The presence of even three of these symptoms indicates a potentially harmful relationship. Anything above this number points to not just probable, but certain harm.
- The Loser will Hurt you on Purpose. My psycho did this early on. But, I didn't at first even recognize it as him hurting me. He'd start off by making comments about waitresses or baristas. "Look at her great smile!" He'd say. Then turn to me and say "That doesn't bother you does it?" Something about the way he'd ask it, I thought he was hoping it would bother me. As soon we began dating he'd tell me - he wasn't really attracted to me physically. He'd talk about other women. Not so much as derogatory, but he would just brag how smart this one was, or how attractive that one was, how cute the other one is. Occasionally, repeated the question "That doesn't bother you that I say that does it?"
- Quick Attachment and Expression. My psycho did this as well. He wanted to be with me every second of the day. He'd call me numerous times throughout the day. He'd phone me just minutes after we parted. He'd phone me in the morning to wish me a good day. Call me every night to say good night. When we were together he was ultra focused on me and couldn't seem to get enough of me. He had a very high sex drive and wanted me all the time. All the while of course telling me this was unlike the way he behaves typically in relationships.
- Frightening Temper. This is interesting because he had a quicker temper early on than later. Well, I'll rephrase that. It was quicker and more aggressive in an overt manner early on. He'd yell, pound the table with his fist, throw things. Later he became the calm in the storm, the "good guy." however the only calm thing was his low monotone voice. He would say horrible things to me and berate me for hours, but remain incredibly calm. So, if I got upset during these session of emotional abuse he'd of course tell me I was overreacting.
- Killing Your Self-Confidence. Yep. He'd often tell me he wasn't attracted to me, yet couldn't keep his hands off of me. He'd talk about other women and his attraction toward them as well as their attraction toward him. Often he'd talk about this trait, or that trait, or this look or that look in a woman that he really liked and was attracted too. Of course they were all traits and looks that I don't have. The abuse got worse as time went on. But, it started early in his talking about other women and comparing me (indirectly) to them.
- Cutting Off Your Support. He didn't directly do this. Nothing he did was direct or overt. It was all very subtle yet cunning. He wouldn't tell me I couldn't spend time with friends or family, but he would monopolize my time so I wouldn't have any time to be with them. If I did manage to get away, he'd call me incessantly while I was w/friends or family. Sometimes he would just show up if he knew what my friends and I were doing or where I was.
- The Mean and Sweet Cycle. This is perhaps the biggest red flag of all where he is concerned. he'd cycle between mean and sweet several times in a 15 minute period at times.
- It’s Always Your Fault. Everything, always was my fault. He wouldn't directly say that. He'd spend hours talking in circles. He'd start off by "being the good guy" and saying it was his fault. Then he'd start weaving his tale and by the end it had turned around and was now my fault. Everything. It got to the point it didn't matter what I did or said, it was wrong. If I said the sky was blue, he'd say no its grey and call me color blind.
- Breakup Panic. Yes, if I broke up with him he'd be calling me literally w/in 5 minutes telling me how sad it is and then keep phoning and/or coming to my house or job until I'd give in. But, if the break was his idea, it'd be cold turkey. He'd be gone until he felt he wanted to come back. He certainly wouldn't answer or return my phone calls if he initiated the break. Yet expected me to be available to him any time he'd phone day or night even when we were broken up.
- No Outside Interests. Zip, zero, nada. He had no interets at all outside of me. He'd pretend to be interested in things like hiking, fly fishing, rafting. Yet rarely if ever partook in this activities. On the rare occasion if he did it seemed more like obligation than interest.
- Paranoid Control. Yes, like I said he would show up someplace he knew I would be with friends. He'd go looking for me. He'd hang out in my back yard w/out me being aware and talk on the phone for hours. He'd sneak in the back door when I wasn't expecting him over and startle me.
- Public Embarrassment. He'd diminish my thinking in public and even flirt with other girls.
- It’s Never Enough. Oh this is a HUGE one. But, we were already so deep into our relationship when he started this we had developed a strong bond. But, it got so bad one Christmas I was afraid to speak. It wouldn't matter what I said it'd be wrong. He would find some way to twist things to cause an argument and make it seem like I was ridiculuos with EVERYTHING I said or did.
- Entitlement. Yep! What he wanted he got, or took from material things, to sex.
- Your Friends and Family Dislike Him. Everyone of them hated him.
- Bad Stories. He didn't have good things to say about his ex wife for sure.
- The Waitress Test. This doesn't apply to him so much. He flirts and seduces waitresses. Scratch that, yes this does apply to him. It's all a false sense of emotion.
- The Reputation. Exactly!! His coworkers and aquintences just saw the facade. The cover. The nice guy. The gentle single dad. However, intimate partners and friends and family members of those partners hated him.
- Walking on Eggshells. Yep. But again this took over a year before he became so critical I was on eggshells. It may even have been close to 2 yrs.
- Discounted Feelings/Opinions. Every second with every thought I had. He wouldn't discount my feelings, he just didn't acknowledge them in any way, period. Every thought or idea I had he was sure to discount. Always prefacing with "You're smart, but....."
- They Make You Crazy. Even for a time I was convinced it was his goal to drive me insane, literally.
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