Warning Signs – Isolation

DASH’s early warning signs are meant to guide you in determining whether your relationship is healthy. In this series of articles, we will explore each warning sign in more depth so that you will have a better idea about what each sign means and if you need to address a problem in your relationship.

Our third early warning sign of abuse is:

Isolation – Keeps you from spending quality time with friends and family

Sure, it’s romantic and fun to spend lots of time together. You just want to be with each other and wrap yourselves up in each other. You don’t want to pay attention to anything or anyone else. It feels nice to have someone pay attention to you exclusively. This behavior can become abusive when one partner won’t let the other partner do anything with anyone else. If you want to hang out with your friends at the mall, or go on vacation with your parents, the abusive partner becomes jealous. He/she may complain that you aren’t spending enough time together even if you think you are. The abuser may convince you to quit your job, favorite activities or hobbies so you can spend more time together. After all isn’t that what being in love is all about?

Isolation from friends and family is a key controlling behavior. If you are with your partner constantly (or you are in constant contact with your partner) he/she can keep tabs on you. The abusive partner can control where you go, who you see and what you do. You may feel that it’s easier to give up spending time with others in order to keep your partner happy. But you deserve to be happy, too! Spending too much time together can stifle your individuality making you live a life your partner determines. Our relationships with friends and family help keep us grounded in what really matters in life. The hobbies and activities we enjoy give us a sense of purpose that is integral to our well being. An abuser just wants to keep you under control.

Your partner may be isolating you from people who realize that your relationship is abusive. He/she doesn’t want you to be influenced by others. Your friends may have already voiced their concerns about your relationship. Your family will notice the changes in your behavior as you make excuses for missing events and giving up favorite activities. Your partner may allow you to spend some time with others, but it will be limited by what he/she wants. He/she will keep checking up on you via text or phone calls. He/she never trusts you enough to let you do anything without his/her being there.

Ask yourself if the time you are spending together is quality time. Are you actually doing things you enjoy or just sitting around all the time, never leaving the house? Do you only socializing with your partner’s friends? Has he/she decided that you don’t need that job or that friend? Has he/she convinced you that none of your family or friends cares about you, that he/she is the only one who loves you? How does he/she react when you are with other people or when you pay attention to others? If you are not “allowed” by your partner to do the things you like or see the people you love, it is a red flag of abusive behavior.The best advice in this situation is to listen to what your friends and family are telling you. You may not agree, but they only have your best interests and safety at heart. You may not be ready to leave the relationship or you may be too afraid to attempt it because of your partner’s threats. Don’t dismiss the jealousy, isolation and control as something that will get better if you just spend more time together. Abuse escalates. An abuser wants to have complete control of you.

11 thoughts on “Warning Signs – Isolation”

  1. I was pretty pleased to discover this great site.
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  2. I have been in bad relationships like these but I left for a better future because I knew I deserved better.it’s never too late to reconsider that too.you deserve better and some respect too.

  3. I sincerly thank you for this website. This issue describes my situation exactly. When I want to go anywhere or spend time with family and friends its always an issue that can sometimes lead to an argument. Doing so is never a happy occasion. I am exposed to sarcasm and meanness
    If possible he would isolate me from he world and be around him and only him 24/7. My phone goes off with texts if im out without him and calls to my cell. Thank you I am sure many need your website for answers. I will print out this read and continue to read your site. Thank you.

  4. My ex is with a woman who makes it difficult to see his children. She is jealous of his eldest daughter. Since he has been with her he hardly speaks to his family or children and when he dose they fight. I don’t understand why he stays. This is a toxic relationship. He has lost 3 jobs in 15mths and they only spend time with her friends and family. He says it’s just because she loves him so much more than she has lived anyone and she is just passionate. I just see this as abuse

  5. This is my life now. At first I thought it was just his love for me. Then I thought well it’s his insecurities because he has abandonment issues from childhood problems. But honestly now I think he just wants me to live for him and only him. I am miserable now and missing precious moments with my family and dying mother. I want to be with him but I also want to live doing the things I love without an argument Everytime I do something I love or visit my family. I don’t even have any friends anymore he has pushed all of them out of my life.

  6. Most of them are narcissists. It took me 4 years to figure it out, most are wonderful at the start. It breaks down slowly without realizing what they are doing. Manipulative and controlling. My ex even suggested I get a job at her place of work, ugg only to keep a hold on me. She always would ask me what women I spoke to at work today. Funny thing is she was a beautiful woman but was tortured and deep down didn’t like herself.

  7. I’ve cheated In the past and I understand why he’s this way but I told him the truth because I I feel horrible about the destruction I caused. He was more willing to let me go places but now. Even to my mom’s house is a problem. Even when he can come as well.

  8. i totally agree with this, I’m currently in a 2 year hellhole love life. my partner is always making sure “I’m not with someone else.” or “Talking to someone else,” he gave him everything for me so i can give up everything for him.. i had over four losses in my family in a span of a year. i feel like i’m giving up everything for him. i deleted my own family members and friends on Facebook for him. i deleted every video game on my PlayStation four. the reason i play games is to get over my grief of losing my four family members (Grandma,Two Uncles and A Brother who i was close with.) he’s always asking where i am and where i’m going what i’m doing and etc. my grief is coming back beside of this whole thing. i feel lost in my life.. he’s always making quilt trips whenever i’m not texting him, hi friends blamed me for all of this even tho i’ll never hurt a fly (big hitchcock fan. // Back to my point.) my cheating ex made me quit school just to give him attention. if i didn’t he would talk to other women. i made a new friend last year. my current boyfriend made me lose contact with her, he claimed that she was fake which she wasn’t. i rarely had friends in school i was bullied a lot on how i dressed. all those feelings i had back in Jr high/High School are coming back but worse. i don’t know what to do anymore. he said if i leave him he would die (knowing that he has a side chick.) whenever i question him, he quickly changes the story and makes it about me. he blames me for spending my own money rather then saving for me to go see (I live in canada btw.) he tells me i’m wasting money on video games and paying my rent/bills. i can’t talk to my own family without telling him there’s some family members i haven’t seen since i was a kid, i feel so confused. also he can look for work but i can’t because he thinks he’s gonna lose me to that job or hobby. what should i do? i just need some thoughtful words to make me feel happy.

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