Toxic arguments and intimate partner violence


Toxic arguments and intimate partner violence

Author: Stéphanie Deslauriers, psychoeducator

Did you know that it’s perfectly normal to not agree with your boyfriend or girlfriend 100% of the time? Did you know that the same holds true with your friends, family members, coworkers, etc.?

Some arguments are constructive; they allow everyone to express themselves in a healthy way, to assert themselves and to find solutions together.

But unfortunately, in some cases, these arguments might become more frequent or more intense. They may be characterized by disrespect, hurtful or demeaning comments (verbal abuse) or a negative attitude (discrediting their partner’s emotions, making sarcastic remarks, purposefully making the other doubt their perceptions or emotions, for example).

Psychological abuse may then insidiously take hold. What can you do in such a situation? Keep reading: we’ll help you assess your situation and we’ll also give you a few resources!

Am I in an intimate partner violence relationship?

According to the Éducaloi website, intimate partner violence “occurs between people who are or who have been in an intimate relationship. […] This type of violence can occur at any age and often involves an imbalance of power in the relationship. The abuser will typically use different strategies to control the victim, including insults, threats, or intimidation.”

You want to understand intimate partner violence through hypothetical virtual discussions?

You can try this interactive game that will allow you to engage in hypothetical virtual discussions.

You want to take stock of your situation?

You can take this self-test.

A few examples of violence inflicted or experienced:


  • I was meanly criticized for my physical appearance; I was insulted in front of others; I was put down.
  • My comings and goings, electronic conversations or cell phone were monitored; I was prevented from seeing friends.
  • I was forced to kiss or caress my partner against my will.
  • Something was thrown at me that could have injured me.
  • I was grabbed, pushed or shoved.
  • I was slapped.
  • I was punched, kicked or injured by an object or weapon.
  • I was sexually coerced against my will.


Source: Statistique Québec

Do you have someone you trust that you can talk to about it?
Do you think you’re in an intimate partner violence relationship?

Do you have someone you trust that you can talk to about it?

In any case, you should know that you deserve a respectful, healthy and positive romantic relationship. 🥰

And never hesitate to talk about what you’re going through and what you’re feeling with a friend or adult that you trust or a qualified school counsellor. 🙌

Resources to help you


Speak with a Tel-Jeunes worker: it’s anonymous, free and accessible 24/7