Am I Abusive in my Relationship?

Physical abuse is only one kind of abuse.

Ask yourself the following questions. Try to answer yourself honestly.

1. Can I express anger without becoming physically abusive to my partner?

2. Can I express anger without becoming verbally abusive (name calling, put downs, threats, etc.) to my partner?

3. Can my partner express anger without my becoming verbally or physically abusive?

4. Can my partner go out, get a job or go to school without asking for my "permission?" (It is important to understand that asking for "permission" is very different from discussing the issue with your partner.)

5. Is my partner usually at ease with me? If not, WHY NOT?

6. Is my partner afraid when with me? If so, WHY?

7. Am I able to think and speak of my relationship with my partner as a partnership with equal rights and responsibilities for both parties? If not, WHY NOT?

8. Am I able to think and speak of my partner as a partner? If not, WHY NOT?

9. Do I put my partner down or name call when we are alone or with others?

10. Do I blame my partner (or others) whenever things go wrong?

11. Have I been told that I'm a "nasty drunk" or an "abusive drug user" by my partner or others?

12. Does my partner cover up for me or make excuses for my bad behavior?

13. Do I control, or attempt to control, the time my partner spends, or wishes to spend, with family, friends or co-workers?

14. Am I uncomfortable with my partner having friends of the opposite gender? WHY?

15. Am I uncomfortable myself having friends of the opposite gender? WHY?

16. Do I create a "scene" if my partner expresses an opinion opposite to mine?

17. Do I forbid or attempt to forbid my partner to use money to buy personal things? (Again, "forbidding" someone to do something is very different from discussing it with that person.)

18. Do I force, or attempt to force, my partner to have unwanted sex, even when that person has said "no" directly or indirectly?

19. Does my partner "walk on eggshells" a good deal of the time? Or any of the time? If I am honest, just how much of the time?

20. Do I ever threaten to harm my partner's pets if my partner (or the children) do not comply with my wishes? In other words, when I don't get my own way.

21. Do I ever destroy or damage things that are important to my partner when I am angry or don't get my way?

If you answered "NO" to the first 8 questions or answered "YES" to the next 13 questions, you may want to discuss your behaviors with someone.

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