Monday, April 10, 2017

Warning Signs in Abusive Relationships

I have not written extensively on my domestically violent marriage. But one of the things I wish I had known then is what some warning signs were for abusive relationships. Here is one way things with a potentially abusive partner can go in a developing relationship. If early on when dating they tell you a story that is similar to any of the following, immediately leave and terminate the relationship. 

Versions of Stories told by Abusers:

Well this one girl thought I was stalking her, but I really wasn't. I just worked near her place. She was the crazy one. She got a Protection from Abuse Order and everything. God, she was so dramatic. 

I had to quit this gym because this chick was married and her husband was really scary. He always thought I was hitting on his wife. The gym owner asked me to leave even though I hadn't done anything wrong. 

My ex girlfriend/wife accused me of rape. Let me tell you what happened and you can decide for yourself. I want to be totally transparent with you.

My ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse says I have a really bad temper. I'm just so grateful to be with someone like you who "gets" me. 

I had to create a new Facebook profile so that I could keep tabs on my ex. He blocked my original one. He accepted my new friend request and didn't even know it was me.

I have some felony charges relating to sex with minors but it was just a plea deal. I'm not guilty of a crime or anything. I had to take the deal. I didn't do anything wrong everything. It was a consensual relationship. 

When someone tells a story like the ones above, they are testing your tolerance. By accepting their version of the story, you are unknowingly signing yourself up to be on the receiving end of those same behaviors. What they glean from your acceptance of their story is that you'll be likely to tolerate violent/abusive/stalking behavior when it's done to you. Furthermore, if you accept their version and go on in the conversation to malign the other individual you have shown them that you'll likely blame yourself if they abuse or mistreat you. You've just blamed their previous victim. 

Often the beginning signs of Intimate Partner Violence or Domestic Violence are difficult to distinguish. Stories of abuse are commonly told in the beginning of a relationship with a potential abuser. They are evaluating the likelihood of being successful in their abusive relational pattern with you. If you respond to those stories with shock and tell them that their behavior was not ok; they will likely lose interest and move on to a more accepting victim. 

If you find yourself in need of help please reach out. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-779-7233. Reach out if you need help. The author is available for questions if you have them. 

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