Potential female abusers will give you warning signs. If the abuse has occurred during dating, it is very likely to continue after marriage.
Once physical abuse become a part of emotional and psychological abuse, it is likely to occur again and to escalate over time. You cannot change her behavior. You can only change yourself. You have the right to choose how you wish to live - to decide to leave your relationship.
Be aware that with emotional and psychological abuse, the longer you stay, the more difficult it is to leave. The is mainly because the Cycle of Abuse wears you down day by day - incident by incident.
Abuse not only affects you in every aspect of your life - abuse changes you.
Ideally, a good time frame to be alone and work on your recovery is two to three years. An old adage states that we should live through the four seasons before becoming involved with someone new. If you think about it... it does make a lot of sense. The four seasons are, indeed, a cleansing of sorts - providing you with valuable healing time to do your inner work and the time to rebuild your life in a positive healthy way.
If and when you do become involved with someone new, please keep in mind the acting abilities of most abusers. There's a chance you won't experience her abusive side until she's sure she has you "hooked." Check out: Charming Female Abusers: Men Beware - Adobe PDF file
Listed below are some clues to help you identify an abuser. Abusers generally exhibit the same type of behavioral patterns. If you learn to recognize those patterns and signals, you can help yourself to stop unhealthy relationships before they begin.
The person in your life is warning you and telling you she has an abusive nature:
1) If she emotionally abuses you. This includes insults, belittling comments, ignoring you, or acting sulky or angry when you initiate an action or idea.
2) If she tells you who you may be friends with, how you should dress, or tries to control other elements of your life or relationship.
3) If she talks negatively about men in general.
4) If she gets jealous when there is no reason.
5) If she drinks heavily, uses drugs, or tries to get you drunk.
6) If she berates you for not wanting to get drunk, get high, have sex, or go with her to an isolated or personal place.
7) If she is physically violent to you or to others, even if it's "just" grabbing and pushing to get her way.
8) If she acts in an intimidating way toward you by invading your "personal space" [ sits too close, speaks as if she knows you much better than she does, touches you when you tell her not to. ]
9) If she is unable to handle sexual and emotional frustrations without becoming angry, sulky or withdrawing.
10) If she does not view you as an equal because she's older or sees herself as smarter or socially superior.
11) If she goes through extreme highs and lows, is kind one minute and cruel the next.
12) If she is angry and threatening to the extent that you are changing your behavior so as not to anger her.
Many people are interested in ways to predict whether they are about to become involved with someone who will be physically abusive. Many victims do not realize that these early behaviors are warning signs of potential future physical abuse, such as the last four listed behaviors [numbers 13-16.] If the person has several (three or more) of the first 12 listed behaviors, there is a strong potential for physical violence -- the more signs a person has, the more likely the person is a batterer.
In some cases, a batterer may only have a couple of behaviors that the victim can recognize, but they may be very exaggerated (e.g., will try to explain her behavior as signs of her love and concern), and a victim may be flattered at first. However, as time goes by, the behavior becomes more severe and serves to dominate or control the other person.
Below is a list of common behaviors that are seen in abusive people:
Jealousy: At the beginning of a relationship, an abuser will always say that jealousy is a sign of love. In truth, jealousy has nothing to do with love, it is a sign of possessiveness and lack of trust. She will question the other person about whom you talk to, accuse you of flirting or be jealous of the time you spend with your family or friends.
As the jealousy progresses, she may call frequently during the day or drop by unexpectedly. She may refuse to let you work for fear you will meet someone else, or even do strange behaviors like checking your car mileage or asking friends to watch you.
Controlling Behavior: At first, she will say that this behavior is because she is concerned with your safety, your need to use your time well, or your need to make good decisions. She will be angry if you are late coming back from an appointment or a class, she will question you closely about where you went and whom you talked to.
As this behavior gets worse, she may not let you make personal decisions about your clothing, hair style, appearance.
Quick Involvement: Many people in abusive relationships dated or knew their abusive partners for less than six months before they were married, engaged or living together. Red flags if she comes on like a whirlwind, claiming, "You are the only person I could ever talk to" or "I've never felt like this with anyone before".
She will pressure you to commit to the relationship in such a way that you may later feel guilty or that you are "letting her down" if you want to slow down involvement or break up.
Unrealistic Expectations: Abusive people will expect their partner to meet all their needs; she expects you to be the perfect boyfriend, the perfect husband, the perfect friend or the perfect lover. She will say things like, "If you love me, I'm all you need and you are all I need." You are supposed to take care of all of her emotional needs.
Isolation: An abusive woman will try to cut you off from your support network and resources. She accuses you of being "tied to your mother's apron strings," or your friends of "trying to cause trouble" between you. If you have a friend of the opposite sex, you are "going out on her" and if you have friends of the same sex, she may accuse you of being gay.
Blames Others for Problems: She is chronically unemployed, someone is always waiting for her to do wrong or mess up or someone is always out to get her. She may make mistakes and blame you for upsetting her. She may accuse you of preventing her from concentrating on school. She will tell you that you are at fault for almost anything that goes wrong.
Blames Others for Feelings: She will tell you, "You make me mad," "You are hurting me by not doing what I want you to do," or "I can't help being angry." The truth is that she makes her own decisions about how she thinks or feels, but will use feelings to try to manipulate you.
Hypersensitivity: An abusive person is easily insulted, and she will claim that her feelings are hurt when really she is very mad. She often takes the slightest setbacks as personal attacks. She will rant about things that are really just part of living like being asked to work overtime, getting a traffic ticket, being asked to help others with chores.
Cruelty to Animals or Children: This is a person who punishes animals brutally or is insensitive to their pain and suffering. She may tease younger brothers or sisters until they cry.
"Playful" use of Force in Sex: This kind of person is likely to be abusive during making out or she may want you to act out fantasies in which you are helpless. She is letting you know that the idea of sex is exciting. She may show little concern about whether you want affection and may sulk or use anger to manipulate you into compliance.
Verbal Abuse: In addition to saying things that are meant to be cruel and hurtful, this can be seen when she tries to degrade you, curses you, calls you names or makes fun of your accomplishments. She will tell you that you are stupid and unable to function without her. This may involve waking you up to verbally abuse you or not letting you go to sleep until you talk out an argument.
Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde: Many people are confused by their abusive partner's "sudden" changes in mood - you may think she has a mental problem because she is nice one minute and the next minute she is exploding. Explosiveness and moodiness are typical of people who are abusive to their partners, and these behaviors are related to other characteristics like hypersensitivity. See Borderline Personality Disorder
Past Battering: She may say that she has hit boyfriends or husbands in the past but the other person "made her do it." You may hear from relatives or past male friends that she is abusive.
An abusive person will be physically abusive to any one they are with if the other person is with them long enough for the violence to begin; situational circumstances do not change a person into an abuser.
Threats of violence: This could include any threat of physical force meant to control you: "I'll slap you," "I'll kill you," or "I'll break your neck." Most people do not threaten their partners, but she will try to excuse her threats by saying, "Everybody talks that way."
Breaking or Striking Objects: This behavior is used as a punishment (breaking loved possessions), but is mostly used to terrorize you into submission. She may beat on the table with her fists, throw objects at or near you, kick the car, slam the door or drive at a high rate of speed or drive recklessly to scare you.
Not only is this a sign of extreme emotional immaturity, but there is great danger when someone thinks they have the "right" to punish or frighten you.
Any Force During an Argument: This may involve her grabbing and pulling on your clothing, any pushing or shoving, locking doors or hiding the keys to your car or truck so you can't leave. She may try to back you up against wall, corner you and say, "You are going to listen to me."
[ "Signs to Look for in an Abusive Personality" from the Knoxville Police Department Domestic Violence Unit website. Thank you for making this information available. ]
One more time: If the abuse occurs during dating, it is very likely to continue after marriage. Once physical abuse has occurred, it is likely to occur again and to escalate over time. You cannot change her behavior.
You can only change yourself. It is not necessary to stay in a relationship of fear. You have the right to choose how you wish to live.
The list below provides you with some extremely valuable information. Use it to help you determine if the person you are dating is already an abuser or has the potential to become one.
[ "Traits And Characteristics Of Violent Offenders", from the Knoxville Police Department Domestic Violence Unit website, written by Alan C. Brantley [FBI Academy.] Thank you for making this information available. ]