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How to identify an abusive relationship
People in an abusive relationships are at serious risk. Furthermore, if they have children, they are putting the children in harm's way too. If you sometimes wonder whether you are in an abusive relationship, read on, for your own sake (and that of any children who might be involved).

Does your boyfriend/partner/husband

Blame you for his anger? There is a difference between a person having an occasional bad day, and a person consistently blaming someone or something else for their problems. If he refers himself as a 'victim of circumstance' when angry, this should raise a red flag.
Have a serious drug or alcohol addiction? Is your partner obsessively controlling? Does he self-medicate to try to get away from problems? Does he try to avoid problems instead of dealing with them? If so, your partner could be trouble.
Have a history of violent behaviour?
Threaten others regularly?
Insult you or call you names?
Have trouble controlling feelings like anger?
Tell you what to wear, what to do or how to act? Try frequently to keep you away from friends or family. Isolation is a form of brain-washing and manipulation. He is trying to keep you away from people who could help you, or who could influence your opinion of this relationship.
Attempt to move/relocate the household frequently to ‘start over’? His objective is to remove you from your support network – i.e. friends and family.
Threaten or intimidate you in order to get what he wants?
Throw away, accidentally break, or cause your favourite possessions to 'disappear' when you have upset him?
Try to destroy your self esteem?
Tire you out and make you doubt yourself? This usually comes in the form of causing trivial arguments to escalate into full-blown mega-fights which last hours... and hours... and hours. This is another form of mind control.
Accuse you of fabricating problems or relationship issues in order for you to have something to worry about?
Say hurtful things, but later swear that he didn't and then accuse you of having memory problems?
Cause you to find yourself doing things because, if you don't, he will be angry, or otherwise threaten to break up with you? If so, then this person is controlling you in an unhealthy way. From there, it's a very short step to actual emotional and/or physical abuse.


Be unsparingly objective. If any of the above sound like your boyfriend/partner/ husband, then:

Talk to someone you can trust - family or close friends you knew before you became involved with him are your best choices.
Plan in advance to have a safe place to go should your partner become abusive. The further away this is, the less likely he is to follow you there and confront you. It is far better for all concerned if your partner does not know where you are.
Start working on a long-term - or better still - a short-term plan to remove yourself from the potentially abusive situation.

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