Red flags to look for in a new relationship
I’ve just re-consulted Lundy Bancroft’s book Why Does He Do That? [*affiliate link] and re-discovered that he has a whole chapter called “How Abuse Begins”. [I feel like a bit of a goose because I said in a recent post that I’m not familiar with a good article about red flags in new relationship! 🙂 ]
I’m copying some of the subheadings from Lundy’s chapter; this list can also be found on pp 121-122 of his book:-
The power of those early months
Why is he so good early on, if he is planning to be abusive later?
An abuser is neither a monster nor a victim.
An abuser’s behavior is primarily conscious – he acts deliberately rather than by accidnet or by losing control of himself – but the underlying thinking that drives his behavior is largely not conscious.
EARLY WARNING SIGNS
How can I tell if a man I’m seeing will become abusive?
- – he speaks disrespectfully about his former partners
- – he is disrespectful toward you
- – he does favor for you that you don’t want or puts on such a show of generosity that it makes you uncomfortable
- – he is controlling
- – he is possessive
- – nothing is ever his fault
- – he is self-centered
- – he abuses drugs or alcohol
- – he pressures you for sex
- – he gets serious too quickly about the relationship
- – he intimidates you when he’s angry
- – he has double standards
- he has negative attitudes toward women
- – he treats you differently around other people
- – he appears to be attracted to vulnerability
Bancroft concludes this chapter with Key Points to Remember (p 135).
One of his points is:
If the warning signs are there, act quickly to either set limits or get out of the relationship. The more deeply you become involved with an abuser, the harder it is to get out.
I hope Lundy doesn’t mind me reproducing his words here. I would advise anyone to read the whole chapter as every word of Lundy’s guidance is helpful, and I’ve only touched the surface of it here.
Now I have a question for our readers, and particularly for those who are now remarried to non-abusive men.
Did you consciously ‘press his buttons’ during the courtship to find out how he reacted under pressure? Or did you do other things to check him out to see whether he might be an abuser? If so, could you please share your experiences so that others may learn?
May 2017 Update***IMPORTANT NOTE: While we endorse Lundy’s writings about the dynamics of domestic abuse, we do not recommend anyone attend the ‘healing retreats’ Lundy Bancroft offers or become involved in his ‘Peak Living Network.’ See our post, ACFJ Does Not Recommend Lundy Bancroft’s Retreats or His New Peak Living Network for more about our concerns.
* Amazon affiliate link — ACFJ gets a small percentage if you purchase via this link