another adult.