It can be so hard to identify abuse when you’re living it. It’s a lot easier to see it once you’ve had enough and decide to walk away. It’s looking back that all red flags come into focus. There are also degrees of abuse. Some abusers are mean and do it on purpose, while others don’t even realize they’re doing damage, they’re just repeating the messed up patterns they saw as they were growing up. That’s not to excuse an abuser, not at all, but it happens.
It may be hard to see the signs, but one thing that helps is: if you feel the need to start recording the conversations you have with this person, it means it’s time to get out.