1. He plays the victim in every scenario. If he misses work, it’s your fault for not waking him up. It he trips, it’s your fault for placing the rug there. If he gets drunk, it’s your fault for stressing him out. If he yells, it’s your fault for getting him angry. He refuses to take responsibility for his own actions.
2. He has a habit of ‘forgetting’ what he has done. If you fought the night before, he will wake up with a smile and act like nothing happened. If you catch him in a lie, he will act like he only got the story wrong because he was confused. He doesn’t want to deal with the consequences of what he’s done so he plays dumb.
3. He has an excuse for every single thing he does wrong. If he cheats on you, it’s because his parents never raised him right. If he comes home late, it’s because his friend wouldn’t let him leave the bar. If he does anything bad, it’s someone else’s fault. Not his. Never his.
4. He accuses you of being too emotional. If you get pissed at something he said, he will act like it was only a joke. If he screws you over, he will act like he never meant for it to happen. He will make it seem like you are psycho for getting upset when you have every right to get upset.
5. He refuses to answer your questions. He will either change topics or will find a reason to start questioning you about what you have done. He will project. He won’t answer your question about why another woman was calling him because he’ll be too busy asking you about the boss he thinks you’ve been flirting with.
6. He purposely does tiny things to annoy you. He will do something big enough to disturb your happiness and inconvenience your day — but small enough that you will look ridiculous if you complain about it to your friends or threaten to call the cops. He will know exactly the right amount to bug you without getting in legal trouble for it.
7. He makes you look bad in front of friends. He finds a way to turn every single situation around so that you come across as the crazy one. He will say little things beneath his breath or text you insults and when you snap in front of everyone, it will look like you are the one being unreasonable.
8. He will only act like a piece of shit in private. When you’re in public, he will act like the best boyfriend in the world. He will be friendly. Loving. Hilarious. A social butterfly. That way, whenever you complain about him to friends and family, they assume you are overreacting because they have never seen him in a bad mood.
9. He makes you fear for your life. He might hold back from hitting you, but he will shatter dishes and smash your television and throw his fist through doors. He will make you feel unsafe, but when you voice that fear, he will roll his eyes and say, “I’ve never touched you” as if that means he isn’t abusive.
10. He withholds details. He won’t tell you where he’s going or who has been texting him because he knows you wouldn’t like the answer. But technically there was no lying involved since he stayed silent so he feels like he has done nothing wrong.
11. He acts like you are the abuser. When you finally stand up for yourself, he will act like he cannot believe you are treating him this way after everything he has done to you. When he tells stories to his friends, he will make you the villain. He will twist everything to make himself look good. This is what they mean by gaslighting.
12. He guilts you into staying with him. Whenever you decide you have had enough of his bullshit and walk toward the door, he suddenly changes his behavior. He gets emotional. He cries. He begs you to stay and makes false promises about changing.