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Early Warning Signs of DV: Severe Jealousy

There are many behaviors a batterer exhibits early on in a relationship–red flags–that may foreshadow abuse in the future.

Jealousy in relationships can be normal, though it also can cross the line into unhealthy and abusive patterns very quickly. This kind of jealousy should be recognized as not only a red flag, but can also become an indication of potential lethality in the future. Per a study completed on intimate partner homicide it was found that, in regards to cases of completed or attempted femicide, 79% of the abusers were violently jealous.

When does jealousy become unhealthy or abusive?

Jealousy becomes an issue when there are regular patterns of possessiveness, accusations, isolation and control, such as:

  • When you hear things like “I trust you, but I don’t trust them”, in regards to friends, acquaintances, and co-workers;
  • When you are regularly getting grilled after a night out with your friends;
  • If your partner throws around irrational accusations about your intentions because of how you dress, or time spent on your appearance;
  • When your partner demands that you give them your passwords to your social media or phone, because they want to monitor your communications, locations, and critique your pictures, to “prove” you are not cheating;
  • If you find yourself always alone with your partner;
  • When you are expected to immediately answer calls or texts from your partner, or to “check in” frequently;
  • If you find that you avoid social situations in an effort to prevent fighting with your partner later;
  • If you feel like you are no longer a partner, but a possession;
  • When you hear the words “If I can’t have you, no one will”.

When you feel forced to change the way you dress, who you talk to, what you like to do in order to avoid conflict with your partner, you may likely be a victim of severe jealousy. Severe jealousy is a pattern of actions intentionally committed with intent to control the other person, and no one deserves to be treated in this way. Healthy relationships include respect, trust, and healthy boundaries. Severe jealousy has no place in a safe and healthy relationship.

If you or someone you know may have experienced severe jealousy, or you want to know more about other potential early warning signs of domestic violence, Arkansas Valley Resource Center Staff are available 24/7! 

415 Colorado Avenue, La Junta, CO 81050
(719) 384-7764
TTY: (719) 384-1938
After Hours Colorado Relay dial 711 or 1-800-659-2656

Information and chart graphic on Attitudes of Ownership, regarding IPV homicide study provided by:

AVRC is non-discriminatory agency regarding age, race, religion, color, gender, country of national origin, sexual orientation, mental health status, substance use or economic condition.