I have been asked, more times than I can count, "How can you tell if someone is in an abusive relationship?"
Please do not take that I am an expert, but here are 10 signs to look for and if you or someone you know can say yes to 7 of these, you might want to take a good look at the relationship.
How to know if you are in an abusive relationship:
1: You are making excuses for your partner. Behaviors that are unacceptable (such as lying, cheating, stealing, or hitting) become defendable in your eyes.
2: You slowly lose touch with your family and friends.
3: Your partner is your only means of social interaction.
4: Your partner is extremely jealous of any conversation you have with the opposite sex; might even grill you after you get home from work.
5: If you have children, you will be berated for not being good enough to be their parent.
6: Confidence you once had in yourself will be gone.
7: You will no longer be looking others in the eye when talking to them.
8: Your partner will have you convinced that no one else will want you and that you will never make it without him/her.
9: You no longer take pride in your outward appearance.
10: Home becomes more of a prison than a sanctuary.
This breaking down of a human being takes a period of time, it does not happen overnight. Even the most experienced abuser needs time. If a controlling person can persuade someone into their lair, the victim never sees it coming, and is not aware that their own persona is gone.