Doctor Romance has guidelines for protecting yourself from a violent relationship.
12. Be very consistent and careful about your sexual safety until the relationship progresses to the point that you become monogamous, and both have been tested for STD’s. The nicest people can be infected with a disease and not even know they have it. If you have had unprotected sex, have your doctor do a screening for STD’s. Don’t assume your partner is monogamous—especially if you haven’t discussed it in detail.
13. Know the signs of emotional blackmail:
1) A demand. Your date won’t take “no” for an answer, and requests are
2) Resistance. When every discussion turns into an argument.
3) Pressure. Your date pressures you to go along.
4) Threats. Your date uses threatening or coercing tactics: threatening to end the relationship, tears, rage, badgering.
5) Compliance. If you give in, you’re setting a dangerous precedent. Your date now knows you can be pressured into giving in to him or her, and this will increase the intensity of what your date is willing to do to pressure you.
6) Repetition. An obsessive person will go through these previous five steps over and over, wearing you down each time. The easiest thing is to be sure when you say "no", it means no.
If you find you have real reason to doubt this person, and there are real problems, such as lying, severe money problems, a history of alcohol abuse, violence, many past relationship problems, a criminal record, reports of illegal activities, or drug use, do not make excuses, and do not accept promises of change. Change is difficult, and will take a lot of time. Mere promises, no matter how well intended, are not sufficient. Get out of this relationship before you are any more attached than you are now. If your partner decides to get help, let him or her do it because he or she knows they need it, not to get you back. That’s not a strong enough motive to keep him or her committed to change.
Don’t Try to Reform Your Partner
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can help. Problems this severe require more than you can provide, and your “help” may only postpone the real treatment this person needs. Forget any idea of a second chance. Giving second chances to people who have severe problems merely keeps you from going on with your life, and sends you around the whole disappointing cycle again.
This article was originally published at Tina B. Tessina. Reprinted with permission from the author.