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How To Spot An Abuser

You may think you know an abuser when you meet one, but sometimes the signs are more subtle. After all, if abusers were that obvious, no one would ever give them the opportunity to practice their abuse. If you are miserable in your relationship, however, you may be suffering from emotional abuse, or perhaps even the beginnings of physical abuse, and not realize it. It may be difficult to comprehend abuse once you are entangled with someone, so read on for the four signs that you may be in a relationship with an abuser.

1.  They put the relationship on a fast-track.

Abusers will often be especially aggressive right from the beginning. Often they will call and text excessively and pressure you for another date, often seemingly unable to go a single day without seeing you. This is usually followed by a rush to a committed status, such as exclusive dating, engagement, and marriage, in short order. Many times you are caught unawares and feel flattered and enjoy the attention, but you may also feel smothered and uncomfortable. If you cannot get them to back off, or they react with anger, you should be extremely concerned that you are in the beginning stages of a potentially abusive situation.

2.  They behave in a narcissistic manner.

Abusers crave power, and you may see examples of this need in behaviors such as:

  • Never seems interested in you, your thoughts, your plans, your opinions, etc.; every conversation seems to circle back around to them and their wants and needs.
  • Enjoys status symbols and brags about their achievements excessively.
  • Acts dismissive of others, such as co-workers or family members.

3.  They are often hot-tempered.

Abusers lose their cool quickly in tense situations. They may drive aggressively and exhibit road rage toward other drivers or view a waiter's mistake as a personal insult. You may be the target of this bad behavior, which is often followed with gifts or favors to make up for the incident. This pattern of behavior should be a huge red flag.

4.  They fail to take responsibility for their behavior or make excuses.

Many abusers were abused as children, but don't be so sympathetic that you allow the abuser to excuse their bad behavior because of their history. If the abuser cannot accept responsibility for their behavior, they will never get the help and therapy they need to overcome the problem.

Look over these warning signs and take action quickly. Abuse only worsens with time and getting free of this relationship should be a priority for you. Contact a family law attorney (such as William K Holman) for more information on how to take legal action to protect yourself and dissolve your relationship with the abuser before the situation progresses any further.