7 Signs You’re in an Abusive Relationship

In Love by Julia Dalton11 Comments


I am happy, healthy, confident, and stronger than ever. But over two years ago, I hit rock bottom wondering how I’d gotten there. After sharing my story of an abusive relationship, How One Boy Crushed My Life, I was overwhelmed with touching feedback. Women of all ages and walks of life were thanking me for letting them know that they were not alone, for they too had been in a similar situation. I was shocked, humbled, and reassured that sharing something so personal was the right thing to do. I have learned two things to be very true; 1) never judge someone until you walk a day in their shoes and 2) ALWAYS be kind to others for you never know what battle others are fighting. One in three women will find themselves in an abusive relationship at some point in their life. To help lower that statistic, I want to share some of the warning signs and red flags that could indicate you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship.

1. Blame and guilt. An abuser will blame you for all of his or her actions and make you feel guilty for the way you are being treated. Example “I have to yell at you, it’s the only way to get through to you” or “I acted the way I did because what you did made me mad”

2. Teasing. In the beginning of a relationship, teasing may seem cute, fun, and harmless. But gradually the teasing becomes more of a form of humiliation and is extremely hurtful. Teasing is NOT a form of love and can lead to degrading emotional abuse further into the relationship. Teasing can range anywhere from poking your “love handles” to mocking your dreams and aspirations.

3. Isolation. How does your significant other feel about your friends? Does he or she constantly say negative things about them or get angry when you spend time with them? This is how isolation begins. In my last relationship, my boyfriend was very vocal about how much he disliked my friends and got mad when I’d have a girls night. As a result, I would spend all my free time with him and drifted apart from my friends. This gives your abuser more control over you.

4. History. Before you enter into a relationship, ask yourself some questions. How was your partners last relationship? Does he or she has a history of violent, aggressive behavior? Don’t think for a minute that history will not repeat itself. I knew going into my last relationship that my boyfriend had a temper and was a notorious jerk. But I thought, “he’s different with me” because he was at first! Unfortunately, his true colors slowly began to show.

5. Ego. It is important to be confident but when a person is overly confident, this can be a red flag for an abuser. If someone thinks so highly of himself that he is constantly putting down other people, including you and your family, then you are looking at a toxic person. Having an inflated ego in a relationship means there are respect issues and since respect is a key ingredient to a healthy relationship, it is almost impossible to have a happy relationship with this person.

6. Accusations. Your partner is constantly makes baseless accusations of you flirting or cheating. He or she will even get angry at YOU if another person comes on to you.

7. Neglect. Being ignored for days or weeks at a time is a major form of emotional abuse. Odds are if this happens once it WILL happen again.

There are more warning signs but these are the MAJOR ones that I experienced in my relationship. If you recognize any of them, please do not think that you are being “gracious” or kind by giving him multiple second chances. Staying in any form of abuse or mistreatment is rooted in a lack of self-respect. Despite what you may have been told, the truth is that you are valuable, worthy and precious. Love yourself and your eyes will be opened to the kind of treatment that is acceptable to His daughter through His loving eyes. You are worth removing yourself from a devaluing relationship. Do not stay because you are afraid of being alone. Rely and trust wholeheartedly in your God, and lean on your family and friends to strengthen you. “A wife of noble character, who is he who can find her? For her value is worth more than precious jewels.” Proverbs 31:10

If this message blessed you, please bless other women by sharing.


  1. Wow, her price should be as rubies, yet so many women settle, and allow these relationships, we should start teaching our daughters at a young age what is acceptable, and to have respect and self worth for themselves, that we are valuable.

  2. That was a beautiful post Julia. For many years I was in an abusive relationship but did not know how to get out. It took great courage to put an end to it. If I had the knowledge then many issues would have been resolved. Your blog will surely be a blessing to many!

  3. And for GOD SAKE DO NOT believe him when he tells you have ‘No where to go’ or I have all the money so where do you think you’re going???

  4. a year ago i was a confident, strong, god fearing woman. then i met a man at church whom i thought was a god fearing man. fast forward a year later…i am fearful of him. the verbal abuse and mental abuse has escalated into shoving and pushing me. he tell me no one can love me like he can. he accuses me of cheating and flirting and yes, when another man looks my way it is always my fault, that i caused another man to look at me.

  5. Girl we should have spent more time talking at the party the other night. Lived this for 18 years, culminated in a suicide attempt in November 2012. In a much better place now! Still not easy, but better!

  6. I just commented on your other blog of “How One Boy Crushed My Life” and now I feel compelled to comment here too. Verbal abuse is very painful, yet mostly hidden. I lived in a verbally abusive marriage so I know all too well of the warning signs but chose to ignore them. Over time my husband changed into a Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde. Initially I thought it was my fault and made a lot of excuses for him. I believed the “lies” he told me. I went to counseling to try and “fix” me but over time therapy made me realized that it has nothing to do with me but rather with the person that is the abuser. I just recently filed for divorce. It was very hard to due but I feel that a burden has been lifted off my shoulders. I am at peace with my decision. hopefully people will read your blog and see themselves in it and can get the help they need to truly be at peace. Even though I know the road ahead of me is going to be very painful and difficult, I know that I am worthy of being treated with respect. Remember, everyone deserves respect and if your boyfriend, husband or even friend does not do that, then walk away. Yes, it will be very hard as I am living proof of that but you will be at peace.

  7. I have spent all my life with him and I am now 23, still living with my Step Dad. I thought he is a very good man for my mom. he took care of us, making sure we re healthy, properly clothed, pets properly taking care of.so I thought normal dad stuff. So.. back when I was little, he made sure we always do our chores, but then somehow we re always getting grounded for something, and have to read when we did. Got grounded soo many times,so I wasn’t quite sure anymore if we are grounded. so I grounded myself from watching TV a whole month, then later I wasn’t interested in it. So the next time he grounded me, I did not care, and got him even mad. and when he is mad at you, he will slam doors. In the summer time, my sister and I aren’t allowed to sleep in. Like what are we supposed to be doing. chores. there is plenty of time to do it. but it gets done. he is always anal about cleaning. and whenever we do something bad, or a terrible mistake, he is “If that happens again, You will be punished for it, or it will cost you”. If he gets mad at you he will say I’m Ignorant, cold, Ignorant B*t*h. The last time with my sister this week he said “if you don’t do the kitty litter properly, then all the kittylitter will be dumped on you’re bed”. Also when he gets mad at whole, he said he will not talk to you at all, and then it becomes days to a week without talking. Every time I pet my cat or play with her, he said I have a meanstreak in animals. I told him how? because the cat I loved, she is my best friend. some nights she will sleep with me , when I call her she only comes to me. :3 So I don’t know how that works? and the Beta fish I have now he is 2 and a half years old now. so really how am I a mean streak kind of person with animals?? Last month on February 17, on a Tuesday. I wanted to go out with my friend and her mom to a movie, he said No! I cannot go out until all chores are done. Like we always do chores on the weekends, its part of the routine, why now?? and at age 23 yrs old. Also I felt like I m not allowed to go to School, volunteering or work at all. I was thinking of straighten it out with the College about quitting my work term, but that means of dropping out of the program cuz of my Dad. On feb 4/ 2015, I went downstairs to finish up mu laundry, putting it in the dryer, Dad came up with me, and asked if I ate supper, and I said not yet, then he said if laundry is done, I said no, not yeet, then he says if all laundry not done, I cannot volunteer at all on that day. like really. My sister had her clothes on the floor too, then he says to her, “If she doesn’t get her laundry done, then she cannot go to work. so I felt that he is stopping us from doing things we wanted to do. On Dec 30th/ 2014 My dad saw my mocha siting on the side of my headboard, and it was empty. he said “get rid of it”. but I have other things around it too, so I wasn’t quite sure. So I reorganized it, 5 minutes later he came back, mad as hell and took away my mug, So I got defensive, and said “You know I am patient” and he said” I am impatient, and with that attitude you will suffer”. and he left to clean it. So I had an anxiety attack, if I should suffer, and quit everything I ve done fro years, like school, work and volunteering. There are times he said “What stays in this family, stays in this family!, Like what are you hiding? or my House, my rules, don’t like it. leave. might as well, since my sister and I pay for the house and the other bills from our aish money, and he has our aish money, and my student loan too. So I changed my account for my student loans, cuz he had it in his bank account, only him to get at it. so I changed it. soo yes! you know how things are going, and the police were called twice about it. But my sister and I are strong! We were thinking of leaving him after College once we re ready and know what to do. and learn about paying bills. >.< There are other times he is good, but there are times he is not. and I do love him, but I need to do something to make him realize that this is wrong.

    1. Shyanne, is there student housing where you live? It’s time to move out. It will be hard, but living with the chaos every day, not knowing what will set him off, controlling everything, is not good for you o your sister.You are strong and deserve better. You have to stand up and show him you will not be treated that way any more.

  8. Thank you for this article. I needed to read this tonight. God is good. I’m sitting here during a silent treatment second guessing if it really is abusive or not. Which I know it is but my mind hears what he says and how I remembered the beginning. Haha. I am delusional like he says. Living in fantasy land hoping I will wake up from this nightmare. I have saved this shortcut to my home page so I can be reminded of the truth when I am weak.

  9. This was an eye opener.. a yr ago today I was in a emotional abusive relationship. Had no idea til now. It makes sence for why I am the way I am now. Thank you this..it explains so much. It was never my fault. Especially the first example u put. Those were the exact words he would tell me.
    Jus finally finding out it was never my fault :’) thank you.

  10. Thank you, a million times, thank you. I have an appointment with an attorney in the morning and wasn’t going to go because the last two days with my husband “weren’t that bad” and I was “overreacting again.” But with each of these signs in the article, specific memories, some from the very first date to this morning, came rushing to mind. I should have run far away after the first date when I knew something was off. But I didn’t. But I can’t keep trying to fix something that was never whole to begin with.

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