Dr. Jim explains how to spot early signs of a violent partner and how to guard yourself from falling into the trap of having a violent spouse and a broken marriage later on.
Domestic violence – What early signs should I look for to tell if a man might have the tendency to abuse women?
This is a great question and one that many women should be asking. I am not a trained counsellor and not able to provide the ‘clinical’ answer. However, I do have experience and insights as a Pastor relating to many single adults.
The first few months of any relationship are mostly an act. Yes, I realize that is a strong statement and I am not suggesting that everyone is malicious or hiding anything in the ‘act.’ During this period each person is very excited and naturally wants to put their best effort toward the potential of the relationship. I suggest that it takes many months before the rhythm of the relationship settles into behavior that is more accurate and reflects the true inner self.
This fact is the significant reason to cause me to advise single adults to give plenty of time for a relationship to mature so that behavioral and temperamental styles can surface. I really do not believe that it is possible to know all needs to know about another in the first six months and often for up to one year (read more on Commitment. This additional time will allow opportunity to see each other’s behavior and attitudes in a number of family and personal situations.
“Involve God in every step”
I would be alarmed if a man makes strong statements about his need to be the sole leader in the home. The Bible does teach that the man has the responsibility to take the initiative for spiritual and caring aspects of the relationship. It does not teach that man is the ‘ruler’ of the relationship. If a man makes a statement in this area that you ‘feel’ uncomfortable about, I would view this as a big caution (future domestic violence) and investigate it further.
Another blog post talks about: How To End A Relationship
What Past Relationships Can Tell You
Another condition that would cause concern is if there is no evidence of healthy relationships with women in this man’s life. Why? It would serve you well to learn why.
“Give Plenty Of Time For A Relationship To Mature”
Everyone should have a Christian buddy of their own gender with whom they can share details about a developing relationship. This buddy can often sense something is not right before you will. Seek their counsel and listen to their input to see if there is any value in it.
Finally, before you move into consideration of a marriage, find a counsellor that is experienced in premarital counselling. Spend at least 5 or more sessions with them asking them to help each of you ensure that you have a healthy and complete picture of each other. This can be extremely valuable time to help with many issues including awareness about possible domestic violence.
Involving God In Every Step
There are many wonderful Christian men who are using the Internet for potential dates. Involve God in every step of your dating activities and ask His Spirit to guide you and give you wisdom and discernment. He wants you to enjoy days of fulfillment and joy.
Author of “Guide to Successful Online Christian Dating”