Warning! This article will either turn you upside down or be the angel that keeps you on your feet, or both.

Each time I go into a chat room on the Internet, in which the topic is abusive relationships, I hear the question: "My boyfriend pushes me to the wall and braces me there. Is this cause to end it?" "My partner’s verbal and emotional abuse are debilitating and I don’t know how to process it." "How do you know when it has gone too far?"

When you are in this situation, these are the most important questions to your future. Because once answered, you are in control and better able to protect yourself.

So how do you know if you are in a dangerous relationship? That’s a common question and surprisingly a question that 90% of all people in audiences that I address have no answer for.

Think about it, where in life do you get lessons on what is intimate partner violence? Unfortunately, most people who know what it is have learned the hard way. You can learn the easier way. You can be informed: what is the abuse dynamic and what are your options, while you still have them.

Now once we ask the question, then there is the ramification of considering it and, of course, the implications of the answer-none of which most people asking want to entertain. However, the alternative of not asking and not knowing what we are dealing with is so much greater than you would want to imagine.

When we keep our heads in the sand, hoping all will be well, we make it worse. When we keep our blinders on, we give ourselves by default three options: lose your life, lose your health and/or lose your children.

On the other hand, if we know what we are dealing with, we are in a much better position to effect change in our intimate relationship and maintain long-term protection of our lives, our health and our children.

If you are questioning this prediction, turn on 48 Hours and you will see before you have watched three programs in a row, one will be on intimate partner homicide or some scenario related to the other unfortunate outcomes I’ve suggested. And the investigative reporters will be questioning: what made him/her do that?

Bite the bullet and ask the most important question of your life: "Is this abuse?" And get the answer so you can best protect your life as you know it, your health as you have it, your family, your home, your job, your savings…yourself.

Now the question is on the table and you may discover that the abuse specialists tell you one thing, the mental health professionals tell you another and law enforcement something else. So what is domestic abuse? When is it dangerous? Don’t drop the question. Your answer is within.

And if you recoil from posing the question even though it is on your mind, than ask yourself why you chose not to know. That is as good a starting point as any.

You are the author of your own destiny. You are the scientist of your own investigation. It is your life and the answers are for you to know. They are within.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Jeanne King, psychologist, author and speaker, helps people recognize the subtle communication patterns of verbal emotional abuse-what supports it and what interrupts it. Author of All But My Soul: Abuse Beyond Control, Dr. King developed the Intimate Partner Abuse Screen to help people properly identify, understand and stop domestic abuse before it spirals out of control. See how this online, interactive Intimate Partner Abuse Screen can help you find your answers about verbal emotional abuse.