“My boyfriend is jealous. He gets furious when I won’t dump my friends and spend all of my free time with him,” the weeping woman shared with me. “I was so thrilled to have a devoted boyfriend that I ignored the warning signs of abuse. I convinced myself that he loved me, and that things would get better with time. I was wrong—completely wrong.”
After 25 years of ministry, I frequently hear this cry from men and women who are in bad relationships. Christians often believe that domestic violence, abuse, and manipulation don’t occur within the church, but nothing could be further from the truth.
I’m using the female perspective for easy readability, and also because I’m typically working with women in my life coaching and ministry; however, it’s essential to note that both male and female abusers may exhibit these patterns. Sometimes men are portrayed as the sadistic ones, but women can be equally dangerous. To be clear, I fully understand—and agree—that a female can be just as abusive as a male.
Here are 12 traits abusers commonly exhibit.
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