It’s crucial for your safety that you know the warning signs:
· They blame you for their anger (Note: There is a difference between having a bad day, and always being blamed for upsetting someone.)
· They see themselves as a helpless victim; they have no sense of personal responsibility
· They have a substance abuse problem or addiction. (Not everyone who has an addiction is abusive, but it’s more likely)
· They have trouble managing intense feelings, such as anger and rage.
· They have a history of aggression and reacting violently.
· They threaten you and others others regularly.
· They insult you, put you down and call you names.
· They dictate your life – what you should wear, who you can spend time with, how you should act etc.
· They try to isolate you from family, friends or others who could help you (as they could influence how you see the abusive relationship). (This often happens by telling you how those other people don’t really care about you, how awful they are, etc)
· They break, throw away, or “lose” items that matter to you when you upset them
· They make you doubt yourself and your sanity. For example, through blowing trivial things out of proportion so that they escalate into huge arguments. (This is a form of mind control.)
· They accuse you of creating imaginary problems in the relationship just to provoke an argument.
· They say derogatory and hurtful things to you - but later say that you imagined it.
· You start doing things you don’t want to do just to stop them getting angry with you, or ending the relationship.