by Dr. Irene
Matiatos with a former Client who's been there, done that
Do you wonder if your relationship may
be abusive? Ask yourself the questions below. If you answer 'yes' to more
than a few, you may want to take a closer look:
|Updated January 2007
|ignore your feelings? |
| disrespect you? |
|ridicule or insult you then tell
you its a joke, or that you have no sense of humor?
|ridicule your beliefs, religion,
race, heritage or class? |
|withhold approval, appreciation
|give you the silent treatment?
|walk away without answering you?
|criticize you, call you names,
yell at you?
|humiliate you privately or in
|roll his or her eyes when you talk?
|give you a hard time about
socializing with your friends or family?
|make you socialize (and keep up
appearances) even when you don't feel well? |
|seem to make sure that what you
really want is exactly what you won't
|tell you you are too sensitive?
|hurt you especially
when you are down?
|seem energized by fighting,
while fighting exhausts you?
|have unpredictable mood swings,
alternating from good to bad for no apparent reason?
|present a wonderful face to the
world and is well liked by outsiders? |
|"twist" your words,
somehow turning what you said against you?
|try to control decisions, money,
even the way you style your hair or wear your clothes?|
|complain about how badly you
treat him or her?
| threaten to leave, or threaten
to throw you out?
|say things that make you feel
good, but do things that make you feel bad? |
|ever left you stranded?
|ever threaten to hurt you or
|ever hit or pushed you, even
|seem to stir up trouble just
when you seem to be getting closer to each other? |
|abuse something you love: a pet,
a child, an object? |
|compliment you enough to keep
you happy, yet criticize you enough to keep you insecure?
|promise to never do something
|harass you about imagined
|manipulate you with lies and
|destroy furniture, punch holes
in walls, break appliances? |
|drive like a road-rage
| act immature and selfish, yet
accuse you of those behaviors?
|question your every move and
motive, somehow questioning your competence? |
|interrupt you; hear but not
|make you feel like you can't
win? damned if you do, damned if you don't? |
|use drugs and/or alcohol
involved? are things worse then? |
|incite you to rage, which is
"proof" that you are to blame? |
|try to convince you he or she is
"right," while you are "wrong?" |
|frequently say things that are
later denied or accuse you of misunderstanding? |
|treat you like a sex object, or as
though sex should be provided on demand regardless of how you feel?
situation is critical if the
following applies to you:
|You express your opinions less
and less freely. |
|You find yourself walking on eggshells, careful of when and how to say
|You long for that softer, more vulnerable part of your partner to emerge.
You find yourself making excuses for your partner's behavior?|
You feel emotionally unsafe. |
|You feel its somehow not OK to talk with others about your relationship.
|You hope things will change...especially through your love and
find yourself doubting your memory or sense of reality. |
doubt your own judgment.
doubt your abilities.
feel vulnerable and insecure.
are becoming increasingly depressed. |
feel increasingly trapped and powerless.
have been or are afraid of your partner.
Your partner has physically hurt you, even once. |
If you feel your relationship may be verbally
and emotionally abusive, talk to people you trust. Talk to clergy, call your local
battered women's shelter, educate yourself, seek professional help. Do
not allow verbal and emotional abuse to escalate to battery!
Click here for domestic violence info (the
American Bar Association).
Irene Matiatos, Ph.D.1998-2001
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