Whether you are in a long-term relationship or just entering a new one, it is important to recognize red flags when they occur. Many people are with someone for years before their spouse shows the first signs of abuse. This is why you should be familiar with abuse and what it looks like in all forms.
Drug and Alcohol Consumption
Especially in excessive amounts, consumption of drugs and alcohol often cause problems with anger management and with controlling impulses. If you notice a drastic change when your partner is drinking or using drugs, these might be red flags. You should be cautious and observant of this behavior.
If your partner seems extremely possessive, jealous, suspicious, or paranoid, these could turn into abusive behaviors and you should watch for other red flags.
If your partner seems to have low self-esteem, this could lead to problems in the future. They may try to gain control over you to feel more in power of themselves.
If your spouse depends too heavily on you to find value in themselves, this could lead to being dependent on you emotionally. This could also lead your partner to believe your attention being directed at others is a sign of cheating, and could lead to extreme jealousy.
Controlling behaviors or Monitoring
These behaviors could include limiting your social activities or monitoring your social media accounts, wanting to have control of your finances, or telling you what to wear. If your partner tries to control choices and actions that should be made independently, this is controlling behavior.
If your partner tries to isolate you, or limit your contact to friends and family, this is controlling behavior and should be addressed or observed.
If your partner pressures you in regards to any of the following, this would be a red flag:
Work Habits or Schedule
School Habits or Schedule
Any Decision Making
If your partner uses any tactics to manipulate you or influence you, particularly when making decisions, this is a red flag. Examples include saying things like:
"That's a bad part of town" if you plan to move out.
"That's going to be too hard for you" when you are starting a new job.
"Good luck finding help with childcare."
"Can you afford that?" when you look at place for rent.
If your partner threatens you this is a HUGE sign of their behavior becoming more dangerous! If he threatens to harm you, your children, or your pets or property, this is very abusive behavior!
If your partner scares you in any way, whether it be how he or she looks at you, how he or she talks to you, or how he or she acts around you, including attitude and body language, this could signify a more serious situation on the horizon.
If any of these situations applies to you, please be observant so as protect yourself and those close to you.
Not all of these circumstances will pertain to the same situation, and it is important to recognize the signs and abuse when they occur.
An abusive relationship could display any number of these warning signs, but not necessarily all of them. It is actually rare that all of these occur in one relationship.
At the same time, if some of these behaviors can be observed in your relationship, it doesn't necessarily mean you are in an abusive relationship.
If you fear you may be in an abusive relationship, please call June N Jenkins Women's Shelter to discuss your concerns! You can reach us at (337)462-6504 or (337)462-6509.