Q: Which of the following is NOT a warning sign of abuse?
a. Your partner gets very jealous of your friends or family for spending time with you.
b. Your partner didn’t tell you that they were going out with friends.
c. Your partner always checks your phone, social media, or emails.
d. Your partner pressures you to have sex, or makes you feel bad if you don’t say “yes.”
The correct answer was b. Your partner didn’t tell you that they were going out.
While this behavior could be an unhealthy behavior, it’s not quite abusive. It is unhealthy because it shows a lack of communication between partners. It can be a concerning behavior if you both made plans to do something, and then they left without communicating. Lack of communication can be fixed and talked about in a relationship, while it would be an abusive behavior if the communication from the abusive partner was harmful, demeaning, threatening, or accusing.
Your partner getting very jealous of your friends and family is a warning sign of abuse because everyone should be able to hang out with whoever they want, without their partner getting mad, upset, or jealous. It’s good to spend time together in a relationship, of course, but it’s also alright to spend time apart too.
Your partner always checking your phone, social media, or emails is a warning sign of abuse, because it is a controlling behavior. Abuse is about an abuser seeking power and control over their partner, so if your partner has your passwords to your phone, email, and/or social media, they may be controlling who you talk to, what you post, or what you send. Everyone deserves the right to not only their privacy in general but to their digital privacy too.
Your partner pressuring you to have sex, or making you feel bad if you don’t say “yes” to sex is a warning sign of abuse because your partner is controlling or trying to control your actions. You don’t owe anybody sex. Sex should be willing, mutual, and conscious, and, most importantly, with consent. You don’t have to have sex if you are not ready.
If you feel like any of these behaviors worry you about your own relationship or have questions about your relationship, you can always reach out to an Advocate. They are available 24/7/365 anytime and provide you with non-judgmental, free support. Reach out by calling 1-866-331-9474, 1-866-331-8453 TTY, text LOVEIS (capitalization doesn’t matter) to 22522, or chat online at thehotline.org. You are not alone!