Sometimes, abuse is subtle — but still incredibly dangerous.
If you are reading this, you’ve already begun to question certain aspects of a possible or current relationship. Friends and family members may be pointing out signs that are difficult to face.
Below I’ve compiled a list of a few of the immediate signs of an abusive relationship. If any of these indications speak to you, it would behoove you to slow the relationship and reassess your truths.
1. Moving Quickly
One of the signs of an abusive relationship forming before it has really started is the other party will push for things to move more quickly than normal. Your would-be partner will behave intensely from the beginning; they may move extra quickly in the trying to spend the night with you or even suggesting you move in together shortly after you begin dating.
An abusive person will make it clear early on that they have a jealous streak, far beyond what is healthy. This will only escalate, and it may include relationships from your past that are long over. There may also be stalking-type behaviors, such as watching your house, checking your phone, and asking about social media posts. Extreme jealousy is not healthy, and it is a sign of many other issues.
3. Controlling Money
The abuser will often want to control all aspects of money, even if they do not make their own. They may expect you to foot the bill for everything; yet, when you want to spend money on something, they may control it or simply forbid the purchase all together. This control will eventually extend to other areas of the relationship (and your life) as well. More on that in the next tip.
Another sign of an abusive relationship is the abuser will want you to spend less and less time with family and friends, eventually cutting you off from these people completely. The more your family and friends point these behaviors out, the more likely your partner will try control your behaviors and actions.
An abuser will always blame others for his or her actions, never accepting responsibility for what they have actually caused. This is especially true for run-ins with people in public, and even when they fall into trouble with law enforcement.
Stories they tell you from any time in their lives will blame everyone else involved for whatever has happened; they’ll often complain that people are out to get them and to take advantage of them. This will be the case in all areas, and it will include all the times that they were actually at fault.
6. Confusing Comments
Finally, another sign of an abusive relationship is called “gas lighting.” This is basically a mind control method where the abuser confuses the victim by leading them to believe that everything is their fault, and that if the victim would just change and do things the way the abuser wants them done, then everything would be better. Not only is this untrue, it sets the precedent for more control and mental and emotional abuse; sadly, these forms of control will often lead to physical abuse.
That said, just because someone does not hit you does not mean that you are not being abused.
If some or all of these signs of an abusive relationship are present in your current relationship or one that you are considering, then you need to make plans to end this now.
This article was originally published at MeetMindful. Reprinted with permission from the author.