A path to a safer, healthier and happier life often starts with a bit of knowledge.
If your partner displays the following behaviors, it's possible you're in an abusive relationship:
1. He pushes for quick involvement.
He comes on strong, claiming, "I've never felt loved like this before by anyone." You get pressured for an exclusive commitment almost immediately.
2. There's constant jealousy.
Your partner is excessively possessive, calls constantly, or visits unexpectedly.
3. He's controlling.
He interrogates you intensely about who you talked to and where you were, checks mileage on the car, keeps all the money or asks for receipts, and insists you ask for permission to go anywhere or do anything.
4. He has very unrealistic expectations.
He expects perfection from you and for you to meet their every need.
5. There's isolation.
He tries to cut you off from family and friends, deprives you of a phone or car, or tries to prevent you from holding a job.
6. He blames others for his own mistakes.
The boss, family, you — it's always someone else's fault if anything goes wrong.
7. He makes everyone else responsible for their feelings.
The abuser says, "You make me angry" instead of "I'm angry." "I wouldn't get so pissed off if you wouldn't...
8. He's hypersensitive.
He's easily insulted and will often rant and rave about injustices that are just part of life.
9. He's cruel to animals and children.
He kills or punishes animals brutally. He also may expect children to do things beyond their ability or tease them until they cry.
10. His uses "playful" force during sex.
He enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will; he finds the idea of rape exciting. He intimidates, manipulates or forces you to engage in unwanted sex acts.
11. There's verbal abuse.
He constantly criticizes you or says cruel things. He degrades, curses and calls you ugly names. He will use vulnerable points about your past or current life against you.
12. There are rigid gender roles in the relationship.
He expects you to serve, obey and remain at home.
13. He has sudden mood swings.
He switches from loving to angry in a matter of minutes.
14. He has a past of battering.
He admits to hitting women in the past, but states that they or the situation brought it on.
15. He threatens violence.
He makes statements such as, "I'll break your neck," but then dismisses it with "I really didn't mean it."