In order to increase their partner’s dependence, an abuser will often cut them off from the outside world. Isolation can be tough to spot because it starts slowly, building over time, and the excuses for isolation are disguised as efforts to help.
In many cases, someone may not realize that their partner is isolating them until severe damage to social support networks has occurred. However, it is never too late to reestablish your connection to the world.
Below are a few red flags for isolating behavior.
Does your partner:
- Speak negatively about your friends or family. They are all liars or don’t really care about you, etc
- State that you do not need your friends or family and that they are just dragging you down.
- Makes us against them type statements, like “they’re jealous of how strong our relationship is” or “they just want to see us fail”
- Accuse you of cheating with friends or coworkers
- Always need to know who you are with and what you are doing
- Discourage you from working or going to school, or makes you stop altogether
- Make you “check in” via text or calls wherever you go
- Check your car mileage, grocery receipts, browser history, or text messages
- Control your access to the car, internet, or phone
- Make you ask permission to go places or see people without them
If you notice any of these signs in your relationship, consider seeking help by talking to a trusted friend or a Peace at Home advocate.
Everyone deserves healthy relationships built on mutual trust, respect, and understanding.