People in abusive relationships are good examples that hindsight is 20/20. Once the nature of the abuser becomes all but apparent, the early signs become more than just the strange quirks they were at the beginning of the relationship. While many strong men and women have escaped from these forms of relationships, there are many others that are never able to break free.
The feeling of elation that clouds a new relationship can often stop someone from seeing the little signs that there might be problems down the road. It’s hard for anyone falling in love…or at least in extreme like…to find anything wrong with the person currently making them so happy. It is important though to not ignore the warning signs.
Here are just a few of the things to watch out for when starting a new relationship. Though one or two instances might not be enough to start couple’s counseling, habitual instances are a definite cause for caution.
1.A quick and easy temper – Not everyone with a bad temper will take it out on someone else, including someone they love. However, someone who gets angry over small things is likely to act before thinking. Frequent bouts of temper are something to watch out for. A pension for fighting is another. If social settings show a side of this person that seems to be picking constant fights, there’s a good chance that he or she has an underlying streak of violence that might not be healthy in a long term relationship.
2.Constant criticism – People in a new relationship tend to feel elated over compliments and ignore any criticism, even if it’s there. Pay attention to what the person you’re seeing says to and about you. Constant comments about weight, hair color, or clothing are signs that they’re not going to love you for you. When image is more important to someone than what lies beneath, the relationship can become superficial and verbally abusive. When they criticize you to or in front of others, it becomes a control tactic to see how much they can humiliate you. The moment you feel your self esteem take a downward turn, it’s time to rethink this relationship.
3.Monopolization of your time – Even when you’re in a relationship, you’re going to want to keep in touch with your friends. If you find that your new boyfriend or girlfriend is demanding more of your time than you’re comfortable giving, there’s a good chance that trouble lies ahead. One of the early signs of abuse is when you’re kept from spending time with friends or staying in touch with family. It can be subtle at first, usually in the form of a mild guilt trip for wanting to do something besides spending time with them. As the relationship progresses, it can escalate to flat out denying you of having friends or moving you away from family, making contact that much harder. If you’re faced with conflict every time you want to do something with someone other than your significant other, you may need to face the fact that this form of control can easily lead to abuse.
4.You’re treated like a servant rather than a lover – Relationships should be equal. That doesn’t mean you don’t occasionally get something for your significant other, or do something for them because you want to. It means that they do the same for you and appreciate what they get in return. If the person you’re dating tends to order you around, demand your time and service, or berate you for not jumping to their beck and call, there’s a possible future of emotional abuse under their controlling ways.
While these are some of the most common hints that you’re headed for an unhealthy relationship, it’s always good to trust your instincts and pay attention to what you do and don’t feel comfortable with. Being beaten, raped, or publicly humiliated are glaring signs of abuse. Unfortunately, early signs are rarely that easy to see. Go with what you feel and try not to let your cloud nine emotions overshadow your better judgment. Facing problems now can keep you safe later.