Vijai P. Sharma, Ph. D
Here are twenty warning signs that may show up early on in a relationship if a person is likely to be possessive, controlling, and violent. If these signs appear in the dating period, chances are that they will increase in severity as the time goes on, unless the person is treated by an abuse-expert under court supervision. If you notice several signs in the courtship period, walk out before you are locked into an unhealthy relationship. If there is evidence of verbal, emotional, or physical violence, one incident alone is serious enough to warrant action. For convenience, the term "he" is used. Male readers may substitute "she" for "he."
.Too good to be true: In the courtship period, is he "sweeping you off your feet." If he is too good to be true, then that's not who he really is. Has he become totally occupied with you, such as calling you every hour just to "hear your voice," leaving and picking you up at work, doing things and activities you were doing for yourself, and thus taking charge of your life?
.Temper outbursts: Does he have outbursts of temper, such as cussing, throwing things or kicking doors., not necessarily directed towards you, but towards anybody or anything?.
.Violent or demeaning language: Does he use derogatory terms for other women, such as, "broad," "chick," or "slut, etc.?
.Sexist attitude: Does he have strong ideas about the place and position of women vs. men, For instance, does he insist that "women should know their place."
.Insults: Does he put you down for your opinions or laugh at what you believe in? Does he make you feel stupid, ignorant, or incompetent?
.Psychological abuse: "You're no good." Does he make you feel that you can't do anything right or that you can't get along in the world without his help?
.Ridicule: Does he make fun of you alone or in other people's presence?
.Rage for past relationships: Notice how he talks about his ex- or previous dates. Is there a quality of rage in his anger towards a previous relationship and does he call her names or use other insulting terms? Remember that later he would be turning the same intensity of rage and insult towards you.
.Abusive background: Was he battered as a child or did he see his mother or sisters being hit when he was a child? He may need a good bit of counseling before he can be free of the cycle of violence. Exception to the rule is a man who says he was subjected to abuse and there is no way that he would do this to his partner or children.
.Blaming others: Does he have a habit of blaming others for what he does or what happens to him?
.Alcohol and drug abuse: Does he have a drinking or drug problem?
.Violence under the influence of alcohol or drugs: Does he become verbally or physically abusive under the influence of alcohol and drugs?
.Verbal or physical abuse towards public: Is he verbally or physically abusive towards others, like people in the restaurant, other drivers on the street, people he comes in contact with, etc.?
.Excessively critical of you or your family: Does he say negative things about you or your family?
.Excessive sexual jealousy: Does he "love you so much" that he can't "stand" you being in the company of other people?
.Possessive behavior: Is he unhappy or moody when you spend time with your friends or family?
.Restricting and controlling behavior: Has he told you to not keep any contact with your friends and family?
.Jealous accusations: Has he jokingly or seriously complained that you were trying to attract other men by the way you walk, dress, or behave?
.Checking and tracking: Does he keep track of where you went, who you met, and how much time did you really spend?
.Use of force or coercion: Has he threatened or
actually hit you, or coerced you for sexual act even
though he apologized profusely and made it up to
you? That is a serious sign. He is likely to
repeat verbal and/or physical violence unless he clearly
recognizes that violent behavior is a serious problem,
admits that not you but he has a problem, and willingly
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