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Signs of an Abusive Boyfriend

20 Ways to Spot an Abusive Boyfriend Before It's Too Late

Abusive relationships are hard to recognize from inside, but there are ways to spot abuse's manipulative, controlling behaviors before it's too late. Here are 20 signs that say he might not be so nice.

  1. Makes jokes at your expense.
  2. Checks up on you with calls, texts, and drive-bys.
  3. Tags along, or sends someone else, to "keep an eye on you."
  4. Blames you for his bad mood.
  5. Possesses a negative, disrespectful attitude toward all women.
  6. Acts one way in front of people and another when you're alone.
  7. Gives you the silent treatment.
  8. Accuses you of liking or seeing someone else.
  9. Restricts access to money, the phone, or car.
  10. Ignores or puts down your opinions or accomplishments.
  11. Keeps money secrets.
  12. Reads your emails or texts, or accesses any personal information without your permission.
  13. Has kept you from getting a job or caused you to lose one.
  14. Forces you to have sex when you don't want to, or do things you don't want to.
  15. Makes you account for all money you spend.
  16. Threatens to commit suicide if you leave.
  17. Destroys your belongings — an attempt de-personalize you.
  18. Insists on knowing who you're talking to on the phone.
  19. Falls head over heels in love suspiciously fast.
  20. Has rigid, outdated ideas about gender roles.


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AjjR AjjR 5 years
as a social psychologist, I think the list is a good start. Like with any relationship, there are going to be bits and pieces of these things because we are fallible humans. There are times when the "best" partner can be any of the things on the list. The problem becomes when "it becomes a problem." As with one of the comments above, I think that we all make jokes at one time and another at our partner's expense, and usually there is return poking. The problem with any of these things is that when they start to cripple a relationship. Some people have very unequally yoked relationships; and they work for them. Who isn’t curious about the women that their man works with? Or the girl’s best friend, who is a guy, that she calls when she needs to talk? The answer comes down to communication. I have been in enough abusive relationships to write volumes... but it would all be the same story with different names. It can be as simple as saying "we need to talk.... I dont feel comfortable with....." Thats a good place to start because if the partner scoffs at this its a sign that you're going to be unhappy until there is a change. A big problem is that people don't discuss these things. I know that in my latest relationship my guy was very negative about EVERYTHING I said or did. He was burned to a crisp in his second divorce to the same woman he'd married twice. After I would hear him talk I started thinking....’ I might have cheated on you too.’ And one day, me (painfully crippled with panic attacks esp about confrontation) said "I understand why she cheated, but I would have either left you first, or confronted you with my unhappiness giving you a chance to mend your ways...." Wow, he shut right up. I awaited him to tell me i was taking her side, blah blah blah; he didnt. He started to open up about how hard it had been to trust her and admitted that he had withheld emotionally from her and how if he were in her spot he probably would have left too. In our, almost, one year together I have learned to speak my mind tactfully and grown to trust that he would listen w/o judging. This has caused me a LOT less stress and made me feel confident that my part in our relationship is as important as his. But…When he does regress to being jerkish, I step back and think that he may have something on his mind. In the same year he has grown too. He has admitted that his OCD was no longer a character trait but now a disorder that was making everyone feel uncomfortable. He started to talk w a counselor about his divorces, and eventually conceded to taking a light dose of anti ocd meds. He can now go to his kids sporting events that his ex wife and her new husband are also attending without taking xanax and standing by the door. And…he uses her first name instead of a string of neg adjectives hooked to a five letter word… I have looked back and seen where I have perpetuated verbal and emotional abuse by "taking it" like a beaten dog with its tail between its legs. No one likes a doormat... and to be quite honest sometimes a person who tends to be a bit controlling doesn’t always recognize that they are being abusive. Its also important to recognize that at one point you’re a victim…but staying and thinking its going to change makes you a volunteer for it. Lets be honest and accept our personal responsibilities in our relationships…. Other than communication, TRUST should never be an issue in a healthy relationship. If you have to say...."yeah, I guess I trust you, go ahead, have fun with the guys" means that there is a seed of mistrust there. Its not easy being a trusting person. But if youve been given no reason to be suspicious...dont be. Not trusting someone you love is like the plague. You might as well just end it. Love is not enough, and personally I think that love is a three legged stool comprised of trust, communication, and acceptance. Anyone of these legs gone...the chair falls. Finally I want to say that I am glad that people, men and women, are recognizing that words do hurt. Women are often more emotionally vicious then men as they don’t have physical strength to abuse. And socially we accept that behavior from women and we prosecute men. There is no excuse for violence, or abuse of any kind. Not just to women, or children, or animals..but anyone; men included. As good stewards to our communities, our families, and our partners- we owe it to our own happiness and sanity to communicate, leave when you know its not working, and remember adults dont get the fantastic luxuary of having fits and tantrums of two year olds. Ahhhh those were the days. Be good to each other; we're all we have.
weffie weffie 5 years
Once I printed off a comprehensive (multiple-pages) list of signs of abuse, highlighted everything that pertained to my situation (at least half the pages) and took it home to show my then-boyfriend. Obviously he flew off the handle and offered to show me "real" abuse, but I felt so powerful with everything right there in black and white... it was the first time he was unable to counter any point I made with some excuse or reason it was my fault or just my take on it... I always bent to his influence but he couldn't change the written word!My intention had just been to get him into therapy by shocking him with the news that he was indeed abusive, but the conversation it opened up gave me the kick in the pants I needed to just forget therapy and get away from him. I've been tempted to print the list again and mail it to his new wife with the same parts highlighted, but obviously I'd rather not contact either of them. Still, I hope someone warns her before she wakes up choking because he's "dreaming" about killing her like I did. Haha I can't believe I ever bought that BS, they should make every young girl recite these signs like learning the days of the week.
weffie weffie 5 years
Once I printed off a comprehensive (multiple-pages) list of signs of abuse, highlighted everything that pertained to my situation (at least half the pages) and took it home to show my then-boyfriend. Obviously he flew off the handle and offered to show me "real" abuse, but I felt so powerful with everything right there in black and white... it was the first time he was unable to counter any point I made with some excuse or reason it was my fault or just my take on it... I always bent to his influence but he couldn't change the written word! My intention had just been to get him into therapy by shocking him with the news that he was indeed abusive, but the conversation it opened up gave me the kick in the pants I needed to just forget therapy and get away from him. I've been tempted to print the list again and mail it to his new wife with the same parts highlighted, but obviously I'd rather not contact either of them. Still, I hope someone warns her before she wakes up choking because he's "dreaming" about killing her like I did. Haha I can't believe I ever bought that BS, they should make every young girl recite these signs like learning the days of the week.
Camarogirl67 Camarogirl67 5 years
Oh dear. I agree Millarci. These are only the warning signs. And to those who have been questioning the grouping of different "signs" - not everyone would have the experience of all 20 signs, or all signs on any list. Some people may experience different "groupings" of any warning sign on any list.
missprovencio missprovencio 5 years
after 2 years of being in a relationship like this, these are only the warning signs. these are the small things to look out for initially. for some people who don't fully understand the complexity of both roles in the relationship, it is hard to understand how minor something can be to be counted as a major red flag.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
If you're looking for a more comprehensive, professional list, just google 'signs of domestic violence.'I disagree with the wording of #1, when I'm in a relationship I like making jokes about him and I like when he makes jokes about me, it's when s/he starts putting you down that it's a problem.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
If you're looking for a more comprehensive, professional list, just google 'signs of domestic violence.' I disagree with the wording of #1, when I'm in a relationship I like making jokes about him and I like when he makes jokes about me, it's when s/he starts putting you down that it's a problem.
twk601 twk601 5 years
#1 only if its in a mean or hateful fashion. I know I am a sarcastic smartass and i love some back and forth jokes/picking on
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 5 years
Good list.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 5 years
Good list.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 5 years
No 14 is called rape. Another good one is someone that treats those who serve him or her badly.
zeze zeze 5 years
I'm not sure, I've seen some of these in some people I know who are not physically abusive, they are jealous, obnoxious and have serious trust issue and anyone who dates them enjoys dealing with hypersensitivity, but they aren't the type that would ever hit a significant other. I only refer to physical abuse, because emotional abuse is such a blurry line, like when do people stop being just mean and abusive? And sometimes whether or not a person crosses that line depends on their partner and how sensitive that person is - like some women can dish it better than they get it and at the end of the day they get mad but don't have lasting effects, while the same exact words said to another woman could make her feel like suicide is the only option - yet a punch in the face is a punch in the face. Period.
zeze zeze 5 years
I'm not sure, I've seen some of these in some people I know who are not physically abusive, they are jealous, obnoxious and have serious trust issue and anyone who dates them enjoys dealing with hypersensitivity, but they aren't the type that would ever hit a significant other. I only refer to physical abuse, because emotional abuse is such a blurry line, like when do people stop being just mean and abusive? And sometimes whether or not a person crosses that line depends on their partner and how sensitive that person is - like some women can dish it better than they get it and at the end of the day they get mad but don't have lasting effects, while the same exact words said to another woman could make her feel like suicide is the only option - yet a punch in the face is a punch in the face. Period.
millarci millarci 5 years
I wish I have seen this list a long time ago...
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