Recognizing Emotional Abuse in Relationships

With emotional abuse you may start to notice hurtful little things being said in the beginning of your relationship and you may try to brush it off at first as nothing. Then time goes by and you find its getting worse.

You may try to communicate with your partner about what he or she is saying is hurtful. They may respond with accusations of you’re just being oversensitive and easily offended.

This abusive behavior has been escalating for years now and its starting to become a normal pattern. You can go weeks, even months, without your partner being abusive but you may always be wondering when the other shoe is going to fall… and it inevitably does.

Here are some examples of abuse

  • Isolating you from loved ones, family and friends
  • Your partner makes all the decisions for you so your completely dependent on them
  • Jealousy
  • Find yourself making excuses for your partners bad behavior
  • Feeling scared to bring up sensitive topics pertaining to the relationship for fear your partner will be upset
  • Controls all finances and anything concerning money, gives you an allowance and wants you to be accountable for all that you have spent
  • Verbal threats such as if you don’t do this or you don’t do that I’m leaving the relationship (emotional abandonment)
  • During arguments threatening to destroy your personal property or most cherished possessions
  • Preventing you from attending school or working
  • Accusing you of being unfaithful
  • Insults and humiliates you either when your alone or in public
  • Insults your intelligence
  • Labeling you and in turn you start to have low opinion and lack self confidence
  • Manipulating you into things your not comfortable doing
  • Treats you like a child
  • Accuses you of things you didn’t do
  • Gives you ultimatums
  • Criticizes you and shames you
  • If you loved me you would do anything for me.
  • Being scared of your partner

Those are just a few examples of an abusive relationship. If you recognize any of these signs of emotional abuse in your relationship, you need to be honest with yourself so you can regain power over your own life.

Stop the abuse and begin to heal. For those who have been denying and hiding the abuse, the stress of emotional abuse can catch up with you in the form of illness, emotional trauma, depression, or anxiety. Leaving the relationship may be the only option but there is help.

A licensed counselor who is trained in abusive relationships can help you navigate the pain and fears of leaving the relationship and work with you to rebuild your self-esteem. This can be a painful and frightening first step.

Remember you are not to blame for any abuse, do not let your partner ever make you feel like you’re worthless and not a good person. Set boundaries tell your abuser he or she cannot continue yelling at you, call you names, be rude to you, etc. If the bad behavior occurs, let them know you will leave immediately .

There is help for people in abusive situations, you are not alone.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

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