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Stand Up Against Abuse: List of Warning Signs

Back in May when I started planning the"Stand Up Against Abuse" feature, I talked often with Deb Caletti. She is so fantastic in so many ways but it really amazed me how honest and open she is about her own personal struggles with an abusive relationship. While reading her story, and seeing the list of"warning signs" she had posted, I was brought to tears several times. This was a list formed for the book The Secret Life of Prince Charming and Deb was kind enough to let me post this list here.
This list is so helpful! If you think your partner may be abusive, or if you know a friend who you suspect may be going through abuse, please take time to read this list. I've had a few instances of relationship abuse, one personal, and one through watching a friend go through it. I've seen how it can tear a person down. I've seen how it can turn from loving to obsessive and how that obsession can turn into a deadly situation.
I hope that the interviews from this week, and this list, will help the readers see how abuse can take over and truly destroy so many lives.

Watch Out!: Mom’s “refrigerator list” from The Secret Life of Prince Charming, by Deb Caletti

He has a victim attitude
The rules apply to everyone else, not him
He wants to get involved too fast.
He belittles you or your accomplishments.
He has big dreams but no real plans to back them up.
You have a sense that something’s wrong, but can’t quite figure out what it is.
He criticizes what you wear.
He uses phrases like, ‘Women are always… ’ ‘Women never… ’
He’s a thrill-seeker.
He’s a perfectionist, tells you how things should be done.
He’s moody or intense.
He tells you about his terrible childhood, or you feel sorry for him.
He’s a dirty, rotten liar.
He tells you you’re lucky to have him.
He says you’re too sensitive.
You feel you need to pay a private detective to get the truth about him.
He blames others for his actions.
He competes with you.
He tells you you’re perceiving a situation wrong – negates instead of validates what you
He’s explosive.
He nitpicks.
You feel he’s never experienced real love and so you want to save him with yours.
He often feels rejected by you.
He’s jealous or watchful — you feel suffocated.
He is mistreated or misunderstood.
He has either a very low opinion of himself, or a very high one.
He has strong black and white thinking about morals, religion, sex, you, and feels morally
superior to you and others.
He calls you names.
You get the feeling that you’re only getting part of the story.
You begin to think your feelings are wrong, you’re not seeing clearly, or you begin to
make excuses for him.
He thinks there is a right way to do everything. He denies being controlling – he states
he is only helping you do things “better.”
He says something didn’t happen that did happen (“gaslighting”).
He criticizes your friends or family and tries to isolate you or dominate your time.
He controls how the relationship goes – where you go out, what you eat, when you are
done talking.
He believes or acts as if he is more special than other people.
His words twist and turn in an argument or otherwise – he’s manipulative.
You hear him lie to other people or excessively exaggerate.
He treats you like you’re stupid or crazy, or tells you so.
He drops names or his accomplishments or things meant to impress into conversations
whenever he can.
He has ardent, narrow and very traditional views of men’s and women’s roles.
He’s overly sensitive, and reads things in to what you say. He’s always getting his
feelings hurt.
He extremely interested in his appearance or his body.
He still throws tantrums.
He has a family background that involves alcoholism, violence or mental illness.
He is distant and cold one minute and then warm and loving the next.
He withholds his love and affection when he’s angry, instead of talking with you about
what’s on his mind.
He thinks the rules don’t apply to him.
He thinks he deserves only the best, and doesn’t like to settle for less.
He does not admit to or recognize mistakes, or his part of a problem.
He ignores you often or is often distant.
He does poorly at school or work; he has trouble getting along with those in authority; he
quits jobs often or spontaneously.
He uses drugs or has had numerous sexual partners or has legal or financial problems.
He is an outrageous flirt.
At the start of your relationship, he uses excessive flattery and tells you just what you
want to hear.
He doesn’t admit to being angry, even when he’s yelling.
He needs excessive approval.
He’d dependent on you.
He’s a loner.
He thinks rules were made to be broken.
He’s aggressive, or a bully.
He is in any way too forceful or does not respect your boundaries.
He’s always in the spotlight.
You’ve given up telling him how you really feel – there’s no use.
No one but you sees his bad side.
Everyone but you sees his bad side.

Remember to check out THIS PAGE to sign up to win a copy of the books featured during"Stand Up Against Abuse" week. Help spread the word about the links and phone numbers listed on that page.

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Stand Up Against Abuse: List of Warning Signs + TIME