7 Early Signs of an Abusive Relationship

Learn to recognize the early signs of an abusive relationship. This can help you prevent verbal or psychological abuse from escalating into a more serious situation.
7 Early Signs of an Abusive Relationship

Written by Okairy Zuñiga

Last update: 26 May, 2022

Being in an abusive relationship is really difficult. Some people believe they’ll get used to it with time due to their upbringing or beliefs.

As you probably already know, abuse is an issue that affects a lot of people nowadays and takes many lives around the world. That’s why it’s fundamental to know the early signs of an abusive relationship. This can help you prevent verbal or psychological abuse from escalating into a more serious situation.

Is it easy to recognize the early signs of abuse?

There’s a long list of signs of abuse that you should be very concerned about. While it’s normal to have arguments and differences of opinion, you shouldn’t be living in a constant war zone.

Expressing your point of view or having disagreements with your partner should instead be somewhat healing. It’s very healthy for both partners to know and respect how the other thinks.

Early signs of abusive relationships can be difficult to recognize, as they are easy to camouflage. Pay close attention to the following signs that you’re in an abusive relationship.

Read also: 5 Relationships That Ruin Your Romantic Relationship

Signs of an abusive relationship

1. The relationship moves very quickly

A couple embracing.

If you feel like things are very rushed and your partner is already talking about living together, commitment, and even marriage, you should be careful.

Yes, it’s a nice thing to feel like you’re with a person who isn’t afraid of commitment and wants to share the rest of their lives with you. However, sometimes it’s best to trust your instincts. If you feel like things are moving faster than normal, you should think twice.

Abusive relationships usually begin with a fairy tale love story but they never end that way.

2. Your partner is completely obsessed with you

Who doesn’t want to feel loved? Abusive relationships, however, take things too far and often contain a person who is astonishingly generous. They give you presents and are very loving in order to win you over.

These people quickly come to think of themselves as the perfect match for you. Be careful, as this may only be a strategy. Once you’re completely trapped, it’s easier to forgive them. You’ll feel obligated to look at things on a relative scale and it’ll be hard not to give them another chance.

3. They make promises about your future together

Everyone likes to think about the future you’ll have together. However, be careful if during the early stages of the relationship they promise to bring you the moon.

An abusive person typically makes promises like “You’ll never need anything”, “I’ll take care of you”, or “You’ll never have to worry”. These promises usually aren’t reflections of their real dreams and desires.
One of the early signs of an abusive relationship is control. While all these promises are usually about you, they’re totally dependent on your partner.

4. They want you only for themselves

A couple arguing.

It’s very flattering to feel loved and needed by your partner. If this doesn’t leave you with time for your friends and family, however, it could be a subtle and classic warning sign of an abusive relationship.

Abusers often isolate their victims. This allows them to have greater control. Jealousy can easily be construed as “affection” or “desire”.

It’s important that you continue to be yourself and don’t stray away from your friends and family because your partner wants you to.

5. Your partner constantly corrects you

It’s normal for an abusive person to want to control everything. They may point out certain behaviors that they don’t like because they think they’re inappropriate.

They may want to mold your behavior These corrections are typically imperceptible at first. However, they’ll eventually gain more and more control over what you do. You have to remain alert.

6. You feel uncomfortable during sex

A woman feeling uncomfortable.

Sex should be fun, pleasurable, and enjoyable. It’s not okay to have uncomfortable feelings when you’re making love with your partner.

If you feel like they’re behaving too rough with you, you have to trust your instincts. It’s one thing to have a playful sexual relationship, and another to be treated as an object for pleasure. When your partner disregards your wants and needs, you’re clearly in an abusive relationship.

It’s important that you don’t forget the sexual aspects of your relationship, as their behavior could be laying the groundwork for more control over you.

This behavior could eventually endanger your life. If you have any doubts, talk to your friends or family members so they can help you see your situation more clearly.

Visit this article: 5 Tips to Preserve Your Relationship

7. You’re afraid of your partner

This is a very common sign of an abusive relationship. If you simply can’t do anything without first considering how your partner will react, you need to open your eyes.

It’s important to remember that abuse is not just physical. Your partner may mistreat you not with punches but with words that devalue you and make you feel inferior.

Even subtle acts of scorn that attack you psychologically are a problem. If you feel like your partner is abusive, it’s time to seek professional help.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • McLaughlin, L. (1995). Feminisim,the public sphere , media and democracy. European Journal of Communication. https://doi.org/10.1177/016344393015004005
  • Amin, S. (1989). New Forms of Social Movement. Estudios Sociologicos.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.