Should you stay or should you go? You think your partner is the one for you, and you can't stand the thought that things might not work out. But it's important to keep a clear head when it comes to relationships, and not let yourself get lost in something that is destructive, manipulative, or dead end.
So how do you recognize, for instance, whether he is abusive, or if she is lying? Here are a few warning signs to watch out for:
- You have to walk on eggshells around them. Do you have to carefully watch every word you say because you fear a tantrum if you say the wrong thing? Is their temper so bad that you tremble when they get angry? BIG red flag. While everybody loses their temper every now and then, if someone is constantly angry, or if you are ever in fear for your personal safety, get out. Now. And don't let someone who 'only' gets angry when they're drunk be an excuse. Drunken abuse is still abuse. Relationships are supposed to be safe, supportive places, not danger zones.
- Their stories are conflicting, or vague. If they're giving you stories that don't match up, or if they're withholding information, especially when you ask direct questions, they could be lying. If they get flustered when you try to push them for clarity or more details, that is even a bigger red flag. Trust is the most important ingredient in a relationship, and if someone's giving you reason to doubt your trust, you need to be careful.
- Your friends don't like him or her. OK, maybe your friends are hypercritical or they're a different type of crowd than what your lover is used to, but if your friends are people you normally trust, trust them on this. They're not looking at your love through rose-colored glasses, so maybe they can catch suspicious, inappropriate behavior that you might be inclined to overlook.
- They have way too much control over you. Do they insist on telling you who you can see, what you should wear, where you can--or can't--go? Are they overly critical of you? Is everything somehow always your fault? These could be signs of emotional abuse, which can be just as devastating as physical abuse.
- Follow your gut. Look deep down at how you really feel when you're together. Are you skittish, frightened, depressed, tense? Being in love should be a boost to your self esteem and make you feel better about yourself--if the person you're with makes you feel crummy about yourself, your gut is telling you something. Trust your gut. When the red flags go up, don't ignore them.