Red Flags in Adult Relationships: Understanding Relationship Violence, Part 1

Bill and Megan explore the complex issue of relationship violence, focusing on factors that may predict aggressive behaviors and how to identify potentially abusive relationships. In this first part of a two-part discussion, they examine relationship violence through the lens of adult intimate partner relationships. The second part will focus specifically on teen dating violence. Bill and Megan provide research-informed insights to help us understand the roots of relationship violence and identify unhealthy patterns early on.

Questions we answer in this episode:

  • What personality disorders or traits are associated with an increased risk for domestic violence?
  • How can you spot early warning signs of a potentially abusive partner?
  • What is coercive control and how does it relate to domestic violence?
  • What happens in the brain when someone lacks impulse control?
  • How can we avoid “jamming our own radar” in relationships?

Key Takeaways:

  • Not everyone with a personality disorder will become abusive, but certain disorders like antisocial and borderline PD are risk factors.
  • Pay attention to charm, immediate strong attachment, and “love bombing” as possible red flags when dating.
  • Coercive control refers to non-physical ways an abuser maintains power, like isolation, verbal threats, financial control.
  • Impulse control problems may stem from an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex or traumatic childhood experiences.
  • Going through personal crises or having unrealistic relationship expectations can blind us to warning signs.

In part one of this vital two-part discussion, Bill and Megan provide research-informed insights to help us understand the roots of relationship violence and identify unhealthy patterns early on. Tune in to gain knowledge that could help you or someone you care about build healthy, safe relationships.

Links & Other Notes

Note: We are not diagnosing anyone in our discussions, merely discussing patterns of behavior.

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