Most relationships start positively. People develop physical attraction and connect with each other on various levels. However, sometimes relationships exhibit signs of trouble. People may stay in dysfunctional relationships because they are afraid to leave, because they have been abused in the past, or because they do not have the resources to change their situations. For example, they may not have financial resources available, or they may have dependent children.
Abusers may fear that if they do not dominate their partners, their partners will leave them. In many cases, abusers’ only role models were abusers themselves. Often abusers experience problems with anger management and lack respect for others. Sometimes abusers perceive other people as objects or possessions.
Emotionally, sociologically and physically harmful relationships are unsafe. Relationship violence is not normal, and help is available. If a partner exhibits any behaviors listed below, seek help immediately.
- Berates or belittles you
- Calls you names
- Hits, pushes, or slaps you
- Throws things at you
- Keeps you from friends, family, attending classes, talking to professors
- Goes to medical appointments with you even if you haven’t asked
- Forces you to have sex
- Needs to know where you are and what you are doing at all times
- Threatens to hurt himself or herself or you if you don’t behave as he/she requests
- Blames you for his or her problems
- Harasses, stalks or spies on you
- Frightens you
- Makes you feel depressed, bad about yourself, exhausted or dysfunctional
Where to go for help: