Remember, anyone can use abusive tactics in their relationships – men or women, old or young, and folks of any culture, education, or socioeconomic level. If we say “partner,” we mean current or past wife, husband, girl- or boyfriend. If we use the word “she,” you can substitute “he” if that makes sense in your situation.
Do you think you might be abusing your spouse, partner, boyfriend, or girlfriend? If so, stop the violence and think hard about getting some help. If you’re not sure, these questions might help you determine whether or not what you’re doing is abusive.
- Constantly check up on your partner? Do you call them at work off and on all day? Check the mileage on their car? Monitor received and dialed calls on their cell phone? Ask them where they’ve been or where they’re going?
- Tell them not to see certain friends or keep them away from family?
- Try to keep them from going out—even to work or to school?
- Put them down and criticize what they wear, what they do, what they say? Do you tell your partner they’re crazy or try to make them feel that way?
- Believe they’re at fault for the things that go wrong in your life or your relationship?
- Threaten to hurt them or people they care about?
- Make them do sexual things in ways or in places they are uncomfortable with?
- Shove, grab, slap, strangle or otherwise physically abuse them?
- Try to make them believe you didn’t hurt or scare them and that their concerns about your behavior are not real or valid?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, you may be abusing your partner.
If so, stop and get help:
- Contact a state certified Batterer Intervention Program.
- Think about the impact of your abuse. Abuse hurts everyone—you, your partner, the children, other family members. It’s also against the law.
- Leave the situation. Choose not to abuse. Take a walk. Work out. Visit a friend. Remember, this is only a temporary solution to part of the problem.
Get the help you need to really change your behavior.