A person who is abusive toward others isn’t always easy to identify, especially when you’re in a relationship with one. Abusers can be caring, kind and charismatic when you first meet them. They are master manipulators who know how to keep certain parts of themselves hidden from others. But many abusers show similar patterns of behaviors that can give you a glimpse into who they really are. These behaviors are signs that it’s time to leave, before things get worse.
Here are five behaviors an abusive person displays:
1. They Don’t Abuse Everyone
Abusers don’t abuse everyone. They choose their victims. An abuser will act like one person when you’re around family and friends, then another person when the two of you are alone. If you are being abused in any way, but your partner is charming when it comes to your family members, friends or even strangers, don’t make the mistake of thinking they aren’t really an abuser.
2. They Don’t Abuse All The Time
Many people who are in a relationship with an abuser stay because the relationship has up’s and down’s. If an abuser is mistreating you 40% of the time instead of 100% of the time, they are still an abuser, and they are still dangerous.
3. They Are Controlling
Abusers seek control. They need it, they crave it and they’ll do whatever it takes to get it. You may notice a controlling nature in any and every situation. They might insist on driving, picking out your clothes, choosing the restaurant you eat at or letting you know whether or not it’s OK to go somewhere or talk to someone. If you notice a dangerous controlling streak in your partner, it’s a red flag.
4. They Rush Into Relationships
Many people who have been in an abusive relationship only knew their abuser for a short time before they became involved with them. An abuser often comes along like a whirlwind. Once they find a new victim, they move quickly. They begin to manipulate, isolate and control you before you even realize what’s going on.
5. They Isolate
An abuser knows they have total and complete power when their victim is fully dependent on them. One by one they will work to cut your friends and your family members out of your life, until you have no one left. They will stir up drama, instigate arguments and do whatever they can to drive a wedge between you and the people who care about you. When you finally abandon everyone who loves you, they gain complete control over you.