It’s not always easy to tell when a relationship is unhealthy or abusive. Many people want to believe that their partner would never hurt them, so they may not even recognize the early warning signs. This can be especially true for victims of domestic violence, whose abuser may have conditioned them to minimize the abuse or even deny it altogether.
If you’re worried about your own relationship or you’re concerned about a friend or family member, it’s essential to know what to look for. The following are some of the most common early warning signs of domestic violence.
- Your partner is excessively jealous or possessive. Jealousy and possessiveness are normal in any relationship, but they become problematic when they’re excessive. For example, if your partner is constantly accusing you of cheating or flirting with other people, checking your phone or email without your permission, or following you when you go out, it’s a sign that they’re trying to control you. This control starts small but can escalate over time into more severe forms of abuse.
- Your partner tries to isolate you from your friends and family. Abusive partners often try to isolate their victims from the people who care about them. They may tell you that your friends and family are “bad influences” or that they “don’t understand the real you.” They may try to keep you from talking to your family or limit your time with your friends. This is another way for them to control you and keep you from getting support.
- Your partner puts you down or criticizes you. Abusive partners often try to undermine their victim’s self-esteem. For example, they may put you down in front of other people, make critical comments about your appearance or intelligence, or try to control what you wear or how you style your hair. This is done to make you feel bad about yourself so that you’re more likely to stay in the relationship.
- Your partner controls your finances or restricts your access to money. Abusive partners often try to control their victim’s finances. For example, they may give you an allowance, forbid you from working, or insist on knowing how you spend every penny. This is another way to keep you from leaving the relationship.
- Your partner is physically abusive. Physical abuse is the most obvious form of domestic violence, but it’s not always easy to identify. Physical abuse can include hitting, pushing, slapping, choking, kicking, or using a weapon to hurt you. It can also include things like forcing you to have sex or engaging in other forms of sexual assault. This might be difficult for someone to recognize as abuse because their partner rationalizes the abuse, telling them that it’s their “fault” or that they “deserve it.” Or they might immediately apologize and promise that it will never happen again. But no matter how your partner tries to rationalize it, physical abuse is always unacceptable and becomes a cycle of violence.
If you’re worried that your relationship might be abusive, you must reach out for help. Talk to a friend or family member, or contact a domestic violence hotline for confidential support and information, and get in touch with an Oklahoma City, OK, attorney who can help you understand your legal options to advance a restraining order, charges, and divorce from your abuser.
Q: What Is the Honeymoon Phase, and How Do You Know if You’re in It?
A: The honeymoon phase is the beginning stage of a relationship when everything is perfect and blissful. It can be marked by excitement, happiness, and a strong feeling of being in love. Many domestic violence survivors will tell you that their relationship started out this way before the abuse began. They witnessed a slow transition into control and violence that would tap back into that original feeling of love and happiness, making it difficult to leave. If you’re worried that your relationship might be heading in this direction, it’s important to reach out for help.
Q: How Can I Tell if My Partner Is Controlling?
A: There are many warning signs that your partner may be controlling. They may try to control how you dress, who you see, what you do, and where you go. They may also try to control your emotions by telling you how to feel or making you feel guilty. If your partner frequently checks up on you, demanding to know where you are and who you’re with, this is also a form of control. If you feel like you can’t do anything without your partner’s permission or approval, this is a big red flag.
Q: What Is Emotional Abuse?
A: Emotional abuse is when your partner repeatedly uses words and actions to control, intimidate, humiliate, or isolate you. It can also include controlling your finances, making all the decisions, or threatening to hurt you or themselves if you don’t do what they want. Emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse and can often be a prelude to violence.
Q: What Are Some Early Signs That My Partner May Be Abusive?
A: Unfortunately, there is no sure way to tell if your partner will become abusive. However, there are some warning signs that you can look out for. If your partner is possessive or jealous, this may be a sign that they are feeling insecure in the relationship and are trying to control you. If they have a history of violence or aggression, this may also indicate that they could become abusive. This is another red flag if your partner constantly puts you down or makes you feel bad about yourself. If you are worried that your partner may be abusive, it’s important to take your gut feeling seriously and protect yourself and your extended family.
Overall, domestic violence is a serious issue that no one deserves to go through. It’s a process of control and power over another person through the use of fear, force, or violence. Contact your local experienced Oklahoma City domestic violence attorney today if you think you may be in an abusive relationship. This can be challenging for you, but with the right help and support, you can get through it and out on the other side with your life and your dignity intact.