There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The primary sign is fear of your partner. Other signs include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, numbness, helplessness, and desperation.
To determine whether or not you’re in an abusive relationship, answer the questions in the table below. The more questions to which you answer “yes,” the more likely your relationship is abusive.
Signs of an Abusive Relationship
Your Inner Feelings and Thoughts
Do you :
- fear your partner a large percentage of the time?
- avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
- feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
- ever think you deserve to be physically hurt or mistreated?
- sometimes wonder if you are the one who is crazy?
- feel afraid that your partner may try to hurt or kill you?
- feel afraid that your partner will try to take your children away?
- feel emotionally numb or helpless?
- think that domestic violence seem normal to you?
Your Partner’s Violent or Threatening Behavior
Has your partner ever:
- had a bad and unpredictable temper?
- hurt you, or threatened to hurt or kill you?
- threatened to take your children away, especially if you try to leave?
- threatened to commit suicide, especially as a way of keeping you from leaving?
- forced you to have sex when you didn’t want to?
- destroyed your belongings or household objects?
Your Partner’s Controlling Behavior
Does your partner:
- try to keep you from seeing your friends or family?
- make you embarrassed to invite friends or family over to your house?
- limit your access to money, the telephone, or the car?
- act excessively jealous and possessive?
- try to stop you from going where you want to go or doing what you want to do?
- check up on you, including where you’ve been or who you’ve been with?
Your Partner’s Belittlement of You
Does your partner:
- verbally abuse you?
- humiliate or criticize you in front of others?
- often ignore you or put down your opinions or contributions?
- blame you for their own violent behavior?
- objectify and disrespect those of your gender?
- see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
If you think you may ne in such a relationship seek help from a self-help group, a counselor or your doctor. Self-help groups such as Al-anon or ACOA may be of help if alcohol abuse is involved.