Relationship Red Flags

1. Jealousy: Possessive, lack of trust. Questions who you talk to; calls you frequently or drops by unexpectedly; refuses to let you work; checks your car mileage.

2. Controlling behavior: Angry if you’re late; questions where you’ve been; denies you personal decisions about the house, clothing, church attendance; controls money.

3. Quick involvement: Pressures you for commitment; says “You’re the only one I can talk to” or “the only one who’s ever loved me;” makes you feel guilty if you want to slow down or break up.  

4. Unrealistic expectations: Expects you to meet all physical and emotional needs; expects perfection; says “If you love me, I’m all you need, and you’re all I need.”

5. Isolation: Tries to cut you off from all resources. May want to live in the country, without a phone; denies you access to driving, working or school.

6. Blames others for problems: Someone is always doing him wrong; blames you for anything that goes wrong, for upsetting him or keeping him from concentrating on work.

7. Blames others for feelings: Uses feelings to manipulate you. Says “You make me mad,” or “You make me happy.”

8. Hypersensitivity: Is easily insulted; rants about “injustices” of life such as being asked to work late or help with chores, or getting a traffic ticket.

9. Cruelty to children or animals: Expects children to be capable of things beyond their abilities; teases them until they cry; doesn’t want children to eat at the table or expects them to be kept in their rooms. Insensitive to suffering of animals.

10. “Playful” use of force: May throw or hold you down during sex; shows little concern about whether you want to have sex; uses sulking or anger to manipulate you into compliance; demands sex when you are sleeping, sick or tired.

11. Verbal abuse: Says things that are intentionally cruel; curses you and belittles your accomplishments; says you are stupid or unable to function without him; denies you sleep to verbally abuse.

12. Rigid gender roles: Expects you to serve him; sees women as inferior to men, responsible for menial tasks; demands you stay at home and obey in all things.

13. Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde personality: Sudden changes in mood, one minute agreeable, the next exploding. Related to hypersensitivity.

14. Past battering: Blames past partners for “making” him hit them; relatives or ex-partners say he’s been abusive.

15. Threats of violence: Any threat of physical force meant to control you: “I’ll slap you,” “I’ll kill you,” “I’ll break your neck.” Excuses threats by saying “Everybody talks like that.”

16. Breaking or striking objects: To punish or terrorize you into submission; beats on table with his fist, throws objects around you.  

17. Any force during an argument: Physically restrains you from leaving the room, pushes or shoves; says “You’re going to listen to me!”

 – Information from InterAct

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