Domestic violence is largely about one person exerting control over another. The guilt, intimidation and force that the abuser uses against the victim often make it very difficult for that victim to escape.

It’s always better to get out of a toxic, abusive relationship before you’re so far into it that your abuser has that kind of control over you. The earlier you spot the following signs of abuse and manipulation, the better:

  • Your spouse or partner seems to need 100% of your time and attention. They may explain that they’re just so deeply in love with you that they can’t control themselves — but that’s just an excuse.
  • You’re being monitored. You have to let your spouse or partner know where you are, who you are with, how long you’ll be gone and what you’re doing at all times.
  • You are isolated. Your spouse or partner, for no valid reason, seems to intensely dislike your family and friends and doesn’t want you spending time with them. If you do try to spend time with them, your spouse or partner suddenly has an “emergency” or flat-out demands that you return home for some reason.
  • You can’t make any changes to your appearance without your spouse or partner’s permission. Your spouse or partner may also belittle your appearance or behavior, even in public.
  • You are blamed for all of the problems in the relationship. Even when your spouse or partner is clearly in the wrong, they will claim that they behaved “that way” because of something you said or did.
  • Your spouse or partner makes threats of violence (to you or to themself) and destroys things, then blames it on their “passion.”

Anyone can have a few negative qualities, but violence (or the threat of it) is never okay. If you need help getting out of a domestic violence situation with your spouse, contact our office to see what can be done.