Nobody wants to assume that the person they are dating would ever do anything to hurt them. After all, the early stages of dating are typically characterized by the rose-colored glasses through which most people tend to view their new partner. Unfortunately, however, many women unknowingly become involved with abusive men who only begin to show their true colors after they have secured a tight emotional and psychological grip on the women that they mistreat.
Many times, abusive relationships start off almost magically and then slowly but surely mutate into something dysfunctional and abusive. Though the abuse might seem to come out of nowhere, you can be relatively certain that at some point before the things went sour, there were probably at least a few subtle signs of what was to come. The problem is that while distracted by the excitement and allure of a new and blossoming romance, it becomes extremely difficult to pick up on these clues. Even if you do happen to notice that something is slightly “off” with your partner or in the relationship, it can still be hard to determine whether that incongruity is just a quirk or a real potential danger.
Your best line of defense against the possibility of becoming trapped in an abusive relationship is to first educate yourself about what they are generally like so that you can recognize the potential for abuse early on and protect yourself accordingly.
The questions below are those that you should be asking yourself about a new partner or relationship in order to assess the probability of whether or not you are headed for trouble. Though answering yes to one or more of these questions does not automatically mean that you are indeed involved in an abusive relationship, it should serve as a red flag that something might be wrong and that you need to take a closer look at what is really going on. If you ever feel that your safety or security is being compromised by your partner, don’t hesitate to reach out and seek the help of a trusted friend, a family member, a professional therapist, or a domestic abuse advocate. Your life may very well depend on it!
Questions to consider :
- Do you feel like you have become isolated from family and friends to the point where you no longer have a support system?
- Do you feel like you have to constantly walk on eggshells because your partner becomes easily angered?
- Does your partner frequently say degrading and hurtful things to you, or criticize your every move?
- Is your partner overly jealous or controlling of you?
- Does your partner blow up easily, behave violently, make threats, or do things that genuinely scare you?
- Is your partner ever forceful with you about sex or does he pressure you into participating in sexual activities that make you uncomfortable?
- Has your partner ever physically harmed you or are you afraid of him in any way?