Abusive relationships quiz

Help for Abusive Behaviors | The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Everyone has the capacity to change, but doing so requires meaningful commitment to all aspects of change. Unfortunately, most people with abusive behaviors are unwilling to. Many of the factors behind abusive behaviors are learned attitudes and feelings of entitlement, which can be difficult to unlearn. Everyone deserves a healthy relationship free from abuse, including someone that may have abusive behaviors.

Reaching out for help is a great first step but ultimately it’s just that: a first step.

Actually changing your abusive behavior is what’s important.

Learn more about opportunities for people with abusive behaviors to get help changing their behaviors. Our advocates are available 24/7 to discuss your situation, answer any questions, and help you identify intervention programs near you.

Identifying your own abusive behavior

Abusive behaviors can be difficult to recognize if you’re the one doing them.

Most people don’t like to acknowledge that they’re harming others, but admitting that you may be hurting your partner is a prerequisite to changing your ways.

Ask yourself if you:

  • Get angry, insecure, or possessive about your partner’s relationships with others, including friends, family, or coworkers.
  • Frequently call or text your partner to check up on them (or make them or expect them to check in with you), or monitor their movements or behaviors.
  • Feel like your partner needs your permission to go out, get a job, go to school, or spend time with others.
  • Get upset when your partner won’t act the way you want them to or do the things you want.
  • Blame your anger or actions on drugs, alcohol, or your partner’s own actions.
  • Express your anger by threatening to harm (or actually harming) your partner.
  • Express your anger by raising your voice, name calling, or insults.
  • Prevent your partner from spending money, control your partner’s spending, require that they have an allowance and/or monitor their spending.
  • Force (or try to force) your partner to be intimate with you, or get angry or upset if they do not want to.
  • Get angry over small incidents or “mistakes” you blame your partner for.


Other signs that your behavior is abusive may be observed in your partner’s reactions to you.

Ask yourself if they:

  • Seem nervous around you.
  • Seem afraid of you.
  • Flinch, cringe, or retreat when you’re emotional.
  • Cry because of something you prevented them from doing, or from something you made them do.
  • Seem scared, or unable to contradict you or speak up around you.
  • Restrict their own interactions with friends, family, coworkers, or others in order to avoid upsetting you.

If you recognize these behaviors in yourself or how your partner reacts, it could be a sign that you’re hurting them. This can be a difficult realization to come to but it’s vital that you do so if you want to change and stop harming your partner. By acknowledging that your actions are harmful and taking responsibility for them, you can continue to progress on the path toward correcting them.

Signs of progress

Ultimately, the decision as to whether your actions are harmful to others isn’t yours to make, and you can’t meaningfully change while harboring expectations of forgiveness.

Progress in changing abusive behavior requires an ongoing commitment to sustained change and a willingness to accept responsibility for your actions.

These signs could indicate progress in your recovery:

  • Listening to the issues and concerns your partner has without becoming defensive or minimizing/denying their concerns or shifting the blame to them
  • Admitting fully to what you’ve done
  • Stopping excuses and blaming
  • Making amends with those you’ve harmed
  • Recognizing that abuse is a choice and accepting responsibility for that choice
  • Identifying patterns of your own controlling behavior
  • Identifying the attitudes or trauma driving your behavior (work to address those areas)
  • Accepting that change is a life-long commitment process and not declaring yourself “cured”
  • Not expecting or demanding credit for progress in your behavior (not keeping a tally)
  • Not treating improvements to your overall behavior as an excuse for occasional acts of abuse
  • Developing respectful, kind, supportive behaviors
  • Carrying your share of responsibility and sharing power
  • Changing how you respond to a partner’s anger or grievances
  • Changing your responses in heated conflicts
  • Accepting the consequences of your actions, including not feeling sorry for yourself about those consequences or blaming others for them
  • Accepting if your partner chooses to discontinue the relationship or is needing space from the relationship

Remember: change is possible but it won’t come easily. Acknowledging that your behaviors are unhealthy or abusive is a great first step. It’s never too late to seek help.

Getting help to change your behavior

Some people who contact us identify as having abusive behaviors or are concerned about behaviors that might be unhealthy.

At The Hotline, we treat all contacts with dignity and respect, and are committed to supporting anyone who wants to take responsibility for their actions.

Every call from someone who’s becoming more aware of their unhealthy behavior is an opportunity to work toward their change, for their sake and the sake of the people they harm.

Here’s what to expect when contacting The Hotline for help changing your abusive behavior:

  • No matter the situation, our advocates will remain empathetic and supportive of your desire to change.
  • Depending on your circumstances, our advocates will discuss different courses of action. If you begin to identify unhealthy behaviors in your relationship, they’ll discuss these warning signs and brainstorm healthy alternatives for the behavior. While you can’t always change the way you feel, you can always change how you express those feelings to your partner.
  • Advocates will guide you through strategies for calming down and de-escalating situations, emphasizing the ways in which your actions affect yourself and those around you.
  • We may be able to help you identify Battering Intervention and Prevention Programs (BIPP). We receive many contacts to The Hotline about BIPPs, but not all contacts are the same: some are looking for a referral because of a court order while others seek out the information on their own accord. Our advocates are available to discuss your situation in either case.

All contacts made to The Hotline are always free, confidential, and free of judgement. If you’re looking for someone to talk to about your situation, our advocates can help you begin to address what’s going on in your relationship.

To learn more:

Emotional Abuse Test: Am I In an Abusive Relationship?

Relationship abuse isn’t always easy to spot — even if you’re in the relationship.

While physical violence is the first thing to come to many people’s minds, abuse often involves other types of maltreatment. Sometimes it’s subtle manipulation, cruel words, giving the “silent treatment,” or taking extreme control of the finances.

Recognizing abuse when you see it is the first step toward helping yourself or someone you love stay safe.

Relationship abuse, or intimate partner violence (IPV), is quite common, affecting more than 10 million people per year in the United States.

In many cases, IPV falls under the umbrella of domestic violence, which is any violence within a family unit. However, IPV can also happen among couples who are not living together.

IPV may involve emotional or psychological aggression, physical or sexual violence, financial abuse, or stalking behaviors.

The frequency and severity of abuse in relationships can vary widely from occasional instances to daily maltreatment. A common thread among all cases is the abusive person’s attempts to control their partner.

There are several types of abuse:

  • Physical abuse. Physical abuse involves intentional bodily harm. This could include slapping, punching, choking, kicking, pinching, shoving, forcing drugs, or physically restraining a partner against their will.
  • Emotional abuse. Emotional or verbal abuse involves cruel words or attitudes meant to control, demean, or punish in some way. (eg. calling a partner worthless or stupid, or giving the “silent treatment”) Research shows that emotional abuse may be a contributing factor to the development or severity of illnesses, such as chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Psychological abuse. Psychological or mental abuse involves the slow wearing down of a person’s sense of self over time, and may even make them doubt their sanity. Gaslighting falls under this type of abuse.
  • Sexual abuse. This involves any type of sexual assault, rape, or the weaponizing of sex.
  • Financial abuse. This involves the controlling of money so the partner is unable to have or spend money without the other’s permission.

What motivates abusers to control?

Research suggests there are several reasons why abusers attempt to control their partners:

  • jealousy
  • anger problems
  • feeling inferior
  • poor self-esteem
  • cultural beliefs they have the right to control their partner
  • personality or mental health disorder
  • learned behavior from growing up in an environment where IPV was accepted
  • alcohol and drug use

In general, abusive behaviors are those that intend to:

  • harm
  • control
  • intimidate
  • threaten
  • humiliate
  • manipulate
  • degrade
  • blame
  • harass
  • isolate partner from others

Signs of relationship abuse

IPV can be difficult to identify. There are many things a partner can do to act in an abusive manner. These are some of the more common ones.

Does your partner…

  • blame you for how they act or feel?
  • say that you’d be nothing without them?
  • make you feel like there’s no way out of the relationship?
  • blame alcohol or drugs for their behavior?
  • act extremely jealous or possessive?
  • call you numerous times to make sure you’re where you said you’d be?
  • say cruel things to you or call you names?
  • intimidate or threaten you to get what they want?
  • embarrass you in front of your friends and family?
  • make you feel like you can’t take care of yourself or make decisions?
  • pressure you into sex?
  • minimize or make fun of your accomplishments?
  • prevent you from doing what you want?
  • keep you separated from your family and friends?
  • control all the money?
  • interrogate you about where you’ve been?
  • threaten you with violence?
  • treat you in a rough way: push, grab, shove, or hit you?

This brief, time-saving questionnaire is designed for anyone looking to find out whether they may be in an abusive relationship.

If you’re in a domestic violence situation, knowing the signs can help you navigate the situation.

Even if it’s not a domestic violence situation, a mental health professional can help if you’re having trouble with conflict resolution and establishing healthy relationship boundaries.

This online screening is not an official evaluation of your relationship or your partner’s behavior.

It’s a tool to help you better understand whether you may be involved in a relationship that could be considered abusive — emotionally, physically, or both.

If you’re in a domestic violence situation, knowing how to navigate the situation safely is crucial.

When you’re ready, consider reaching out to a mental health professional or social services about next steps. You’re not alone, and help is available.

If you feel you’re in danger and need help immediately, call 911. You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 (SAFE) or text “Start” to 88788 for help.

There are numerous resources available to you if you’re experiencing IPV. Here are a few:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline. Free, confidential hotline to get non-judgmental support for both survivors and perpetrators.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Preventing stalking. Fast facts on how to prevent stalking.
  • The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). Personalized safety plan.
  • Stalking Prevention, Awareness, & Resource Center (SPARC). Information for targets of stalking.
  • HelpGuide.org. Help for male victims of domestic violence.

Abuser Test - Poster Daily

We have prepared a test with typical life situations that can serve as markers of abusive behavior in a relationship. Go through it and find out if you are doing everything right.

If your partner changes passwords on all social networks, how would you react?

I don't even know about it, I never follow such things

I’ll ask why it was needed, but it’s unlikely that he/she is hiding something from me

I will ask you to give me new passwords - I feel calmer when I know with whom I communicate and what my partner (s) is doing


You are about to introduce your partner to your parents. But her / his clothes for the meeting seem unsuitable to you. You:

I'll make you change clothes. I know better how to make a good impression on my parents

I will reasonably ask you to change clothes. If I receive a refusal, of course, I will not be happy, but I will not mind

I don't think appearance will play any role. The main thing is that she/he should be comfortable


Your partner wants to discuss relationship problems. How would you react to this conversation?

nine0002 I don't mind. If something does not suit her / him, let her speak out

I don't like these showdowns, they always turn into brainwashing

I think we have some work to do. It's good that we came to this conversation


You are discussing how you will spend the upcoming weekend, and your partner(s) desires do not match yours. Who will have the last word? nine0003

We will find a compromise, and if not, it is not necessary to spend the weekend together. Let's go where we want, separately

Usually I always take matters into my own hands and decide what we will do. And the partner (s) agrees with me

We will argue, give arguments and choose one thing

Next! nine0003

When can you raise your voice to your partner(s)?

I find this unacceptable. And if sometimes I break down, then I immediately apologize

I can only raise my voice if my partner provokes a quarrel with his behavior or words

It happens that I scream during quarrels, because otherwise I can’t get through to her / him


Beloved does not answer calls and messages for a long time, but you know that she/he has important things to do. Sound the alarm?

No, he/she warned me that he/she might be late. I'll calmly go about my business

I'll wait some more time and start to worry, you never know what happened

nine0002 Yes. And, actually, writing a short message that everything is fine with her / him does not take much time!


Do you ever say, "If you don't [do something necessary], then you don't love me"?

No, I think that these are manipulations that do not lead to anything good

Maybe sometimes and rather as a joke

nine0002 Yes, and I don't think it's manipulation. Doing everything for a loved one is normal


Have you ever shared with someone a small and, in your opinion, not very important secret of a partner (s)?

No. All secrets will forever remain with me

He used to tell (s) to both friends close to us with a partner (s), and we all laughed together. Nothing criminal

Yes, I told a close friend of mine. But I know for sure that he won't tell anyone, you don't have to worry


Your partner is doing something that you think is hurting him (poor diet, bad habits, spending too much time on the computer, etc.). What will you do?

I will save her / him - who, if not a loved one, can help

Talk to her/him and share my concern for her/his well-being

There is nothing to discuss here. If our relationship is important to a person, he will change for me


Do you say to your partner such affectionate and joking words as "my favorite silly", "my fool", "who is this chubby piglet?" etc.

nine0002 No, I don't remember such a thing

Yes, it happens, I speak from the heart and not from evil

I almost always say this and I don’t consider it something bad - such an address, on the contrary, shows my love


Repeat the test

Abusive relationships, online abuser test

Many have heard about abusive relationships in the family, but many want to understand who an abuser is in simple terms. nine0003

In simple words, abusive relationships are derogatory, insulting, mocking and humiliating relationships of a violent nature (physical, psychological, economic, sexual abuse) by one partner of another.

The most common abuser is a man, but women are not uncommon. The only difference is that women are more likely to use various manipulations, rather than violence, like men.

In order to clearly understand whether you have an abusive relationship in your family - with your husband or wife, you are invited to take an abuser test online and free of charge. nine0003

This test for abusive relationships will reliably show you in the results whether your husband, boyfriend, and sometimes your wife and girlfriend are an abuser, or you (yourself)

Signs of abusive relationships

Abusive relationships do not quite fit the psychological games of the Karpman Drama Triangle (at first), because. there is no switching for three roles (Savior, Persecutor and Victim). Here, the abuser is always the persecutor, and the second partner is the victim.

But there may come a moment when the abuser's victim will automatically, often unconsciously, switch to the "Pursuer", and the tyrant himself will become the Victim.

Symptoms and signs of abusive relationships in family and marriage

  • Constant jealousy and suspicions of adultery on the part of the abuser
  • Frequent accusations of the victim (the victim is constantly guilty without guilt)
  • Complete and constant control over every step
  • Often due to trivia abuser becomes cruel tyrant and despot
  • Constant unfounded criticism (more precisely, criticism)
  • Insults, negative labeling, moral humiliation
  • Abuser restricts communication of his victim with other people for submission)
  • Use of psychological, emotional and moral pressure (blackmail, threats, manipulation)
  • Financial restrictions and control to create dependence
  • Sexual coercion for the selfish satisfaction of the abuser, regardless of the wishes of the victim

Take the online abuser test

You can take the online abuser test for free right now and find out if your family relationship is abusive.

How to get out of an abusive relationship, you will find out in the results of the abuser test ... after passing it

So, are you ready to take the online abuser test for yourself or for your partner? Then let's go! nine0182

1. Do you (your partner) have or have you had any mental disorders?


Don't know


2. Was one of your parents (or partner) abusers?


Don't know


3. Do you (or your partner) have many complexes and/or low self-esteem?


I don't know


4. Do you (your partner) have a strong aggressiveness? Aggressiveness test


Not very

Almost none

5. Do you (your partner) have a thirst for power?


Don't know


6. How distrustful are you (or your partner)?



Almost none

7. Are you (partner) prone to frequent lies, deceit, understatement, secrecy?


Not very

Practically no

8. How mentally stable are you (your partner)? nine0003

Almost completely stable


Very unstable

9. Do you think you (your partner) has a dark core of personality (dark triad: Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy)? Dark triad test


Not very


10. Are you (your partner) very jealous? Jealousy test

Very strong



11. Do you often blame your partner (or he or she) for any trifles? nine0003



Almost never

12. Do you have too much control over all the steps of your partner (or he you)?



Practically no control

13. Does your (or your partner's) mood often fluctuate?



Extremely rare

14. Do you often criticize your partner (or he or you) on business and more often without work?



Extremely rare


Learn more