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A letter from a client

Signs you might be dating an abuser.

I am a father. I have daughters. I am also a counselor. I see abusive relationships nearly every day in my business. A number of years ago a professor of mine gave me a list that he had compiled of red flag characteristics of abusers. Most of the time, it is the “he” that is doing the abusing. I’ve seen a couple of cases where it is the “she.” Either way, here is his list. If you recognize these signs in someone you’re dating, run away.

Run

Away!

List of Red Flag characteristics of Abusive Men

Research by F. Scott Reyburn PhD

When a woman’s assailant is an intimate partner or ex-partner, the injury rate is about 52%, when it is a stranger, only 20%. More women are murdered by one of these men than any other type.

Guys don’t come with warning labels, but they do come with behavioral preferences that signal the potential for and probability of abuse.

  1. 1.Dating situation: he pushes too far, too fast, planning your future together shortly after you have had a few dates. Before you catch on to his real intent for you. This takes the initial form of showering you with attention, which is initially flattering, but is merely a method of setting the hook.
  2. 2.He wants: your undivided attention
  3. 3.He needs: to always be in charge
  4. 4.He always: has to win, even when he says he does not.
  5. 5.He breaks: promises most of the time
  6. 6.He can’t: take criticism and always justifies his actions (often with lies)
  7. 7.He blames: someone else anytime something goes wrong
  8. 8.He is jealous: of your close friends, family members, and all other men
  9. 9.He demands to know: where you went and whom you saw
  10. 10.Demonstrates: mood changes that are unpredictable, often between extreme highs and low lows – often to intimidate and keep you off balance emotionally.
  11. 11.His temper: is mean, often of a conscious-free, righteous indignation type
  12. 12.He often: says you don’t know what you are talking about.
  13. 13.He belittles: your ideas, makes you feel you are not good enough
  14. 14.He withdraws approval or love: as punishment
  15. 15.He pushes you: to do things that make you feel uneasy, like taking a day off of work or even breaking the law
  16. 16.He hates his mother, is nasty to her and has a history of contempt for her and brings that attitude towards women into the relationship.

The main overall goal of these people is to isolate you from your support group as quickly as possible, take gradual control of your life, and eventually totally own you. It parallels many characteristic of the Borderline personality disorder: his fear of abandonment, devaluation of partner, identity disturbance, impulsivity, latent suicidal ideation. ( the murder-suicide extreme version).

Women are wiser today and, if they have a strong identity and clear sense of their “mate-value” (how they deserve to be treated – respectfully and honorably), they tend to abandon these relationships. Those who remain in them take on a vacant, hollow, numb, abused look and eventually, many slowly lose their minds.

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