It is often said, “the meek will inherit the earth,” but unfortunately
sometimes the meek also inherit abusive relationships. In society we typically
think of “meek” as being weak and subservient; but there are
also those who have high-powered careers and look dapper in a suit who
display characteristics of meekness in other aspects of their lives.
As a divorce attorney and mediator I hear, all too often, people saying
about their soon-to-be ex-spouses that, at first, it was all flowers,
hand-written cards, and boxes of candy. Yet soon after their wedding night
their spouse’s abusive behavior began to surface and they, “never
saw it coming.” But if one really takes the time to look and maybe
even trust their intuition, there are some red flags—signs that
tell you, you may be dealing with an abusive person and it’s probably
a good idea not to have a third date or even agree to marry that person.
Here are those five red flags:
Name Calling: This is a nasty little psychological tactic of an abusive person to try
to raise their status over the person they’re mistreating.
Playing the blame game: Someone who is not able to take responsibility for their actions or missteps
is not an adequate partner, especially when they erroneously put the blame
for their failure onto you. Failure is a wonderful tool to help us grow
and learn from our mistakes, but someone who chooses not to see it that
way isn’t growing as a person—and is more than likely growing
apart from you.
Verbal arguments escalating to physical abuse: This one is more than a red flag, it’s a king-sized alarm clock
giving you a wake up call that your partner is not the right one for you.
If it happens once, it’s more than likely to happen again and it
usually gets worse.
Manipulative: It seems pretty self explanatory, but a potential abuser will prey on
your emotions and fears to get you to do their bidding. They might even
go as far as forbidding you to see a specific friend or from going certain
places. In some cases the abuser will do everything they can to get their
future or current spouse to quit their job,—not because they care
about their comfort but because they want the other person to rely solely
on them so they can leverage that reliance to keep the other person in
a weaker position. They subtly separate you from your sources of support
– people and money.
Subtle attacks on your character and abilities: This one is a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The abusive partner
might smile and act very polite while telling you you’re no good
at your chosen field, you’ll never achieve your goals and dreams,
or you’re not handsome or pretty enough.
Sadly it can take weeks, months, and even years to muster the courage to
leave that abusive relationship and dissolve a marriage that should never
have happened in the first place. Knowing some signs you may be in a relationship
with an abusive person is helpful for two reasons.
- If you haven’t married the abuser, you can get out now before it
ever has the chance to end in a messy, expensive, and painful divorce.
- If you’re currently married to an abusive person, it’s never
too late to get out. While the divorce process might be scary, pricey,
or painful, staying can lead to the death of your spirit or much worse.
And if you feel like you might be in a crisis situation, you can always
call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233, or the Victim Center
If you have any other questions about abusive relationships or need help
in the choice you are thinking of making in leaving that relationship,
please feel free to
I will be happy to advise or help you fight or negotiate the outcome you
are looking for.