A batterer often uses fear and intimidation as a means to control. These tactics serve to isolate the victim and often are followed by incidents of physical abuse. Answering the following questions will help you determine whether or not you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship. A “yes” answer to even half of these questions indicates that you are headed down a path that could, ultimately, be emotionally and physically dangerous.
Do you feel like a child in the relationship, having to ask permission and apologizing for your behavior?
Do you feel powerless and “less than” your lover or mate?
Have you stopped seeing your friends and family?
Does your partner criticize your friends and family members?
Did your partner complain so much when you saw them in the past that you finally stopped seeing them altogether so you wouldn’t have to argue about it? Are you ashamed to see your friends or family because of your partner’s behavior and because you are embarrassed at how your partner treats you?
Do you believe that you are to blame for your partner’s problems? Do you feel you are mostly responsible for the problems with the relationship?
Does your partner try to take advantage of you sexually or make unreasonable sexual demands on you?
Does your partner’s personality change when he/she drinks alcohol?
Does your partner use humor to put you down or degrade you?
Does your partner find it hard to apologize or to admit when in the wrong?
Does your partner make excuses for their behavior or always blame others for their actions?
Does your partner usually get their way in deciding when and where the two of you will go?
Does your partner control or disapprove of your spending but seem to have no problems with personal spending?
This material was adapted from Beverly Engel’s book: The Emotionally Abused Woman.
Men Can Be Victims Too
House of Ruth Maryland recognizes that men can also be victims of intimate partner violence. This is true in both heterosexual, gay, bisexual and other types of relationships. All victims are encouraged to call our Hotline (410)889-7884 and speak with a staff person.