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Relationship Signs You Should Not Ignore

Updated on August 2, 2009


Being in a relationship should be a positive experience, filled with love and happiness.Thinking about the man in your life should bring a smile to your face and fill your heart with joy. But for so many women and teenage girls, the situation is often clouded with fear and self doubt. Sometimes, the reality can become much worse than imagined.

In most abusive relationships, the major trouble doesn't start right away, but there are usually signs that point toward future problems. Some of the signs are more subtle, but if you pay attention, they are usually there from the beginning.

The abusive man might start out behaving normally, but will become progressively more controlling until the relationship ends. A man inclined to abuse women will never stop the behavior on his own accord. The abused woman will never "change" the man, no matter how much she tries. He will not get better over time if she can prove her love and devotion. She can't "nurse" him back to sanity. Some women will get up the courage to leave, but others might stick around until it's too late. Many domestic violence situations eventually end in death.

Abuse can exist in many forms. Sometimes it is physical violence, but emotional and psychological abuse are just as common, and are often ignored. Often emotional abuse will escalate into physical abuse over time.

If you are in a relationship that shows any of the following warning signs, you should get out before it escalates to something much worse. A loving relationship is never scary or dominated by one person. A partnership doesn't need a boss.

Extreme jealousy or possessiveness: Of course, when you are in love, you might feel a slight pang of jealousy when you see your significant other talking to someone of the opposite sex. But it is completely unreasonable to expect someone to avoid all contact with members of the opposite sex. Relationships are built on trust, not control.

Seclusion from family and friends: The abuser will often try to place restrictions on the woman spending time with anyone other than him. He likes to keep her under his watchful eye to maintain total control. He aims to break down her support system because if she is totally dependent on him, it will be harder for her to leave. He doesn't want her to be influenced by family and friends who might try to convince her to leave. The abuser might try to brainwash the woman into believing that her friends are jealous of the love they share or that her family is trying to sabotage their relationship so they can control her. He may convince her to quit work, saying he wants to take care of her. But the truth is, if she is at work, he can't be there to control her every move. She will be financially independent, making it possible for her to live without him. And he is afraid she may meet someone new...and normal.

Accusations of infidelity: It's one thing to have a serious discussion if you truly suspect cheating in a relationship. It's quite another to accuse your partner of having an affair, or attempting to, with the cashier at the grocery store, the pizza delivery guy, the mailman, and every other male within a fifty mile radius. If you avoid small talk and eye contact with every man you see for fear of envoking rage in your guy, then you should kick him to the curb ASAP.

Controlling your life: An abusive man tries to tell you where you can go, who you can talk to, how much you can spend, what you can wear, etc. If you are in this situation, remind yourself that you do not need another parent. Realize that you are your own person, capable of making your own decisions without supervision. You should never feel like you are a prisoner in your own home, or relationship. If you do, break free immediately.

Criticizing or name calling: If your man calls you names or puts you down, he is being disrespectful. If he tries act like you are stupid, it is meant to undermine your confidence. A confident woman will probably leave him so he has to make your self esteem disappear before you make sure he does. If he criticizes everything you do, realize that it is not an issue with your performance. You will never satisfy his list of demands. No matter what you do or how you do it, he will always find a problem. He does this to control. The problem is not with your behavior, it is with his.

Extensive questioning of your actions: If your man makes you feel like you are being subjected to a police interrogation, he should probably be locked up. If you return from the grocery store to a barrage of questions, such as who you talked to, whether you went anywhere else, or how much you spent; be wary. If he gets mad at your answers, questions your honesty, or tries to act like you have done something wrong when you clearly have not, do not dismiss this as acceptable behavior.

Double standards: An abusive man will get mad if you talk to other guys, spend money, or go somewhere without his permission. But you can be sure he will not allow the same restrictions to be placed upon him. If you question his behavior, he will get angry and accuse you of being unreasonable. He may even become violent, pretending that you are trying to control him. An abusive man will usually turn every one of his own wrong doings into an issue with the woman. Abusive men are master manipulators. They try, and often succeed, in making the woman believe she has done something wrong when clearly he is the one who is guilty.

Bullying/Threats: Abusers will make many threats to get others to do what they want. It is often evident early in the relationship. The teenage boy who picks on classmates. The adult male who threatens the guy who cut him off in traffic. A man who bullys others will eventually turn the bullying toward you. They use fear and manipulation to get what they want. When you are the woman in their life, you will most certainly become the target of their anger and blame. Everything that goes wrong in their life will come flying back at you. They might threaten you with harm if you try to leave them, but please realize that you risk more harm by staying. And they might threaten to leave you if you don't play by their rules. If only you could be so lucky. Abusers are hard to get rid of once they sink their teeth into a victim, but don't abandon hope. Get out before it escalates any further.

Control and manipulation are forms of emotional abuse. They are not part of a normal, healthy relationship. Someone who truly loves you will never want to change you. If you have to act differently to please a man, then it is not really you he is in love with.

An abusive man seeks women that he can control. He wants a woman who is eager to please and will go out of her way to make him happy. But you should never foresake your own happiness for another person. Someone who loves you will want to make you happy in return.

And someone who loves you will never want to cause you pain, neither emotional nor physical. Punching, kicking, pushing, smacking, biting, hair pulling, wrist grabbing, and throwing objects at someone are all forms of physical abuse.

Abusive relationships are not healthy. They will not work out eventually. Don't allow yourself to be sucked in by this type of man. He will not change for the better over time. You cannot fix him. A man who loves you would never try to hurt you or change you into someone you are not. He is not sorry, even if he pretends to be. It will happen again...and again and again. You can't, nor should you try, to be the perfect woman for him. There is no such thing, especially for a man like this. You will never please him. Just get away from him.

If you are in an abusive relationship, you need to get out. Once you do leave him, don't ever look back. Refuse all attempts by him to contact you. Do not take his phone calls. Do not try to explain yourself or reason with him. He will view your willingness to speak with him as an opportunity to win you back. He will try to convince you that he will change, but he never will. Get a restraining order. If he shows up at your house, do not open the door. It will invite an opportunity for violence. Call the police. Notify people where you work that you want no contact with him and instruct them to call police or security if he shows up. Bring a picture in with you so they will know who to watch out for. Don't walk out alone. If possible, have security or a male coworker escort you to your car. Carry pepper spray with you at all times in case he tries to approach you. After a while, he will start to realize that you are serious in wanting no contact with him, and will likely move on to his next victim.The sooner into the relationship you leave, the more likely it will be that he will move on quickly. This is another reason not to stick around in an abusive relationship. Once the signs are there, it's best to get out before he forms a strong attachment to you. And before the emotional abuse turns physical.

Any type of abuse is never ok. Do not tolerate disrespect from any man you are seeing. Do not allow him to call you names or tell you what to do. And never stay with a man who is physically abusive toward you. Staying with an abusive man only emphasizes in his mind that this behavior is acceptable. It is not.

For help dealing with an abusive relationship,call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.


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    • FlowerCS profile image

      Lindsey A S 3 years ago from Delaware

      ALWAYS PRAY MELISSA OR ANYONE READ THE LORDS PRAYER ON THE INTERNET I BELIEVE HE SAYS HE WILL ALWAYS COME ITS SO SIMPLE BELIEVE. OPEN YOUR MIND , oh and if you don't hear him it doesn't matter he listens. Put prayer channels on this makes it easier for him to connect and for you to possibly feel a connection. Open your bible and have it out or all of them if you have the time why not. If you can't feel him and would like to alls you have to do is ask for a connection. I have experienced so many crazy feelings, types of people, strange, normal, situations realms things just pray. The things people think are crazy for the most part are not. What they say doesn't matter YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT to be heard and listened to and to not feel like you are crazy. Good Luck

    • FlowerCS profile image

      Lindsey A S 3 years ago from Delaware

      Melissa I am sorry I know what you are saying my father was abusive but not in this way. My mother went through the same thing and was followed many people even family didn't believe her. It was a damn shame and not right, people can be so unkind and mean at times. I wish I could help you but I don't know what to do other than go somewhere new but try very hard to make sure they don't see you call the cops or something and make sure someone is present when you leave. Ask someone to esscort you if you have to preferably two people not one. If you travel in a group you are more safe. If you feel you have to get 5 great friends, reguardless of the type of guy I recommend having atleast 2 good sized men come with you! When you get to your city or town let the people in your area know like the police what is happening tell them nobody listens or whatever is occuring. If they can ask if someone can constantly check up on you from time to time. The next thing you want to do is make as many GOOD friends as possible! Make friends with neighbors and everyone on your block. Once you do this make them aware and maybe they can help you do a neighborhood watch or something. If something happens you can have a buddy system so if something occurs people will know to pick up the phone right away. Especially if they see anything harmful going on. Let people know you have a child, when you do this people are even more likely to help unless they aren't good people themselves. Not only is your life in harm so is a childs that is serious! The next thing you'd want to do is become friends with people in the police stations/ women or men. The buddy system tends to work. Get security systems installed on the outside of your home! That is if you have the money I also understand that in that situation often times you are left with little or no money and things to survive on at all. Ask the friends you have made to lend you a hand with things you might need such as clothing, if you know them well as to borrow some money. You also could get a company to watch your home on top of that! This way they can moniter your home at all times. Check to make sure there are no bugs under your car get a good male friend to check. If your husband had your keys to the vehicle change or swap the car immediately and make sure you have power locks if you can. Always keep a cell phone with you a charger etc. Always carry a gun/knife sorry if you are against these things. You need to be protected, for all intensive purposes connect with a great friend preferably male and stay with him if you still feel like you are being followed when you move. You are not alone so that's great or you could rent parts of your home to someone close to you so someone is there. Always make sure the person is aware of your situation though, in the back of your mind don't doubt them staying there or they won't think and be positive you could get someone in your home. This also helps you safe and make money if you need it badly. Also search the internet I have seen so many unique things on the internet, search for some really tricky security systems you can have setup outside near your car and in your home. Make sure they are safe for you and your child though! Make sure that you have as many lights as possible to light up a dark back yard! This tends to always keep people away. I am not joking if you have to put up THREE or FOUR BIG LIGHTS! Also have your front light on at night so people can see if someone is around your home. Always keep your blinds closed until you know you are 100% safe. To bring in groceries go to the store etc. always have someone with you. I know to the normal person this is crazy, but guess what its not and those types of people are literally CRAZY they have nothing better to do. Protect yourself in anyway possible. I hope this helped! Hopefully this helped, now talk around and see what your friends can help you with, if you make good with a great amount of people see if they know a judge or something a good person whom can help you. Just being friends with people has GREAT ADVANTAGES. If someone doesn't believe you film things, otherwise they are not the best people to be friends with. I know lots of times people don't believe this stuff though. This is a serious thing!!! Also often times Men or Women don't leave a situation because they are brought down for so long that they are now toxic and have a hard time leaving. Many times Men or Women are afraid and they know that people are not listening, remember to take THINGS THAT PEOPLE SAY SERIOUSLY. Think what if it was me, what if I was in their shoes. Also many times people are faced with having to stay because a cop might not listen, they had a joint account and their money is with the other person, they have no money in general, they are being stalked. Other times which does occur people are threatened to be beat, children taken away, and many times threats against their lives. Oh and those people would harm them and not thing otherwise especially if they came from a messed up home or a screw is loose upstairs. GOOD LUCK I HOPE THIS HELPED!

    • FlowerCS profile image

      Lindsey A S 3 years ago from Delaware

      Great article. I think this is a great way to make many people aware. I also wanted to ad in that sometimes the person without realizing it can sometimes attract a person like this by their mentality. When I say this though that doesn't mean that the person harming them has any right nor should they stay in the relationship. The person isn't wrong for this but they need to realize the relationship they are in and focus first on safely getting out of it. The next thing is to heal and then change your mentality as well. If you feel like you constantly bring people like this into your life and want a change, first realize how amazing you are write a list of beautiful things about yourself and read them outloud, read them to yourself, and tell yourself you are beautiful because of such and such. You always want to state things in a present positive way such as I don't attract bad people in my life, I am loving and lovable, I diserve respect and Love. Just thought I could ad on and help, I don't want to take away from your hub! Great Content! I think its great you did this article because sometimes people come from broken households or people in general don't always know what is and isn't right. Especially young people there needs to be more education in awarenesss under this topic as well as safety in traveling and public, as well as sexual health awareness!

    • profile image

      Hater 4 years ago

      What's with this people here? Instead of complaining on the internet, you should be doing something. We do not care about your sad life stories. Just say 'it's a good article and sh*, that's all we need.

      By the way. Nice. Really helped me ;)

    • profile image

      Pharmk698 4 years ago

      Very nice site! cheap goods

    • profile image

      Johnd909 4 years ago

      Thank you for your blog article. Great. ccdceefedcfd

    • profile image

      single again 4 years ago

      Only two months in a relationship everyday he will snap and be sorry,wen we got out for a jol,there's no way we will come back happy,im already tired of his behaviour,i loved him and tried to beg him to seek help while still early but he lied abt it,and i have life waiting i dont wanna get stucked because of his selfish behaviour

    • JMV9 profile image

      JMV9 4 years ago

      Very informative, I hope women who need this will find it! It seems like when you are in an abusive relationship, you are the last to know. They are definite "master manipulators". Thank you for this

    • profile image

      Mikey 6 years ago

      are you all nutz? good luck in not having any relationship. All of your discussions are one sided. What if a woman is paranoid and creates and fabricates stories? This happens all the time. Ask yourself this question, Are women abusive too? I knew a man that got beat up by his wife all the time ( she was a bear. What does abusive mean? If a man interrogates a woman whereabouts, that sucks but it is not abuse. She should walk out if she doesn't accept this. But you wrote he should be locked up for questioning his wife. Spend a night or two in prison and see if a man should be locked up for questioning his wife. What if his wife questions him? Should she be locked up? My ex girlfriend kicked her little cat, that's abuse. Ask yourself what does abuse mean? No man will marry if this continues. and there goes the American population. women keep badmouthing us men and one day someone will do that to your son. Wake up, its divide and concur and you women fall for it every single time.

    • profile image

      empowerU 6 years ago

      Women need to take responsibilty for there actions, low self esteem, deseperate behaviors. Man abusers have low esteem so they seek women with low esteem so they can feel better about themselves. Men focus on yourself, stop feeling low about things in ur childhood- that woman did nothing to u. Women get away from these men or simply stop complaining until u end up death, stop the denial!

    • EuroNinila profile image

      Fotinoula Gypsyy 6 years ago from NYC BABY

      Great article, great advice for people who need it and it was very well written! Voted up and awesome!

    • profile image

      LOST and HURT 6 years ago

      My husband fits all of these descriptions to a tee! However he has never been physically abusive. He had finally started to change after I had already reached my wits end and I ended up having an affair bc I found someone who valued me for me. Since then I have stopped the affair and my husband and I have begun counseling but he says Ben more hateful things than he did before and I just don't know what to do bc on some level I feel like I deserve it bc of my affair. Any suggestions?

    • hologramchat profile image

      hologramchat 6 years ago from Portland Oregon

      very well written. I being a man wished it was little more about the abuse and how to get out of it instead of so much focus on the gender aka man = abuser. I realize normally is the guy so no big deal just wanted to say that sometimes it is the man getting abused.So true about it won't get better until they themselves want the help, people listen to her and if you're in one of those relationships please get out of it or seek mediation/therapy.

    • profile image

      kayla 7 years ago

      great info all of this is so true. it wont get better until they themselves want the help and even those chances of them changing are slim. i would like to know more on if there is a child involved and if the abusive partner is the father of that child. how do you get out? am i a bad mother if my child doesn't get to see his father even though the violence doesn't take plae in front of the child? what do i do?

    • profile image

      Annie 7 years ago

      Thank you , I just got out of an abusive relationship emotional and physical. I have a restraining order. Took me a long time to get out and have the courage! If you are in an abusive relationship. You can get out and get help

    • profile image

      Melissa 7 years ago

      What can you do, if there is a child involved and the abuser keeps trying to have control over you? I have already tried getting a protection order but they took it away, he was people watching my every move and if I go out on the weekend I dont have my son I'm a whore, a mad mother I cant deal with this person anymore!

      Other than that I wish I would have had this information 3 years ago

    • RecoverToday profile image

      RecoverToday 7 years ago from United States

      Excellent advice. Very well written with much truth. Please write more.

    • profile image

      Daniel 8 years ago

      Super Content


    • profile image

      Jazmine 8 years ago

      Thank you so much for this because i were in and

      abusive relationship going on 16 years,


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