9 Early Signs Of An Abusive Relationship

How you can avoid or deal with the abuse in your relationship

Profile photo of Harleena Singh - | 107 comments
Man hurting woman showing early signs of an abusive relationship

Have you, or anyone you know ever gone through an abusive relationship?

Even if you haven’t, I think it’s good to know the early signs of an abusive relationship that might help you or anyone else. Don’t you think so?

Often times you mightn’t even come to know that you’re going through an abusive relationship, and this goes for both, men and women.

But there are some early warning signs of an abusive relationship that can help you foresee what you’re getting into.

Besides, there are things that you too can do to keep away from such relationships.

I’ve often come across men and women who go through a lot in their relationship, whether it’s before or after marriage.

Most of them tend to bear up things, not realizing that sooner or later serious issues will arise.

I hope those who are in such a relationship learn from this post, and those who aren’t, remain careful. Let’s first understand the meaning of abuse, and who is an abuser.

What is Abuse

Generally, to abuse means to exploit, insult, and mistreat.

Specific to a relationship, abuse is the misuse of power that uses trust and dependency, and the bonds of intimacy to make the victim vulnerable.

“The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.” ~ Edmund Burke

Abuse is experienced in many different ways, and isn’t just limited to physical violence. Simply put, it’s an attempt to control the behavior of another person.

What is an Abusive Relationship

An abusive relationship can include emotional, mental, physical, verbal, and sexual abuse, and also involve control of finances.

  • Physical abuse can include things like punching, hitting, pulling hair, kicking to name a few – as sometimes seen in domestic violence besides other relationships.
  • Emotional abuse can be bullying, teasing, and humiliation. Intimidation, threats, putdowns, and betrayals are other forms of it.
  • Mental abuse shows up in the form of mental harassment, mental torture, blaming, and demeaning ways to put the person under stress, and made to suffer from feelings of intellectual incapability and despondency.
  • Verbal abuse involves the use of foul language and calling names that often leads the person to have low self-esteem.
  • Financial abuse occurs when you aren’t allowed to keep or use your money, nor have any control over money.
  • Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, and it’s mainly being forced into any type of sexual relationship that you don’t want.

How does abuse occur, or who is an abuser you might ask? So, here is what an abuser is.

“The quiet but inexorable breaking down of self-esteem is much more sinister – it’s violation of the soul.” ~ Rachel Abbott

Who is an Abuser

An abuser is also a human, but he or she has a complex and destructive problem that no one should underestimate.

Such a person acts deliberately, rather than accidently. His or her behavior is conscious at most times.

The person knows what he or she is doing, though not necessarily the underlying reason why he or she is doing it.

An abuser learns about controlling behavior and manipulation from various sources like peers, roles models, and pervasive cultural messages. On reaching adulthood, his manipulative behavior becomes automatic!

Where Does Love Fit in an Abusive Relationship

Falling in love feels so wonderful that you often forget the potential problems that might occur, let alone entering into an abusive relationship – a thought that never crosses anyone’s mind.

You tend to give yourself up completely to make your partner happy that you forget to see the early signs of an abusive relationship creep up slowly – when they do.

During the process, love hurts at times and you also face love problems in a marriage if you are married. However, an abusive relationship is a bit different, intense, and serious.

Violence or abuse in a relationship doesn’t appear at the beginning of a relationship, but builds slowly over time. The more you give of yourself, sometimes the faster the red flags appear.

Everyone wants love in their lives. No one ever plans or thinks of entering into an abusive relationship, and some of those who do get into one, swear never to enter into another relationship ever again.

“You have the right to your own ideas and opinions, to make your own decisions, and to have things go your way at times. Stand up for those rights.” ~ Beverly Engel

One of the first early signs of an abusive relationship is your gut feeling that something isn’t going right. Sadly though, it often takes nearly five to seven acts of violence before a person leaves the abuser.

Taking the other person for granted, or lack of love from your partner could also lead to an abusive relationship.

It’s easier to avoid such a relationship if you are able to detect the initial signs of an abusive relationship. If your partner is doing any of the below, you may be in an abusive relationship.

Man shouting and expressing anger towards woman who shuts her ears

Early Signs of an Abusive Relationship

Be very careful of these warning signs if you are in a relationship because you might just be in an abusive one without even knowing about it.

I should mention here that sometimes these might not even be the signs of an abusive relationship and just the nature or kind of person your partner is.

You need to weigh out that from your gut feeling about him or her.

For the sake of my readers who might be going through such a problem in their lives, I’m also providing solutions or call to action that might help you.

1- Quick commitment and involvement

Your partner might come on strong and pressurize you for a commitment before you are really ready for making one. He or she might want more involvement than your present one and force you into it.

Does he or she want your hand in marriage very quickly? Does your partner flatter you a lot more than expected to win you over?

While these might occur in normal cases too, just be careful because these are also the early warning signs of an abusive relationship.

Words like “You’re the love of my life. I’ve never loved anyone like this before”, might pressurize you to make a commitment immediately.

Call to action Take your time and let your partner know that you will weigh out the situation and decide. What’s the rush if it’s love? Love always takes time to bloom, so keep things going slowly till you are very sure about what you want. Don’t commit and give in to the pressure, only to regret later in life.

2- Controlling and jealous behavior

Perhaps your partner is of a controlling nature and wants to control how you dress, where you go, what you do – is it so?

Or your partner might be calling you constantly and making unexpected visits?

Sometimes your partner might even accuse you of having an affair, flirting, and blaming you for things you haven’t done because they are jealous or get sadistic pleasure out of it.

Jealousy is a negative emotion, and a sign of insecurity and being over possessive. State of being over-jealous could lead to an abusive relationship.

So, did any of this happen with you in your relationship or with anyone you know?

Sometimes the partner tends to think he/she is in control. Or feels he/she should take all the decisions as he/she is normally the one heading the relationship.

It’s nice to take a back seat and let your partner take the decisions; though don’t let his/her expectations become controlling.

Is your partner a little jealous and tells you of how much he/she loves you and can’t see you with anyone, or allow you to be near anyone?

I wouldn’t call this love; instead, it’s trying to be in control!

When you are in love, your relationship is built on trust, faith, and freedom. This means your partner will trust you wherever you go, or with whomsoever you are. He/she won’t stop you from being yourself.

True love always gives freedom. Ensure you don’t interpret jealousy as a sign of the amount he/she loves you, or take control as his/her concern and protection for you.

Call to action Learn to say no, and do what you feel like doing – including what you feel like wearing! (depending on your culture and society). See your family and friends without second thoughts. There is no person superior than the other in a relationship, so work out your problems and take decisions together. Don’t give in to the jealous and controlled pattern of your partner as that might just set a pattern for your future relationship, or you might be expected to do as you’re told, if you do it once.

“Trying to make someone fall in love with you is about as pointless as trying to control who you fall in love with.” ~ James Earl Jones

3- Possessiveness & isolation

Do you find your partner always wanting you to talk or be with him/her? Is it that he/she doesn’t like you socializing around?

Does your partner takes out reasons why it’s better to be with him/her, rather than with others? Such people directly or indirectly try to isolate you and keep you for themselves.

I hope you don’t follow such a person’s possessive behavior and lose contact with your family and friends! That would totally cut you away from them and the rest of the world.

If yours is a healthy and loving relationship, it should thrive in a community where you have your loved ones and friends around you.

Call to action Involve your family and friends, or meet up with other couples and people. Make this a habit from start, so that you know from your partner’s reactions if he/she is the kind of person who is possessive and wants to isolate you from others.

4- High expectations & humiliation

Does your partner expect you to be the perfect man, or perhaps the perfect woman? Are you expected to meet his/her every need and demand, and if you don’t, or make mistakes, you are punished for it?

Perhaps your partner then tends to sulk, withdraw, and use all in his/her hand to put you down to punish you. They do everything to humiliate and make you feel bad about yourself.

He/she might call you names, insult you, bring you shame, and publicly put you down to make you feel powerless.

Everyone makes mistakes, so set yourself off the hook when you make them too – dealing with people becomes easier when they have too many demands from you.

Call to action Set limits to, and challenge the high unrealistic expectation your partner has from you. Don’t let them take hold of your life or humiliate you. Start doing this early in your relationship and live with boundaries about what you can accept, and cannot.

5- Oversensitive

Do you or your partner feel insulted easily? Or perhaps he/she tends to take little setbacks as a personal attack?

Perhaps you feel that anything or everything you say just might upset your partner, so you stop yourself from conveying your feelings.

No one is perfect, and you need to remember that there are problems in every relationship. There will be times when you will disappoint and upset your partner, so accept that fact.

Call to action – You need to confront your partner and resolves issues in your marriage or relationship, instead of adapting to his hypersensitivity. If you fear talking to your partner and can’t convey your feelings because of such a behavior, rethink on your decision to be with such a person. You need a person who is more understanding and doesn’t take things so personally or as personal attacks.

6- Mood swings

Does your partner have mood swings? Is your partner’s behavior unpredictable? Does he/she have a short temper? Perhaps your partner has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kind of personality!

You just don’t know what might happen next, when he/she loses temper, or you just don’t know what mood he/she is going to be the next minute. All this can often lead to misunderstandings that should be avoided.

Often times, as a partner you might bear with such mood swings and wild temper. You even might try to remain calm and resolve things if possible, but it’s not always possible – isn’t it?

Call to action Once your partner shows such traits; you need to set limits on it. It’s normal for everyone to get angry once in a while, but going overboard can be dangerous and should be taken as a warning sign of what might happen in your relationship later. Convey to your partner that you won’t tolerate such temper, mood swings, and violence. Nip it in the bud as they say, before it gets out of hand.

7- Blame game

Does your partner tend to blame anything or anyone for the problem he/she faces? Indirectly, he/she blames you for the reason of his/her behavior.

Sometimes people love to play the blame game and say that had you not put them in such a situation, things would have been different. I’m sure most of you can relate to this one 😉

Or then if you change your way, he/she wouldn’t have done what he/she did? Such people keep blaming you for their faults. Doesn’t it break your self esteem?

Such people don’t take responsibility for their own actions, but prefer blaming others for their life. You might feel you are worthless or there’s something wrong with you.

Call to action Take this as one of the early signs of an abusive relationship because he/she will always blame you for whatever goes wrong in his/her even later in life. And if it happens once, it might happen again and again. The blame game continues lifelong if not stopped when it starts.

8- Sexual demands

If your partner forces you to have sex with him/her without your will or puts you down for not having it, you need to reconsider things.

He/she might not reconsider your feelings and emotions, and is only keen to gratify his/her own sexual needs. Such people don’t care about the consequences of how you feel about such an act.

Call to action Say ‘no’, when you aren’t ready to make love to your partner – so no to disrespect. If you are being forced against your will to have sex, then it’s time to get out from such a relationship because this IS sexual abuse. Such people seldom change, so don’t wait for that time and bear it all up.

9- Past history

How much do you know about your partner’s background? Does he/she have a history of abusive relationship?

Or perhaps he/she talks about the past relationships and blames everything and everyone for why things didn’t work out.

You need to be careful of such a person because if he/she does have such a background, you could be next inline. Unless such people undergo counseling, it’s rare that they change their ways.

Call to action Don’t fall for the talks such people make nor their promises to get better, because their past records are proof that they cannot change. It’s a clear sign that such a person can’t see his/her own behavior and would land up blaming you for what happens to him/her. Steer away from such a person if you get to know of it before, or try moving out if you know of it later.

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” ~ M.Kathleen Casey

A woman showing a fist to a man expressing abusive relationship.

Remember, you aren’t the one who is guilty. Instead, by learning these early signs of an abusive relationship, you can keep away from people who might ruin your life later.

Don’t feel ashamed for what’s happened, instead, seek help or support. It will boost your self esteem, make you feel empowered, and keep you protected from more abusive attacks.

Lastly, never ignore your conscious and intuition about the way you feel about your partner.

If you feel fearful, in danger, or mistrustful, then rethink as to why you feel this way. Do you really want to continue in such a relationship?

“Remember sadness is always temporary. This, too, shall pass.” ~ Chuck T. Falcon

I hope you use these early warning signs of an abusive relationship in your life if you need them. Or then help spread the word around to those who might make use of them and save their lives in time.

Over to you

Do you know of anyone, or have you been in an abusive relationship? How did you deal with it? What early signs of an abusive relationship would you recommend people should be careful of? Share your experiences and thoughts below.

Join the discussion on this topic in the forum, or create a new topic in the relationship forum to share your thoughts and experiences. Or, contribute your awesome comments as you do normally in the comment box at the end of the post.

Either way, I’d love to hear from you.

Take care and be blessed. 🙂

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos

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Last Updated on: February 2nd, 2015


Profile photo of Harleena Singh
Harleena Singh is a positive thinker and a freelance writer. She loves to write inspiring and thought provoking posts on self-improvement, family, relationships, health, and other aspects of life. She's also a blogger, who loves to share her blogging knowledge and experiences on her personal blog, HarleenaSingh.com.

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107 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Shalu Sharma

    May 28, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    This is a classic article.

    You know, you’ll be surprised that something like this is so prevalent and it crosses all sections of society from the poor to the super rich. You have mentioned the signs quite beautifully. Abusive relationship is not a pretty thing. Thank you for touching on this important topic.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 28, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Hi Shalu,

      Glad you liked this one 🙂

      You’re absolutely right – it IS prevalent all over, whether it’s among the rich or poor. I guess the poor just take everything in with a pinch of salt, and so do the rich to keep their status in the society, though nowadays some are becoming aware and taking a stand and learning to fight their battle. I do hope these early signs of an abusive relationship can help people take timely action.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views, and for sharing it too. 🙂

  2. Evan

    May 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    This behavior is used as a punishment (breaking treasured possessions), but is mostly used to terrorize the victim into submission. The abuser may break or strike objects near the victim to frighten them.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm

      Hi Evan,

      Yes, in some cases it is used to punish the partner by breaking their priced possessions, but there is a lot more than just that. The torture I feel goes much beyond than meets the eye – we cannot forget the emotional and mental trauma the abused goes through.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. Leslie Moon

    May 28, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Helpful article, I hope people read and heed the advice. Something for people to be aware of: An abusive person can start in the “lighter” forms of abuse (i.e. verbal) but often work their way up to physical abuse and an abusive person doesn’t stop with the significant other children are easy targets.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm

      Welcome to the blog Leslie – it’s good to see you here 🙂

      Glad you found the post helpful, and yes, most people aren’t even aware of that they going through an abusive relationship and keep bearing up a great deal.

      Your’e right! An abuser looks and behaves like such a normal person, and it all does start very lightly at first, though with time because of the freedom they get, or perhaps when they see there is no revolt or reaction, they tend to get bolder in their ways. It just doesn’t end with the physical abuse, but often creeps in deeper to tear you apart emotionally and mentally, which is worse. Oh yes…children are very easy target too.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  4. Ahsan

    May 28, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Hello Harleena,

    I have to say it is masterpiece article. You mentioned all the key points of abusive relationship & also ads the solution in a brief way. You already mentioned Who is an Abuser. But I think sometimes abuser don’t understand what he or she is doing. It is also the duty of other members to tell him about his or her fault.

    Another thing there will be no peace life in abusive relationship. In Asian subcontinent countries it is widespread. We must come out from this evil deeds.

    Again thanks for mentioning the key points very elaborately

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 28, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      Hi Ahsan,

      Ah…thanks so much for your kind words of appreciation 🙂

      I did try mentioning these early signs of an abusive relationship, but these are just the tip of the iceberg, because there is a LOT beneath, which I plan to take up in a later post.

      Yes, we all know and find the problems, but somehow very few give some kind of a solution to these problems, especially for those who are going through such an abusive relationship. I just tried my best, and I could be wrong too, but I think it should help in some ways 🙂

      I agree about the abuser who doesn’t know what he or she is doing. But such people rarely listen to anyone because they never think they are at fault ever, that’s why they never stop abusing. Yes, they need proper help and counselling, if they don’t listen to anyone else, or else leaving such a relationship seems the only way.

      Absolutely! The whole life of the abused goes for a six and they often keep bearing it up, as in most countries, till they can do no more and some even go to the extent of giving up their lives or taking such drastic steps – it’s all rather said I’d say.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post too 🙂

  5. Corina Ramos

    May 28, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    I really hope people will read these sign carefully and for those who can identify with these signs I hope they feel empowered to get out of that relationship before anything happens.

    Having been in an abusive relationship myself I can tell you the reason why these signs are missed because we’re so “blinded by love” that we don’t want to see them or ignore them altogether.

    I was so scared to tell my parents but they started catching on. It wasn’t until one of my neighbors told my mom she needed to get me out of there and filled her in on what she’d hear.

    I’m one of the lucky ones to have gotten out and left with the scars but I also know of a woman who wasn’t so lucky which is why I REALLY hope people read this post carefully.

    Have a wonderful week Harleena 🙂

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 28, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      Hi Corina,

      I agree with you there, and that’s what I’m hoping for too. I guess taking timely action and moving out if you are in an abusive relationship will save you so much of misery in your later life.

      I’m sorry to hear that, and yes, you’d be the right person to throw more light on how it really must be. Yes indeed, people are blinded by love, and because they love their partners so much they tend to try the ‘forgive and forget’ technique. While it does work at times, but if the early signs of an abusive relationship start showing up initially in your relationship we need to be very careful because such an abuser is very unlikely to change. However, if I place myself in the position of the abused – I too would be just so in love and not think beyond my partner and keep accepting all his abuses till it gets to the neck.

      I can so well imagine your state, but as you mentioned, being parents they always make out and are ready to help too, provided we confide in them. But perhaps we think of many other things before doing that – isn’t it? It’s surely nice of your neighbor to step in and help out, or else you might be still there for all we know, or taken a while before you moved away.

      You’re right that you were the lucky ones to getaway and entered a new life, but most people aren’t so lucky. I too know of women who are in such an abusive relationship, yet they prefer sticking on, either because they have kids or because they get so used to being abused that it hardly makes a difference to them as they don’t know they are being abused and they take it to be such a normal part of their lives.

      We wait too long I think, and that’s our fault – isn’t it? That one big step is taken only when you reach the limit or saturation point where you can take no more. Speaking of women, I think they can bear a lot more than men can, and would do anything to try and save their relationship first, rather than break it.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us. Have a nice week ahead too 🙂

      • Corina Ramos

        January 6, 2014 at 10:14 am

        I agree with you there Harleena, we as women can endure a lot more than men. Crazy right? They are supposed to be the strong one, LOL.

        I hope this post reached the right people. I’m so glad you shared this with us!

        Hope you had a great weekend and enjoying your Monday morning!

  6. Debbie

    May 28, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Excellent article Harleena and I hope it will help those who feel trapped in such a relationship. As Corina said, one can be blinded by love and miss the early signs. So glad you were able to escape from that, Corina!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 28, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Debbie,

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      Yes, it was written with the aim to help those who are trapped in such an abusive relationship, and to make the others a little aware about what could happen, so that they are careful too.

      I agree with what Corina and you say – one IS blinded by love and that’s the major reason we forget to see all flaws. She was lucky to escape, but there are so many others who just take it as a normal part of their lives, not really knowing they are facing abuse. Hope these early warning signs of an abusive relationship help them take timely action.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    • Corina Ramos

      May 29, 2013 at 6:29 am

      Thanks Debbie :)and Harleena, I’m with Donna…I can’t be around people arguing and then there are things that trigger an emotion and before you know it you’re back in that place.

      I love how Donna said it…we are Victors not Victims 🙂

      • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

        Harleena Singh

        May 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm

        Completely agree with you there Corina. I think you move at the right time was the perfect decision. Yes, real victors and survivors 🙂

  7. Donna Merrill

    May 28, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Thank you Harleena for addressing this issue.

    I’ve been there myself and turned victim to victor! But it took much therapy and a total change to do so.

    There are too many women in this situation. You have explained so much that people won’t consider abusive.

    When I get a client that has been emotionally or verbally abused I often tell them I rather see them with a black eye, than the destruction inside of them.

    Because I went through this years ago, I also volunteered for the Battered Woman’s Shelter. I did learn a lot!

    To this day, if I see something in a movie that triggers a memory, it is still clear in my mind and evokes an emotional response.

    This is serious stuff and you have written the best article I’ve seen around.

    On behalf of all those who have been there, or are there, I thank you.

    Donna

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 29, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      Hi Donna,

      Nice to know that you could so well relate to this important issue – having gone through it yourself. I liked that – victim to victor 🙂

      I can well imagine how hard it must’ve been, and even after the therapy, it must have taken quite a while to get over such a traumatic experience. I agree with you – there are many women going through such a relationship, but they either don’t know they are living in one, or then don’t know how to get out of one.

      I loved what you said, and I’m sure your clients would be motivated by just those few words. I wonder as to how they keep taking in everything with a pinch of salt – or perhaps like Corina said – one is so much in love, that we don’t see anything wrong in what our partner does, or the way he or she treats us till it just becomes too much to bear. I guess we all tend to wait too long before we take action – isn’t it?

      Volunteering for the Battered Woman’s Shelter must have been a learning experience for you, and I’m sure they must’ve told you how to deal with things after such a relationship ends. I wish we had more of such institutions our end. There are a few, but again, how many women are really aware and step out to take a firm decision and move out of such a relationship.

      Of course, those feelings can never die, and anything that triggers such memories will make you emotional. I’m sorry if this post brought up such feelings – it wasn’t meant to.

      Thank you so much for saying those kind words, and I thank you for sharing your experiences and words of wisdom with all of us here. I’m sure all those who are going through the same phase, or been there would be able to learn from it.

  8. Babanature

    May 28, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Hello Harleena,

    Wow!!! People really need to read this post to be enlightened. I actually love how you give the tips, they are really indeed a head on…

    Some people who are in love actually don’t see this signs and later fall victim of abuse. Information is just the key. Thanks for bringing this lovely post up and have your self a lovely week… 🙂

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 29, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      Hi Babanature,

      Ah…thanks for your kind words or appreciation. 🙂

      I just feel so bad for the men and women who are going through an abusive relationship, which made me come up with this post. And if there are no tips, I don’t think we are helping our readers or those in need, in any way – isn’t it?

      That is where the whole problem lies – just like Corina mentioned above – love IS blind, and we really don’t see beyond the person we are in love with. Often times, we take their abusive ways as their second nature and live all our lives just like that, because we don’t know the real meaning of abuse.

      I do hope these early signs of an abusive relationship can help those going through a rough patch in their lives, to take timely action.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us. Have a nice week ahead as well 🙂

  9. Neamat Tawadrous

    May 28, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    This is an awesome article and a great advice for those who are undergoing an abusive relationship. I hope they heed the advice and get out of that relationship before it is too late.

    I have been in a relationship when I was 19 and if I continued, I am sure it would have become an abusive relationship and the sign was jealousy. There is a big difference between jealousy and love. Jealousy is some kind of control but love is understanding and trusting. I was not allowed to talk to anyone and I didn’t even realize it only after few incidents. I used to go and shake hands with some friends and all of a sudden, I find him out of control and when I ask what’s wrong, I discover it was because I was talking to someone away from him. Looking back, I am so glad I didn’t continue with this relationship.

    I also know a friend who is in a very abusive relationship that she lost her self-esteem and she is about to lose her mind too but she doesn’t want to leave and when you ask why, she says for the sake of the kids. But for goodness sake, this is not healthy for the kids to see all the abuse going on. I hope she listens before she regret it down the road.

    I urge and I hope for all those who are in an abusive relationship to please take action and leave for your own well being.

    Thanks Harleena for bringing such a topic into the light. Great article as always.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 29, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      Hi Neamat,

      Glad you liked the post, and yes, it is written with an intention to help those who are having problems in their relationship so that they can see the early signs of an abusive relationship and take timely action.

      Ah…I guess having gone through one yourself, you’d know best, though I’m glad it was just limited to jealousy and didn’t go beyond. Yes indeed, there is a huge difference between love and jealousy. Love gives you freedom to do what you want to do, and you only grow in love.

      I think your ex-partner was over possessive and wanted you all to himself, and so was jealous even if you talked to anyone, or didn’t even allow that. It must be rather suffocating to be in such a relationship, and am glad you moved out of it before it really sucked you in.

      Oh dear…I can so well relate to your married friend, and that is how it is with most women who have kids. It’s because of their children that they don’t move out of their abusive relationship and keep bearing it all up, till one fine day they just explode, or give up on life.

      I agree, she doesn’t realize that this is what her kids are learning, and I just hope they don’t do this with their partners, or many kids even refuse to get married because they have seen their parents in such a relationship and feel that all marriages turn up sour like this. She should move out, for her sake and for her kid’s. That one bold step is all that’s needed.

      I also hope no one in an abusive relationship carries on living in such a worthless relationship that’s got no end. Move out before it all gets too late. And if you have kids – move out for their sake, you’d only be glad you did.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

  10. Debbie

    May 28, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Very important post Harleena.

    I was in an abusive marriage. It was verbally abusive. It was a relief to get out of the marriage. One reason that I stayed in the marriage was (I was young and stupid) I thought I could change him. Sure glad that I got smart. Many times when we think if we love someone enough that love will change them. It is not going to happen. We must always remember, this person is who they want to be. Only they can see and decide if they want to change.

    Life is too short to stay in an abuse relationship of any kind. Thanks again for your great wisdom Harleena.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 29, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      Hi Debbie,

      It surely is a very important topic, and having been in one yourself, you’d be the right person to guide others here 🙂

      You brought up another good reason why most people stay in a marriage or even a relationship, because they feel their love can change the other person. So, they keep trying day after day till they give up on things. I’m glad you moved out – yes, it surely was a smart move. I guess you saw these early signs of an abusive relationship coming up and took timely action.

      I agree with you – it’s very tough to change people if they don’t see the fault in themselves or don’t want to make a change in their behavior. Life IS short, and it makes sense to live your moments in peace and harmony, rather in such an abusive relationship.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your pearls of wisdom with us. 🙂

  11. Mary Stephenson

    May 29, 2013 at 2:33 am

    Hi Harleena

    Known a few bad cases of this and luckily both were able to get out with their lives. Physical abuse is not a problem to figure out, but verbal put downs are a little harder to figure out. Is one just being too sensitive or jealous or does he put you down to cover his own unfairness in a relationship. Sometimes men as they say feel trapped, even though they were the ones that pursued the marriage. His peers can unfortunately be a big influence on his respect for his wife. But that usually happens in the first part of the marriage. Hopefully if they stay together he grows up. Seen that happen a few times also. Not necessarily a bad marriage, but a bit of a struggle until they mature enough to come to some common ground.

    Great things to look out for in any relationship. Should be a read for any new lovers.

    Mary

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      Harleena Singh

      May 29, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      Hi Mary,

      I’m glad to hear that those people were lucky enough to move out in time. 🙂

      Physical abuse one can see coming and perhaps take a stand in some cases, while emotional, mental, and verbal abuse can hurt your inner core.

      I agree with you there, some men feel trapped in their marriages though they were the ones who agreed for it after weighing out things. Oh yes…peers and in-laws DO influence the marriage, and they can even turn the partners against each other in some cases. IF he grows up then things might get better, though I doubt if such a person who listens to his or her peers more would change later. Yes, struggle is there, unless they move out to a place of their own, when there is no one but the two of them and their own family – it does make a difference.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us 🙂

  12. Sue Neal

    May 29, 2013 at 3:10 am

    Hi Harleena,

    You’ve picked on another important topic close to my heart – I’ve been told that in this country 2 women are killed by their partners or ex-partners ever week, a staggering and profoundly depressing statistic. My own sister was one of those statistics. I do think people need to be aware of the warning signs, which you outline very well in this post – but I also think we need a more open debate in our societies about why this happens – why do so many men control, abuse and kill their own wives and girlfriends? Why does society – even allegedly enlightened western societies – appear to tolerate this level of abuse? Why is there not more of an outcry about it? If more women abused and murdered their male partners, perhaps we’d have more public enquiries, because then our male-dominated governments might wake up and take notice.

    Sorry – bit of a rant! Thanks for raising awareness of this issue, Harleena – it’s another one that needs bringing out into the daylight.

    Sue

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      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      Hi Sue,

      It surely is an important topic, and close to my heart as well 🙂

      Gosh! That IS some stats! I looked around a lot for the correct stats to add to the post and looked up a few sites too, but all of their data was different from one another. Nevertheless, if this is what the right stats are – I do hope people wake up!

      Sorry to hear about your sister. I agree with you that though these early warning signs of an abusive relationship might warn a few people or save a few lives, the core reason as to why it starts or happens needs to be addressed, which might help eradicate this from the root level.

      While men are more in control and the cause of an abusive relationship, but there are even some women who are just as bad, though not a much as the men. Ah…why do they behave this way, and why doesn’t the society, especially the Western society where abuse is more prevalent take out strict rules for this are questions that came to my mind too. Or is it that the culture there is becoming such because one sees such a relationship in almost every second house!

      The only outcry I see in this regard is the several Facebook groups and pages that have been made, perhaps to create awareness. But are those really working? And is all of this enough – are points to reflect on.

      You raised a good point – that had these crimes been committed more by women – it would have raised eyebrows and enquirers for sure! But this is what happens in our country too, and such abuses are rising a lot at our end also now, and there is no one to really take a hold on this. I do intend taking up the topic of rape one day, and that would be an eye opener because not even the 2-3 month girl child is spared! How much can people fall….

      Oh no…I loved your rant, and it made me think of a lot of things too, which came to mind when I was writing this post, because we all know this happens, and might write about it to create awareness, but what are the policy and law makers doing? I wish they rise up to see all that’s going on.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding so much more to the post. I value your contribution as always, and I see your words as words of wisdom that I appreciate 🙂

  13. Bren

    May 29, 2013 at 3:48 am

    Hi Harleena,

    What a very informative and helpful post. I’m gladly sharing this one around as I do know some who have been and are still in abusive relationships.

    As you mentioned, there are many types of abusive relationships and it’s not always the women who are victims. I knew a couple of men who were not only physically abused by verbally and emotionally as well. It made me so mad because there is very little help for men who are being abused as well as men who won’t come forward to get the help they need for fear it makes them look weak for allowing a woman to abuse them.

    I was in a few abusive relationships in my lifetime and grew up with an alcoholic father who was emotionally and verbally abusive. Abuse is a horrible thing and those who were able to escape do not escape without scars. Some will never find the strength to leave that relationship for fear of the “what if’s”. Those also who stay quite possibly may be the death of them.

    So sad. Whomever reads this, please get out if you are in an abusive relationship. There is so much more to life.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      Hi Bren,

      Glad you could resonate with the post, and thank you for sharing it with those who might need this information 🙂

      Yes indeed, although women are abused more, but there are many men too who are in an abusive relationship, and as you rightly mentioned – not physically but emotionally and verbally. There is little help for men, and even for women, just as Sue was mentioning above. I guess all the laws are mainly made for women, if there any effective ones, and the men often feel left out because they also undergo the same pain.

      I agree, very few men come forward because they feel their names will get tarnished or the fear of what others might think of them, or take them to be weak. I guess they too keep bearing it up and get used to things like women.

      Sorry to hear about your relationship, and also about the way your father was. I guess it was bad for you before you were in a relationship, and even after that. Scars always do remain, and those memories can never really go away I think.

      It’s tougher for the married lots to move away from an abusive relationship, especially if they have kids because they are on their mind too. And as you mentioned, those questions and fears they have often makes them carry on the way they do right till the end of their lives, which is rather sad.

      I liked your last line, and I’m glad it’s what you commonly share with others who have been in such a relationship, but have come out strong and made a life of your own now. Just as Corina and Donna mentioned – such people are all victors, not victims 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. It means a lot to me when you encourage others to move out, if they are in such relationships 🙂

  14. I. C. Daniel

    May 29, 2013 at 4:15 am

    The time with abusing has gone in my opinion. Women today are smart. When they fell something goes wrong they dump bad guys. Sounds fair for me.

    Best regards from I. C. Daniel

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      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      Hi Daniel,

      I wish that were the case, and while women are smart in most areas, but the abuse that they face, or even men for that matter hasn’t really ended. Those going through such a relationship would be knowing better all that they face.

      Yes, it’s good if they are able to dump the guys or vice-versa when things don’t work, and that’s what should be done ideally. But they are so much in love that these early signs of an abusive relationship are often not seen till it all gets too late. I hope this post makes them realize this fact and take timely action.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  15. Jodi

    May 29, 2013 at 4:45 am

    Love how you put call to actions in here. Sometimes it is so hard to take action when self doubt is in the way. But this article really cuts it off at every turn, helping remind the abused person that they are right what they are thinking!

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      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      Hi Jodi,

      Glad you liked those little tips mentioned in the call to action. 🙂

      I just felt that it makes sense to give some kind of solution for those undergoing such an abusive relationship in their lives in whatever best way I could. Those undergoing all of this are already down the dumps, and we need to boost their self-esteem and help them come out of it all, for which I think all of us need to join hands – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  16. Evelyn Lim

    May 29, 2013 at 6:37 am

    Excellent article, Harleena. I especially like the part on call to action!Many of those who are in abusive relationships are reluctant or slow to take proactive steps. It can take a long time for them to realize what action steps they need to take. Your call to action can be a wake-up call while it is still not too late to get out of one quickly!

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      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      Hi Evelyn,

      Glad you liked the article, and yes, just as I was telling Jodi above – these call to actions are some kind of solutions for those going through such an abusive relationship. 🙂

      Yes indeed, those going through such a relationship often wait too long, and just as Corina and a few others mentioned above – they are blinded by love and often don’t see these early warning signs of an abusive relationship till it all gets out of hand.

      I do hope that these call to actions make people realize that it’s not too late and they too can make a difference to their lives – provided they make that effort and first move.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us 🙂

  17. B k chowla

    May 29, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Oh,as we are getting modernised and affluent ,such incidents are on the increase.
    In my opinion,one must end this relationship at the earliest

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      Hi BK,

      Absolutely! Abusive relationships are surely on the rise as compared to the earlier times, when there was much more of love and understanding between partners. Or perhaps even if such things existed then, people weren’t very aware about it as they are today.

      I agree with you there, if they’ve tried their best and nothing seems to be working, they shouldn’t wait long, and ending such a relationship would be a wiser decision.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us 🙂

  18. Oluwaseun Babajide

    May 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Harleena,

    I have never gone through an abusive relationship but I have seen this happen to friends. I don’t know why some will want to treat a partner like an animal? This is not my lifestyle and I “HATE” people that do this. I have seen guys beating up ladies on the streets etc. I am happy that you have put together some early warning signs of an abusive relationship that can help.

    Thanks for the share.
    -Seun

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      Hi Seun,

      Glad you could relate to the post, and yes, we do have friends and even some family members who’ve gone through such abusive relationships.

      Ah…good question – the answer to which only the abuser would have! It’s tough for us to imagine as to how one person can treat another, especially who they love so much, in such a way. I wonder if they really loved their partner to treat them like this.

      I do hope these early signs of an abusive relationship help those who are going through this rough phase in their lives to take timely action before it gets too late.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  19. Mayura

    May 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Early warning signs can help a lot. I think it’s always better to start with warnings in this type of discussions too 🙂

    It’s rare I’ve seen abusive relationships among the people in my age group so far. But I can recall a boy who was threatening his girlfriend to get things done. The funny thing is they didn’t fall in love, but boy threatened her that he will suicide unless she say YES when he asks her. I don’t know what to call that relationship though and don’t think it will last long either.

    But when it comes to married couples, I’ve heard about women nagging all the time 😀 lol… Those men felt like they trapped in somewhere and looking for alternatives such as spending more time with their friends, consume alcohol (Not an alternative at all) and so on. They don’t go for divorce either as it can be embarrassing. Anyway I don’t know the whole story, but that’s the part of men. I always wonder why they can’t just take few minutes and talk about it honestly.

    Feeling lack of love and jealousy are common symptoms I’ve come across when I listen to break up stories of my friends. I remember you were talking about that in a post earlier about stages of love. I don’t say breaking up is a bad thing at all though. I think, if a relationship doesn’t seem to work out or both can’t find alternatives to solve ’em, they better proceed with the break up 🙂

    Checking out the background of partner is always a wise thing to do, else we might come to false conclusions. My girlie didn’t open up about some things at first ’cause she thought if she tells me about ’em, I’ll get upset like her father 🙂

    You have a wonderful week there Harleena 🙂

    Cheers…

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      Hi Mayura,

      Yes – I hope these early signs of an abusive relationship can help those who are going through a rough time in their life to take action before everything gets out of hand.

      You’re lucky if you haven’t seen such problems in your friend’s circle or family, or perhaps people might not be sharing their problems openly and might be going through it all within, as this is one common problem with most of them – they fear coming out with things openly as it might tarnish their status or name.

      Ah…those kind of threats guys normally give girls to win them over, or kind of blackmail them emotionally. But as you rightly mentioned, that’s not love, or it might be just one-sided love and doesn’t last long, unless the lover is really and obsessive one and goes to great lengths. More so, the girl or the guy are not bound to each other as there’s no love, so the feelings aren’t all that strong, and they really don’t have to listen to what their partner tells them in such a case.

      Yes – I hear you loud and clear, and I’m sure even my hubby would nod in agreement here! But I won’t lie, a little bit of wife-nagging is very normal, or else the husbands just don’t listen! And even if they do, they might take their own sweet time doing things, which the wife feels needs immediate attention. Not to mention, they then tend to call all of this as mental or emotional abuse at times if things get out of hand. However, such can be the case when even husbands nag their wives – it works both ways I would say, though men commonly complain more of their wives nagging them 🙂

      I agree with you there, such men take to alcohol, womanizing, or spending time with friends and other activities – anything that keeps them away from their wives! Same is the case with the wives who feel their husbands are nags. Yes – they don’t go in for divorce because they care for their fame-name factor and prefer bearing it up, or find these above alternatives to live their lives peacefully, though the love tends to lessen I feel in all of this. You hit the nail on the head – both sides need time to sit and talk out things, and what’s bothering either of them and make amends to resolve issues before they go beyond limits.

      I’m glad you remember that post on the stages of love relationships. Yes, if you have tried everything in your power to make things work between the two of you, and nothing seems to be really working – it’s best to call it quits and end such a relationship rather than suffer life long living through one.

      I know love is blind and we never tend to think about checking on our partners background or their past records, but if we do, we can save ourselves a lot of trouble later when we get more involved in the relationship because then it gets tougher to break away. I can understand why your girly did that and sometimes such fears are normal, though as long as they disclose the facts in due course of time.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and adding more value to the post, as always. Have a nice week ahead as well 🙂

      • Mayura

        June 5, 2013 at 12:58 am

        Yeah Harleena, perhaps they might not open about it 🙂 Sometimes the friction from our society and how other people respond to that matter keep ’em silent. Anyway it’s solely in their hands.

        LOL 😀 A little bit of wife-nagging?! Alright… My girlie once told me I’m obsessed with blogging than studies and used to come out within her phrases. But I’ve proved results with flying colors 😉 Anyway I don’t call it nagging though. I’d say caring.

        As I see, girls / women are bit more serious in everything than men 😉 Sometimes I feel it’s being overprotective or thinking too much. But when men are serious enough, it’s non-stoppable too.

        However, I’ll take your point for nagging 😉

        Cheers…

  20. Sharky Liu

    May 29, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Hello Harleena,

    A friend of mine used to be in an abusive relationship. It was a disaster! I’m glad its over now. We used to tell her to leave the guy she was with but she just wouldn’t listen. She was so blinded by love. The guy was very jealous and does not want her to spend time with anyone but him. She doesn’t have any freedom to do what she wants. But good thing she came to her senses.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      Hi Sharky,

      Glad you could relate to the post 🙂

      I too am glad your friend is out of such an abusive relationship, and I’m sure she must be much happier now. Yes, when one is in love, one IS blinded to see anything beyond each other. We tend to miss out these early warning signs of an abusive relationships that might even occur and often tend to take them as a normal nature of the person, only to realize later.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  21. Temilola Globalwalyy

    May 29, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Hello Harleena,

    First of all let me tender my apology for my absent here for few days, just got some issue to take care off…

    Back to the post, When your partner forces you to have sex with him or her , without your permission, is that not Raping?

    i wonder why most people love to stay in a relationship when they surely know they are not wanted…

    Thanks for writing….

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      Hi Temilola,

      Not a problem at all, we all tend to have lots of catching up to do at times, and I’m glad you came over whenever you found the time 🙂

      Yes, it is, and that’s what is also called sexually abusing your partner. I guess love is blind and people don’t see beyond each other, and often these warning signs are sidetracked. I wish people realize and understand that it’s better to move out of such a relationship before it gets too late in life.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  22. L. Lane

    May 30, 2013 at 1:22 am

    I’m sorry, but the “call[s] to action” really ticked me off. As the survivor of a long-term abusive relationship, I can tell you that each call to action you suggest, save the last one, will get an abused person thoroughly assaulted. There is no “call to action” in response to abusive treatment other than leaving the abuser. Whenever I tried to stand up for myself, my ex called me “defiant” and beat the crap out of me for it. What are your credentials?

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 31, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      Welcome to the blog L. Lane!

      First, I’m sorry for all that you’ve been through. Abusive relationships are bad, and the best person to tell all about it is the person who has the real experience. I value and honor your views – the best option is to opt out. However, having said that, we cannot generalize this solution because people are different, they undergo different conditions depending on different circumstances – the solution for one may not fit the other.

      Whatever you’ve gone through and however you were able to get out of the abusive relationship – the fact to be appreciated is that you’re survivor, and all kudos to you for being that. The call to action mentioned in this post may not suit you, but there are others who find them quite helpful. Further, this post is only about the early signs of abusive relationship, and I’ve clearly mentioned that after trying a bit, the option left is to leave.

      Definitely, I’m not an expert and authority on abusive relationships, but I’ve tried to raise this issue and bring it to mainstream for open discussions and sharing views. Every reader has the right to accept or reject the suggestions of the post, and I’m glad you’ve added value to the discussion with your knowledge from personal experiences.

      Thanks for stopping by, and do drop in again and contribute your wisdom on other topics of this blog. 🙂

      • L. Lane

        May 31, 2013 at 11:19 pm

        Harleena, I really do appreciate your motivations behind the piece and know you mean well. My big concern is that there are a number of different types of responses one might present to a potentially physically abusive partner that could result in a dangerous situation.

        For example, the first time my ex beat me was three months after I moved in with him, when I cried over his forgetting my birthday–a seemingly harmless act, just expressing sadness, but a trigger for violence in this case nonetheless. Before then, he’d had a few explosive episodes in which he’d yelled and ranted for varying lengths of time; it was the added guilt factor (obviously not my fault, but he was ill-equipped to handle it) that prompted him to lash out physically. I nearly left him that night, but denial over the possibility of such an event recurring held me back. Other self-deluding beliefs kept me with him for nearly five years.

        One might look for signs, and even respond in a manner similar as you what you’ve suggested, but regardless of whether one identifies early warning signs or not, motivated reasoning will ultimately keep a person in an abusive relationship until that breaking point forces the decision to leave.

  23. Sylviane Nuccio

    May 30, 2013 at 4:53 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Those are true signs to look to. I have noticed that the first one you mentioned when the person wants to settle too early regardless of the fact that their partner is ready or not is a red flag to me.

    This is the first sign you’ll see in almost any abusive relationship. More often the male, but it can sometimes be the female as well.

    I think that trying to “cure” such a deep problem on your own is impossible. If you see an abusing temper sign, get the heck out of it, I’d say!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      Hi Sylviane,

      Yes they are, though most people tend to ignore them till much later in their relationship.

      I agree with you there. No one should fall for the trap and commit into marriage early or when their partner pressurizes them to do so. You need to take your time, and till you don’t know the person well enough – never enter into marriage. The choices always lie in your hands – don’t they?

      If you see trouble coming up in your relationship and make use of these early warning signs, you can still manage your way around. But if you wait too long and things get worse, you would need help or support to get away from such a relationship, if you aren’t able to walk out on your own.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us 🙂

  24. Gari

    May 30, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I think it is soooo important to get the early warning signals. One of these signals that I never read was my partners background. He came from a family where dad abused mom all the time and my first visit dad was drunk and hitting the mom and my partner did not bat an eyelid. He was always very good to me argumentative but never lifted his finger until a week before the wedding and then that was the start of it and lasted until I left 5 years later. If there is one thing I could tell people is to talk about it and get out on the very first strike. One strike and you out that should be the rule. Thanks for highlighting this.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 31, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      Welcome to the blog Gari!

      I also thought that these early signs of an abusive relationship might help those who are having a rough time in their relationship in some ways, so that they can take decision and lead better lives 🙂

      Ah…we often tend to ignore the background of our partner as we get blinded in love, or perhaps we feel we are concerned only with this person and what’s gone by is past and over with. But just as you mentioned, sometimes we need to be careful as such traits might just run into their genes and cause problems later.

      I guess you fell into his trap, and you carried on for 5 years. Perhaps during that time period he continued doing what he did earlier, though I’m glad you are out of all now. Yes, take timely action before it gets too late, that’s a common message being conveyed by all those who have gone through such an abusive relationship.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us. 🙂

  25. Cynthia

    May 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Hi Harlena,

    I have been in relationships that were abusive. I have been lucky to have gotten out without too much baggage. Most of the ones that I have been in have been verbally abusive and you did not know they were doing it until you just really starting to feel bad about yourself so you stay because you feel you are lucky to have someone.

    This is such an important topic.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      Hi Cynthia – good to have you back 🙂

      Oh dear…there are so many people who’ve been through an abusive relationship. Makes me realize that I should’ve written this post much earlier as it seems to be affecting many around us.

      I’m glad you crossed it over and are happier in your life now. You’re right – you don’t tend to realize that such a relationship is an abusive one till you start feeling low and unworthy of yourself, and this is all done by the abuser. I agree, I think you are too much in love or involved with your partner to realize or even think of such early warning signs of an abusive relationship coming up.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us 🙂

  26. rohit

    May 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Nice article. It helps me alot ma’am i also very rude sometime with her but not abuse. I don’t know how to tell her that please do not distrub when iam working but She dont want to understand. What to do please tell me because i dont to lose her at any cost

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 31, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      Welcome to the blog Rohit!

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      Ah…rudeness is a behavior that I’m sure you can rectify yourself because you do realize you were rude. Yes, if such a behavior continues it can turn to abuse, but I’m sure you are taking care of that already.

      If she disturbs you while you work, perhaps you need to take her away from your work one day, sit with her, and talk to her by explaining her what your work is all about, and all that you need to do. Tell her that she shouldn’t disturb you between work, or better still specify a time after which she can call or talk to you. I’m sure she will understand your situation much better once you take her into confidence and talk out things, and explain them to her.

      Hope this helps. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      • rohit

        June 2, 2013 at 5:48 pm

        Thanks Ma’am, i hope this work. I’ll try tonight. thanks again

        • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

          Harleena Singh

          June 2, 2013 at 6:17 pm

          Most welcome Rohit, and I hope it all works for you.

          Thanks for your visit 🙂

  27. Hiten

    May 30, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    This was a wonderful article on the early signs of an abusive relationship.

    I’ve never experienced such a relationship and have found your advice to be so helpful for if I ever do, or know of anyone who does.

    For me, you summed it up brilliantly when you stated to look out for feelings of fear, danger, or mistrust that we might experience. As you quite rightly said, if we do experience such emotions then it is definitely important to investigate why. Indeed, such signs could indicate that we are in an abusive or potentially abusive relationship.

    Thank you.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 31, 2013 at 12:19 am

      Hi Hiten,

      Nice to know that you liked the post 🙂

      I hope you never have to go through such a relationship ever, but yes, I do hope these early signs of an abusive relationship help those who are going through a rough phase in their relationships so that they can decide which direction they can take.

      If we are able to trust our instincts and know those feelings of fear, danger, or mistrust – we need to weigh out why such feelings have arisen, or else if we still feel strongly about them there should be no second thought, other than to move out from such a relationship because our inner or gut feelings are rarely wrong.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us 🙂

  28. Dwayne Castle

    May 30, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Good read.

    One of the frustrations I have in regard to abusive relationships is the frequency that victims escape this abusive behavior but then go back into the same situation with the original abuser or someone else with the same characteristics. Low self-esteem produces a type of cycle where some don’t believe they are worth loving. Until we get an understanding that we are each a treasure to The Creator, and are born with value, this epidemic will continue. It is incumbent upon those of us who “know love” to “show love” to all people and to encourage those in our spheres of influence that they matter. It is a must that when we see abuse taking place that we stand up for justice, even if it creates awkward moments. Silence is the enemy of solution. Thank you for highlighting the warning signs and the issue.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 31, 2013 at 12:31 am

      Hi Dwayne,

      I agree with you there, but if you see some of the comments above, most people do this because they are blind in love to see the flaws of the person. I guess they don’t realize that they are living or have a relationship with an abuser till it gets too late in the day.

      Yes indeed, low self-esteem or a feeling of worthlessness are common with the victim and it’s tough for them to come out of such an abusive relationship when they are going through one – at that given time. It does take a lot of will-power and determination to move out of one, and those who have done it – have proved that their step was the right one and are now leading better and happier lives.

      I liked what you mentioned about we the people, standing up for justice, especially when we see such abuse carrying on. While we do have a few institutions and law policies made for the same, how many of us do really step out and take charge or try to make a difference? We need to think more on this, and really bring about measures so that a change can be brought about – perhaps by each one of us being a responsible citizen and playing our part.

      Thanks for stopping by and help create awareness 🙂

  29. Shazida Khatun

    May 30, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Harleena @ Relationship and love are the head and tail of coin , so it must maintain the balance on real time needs . If any one fails to do so then it will force to becoming abusive or horrible ! However thanks for the thoughts !

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      Harleena Singh

      May 31, 2013 at 12:48 am

      Welcome to the blog Shazida – good to have you over 🙂

      I agree with you there, we do need to maintain the right balance when we are in a loving relationship. I guess if either of the partners starts to take control of the other or when the drifts start in a relationship – that’s when things can become pretty bad. I hope these early signs of an abusive relationship can help people take timely action before it’s too late.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  30. Aleshia Clarke

    May 30, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    My sister was in an abusive relationship for 20+ years. She continues to be stalked by her ex-husband 3 years after their divorce. I was in one for 6 years, then stalked for 1 year afterwards. Our children have suffered immeasurably. My advice to anyone in a relationship: If you EVER feel FEARFUL in a relationship, END IT.

    It always gets worse; maybe not tomorrow, or next month, but it will eventually. It gets harder to leave the longer you stay. Abusers are skilled at “entangling” your life with theirs, so that you are ALWAYS CONNECTED to them. If you are in an abusive relationship, find supportive people to help you emotionally and physically (family, friends, counselors, advocates). Don’t worry about shame, or hiding the secret – they already know, and they are terribly worried about your safety.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 31, 2013 at 1:06 am

      Welcome to the blog Aleshia – good to have you over 🙂

      Sorry to hear about your sister and all that she’s going through even to-date. I guess she took too long to move away from such an abusive relationship, or perhaps such early signs of an abusive relationship weren’t there to help her out that time. I’m glad she took the decision and moved out finally, and am sure if proper measures are taken, even this stalking would stop.

      Ah…you too – tough to believe so many people who have been through such a lot, though I’m glad all have come out of it and are here today to share their stories with everyone here. Yes, the children are the ones who suffer the most, and in some cases, the victim doesn’t even move out of such an abusive relationship for their kids sake – it’s all so sad.

      I agree with your advice – if anyone is living in such a fearful and horrible relationship, gather up the courage to end it, or else move out in time so that you and your kids, if you have any, can lead better lives.

      Oh yes…it does get worse in most of the cases unless the abuser understands his mistakes and make amends, which rarely happens. It does get harder to leave later in the relationship, and as you mentioned, there is always something or the other that they do to keep you tied to them.

      I love your message to all those who are going through such an abusive relationship – don’t feel ashamed or try to hide your name, nor hide behind with false hopes, because it’s not worth it, and no one is going to come out to help you if you don’t reach out to seek it yourself. Instead, take that one bold step and move forward – you will only be glad you did.

      Thanks for stopping by and encouraging those in such a relationship to take action. 🙂

  31. Praveen Rajarao

    May 31, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Harleena – This is a very touching article and you have proved to be a fabulous writer again and again with such well written posts!!!

    Abuse is rampant in today’s society, and many go un-noticed. One should stand up and say ‘NO’ as you have rightly pointed out. Voice for concern is very important, and no one can dominate any other person. If everybody understands this and reads this article, it can actually help them to a great extent.

    Your call for action piece is very good and you have taken the right stand to publish them against each point. There is a lot to learn from this article and also share with others to make them informed as well.

    Thanks once again.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 31, 2013 at 1:26 am

      Hi Praveen,

      Glad you liked the post, and yes, it is a touching one. I guess one just feels sp bad seeing so many people being abused in their relationships.

      Ah..thanks for your kind words of appreciation, though I wish I could have done something more worthwhile for those who undergo so much. I guess by trying to make people a little aware by sharing these early signs of an abusive relationship might help them to take action in time and live happier lives.

      I agree with you there, but if you see the previous comments, most of the victims are so much in awe and love with their partners that they see no flaw, and keep accepting or taking the abuse as it comes because they get used to it, or they want to stay in such a relationship, or then because they have the fear of society and what people might say. Whosoever is in such a relationship, or knows of someone who is in one – you need to help yourself, or them, to stand up and say NO or then move out if things aren’t working. Often times the waiting and hoping carries on till it gets too late in the day and you just live the rest of your life in regret.

      I did feel these call to actions might help in some ways because we all know the problems in hand, but what about some kind of solutions for those who are going through such relationships. I don’t say I know all, and there might be much better solutions to these problems too, but I just tried using what best I knew, keeping myself in place of such a person.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  32. Gladys

    May 31, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Hello Ms. Harleena

    I agree with many of the comments that have posted already. I can tell you I WAS in an abusive marriage for many years. This person would put a gun to my temple and would raped me. The abuse was beyond words.

    To make a long story short…. Anyone in this type of relationship needs to get out…. not matter what. My scars and the pain of the beatings was beyond me, BUT Harleena, I am so thankful to God for my healing in the emotions. It took a long time, but my first step in healing my heart was to FORGIVE HIM. This sounds strange to many, but I felt in my heart that if I would forgive him, that would be the beginning of my healing.

    Thank you again for this wonderful article. I appreciate your voice to the world.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 31, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Hi Gladys,

      Nice to know that you could so well relate to the post and to what others mentioned above

      Sorry to hear about all that you underwent – just amazes me how people can be so brutal and behave like this! Sadly most of my dear friends have been through a lot too, but I’m glad they are all out of such abusive relationships and living much better and happier lives now.

      I can well understand that such a lot of hurt and pain take ages to heal, though the scars left might only heal, and if they do, the memories must still be coming up off and on. Gosh! To be able to forgive such a person must have taken a lot of courage and acceptance of a lot of things too. But I agree with you, when you forgive and let go of things that are now beyond your control – you can begin your new journey and the healing is much better and quicker this way. However, as you rightly mentioned, very few are able to understand this aspect, leave alone follow it.

      Thank for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us, which might help many in the same condition

  33. Annie André

    May 31, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    You brought up some really great points. Some of the commentors left some really great points of view too from personal experience.
    I wanted to add that sometimes when you are in a verbally abusive relationship where theh person is passive aggressive, you don’t even know that you are in an abusive relationship. So you don’t know what to look for or how to get help. You feel a lot of guilt and feel like it’s YOUR fault trying to make things better and the other person happy but it never works. Only when the relationship ends and you are in a good relationship can you see the past for what it was..

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 31, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      Hi Annie,

      Glad you liked these early signs of an abusive relationships, and yes, I’m grateful to all those people who have shared their experiences with all of us, especially those who have gone through it all.

      Your’e absolutely right – you never really can make out half the time. I’m glad you added those lines that the self-guilt factor remains and we keep trying to please the other person but it never really works. Oh yes…when you compare your past relationship to the present one is when you make out the difference and wonder as to why you waited so long to move out of that one. I wish things were simpler for people, or they had someone to tell them that it’s best to get-away from such a person.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post 🙂

  34. Sharky Liu

    May 31, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    You’re welcome. 🙂 I like reading your posts. They are very informative. Keep it up, Harleena!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 31, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      You are most welcome. It gives me immense pleasure to know that you are liking my posts and hope you keep coming by to read more of them.

      Thanks once again 🙂

  35. Sebastian Aiden Daniels

    May 31, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    This post inspired me to write a post on my blog. A post about when you are the abuser or were the abuser and how to change. : D

    I thought this was a great post. I had one disagreement with it. That you call jealousy a negative emotion. Jealousy is just an emotional, a chemical reaction in your body and it is neither good or bad. How you respond to it is what makes it effective or ineffective. We all have felt in some form or shape jealousy, but it is how we react to it that matters.

    I wish I could say I have never been jealous or possessive, but that would be a downright lie. I have. The key is how you act because of your emotions.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 1, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Hi Sebastian,

      Good to hear that 🙂

      While I agree with what you wrote about jealousy, it is a negative emotion if it brings up such feelings that make you abuse your partner, especially if you become so jealous and don’t allow him/her to do or be who he/she want’s to do or be. Otherwise, yes, jealousy is a very normal emotion that anyone can have.

      I guess we all have our little jealous or possessive moments, but going over-possessive and going overboard with it all is when problems occur. Yes indeed, sometimes even when you have such emotions, if you are able to keep them under control and not react to it – it works well.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  36. Adrienne

    June 1, 2013 at 2:45 am

    I’m oftentimes surprised to learn about some people who have been in an abusive relationship. Knowing them from the outside you would have never thought but then you head what was going on behind closed doors and shocked beyond belief.

    I was in somewhat of an abusive relationships. I see the tendencies of it having been that without the physical altercations. Of course he was abusive physically to his child which is the only reason I stayed as long as I did, to protect him.

    He was very controlling though and manipulative. He was really great at convincing you that everything was your fault. He would just beat me down until I gave in just to shut him up.

    I hate that people have such a hold over you at times and I can definitely understand why it’s hard for a lot of people to leave. I had family and loved ones to fall back on where a lot of people don’t.

    My niece is in a controlling relationship right now and I’ve warned her of the type of man she couldn’t possibly be involved with. I just hope that she doesn’t move too quickly with him.

    Important topic you shared Harleena and way too many people involved in an abusive relationship I’m afraid. What a sad sad state of affairs.

    ~Adrienne

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 1, 2013 at 11:48 am

      Hi Adrienne,

      I can understand what you mean – and what lies within such people, does surprise most of us. I guess they really don’t reveal their true selves till someone tells us or we find out for ourselves.

      Sorry to hear about all that you underwent, though surprising that he was abusive physically to his own child and not to you, or perhaps there were a few weak attempts as it’s often observed that if they are abusive in one, it’s the case with most others too.

      Oh dear…heard so many cases like yours and what surprises me in all of this is how can people be this way, especially when they love you. Or perhaps they never loved you and just get together to show their control and bossiness over the other.

      Yes, when someone has a hold over you in such a way that you really can’t leave them and yet have to carry on in the same relationship – the pressure that must be building up inside must be so tremendous. Family and friend’s help always, provided you tell them your story, which again most people take so long to come out with. They just keep bearing it all up for years or till their lives just end in misery.

      I’m glad you are there for your niece to guide her rightly to choose the right man, and I’m sure she’s going to learn a lot from your experience and take a good decision to walk away from the relationship in time.

      I agree, there are so many of our friends who have been through it all, and I just hope these early signs of an abusive relationship can help others who are in a rough patch of their lives to take timely action, before it all gets too late.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences and wisdom with us. 🙂

  37. Vishnu

    June 2, 2013 at 8:28 am

    What a Blog , Very True and Completely Agree with you , But dont you think that following all this point to protect relation is like following any agreement.

    The best way to maintain relationship is Understanding , and only to abuse relationship is also understanding.

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      Harleena Singh

      June 2, 2013 at 11:07 am

      Welcome to the blog Vishnu!

      Glad you liked the blog and could relate to it 🙂

      I’m not sure what you meant by agreement as we are talking of abusive relationship here, and when an abuser abuses there is obviously no understanding on his or her part, that’s why all of this takes place. Had there been love and understanding between people, these early signs of an abusive relationship wouldn’t have existed.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  38. Joi

    June 2, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Well Harleena! I’m back from logalot and thanks for yor response. This is such an incredibly informative post. I’ve been in discussion before about other forms of abuse besides sexual & it didn’t register to me. Reading this clarifies some situations that I wouldn’t have necessarily called abusive. Wonderful that call to actions were included. What an awesome first time visit.

  39. Gagandeep Singh

    June 2, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Hello mam,

    It’s good to be back on your blog again. When ever i read your blogs it makes me feel wow. You have amazing skills want to learn a lot of thing from you. You are a great inspiration to all. After reading this blog it seems like you have a great command over relations. Now a days abusive relations a re increasing with great tendency. And its we people who are making it worse for ourselves.

  40. Melanie Kissell

    June 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Harleena, my heart sings with joy to see you address a topic most people avoid talking about. You are very courageous and thank you for caring so much!

    My story of abuse is a very long one so I will spare your readers all the sordid details. Suffice to say I stayed in a marriage for almost 15 years where I was verbally, mentally, and emotionally abused on a daily basis — and then finally physically abused, as well. I finally walked away from the marriage when I was pregnant with twins and I was shoved down a flight of stairs in our home. As I was falling, he was screaming, “I hope you break your neck!”

    I wish and I hope and I pray everyone reading your exemplary post will learn to trust their instincts … listen to their “gut” feelings … and leave a relationship showing any of the warning signs you’ve shared.

  41. Siddhartha Sinha

    June 4, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Hello Harleena Singh

    You have written very good blog post on the issue of Abuse and its meaning which is going over the society. By writting this post the message is being delivered to huge people.

    Regards

  42. Kristina

    June 4, 2013 at 11:20 am

    This article will help many. It’s amazing how these signs start out innocent enough and progress. It’s almost easy to make an excuse when really it is an early warning sign. Thank you for sharing this.

  43. Sarah Young

    June 4, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    It’s good to know that i read post regarding abusive relationship. Sometimes if we are so much in love, we don’t feel we are abused. I hope that many people will read this. God bless!

  44. Brain Harry

    June 10, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    I would like to thank you for bringing this most important issue in front of people.They should go forward instead of being in this situation.I had such issue in my life but i move forward and i advice same to people whether they are men or women. Instead of living for happiness of other and bearing burden of a pathetic relationship, why don’t quit?

    Awesome post…..

  45. Nora

    June 17, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Wow 4 signs.
    I knew my ex was a little controlling but in the 7 years we were married I withdrew from OUR checking account once, never got a debit card and had to ask for money,like a little girl.
    I was always being put down as to why I “let myself go”,being told I wasn’t pretty and made to feel like shit when I ate. The comments got so bad I would cry when I was alone. Looking back I don’t understand why I tried so hard to make it work with him.

  46. Malika Bourne

    July 6, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Harleena,

    You just shared such vital information. I wish everyone could read you post. This is so important for other to know that I listed this url at the top of my resource list on my personal blog.

    Many thanks, Malika

  47. Mic johns

    July 29, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Hi,

    In todays scenario it is unwanted guest in home.We need to tackle with situations in family.There is a way and always a way. Quitting is not an idea instead of make him/her realise that they are doing something wrong which is ruining his life as well as other those are depend on them or with them.

    Good post.

  48. Davina

    September 5, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Thank you for sharing a topic we rarely hear nor speak about, I spent 6 year’s with a abuser. I truly felt it was all me. I was lost and so alone and had nobody I could turn to. I sincerely didn’t even realize how controlled I was. I don’t want to rehash all the details of the abuse my son and I endured. What I do want to say is how dangerous it is once we leave. I left my abuser 6 months ago, He found where I moved and he started showing up at my door asking me to come back through the locked door. I had to get a attorney to send him a warning letter, He than began stalking my son and I, The stalking was not taken serious nor even acknowledged by our court system. Through the grace of God I turned to a Police officer who helped me get a PFA which did not stop him from stalking us. He would break the PFA and the Judge’s in my area would not issue a warrant for his arrest !! Why ? Because he didn’t threaten me !! What kind of crap is that. The same Police officer started charging him with harassment every time he stalked me or tried to make contact with me. He was always found guilty and had fines to pay. To this day I still leave in fear !! I am relocated out of State now. I hope reading this will help someone out there.. Stalking is a crime and should not be taken lightly. If you think you are in a abusive relationship run as fast and far as you can away from the abuser. I pray everyday that once I leave he won’t find me.. Thank you for reading and sharing your stories.

  49. Khairul Zamri

    September 6, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Sexual demands comes into critical issue sometimes, need to understand each other first before you get married.

    So you will understand how is your partner because marriage is not a short term life.

  50. Temir

    September 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    I am in such an abusive relashionship these days because I am an abuser. Thanks to my gf who showed me the way how she sees things happening between us and made me realise how I acted wrong with her, no matter how strong I love her.
    The main issues we have are verbal, trying to keep control over her…
    What should I do to make things work for us?

  51. Donna Merrill

    January 3, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Have you written about the story of my life 20 years ago? I went through all of that.

    I would have to say the big red flags at the beginning of an abusive relationship is jealousy and rage.

    Rage happens just by raising a voice and then apologizing with a big sob story of how he/she was treated as a child. They seem to capture your sympathy.

    Then comes isolation. All the excuses why your family and friends are no good for you. After a while you fall into a syndrome. It is something like the “Stockholm syndrome.”

    You feel like you will do ANYTHING within your power to “control” the abuse.

    Yes, this did happen to me with my first husband. It did not become violent until I became pregnant.

    By that time, I was in the “syndrome” stripped of self esteem and believing that if I left, he would harm my family.

    Well, long story short, I got out alive with my child and then became an advocate for many years.

    Excellent topic that every one should pay attention to.

    -Donna

  52. Shannon

    January 4, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Such an important topic, Harleena.

    I feel blessed to be in a very loving and supportive marriage but I know many people are not so fortunate. It breaks my heart to hear stories of their abuse and I can’t help but cheer when they find the strength and courage to leave their abuser. As a mother to two young girls this is a topic that needs to be discussed often so they recognize the signs too.

  53. Nicole

    January 4, 2014 at 5:30 am

    You hit a home run!

    Abusive relationships are something most people don’t like to talk about or simply sweep under the rug. It affects everyone! Knowing the signs early are most important. Sometimes women (and men) may ignore the tell-tell signs of an abusive partner thinking it’s normal when it’s not and often escalates to something way more scary.

    Thanks for posting!

  54. nick catricala

    January 5, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Harleena,
    I seen your picture (gravatar) many times on blogs I read within the B3 group, but never stopped to read any of your article, well, I do not remember doing it any way.

    This topic got my attention since I know a couple who is having some challenges and I come here to read what this is all about.

    WOWOW… your “Early Signs of an Abusive Relationship” are all present in this couple and from what I observed and know so far, the female is the one who have shown all of them right from number one…. she pushed into the serious relationship within a month after they first meet… She pushed to get married in a similar fashion (she did not get pregnant in 10 years and out of the blue she got pregnant and used that fact to push and get married on the spot) and the rest continued to manifest all the other signs as time went on. Now after 9 years into a rough relationship, she turn around got into a fight, and went to the police charging the husband for assault, when she actually was the one who always pick a fight for a reason or another..
    few years a go, I probably could help this couple a lot… now I am not sure any help will be useful to save the marriage… a lot of damage has been done in 9 years.

    Thanks so much for your support in this issues.. very useful and hope it will help others as well.

    _nickc

  55. Maggie

    January 6, 2014 at 8:03 am

    I’ve heard that if someone “sweeps you off your feet” in a whirlwind courtship, that’s an early danger sign of a controlling relationship. The abuser wants to control everything and especially you. I’ve read that there is no cure for an abusing person, so they will NOT change no matter how loving you are to them. Another warning sign is if someone in their family is abusive, especially a parent. The example is too strong. Plus if you have kids they will learn to be abusers from your spouse. Do you really want to unleash that chain onto the world?

  56. Linda Ursin

    January 6, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    #5 is the only one I’ve experienced. I’ve been with my husband for going on 23 years. He’s never been physically abusive… Can’t say I like where it’s going though

  57. Arelis Cintron

    January 7, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    The other day I was in a supermarket parking lot. I was searching for something in my purse before I got out. There was a man who pulled in to the spot next to me. As he walked over to get a cart he was scream loudly and saying profanities. I wasn’t sure if he was yelling to himself or the woman that was in the car. She didn’t get out. When I came out of the store, she was still in it. I wanted to ask her if she was ok. I don’t know why but his behavior put me on alert. I never know how someone is going to react or their background situation so I didn’t say anything. :/

  58. liz

    June 10, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Went through every single one of these from age 18 to 21 (still 21 now), and yet still feel guilty for getting out of the relationship before it was too late, before kids came along, etc., because I was raised that divorce is immoral. Something of a relief to see that “it’s not just me” and these are valid issues.

  59. kika

    November 20, 2014 at 5:51 am

    I have a boyfriend I’ve been friends with for 15 years. We’ve been dating for 1.5 years and we live together. We have had a tumultuous relationship. When he gets frustrated sometimes he throws things, breaks things, punches things, or punches himself. It scares me. One time a neighbor called the cops, and his father who was putting us up in an apartment below him evicted us. We eventually found a place together, hopeful we’d get the help and turn it around because we’re both smart and want a healthy relationship. There isn’t jealousy, or isolation, control or many of the signs of abuse otherwise. He’s 6’4” and I’m 5’2” and I’ve been hit in a relationship once and I left right away. It scares me when he does this because he disrespects property and I’m afraid of someone hearing crashing and getting evicted again, and I can’t restrain him or stop him from raging. He’s broken a TV, mirrors, clocks, rips his clothes…
    We have been meaning to go to counseling for most of our relationship now. He went to counseling a bit in 2 different places but was going just him, alone, and either he didn’t go once or twice and was put off the list, or his counselor left, and counseling was in another town. We wanted couples counseling and finally found a place just a couple days ago. Usually things are great and I feel very in love with him and we’ve pictured a happy, HEALTHY life together–a family, married. He’s good to my family and friends. Usually about once a month or so things get bad. But when things are even a little bad I still try to talk with him because I won’t just be quiet and acquiesce to stuffing my feelings down. He takes things personally, tries to talk it out, doesn’t want to fall apart but sometimes does.
    I have finally had enough because his outbursts send me into terrible panic attacks. I am hurt AGAIN and weary of the cycle. I am afraid, though I have been hopeful and he left a message for a counseling center yesterday, this morning he had an outburst, broke a bookshelf, threw things around and broke a special bowl my mother gave me. I can’t just go back and forgive!!!
    My phone (for an unrelated reason) is broken and won’t charge. So I am writing to share.
    I love him but I can’t keep doing this. I know he needs help but I wish we had gotten help sooner. I feel alone in this new town now, and have been afraid of talking to friends, because I was on the verge of ending it before and didn’t want them to be against him so that he could get help and we could get better. I am tired of my own emotions in relationships. I am tired of moving on and cutting people out of my life.

    He wants to go to counseling. I am having a hard time today. Today could be the day I give up. I am very sad.

  60. sofi

    February 11, 2015 at 5:07 am

    I’m in relationship for 6 years and all the signs you talked about are in my partner I wanted to stop this relation many times but i couldn’t do it and every time we break up he bags and sometimes he scared me that he’s gonna hurt me… what i should do knowing that he loves so much and he can’t live without me how can i break a relation with such a person

  61. Joseph

    April 18, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Wow, this was quite the read. Some of it was actually frightening; I read a lot of it that I feel related to myself. Do you think people who deal with anxiety are more likely to be abusive in their relationships?

  62. Kathleen Quinn

    July 11, 2015 at 6:48 am

    Hi Hareena
    I left an abusive relationship a year ago.. I stayed in it for 22 years. When I left I was an emotional wreak. I think of all the people like myself that stay and make excuses. 22 years is a lifetime that I wasted on someone who never really loved me. I am glad that you wrote the he above hopefully it is read by the right people, the ones that suffered as i did. Unfortunately I was not allowed to do much, he was my world and as you said he took full advantage of me. 1 year later an he has moved on to another victim and I can’t help but feel for the girl he is now with, of course she much younger and needy, which makes her a perfect target for his abuse. I was not his first victim, I just wish his ex would have warned me, I wouldn’t have wasted so much of my life. My question is “should I be her advocate?” Should I warn her family? I just don’t want to see her waste her life as I did. I know she will be mentally emotionally financially and most of all physically abused. It has taken me a year to get the help and support I needed, I left with the clothes on my back, lost all I worked for most of my life, I just don’t want to see another human being destroyed as I was. I feel It is something I should do. He was a police officer and he has fallen thru the system one to many times. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

  63. Kathy

    May 2, 2016 at 5:29 am

    Verbal and emotional abuse are insidious. There is a kind of brain washing that happens in the relationship. It took me any years to figure out what was happening to me in our marriage. I did, however find the courage to leave this man after 15 years of marriage. The sad part is I cannot get my children away from him. If there is no physical violence, you do not have a legal leg to stand on. It seems to not be recognized in the courts. This kind of abuse can leave much larger invisible scars than physical abuse. It is maddening that my children’s still have to endure this!



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9 Early Signs Of An Abusive Relationship

by Harleena Singh time to read: 12 min