Home  >  My Life  >  Relationships

16 Abusive Relationship Signs of a Devious Lover

abusive relationship signs

Are you being tricked into living with abuse by your lover? Use these 16 shocking and devious abusive relationship signs to see the veiled truth.

It usually starts with verbal abuse.

Sarcasm enters the picture.

And one day, something gets thrown at you.

An abusive relationship isn’t scary just because it hurts.

It’s scary because you’re usually tricked into it.

You’d think you’re in a perfect relationship and look forward to your happily ever after, until the world comes crashing down on you as you watch helplessly.

[Read: 7 secret signs your relationship is starting to go bad]

The world of abusive relationships

If you’re experiencing an abusive relationship or have experienced one at some point in your life, you’d understand the helplessness of the situation.

You feel isolated and all alone, and no one seems to understand the quicksand you’re stuck in.

But you need to understand something here. You aren’t alone. There are several people around you who are experiencing an abusive relationship right now.

[Read: The 15 worst types of toxic relationships to watch out for!]

It isn’t just women who experience abusive relationships. More often than not, several men experience it silently without ever talking about it with anyone.

Kinds of abusive relationships

Abusive relationships don’t always come in the form of  a black eye or a busted lip.

And it isn’t always a boyfriend or a spouse who traumatizes you with abuse. You could experience some form of abuse from your siblings, parents, kids, your coworkers, your boss or just about anyone else you interact with.

If someone drains your happiness, makes you feel weak and helpless, or makes you feel miserable for any reason, chances are, you’re being abused by them and you don’t even realize it! [Read: How to stop selfish people from hurting you and ruining your future]

There are two kinds of abusive relationships you could experience, emotional abuse and physical abuse.

Physical abuse could shatter you from the outside, while emotional abuse would shatter you from within. Both kinds of abuse are traumatizing, but it hurts the most when you experience them together.

If you’re living through an abusive relationship where you see no way to escape, don’t give up on hope. Don’t give up on making yourself stronger. And most importantly, don’t give up on life and contemplate suicide.

You will survive through this. All you need to do is read on, and understand what you need to do to get stronger. [Read: 12 signs you’re walking on eggshells in your love life]

The 16 devious signs of an abusive relationship

The first step to finding the solution, and to find the escape from the abuse is to read the signs for what it is. For most of us, recognizing the problem is always harder than overcoming it. If a partner slaps you or verbally abuses you in front of your friends, what do you do?

Do you believe that you deserved it because it was your fault? Do you confront your partner? Or do you wait for your partner to calm down before you have a word with them in private? What you do here makes all the difference.

It’s not easy to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship, especially when you’re madly in love with someone. But use these 16 devious abusive relationship signs, and the truth will unfold before your eyes. If you’re experiencing even a few of these signs, it’s time to be worried because you’re probably locked in an abusive relationship already. [Read: How to let go of a relationship that you know is bad for you]

#1 A big disappointment. Your partner always treats you like you’re a big disappointment. They always pick flaws with what you do, even if everyone else thinks you’re perfectly capable. This creates a deep need within you to constantly try to please them by bending over backwards, because you don’t want to upset them. And most importantly, you crave for their acknowledgement and compliments more than anything else!

#2 The embarrassment. Your partner embarrasses and insults you in public for the smallest of reasons. They do this to embarrass you into submission in front of others, and prevent you from confronting them again in public. They may even raise their voice or create a scene just to make you feel awkward and submit to their demand.

#3 Verbal abuses. Does your partner abuse you verbally using foul language every now and then? It doesn’t matter what the reason is, but if your partner uses bad language, you need to give this a very serious thought.

#4 The first hit. One of the biggest signs that you’re stepping into the sad world of abusive relationships is the first physical outburst. Has your partner ever hit you at least once in the heat of the moment?

#5 Making up after the fight. An abusive partner who hits you or verbally abuses you will always try to make up after a fight. They may even try to win you back with sweet words and eternal promises.

On the other hand, a few abusive partners may give you the silent treatment and sulk in a corner and pretend like the fight was entirely your fault. Either ways, you may end up feeling sorry for them and try to cheer them up. [Read: How to use the silent treatment effectively in a relationship]

#6 Forced endings. Your partner may use force to end an argument, either by pushing you away, standing really close to you in an intimidating posture or by raising their hand and walking away.

#7 The slap. Your partner may slap you now and then. Initially, it may be a quick and sharp pat on the cheek for silly errors and at other times, they would slap you harder to punish you for being stupid or careless. Don’t put up with it. It’s a physically abusive person’s way of weaning you and breaking you down so you get used to the abuse.

#8 The controlling partner. At the beginning, your partner may try to behave like they’re involved in your life. But very soon, you’d start to see that you’re being completely controlled by your partner. And eventually, you’d lose all your friends and you’d be all alone and completely dependent on your partner, which is just what they want. [Read: 16 ways to stop abusive and controlling behavior in a relationship]

#9 The dominant abuser. Your partner is dominating and always wants things their way. They never give in to your wishes, and even if they do, they may sulk or argue with you until you give in to their bidding.

#10 Blowing hot and cold. An abusive person is extremely unpredictable in their behavior and their moods change from happy to angry in a flash for no apparent reason. And this unpredictable bipolar behavior is almost always directed only towards you, not at their friends or their boss.

#11 Dominance and submission. Your abusive partner grovels at your feet when you pick up your courage and take a stand, or when you pack your bags to leave. And just when they see you softening or feeling pity for them, they stamp you down at the first sign of your weakness.

#12 Picking faults. Your partner always bristles with rage when you pick their faults. They walk away in a huff when you request them to correct something. On the other hand, they treat you like a spoilt child and expect you to listen to them completely as they yell at you for even the smallest mistakes you make.

Additionally, abusive lovers never apologize. And the only circumstance when they do apologize is when you start yelling louder than them and take a strong stand. [Read: How your self respect affects you and the relationships you have]

#13 The support system. They convince you that you can’t exist without their support. You lose your own your individuality and you’d start to doubt yourself and your capabilities. Eventually, no matter what anyone else says, you’d never be able to walk away as you can’t imagine living without your abusive lover’s support because you’re so dependent on them.

#14 The blame game. An abusive lover will blame you for their problems. Right from why they got late to work to their miserable life, they’d always blame you for it. And on the rare occasion when they can’t fault you, an abusive partner will never accept blame, instead they’d place blame elsewhere or on someone else.

#15 Persuasive behavior. A person who abuses you is also a skilled manipulator. They’d speak to you convincingly and make you believe that their outburst was because of your fault or mistake and not theirs. This person will always make you doubt yourself and make you believe that everything was your fault, and none of this would have happened if you were a better person.

And because of this, you always end up giving them another chance. You feel convinced that you somehow had a big part to play and it was you who caused the outburst because of your faults. [Read: Should you make someone a priority when all you are is an option to them?]

#16 Out of control. Your partner may make it seem like their outburst is out of their control and they can’t hold themselves back. But yet, they seem to lose their cool only around you! It’s surprising, isn’t it, that your partner never loses their cool around important people whose good books they want to enter?

How to get away from abusive relationships

Now that you’re read these abusive relationship signs, it should be easy for you to find out if you’re living through one right now. The signs you see may be subtle or at other times, it may be glaring and obvious.

Sometimes, it’s easier to use these signs and listen to your own gut. Do you feel like you deserve to be happier? Do you feel like you’re being abused in the relationship? Do you feel weak and helpless? [Read: 25 memorable life lessons that can help you change your life]

Here are four steps you need to use to get the strength to believe in yourself again, and build the courage to face your abusive partner.

#1 You don’t need this person. Stop convincing yourself that you need your abusive partner to exist. It’s not easy because you’ve been manipulated into believing that you’re dependent on them. Start one step at a time, and try to do things independently.

#2 Take back control of your life. Don’t put up with the abuse quietly. Don’t be afraid to make a scene. It’s almost always the one thing that scares an abuser away. You may be scared to take a stand, but the very minute you do, you’ll start to feel your own confidence and independence welling up inside of you.

#3 Get help. When you’re involved in an abusive relationship, it’s never easy to confront it all by yourself. Get some kind of support, be it a friend or the family and let this person know what you’re experiencing. Talk to them about how you should handle the abuse, and if need be, get professional help.

#4 Find your own happiness. For a very long time, you’ve forgotten what it feels like to be genuinely happy without having to worry about what your abusive partner would want or think. Put the abusive relationship as a bad page in your life and move on. Try to find happiness by staying around people who care for you, and who want you to be happy. Over time, you’ll look back at the abusive relationship and wonder what took you so long to walk away! [Read: How to fall out of love when you see no future in your relationship]

Nip it in the bud

This is something everyone needs to know. Address abusive behavior as soon as you sense it in your relationship. Your first reaction to abuse makes all the difference.

Most of us overlook the first abuse because we’re in love or care too much about this person. But your reaction to the first verbal abuse or the first punch will determine how the future of the relationship would turn out. If you accept it meekly, or even try to apologize for making a mistake, you’re paving the path to more pain and darker abuse. [Read: Top 20 reasons for divorce that most couples overlook!]

The last word about abusive relationships

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. You probably know that line already. By continuing to live in an abusive relationship where you’re putting everything aside just to get your partner’s affection, you’re not just affecting yourself.

You’re affecting your family, your friends and your kids if you have any. And one day, the people who stand up for you may eventually start disliking you and distancing themselves from you because you don’t listen to them, and yet ask them for help all the time.

Take a stand. As hard as it may seem right now to confront an abusive lover, it’ll seem much easier and you’d feel more confident the very next time you take a stand for what you believe in. [Read: 16 subtle and yet shocking signs of a controlling partner]

And lastly, remember this, you are not responsible for an abusive lover’s actions, nor can you change an abusive partner. Some people can’t change, and the safest bet you can take is walking away.

[Read: 25 relationship rules you need to follow for a successful romance]

These 16 abusive relationship signs will surely help you find out if you’re in an abusive relationship or are on the verge of falling into one. And when you do see the signs, walk away. After all, no good can come from an abusive lover.

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

Elizabeth Arthur
Elizabeth Arthur
A mom of two who’s currently working on a novel, Elizabeth Arthur lives in Cornwall. And when she’s not chasing her boys around the house, she enjoys sittin...
Follow Elizabeth on

Don't Miss this!


Latest in LovePanky


15 thoughts on “16 Abusive Relationship Signs of a Devious Lover”

  1. Sedi says:

    this is a life saving article, thank you so much lovepanky. i have a healthy self esteem but was surprised that i found myself in an abusive relationship. i never had peace because i knew what was right but had a very manipulative partner who always boasted to me that he is a ‘mind psychologist’. sadly, if you do not have a healthy dose of self esteem and enough knowledge about whats acceptable or whats not, you will think that abuser really loves you because he could be loving, caring but yet abusive. its a very deceptive situation.
    when in a relationship you should be at peace. loving is fun! if u feel down, mood swings, sad and always looking forward to something / someone better, then you aint in a healthy relationship. please there is no pity in this because over time, it gets worse.

  2. Judi says:

    My daughter is in a relationship with a man who is emotionally abusive to her, and verbally abusive to me for giving her advice…we have always been close) He speaks for her, belittles her beliefs and her family, and tells her she needs to make her own decisions, except when it comes to what he wants her to do. Recently, I sent her an article from this web-site which is at least helping her see that she is not trapped and allowing us to talk again. Thank you for tough talk…and I will keep my fingers crossed.

  3. Isabella m says:

    Sounds very familiar to me……….yuck!

  4. mikey says:

    Some good advice for some but the end of this website seems to be a bit like a porn site. Unsavory ads, promote bad ideas, bad thoughts.
    Abusive relationships go both ways, don’t forget that. GB everyone

  5. Jennifer Khalil says:

    My god this is exactly what I just walked away from
    3 days ago after 2 1/2 years of ups and downs …
    Thank god for this article as it validated to me all I have expirenced and I know now nor than ever it was not in my head – it was real and there was nothing I could do to change him
    All I could do for the sake of saving my life was leave him and cut all communication.
    The scariest part was the last two months he did this to me from 7 thousand miles away !!!!!!
    I lived in fear if someone on another continent ..,.

  6. changing life says:

    Your article helped me to confirm that I was in a abusive relatiosnhip with my whole family from being belittle, undermine, hit , saying I am worth nothing but I am not afraid to stand up or say when something or someone is wrong yet I am being insulted , Hit for saying this out aloud. They say it is my mistake, I am the trouble maker I create issue when I only try to say what is wrong. This is kind of people are scary I always ended up forgiving them or saying okay they family we should stay together : no more Now!
    thanks for the article I hoep it will help other people to breaking this kind of sick relatiosnhip no matter which kind of bond it is mother, boyfriend, brother etc

  7. John says:

    Although I’ve been out of it for a while, it’s wonderful to read something that calms my mind. Even after we stopped talking she tried to hurt me and I lost friends because of her. Every day I was yelled at and degraded. I would clean her dishes by hand for hours then get yelled at. Have an opinion and get yelled at. Defending myself was guilt tripping her. Talking was yelling to her. Everything was a guilt trip, insult, rape, abuse according to her. I was always kind, always forgiving, always supportive, and always there for her. I helped her get friends when she had none. She insulted everything about me constantly yet she couldn’t even read. How is she in college still?

  8. Tina says:

    This article hits the nail on the head with my ex Brutus. It’s been four months after the final break up. I finally, after 6 years, left for good. The happiness I feel everyday that I left him is tremendous. I have my self esteem back and am able to fully enjoy my life again, the way it was before he came into it. I still regret whole heatedly it took this long for me to leave, wish I could have the last 6 years back to redo but I can’t. I can only make the best of years to come. I dedicate the song jar of hearts by Christina perri to him.

  9. Theresa Lynn says:

    I believe men and women want both respect and love. Both are needed in equal measure.

  10. Nisha says:

    I just googled how to stand up for yourself and found myself here to this article. Every word here is sounded way too familiar. As I read, it took me back to almost every single situation I have ever been with a man I revolved my world around. Thank you so much for this article I couidnt have put in my words any better. It’s like a shock to my brain to see the clear picture. It really hurts to know that my relationship was truly and emotionally abusive one. Balling out my eyes crying because it took me this long to address my problem. I tried before ofcourse I knew better, but that tiny smidge of hope I had lead me so far and deep. My life is too valuable to go through this bullshit and I’m so happy I wasn’t just me its s real problem and other people went through what I did. I have never been physically abused but the emotional one was just as worse.

  11. jia says:

    Article is very true n very familiar to me..but what if no solution mentioned can solve my problems?? What if police can’t help because the person have money,power, and biggest criminals of the country are at his disposal? Threats to family are real.should I take the risk after knowing that I can lose everything, family,life,self respect?

  12. Lilly says:

    I.can.so.relate to theese situations.i.am.still.in.abusive.marriage.as.i.am.isolated and no where to go the man i married and loved started out my night in shining armour.Then.as.soon.as.we.married.he.vhanged.started with verbal abuse and demands to get own way .also all about him all the time.and his freinds and hobbies.then.i.gave up my buisness to help him after operation.also.my.job.as.we.live.200.ks.from.normality.then.the.financial.abuse.started.he missed my payments for aps he knew about my debts before i entered into the relationship.however he failed to tell me. Reg his debts.of60 k.of.debt.the.bills i found unopened.and people door knocking for money. We had no power heat water etc for 4 months thepowe company cut us off for unpaid bills.i.said lets sell and pay all debts he refused.piint.blank.i.am.getting.out.of.here.asap.as.soon.as.i.have enough put aside i will be gone.as abuse GROWS.LIJE A CANCER.IT DOES NOT STOP.if you dont get out it will eventually kill you if not phisically.then.emotionally.an.d.mentally.untill you become soulness.and hardened to the abuse.its a cycle that does not stop.it will cosume you if you dobt free yorself .from it.hooe this helps someone.take care and be safe.

  13. Lilly says:

    Please excuse spelling mistakes as my above post its. A sunny day and i think if you stay strong and recognise whats happening you will get through it and be stronger..just wanted to add this

  14. Darcey says:

    While all of these signs are big red flags that need to be taken on board, I would stop short of anything physical as being something that just comes with the territory of relationships. Things will get heated and we’ll all have arguments: we’re only human. However, there’s no excuse for physical fights, slaps, or anything like that when it comes to a relationship. The verbal abuse and whatnot isn’t necessarily abuse until it’s unwarranted. If you’re being yelled at or put down for no reason or outside of arguments, then yeah, pack up and get going. It’s not going to work out.

  15. Riley M. says:

    I have such a great feeling in me to tell my story, for this is the exact spot where I should. Listen girls! I met a guy, who was a friend’s friend and he was throwing some kind of party and I totally went. We said hi and you get the idea how it goes from there. First date, second date, kiss and then the thing. He was truly aggressive in bed and I kind of liked it at first, but then after more than half a year later I figured out that he was indeed a brute, an animal, psycho. He came to my place all drunk and can you believe it – he HIT ME! From that moment I sought help from my family (my brother precisely). Because of this lunatic I had to move to another STATE!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *