Having been a victim of domestic violence, I didn't recognize the warning signs until the dam busted. Then suddenly, they began flooding my mind, signs that truly had been there all along -- I just didn't realize it.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and now is as good of a time as any to receive a quick lesson on what to look out for, before it's too late. Here are five warning signs that your significant other may become emotionally or physically abusive.
- Manipulative: This is one reason women have such a hard time of letting go of abusive partners, because they are so manipulative that they make you think you need them, that they'll never hurt you again, etc. If he is really good at turning every argument around so that it's always seemingly your fault, this is a red flag for an abusive personality.
- Controlling and Jealous: He showers you with love when it's just the two of you, but when it comes to friends or family, he gets jealous of the time you spend with them. Trying to isolate you, picking fights when you try to hang out with others, acting jealous, or accusing you of infidelity are huge warning signs.
- Punishes: Abusive people thrive on power and superiority, so if he punishes you with withholding sexual relations, opting out of quality time planned, or verbally criticizes you, it's a form of abuse.
- Disrespects Women: Pay attention to how he treats the women in his life, whether it be his mother, sisters, or the waitress. That could be a glimpse into how he treats you later on down the road.
- Has a History of Abuse: If you know he was abusive in a previous relationship, then it's likely he'll be abusive again. Also, abusive behavior is oftentimes learned. If he was brought up in an abusive household, he is just that much more likely to have abusive characteristics.
I'm not saying you should dump a guy just because he yells at you one time, but keep these in the back of your mind -- they could save you from emotional or physical abuse.
Image via LarsLarsLars!/Flickr