No one wants to think that the person they are dating or in love with could possibly harm them. Many times, it is your friends or family that may see something you don’t. They may tell you that something is wrong in your relationship. It is estimated that up to 30% or more of relationships have some form of abuse. There are common potential indicators.
Instead of negating their thoughts, you may need to stop and look at your partner’s actions. Answer these questions about your partner:
Are you discouraged from talking with friends/family?
Does he always insist on going everywhere with you?
Do you have to discuss activity plans, people you will be with, and why you are going to do something with him before you can do them?
Does he have problems with your success?
Does he react negatively to people in positions of authority?
Does he believe that the man is the head of the house?
Does he belittle you?
Does he blame you if things happen?
Does he negate your opinion?
Does he make you feel guilty?
Does he call you names?
Does he lose his temper and throw things or hit objects?
Have you ever seen this person become violent in a situation with someone else?
Does he get violent when he drinks?
Is your partner jealous of your time, your career, other people in your life?
Does he play mind games with you?
Does he believe the myths about domestic violence?
Believe that sex is his right, whether or not you agree to it?
Does he come from an abusive home? Does he come from a dysfunctional home?
Now look at your own actions and reactions. Answer these questions about yourself:
Do you have low self-esteem?
Do you believe in traditional, stereotypical, man-as-the-head-of-the-house roles?
Do you accept responsibility for arguments?
Do you believe the myths about domestic violence?
Do you feel guilty if he becomes enraged or jealous, or that you may have caused his actions?
Do you allow yourself to be controlled because you believe the person would not do it if they didn’t love you?
Do you believe jealousy is proof of love?
While all of these indicators are emotional, remember that emotional abuse is often the first one used. This nearly always escalates and becomes a physical form of abuse. It always involves control – one partner controlling the actions of the other. If this kind of behavior is present , you could have a potentially abusive situation that will only GET WORSE as the relationship progresses.
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, you may have a problem. These are only warning signs to help you decide if you want/need help. They do not mean that an abusive situation will happen. However, if these actions are present, you both need to seek separate, outside, impartial counseling. You both need to accept the responsibility that each of you play in this situation. He needs to recognize that abuse is not acceptable and you need to recognize that you can’t enable his actions.