Are You in an Abusive
Relationship?

Domestic violence, also referred as domestic abuse, occurs all too frequently in intimate relationships. Domestic abuse can be verbal, emotional, physical, sexual, or a combination. The victims are mostly women, with approximately four million per year alone affected in the United States. You may be involved with an abuser if your man:

Berates, insults, or intimidates you

Insists on isolating you from friends and family

Strongly discourages you from going to work, school, or social events

Dominates almost every aspect of your life

Controls finances so you have to ask for money

Is jealous or possessive, or accuses you of being unfaithful

Forces you to have intercourse or to accommodate detested sexual demands

Has fits of rage or destroys personal property

Drinks excessively or is involved in substance abuse

Threatens harm to himself or drives recklessly

Grabs you hard, yells at you, or scolds you

Looks at you or acts in ways that scare you

Physically harms or threatens you, your children, or your pets

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Blames you for his violent behavior or tells you that you deserve it

Demands abusive behavior is no big deal or even denies doing it

Appears to be a completely different person than you’ve known

Prevents you from calling the police or seeking medical care

Appeals to you to drop potential charges

After such behavior, he apologizes profusely and promises he’ll never repeat what he’s done. The apology may be heartfelt, and you are convinced that this incident is an aberration. After you make up, you may experience a time of exceptional closeness.

You give him a second chance. You don’t want to be alone—and there have been so many good times! You believe that leaving makes you a failure. You’re ashamed to admit you chose a man who treated you this way. You convince yourself you may have overreacted or even imagined the incident, unless you have any physical marks that remind you.

But no rationalization will erase this simple fact: If you’ve experienced any of the above from your man, you have met the ultimate Mr. Wrong, The Abuser.

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Nicholas Aretakis, author of Ditching Mr. Wrong: How to End a Bad Relationship and Find Mr. Right.

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