An abusive relationship can happen weeks, months, or even years after first getting together. People who are trapped in abusive relationships often feel stuck and helpless. According to a group of researchers, “Intimate partner violence (IPV) is considered a human rights violation and public health issue throughout the world.”
The good news is there are ways to avoid an abusive relationship entirely. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s important to get out as quickly and safely as possible. In order to know what to avoid, it’s important to know the most common habits of a relationship that’s going to go south. Here are the top habits to never ignore when it comes to an abusive relationship.
Here Are 8 Signs Of An Abusive Relationship
“An abuser can seem emotionally needy. You can get caught in a trap of catering to him, trying to fill a bottomless pit.” – Lundy Bancroft
Lying isn’t good. Relationships should be built on trust and communication. If your partner makes you feel like you can’t trust them, that’s a huge red flag. Even if the lies seem small, they will undoubtedly get bigger. Lying is a way to control and manipulate people. Abusers will use it in order to gaslight, manipulate and control their victims. If your partner starts lying, be on the alert. Trying to manipulate in a relationship is always a bad sign.
Even if they start off as playful, insults stop being fun and games when someone gets legitimately hurt. Insults are another way for abusers to control their partners. The insults may start off small, but they will gradually get bigger. Don’t tolerate insulting in the relationship, especially if it has to do with your intelligence. An abuser will make you want to question your self-worth.
3. Passive-aggressive behavior
We all know someone that is a little passive-aggressive. This doesn’t mean that they are automatically an abuser. However, in an abusive relationship, passive-aggression is one of the main forms of communication. Instead of communicating and asking for what they want, an abuser will become passive-aggressive as a way to guilt their partner into doing what they want. There’s very little compromise in a relationship like this.
4. Anger problems
Someone who has a problem controlling their anger is a huge red flag when it comes to relationships. According to relationship expert and author Steven Stosny, Ph.D., “Angry and abusive partners tend to be anxious by temperament.”
If your partner gets angry at other people at the drop of a hat, it’s probably a sign that they will do the same thing to their partners. Unchecked anger is a gateway to an abusive relationship, especially when things can become heated during arguments.
If someone lets off steam by punching walls, slamming doors, knocking over lamps, shoving things off tables… that’s a bad sign. For most people, seeing someone let out physical anger can be paralyzing. This is exactly what the abuser wants. In almost most cases, the person who is punching walls or slamming doors is exerting their power over their partner. They are showing their partner the damage they can do. If someone is prone to slamming doors, avoid them at all costs.
6. Extreme jealousy
Jealousy by itself isn’t a bad thing. However, when the jealousy becomes extreme and starts interfering with the relationship, this is a problem. The first time your partner becomes over-the-top jealous over something as simple as seeing a friend, or going out with a family member, this is a red flag. Don’t take extreme jealousy lightly. This is a red flag, and a habit that should never be ignored.
7. Physical abuse
Not even once. This is one of the most important habits to never ignore. If your partner hits you, slaps you, pinches you, or hurts you in any way, it’s time to back off as quickly and safely as you can. It doesn’t matter if they promise never to do it again.
“Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you,” states HelpGuide. If someone has already demonstrated that they are willing to harm you, the relationship has already become abusive. By leaving at the very first sign of physical abuse, you’re avoiding a long road.
8. “If you ever left me, I would hurt myself.”
Relationships shouldn’t feel like nooses around someone’s neck. The end of a relationship might be hard, heartbreaking, and difficult to deal with, but they should never drive someone towards suicide. Be very wary of someone who says that they would die if the relationship ended. They might need emotional help, but chances are they are trying to control you through manipulation.
Don’t get caught in an abusive relationship. Be aware of the signs, not just for yourself, but for the people around you as well. Knowing these habits and never ignoring even a single one will help countless people on the path to avoiding an abusive relationship. There’s always hope just around the corner, and safe and healthy relationships are waiting for you.