5 Warning Signs His Texts Are Abusive, According To Experts

by | Oct 25, 2022 | Relationships

When we think of abusive texts, we’re often presented with images of men sending threatening messages regarding violence or overt control. But as we’ve seen with documentaries like The Tinder Swindler and Bad Vegan, abusive texts can start sweetly enough and devolve over time into full-fledged abuse.

Your guy’s WhatsApps and texts can clue you into whether he’s controlling or abusive. Check this list to ensure you’re not dating a dude who could become dangerous.

Abusive Texting: He’s just ‘too’ into you…

Too-regular text messages can actually be a sign of a controlling partner or abusive relationship. Obviously, messages to check in, confirm dates or show affection are great, but when do they cross the line? According to the experts, if your partner feels entitled to constant intel about where you are, who you’re with and what you’re doing – alarm bells should ring because they are “checking up” on you, not just “checking in”.

“Checking up is driven by insecurity or jealousy, and it’s a warning sign of a desire to control and isolate you,” says Tatum Smith, a psychological counsellor at the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children. Take note: These behaviours can mark the early stages of the isolation, dependence and harassment that characterise an abusive relationship.

Read More: Finally, Contraception Delivery Services Are In South Africa

What counts as “checking up”?

1. Multiple messages in a short space of time asking where you are and who you’re with.
2. Heated, angry reactions when you don’t respond immediately to messages – this can be in person, in texts/Whatsapps or over voicemail.
3. Demanding access to personal accounts, messages and emails – or accessing them without your permission.
4. Violating emotional, physical or digital boundaries that you’ve set in place. For example, violating a request for time out, alone time or time with friends.
5. Restricting who you can spend time with or talk to – be it friends (of either gender), family or colleagues.

The scary part: “Being constantly plugged in to social media, messaging apps and location trackers means that identifying and escaping snooping, controlling or abusive behaviour is more difficult,” warns Smith, who runs support groups and workshops with women who’ve experienced abuse and violence.

Read More: 13 Signs You’re In A Toxic Relationship Or Friendship — And How To GTFO

What to do if you’re worried

1. Pay attention to your feelings, especially if you find yourself lying to avoid negative reactions from your partner.
2. Agree on boundaries for communication and check-ins together with your partner. Alarm bells should ring if they violate them.
4. Save aggressive or threatening messages. These may be used as evidence if their desire to control you escalates and becomes abusive.
5. Seek assistance if you are or start to feel threatened.

The bottom line? “If there is a serious lack of trust – for whatever reason – it’s worthwhile considering ending the relationship rather than allowing repeated violations of privacy and personal boundaries,” says Smith.

Keep falling for bad apples? Here’s why you’re always attracted to the same “type”. Plus: What it means about your relationship if you sext him often!

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