7 Ways to Spot a Fake Dom (and Why You Should Avoid Them)

How to spot a fake dom

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When dating as a submissive it is important to look out for Fake Doms.

In this guide I’ll explain what a Fake Dom is, why they’re bad news, and how to spot them in the wild.

What is a Fake Dom?

Fake Dom is the term given to a person who claims to be a Dominant when in reality they have no clue what they are doing.

Fake Doms often have little regard for the sub, instead believing a D/s dynamic is solely for their benefit and they can make the sub do whatever they want.

Any sub engaged in online dating will have encountered a Fake Dom. As soon as you give them a whiff that you are into D/s, they immediately try and dominate you.

Fake Doms often have no real experience of being in a Dom sub relationship, and have no desire to learn.

Being in a relationship with a Fake Dom is damaging to the emotional and physical wellbeing of the submissive, especially if she is new and unable to recognise she is interacting with a Fake Dom.

fake dom how to spot

Why subs should avoid Fake Doms

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Beginner subs with no experience in Dom sub dynamics may not know exactly what the role of a Dominant is.

And because of this they may end up in dynamics or full blown relationships which they think are healthy but in reality are not.

With little education material out there on what a healthy Dom sub relationship looks like, how do you know how a Dominant is supposed to act?

They make you feel bad

The Art of Submission. A course for beginner submissives

In a relationship with a Fake Dom you’ll find yourself asking questions such as:

All of these are signs of a sub in a dynamic with a Fake Dom.

The downsides of being in such a dynamic should appear obvious from reading the questions above.

Being in a relationship with a Fake Dom makes the submissive feel:

  • Small (not in a good way)
  • Belittled
  • Questioning
  • As though she has to continually prove themselves
  • As though she is getting far less benefits from the dynamic than the Dom does
  • Fearful of putting a foot wrong
  • As though her thoughts and feelings don’t matter

Does this sound familiar?

It should, because they are signs of an emotionally abusive relationship, and certainly not one you want to be in. 

Expect equal benefits

As a Romantic Dominant I make it my mission to ensure myself and my sub are getting equal benefits from the relationship, regardless of if it is a short term deal or a full-blown romantic partnership.

Just because the power in a Dom/sub dynamic isn’t equal, it doesn’t mean the benefits shouldn’t be equal.

The Dom and sub don’t get the same type of benefits but they do get equally valued benefits.

For example, in my Dom/sub relationship I have my sub perform some domestic duties such as cooking, give me massages when I’ve had a long day at work, help me out with small tasks, and be available for sexual use as often as needed.

In return I take care of my sub when she needs help with making decisions, or wants to switch off and relax, or wants to have great sex, or wants to feel safe and protected, and because she gets happy feelings by knowing she is helping me.

Different benefits. Equal weightings.

When you read the list of wants and benefits it appears very similar to most vanilla relationships, with the addition of more kinky sexual activities.

(As I always say, it’s not only what you do but how you do it. You can ask your sub to make you a cup of tea but do so in a dominant way, thereby distinguishing the task from that of a vanilla dynamic)

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Fake Doms take more than they give

The issue with Fake Doms is that they’ve misunderstood what I believe to be the fundamentals of D/s.

They don’t understand it’s not all about getting your sub to do whatever you want for you with no benefit for the sub.

Notice the ‘with no benefit’ in the previous sentence.

It is absolutely okay for a submissive to be in a dynamic where the Dominant gets the sub to do everything for them, but only if this has been agreed to (perhaps in a bdsm contract) and the sub is getting some benefit.

For example, there are some submissives who thoroughly enjoy being bossed around in and outside the bedroom. They love being at the beck and call of their Master, and take great pleasure in knowing their place and that they are providing an excellent level of service.

I have no problem with such a dynamic. In fact, I find it pretty hot.

What I take issue with is when a Fake Dom assumes that his sub will be into this, and starts the dynamic without having asked if it is what she wants and enjoys. If the sub doesn’t enjoy this style of power play, then she is getting no benefits. The Dom is getting them all.

7 Ways to spot a Fake Dom

Now you know what a Fake Dom is and why they are bad news, how do you spot a Fake Dom when you are looking for a kinky partner?

Here are some signs that you are dating a Fake Dom:

1. Fake Doms try to dominate you immediately

From the very first conversation the Fake Dom will try and dominate you.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a first date, or you are chatting to them on an online dating app, they will try and get you to do things for them.

This is bad because it’s a sign they don’t care about you as a person. They only want someone who they can control.

Real Dom’s probably won’t even bring up D/s during initial conversations, instead wanted to get to know you as a person.

If the conversation does turn kinky, a Real Dom will be interested in your previous experience, the type of submissive you are, your likes, your dislikes, your hard and soft limits.

If your only conversation is the Dom telling you what to do, it’s a sign your talking to a Fake Dom.

2. Fake Doms don’t ask for consent

Communication in a BDSM relationship is fundamental.

A Fake Dom doesn’t appreciate or care about this.

Remember, they are only in it for themselves and simply assume that because you’ve labelled yourself as a sub they have the right to make you do whatever they want.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Dom sub dynamics require open, authentic, honest, and sincere communication BEFORE you start to play together.

If your Dominant has not discussed boundaries with you, or is forcing you to do something you really don’t want to do, he’s a Fake Dom.

how to spot a fake dom

3. Fake Doms make you do outrageous things

I recently received an email from a reader who had had several encounters with Fake Doms as she began dating.

Here are just a few of her experiences, all of which I found hilarious as they are so far from what being a real Dom is all about:

  • “A guy who spoke to me on the phone asked me to imagine him spanking me and then he told me that he could hear in my voice that I was going into subspace. I think I might have been chewing a few peanuts at the time. The next, also on the phone, told me to masturbate and then run down the street shouting loudly ‘I’ve come, I’ve come’.”
  • “One guy wanted me to go to Tesco and buy a cucumber and KY jelly and stand at the checkout in very revealing clothes and say very loudly. ‘I am going to play with these this afternoon'”
  • “I had a flurry of ‘Hi, my name is Master and you, miserable slut (I’m being polite here), will obey me'”
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Yes, these are so ridiculous it’s comic.

In all the cases they were trying to dominate her right away, without consent, and without a jot of consideration for what the sub wanted.

Asking a sub to go to Tesco, buy a cucumber, and announce she is going to use them for sexual pleasure might be highly arousing if you are the type of sub who gets off on humiliation play. But this Dom didn’t ask or care if humiliation was of interest to her.

As a sub you should not do anything you don’t want to do, unless you have given your Dom specific instruction that you consent to them pushing your limits. And even then make sure you have caveats and boundaries in place.

(You might want to read My Dominant Asked Me to Do Something But I Don’t Want to. Am I a Bad Sub? for more info)

4. Fake Doms make it all about them

If your Dominant never attempts to pleasure you sexually, and is only concerned with getting themselves off, they’re a Fake Dom (again with the caveat that this is fine if you have agreed to this type of dynamic.

Fake Doms want all the sexual pleasure but don’t care about yours. They’ll never reciprocate, even if you beg them.

Fake Doms take, take, take.

And if you object, they’ll brand you as a ‘bad sub’, making you feel bad, even when this is untrue.

5. Fake Doms don’t give aftercare

This is a HUGE red flag.

Any Dominant unwilling to provide aftercare is a Fake Dom.

Aftercare is such an essential component of a BDSM scene to help bring a sub back to the real world.

If the Dom has admitted to being new and inexperienced, then their lack of knowledge of aftercare is understandable.

But if someone is claiming to be a Dom but doesn’t understand aftercare, or won’t give a sub what she needs in aftercare, even if you’ve told them, that is not acceptable.

6. Fake Doms get angry if you don’t obey them

One of the characteristics of a good Dom is being cool, calm and collected. They must be able to operate under pressure, and to not get flustered easily. 

They have a good understanding of their emotions and are introspective.

If a Dom becomes angry when a sub refuses to do something (again, caveated by this not being a consented to part of your dynamic – some subs may enjoy being shouted at) then your dealing with a Fake Dom.

A real Dom will talk with you to understand what is stopping you doing what they’ve asked, help you work through it, or change the request entirely if it is bumping against your hard or soft limits.

7. Fake Doms don’t want feedback

Woe betide any sub who trys to give their Fake Dom feedback. A Fake Dom won’t listen, because they believe they are the one in charge and the sub should never question them (which you should know is false by now).

Concluding how to spot a Fake Dom

Fake Doms are bad news for BDSM. They don’t know what they are doing, and give us real Dominants a bad name, as well as putting new subs off the idea of entering a D/s relationship.

To spot a fake Dom, look for one of the following signs:

  • Fake Doms try to dominate you right away
  • Fake Doms don’t ask for consent
  • Fake Doms make you do outrageous things
  • Fake Doms make it all about them
  • Fake Doms don’t give aftercare
  • Fake Doms get angry if you don’t obey them
  • Fake Doms don’t want feedback

Have you encountered a Fake Dom? What made you realise they were a Fake Dom? Leave a comment below.

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Thank you for this!
Relatively new to being a Dom and read this to make sure I wasn’t exhibiting any of the behaviors.


My husband just kept leading me on stating I’m reading this and that. When I gave him the list of yes no hard no etc instead of talking to me he decided to read about it like a book is going to help us figure out what he doesn’t understand what he wants sexually and what I want sexually. He has never ever talked with me about any D/s he seems to think he can get it from a book or two which is rediculous considering he’s not a reader. So I just finally gave up just like every thing else I love like dream and hope for and a lot has nothing to do with D/s


It took us 18 years for me (Husband) to finally understand exactly what she wanted. I’m lucky she was so patient, and this is probably not what you want to hear.

Part of her issue was I don’t think she was able to articulate boldly enough exactly what she wanted, which was also my fault for expecting her to take the lead (lol), but after I finally agreed she told me I’d gone too far in the first couple of weeks and needed to retreat from a lot of it… Only a couple of days later in a terrified voice confiding that she was actually lying earlier that week to test me- must have been testing my resolve, because she knows I respect her, but now her submission is pretty much total. I don’t think of myself as a natural dominant (which I feel is a pretty good thing in many ways), but wow, is this making us so happy and content…


I have encountered a fake dom..No after care and disappears for days or weeks..Makes arrangements to meet up and never shows up..He has made me feel worthless

Last edited 2 years ago by Denise

I am new to this so if I make a mistake I am sorry for it in advance. That being said when I read your comment it broke my heart! You deserve better than that! It’s time to cut this Fake Dom lose & maybe do some research on the subject to see what is and is not normal & ok. Good luck & here’s to finding a real Dom that will treat you with the love care & respect that you deserve as the treasure that you are(not all woman can or even want to be a sub)!


I have now done quite a bit of research..He was into a fetish and I now realise in all probability he is someone who uses BDSM as a way to abuse a person by way of control of a submissive who thinks this is normal..He told me once that Doms are usually really mean but he is not like that..
He is no longer in my life and I feel like a weight has been lifted

Last edited 2 years ago by Denise

I just got away from a fake dom. I was relatively new to sub Dom relationships and he advertised himself as a Dom looking for a sub. At first, he was wonderful and then one day, he got upset with me over something I had no control over. He was very verbally cruel and made me feel insignificant and worthless. Most of the time he didn’t even want me to talk. He only cared about himself and his wants and pleasing himself at my expense. When it ended l, I realized he had destroyed my self esteem and my self respect over the year I’d known him.


Oo I feel that. It’s exactly what happened to me. You’re very strong and I’m wishing you all the best. I have a partner now who is new to bdsm and in trying to help them know what not to do.


Helpful article, but please be conscious of pronouns. Not all subs are female, and just because someone is a sub does not mean they should automatically be referred to as ‘she’

Kevin Partridge

I can spot a fake Dom a mile away. Look, if you have too go on twitter or other forms of social media in search of new servants, then that’s usually a red flag unless you’re advertising your business for example buy my clips for sale and they have 30 thousand followers. That’s different. Proof is sort of in the pudding. Just daying


No aftercare, no communication, no rules of engagement. He would often stand me up, disappear for days making me fear he would not return. I was left with no words (he would not allow for conversations about my needs or our situation). I would be left feeling I had no value and self worth.


I’m not sure where I stand. I think he is a Dom. He said he has been in the lifestyle for decades and learned from Domme the aspects and what a sub needs. That being said, our first time we met we went over the roles and what we wanted. We went over limits etc. He would text me and ask how I am. We would meet up and he would ask me to pleasure him always telling me what a good girl I am. Then it went to days I would not hear from him. When I finally did it was hi and telling me where to meet in 1 hour. I hurried to obey and I pleased him and he made sure I got something too. He would promise to text and check on me but that never happens. Now I get the text on how am I with the I will want you but not now. The last time he text he said I would hear from him soon and we will be able to meet and share time. That was a week ago. No text, nothing. I feel I must have done something wrong. Maybe I was not a good sub for him. Maybe I displeased him.


As a guy who’s been considering looking for a dominant female partner for quite a while, I’ve visited my fair share of FLR-themed sites, blogs, and social media profiles. I was looking for info about what to expect, as I’m interested in a relationship far more than pro-domme sessions.

The vast majority of places I’ve been to describe FLR as a one-sided affair, where it’s pretty much all about her needs, wants, ways to please her and empower her, etc. If the sub is given any attention, it’s often the “complete selflessness, relinquishing all rights and agency from the get-go, never expecting anything in return, giving her all your money, being happy that she has multiple other partners beside you” type of thing.

Many places seem to encourage submissive men to look for brash, aggressive, and domineering women. In one blog article I even read something to the extent of “if she’s manipulative and deceptive, she’s very good at being a dominant”.

Expressing concern, asking questions, and giving negative feedback is often met with ridicule, dismissive comments, or insults. And, very few places actually write about the domme’s responsibilities, sub’s rights, reciprocation, mutual respect, equal human worth of both partners, etc.

It’s pretty disheartening, to say the least. I’d love to have a dominant girlfriend/wife, but I also want respect, warmth, love, I want someone who genuinely has my best interest at heart. I want someone with whom I can talk, laugh, share, talk about life, plan together.


I think there’s a difference between a submissive guy dating a dominant woman, & a “female led relationship”. That’s more of a 24/7 dynamic with its own specific (& sometimes toxic) culture. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t way easier to find a woman who just wants to dominate you in bed, but have an otherwise normal, affectionate, respectful relationship. You might also look into “gentle femdom” or “goddess worship” if you prefer the domination itself to be more “loving but firm”.


My husband only just told me that he’s supposedly into d/s. I’m completely not comfortable with this at all, but if it’s what makes him happy I am willing to try. However there’s absolutely no communication between us on anything really. He sends me lists of things he want me to do that I have to accomplish by the end of the week, otherwise I get punishments (beatings, bound, or forced anal are the worst ones). Im not sure where I stand on any of this, and it’s definitely not a turn-on


You just described abuse & rape, not d/s. Any kind of sex that you didn’t consent to & isn’t part of a negotiated scene is rape. He literally beats you & rapes you. I hope you can get out safely. You deserve to be safe, & you are not safe with this man.


I wouldn’t go that far based on just this description. I need more details – does he know she doesn’t like it? The lists and punishments aren’t necessarily the problem. It seems more like the lack of communication. A good dom communicates with their sub, generally in my experience the more details i give the more she likes it. But i do agree its probably better to be safe than sorry. The fact that she’s not enjoying it a major red flag

Last edited 1 year ago by Avi

Ive been in a kink relationship for a while or what i thought was one until he cheated on me and i started questioning everything and i realised that hes a fake dom and im asking him these questions like whats aftercare and whats my safeword and he just says he doesnt know..so now i dont know what to do.

Alicia U



I believe that I have encountered a fake dom. I’m very new to this. He sent for me to visit for 3 days. I was made to give him 1200 dollars and every month afterwards to send him 1200. He kept telling me that I was not being used, that I belonged to him. We live in different states and I’m running


Hi Chief, I am brand new to being a sub. I never have before actually. I met this guy on seeking.com and after a few questions he quickly let me know that he was a Dom and lived in LA. I am in NYC and asked how we could have a Dom/sub relationship with long distance and he said he’s done it before. He is very very attractive to me (according to his pics online) and I’ll admit I think I got swooped up in that. We started talking on WhatsApp. I told him I was intrigued and he said to delete my seeking account and show him on video me doing it and then we could continue. I did it.

With out even having a phone conversation he sent me the list of his rules. And if I wanted to be his sub then say so. I said yes but communicated my hesitation because I know really nothing about him and his response “then leave”. I didn’t necessarily want to quit so I kept going. He then said to write 10 rules for myself, then create a contract (nothing to do with sex). I got to ask a few questions about him as my reward. Then he said back to you sub training.

Is he a Fake Dom? Am I just naive and this is how it is? I don’t fully know what benefits I am getting out this dynamic yet besides getting to “please him.” But he now wants to me create almost handbook for other future subs and I would be his main sub but need to help find others for him. I haven’t even Face Timed with him yet. I am not sure what I am doing. If anyone has insight I would appreciate it. Thank you! -Cat


Thank you so much for this! When I’m talking to potential subs and ask what they’re looking for I so often get told they’re fine with whatever I want. As a switch, I know that my tendency to people please has led me into places that weren’t great for me, and I don’t want that for anyone else, much less someone I’m involved with. But it seems like enough people in the community have told subs that they don’t get to have opinions or wants or needs. It’s really nice to see someone else say this stuff.


I’ve encountered quite a few, and sadly it was always the same scenario. They just wanted rough sex. Recently, I met one online and asked what he was looking for in a sub. He couldn’t even answer that basic question. His response was “to be mine only and keep to the protocol that will be given her”. When I asked him to define his protocols, he basically said “the normal protocols”. Seriously? Then he got kinda salty when I suggested that there wasn’t necessarily a set type of protocols because every relationship is different. I doubt we’ll actually get to the point of meeting in person.


I have come across alot of fake Dom’s there are so many out there its not funny


Hey so I’m talking to this guy online and he claims to be a dom ,but something’s throwing me off. For example he says he’s going to punish me tonight for falling asleep ,I am a college student working 2 jobs, and now I have caught a cold and he has told me I can’t take NyQuil tonight because I’m going to miss my punishment. From I understand doms are supposed to put their subs health first and he is now doing that.


Ok thank you very much for replying this helped a lot


I’ve just spent the entire past week being of service to a fake Dom. (Literally ended yesterday).. right away I knew it was “off”. I found this article to be both enlightening and comical because all 7 things listed above were my 7 red flags. It was a sh** show to say the least. Although I knew I had to walk away from it, it left me feeling sad and I don’t understand that part (?). Anyhow, this article made me wonder Chief, what would you suggest are good questions for a sub to ask a potential Dom in their search?


Thank you for your quick and knowledgeable response. I appreciate the suggestions. I will absolutely be checking out your course and am in awe of your site already.


I’m confused. Do you have to be in a relationship with the Dom? I am very new to this, took some test, and apparently I’m a “switch”, but I read what a sub vs. dom is and I think I’m more of a sub. But all these articles I’ve read and comments, makes me think that I have to commit in a relationship with my Dom or “contract?” Is there a sub/dom aspect where I can just go home at the end of the night? lol


(online dom)
how do I know if my dom is fake? it’s really hard to tell…he’s straight up told me he’s very lustful..and I do everything can to meet his expectations but sometimes he never lets me say no…but he does give aftercare…he doesnt disappear though and we talk everyday since we’ve met…however I do feel like he specifically rushed the whole thing…I wanted to get to know him. & once I mentioned I won’t take anything serious unless there’s a contract, he made me decide within one day…


A lot of it looks like your dom trampling over your boundaries and needs and an awful lot of you not exercising your right to say no to him.. you’re still a person, you can still say no. Nobody should be asking for or agreeing to make such an important document within a day. It takes far more thought than that. Sounds like he doesn’t respect you, but you do have the right, and responsibility, to express and verbalise your boundaries.


I wish I found this before my first experience. Let’s say this thing (yes my disgust for him is this real) asked for my hard limits etc. I thought that was good. Until he made it a mission to force me to do these things. And because of fear of abuse mental or physical, I did. And after these events he left me alone. No aftercare which in times he forced my limits probably wouldn’t have worked but he didn’t care to even check in. So I experienced negative mental and physical effects.

It got to where the thought of him brought me literal terror. The thing that made me leave was that he said after forcing a particularly graphic hard limit on me, he laughed while I was obviously upset. He said “I told you I would make you do it. I won’t stop until I have mde you go past all your limits”. I left BDSM for years after because of trauma. But I am a pure submissive at heart and I refuse to allow that thing to take that away.

A true Dom knows submission is a gift, not a right. As such they must care for that gift because, like the gift of dominance for the sub, it’s precious and beautiful and must always be cherished.

I’ve yet to find that dynamic but someday. But I appreciate all those working to educate people on a fake dom vs a Dom/Domme. It’s helpful to us subs to keep us safe.

Old K Khan

I remember once I was on a first date with a sub but I didn’t plan to go as far as actually having sex (including Shibari and some flogger fun). I had to attend a meeting and so I ended up skipping aftercare for this unplanned session. I deeply regret that. Never again I’ll go that far if I know we won’t have time for proper aftercare..


Thank you for this article and ALL the other ones about being a new Sub. I met a guy online dating. I admitted it would be nice to give up some control. He told me he would provide the rules, contract, etc. We would discuss but he never has. I completed my Menu and he disregards my Hard No’s and gets angry and leaves when I refuse to ie. Flirt with women. He leaves our scenes abruptly and never gives aftercare. I’ve even given him the benefit of the doubt by asking many questions about his D/s experience and the big one…what does he think it means for me to be his sub? His answer: always obey me (him).
This isn’t fun or fulfilling for me at all. I’m a natural born leader and Switch, really, but wanted to try this with someone I had chemistry with. Now I know he is not a real Dom at all.


Good Day,
Firstly, I really enjoy your podcast.
Lately, I’ve been approached by several pseudo/fake Doms on-line.
Thank you so much for all of the excellent information and guidance, it’s been extremely helpful and kept me from some potentially damaging situations.
I look forward to your podcasts .
Thank you!

Alicia U

He asked if I wanted him to be my Daddy on the first date while we were playing and he felt sure I’d say yes after two weeks of chat. It was very tricky to tell because he had me fill out worksheets and was actually amazing at giving me what I wanted but at the first sign of issues he literally wound up asking me to give him attention over my son on my sons 3rd birthday when I wanted to be present with him. I learned a lot and loved the connection but the rapid drop off and “I no longer want to know you” because he felt challenged I feel is the true sign.


My first and only experience in BDSM was a fake Dom who basically crushed my soul. I put my heart, trust and soul into submitting to him. I didn’t know much but I knew there were huge red flags when he refused to even discuss aftercare and only wanted me to give him oral. Turned out he was married and had a child. Didn’t even tell me his real name. I’m going to give myself some recovery time before I reconsider my search for a Dom to guide me and safely explore.


<3 I actually gave up my search because of all the abuse I went through.


My first “boyfriend” was a fake dom:

He tried to dominate me right away (luckily not in person)He didn’t care about my consent (ignored my safe word which was only established after being with him for a bit and told me not to question him)He wanted me to work NAKEDHe threatened to break up with me if I did not do everything he wantedHe didn’t give aftercareHe got angry when I “disobeyed” himHe would not listen to me when I said the safe wordThat was almost three years years ago but I still go back mentally at times and start to panic

Last edited 4 months ago by ash2001

Yeah that’s why you get to know a guy first before talking about this. I’ve been with my man 3 years and just now opening up. Obviously he is naturally dominant or else we wouldn’t be together but both of us had been previously abstinent for many years.


I’m new to BDSM and my Dom won’t stimulate my clitoris during sex. I told him it’s really normal and over 80% of women need it to orgasm, but he says he can’t do this, but is ok if I do it. I feel like sex is now quasi masturbating and is so unfulfilling. I fell in love with him long before we ever had sex, so now what do I do?


I’m looking for a pleasure Dom, I have questions. I don’t know what platforms will be useful. These points you mentioned are practical. I’ve come into exploring my authentic self.


I’m a relatively new sub and have been having serious second thoughts about my dominant, I mean once he found out I was a sub that was it there was no discussion on anything it was “just do what I say” right away. Since I’m pretty shy and mostly non confrontational I don’t really know how to bring this up especially since he’ll get upset even if I try to do it in a respectful manner, it’s always about what he wants/needs and never about my wants/needs or limits, I’m afraid to bring it up to him because it will most likely turn into a big fight and I try my hardest to avoid fighting but it seems my efforts to not fight about things are being ignored, he just starts a fight even when there’s nothing to fight about, I’m scared that one day he may become physical(and not in a good way) and I need to get out but I don’t know how. I know it sounds stupid but he may end up hurting me if I even try. any advice about how to do it cleanly without it turning into a big fight and possibly me getting hurt?? Any advice will be greatly appreciated and helpful.