11 Things That Are Abusive In A Relationship

by Isadora Baum, CHC

Abuse comes in several forms (it's not always physical), and unfortunately, sometimes we choose to ignore abusive patterns from those we love because we're scared to part ways. However, if you think your partner is abusing you, due to physical and emotional distress, it's important to cut ties or seek help, as this type of behavior is 100 percent not acceptable. Plus, if you let it persist, it'll turn into a pattern, and then it'll be even harder to break free.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on feeling happy and safe in their relationships, but sometimes there's a toxic one at hand, but much fear and insecurity to put it in the past and move on. Of course, if you love someone and see a billion other good qualities, it can be hard to understand what's abusive and not, especially when it comes to emotional and verbal abuse, as opposed to physical, which is more obvious. However, there are several warning signs of an abusive partner, and it's not healthy to maintain that relationship, as it can put you at risk. Here are 11 abusive behaviors that you need to watch out for before it's too late.

1. They Try To Control Your Finances

If your partner is trying to dictate where you can and can't spend, it's abusive, says Nina Rubin, M.A., and life coach, over email with Bustle. There's a fine line between offering help (like, "Hey honey, I think we should invest X amount in this stock,") versus controlling your partner's finances (like, "You shouldn't be spending money on new shoes"). Of course, if you're married you might discuss debt, savings, and budgets, but it should be a fair discussion.

2. They Pressure You To Commit Too Early

This could be a warning sign they are abusive, if it's early on in the relationship, especially, says Shlomo Zalman Bregman, matchmaker and rabbi in NYC over email with Bustle. "While all of the attention can be quite flattering, it's also possible that he or she is suffocating you with attention, because they have a desire to control you," says Bregman. Be careful before diving right in.

3. They Isolate You From Your Network

"Once again, it can be flattering when your SO is doting on you, and gives off the vibe of 'I just can't get enough of you.' Yet still, it can be quite unhealthy if they protest and attempt to limit / block / or eliminate the quantity or quality of the contact you have with friends, family, and the other interests you held dear before you met them," says Bregman. If your partner tries to take up all your time, it could definitely be an abusive, controlling tactic.

4. They Are Always Checking Up On You

You deserve to have some space (and trust). This takes many forms and goes beyond a text of, "Just wanted to make sure you got home safely." If your SO "frequently double-checks to make sure you told them the truth, has surprise pop-ins at your place of work, and generally spontaneously shows up at places he or she knew you'd be at," says Bregman, it's certainly abusive. (And kinda stalker-ish, tbh.) While some of this may seem romantic at first, it could actually be the sign of an unhealthy personality, says Bregman.

5. They Always Blame You

A person who believes this way is unhealthy and is not living in reality. "If your SO can never see your point of view, or how they may be (even unwittingly) contributing to a problem, then this might be a sign of an abusive personality, and you should run in the opposite direction," says Bregman. In a solid relationship, both people can acknowledge when wrong and apologize.

6. They Don't Respect Your Morals

This is a sign of an abusive personality for sure. "If your SO keeps disrespecting or testing your morals, and putting you in positions that tests boundaries you've clearly articulated, you're probably dealing with someone who is not playful, but emotionally unhealthy," says Bregman. Be firm, and if this keeps happening, you might want to cut ties.

7. They Always Second Guess You

Sure, if your partner questions your knowledge of directions, it's not so extreme, but if questioning happens so regularly that even when you have 100% conviction, you are made to doubt yourself, it's abusive, says Dr. Ramani Durvasula, psychologist, professor of psychology and author of Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving a Relationship With a Narcissist over email with Bustle.

8. They Embarrass You In Public

This is cruel and super abusive, especially around people you are close to. If "they make jokes or subtle insults about you in public settings (e.g. dinner with friends, in front of family), sometimes these may even feel like silly jabs, but putting your partner down in front of others is never acceptable," says Durvasula.

9. They Tell You Not To Feel A Certain Way

When you state a vulnerability or feeing, and they tell you "You have no right to feel that way," it's definitely abusive, as you're entitled to feel whatever you damn please. This is a controlling tendency, says Durvasula, that disregards whatever you're feeling and offers no compassion. Not OK.

10. They Always Storm Out Of Arguments

Sure, you might think this just signifies frustration, but it's actually abusive when it's a typical pattern. (And, how are you supposed to be heard or come to a resolution, then?) If this lack of communication keeps happening, and your partners shows no care or time for your needs, it's a sign of emotional abuse, says Durvasula.

11. They Are Crazy Jealous

If your partner is super jealous, and when it's not called for, it can be an emotionally abusive sign that could ruin your relationship in the future. For instance, being really jealous also insinuates that you don't trust your partner, and that's insulting and toxic.

If you notice any of these abusive behaviors, it might mean it's time to let things go. If you still think there's hope there, be sure to seek counseling or have an open discussion with your partner to resolve these behavioral patterns.