Expert Shares 12 Signs You’re Still in an Abusive Relationship

Chris Brown & Rihanna at the 2013 Grammy AwardsSeeing Chris Brown and Rihanna snuggled up at this year’s Grammy Awards was hard. After all, just three years ago, he beat her up on the eve of the very same event. Many have wondered, how could she date him? Many more have even criticized her for being a bad role model to young girls for taking her abuser back. “But fact of the matter is, most battered women do,” explains licensed therapist and domestic violence expert Anita Smith, who has worked with thousands of victims and batterers.

The reasons why are endless: “He really is sorry for what he did.” “He promised he’d never do it again.” But unless the person gets professional help and learns to control his anger, he is likely to abuse again. “When you first get back together, things may seem good for awhile, but without counseling, the tendency towards violence could still be there,” warns Smith. She shares 12 signs that you are still in an abusive relationship.

  1. You have to tip toe around him when he has a bad day. "You have to ask yourself -- what are you afraid he is going to do?" says Smith, a certified clinical trauma and loss specialist.
  2. You flinch when he raises his voice.
  3. You make up excuses when he flies of the handle in front of other people. "You are justifying his behavior so the situation doesn't look so bad," says Smith. "But trust me, it's bad."
  4. He is violent towards other people. "This shows he still has trouble controlling his anger and emotions," she says.
  5. He flies into a rage over seemingly little things.
  6. He still calls you the nasty names he promised never to utter again. "This is verbal abuse -- plain and simple," says Smith. "Just because it's not physical doesn't mean it's not abuse."
  7. He still wants to know your every move and gets mad whenever you veer from your schedule. "He is trying to control you," warns Smith.
  8. He breaks furniture when he gets upset.
  9. While he doesn't hit you, he still grabs you roughly. "There is no excuse for him to manhandle you," says Smith. "It doesn't have to be a slap in order to constitute abuse."
  10. He still cuts you down in front of other people. “He’s trying to humiliate you,” says Smith. “The lower your self-esteem, the more likely you are to stay and put up with his behavior.”
  11. He calls to check up on you every couple hours. “Many women think this is a sign of how in love a man is, but this is not normal,”says Smith. “It is a sign he’s still trying to control you.”
  12. You are still terrified of him, even though you keep telling everyone “he’s changed.”

Do you know of other signs?


Image via Getty

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