No one wants to be in an abusive relationship, but most of the time the victim doesn’t realize that his/her partner is showing signs of violence and would rather ignore it because of love. If you can detect the signs early in the relationship, it will be easier for you to leave and seek healthier and happier relationships in the future.
Here are the warning signs that should alert you.
Unpredictability and Mood Swings
He/she could easily switch from a loving partner to an angry monster in minutes. Apologizing about the abuse and making promises not to do it again are easy for the person, but he/she will still keep abusing you. He/she has a lot of expectations that he/she forces you to fulfill, and then tells you that he/she has never loved anyone like you before.
Isolation and Threats
You can no longer do the things you normally do without your partner’s permission. He/she needs to know where you go, what you do, whom you talk to, and will also take control of the finances. It doesn’t matter who you’re with because he/she will feel jealous even with family and friends. He/she will also threaten violence, but will sometimes apologize and tell you it was a joke.
Jealousy and Dishonesty
Your partner is excessively jealous about you interacting with other people even if there was no intention to flirt. He/she will ask you about phone calls, text messages, unexpected visits, and would often tell you not to hang out with friends. He/she has a tendency, however, to be dishonest and would be involved in other intimate relationships. It’s unfair because he/she controls your social life, but he/she can do whatever he/she likes.
Guilt and Gaslighting
Verbal abuse should be the first warning sign you should look out for, because physical and sexual abuse are not too far from it. Your partner will easily criticize you by calling you names, cursing you and making you feel like it was your fault that he/she got angry in the first place. Then later, your partner will act like the abuse didn’t happen and even blame you for it. Soon, you will start blaming yourself instead of your partner for the abuse and will try to please him/her by avoiding the things that can trigger violence.
Criticism and Fear
He/she finds it easy to criticize you and other people for the misfortunes and injustices in life, but doesn’t see what he/she is like. He/she is too sensitive and is easily insulted and would even make others feel responsible for his/her feelings. You’re afraid of hurting his/her feelings or doing something he/she finds unpleasant because you know what your partner will turn into when angry.
He/She has a History
Your partner’s history when it comes to dealing with animals, children, family members and exes is crucial, no matter what those silly love songs tell you. When he/she admits to hitting partners in the past, it’s time to leave.