Power and control
Abusers are very insecure and are often delusional about their partner leaving them or having an affair. There is nothing that the victim can do to assure their abuser that they have no intention of leaving the relationship or that they are not having an affair. The abuser may claim they are just concerned about the relationship, but it can quickly lead to verbal threats and stalking. A victim may be overly concerned about not showing up at a specific place or time where their abuser wants them to be.
A certain level of jealousy can occur at the beginning of an intimate relationship as the couple tries to establish trust and exclusivity. It can be flattering at first, but problems occur when one partner’s jealousy becomes prolonged and more intense. They begin to view their partner’s attention to anyone or anything else as a threat to the relationship and seek to isolate their partner from friends, family, work, or hobbies.
Isolation is the extension of jealousy. To make sure the victim is not having an affair, the abuser will isolate their partner from family, friends, and coworkers while making the excuse that they are protecting them from the bad influences. The victim will suddenly stop going to gatherings with family, friends, or coworkers.
The victim will start to dress in a way that will make them less attractive to other people. They may also wear clothing that is not appropriate for the season such as wearing long-sleeve turtleneck shirts and pants in the middle of summer. This type of clothing may also be used to hide evidence of physical abuse.
The cycle of abusive behavior
The abuser will often physically or mentally explode at their partner then be very apologetic over what they did. Things will be quiet for a period of time until the abuser explodes again. This is the cycle of abuse that leaves the victim confused and wondering what went wrong and hoping for another honeymoon period of calm and reconciliation. Victims who are in this circumstance should quietly and secretly get the help that is offered through a number of organizations who can help the victim be removed from this situation.