Many people believe that domestic violence is easy to identify. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many violent relationships begin with normal, loving behavior, only to turn sinister as the relationship develops. Understanding the earliest signs of domestic violence is crucial in this case, as explained by WebMD.

Abuse often has a financial component, which is chiefly about control. An abusive partner may put you on an allowance or require you to ask for approval for any purchases you make. He or she may also discourage or otherwise prevent you from being gainfully employed. Even if you’re free to spend money on purchases, you might be constantly questioned about the rationale behind your buying behavior.

Bullying and threatening behavior is another component. Romantic relationships should entail love and support on both sides. A partner who belittles you, offers harsh criticism, or otherwise insults you obviously has little concern for your well-being. Even without a component of physical violence, an abusive partner might make threats of violence to prevent you from leaving. Threats may also be directed to those who are close to you. This points to another component of abusive relationships, which are attempts to isolate a person from friends and family.

Perhaps you’ve been forbidden from seeing others without your spouse’s express permission. Your partner may also make visits with others uncomfortable by acting out or embarrassing you. The goal is to diminish your social network so that you don’t have the necessary support from others to make your own decisions. If you notice these issues in your relationship, now is the time to consider your options. An attorney can help you decide if divorce is right for you, as well as help you with orders of protection for you and your children.