15 Signs That Your Relationship Could Turn Abusive

Pay close attention to these warning signs of a potentially abusive relationship.

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Someone you know could be suffering from domestic violence

Domestic violence is far more common than most of us realize—about 20 people per minute suffer abuse, on average, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). Although women are more likely to experience abuse from an intimate partner,  men can also be victims: One in three men have experienced domestic violence. For nearly all relationships in which domestic violence occurs, the abuse can remain hidden until later in the relationship. “It is not uncommon for a victim to confide that he or she ‘woke up one day’ to realize—with deep embarrassment and shame—that he or she was in the midst of an abusive relationship,” explains Carla Manly, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of Joy from Fear. The warning signs of domestic violence, however, can appear early on in a relationship—sometimes even from the start. Here, experts of domestic violence unveil some of the behaviours that indicate a potentially abusive relationship.

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abusive relationshipPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Your partner forces you into decisions without regard for your feelings

This type of behaviour, be it forcing you to move in together prematurely or get married before you’re ready, can signal the potential for an abusive relationship, according to Kendra Kubala, a psychologist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “The abusive partner may cause the other partner to feel guilty or ungrateful for asking questions or asking to slow the pace of the relationship,” she says.

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