- Coming on strong and fast...These people often have addictive personalities. This applies to all areas of their lives. They want the high of a new relationship--it makes them feel good. They won't last, because when things get rough, they cannot cope, because it no longer feels only good. Their personalities can be very charming and they may truly seem sincere, but if things are going too fast, watch out.
- Maintaining relationships...if they do not have any friends, you should really ask yourself why. They may be a relationship hopper... going from one right into another, and may expect you to become their new everything. This position brings way too much pressure and is impossible to fulfill. We all need different relationships in our lives, from which we can draw, to fill different needs. Nobody can be everything to anyone. These relationships can become smothering and controlling.
- Self absorbtion...pay attention to what the other person talks about. Do they ask about you, or they mostly talk about themselves? If they seem to talk mostly about their own interests and so on, they are not going to have your best interests at heart. They are likely interested only in what you can give them.
Red Flags: avoiding unhealthy relationships
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Also from Crisis Center Foundation-
CYCLE OF VIOLENCE
Phase 1: Build Up/Escalation--------------------------
-tries to calm baterrer
-believes she can control his anger
-does not get angry
-denies own anger
-blames outbursts on external situations-work, in-laws, etc...
-tries to control external situations, work, in-laws, etc...
-knows tensions and abuse will increase-may escalate situation to abuse phase, in order to relieve tension
Phase 2: Explosion/Abuse---------------------------
-started out to teach victim a lesson
-only batterer can end phase 2
-believes he has lost some control of the victim (which he is trying to regain), but that he is in control of his own actions
-only he has control over length of time of violence
-behavior does not affect outcome
-self-defense leads to more serious injury
-disassociation, remains calm, waits out storm, feels escape is futile
-only option is to find safe place to hide before it starts
-symptoms after vilence: denial, disbelief, rationalization, delaying medical help, depression, feelings of helplessness, guilt, blames self
Phase 3: Honeymoon---------------------------------
-wants victim's forgiveness
-promises it will never happen again
-enlists family and friends to help plead his cause
-believes abuse will not happen again
-(in the begining)-likely to flee, seek professional help
-accepts inability to control batterer's behavior
-wants batterer to keep promises, to believe he will change
-idealizes relationship, chooses to believe his behavior is the "real him"
-may return or remain out of fear, being near baterrer is safer than not knowing where or how he is
According to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, these are patterns to watch for...
RED FLAGS: Common Characteristics of Batterers/Abuse Predictors
1. Was abused as a child or saw father abuse mother (grew up in violent home)
2. Has love/hate relationship with his mother
3. Traditional beliefs (stereotypical about women and family life)
4. Has low opinion of women (objectifies women)
5. Playful force during sex
6. Avid interest in pornography
7. Uses aggressive sex to demonstrate power and control
8. Whirlwind courtship
9. Makes you disclose your vulnerabilities
10. Wants to know EVERYTHING about you and your past
11. is jealous and possessive (treats you like his possession)
12. isolates you from your family and friends
13. is demanding of your time and attention
14. wants you with him at all times
15. Control: Wanting to know where you are, who you are with, what you are doing, etc...
16. Is overly suspicious and accusing
17. Suspicious of other relationships you may have or have had
18. Expects you to follow his advice or orders
19. Takes the opposite view from you
20. Mad if you do not fulfill his wishes
21. Encourages your dependence on him
22. Unknown past
23. Drinks or uses drugs excessively at times
24. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality
25. has a quick, explosive temper
26. Is "Macho" acting
27. Is critical and difficult to please
28. Is unreasonable and inflexible at times
29. Is easily annoyed or threatened
30. Blames others
31. "Pity Me" syndrome
32. Feels no one understands him
33. Is preoccupied with violence, guns, knives, etc...
34. Plays forcefully with others
35. Is boastful and arrogant
36. Is impulsive
37. Is loving and kind at times
38. Is remorseful after violence
39. Is a good provider
40. Is a "yes" guy outside the home and on the job
41. Is socially charming
- excessive sexual talk---I understand flirting, but people who make sexual remarks fairly fast (like within the first couple of conversations) seem to carry out the pattern and be overly preoccupied with the subject. Unless you are looking for a relationship based on this, (which will only last so long, since it may eventually bore them and they will move on to some new thrill), you should beware of this red flag.
- excessive sexual actions--even if the words coming out of the other person's mouth are fit for the queen, if their hands are being disrespectful (if they are taking liberties with your body that you have not given them permission to take--anything that makes you feel uncomfortable), they are disrespecting you as a whole and will not be able to give you the relationship you should have.
- porn---watch out for this one, it can lead to so many problems that can be very damaging---I'll just call it Pandora's box!
- Integrity: When a person shows you who they really are, believe them--the FIRST time. If a person proves themself to be someone who does not live with integrity, do not expect them to be a woman/man of their word. I'm not suggesting people do not deserve second chances, but if a bear attacks you, you don't forgive him and expect it to not happen again! If this person does not do what they say they will do, they cannot be depended on.
- Taking second place-if you know your significant other is involved in another relationship, do not become involved with them. This one seems like a really obvious one, but it can be sneaky. The other person usually has very good excuses for why they must remain in the other relationship, (responsibility of some sort...kids, being a good person and taking care of that person, etc...) and will say whatever is needed, in order to make you feel you this is ok. It is NOT OK! You will always be second place. If you are ever in a relationship that is kept secret from the other people in the other person's life, it is not a good sign.
- Imbalance of taking and giving...if the person you are in a relationship with shows up for food, shelter, affection, etc...ask yourself if they give you back as much as you provide for them? If the answer is no, they are a taker, not a giver. It is perfectly fantastic to share in an equal relationship---food, belongings, shelter, money, especially love---however, if you feel used, you probably are. These people may be professional users and are so skilled that their tongues may seem to charm you right into feeling sorry for them and wanting to help. YOU OWE THEM NOTHING. Many times they are perfectly capable, sometimes even more capable than the people from which they mooch, of taking care of themselves, and your generosity is not doing them any favors. This is enabling behavior on your part, and must be stopped.
- Excessive sleeping...can be a big indication the person is depressed. I am in no way saying depression is a good reason to ditch someone. However, if the other person in the relationship is battling this, they may need the help of a doctor/counselor. If they will not be willing to get the help they need, it could have a very negative impact on you, because they will not be able to give you the support you need.
This is the stuff of many hours of research...personal experience of many women combined...mainly between the friend who works with abused women and me. She is planning to write a book about relationships. We have been making notes forever. I'm sure all women have discussions about what they have learned the hard way, and what to watch out for. I'm no spring chicken, and unfortunately, am someone who tends to learn things the hard way. If i can spew a little of what I know and keep someone else from a little foolishness, it makes it a little more worth having gone there.
- listening...if this person is a good listener, they will listen to you...really listen and discuss whatever it is you want to talk about. You should never find yourself carefully avoiding multiple topics, in order to avoid being shot down or ignored, knowing the other person will not want to hear/talk about it.
- abusing animals...many a serial murderer started this way. It is only a matter of time before this person abuses a human if they abuse helpless animals. They may have problems feeling empathy, therefore making it very possible for them to hurt others in many ways, without feeling guilty.
- drinking...if you notice the persone drinks on a daily basis, you should really really watch to make sure it isn't alcoholism. At first, they may not let you see how much they really consume, but wait till they become more comfortable with you. You cannot fix any type of addiction. This is not something that a healthy relationship can have in it.
- bedside manner...it they are not willing to take care of you when you are ill, they show selfishness and a lack of compassion. True love means cleaning up vomit and poo. This also applies to having too much to drink and being very tired. Some would even go so far as to take advantage of your vulnerability during times when you are sick. This is a huge deal and should not be ignored.
- Being critical...if someone is critical of you, even in small ways, down the road, there will be no way for you to please them. These people are unhappy with themselves and turn their non-acceptance of themselves on you. You do not want to be in this position.
- No ambition...they could be lazy, which means they may not be willing to put effort into making the relationship work. Also, someone without motivation may have low self esteem issues, and believe they are incapable of achievement...an unhappy person, anxious, because they have no direction. Misery loves company and can suck the life out of you.
- lying...if they would do it about little stuff, to avoid conflict with others, and you see them doing it, you can expect that they are doing the same thing to you.
- Anger...even if it isn't directed at you, angry people are angry people. If they have enough anger inside that they have not dealt with, it is going to be directed toward you eventually, as things progress.
- being pushy...if the other person pushes for their own way in little things, they will become the boss of you down the road. When it comes to any type of behavior towards you that you feel uncomfortable with, they should respect what you want. If you tell them no, they should respect it and stop. If they seem willing to push the issue about what they want to do or where they want to go, over your preferences, it is not a good sign.
- easy to offend...if someone is easy to tick off, chances are, they have a chip on their shoulder. Someone has hurt them in their past, and they are (likely unconsciously) waiting for the next person to come along and knock the chip off. People with this issue can turn on a dime and snap on you so fast you don't know what hit you. One min. they are sweet as pie, and in an instant, when you say or do some tiny thing they took offense to, BAM suddenly they become the victim and you their abuser (in their mind)!