Do you wonder if your relationship is healthy? It can be hard to recognize if you are in a toxic relationship, but if you suspect that your relationship is abusive, it is important to understand the red flags.

Your health and safety, and that of any minors in the home, should be your top concern.

What qualifies as abuse?

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, when a person attempts to control, restrict or change the behavior and actions of an intimate partner, it can constitute abuse. These attempts to assert power and control in the relationship can manifest in many forms: Physical violence, emotional abuse, threats, fear, economic control, social isolation and other harmful behaviors. One or more of these actions might be present in the relationship. There do not need to be multiple of these behaviors to qualify as abuse.

What are some specific warning signs of abuse?

In most cases, a person who attempts to assert power and control in an intimate relationship will do so in a variety of different ways. Some may seem more obviously abusive than others. Here are some common warning signs that you may be in an unhealthy relationship:

  • Your partner uses insults, put-downs and shaming to make you feel bad about yourself.
  • Your partner attempts to control who, where and when you interact with others, including friends and family members.
  • Your partner controls your finances and limits or refuses to allow you access to funds.
  • Your partner uses violence or threats of violence against you or people or things you care about.

There are many other signs of domestic violence and every situation is unique. It is important to seek help if you suspect you are in an abusive relationship.