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It seems like your partner is two completely different people. Your partner finds faults with your friends or makes you feel bad or uncomfortable about any time you spend with other people. You want to believe that this is possible, but the cycle keeps repeating and each time your self-esteem is chipped away at, bit by bit. He might hit or kick your dog whenever he comes over.

Each time he hurts you, he apologizes and promises that it will never happen again or that he will change. Your partner knows your weaknesses and he goes after your most vulnerable parts, hurting you where he knows it will do the most damage. You feel ashamed, lost, alone, confused, numb, afraid, crazy, stupid, ugly, fat, worthless, embarrassed, unloveable, wrong. Your partner tortures animals, is mean to children, or nasty to waitresses.

If you are a peaceful person, you might find yourself constantly fighting. You feel like there is something seriously wrong with you. You might say that you aren’t comfortable staying overnight together–your partner does so anyway. He or she might get upset–especially if you try to break up with them or say that you are leaving–however, there is no underlying remorse for hurting you. He or she might say that they are sorry if they hurt you (hit you, scream at you, cheat on you…etc.) and promise that it will never happen again, but their apology is more manipulative than sincere. They might speak badly about a previous partner, claiming that their previous partner was crazy, or a bitch, or an asshole.

If they cheat on you, they will blame it on something you couldn’t provide them. You start to feel like you are playing a game to which there are no rules and there is no way out. Your partner has to know where you are and what you are doing at all times. He or she might spy on you, check the messages on your phone, talk to your friends without you knowing, have people “check up” on you, hack into your email account or Facebook to see who you are talking to. But they make you feel like you have to stay with them no matter how they treat you, or that they can’t help the way that they act. No matter what they do, or have done, nothing is ever their fault.

If people you don’t really care about call you names, it may not be as upsetting.

If that person is your boyfriend or girlfriend it becomes a whole different story.

NOTE: We are re-posting this article on Warning Signs – Insults You/Calls You Names to allow you to read some of the excellent comments we’ve received from those who are or have been in an abusive relationship.

Please be aware that these comments are for informational purposes only; we cannot verify the validity of each individual comment.

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  1. Raleigh, N. C. — February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month. Teen dating violence is reported as extremely common and starts as early as 11 years old. The question is how parents should recognize the signs and not just dismiss it as teen drama. According to LoveisRespect.org, 1 in 3 teens.

  2. Warning Signs of Domestic Violence. It’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive. In fact, many abusive partners may seem absolutely perfect in the early stages of a relationship.

  3. Women Are Safe, Inc. does not discriminate in regard to sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or marital status.

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