He is very jealous and possessive and tells you that this is a sign of his love for you. Jealousy and possessiveness in it’s extremes are used to control a person and it also allows the offender to take no responsibility for their attitude and put the onus on you for them to be different. When jealousy or possessiveness becomes irrational, this can lead to physical violence or can manifest itself in systematic emotional abuse which leaves you with low self-esteem.
Disproportionate feelings far too early into the relationship which can translate as smothering. I have received emails from women who have been involved with men that have told them that they loved them after a week, pressured them to get pregnant and wanted to move in. The men in question saw this pressure to be serious as demonstration of their love but in reality, not only was it more than a little odd, it is often an early indicator that further down the line, this behaviour turns into jealousy, possessiveness which feeds into either emotional or physical abuse.
Humiliation, swearing, insulting, put downs are often used as devices to control and manipulate a person into doing what they want. By eroding the self esteem and systematically engaging in these behaviours, this is emotional abuse.
Control Freak – If your boyfriend tries to control who you see, when you see them, how you dress, where you go and much more, this is a very strong sign that you are with someone who is abusive. With someone who is like this, it is worthwhile addressing his behaviour and pointing out that his behaviour is controlling as with the right kind of guy, he will adjust his behaviour to appropriate levels.
He is handy with his fists: Mr Physically Agressive – It is totally unacceptable for any person to abuse you physically. No excuse is appropriate and no person should be used as a punchbag. Be very wary of someone who has already physically abused someone else. Don’t fall into the trap of ‘I Can Change Him’ syndrome. Oh and keep an eye on any guy that wants to destroy your property as a demonstration of his rage.
Threatening physical violence is just as bad as committing the act itself because ultimately it’s about ruling with fear and this is emotional abuse.
He abuses drugs and alcohol and blames them for his actions. How many women have found themselves with a black eye and had substances blamed for it? That doesn’t make it any better and absolves him from responsibility.
He likes to be the decision maker and won’t entertain anything that you suggest. Control of this level is never a good thing.
Forcing you to perform sexual acts which can be combined with any of the above to coerce you.
If your boyfriend/partner is displaying any of these signs, I would certainly have some serious concerns. Use common sense and your gut and get out before you find yourself an empty shell of your former self. There is no excuse for abusing someone and seek help as soon as possible. It is important to ensure that your abusers behaviour doesn’t destroy your self esteem and trust or have a long lasting impact on future relationships.
NML is the editor of Baggage Reclaim.