If your spouse or significant other displays a combination of these behaviors, he/she may be a potential batterer:
- Quick Involvement: May pressure you for an exclusive commitment almost immediately.
- Jealousy: Extremely possessive, calls constantly, or visits unexpectedly.
- Controlling Behavior: Interrogates you intensely about whom you talked to and where you were; checks mileage on your car; keeps all the money; insists you ask for permission to go anywhere or do anything.
- Unrealistic expectations: Expects you to be the perfect woman and meet his every need.
- Isolation: Tries to cut you off from family and friends; deprives you of a phone or a car; tries to prevent you from holding a job.
- Blames others for feelings: He says, "You make me angry," instead of "I'm angry."
- Blames others for problems: It's always someone else's fault if anything goes wrong. Everyone is out to get him.
- Hypersensitivity: Is easily insulted. He'll rant about injustices that are just a part of life.
- Cruelty to animals and children: Kills or punishes animals brutally. Also, may expect children to do things way beyond their abilities, or tease them until they cry.
- Playful use of force during sex: Enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will during sex; says he finds the idea of rape exciting.
- Verbal abuse: Constantly criticizes you or says cruel things; degrades, curses, or calls you ugly names.
- Rigid sex roles: Expects you to serve, obey, and remain at home.
- Sudden mood swings: Switches from sweet and loving to explosively violent in a matter of minutes.
- Past battering: Admits hitting women in the past but says the situation caused it.
- Threats of violence: Makes statements such as "I'll break your neck" then dismisses them with "I didn't really mean it."
If your husband or significant other acts this way, it's time to get help or get out.
Adapted from the Project for Victims of Family Violence, Fayetteville, Arkansas
Keywords: Abuse, Domestic Violence, Stalking