She was checking me in to the doctor’s office and asked if I felt safe at home? Has your partner or ex-partner threatened you with physical harm? Have you been hit by your partner or ex-partner?

She had several more similar questions and as I repeatedly said “no”, I thought of yesterday’s blog post. Because in it I was upbeat about the mutuality and possibility in marriages.

As I often do, I reread as if I were one of my readers out there. I had left something out. Some marriages have no hope. Sound too resigned or negative? Not if you have seen the terrible repeating pattern of domestic abuse time and again. In real life, not just on TV. Some marriages are just torturous prisons.

Please read these questions without judgment or fear. They were created to help people talk, in a protected place, about their personal experience. So here they are for information but also for self examination. Please remember, they are only for you not so you can “diagnose” someone else.

• Are you afraid of your partner? Do you feel you are in danger?
• You mentioned your partner’s problem with temper/stress/drinking. When that happens, has he ever threatened or hurt you?
• Every couple fights at times – what are your fights like at home? Do the fights ever become physical?
• Have you been hit or scared since the last time I saw you?
• Has anyone at home hit you or tried to injure you in any way?
• What kinds of experiences with violence have you had in your life?
• Do you feel controlled or isolated by your partner?
• Does your partner ever try to control you by threatening to hurt you or your family?
• Has anyone close to you ever threatened or hurt you?
• Does your partner ever hit, kick, hurt or threaten you?
• Have you ever been slapped, pushed or shoved by your partner?
• Have you ever been touched in a way that made you feel uncomfortable?
• Has anyone ever made you to do something sexual when you did not want to?
• Has your partner ever refused to practice safe sex?