Relationships

Mandy Kloppers

Is my partner abusive?

Many clients ask me, “Is my partner abusive?”. It’s a simple question with a not-so simple answer. It seems obvious that we would know whether our partner was abusive or not but the subject is not as clear cut as I’d like to be.

When we are emotionally attached to someone, we tend to justify their behaviour and the more we ignore the initial warning signs, the more we ‘normalise’ the behaviour, forgetting what is healthy behaviour and what isn’t.

In general, if someone has an abusive nature, this will surface within the first three months of a relationship. Many will overlook the signs or won’t even notice them as they enjoy the heady experience of new love. It pays to be vigilant though.

What to look out for:

Jealousy

Possessiveness

Controlling behaviour

Criticizing remarks/belittling you or demeaning you

Pushing the relationship forward very quickly instead of moving forward at a slower healthier pace

Isolating you from friends and family

Everyone makes mistakes and the odd misdemeanour can be overlooked but if your partner seems to own a pattern of behaviour that includes the above, it might be time to seriously look at the long term future of your liaison.

Mandy X