- Pushes for quick involvement: comes on very strong, pressures for an exclusive commitment almost immediately
- Jealousy: Excessively possessive: calls constantly, visits unexpectedly at work or at your home, accuses you of cheating, prevents you from going to work because “you might meet someone”, checks your mileage
- Controlling: Questions you intensely, especially if you’re late, about whom you talked to and where you were. Keeps all the money; insists you ask permission to go anywhere or do anything.
- Unrealistic expectations: Expects you to be the perfect person and meet his/her every need without reciprocation.
- Isolation: Tries to cut you off from family and friends, accuses your supporters of “causing trouble”, deprives you of a phone or car.
- Blames others: for his/her problems and mistakes: Blames the boss, you—it’s always someone else’s fault.
- Makes everyone else responsible for his/her feelings: says, you make me angry instead of “I AM angry,” or, “you’re hurting me by not doing what I tell you”.
- Hypersensitivity: Easily insulted, rants/complains about things that are a part of life
- Cruel to animals or children: kills or punishes animals brutally; expects children to do things that are beyond their ability. SIXTY FIVE PERCENT OF ABUSERS WHO HIT THEIR PARTNER WILL ALSO HIT CHILDREN.
- “Playful” use of force during sex: enjoys throwing you down, holding you down against your will; says he finds the idea of rape exciting.
- Verbal abuse: constant criticism, says cruel or hurtful things; degrades, curses you, calls you ugly names.
- Rigid gender roles: expects you to serve, obey and remain at home.
- Sudden mood swings: switches from sweetly loving to explosive in a matter of minutes. Abusive relationships form a pattern. The tension building phase (fights over money, control, jobs, etc), the abusive episode (verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual), and the honeymoon phase (abuser expresses remorse, apologizes).
- Past battering: admits hitting people in the past, but says they made him/her do it or the situation was to blame. Again, never takes responsibility for their actions.
- Threats of violence: makes statements like “I’ll break your neck” or “I’ll kill you,” then dismisses it with “everybody talks that way, you’re too sensitive” or “I didn’t mean it.” IF IT HAS COME THIS FAR, GET HELP OR GET OUT.
From the Project for Victims of Family Violence, Lafayette, ARK
Resources if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline – thehotline.org – 1 800-799-7233
- The Family Place – familyplace.org – 214-941-1991
- Genesis Women’s Shelter – genesisshelter.org – 214-946-4357