Saturday, January 18, 2014

Warning Signs of an Abuser

There's been something weighing on me for a while now, and I wanted to talk about it.  It has to do with abusive relationships.  I was in one, as many of you know, for far too long.  There were signs before I married him, and I knew they were red flags, but I chose to ignore them.  Throughout the course of my first marriage, I experienced most of the things on the list below that I took from Dear Abby - take a quick look at the warning signs of an abuser:

(1) PUSHES FOR QUICK INVOLVEMENT: Comes on strong, claiming, I've never felt loved like this by anyone. An abuser pressures the new partner for an exclusive commitment almost immediately.

(2) JEALOUS: Excessively possessive; calls constantly or visits unexpectedly; prevents you from going to work because you might meet someone; checks the mileage on your car.

(3) CONTROLLING: If you are late, interrogates you intensively about whom you talked to and where you were; keeps all the money; insists you ask permission to go anywhere or do anything.

(4) UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: Expects you to be the perfect mate and meet his or her every need.

(5) ISOLATION: Tries to isolate you from family and friends; accuses people who are your supporters of causing trouble. The abuser may deprive you of a phone or car, or try to prevent you from holding a job.

(6) BLAMES OTHERS FOR PROBLEMS OR MISTAKES: It's always someone else's fault if something goes wrong.

(7) MAKES OTHERS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS OR HER FEELINGS: The abuser says, You make me angry instead of I am angry, or says, You're hurting me by not doing what I tell you.

(8) HYPERSENSITIVITY: Is easily insulted, claiming hurt feelings when he or she is really mad. Rants about the injustice of things that are just a part of life.

(9) CRUELTY TO ANIMALS OR CHILDREN: Kills or punishes animals brutally. Also may expect children to do things that are far beyond their ability (whips a 3-year-old for wetting a diaper) or may tease them until they cry. Sixty-five percent of abusers who beat their partners will also abuse children.

(10) PLAYFUL USE OF FORCE DURING SEX: Enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will during sex; finds the idea of rape exciting.

(11) VERBAL ABUSE: Constantly criticizes or says blatantly cruel things; degrades, curses, calls you ugly names. This may also involve sleep deprivation, waking you with relentless verbal abuse.

(12) RIGID GENDER ROLES: Expects you to serve, obey, remain at home.

(13) SUDDEN MOOD SWINGS: Switches from sweet to violent in minutes.

(14) PAST BATTERING: Admits to hitting a mate in the past, but says the person made him (or her) do it.

(15) THREATS OF VIOLENCE: Says things like, I'll break your neck or I'll kill you, and then dismisses them with, Everybody talks that way, or I didn't really mean it.

Readers, if you feel you are at risk, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or  And remember folks - the abuser doesn't have to be a man - there are plenty of female abusers out there, men are just often times too ashamed to admit that their female partners are abusing them.

The reason this subject is again weighing on my mind and my heart, is that I am seeing some signs of this in someone else's relationship.  The jealousy, the controlling things, the isolation from family and friends.  It really is sad to see. 

If you read this and you think I'm talking about your relationship - do something about it, within your relationship.  Don't bother me with denying that you are abusive, or justifying your abusive actions - there's nothing you can say to convince me that what you are doing is okay. 

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