Some of these behaviors appear to be very ordinary, as they may simply be looks or gestures, which, however, send over specific messages that are threatening and violent and are no doubt a form of intimidation. As time goes on this type of silent violence may take on more obvious forms of violence, such as breaking some possession of yours, harming pets or destroying property, which may stand to mean that if you do not do what your partner says then you will be the next to suffer.
There is a specific way to determine this control and abuse, by using the Power and Control Wheel. This wheel is divided into categories, which are typical abusive behaviors. One of the common traits of an abuser is to deny their behavior and blame it on you, such as telling you that if you had not done this or that, then he would not have reacted this way. This is a typical abuser reaction, blaming their acts on you, which is not acceptable, for whatever you did to turn on his anger; he is the one who abused you without right.
An apparently non violent abuser, will keep putting you down, calling you names and playing mind games that make you feel bad, until eventually you start believing you are actually what he keeps telling you, you are. If you start questioning your behavior and sanity then you are probably in an abusive relationship already.
Another clear sign of abuse is when you isolate yourself from others. In the beginning of a relationship you may feel that being alone with your partner is a sign of love. However, with time this can become a means to control you, to check on whom you talk to, who you see, and in most cases an abuser will try to keep you away from your family and friends, with the objective to control your life.
Any form or control, which can relate to issues regarding household chores, money, or threats all point out in one direction, his sense of insecurity. The more your partner is afraid of losing you, the more he will want to control you.
If you recognize any of this behavior in your relationship then you are probably in an abusive relationship, and with time this form of control actually gets worse. This type of emotional abuse is very self-defeating and although it is not an obvious form of physical violence it can actually be worse than any bruises or scars, as internal damage can last for a lifetime.
If you do think you are in this situation make sure you study the Power and Control Wheel carefully, as a healthy relationship should not be based on this, but rather on the Equality Wheel, and therapy can help stop the abuse and make good choices for your own sanity and health.