Spouses or partners who wind up in an abusive relationship may wonder if signs existed to alert them of the likelihood of domestic violence. Could they avoid a relationship with a partner that strikes them or that engages in verbal abuse?

Every relationship has its own dynamics and complexities, but certain actions and words could be indicators of future domestic violence.

The first signs of trouble

According to helpguide.org, a guide to mental health and wellness, one early warning sign to domestic violence is fear.  If a person is afraid of his or her partner this suggests an unhealthy relationship. This dynamic can take the form of a husband or wife avoiding certain subjects, or of talking altogether, out of fear that the spouse will object to the statements or even begin to cause a scene. Unhealthy thoughts are often an indication of problems, too. A person who feels they are always wrong or can never do anything right for their spouse should closely examine their relationship. The words and actions of the potentially abusive spouse can also be a sign of trouble. For example, if a spouse tries to humiliate a partner, this could serve as a precursor to increasing forms of abuse.

Additional markers

According to a section of Webmd, the initial signs of abuse can leave a person feeling scared and confused. The article states that physical abuse is not usually what comes first. Many of the early signs include varieties of bullying, such as accusations and criticisms. The first forms of physical violence might involve a punching of a wall or throwing items. Other forms of early abuse include sexual control and financial control.