50 Abusive Relationship Red Flags
Being in an unhealthy or abusive relationship is so common nowadays. Are you in one? or Are you are unaware if you are? Well, I’m here to help you find out by giving you my top 50 Abusive Relationship Red Flags. Now you can have this handy list and assess if you are in an abusive and unhealthy relationship yourself and get informed. My goal is to inform you and arm you with knowledge of Abusive Relationship Red Flags.
It is very common to only categorize domestic violence or abusive relationship as physical, but there is “hidden abuse” in the form of psychological and verbal abuse. Psychological can often be referred to emotional abuse or mental abuse. For the purposes of my blog, I will use both psychological. Psychological abuse and verbal abuse often hurt more than physical abuse. Words and insults can stab you and stay with you for years and cause PTSD and emotional trauma. Often it strips your worth, value, identity, self-love, self-esteem and can deeply affect your emotional wellbeing.
Here are the common Abusive Relationship Red Flags (Unhealthy Relationships).
- Love bombing! He showers you with extreme amounts of love, affection, and romanticism really fast in unhealthy and not normal amounts. This is the honeymoon stage where you are bombarded with love and romance in an excessive amount that you have never been before. He will tell you “I’ve never felt like this with anyone before.” or “you are the one” (really fast), or “I never knew I can love like this.” or “You are better than any girl I’ve dated.” NOTE: it is important to keep an eye the first months for additional red flags as this can also be part of a normal relationship and a good man conquering your heart. But, the love bombing will feel off and too superficial. You will even say “is this even true?”
- Extremely charming, aka Prince Charming.
- Calling you baby, cute names, or my love fairly fast. Sometimes even before meeting in person
- He doesn’t take the time to get to know you! He wants to rush your relationship really fast.
- He says I LOVE YOU within days of meeting you. He falls fairly fast in love.
- Rush intimacy or make sexual comments very early, even on the first time chatting.
- It seems like a fairytale and everything is rose colors. It seems “too good to be true.”
- Inconsistent Behavior. When his words don’t match his actions
- He is Wishy-washy, hot-cold, and push-pull. His behavior is inconsistent and leaves you feeling if he is interested or not and confused about his intentions with you.
- He is a chronic liar and often his lies don’t make sense. Things he says just don’t add up and you are often questioning if he is telling the truth.
- He strings you along and you never know where you are standing in this person’s life.
- His relationship with his Dad is bad or doesn’t even have one. He is more of a Mom’s boy or Mommy’s boy. Often this stems from a childhood where he is simply mirroring how his Dad treated his Mom and what he witnessed on abuse, addictions, cheating, sex or other abusive behaviors. Try asking about his childhood and the relationship with Mom and Dad. Was there some type of abuse or trauma they can project onto you?
- He has a fair amount of CRAZY exes. Find out how he talks about exes – if they are all crazy, psychos, jealous, possessive, cheated or whatever, then he is the common denominator in that. Often narcissistic abusers/narcs/emotional manipulators call exes “crazy.”
- Find out if he cheated in the past. This can be a huge sign.
- He takes no accountability for his acts. He is the victim in his past relationships. He tells you the story that you end up feeling sorry for him because he suffered so much. It was never his fault, he didn’t do anything. He puts all blame on ex(s). Which you end up resenting or hating thinking they were this horrible monsters that made him suffer and you will be the woman to show him real love and how he should be treated. You will be “the one.” You will be his savior.
- He disappears for days with no warning. Then he comes back as if nothing happened, no explanation and acting cool. He gives no accountability for his whereabouts and makes you feel you are crazy for asking or like it’s not a big deal.
- He is not emotionally available. He is not there for you emotionally when you need him. You can’t connect with him on that level or ask him how he feels. He is often stoic, blocked or doesn’t show emotions, such as holding hands, telling you how he feels. This is also when you need comfort and emotional support he won’t do that because he doesn’t have empathy. If you cry, he won’t’ console you and he will sometimes get mad at you crying and call you super sensitive.
- Commitment issues. He is “afraid” of commitment.
- He insults you and calls you names. He degrades you and puts you down. He crushes your self-esteem and self-love daily. He tells you to shut-up, you are not smart, you are ugly, points out you are “fat,” or diminishes something about your persona. This is the worst type of psychological abuse because it literally tears you apart and makes you feel you are unworthy, not good enough, unlovable, not valuable and belittles the amazing woman you truly are.
- Something feels off in your gut. You know something is not right, yet you stay.
- Don’t listen to you or show interest in your opinions or feelings.. .things always have to be done their way. They must always be the center of attention.
- He ignores you, gives you the silent treatment, doesn’t reply to texts or answer phone calls. He can go days with no contact with you for no reason. Yet he expects you to reply or answer his calls within seconds because all hell will break loose if you don’t. This is often one we don’t think about but is a form of psychological abuse.
- You are always in anxiety. Your thoughts start raising and going crazy, chest pains and everything is triggered by something he did, said or you perhaps saw something in social media. Now, this can be a little tricky because women tend to be very jealous, but the behavior here is if this person is showing signs of disrespect (flirting publically with other women, cheating behaviors, or something where he is not giving you your place.) No “healthy” relationship will ever trigger anxiety and stress in this manner.
- Each time you try to communicate everything ends up in a fight and a huge argument. Then he puts all blame on you and tells you everything is your fault and all problems are because of you. Often, we want to “communicate” about their questionable behavior of flirting or cheating and they end up blaming you for being super jealous, possessive, psycho and insecure.
- You avoid confronting him or talking about something that you saw that bothered you or question him for something, even if you try to communicate in a nice way. You end up feeling afraid because you know it will end up in a huge fight and he will put the blame on you. Remember, he takes no accountability for what he does. You find yourself afraid to bring up findings to avoid making him upset or if you do bring it up he will either break up or say is all in your head.
- He hides you in social media and publicly. He won’t’ post about you or tag you on social media. He won’t introduce you to his family and friends. He will keep you in the down low “DL” and in “secret.”
- He has an addiction of alcohol, drugs, porn, sex, gambling or some other form of addicting behavior.
- Have a history of trouble with the law, get into fights, or break and destroy property. He has even gone to jail.
- He has a parasitic existence (it’s a known term in narcissistic abuse). He doesn’t work or goes to school. He lives at parents house or someone is supporting him, most likely his Mom.
- Financial abuse is a huge one. They often play a victim or fake an illness saying they need money to pay off a debt or medical bills or something in that instance. They simply take advantage of you financially. This also ties with them not working, so you end up “supporting” him financially. I have read cases where the abuser fakes an illness and going to doctor and it was all fake. He had other women and gambling addiction and that’s where he spent the money. Or it could be the person saying he has this huge debt to pay off and he has no way to do it. So, he plays the victim so you can help him, but he has no intentions of paying you back.
- Has a history of domestic violence or abusing others. He is not nice to people and is always talking bad about others.
- He bullies people or puts people down by calling them names, saying derogatory or discriminatory comments. He has this grandiose personality and thinks he is better than others.
- He has anger issues. He is always angry or mad at someone. Note, sometimes depression is manifested as anger.
- He isolates you or makes you distance from family and friends. He doesn’t want you hanging out with your closest loved ones. This is huge tactic abusers use so you ‘only’ have them to rely on.
- They control whom you see or where you go. He will get mad at you so you don’t go to a place or hang out with someone by making you feel guilty for wanting to do that activity. He will guilt-trip you a lot. You have to constantly tell him your whereabouts and you have to literally report to him throughout the day. This makes you feel in jail and unable to breathe. You feel trapped!
- Often there is sexual abuse in a relationship where he will force intimacy when you don’t want to be intimate. Yes, this is sexual abuse and rape if you are forced and don’t consent to it, even if you are in a relationship with them. If you feel forced to have intimacy is a huge red flag.
- He is overly jealous of other men in your life, specially male-friendships. He often makes comments or accuses you of flirting or “coming onto” or flirting with others or accuse you of cheating with them. He can’t stand you having small talk with other men and often will prohibit you from having male friendships. It happened to me, I was accused of flirting with the bartender just because I asked a question about how he made some martini because I wanted one.
- He controls how you dress. He doesn’t let you wear sexy and revealing clothing. He tells you to want to wear because he is jealous other men will look at you or if you want to dress sexy and nice for him, he will accuse you of wanting to get attention from other men or call you vulgar names.
- He controls how you act and behave. It gets to the toxic level of him controlling everything in your being. You can’t make decisions alone anymore because you are afraid he will get mad.
- Threaten to kill themselves if you break up with them, or tell you that they cannot live without you when you want to leave.
- He is very volatile. Experience extreme mood swings. One minute he is lovey-dovey the next he is insulting you and blaming the dumbest thing on you making you feel horrible. You spend your days walking on eggshells.
- “You are the same as my ex.” He often compares you to exes and tells you are just the same as her/them. Note: this was so not even the case at the beginning of the relationship. He made you feel you are different, but in later stages of the abuse he ends up comparing you to them.
- You are emotionally drained and tired. You have no energy to do anything you used to enjoy. You are tired all the time from all the fighting, anxiety, emotional pain and feeling stuck. You feel hopeless and stuck in a black hole.
- On/off relationship pattern. Most of your relationship has been on/off, breakup/makeup. You are constantly breaking up and getting back together. The breakups are due to cheating, flirting or maybe lying or something along those lines.
- You try everything to fix things. You keep trying harder and harder to find a way to be a better girlfriend because if you are a better girlfriend everything will be fixed and things will get better. You always tell yourself things will get better. You tell yourself that if you just try harder and love your partner enough that everything will be just fine. You think is all in your hands and all up to you to make things better.
- You are always sad, unhappy, depressed, miserable, and cry yourself to sleep. You can’t believe this is your life and how you are hopeless.
- You have frequent suicidal thoughts because the emotional pain is so unbearable that you question why you are even here.
- You are afraid of him. You are afraid of being alone with him.
- Gaslighting, where you end up not losing touch with reality. You don’t’ know if things are real anymore or if it was just in your head. He makes you think you are crazy and question yourself a lot. Gaslighting is used by manipulators to make their victims question their sanity. For example, he said something to you clearly and then you question him and he will say “what are you talking about? I never said that. Where did you get that from? You probably made it up.” or if you saw something online of cheating, he will say “it’s all in your head, you didn’t’ see right or you made it up or you are confused.” You feel crazy and you feel you don’t’ know what’s truth or a lie anymore.
- Abuse keeps getting worst and worst, psychologically and verbally. Often it gets to the point of physical abuse. Physical abuse can also be pulling hair, yanking you, pushing you, moving you out of the way harshly, squeezing you, shocking you, shoving you or physically punching/kicking you. Any type of psychological, verbal and physical abuse needs to be reported to authorities. Please consider calling 911 right, even if its days after it has happened. Make sure you take pictures of your injuries and note anything you can.
My heart hurts after writing all these Abusive Relationship Red Flags. I went through narcissistic abuse a few years back and it stripped me away from everything that I was. I hope my 50 Abusive Relationship Red Flags helped you and trust me there are more than this. I hope you can open your eyes and allow yourself to make the best decision for your life. You deserve healthy and real love and never deserve for any of the Abusive Relationship Red Flags happen to you.
Share this with someone that might need it or to bring awareness. It is crucial we inform teens of Abusive Relationship Red Flags to arm them with knowledge and lessen their chances of getting in unhealthy and abusive relationships.
Most of this Abusive Relationship Red Flags are from Narcissistic Abuse, which I will make an entire blog post on this topic.
Help spread this message of Abusive Relationship Red Flags
Have you ever experienced any of the Abusive Relationship Red Flags mentioned?
Do you know someone you love that is currently in an abusive relationship? Can you please share them with them?
How can you help me spread this message to bring awareness?
RESOURCES FOR VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Dating Abuse Helpline
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
www.nrcdv.org and www.vawnet.org
Futures Without Violence: The National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence
National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health
1-312-726-7020 ext. 2011
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Resources used for search
- Personal experience and knowledge through personal research
- Coaching clients
- Books Read
- Articles Read
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