Many people dream of being in an ideal relationship, where one thrives in care and affection and little gestures of sweet nothings are common. You go out into the world and search for this, and never in your wildest dreams would you think of ending up in an abusive relationship.
Many people don’t realize this right away. Even if the warning signs were already flashing in front of them, they would dismiss them, leading to an abusive relationship that could escalate to domestic violence. If not given careful thought and allow to progress, this might end in domestic homicide.
IPV or intimate partner violence is the aggression or abuse that occurs in a romantic relationship. It is categorized into four types of behavior:
- Physical violence
- Sexual violence
- Physical aggression
In the United States, one in five women and one in seven men reported that they have experienced grave physical violence in their lifetime. Typically, this starts in adolescence, called TDV or teen dating violence.
If you feel unsafe and threatened in a relationship, you may reach out to SummitDefense, and they can provide assistance for you. To help you identify the warning signs of dating violence, here are some things you need to look out for before it escalates:
1. Excessive Gifts And Flattery
A person who could be potentially abusive will shower you with gifts and sweet words at the beginning of a relationship or in the early stages of dating. Sometimes, they would give you something even if there’s no occasion to make it easy for you to fall into the trap. This is a common manipulation tactic called love-bombing. You might hear phrases like ‘you’re my forever, ‘you’re the best thing that ever happened to me,’ or ‘we’re never going to part.’ Sure, this might sound flattering, but that’s the image they would like to portray in front of you so that you won’t see their true colors.
2. Mean Towards Others
The person you’re with will not be abusive to you initially, but you’ll see this in how they treat other people. Observe how they treat waiters, baristas, or people in the service industry and how they demand to be served wherever you go. Their true personality will eventually show in how they interact with others, no matter how hard they try to hide it.
3. You’re Going Too Fast
Asking you to move in after two weeks? Proposing after just two months? You might swoon at the thought, but there’s something terribly wrong, especially if you connect the other early warning signs. The other person would not like you to get away and would like to be near you all the time, and will not allow you to meet other more deserving people.
4. Jealous And Controlling
Their jealousy knows no bounds. They would be jealous over petty things like when you innocently glanced back to a display and suspected you were checking out the other guy. They would even get jealous of your dog. They might feel that the attention you’re giving your furry pet should instead be directed to them.
Their controlling instincts would begin with the small things you would quickly dismiss. Still, eventually, you’ll realize that they’re controlling who you allow in your life, that you even need their permission to see your best friend or even your family.
You might receive hundreds of messages from your partner, texts like ‘Where are you? ‘Who are you with?’ ‘What time will we meet? And they demand that you respond quickly cause if you don’t, it will be war.
They act as if they own you. And many specialists believe that this stems from insecurity and, worse, could be a sign of borderline personality disorder. This is dangerous because they will find a way to keep you away from people that genuinely love you, like your family and friends.
6. They Are Blamers
In the early stages of your relationship, you will often hear them blame others when things go downhill. In their job, they would tell stories about somebody failing because of a stupid thing that person did even if they were in on the failure and would blame only that person. But if there’s a success, they will take all the credit and be arrogant in their claim.
In time, they would consistently blame you for anything that goes wrong in your relationship. They would even blame you for the abuse and reason that they only did it because you were acting up or because they love you too much. If it’s never their fault, they’re probably abusive.
7. Pressures You For Sex
Your intimacy, in the beginning, might feel romantic and hot, but eventually, they would pressure you for sex even on occasions you say you don’t feel like doing it. This is not a healthy relationship dynamic and could potentially damage your mental and physical health. If you feel like you can’t talk to the other person about this, it’s coercion, and you need to get out immediately.
8. Has A Bad History Of Relationship
This is why you need to get to know the other person very well before committing. You need to know their past and find out if there is something sinister that you need to watch out for. They might not be open to telling the story of their past in a serious conversation, but it will come up in situations when you’re not even asking. So, watch the words that the other person says and be wary. Another way to gauge this is by how they describe their previous partners. Do they only have negative comments and blame the other party for the relationship’s failure? As stated in the previous sign, if it’s never their fault, there must be something afoot.
9. Abuses Substances And Forces You To Take Them
Many abusive people typically need their liquid courage or potent brew to give them the guts and fearlessness they need to appear brave and strong. At times they would force you to join them, and if you don’t, you’ll receive the might of their supposed strength.
But in reality, without drugs or alcohol, they are weak people who only use force on the small ones. This is a situation that no person should be in. You should not be forced to take substances that will not be good for you and make it appear as if you enjoy them immensely.
Being in an abusive relationship will make you question your worth, which shouldn’t happen when there is love between two people. If the other person makes you feel threatened and your intuition tells you this is not right, then you must probably listen to your gut.
Hoping this will change for the better is being positive, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But you have to note that abusers are pathological liars and manipulators and don’t change overnight. They do this repeatedly, and the pattern is overwhelming. If you feel your relationship is going this route, get away and ask for help.