It’s a lot easier to not get into an abusive relationship than to get out once it’s started. Since abusive relationships don’t usually start out bad, it’s good to know the early warning signs to avoid getting deeply entangled. Let’s take a look at some of the common signs.
If the relationship starts off with over the top enthusiasm, gifts, and praise, this is a red flag. Many of us want to be swept off our feet and showered with love, but when it happens in real life, it could be a sign that what he really wants is for you to let your guard down and let him in. Humans are taught to reciprocate. We don’t like to say no to someone who gives us something or likes us. This is a great way to reduce objections.
Everything Happens So Fast
If you feel your new relationship is happening at a whirlwind speed, this is another sign that things need to slow down. Get to know each other’s friends, family, likes, dislikes, politics, religion, feelings, and everything else. This takes time. We don’t reveal our whole souls in a couple of months. It may take a while to know whether or not you’re compatible. If things move too fast, you won’t get a chance to find out until it’s too late.
She’s Never Wrong
If you can’t disagree with your new partner because she’s never wrong, this is a red flag. Life comes with conflict. It’s okay to have different feelings and opinions. It doesn’t have to mean someone is wrong. Or maybe it’s a factual error and someone was wrong. That’s okay. Being able to admit that and move on is a sign of a healthy ego and good problem solving skills. Hanging around someone who is never wrong foreshadows a rough road ahead.
Flashes of Anger
Does your new guy show flashes of anger and then backs down? Trust that! Those flashes of anger could turn on you. They could mask fury that will be directed at you. Anger is a normal healthy emotion. We all get angry sometime. It can be a problem when it escalates out of control. Watching how anyone new who enters your circle handles anger is a good idea. If it’s not healthy, perhaps you should create some distance from them.
Lying is always problematic. You can’t have trust where there isn’t truth. The abusive partner can take this to a whole different level. Perhaps it’s about lying about little things that make no difference just to confuse or test you. Maybe it’s making up stories to make you think you’re crazy. Or maybe it’s covering up things that would make you leave. All you need to know is that if someone lies to you, they are not trustworthy. You can’t have a healthy relationship without trust.
My Way or the Highway
If you don’t have the freedom to make your own choices, you’re not in a relationship. You are in a dictatorship. Where you have no power, you can have no happiness. You’re an adult. You don’t need someone to tell you what to do, what to wear, what to think, or how to spend your time. It’s okay to have differences of opinions. That’s what makes life interesting. If you think you need someone to tell you what to do, get some help with that. Giving your power to someone else will be a really costly choice in the long run.
You’re Afraid to Talk About Certain Subjects
When you’re afraid to bring up certain topics, it’s probably because some part of you dreads the consequences. Healthy, equal partners have to talk about tough topics sometimes. It’s not always pleasant, but it won’t end with someone feeling beaten down, marathon fighting, name calling, or being hurt. This red flag doesn’t mean your relationship is abusive, but it does indicate that you have some communication issues. If there are other red flags as well, you could be in an abusive relationship.
You Struggle to Be Happy With Your Partner
Relationships are living things. They either thrive or suffer based upon our shared experiences. If we have positive ones, they grow and feel good. When we struggle or have negative experiences, our relationships stagnate or hurt. If you spend your time mainly arguing, working on something, or repairing something, you may not be the best match for each other. So you might have to ask yourself if a good five minutes is worth a not-so-great rest of your life.
Everyone has lovable qualities, even people who are abusive. Anyone can fall for someone who is abusive. If you have your eyes open, you don’t have to stay there. So what do you do if your relationship has these early warning signs? Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 to find out for sure if your relationship is abusive. If you need help getting out, they can help with that as well.