Watch your back!
Abusive partners don’t wake up one morning and decide to throw a punch your way. There are signs that gradually take place, that women tend to disregard. Before you know it you’re asking yourself, “Why didn’t I see the relationship was abusive at the beginning?” There is no simple formula for predicting future abuse, but there are six warning signs you need to be aware of:
1. Excessive jealously
Jealousy is not an uncommon feeling in relationships. There is a big difference between a partner asking, “Did you have fun last night?” and being interrogated when you come home. Questions like “Who were you with? Why didn’t you answer your phone? How many men were there?” signify a pattern of jealousy, paranoid accusations and constant interrogation, all of which are a red flag of future abuse.
2. History of unhealthy/unstable relationships
All of us have at least one unhealthy or chaotic past relationship. However, if you meet someone who has numerous chaotic/unstable past relationships, that can be a red flag. If you notice a pattern of jobs, friendships and/or marriages that ended with, “She/he/it was crazy, so I left,” be wary.
3. “Playful” aggression
Many victims of domestic violence agree that their partners didn’t hit them early on. Instead, their partners would use playful aggression as a way to test their reactions while dating. If your partner hugs you to the point of pain or smashes his fist on a wall and laughs when you jump, he is testing your reaction.
4. Intimidation tactics
Many victims share how their partners don’t have to always use physical violence to keep them terrified. Instead, their partners use intimidation tactics like punching walls, kicking and slamming doors, throwing or breaking things mixed with occasional physical violence to keep them scared.
5. Controlling behaviours
Some spouses control their partner’s computer use, choice of friends, car use and bank account. If your new partner demands access to all of your social media, restricts you from your friends or family, or wants to know every movement you make, be careful. It may be a test to see how much they can control you in the future.
Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which a victim is manipulated into doubting his or her own memory, perception, and sanity. People who are abusive will use this technique to leave the victim confused and disoriented.
The most difficult part of predicting future abuse is that many abusive people are very good at hiding their unhealthy behaviours. However, if you are dating someone who starts to exhibit any of these behaviours, leave!