20 signs of an abusive man in a relationship: who he is and what to do

Types of communication

Depending on how communication occurs, on the specifics of people’s behavior, the following types :

  • Primitive . Its peculiarity is indifference to the interlocutor, reluctance to understand him, as a rule, accompanied by fast, dismissive speech.
  • Formal - or the level of masks. It is also characterized by a lack of interest in the interlocutor. Well-worn phrases, ostentatious politeness, false sympathy - this is a set of cliches under which it is easy to hide the true attitude towards another.
  • Secular - empty, meaningless, ritual behavior. Filled with dialogues accepted in appropriate situations, when their content is of no interest to either side.
  • Role-based - the basis of the attitude towards the interlocutor is not personal interest, but his social role.
  • Business communication already presupposes closer relationships. Focus on results forces you to take into account the character traits, even the mood of your interlocutor. At this level, it is necessary to maintain distance, and the businesslike style characterizes the seriousness of the relationship.
  • Interpersonal is close contact with the interlocutor, genuine interest in him.
  • Manipulative level of communication - aims to achieve personal gain. The interlocutor is seen as a means, a living instrument on the path to personal interest. The “diplomatic” style is often used to resolve everyday issues.
  • Playful or informal communication style . Friendly, light with a humorous twist, communication or flirting, a game devoid of obligations.
  • Spiritual level . The highest degree of frankness in a relationship, when a person fully opens up in communication.

The psychology of professional communication can be placed in a separate category. Communication of this kind can be very different depending on its objects.

Who is an abuser in simple words?

An abuser is a person who tries to coerce, intimidate, control, and isolate

someone with whom you are in regular and close contact (this could be a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, parent or child).

In relationships, such a person demonstrates a destructive type of caring. He can be physically violent

(attempts to hit, push, grab some part of the body or cause other harm), and
, using humiliation, denial, criticism and playing on the emotions of the victim.

Often the abuser feels that other people owe him something. This makes them feel entitled to give orders, abuse, control and get what they want.

What signs should you look for to recognize an abusive man in a relationship?

Communication functions

  • The pragmatic function of communication (or communicative) is the interaction of people at the level of interpersonal or intragroup communication. Communication is an important need for humans.
  • The function of formation and development is that communication has a certain impact on the participants in communication, contributes to their development and improvement in all respects. Through communication with other people, a person learns social norms and values ​​that have developed in society, gains knowledge and develops as a person.
  • The confirmation function allows communication participants to recognize and confirm themselves.
  • The function of uniting and separating people. Communication, on the one hand, facilitates the establishment of contacts between participants in communication, through which the necessary information is transferred. In addition, communication sets up communication participants to achieve common goals and objectives and thereby connects them into a single whole. On the other hand, communication can contribute to the isolation of the individual, as well as differentiation in the communication process.
  • The function of organizing and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Communication helps to establish and maintain contacts and relationships between participants in communication, facilitating their joint activities.
  • The intrapersonal function of communication is the communication of a person with himself. This can occur in the form of internal or external speech, which is completed as a dialogue. Such communication can be regarded as a universal way of thinking.

In accordance with the functions performed, three sides of communication :

  • communicative , which consists in the exchange of information between participants in communication;
  • the interactive side of communication lies in the interaction of people in the communication process;
  • the perceptual side of communication, which lies in the fact that in the process of communication people perceive each other in a certain way.

Psychological portrait and signs of a male abuser

© Elnur

Gets into a relationship quickly

The abuser rushes into the relationship. He may be incredibly charming in the beginning, telling you that he has never experienced anything like this and needs you.

Such a man will rush important decisions without giving you time to think about the consequences. The abuser desperately needs someone who will take his load and be an easy target. This will allow him to control you better.

Don't rush things and try to take a closer look at the person before entering into a serious relationship with him.

He doesn't respect you

Not all abusive men will show you a lack of respect from the first day they meet you. At first they will try to charm you and behave in a way that will make you like them.

Observe how a person treats other people and what he says about them. If he constantly criticizes and speaks contemptuously of those around him, be sure that after some time you will find yourself among these people.

He talks about how he had bad luck in the past.

Male abusers, as a rule, always have a story about a difficult and difficult past. He loves to talk about his hardships, as it is part of a skillful game.

If you begin to sympathize, pity and care in return, you become an ideal victim for an abuser.

He speaks poorly of his ex-partners

It was he who suffered at the hands of treacherous and cunning women, which he did not understand and did not appreciate. His ex-wives and girlfriends betrayed him, treated him poorly, took advantage of him, taking every last penny.

Most people are left with a little bitterness about a failed relationship, but if a man can't let go of these feelings, think carefully.

By communicating his frustration and anger, a man is making it clear to you what behavior he expects from you: no demands, no expectations, and total commitment to him and your relationship to heal his wounds.

He has some bad habits

An abuser typically suffers from one or more addictions. This could be alcohol abuse, smoking, inability to manage anger, a tendency to cheat, and other bad habits.

He seems broken, and now you already want to help him, believing that you can fix everything and put him on the true path.

He is bossy and self-centered

You may tell yourself that your partner is showing his masculinity, but in reality, he sets his own rules in the relationship. Moreover, they are built on the principle that he gets the lion's share of power, and you get maximum responsibility.

While you play the role of second fiddle, the man basks in attention and care, as befits the “main man”. After some time, he may inform you that you must take full care of his well-being, satisfy all his desires and keep his house clean.

He loses his temper easily

This is not about ordinary irascibility, in which a person realizes his mistakes and is ready to correct them. He easily explodes, reacts too violently or inappropriately, but at the same time he does not admit his guilt, shifting it onto you or pretending that he is apologizing.

An abusive man may often use curses and insults. He definitely doesn't react like a normal adult would when he's angry and hurt.

He is unreliable, fickle and unpredictable

Something always happens at the last minute, or he is tired, or is constantly too busy to call or text you. He does not tend to show sensitivity, he does not take into account your desires or feelings.

He doesn't allow you to have personal boundaries.

Pay attention if a man starts asking inappropriate questions too early or rushes you into a relationship. He may ask for your phone password or require you to account for every action. He gets angry when you are late or you have to ask his permission to do something.

It is important to remember that the abuser wants to establish his power in all areas of your life, be it family, friends, work or your finances.

Never admits his guilt

© Syda Productions

Nothing human is alien to us, and we all make mistakes from time to time. Most people are able to admit their mistakes at least on rare occasions.

Abusers, as a rule, skillfully play the role of the victim. If in a healthy relationship a man is able to take responsibility for his mistakes, then the abuser will always say that anyone is to blame, and he is just a victim of circumstances.

In essence, such men are big cowards who lack the courage to admit their mistakes and learn from them. Instead, they try to shift the blame onto others.

Doesn't respect people close to you

An abusive man will often try to shame you or your family. He finds some fault in your family members and can use this to embarrass others.

A man alienates you from your family and friends by telling you that they don't love you or that you are too dependent on them.

It is not in his interest for you to communicate with anyone else, so he may also try to limit your contacts with family and friends.

Is hostile towards your friends

This type of person is not happy if he sees another person happy, and tries with all his might to isolate you from those who are dear to you and whom you love.

He can undermine your friendships and spread unfounded rumors that only lead to misunderstandings and disagreements with friends.


An abusive man is often possessive and jealous, and the thought of you paying even the slightest attention to someone else can drive him to despair.

He may convince you that he constantly needs you, and you are unable to do anything without him. As soon as you disappear from his sight, he constantly calls you and torments you with suspicion.


In order to control you, the abuser uses various tricks, playing on your emotions. For example, he will tell you that if you leave him, he will not survive it or will commit suicide.

Through such manipulations, he will interfere and control every area of ​​your life that you allow. Over time, you will begin to feel more and more trapped, from which there will be no way out.

Low self-esteem

Abusers may hide behind a mask of confidence, but underneath it you can see extremely low self-esteem. Such a person only feels good when he suppresses other people.

Your intuition tells you

Perhaps from the very beginning, somewhere deep inside, your instinct told you that the man was behaving suspiciously. There is no need to ignore your intuition. She doesn't think about the past and doesn't worry about the future. Your sixth sense just kicks in at the right moment, and it's much more forward-thinking.

Pay special attention to the latest signs:

Shows cruelty to children and animals

This should alert you. Research has shown that 71-83 percent of women who have been abused say their partner abused or abused a pet.

Such a man is often insensitive to pain and suffering, and may demand the impossible from a child. He may tease him until he cries or treat him dismissively.

Forces you into intimacy

This type of man does not care much about whether you want intimacy or not and uses manipulation or anger to force you into sexual consent.

You should take derogatory sexual remarks directed at you as an indication of a serious problem.

Been violent in past relationships

If a man has previously raised his hand against his former partners, you shouldn’t even stay in a relationship with him.

No matter how he explains his behavior: alcohol or inability to control his anger, this is not a good enough reason to stay with him.

Of course, some people change, but more often than not they continue their destructive behavior.


A man is responsible for everything he does, even if he gets angry. His anger shouldn't be scary.

If he yells at you, hits the wall, throws or destroys your things to prove something, and this scares you, you are dealing with a real abuser.

The abuser intimidates the victim when she does not want to do what is asked of her, or he does not like her behavior. Don't believe false statements. You must remember that no one has the right to talk to you in this way.

Communication styles

In communication psychology, there are several styles:

  • Ritual communication is communication in which the main task is to maintain relationships with other people. In real communication, there are many so-called “rituals” - situations when a person behaves in a strictly defined way. All that is required from him is knowledge of how to behave in each specific case. For example, greeting acquaintances or strangers, talking about the weather and everyday problems - all these are elements of ritual communication.
  • Manipulative communication is communication that comes down to the fact that one of the participants in the communication manipulates the other, i.e. One of the participants is a means to achieve a certain goal. But you should not assume that such communication is only negative. Professional communication and communication for the purpose of learning are manipulative in nature. In order to successfully cope with this type of communication, it is necessary to know the goals of the interlocutor, as well as the laws and techniques of manipulative communication.
  • Humanistic communication is more of a personal communication that involves understanding and empathy. It is impossible to determine any single goal of humanistic communication. An example of such communication is a conversation between a doctor and a patient, pedagogical communication, etc.
  • Authoritarian communication implies authoritative communication by one of the participants in communication. He does not encourage the initiative of his interlocutors; he considers his point of view to be the only correct one.
  • Democratic communication - this style is characterized by encouraging the initiative of participants in the conversation, paying attention to the interests and goals of all participants in communication.
  • Liberal communication. People who adhere to this style of communication are rather uninitiative, “go with the flow”, and make concessions to other participants in communication.

You need to especially carefully select your communication style when working on the psychology of communication with a client - this can be done in our online courses.

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An abusive man in a relationship: how should you behave?

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If you are experiencing mental or physical abuse, trust yourself. You must know that this is wrong and you should not live like this.

  • Don't take responsibility for a man's behavior

    . You can try to help, but he is unlikely to change his behavior without professional help. Abusers often downplay the problem by saying they can't control themselves. This is wrong. Pay attention if a person behaves differently with other people, because he knows what the consequences will be. He may blame you, hinting that you need to change. Remember that you are not responsible for his behavior.

  • Set personal boundaries

    . Decide for yourself that you will not respond to certain manipulations and will not allow yourself to be drawn into arguments. Try to react unpredictably, for example, with humor, this will take the person by surprise. Say what you want. Most victims of abusers do the opposite: they soothe and indulge the abuser, and the unacceptable behavior continues.

  • Be adamant

    . Limit contact with the abuser whenever possible. Whenever possible, try to get out of the relationship and cut off all ties. Make it clear that it's over and don't look back.

  • Find support among loved ones and friends

    . Contact a psychologist or other specialist who can help you in this situation.

How to understand that a person likes you

Communicates with you as needed or frequently

If a relationship develops, then a person, as a rule, is looking for an opportunity to communicate. You can chat freely, share your thoughts and feelings, joke and ask each other questions.

But, if a person doesn't really like you, his answers will be very short.


He will only talk to you when necessary and will not try to maintain or continue the conversation.

During a conversation, he will often look to the side or at the phone. If you ask: “How are you?”, the person always answers “Fine” or “Good”, and in messages he immediately gets to the point and never starts with at least a friendly greeting.

Excessive friendliness

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An ill-wisher who needs something from you may, on the contrary, show a sweetly friendly disposition, always smile tensely and assent, trying to gain your trust.

It is quite difficult to immediately understand the true attitude of such a person. In this case, it is important to pay attention to other nonverbal signs and how he communicates with other people.

Physical contact

If you are on a date or just meeting a friend, pay attention to whether there is any physical contact between you.

We use touch when we are caring for someone, we want to be physically close, we feel emotionally comfortable.

When you sit next to each other or pass by, you can lightly touch each other. The person may simply place their hand on your shoulder or gently touch your arm. We don't usually do this with just anyone—mostly those we like.

If a person tries to contact you

, chances are he enjoys your company and wants to be closer to you.

Does he make plans?

You can laugh together and have a good time, but pay attention to the fact that he is always making plans


If you notice that you always text first, plan and carry on the conversation, this is not a good sign.

A person who likes you will usually try to take the initiative as well, even if it means it in different ways.

If, on the other hand, you see only a passive attitude, it means that the interlocutor is not so interested.

Is he listening to you or not?

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Your friend or well-wisher will value your thoughts and point of view and give you the opportunity to express your opinion


A person who doesn't like you or is indifferent to you probably won't care about such niceties.

If you are not listened to or given time to speak, it leads to a one-sided relationship and you are left feeling like you are not being heard.

Finds excuses

If sometimes things don't go according to plan, that's okay. But, if a person constantly cancels meetings, finds excuses why he cannot meet with you, this can be an important clue.

Of course, we are all busy, but people who like each other find time at least sometimes, and if they cancel the meeting, they try to make amends.

Awkward situations

When we are around those we truly like, everything seems easy and free.

But if your interactions often involve awkward silences or interactions seem awkward, this may be a sign that your friendship or crush isn't as strong as you think.

Sudden silence

If you observe a situation where people are actively discussing something and actively participating in the conversation, but suddenly become silent

, as soon as you enter, or try to change the topic, then this is not a very good sign.

Perhaps you are not well known yet and you are not part of a new group, or there are unflattering rumors about you and you have ill-wishers.

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