Non-physical domestic violence and abuse don’t refer to the occasional fight or the normal ups and downs of a relationship, it’s the patterns that appear over time.

Examples of abuse include controlling behaviours, shaming, refusing to listen, talking over you, blaming, yelling, lying, stalking, intimidation and psychological manipulation.

Watch for these red flags in your intimate relationships:

  • Being extra accommodating to the other person’s needs and not to your own. When in an abusive relationship you learn to walk on egg shells, so you don’t upset your partner. When you find yourself keeping quiet and not speaking your mind, you’re ignoring your inner voice.
  • Your social life fades. Instead of going out with friends like you once used to, you’re probably trying to repair a fight or get over a dramatic event in your relationship. When you decide to spend your free time fighting with your partner instead of having fun and a social life, it’s a sign you’re in an unhealthy relationship.
  • Do you feel tired because of the relationship? Has your thinking gone from being clear to foggy?
  • Do you have sex just to keep the peace, even though you don’t want to? When you’re doing something that you don’t want to just to keep the situation calm, you’re giving your power away.
  • Do you break up on a frequent basis? Are you giving them a second chance because you’ve forgiven their bad behaviours or you believed their empty promises? Many domestic violence victims believe that their partner has changed, that their love will overcome all obstacles, or that they can start fresh.

Relationships often work because people are willing to give and take, but if giving becomes a permanent fixture in the relationship, then it’s not a healthy one.