”Never let someone who contributes so little to a relationship control so much of it.” Geekoandfly
When we think of abusive relationships, we often picture black eyes and broken bones. But while abuse often escalates to physical violence, it does not start that way. Abusers are often charming, attentive, and sweet at the beginning of a relationship. An abuser will work to make you feel so appreciated and loved. You won’t even notice he is controlling you — sometimes until it’s too late. There are warning signs we can look out for, to help us spot an abusive relationship, before it goes too far.
Emotional abuse has a much higher ratio of causing depression and anxiety than any other kind of trauma – even sexual molestation.
RED LIGHTS THAT YOU NEED TO TAKE NOTICE OF
1. He will win you over.
He will spoil you with words, flowers and gifts.
While you believe he is the most romantic man you ever met – he has one goal in mind – to win your trust as fast as possible. He needs you to fall in love with him because it is much easier to control someone who loves you. It is the 1st red light that is flickering warning signs.
2. He will be in a rush to commit quickly in the relationship. For example, He will say that it’s love at first sight, that you are made for each other, and that he can’t imagine his life without you. He will sweep you off your feet, and tell you he has never loved anyone this much. He will insist on being exclusive right away and likely want to move in together, or even get married, very quickly. It is the 2nd red light that flickers. There is no such thing as a 100% perfect fit. If it is too good to be true – it usually is.
Beware of the following:
- Isolation from family and friends
3. He will want you all to himself. He displays jealousy – which you interprets as love. He openly glares at other men and starts questioning you about all your male friends – note: the alienation has begun. This is the 3rd red light that is flickering. He makes you feel guilty for spending time with friends or family. He will call or text you several times a day and may accuse you of flirting or cheating. Be aware of:
- Extreme jealousy or insecurity
- The making of false accusations by your partner
- An explosive temper
- Constantly checking cell phones, emails or social networks without permission
4. He pretends to be very concerned about you. He may get upset if you don’t call him back right away or if you come home late. He will say it’s because he worries about you. He will start to question who you saw, where you went, and what you were doing. He will mask his control as a concern for your well-being. He will start to make decisions for you — who you spend time with and where you go — and claim to know what’s best for you. His effort to control you is the 4th red light that flickers. Be aware of:
- Constant mood swings
- Telling you what you can and cannot do
5. His original sweet and caring nature starts to crack. At times he will be the lovely, loving man who everyone else sees, and who you fell in love with initially. Other times he will become the man who puts you down, makes you feel guilty, and isolates you. He will make you believe that if you just did something differently, loved him more, or treated him better. He would be that sweet, loving man all the time. It is the 5th red light that flickers.
You will stay because of your hope for the man you love, but will spend most of your time being controlled by the man who hurts you.
Be aware of:
- Physically inflicting pain or hurt in any way
- Constant belittling or put-downs
- Repeatedly pressuring for sex
6. He LOVES to play the victim.
A typical narcissist – it’s always someone else’s fault. If he has a bad day, someone is out to get him. And if he is upset, he will blame you for his feelings and actions. He will expect you to make him happy and fulfilled — and when he’s not, he will blame you. He may apologise for yelling, putting you down, or hurting you, but will always find a way to make it your fault. He will say things like, “It’s just that I love you so much,” or “I wish you didn’t make me so crazy.” Eventually, he will blame you for making him hit you. It is the 6th red light, and if you are still with him, you are in trouble.
If these warning signs are happening in your relationship, even if he has not hit you (yet), this is abuse. Control, jealousy, and isolation are not loved. And abusive behaviour will not change — no matter how hard you try, or how much you love him. This man may seem like your dream come true, but soon, he will become your worst nightmare.