Certain Acts Can Predict Relationship Violence

Checking On Partner’s Whereabouts Is Top Sign

Men behave in certain ways to retain their partner and to continue their relationship with her. Sometime it’s sweet, like holding hands or giving flowers, and sometimes it’s a harbinger of danger, according to new research.

A study published in the latest issue of Personal Relationships identifies several specific acts and tactics that lead to the possibility of violence.

Vigilance over a partner’s whereabouts was the highest-ranking tactic predicting violence. Emotional manipulation, such as a man saying he would die if his partner ever left also was predictive of violence.

Monopolization of time and the threat to punish for infidelity also were signals.

Showing love and care were among the tactics not associated with violence.

“Mate retention behaviors are designed to solve several adaptive problems, such as deterring a partner’s infidelity and preventing defection from the mating relationship,” author Todd K. Shackelford explains.

The researchers reviewed three studies to get these results.

In the first two studies, the researchers asked independent samples of men and women to report on men’s retention behaviors and men’s violence against their partners. In the third study, they asked husbands and their wives to report on men’s retention behaviors and violence against wives.

Acts such as “dropped by unexpectedly to see what my partner was doing” and “called to make sure my partner was where she said she would be” were the overall third and fifth highest predictors of violence.