Signs of an Unhealthy or Abusive Relationship
What are the signs of an unhealthy or abusive relationship?
- Do you feel nervous around your boyfriend/girlfriend?
- Do you have to be careful to control your behavior to avoid his/her anger?
- Do you feel pressured by him/her when it comes to sex?
- Are you scared of disagreeing with him/her?
- Does s/he criticize you, or humiliate you in front of other people?
- Is s/he always checking up or questioning you about what you do without him?
- Does s/he repeatedly and wrongly accuse you of seeing other guys/girls?
- Does s/he tell you that if you changed s/he wouldn't abuse you?
- Does his/her jealousy stop you from seeing friends or family?
- Does s/he make you feel like you are wrong, stupid, crazy, or inadequate?
- Has s/he ever scared you with violence or threatening behavior?
- Does s/he use drugs or alcohol? Do you?
- Do you often do things to please him/her, rather than to please yourself?
- Does s/he prevent you from going out or doing things you want to do?
- Do you feel that, with him or her, nothing you do is ever good enough?
- Have you ever seen your partner throw, hit, or break things when angry?
- Does s/he say that s/he will kill or hurt him/herself if you break up with him/her?
- Does s/he make excuses for his/her abusive behavior by saying it's because of alcohol or drugs or because s/he can't control his/her temper, or that s/he was 'just joking'?
- Does s/he demonstrate the behaviors listed in any section of the Power and Control Wheel? (link or diagram below)
- Do patterns in your relationship resemble the Cycle of Violence? (link or diagram below)
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, you could be in an abusive relationship or your relationship could become abusive.
You might have answered 'yes' to some of these questions, but still think 'it's not that bad'. Feeling scared, humiliated, pressured or controlled is not the way you should feel in a relationship. You should feel loved, respected, and free to be yourself. Your feelings and safety are important.
If you are in an abusive relationship, it is likely to get worse over time. You can't make your boyfriend/girlfriend change his/her behavior. S/he is the one who has to change his/her attitude and accept responsibility for abusing you, and not make excuses for his/her behavior.
It's not your fault if you are being abused. You deserve to be treated with respect.