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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Pinkmani Pinkmani

Someone should tweet this link to Rihanna...

Carme... Carmen8706

4 and 5 definitely apply to Chris Brown.  From throwing tantrums during interviews to getting into fights with other celebs to comparing himself to Jesus, the man has done nothing but act like a jackass since he beat Rihanna to a pulp.  He hasn't displayed any sense of maturity, and that's what has convinced me that he hasn't changed and she needs to run far, fast.

bills... billsfan1104

I have been in a verbal abusive relationship. There are times where I wish I would have the shit knocked out of me instead. It's a draining relationship. I hate it.

teddy... teddysmama09

I agree with the above posters. I have heard people defend rihannas decision to stay by saying "he only hit her once." those words enrage me. Once is a million times too many. Any person who can hit someone they love once will without a doubt abuse them again unless they receive serious help (and even then, old habbits die hard). I understand its hard to leave an abusive relationship. My grandfather attempted to kill my grandmother (he only stopped because he thought she was dead) and my mom and aunts begged her to press charges, but she didn't because of the control he had over her. I just hope Rihanna gets out of her abusive relationship before they bring children into their distinction.

jec72579 jec72579

I'm sorry, once an abuser ALWAYS an abuser. If a man hits you, even one time, he WILL do it again. The ONLY way to stop it from happening again is to leave, and never look back. I learned that the hard way, a long time ago.

Coles... Coles_mom

Billsfan, I say that all the time. I wish he'd just knock the fire out of me. The verbal abide is horrible and no one see it. It's not a black eye. Police and judge would see a black eye...when it comes to verbal abuse, I was actually told by MY lawyer, "sticks and stones".

Rosas... RosasMummy

I am in a verbally abusive relationship which I should have had the guts to leave a long time ago, but instead I have just got to the point where I defend myself so vehemently to make up to myself that I don't leave that I don't know who is the abuser anymore and I also wonder sometimes if it's definitely still him and part of his abuse is convincing me that it's my fault. this is the only thing I regret about becoming a mum so young, I have literally no idea who I am or what my limits are I feel extremely lost and alone.


RosasMummy: I'm in pain for you and hope that you find it in yourself to do what's right for you and your wee one. Don't think for one minute that its your fault,IT IS NOT! Bills and Coles mom:that's scary shit. We all know words can hurt but I had no idea that they could be so bad that you would rather be hit. I'm sorry that you two went through this and so happy you made it out to the other side! RosasMummy: I'm proud of you! You have a voice and that's the beginning. Sorry for the rambling folks.

nonmember avatar Reality Chick

RosasMummy, I wish i could give you a hug. Verbal abuse from your partner is awful and just chips away at you. And having a child definitely complicates what you can do / how you can deal with the situation. I hope you have a support network to talk to who'll help you figure this out but please don't think for a minute this is your fault. Thinking of you and wishing you all the best. Xx

bills... billsfan1104

Ty Prima, Rosas, there is help. Will be praying for you and that you safety get out.

Prima, I guess I say that because words can beat you down to the core of your soul. At least the bruises sorta heal up, at least that is how I take it. Being called worthless, walking on egg shells because you don't want him to go into a verbal tirade, and so forth. I was berated when I would get into the car, about why I was taking to a male co worker and accused of being a slut. But yet he could troll Craigslist for hookers.

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