Toxic Binds: Is he dangerous?

by Rod Smith

Are you dating or married to a man who could physically harm or kill you, or harm or kill someone you love?

Dangerous relationships are easier to endure than to address, so it is not surprising that the murder of a wife, an ex-wife or lover usually takes everyone by surprise.

Secrecy, cover-up and denial are the hallmarks of toxic binds.

Some women could use a set of criteria to evaluate whether they are involved with a man capable of committing a violent crime against them. Accurate or not, the list could help a woman escape a potentially abusive relationship, or at least eradicate the virus in the relationship before it destroys her.

Men capable of killing a “loved” one often leave a trail of early indicators, like rose petals around an open grave, before they commit a horrible crime. Perhaps someone’s life will be saved because this list, incomplete as it might be, will assist someone toward getting appropriate help:

  1. He tells you how to dress and insists you obey his wishes in this regard. If you resist he becomes irrationally hurt or angry. You are beyond choosing what you wear because your dress is his domain.
  2. When you resist (voice your opinion, appear combative) his “loving” control he goes from calm to very angry to irrational and crazy faster than a speeding bullet. In the “early days” you’d think, “Woah! Where did THAT come from,” but now you’ve become conditioned to see it as just him.
  3. He checks up on you for “your own good.” He wants to know where you are, what you are doing and whom you are with. Time unaccounted becomes an accusation. You find yourself explaining or hiding everything, to avoid the laborious conflicts that inevitably ensue.
  4. Any move toward independence on your part is rewritten as betrayal.
  5. He tells you when you are happy, and rewrites what you feel if you are unhappy.
  6. He tries to keep you from your family, suggesting they are not good for you.
  7. He tells you when you are hungry and what you like to eat.
  8. He says he knows you better than you know yourself.
  9. He is jealous of your friendships, even those that predate him and those that are over.
  10. Keeping peace is second nature to you. Ironically, the peace seldom lasts because he jumps on the smallest issues, magnifying them into major breaches of trust.
  11. His highs are very high and his lows very low.
  12. It seems as if your response to him is inordinately powerful in changing or determining his mood.
  13. He pouts easily. He manipulates truth so you are taken by surprise.
  14. He plays “hurt puppy” if you’re not happy, thereby making your emotions his business.
  15. He expects you to always be glad to see him and to drop whatever you are doing to focus on him.
  16. He demands his own way and has an inordinate perception of his own importance. He shows off his “power” by threatening to “talk to the manager,” when he is not given the service he thinks he deserves.
  17. He becomes irrationally angry at the smallest of inconveniences.
  18. He accuses you of “taking sides” if you suggest he is being unreasonable.
  19. He lives on the edge of “white hot” anger, becoming very angry with children, animals and anyone or anything that doesn’t obey him.
  20. He hides this anger from people outside the “inner circle” and his mood quickly changes if an “outsider” appears so that his anger is kept secret.
  21. He removes your car keys or your purse to restrict your movements and then denies doing so.
  22. In the early days of the relationship you felt like you were on a fast ride on an unpredictable roller coaster. Everything was too much, too soon, but you did not know how to say it. Any comment about wanting to “slow down” on your part was ignored. You felt invisible, as if you were just along for his ride.

For such men, winning is everything — losing control is not an option, even for those whom they proclaim to love the most.

6 Comments to “Toxic Binds: Is he dangerous?”

  1. Ugh. I feel like the list was written for me. My thanks for creating this post. I am a newlywed, and he has been increasingly sexually abusive. He was just physically abusive for the first time. I’m not the first one to say it, but…I didn’t see it coming, or if I sort of did, I minimized it and came up with excuses for him. Thanks again.

  2. I just finished reading your list. 98% is my relationship. Now I don’t know what to do.. I’m so confused. I’ve been with this guy for 2 years now and I’m in my late teens. He controls everything I do, say, wear and go. I have almost no friends now and half my family are talking behind my back. I’ve tried to break up with him but then went back. And he is still the same..
    But, thank you for you test.

  3. Angela – please read BLACK AND BLUE by QUINDLIN.

    Get into a group of friends (somehow) and tell them the truth of what you are enduring.

    Call me if you want — no charges involved.

    Email me for the number.


  4. This article should say he/she. It isn’t only men who are this unreasonable and controlling. Unfortunately, my younger son married a woman who is exactly all these things. He is not. She fooled him and the family for years and only showed herself just before they married. My ex-husband was the same way. Please always note, that especially today, there are just as many abusive women out there. Plus, it is even harder for the abused men to deal with what is happening.

  5. I’ve been in an on/off relationship with a man for over 2 years.It began as an affair.He moved out of his family home 6 months after it began,but spent a year kind of going between us both.Everytime I made to end contact he’d be back on my doorstep.He went back to her before xmas last year but still didn’t move back home with her.We continued contact.Most of it sad and angry on my part.
    In March this year I became resolute in my decision to cut him out of my life completely.He came with tears and talk of love and all the other lies he always uses.
    When I asked him to leave and not come to my door again unless he was single,he beat up my car with his fists until his hands were bleeding.He payed for the damage and appeared to be remorseful.
    3 weeks ago,after enduring a couple of months of confusing and painful emotional abuse,and suspecting(correctly) that he had re-instated his relationship with his wife again,I told him to stay out of my life for good.
    For that I was rewarded with him turning up at my house late and drunk,driving his car through my fence,abusing me,throwing me around,punching me in the face,then trying to kick my front door in and smashing windows when I finally got him locked out of the house.He wouldn’t leave until the police turned up.

    I found out the next week he took his wife and kids camping while I was still hiding in my house because it was too humiliating to be seen with a huge black eye,swollen nose and skin missing off my face

  6. At least no one told me I deserved it

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