Let’s be honest, domestic violence is nothing new. In fact, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 1 in 3 women will suffer some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. Most of the time, one or both of the partners have what is known as an abusive personality.
Unfortunately, abusive patterns in relationships are common.
Domestic abuse is still viewed as an isolated incident between two partners rather than the epidemic it has always been. When going into a new relationship, you have to be aware of the many red flags that can eventually place you in harm’s way.
If you’ve never been taught how to seek out healthy partnerships, this puts you at risk of falling into a dangerous one.
As a woman, it is your responsibility to do everything you can to protect yourself. Especially before a situation spirals into physical and mental abuse towards you or those you care for.
Abusive Personality Signs to Look For
Patterns of Disrespect
Abusers tend to neglect personal boundaries. This lack of awareness can manifest in ways that are both subtle and blatant. Staying involved with someone that resorts to name-calling when they get upset by using sexist slurs, profanity and/or insults can become detrimental to your physical and mental health.
This language could be aimed at you as well as others around you.
Be aware that if your partner freely hurls insults towards others, there’s a good chance that they’ll eventually be directed toward you.
Also, be cautious of inappropriate physical contact. This could either be touching intimate areas of your body too soon or without permission, forceful grabbing and pushing, or not complying when asked to stop.
These can be a major red flag.
Abusive personalities will push your boundaries to see what you will allow. You should always feel safe and respected within your relationship. If you don’t, it’s simply time to move on.
Sure, you’ve got your own character flaws (who doesn’t?). However, abusive personality types tend to exhibit certain flaws that go far beyond the normal spectrum.
- Do they brag about successfully manipulating or ‘getting over on’ others?
- Perhaps your partner is chronically dishonest (lying for the sake of lying, even when their stories are obviously false)?
- Do they seem to show a lack of accountability for their actions by blaming others?
These are all classic signs of an abusive personality type that shouldn’t be ignored.
If you see this type of behavior from your partner, be aware.
Understand that they may lack the capacity to feel sincere guilt. Eventually, the situation could escalate to physical abuse. When that happens, they will lack genuine remorse despite the appearance of doing so.
Be sure to not fall for their lies.
Don't allow your partner to blame you for any mistreatment they’ve put you through. A good partner is forthcoming, honest, and can take responsibility for their own behavior.
One of the biggest red flags to look out for is your partner’s eagerness to control your behavior and lifestyle. We all demand basic things out of our relationships. This can include fidelity, honesty, and the right to be heard. But abusive types tend to go overboard relatively early on. They have irrational requirements and impossible standards.
More red flags are jealousy and possessiveness.
Sure, we all may get a bit jealous from time to time. But if your partner begins to show a violent temper, it's bad news. Sometimes it even flares up in different ways when you are doing normal things.
He could start to limit the time you spend hanging out with friends (of the same or opposite sex), visiting family, or having time alone. You’ve got to realize that your partner’s anger has nothing to do with their love for you.
Instead, it is because of their uncontrollable insecurity. Abusers will attempt to cut you off from others in order to maintain control. A healthy relationship will never drive a wedge between yourself and those who care about you.
Beware of financial restrictions as well.
Some will attempt to control your money flow. An abusive personality type likes handling all of the money. That way, they can control what you’re able to purchase and where you are able to go. If they control the money, they can cut off your access to funds. This would make it almost impossible for you to escape if things escalate.
Again, abusers often cross boundaries to see what you will allow. This is a grooming technique that tends to worsen and can result in very unsafe consequences. So be sure to set your own boundaries up front and before you become emotionally attached.
Stay vigilant, be aware of the signs and make healthy dating choices for your own protection.