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Relationship Warning Signs
Here are 20 warning signs that you should be aware of to determine if you may be involved in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. If any of these signs appear in your relationship, it is time to TAKE NOTICE and help yourself. Most often the relationship dynamics form slowly and over time, so you "fall into" a trap which becomes harder and harder to escape. But help and escape are possible.
YOU DESERVE MORE AND ARE WORTHY OF HAPPINESS AND RESPECT!!!
1) Too good to be true: In the courtship period, is he/she "sweeping you off your feet." If he/she appears to be too good to be true, he/she most likely is. Has your partner become totally preoccupied with you, such as calling you every hour just to "hear your voice," leaving and picking you up at work, doing things and activities you were doing for yourself, and thus taking charge of your life?
2) Temper outbursts: Does your partner have outbursts of temper, such as cussing, throwing things or kicking doors., not necessarily directed towards you, but towards anybody or anything?.
3) Violent or demeaning language: Does your partner use derogatory terms for other people such as, "broad," "chick," or "slut, etc.?
4) Sexist attitude: Does your partner have strong ideas about the place and position of women vs. men? For instance, does he insist that "women should know their place" or does she say that men have to act a certain way in relationships to "prove they care"?
5) Insults: Does your partner put you down for your opinions or laugh at what you believe in? Does he/she make you feel stupid, ignorant, or incompetent?
6) Psychological abuse: Does your partner make comments such as, "You're no good." Does he/she make you feel that you can't do anything right or that you can't get along in the world without his/her help?
7) Ridicule: Does your partner make fun of you alone or in other people's presence?
8) Rage for past relationships: Notice how your partner talks about their ex- or previous dates. Is there a quality of rage in their anger towards a previous relationship and does he/she call the past partner names or use other insulting terms? Remember that later your partner will most likely be turning the same intensity of rage and insult towards you.
9) Abusive background: Was your partner battered as a child or did he/she see his/her mother or sisters being hit as a child? If so, your partner may need a good bit of counseling before they can be free of this cycle of violence.
10) Blaming others: Does your partner have a habit of blaming others for what he/she does or what happens to him/her?
11) Alcohol and drug abuse: Does your partner have a drinking or drug problem?
12) Violence under the influence of alcohol or drugs: Does your partner become verbally or physically abusive under the influence of alcohol and drugs?
13) Verbal or physical abuse towards public: Is your partner verbally or physically abusive towards others, like people in the restaurant, other drivers on the street, people they come in contact with, etc.?
14) Excessively critical of you or your family: Does your partner say negative things about you or your family?
15) Excessive sexual jealousy: Does your partner "love you so much" that he/she can't "stand" you being in the company of other people?
16) Possessive behavior: Is your partner unhappy or moody when you spend time with your friends or family?
17) Restricting and controlling behavior: Has your partner told you to not keep any contact with your friends and family?
18) Jealous accusations: Has your partner jokingly or seriously complained that you were trying to attract other men/women by the way you walk, dress, or behave?
19) Checking and tracking: Does your partner keep track of where you went, who you met, and how much time you spend somewhere?
20) Use of force or coercion: Has your partner threatened or actually hit you, or coerced you for sexual act even though he/she apologized profusely and made it up to you? This is a serious sign!!
If you or a friend feel you may be in an abusive or damaging relationship, help is available. Contact the Counseling Center (554-4172) or Wellness Center (554-4409) to speak with a professional and learn how to free yourself and regain your self-esteem.
Adapted material from: