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Heading into an Abusive Relationship?

abusive relationshipNew love often masks the signs of a budding abusive relationship. Consider the following scenario of a woman telling her girlfriend about her new love:

He’s great! He seems really into be—he calls and texts me all the time. He always wants to know what I’m doing and who I’m hanging out with. He pops into my work all the time just to say “Hi.” We’ve only been together a short time, but he already told me he loves me! He is always talking about how we will be together forever. He has pictures of me all over his Facebook page, too! Isn’t that cute? Even when we are not together, I’m always running into him, like at the gym or with my girlfriends after work. It sounds weird, but we have so much in common and the attention is flattering. It’s like he can’t get enough of me!1

The woman’s new love is a stalker and staying with the manipulative and obsessive person puts her in jeopardy of being abused down the road.1 It is likely that he will turn violent just to keep her.1

This man shows up without being asked, which is called “boundary probing” as he is forcing the edges of their relationship by trying to always observe and dominate her.1 He uses social media to tell the world she is his and to back off.1 He plants the early seed of jealousy by his constant attention, quickness to say “I love you,” and weaving their lives together so that he can use guilt and intimidation to make her stay with him in the future.1

Consider this scenario, too:

Wow, my new boyfriend is a real man’s man! He’s so tough and strong, and he makes me feel protected when I’m with him. The other night, we were at this bar, and a guy bumped into me and spilled my drink. It was an accident, but my boyfriend practically ran over and tried to fight the guy. It was so attractive. After we had a few drinks yesterday, he told me he had been arrested before because his old girlfriend falsely accused him of hitting her. She sounds like such a witch! He was just trying to get away from her when she bit his arm. The cops came and of course believed her story. You know how some women can be. Anyway, he’d never do that to me or any other girl. He cares too much.1

This man shows the three warning signs for potential domestic violence perpetrators: a history of substance abuse, a history of violence, and previous sexual intimacy with the victim.1 Liquor gives him the courage to dominate and an ability to rationalize his alibi for his bad behavior the next day.1 He has proven to himself that violence is often a good solution to his life issues, especially when it comes to controlling someone.1

If the women are able to get away from the situation and live to tell about it, they will endure threats, fear, and constant anxiety, as well as needing cops, detectives, prosecutors, and psychologists to ultimately get free.1

Asking these questions after a first date can help to rationalize what could be an abusive person:

  • Is there any indication that he is moving too fast, talking about love, marriage, starting a family, or running off and leaving the world behind?1
  • Is his interest with putting me on his social media accounts reasonable? Does he see me as a trophy he has to display?1
  • When it comes to contacting me, does he call or text too much or just show up?1
  • Is there a drug or alcohol history with stories of jail time, domestic abuse, or fighting?1
  • Is he pressuring me for sex?1

If any of these questions are a “yes,” end the dating and move on.1 Avoid the future abuse.

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