As you can guess, threatening words and behaviors imply or involve emotional pain, physical pain or both. If your partner threatens to leave if you do or don’t do something, that is a threat and verbal/emotional abuse. Some things you could hear are, “If you go out dressed like that I will play wing-man for my friend” or “If you don’t have dinner on the table by 6 tonight, there will be hell to pay.” Any statement that says or implies “If you…then I’ll” is a threat.
Threatening behaviors include playing with or cleaning weapons while looking at you threateningly, blocking you in a room or corner (using their hands to block you is also considered domestic violence), “puffing up” or getting in your face while in conversation. Analyze anything your abuser does that makes your heart skip a beat (not in a good way, but in a bad way). What kind of threat did you just perceive?
Describing your abuser’s action may sound like nothing when repeating it to a friend, but abusers have certain menacing looks and actions known only to their victims. Just because someone else says “That doesn’t sound so bad!” does not mean you were not threatened.
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