Warning Signs: Are You in an Abusive Relationship?

girl against the wall

He/she is cute, funny, smart and (gasp!) he/she wants to be with you. All the time! In fact, he/she declared his undying love for you on your first date. He/she’s totally into you. He/she wants to know where you are, who you’re with and what you’re wearing every nanosecond. Who wouldn't be stoked, right? Wrong! These may be warning signs of worst things to come.

But I just met you...

He/she swept you off your feet and declared his/her love immediately. This is the number one sign of a potentially violent relationship.

MINE!

He/she doesn’t want you to have other friends. He/she thinks everyone wants you and expects you to spend every second with him. When you’re not together, he/she’s constantly calling, texting, Facebooking or IMing you. Sorry, but extreme jealousy isn’t flattering – it’s a problem.

Who? What? When? Where? Why?

He/she tries to keeps track of who you’re with and where you are. He/she tells you what to wear. He/she picks your friends. He/she keeps you from having a job or spending time with your family. This is controlling behavior – a bad sign.

You could...

Lose a little weight around your hips or gain a little weight just there. If he/she’s always criticizing your looks, this is a sign of a controlling person. He/she’s attacking your self-esteem.

I swear I’ll tell!

Does he/she threaten to spread rumors about you? If you’re in a same sex relationship, does he/she threaten to out you? People do this when they want to manipulate someone.

I don’t know what I’ll do.

He/she says he’ll kill himself if you ever leave him. Does it sound romantic? It creeps you out, doesn’t it? It should. He/she’s trying to guilt you into staying with him.

You would if you loved me.

Does he/she insist on making you do things you don’t want to do? That includes any kind of sexual activity. If your answer is yes, you’re in an abusive relationship.

It’s your fault.

He/she violates your privacy by reading your e-mail and texts, checking your phone, rummaging through your purse and/or bookbag. And when you catch him or her, he/she says it’s your fault. He/she claims you push him/her to do or say the things he/she does.

Loses his cool. Blows her top.

He/she screams all in your face. Shoves you around a little bit. Calls you horrible names. Abuse comes in all forms. This counts as emotional and verbal abuse.

Hand through a wall

He/she punches the walls. Yells insults. Slams the door. Throws things. You could be the next thing that gets hurled across the room.

Black and blues

He/she pinches, pushes, chokes, squeezes. And he/she makes sure to do it in places you can hide with clothes. Enough said?

If any of this sounds familiar, it's time to get out. Talk to someone you trust and make a plan to leave the abuse in the dust. You deserve better. Got a friend you're worried about? Learn how to help them.

Need help NOW? Make the call.

Sources:

Anti-Violence Resource Guide

Teen Advice