Signs you are dating a violent man

Written by jeannie knudson
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Signs you are dating a violent man
(Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Though there is no test to find out who will become violent, there are some signs to look for to determine if the man you are dating has a tendency toward abuse. Not all men who show signs become violent, but these traits often preclude abuse in a relationship. Additionally, men who have a history of violence in their family, or abuse drugs or alcohol, have a greater chance of becoming abusive.

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Early Signs

Many, but not all, violent relationships start with a fairy-tale beginning. A man may pay constant attention to you and make you feel as though you‘re the centre of his world. A happy start to a relationship doesn’t necessarily mean things will take a turn for the worse. More ominous signs, such as lingering anger over past relationships or abrupt mood swings may indicate violent tendencies. Additionally, repeatedly hitting or throwing objects may indicate problems dealing with anger.

Treatment of Others

It’s said you can tell what kind of husband a man will be by the way he treats his mother. While this may or may not be true, you can get a better understanding of a man’s temperament by watching how he treats other people. If he gets angry with people over trivial things and vocalises this anger in a demeaning or threatening way, he may have an anger problem. Be wary if others express fear or uncertainty around him.

Jealousy and Possessiveness

Most violent men crave control in a relationship and this often comes across as possessiveness or jealousy. The man may become suspicious of the time you spend with your friends or question you about where you’ve been. He may even try to prevent you from going places or contacting other people. This often starts out by demeaning your interests or friends and may end in physically preventing you from contacting others.

Verbal Abuse

Violence in a relationship usually starts as verbal abuse. If your partner has distinct ideas about the role a woman should play in a relationship and tries to belittle you or make you feel inadequate because of your gender, that’s abuse. A violent man may also tell you that you cannot find anyone “better” than him and blame you or others for his mistakes. If the man feels like he is losing his control over you, he may become threatening and use your fear to regain control.

Help

When signs of violence manifest into actual abuse, either physical or emotional, a man may apologise and promise that it will never happen again. Unfortunately, when a man shows violent or abusive behaviour even once, those promises are rarely kept. If you're in an abusive relationship, there are resources to help you leave the situation and protect you from harm. If you feel threatened or confused, take yourself out of the situation as calmly and quickly as possible and contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If the man has abused you or makes threats toward you or others, call 911 or head to your nearest police station.

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