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Do You Have an Abusive Boyfriend?

Updated on July 31, 2011

A lot of women are in abusive relationships but aren't fully aware of it. Some are in denial, but some simply accept certain types of behavior as normal because they've experienced it in other forms throughout their lives and do not realize such behavior is abnormal or harmful. And some women recognize they have been abused by their boyfriends but continue to date them in the hope it was a one-time thing. If you fall into either of those categories, please take a moment to consider how you discovered this article in the first place -- it's unlikely you would be here now if you didn't know (however deep inside the knowledge might be) you were in an unhealthy relationship of some sort. The following behaviors qualify as abuse in my book, and I can't imagine them not being considered such by any rational mind. Unfortunately, when we are in love with an abusive person, rationality rarely enters the picture, so please try to read them as objectively as possible. If you would consider them abusive behaviors for a friend or loved one, try to view them as such for yourself, as well.

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1. Physical abuse.

This sounds like an obvious sign, but many women will actually categorize this behavior and downgrade it whenever possible. Physical abuse doesn't have to mean horrible acts of violence or a black eye. Physical abuse can be anything from a shove to a slap to being dragged down a street by the hand or arm against your will. I would even go so far as to say physical intimidation -- raising a hand in a threatening manner, blocking your path in a menacing way, etc -- qualifies as some sort of abuse, and such behaviors do often evolve into something violent eventually. There is no excuse for physical abuse of any kind. (That goes for you, too; do not hit a man just because you're a girl and think he won't hit you back!) If you are experiencing this with your boyfriend, you are being abused.

2. Verbal abuse

Does your boyfriend lash out at you verbally? Does he play on your insecurities and put you down? Does he say hurtful things that aren't remotely true, just to get a bad reaction out of you? While I can allow that everyone gets angry and says hurtful things from time to time, even when they are really in love with someone, if your boyfriend does this on a regular basis (assuming you are not provoking it with your own verbal abuse!) you are being abused.

3. Mental abuse

Have you got one of those boyfriends who breaks every promise, does horrible things and then treats you like *you're* the psycho because you actually got upset about it? You know the type, "Why you trippin' baby? I told you I'd come over for dinner after work -- so what if I went to a party for 5 hours before coming to yours. I'm here now, yeah? What's wrong with eating dinner at 0200?" This is classic psychopath behavior and people can actually go insane from this sort of thing, especially when experienced day in and day out. If your boyfriend is doing this to you, you're being abused.

4. Manipulation and Emotional Abuse

Have you got a boyfriend who breaks up with you every time you call him on his crap, puts you through an emotional wringer, and then calls you a few days later as though nothing happened and wants to be together again? Does he go off the deep end, tell you it's over, disappear for a few days and then show up on your doorstep a month later begging you take him in? If so, you're dating a jerk who is mentally and emotionally abusing you.

5. Threats

Does he threaten you? Threaten in any way, I mean. Threaten to harm you, leave you, threaten to find another girl if you don't do what he wants, threaten to break something if you don't give him what he's asking for, threaten to do anything bad at all? Well, if he does, he's mentally and emotionally abusing you and in some ways this can take a bigger toll than being physically abused, because bruises heal -- sometimes the mind can't.

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