The early red flags of an abusive relationship, according to the victims


Victims of abusive partners have taken to Reddit to help others spot the early signs that could save their lives.

The Ask Reddit thread asks: 'People who have been in abusive relationships, what was the first red flag?'

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, and they also might not be the first sign of an abusive relationship in every case.

But here’s what you can learn from people who’ve been in abusive relationships:

Unspoken “rules”

There were all of these unspoken “rules” I didn't know about until I would incur his wrath for breaking them.


And just when you think you've figured them out and are following them so you won't incur his wrath, they change without notice and you still should have known what they were.


Having to ask “permission”

I remember being out of town on a business trip, and calling home to ask permission to go have dinner and a few drinks with a group of coworkers.

Somehow, I got tagged in a few photos on Facebook (nothing shady, literally me eating a steak and enjoying a beer), and my phone exploded with “YOU DIDN'T TELL ME YOU WERE FUCKING GOING OUT WITH A BUNCH OF GUYS!”


Keeping your relationship private

When you find yourself not telling friends or family about things your partner has done/ the way you're being treated because “they wouldn't understand” and you don't want to make your partner look bad.


I did this for four years... I was embarrassed and felt it was my fault. The little tidbits I would share, people would just say it was normal in relationships. When we finally broke up and I started to spill everything out my friends were horrified.


Others act around them

His mom tiptoeing around him when he was angry. I didn't witness a temper tantrum until a bit later, but his mom's behaviour should have been a clue.


Not being able to bring up concerns

If somebody makes you afraid of bringing up a problem you may have with them or responds automatically mean as shit/defensive as fuck, GET AWAY. Within a relationship, you have the right to bring up a conversation on something that may bother you in a calm manner and that person should respond to you accordingly.

Disregarding your feelings

Mine would say horrible things to me like I should go kill myself, that if I died nobody would miss me, etc. of course afterwards he would apologize and get upset with me if I was still upset, he would tell me to just let it go.

Being demanding of your attention

One time my ex boyfriend called me about 100+ times in one hour when I said I was busy and couldn't talk.


Went with a friend to dinner that lasted longer than usual because we were catching up. Left the restaurant to tons of texts and calls. When I called back he was fuming. We had only been seeing each other about a month at that point.

- laurenashley7774

Acting violent

When we adopted a puppy, it would cry at night. Ex had a temper. I heard him storm into the living room, open the kennel, and shake the dog yelling “I will fucking SHOOT you if you don't shut the FUCK up!”. 

Another one was when we were play wrestling and he pinned me down so hard my arms started going numb. I told him to get off of me and then kneed him in the back. He punched my face.


His baby sister was innocently playing in the dirt... He walked over to her and smacked her hands and bitched at her cause she was getting dirty. His brother quickly walked over, grabbed their sister, and took her to a different area of dirt and played with her.

That moment never sat well with me... Years later he turned out to be an abusive husband and was rough with our own daughter twice.


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