Warning Signs of Domestic Emotional/Physical Violence or Abuse

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I will add several that I experienced, since I started this thread. My situation seems to be sort of unique here since it was characterized by emotional abuse only, no physical abuse. If you have others that you are aware of, feel free to post.

1) Seperates one from their friends/family without rational reason to do so.

2) Controls all decisions in the household, leaving no room for discussion if the spouse/sig other is dissatisfied.

3) Controls all money in the household---is the only one allowed to make purchases for themselves without being made to explain "why" they wish to spend the money.

4) Seeks to control the other's freedom. Requires they have 'permission' to go out. This also can include the requirement that the abuser be made aware when the other leaves the house, when they will return and where they are going.

5) Sees no problem in humiliating the other in public.

6) Uses implied threats as a means of controling the other---this can also involve displaying a weapon without actually using it. This also includes the threat to use children or possessions as a means of making the spouse/sig other 'toe the line'.

7) Manipulates the truth in order to justify the abuse.

8) Changes their own rules to suit their own whims to maintain control or create a feeling of helplessness on the part of the abused.

9) Name calling, yelling, screaming, emotional outbursts. Any form of intimidation that's uncalled for by the circumstances.

10) Uses sex as a tool of manipulation. This also includes denying sex in order to get one's way. It also includes seeking to emotionally castrate the abused.

I'm sure there are others, this is just a start. I'm interested in seeing what others post here.


-- Anonymous, March 24, 2002


Always saying that I'm sleeping around,with people at work.Who would want that nasty thing down there, you whore.Or nobody else would want it because its so big.On and on and on.

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2002

12) If you e-mail her, she responds nicely at first, then progressively more and more abusively.

13) She responds to your e-mail right away, and then gradually makes you wait longer and longer, before replying to you.

14) Her e-mail includes long, drawn out sentences that have been designed to hurt you.

15) She imples dozens and dozens of things that are not true.

16) When you read her e-mail, you find yourself getting angry and upset.

17) You find yourself on the defensive, trying to answer her spurious charges.

18) Her verbal attacks never seem to end.

19) She criticizes things that are highly regarded by you.

20) She's a fault finder.

21) She criticizes you or your behavior, supposedly for your own benefit.

22) She appears too busy for you. In other words, she makes you wait, and has little or no time for you.

23) She makes it appear that everyone in her life was more important than you.

24) Because of her constant verbal abuse, she's afraid you're going to leave her.

25) If she's afraid you're going to leave her, she does little favors for you on a regular basis, but when you try to return her favors, she consistently refuses to accept them.

26) she gives you consistently bad advice, if she's jealous of your success, or her intentions are not good.

27) If you ask her for advice, she uses the opportunity to criticize your behavior, supposedly to give you advice.

28) She recalls things that occured 5, 10 or 15 years ago.

29) She remembers only the bad.

30) She rewrites history and makes it look like whatever happened was your fault.

31) She slams you 100 times before you can respond just once. In other words, if she criticizes you 100 times, then she expects you to take all the 100 slams without a hiss. But if you criticize her just once, then she has the right to get angry and slam you an additional 100 times.

32) If you don't like her faultfinding, then she can insult you by calling you "too sensitive".

-- Anonymous, May 20, 2002

Passive-agressive atacks. Using overspending behaviors, involvement in non-essential activities over necessary ones, and/or presistent illness to keep from sharing household work and income producing acivities, thus intentionally punishing/hurting the other by overwork.

-- Anonymous, November 25, 2002

Using social castigation as a means of inflicting retrobution. For a women, a common one is to accuse or threaten to accuse a man of abuse as a means of gaining the power and control in the relationship. Often used in divorce and custody matters.

-- Anonymous, November 25, 2002

All true. I've experienced most of these. A favorite tactic was to accept something nice from me at a holiday, give a return gift late, cheap and generic (intentionally), then compare my gift to something similar from an ex-boyfriend years ago. Incessantly. Then throw out what I had given her -- in secret -- once later claiming there had been no gift, and getting very upset when I had no tactful way of handling that accusation.

As for sex -- how about only offering sex when she knew I was damned exhausted from work, or sick as a dog with a viral flu, or otherwise legitimately not interested at that time, and getting very upset by this -- then refusing my offers to spend time together on the weekends when I was rested, she was rested, etc., ad nauseum.

-- Anonymous, February 08, 2003

When he always finds something to be angry at me for and it is always my fault. When he displays his anger in public, people would start hanging around in the background - strangers - just in case, for my sake to protect me. He always blames me for this happening when he is the one displaying the behaviour. Then, said it is because he is mexican and I am a white girl. I could not walk to the store next door to get a pop or I was trying to talk to others. I am so beautiful, I don't need makeup because its womans way of attracting men. I could not wear perfume. I had to check in constantly. He did not want me to fix my hair. He use to dance with me, and that stopped. Or he would use it against me if he thought I was mis- behaving. I could not smile or make eye contact with other people. If we were walking and man said hello I looked down and let him resopnd. In two years I have not felt secure in this relationship. He would hold me down and grab my arms, not punch but shove my arms. He has pushed me also. He called me one night to brag that he went to a Latin concert at MSU and the lead singer asked him to dance, that was in November. He let me know how beautiful she was and how sexy she was dressed. He on occassion would be dancing with another woman when I came back from the restroom. I would never think of doing something like that because if I did I was in trouble. I had to hurry back from the restoom becasue if I took to long I was talking to another man. I am trying to stay away form him at this point. We made a trip that was six hours away from where we live, and we took my car. We went out and again he displayed his behaviour. He was grabbing my wrists' as we were leaving the bartender came up to me to see if I was going to be ok. I said I would be all right. We went back to the motel and the argument intesified. I found myself trying to make myself look ugly so as not to draw attention to myself to make him happy. I cut my long hair short. He yelled at me and said what the F--- did you do to your hair. It looks like shit and so do you! Were finished I don't want you anymore! You can stay or leave either way we are through! So I left him their. I have not seen him since. That was The 15th of march. I called an x-girlfriend of his I guess to re-affirm why I am not going back agin for the millionth time. She had put up with alot, however stated that her emotional abuse had never gotten as bad as it had with me. I am down today and wonder why I allowed myself to get in this relationship. I believe it is because at first they are everything a person would want in another. Charming, sensitive, and show every charachteristic of a beautiful human being. Then when you have fallen so deeply in love with them, POW! I use to be a strong, independent woman, outgoing, and love to tell jokes. (I could not even do that anymore.) I believe abusers like to break someone who is like I was 2 years ago. Then when they have accomplished that goal you are no good to them anymore, and we are left to pick up the shattered glass. Also, I believe sexual addiction is a part of it. In my 20 year marrige, I went without, and had more lovemaking in one month than I had in 20 years of marriage. And it was heaven. I gave my x-husband everything, the house etc... Because I was I had found the man who would treat me with love and respect, and loved me, my body, my spirit and then it all disinigrated when my divorce was final. Now I was HIS... There is so much more I could write a book about it all. These are just a few things I experienced in this toxic relationship any of these signs is not only a warning but a notice to run, and far away at that. Sincerely, Peggy

-- Anonymous, March 19, 2003

I have no answers, only one question. WHY??

What have I ever done to deserve all of this?

I don't cheet,but yet I am accused of cheeting every day.

I am not allowed to go to work on Fridays, thats when all my boyfriends come to see me.

I am not allowed to answer the phone or rceive a call even from a bill collector, because it is one of the many boyfriends.

I'm stupid.

I come home everyday from work at exactly 9:23pm, but yet from the time I clock out at 9:00pm and dive 27 miles home I apparently find the time to have sex with some one in the parking lot and still make it home at the exact same time evey day.

I better have $6.00 every day to buy beer if not I am buying things or boyfriends.

I am evil because I don't like his alcoholic, drug using friends and I am never nice to them. But yet I'm accused of sleeping with all of them.

He supposedly has numerous people watching me, and they have told him I have numerous boufriends.

I can not go any where alone.

I can not greet people that I know in stores,etc...

I can not get on the computer.

I don't understand. Love is not supposed to hurt, but the brusises on my arms do, the swollen fingers on my hands do, my head does. I feel so very alone, no one to talk to, I am too embarrased. People can sence that something is not right, but I keep to myself. Not say a word to a soul. I don't wat to burden any one with my problems.

Get ot of it now? It's not that easy. My head will be chopped off, and my hands too.

Maybe someone has some answers for me???

-- Anonymous, April 07, 2003

A classic : detecting you are in a good mood and forcing an argument to destroy your peace.

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2003

When the person realizes that the relationship is over, says things implying that they are going to harm themselves in order for you to stay and feel sorry for them.

Being free to go see their family when ever they want, but questions you when you make the effort to do the same.

Accuse you of sleeping with someone else when the two of you are not being intimate.

Tells you that you're not looking your best when you dress casual and then dressing too sexy for someone else when you dress up.

Uses money as a controlling device.

Does a favor for you and then expects you to sleep with them because its the least you can do for them being that they were there for you.

Tries to kill you or threatens to kill you if you leave.

Says something damaging and degrading and then when you say something about it, they say I was only kidding with you.

Creates problems for you on your job. Either by calling or stopping by unannounced.

Tries to brainwash you and everyone else around by making everyone think that they are perfect so that when something happens people think you are making things up.

Forces you to kiss them when you don't feel like it (if the person's breath is bad, this situation in itself is also abuse)

Tells you they love you after they degrade you. (this can leave serious emotional scars because you can start accepting bad behavior from people because you will think its what people do when they love you)

Tells you over and over again "...I can change"

Have been abused themselves and take it out on you. (displaced anger)

When you start going against your beliefs to make someone else happy and the person taking advantage of such situation and using it against you. ("...if you loved me you would do it")

Will do something to you and feel its alright but gets bent out of shape if you do anything that resembles what he/she have done.

Accuses you of cheating. (this is probably because they know if they are cheating and getting away with it, you probably could do the same)

-- Anonymous, May 01, 2003

-Talks behind your back to their friends, and doesnt defend you when their friends say something demeaning to you (about your personal life etc...)

-Laughs when they see a woman that has been abused and states that she was probably the cause of the abuse because thats what women make men do.

-Uses the "other" woman to taut you.--Maybe she will treat me better than you..

--Lies constantly to you and makes you believe the lies or threatens you if you dont. Causing you to mistrust your own judgment.

--Constantly degrades women and states that a woman that has been with another man after them is a whore because if a woman loves a man then she should not be with another man regardless of what he is doing.

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2003

Enjoys arguing and threatens when he argues that he wants to kill you or wishes you would die, then later he's fine and everything's ok... for a few days until he does it again. And when he calls you to see if you went to the police he says he's sorry for what he did (probably because he's scared that you'll go to the police).

-- Anonymous, June 18, 2003

How about tells you that the marriage is not working weekly and then demands you justify what you think you have in common that justifies her being married and staying with you! Shows absolutely no interest in intemacy, but gets all upset if you become even casual friends with another woman! Chooses not to accompany you to activies, yet doesn't want you going with another female. Feigns fear you will leave her. The insanity must end. Only you can end it by saying "enough"

-- Anonymous, July 22, 2003

One I missed right away:

She hits or punches you -- even if you mark it off as a playful gesture or just a "What the heck was that?" Don't blow that off.

She has "abuse" in her past. If she says she was raped, or abused by someone as a kid -- whether you think it's true or not, it should raise a big red warning flag.

She has a history of any kind of substance abuse problem.

She has a history of mental illness. (Borderline Personality Disorder, Bi-polar are two to definitely avoid).

She has a claim of rape in her adult life.

She speaks about everyone in her past in derogatory terms. She holds extended grudges or has gone out of her way to "seek revenge" on someone in her past.

She is rude to people when you are on a date. (Waiter, cab driver, doorman, what have you.)

She is insanely jealous, or suspicious of your activities when apart. Conversely, she has been cheated (or cheated) on someone else in the past. I wouldn't call this a hard and fast one, but in the two people in my life who have ever been a problem it was there.

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2003

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