Understanding The Difference Between Appropriate and Inappropriate Treatment In A Relationship


  • Compromise

  • Built on mutual respect

  • Partnership

  • Trusting

  • Can be yourself

  • Feel safe

  • Support & encouragement

  • Respectful of boundaries

  • Supports relationships with friends and family

  • Honest, open and safe communication

  • Allows you freedom and respects your time

  • Supports your time for your own interests & schedule


  • Monitors everything you do. Monitors your whereabouts by excessive calls or texts, asks for pictures to prove where you are, tracks you using GPS, key-logging software, or other means. Monitors your calls, texts, emails, social media, voicemail & opens your mail.
  • Dominating and controlling. Won’t have open conversations. Doesn’t care about your thoughts or feelings. Accuses you of lying. Blames you for everything. Won’t own up to their wrongdoings. Bad gut feeling. Substance abuse.
  • Open expression of jealousy over time spent with family or friends; limits time and communication. Abuser insists on accompanying you everywhere you go, including to places their presence is inappropriate or not allowed. Manipulation to force or trick a partner into agreeing to something. Constantly ask/need to know where you are & where you are going. Survivor constantly feeling on guard & concerned about partner’s behavior. Survivor always walking on eggshells.
  • Restricts or blocks access to family transportation, finances, and lines of credit. Confiscates paychecks. Forced accounting of all spending regardless of insignificant amounts. Unrealistic allowance for necessities. Forces you to be the sole breadwinner or does not allow you to work. Not interested in your success & may actually cut you down instead of celebrating you. Systemic lack of support or deliberate roadblocks to growth or pursuing goals. A pervasive sense of insecurity.
  • Physically hits you (pushing, slapping, punching, kicking, dragging by the hair, using weapons, or any other means of assault). Throws objects near you. Uses threats of harm (against you, children, pets, or family) to coerce you into doing something. Leaves you stranded in unfamiliar places. Locks you out of the residence. Holds you against your will. Controls what you wear (clothes, makeup, jewelry, hair).
  • Criticizes, insults, and intentionally demeans you to undermine your self-confidence. Puts you down in front of others. Uses gas-lighting to confuse & manipulate you. Finds ways to cut you down & make you feel insecure about yourself. Threatens to break up with you, giving you a sense that there is no relationship security. Ignores you & makes you feel alone when you are with them. Refusal to respect boundaries or needs in the relationship. Frequent breakups & makeups. Dishonesty & evasiveness. Inability or refusal to commit. Won’t allow time apart. Frequent accusations of cheating. Engages in sexual abuse, rape, or coerces you into things you are not comfortable with. Forced pregnancy.


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