Is my relationship abusive?

Does your partner or did your partner…

  • Criticise you, call you names or belittle the things you do?
  • Demand increasing amounts of your time, energy, attention or affection?
  • Insist on having their way on most issues?
  • Expect you to be with them constantly, and resent any time you spend pursuing your own interests or seeing other people?
  • Keep control over the money and give you an inadequate allowance?
  • Treat you with hostile silence and cold contempt for long periods?
  • Use punishing behaviour to manipulate you into complying with their demands?
  • Harass you or use standover tactics to get their own way?
  • Fly into sudden, irrational tempers for little or no reason, then blame these outbursts on you?
  • Frighten you by smashing possessions, or punching/kicking holes into walls?
  • Threaten to harm you or the people you love?
  • Threaten to commit suicide to hurt you?
  • Slap, shove, shake, pull your hair, kick, punch or spit at you?
  • Show excessive jealousy and accuse you unjustly of flirting or having affairs?
  • Coerce you into having sex when you don’t want to, or participating in sexual practices that you don’t feel comfortable with
  • Withhold having sex with you to humiliate you?
  • Constantly refuse to take responsibility for their destructive behaviour?
  • Deny events happened as they did, or turn them around so that they can blame you for them?
  • Withhold emotional support, even when you have a major crisis to deal with like a death in the family?
  • Make jokes at your expense or deliberately humiliate you in front of others?
  • Pretend to be kind and caring toward you in front of others but treat you badly when you are alone together?
  • Undermine your relationship with your children?
  • Deprive you of sleep by arguing late into the night?
  • Improve their behaviour if they think they may lose you but resume the abuse when they knows the danger is past?

If you have answered “yes” to some of these questions you may be feeling shocked, angry or frightened about what this means for you.

You may also feel a sense of relief.

(Extract from “Invisible Wounds” by Kay Douglas).