It is rare for violence to be present at the beginning of a relationship even when it arises later on. These relationships begin just like most others with falling in love. It may even be more passionate than usual since a controlling/violent man often courts women intensively.
The relationship changes step by step. To start off with the man’s demands and dominance seem to be innocent and harmless. But with time both the man and the woman change as the man’s control and violence increases. The woman adapts and tries to avoid conflict by going along with the man’s demands. Resistance from her side often leads to increased violence.
The mistreatment often begins with psychological abuse, for example critical and disparaging comments which gradually makes the woman lose her self-confidence. Physical abuse may then follow. It is common that the woman becomes more and more isolated, loses her social network and stops doing things on her own when the man dislikes it or even forbids her to see family and friends. The woman then becomes even more dependent upon her partner. In the end the only social contact she has left may be with her abusing partner.