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A relationship is not abusive only when one partner is physically hurting the other. It also includes emotional, sexual, or financial abuse. This behavior is usually a part of a bigger behavior pattern. There are a few signs that everyone should keep an eye out for. If these signs are seen, then you should get out of the relationship or seek help.

23 Signs of an Abusive Relationship
  1. Does your partner tease you in a hurtful way in private or in public?
  2. Does your partner call you names such as "stupid" or "b***h"?
  3. Does your partner act jealous of your friends, family, or co-workers?
  4. Does your partner get angry about the clothes you wear, or the way you style your hair?
  5. Does your partner check-up on you by calling you or driving by your location, or have someone else do it?
  6. Has your partner accompanied you to places, or sent someone just to "keep an eye on you"?
  7. Does your partner insist on knowing who you talk with on the phone?
  8. Does your partner blame you for his/her problems or bad mood?
  9. Does your partner get angry so easily, that you feel like you're "walking on eggshells"?
  10. Does your partner hit walls, drive dangerously, or do other things to scare you?
  11. Does your partner often drink or use drugs?
  12. Does your partner insist that you drink or use drugs with him/her?
  13. Have you lost friends, or no longer see your family, because of your partner?
  14. Does your partner accuse you of being interested in someone else?
  15. Does your partner read your mail, go through your belongings, or other personal papers?
  16. Does your partner keep money from you, keep you in debt, or have "money secrets"?
  17. Has your partner kept you from getting a job, or caused you to lose a job?
  18. Has your partner sold your car, made you give up your license, or not repaired your car?
  19. Does your partner threaten to hurt you, your children, family, friends, or pets?
  20. Does your partner force you to have sex when you do not want to?
  21. Does your partner force you to have sex in ways that you do not want to?
  22. Does your partner threaten to kill you or himself/herself, if you leave?
  23. Does your partner act one way in front of other people, and another way when you are alone?
These signs refer to both physical, and emotional abuse.

Early Signs of an Abusive Partner

There are a few early signs that you can keep an eye out for, to avoid reaching a stage of complete abuse. These signs pertain to the nature of the person. If a person displays the following behavior, then they have the tendency to be abusive.
  1. Jealousy: This person has a tendency to get jealous and angry about the tiniest things.
  2. Control: He/she has all the control, financial and otherwise, in the relationship.
  3. Complexes: He/she is the superior one, and expects his/her partner to always remain in an inferior position.
  4. Manipulation: He/she manipulates a situation, such that his/her partner always bears the blame.
  5. Mood Swings: He/she has very extreme mood swings, from being extremely caring one minute to being abusive, the next.
  6. Punishment: An abusive relationship will never work on the principle of apology and forgiveness. It will follow the principle--"if you do the crime, you do the time". The abusee will always be punished for every mistake that he/she makes.
  7. Disrespect: He/she will never show any respect for his/her partner. However, the scenario may differ in front of others, but factually, the abuser holds no respect for the abusee.
  8. History: If this person has a history of relationship or self abuse, then the chances are it will repeat in the current relationship as well.
One needs to look out for these signs. Even a slight inkling should be kept in mind. Abusers have a tendency to roll a person in with their charm, and then reveal their true selves.

Outside Signs

The signs given below will help you identify if anyone you know or care about, is being abused by their partner. These signs may not be very obvious, and hence, you need to make a careful observation, and get that person help as soon as possible.
  1. Unexplained bruises and wounds. The abusee will never complain about the wounds, and the pain that they cause.
  2. The abusee will have excessive guilt and shame. Even the slightest thing will get them feeling guilty, for no apparent reason.
  3. An abusee will not be much in touch with their friends and family. They will be secretive and withdrawn.
  4. Abusees will avoid social events. They will opt out of it at the last minute, even if they are forced to confirm in the start. Their reasons may or may not be very consistent.
Any kind of abuse in a relationship can drive a person to acute depression, an extreme fear of abandonment, or even suicide, which is why timely action is very important. There are helplines which aid people in getting out of such situations. Taking the help of family and friends also works. In the end, it is important to not be scared, and have the will to get out.