Dear Abby | Granddaughter is blind to signs of fiance’s abusive potential
Dear Abby: My granddaughter is getting married in seven months and I’m worried for her. I see many red flags she’s ignoring. Because I’m old, I don’t think she will believe me.
You have printed a list of warning signs of an abusive mate. Can you print it again so I can give it to her? – Perceptive in Pennsylvania
Dear Perceptive: Gladly, because it could be a lifesaver.
(1) PUSHES FOR QUICK INVOLVEMENT: Comes on strong, claiming, “I’ve never felt loved like this by anyone.” An abuser pressures the new partner for an exclusive commitment almost immediately.
(2) JEALOUS: Excessively possessive; calls constantly or visits unexpectedly; prevents you from going to work because “you might meet someone”; checks the mileage on your car.
(3) CONTROLLING: If you are late, interrogates you intensively about whom you talked to and where you were; keeps all the money; insists you ask permission to go anywhere or do anything.
(4) UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: Expects you to be the perfect mate and meet his or her every need.
(5) ISOLATION: Tries to isolate you from family and friends; accuses people who are your supporters of “causing trouble.” The abuser may deprive you of a phone or car, or try to prevent you from holding a job.
(6) BLAMES OTHERS FOR PROBLEMS OR MISTAKES: It’s always someone else’s fault if something goes wrong.
(7) MAKES OTHERS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS OR HER FEELINGS: The abuser says, “You make me angry” instead of “I am angry,” or says, “You’re hurting me by not doing what I tell you.”
(8) HYPERSENSITIVITY: Is easily insulted, claiming hurt feelings when he or she is really mad. Rants about the injustice of things that are just a part of life.
(9) CRUELTY TO ANIMALS OR CHILDREN: Kills or punishes animals brutally. Also may expect children to do things that are far beyond their ability (whips a 3-year-old for wetting a diaper).
(10) “PLAYFUL” USE OF FORCE DURING SEX: Enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will during sex; finds the idea of rape exciting.
Anyone at risk should contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233 or thehotline.org.