Sunday, March 11, 2012

red flags

These are probably posted all over the internet as warning signs or red flags for potential abusive partners, but it needs repeating.
This is just what I have encountered, some of which I didn't understand as abuse behavior until later.

• Is he isolating you from family and friends, and are you not able to make new friends?
• Does he criticize potential friends or caution you to stay away from certain people? ("She's rude; you don't want to hang out with her.")
• Does he dissuade you from activities because it would take you away from him? ("You can't do that because I need you here doing this.")
• Does he talk you out of leaving him or put undue pressure on you to stay with him? ("I would have never met you if my dad didn't die!" – ACTUALLY SAID TO ME)

• Does he "jokingly" make fun of you? (For me, it was mostly in front of other people and not when we were alone. Ugh.)
• Do other people mention that he is mean to you?
• Does he huff and puff or give you the "silent treatment" when you try to discuss something/when you have an argument?
• Does he tell you that all guys (or girls!) are the same? (Basically, "You'll never be able to do better than me because all guys are the same. We all think and do the exact same things.")
• Does he try to undermine the validity of truthful things you said? ("You never said that," or "You said x instead of y.")
• Have you made decisions you never would have made if not for his intensive pleading?

• Does he pout or whine when you say no?
• Does he do something even after you say no?
• Does he mock you or belittle you for saying no? ("You're just being weird!")
• Does he try to make you drink more because it's easier to take advantage of you/you're less likely to resist?
• Does he give examples of other people who have done it so "it's ok?"
• Does he apologize profusely, but keep doing the same thing? (Like a domestic abuser sending flowers after a beating, only to repeat the cycle.)
• Does he pressure, coerce, or guilt you into giving in?
• Does he complain when he doesn't get exactly what he wants?

Do any of these describe your significant other? (I'm sure many of these behaviors transcend the different types of abuse.)
Be aware that all of the "he's" can be replaced with "she's." Women aren't always the victims.

It took me a year before I felt comfortable enough to leave for good; I wish it hadn't been that long. You do not have to stay because you are scared or because you think no one can help. There is always someone who will be there for you. :)

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