11 Warning Signs of Emotional Abuse in Relationships
Jul 2, Psychological abuse involves attempts to frighten, control, or isolate you. It can happen anywhere: in a romantic relationship, among family. Aug 7, Emotional abuse and coercive control is often really hard to spot in relationships. The gaslighting and emotionally manipulative methods. Mar 5, “Unlike physical or sexual abuse, there is a subtlety to emotional abuse,” Lisa Ferentz, a licensed clinical social worker and educator.
Your abusive partner uses your personal information as a weapon against you. If you've shared something private or shameful with your partner, he or she doesn't treat that information with dignity and compassion. Rather, it's seen as a useful tool for controlling, manipulating, and shaming you. Accuses you of being crazy or being the abusive partner. You know you rarely feel loved, but she claims you are off your rails and unappreciative of the good treatment you receive. You feel completely trapped and confused.
Invalidates or denies their emotionally abusive behavior when confronted. You finally have the courage to speak up to your partner about his or her behaviors, but you are met with a blank stare and a complete denial.
No matter how many examples you give or how convincing you might be, your abusive partner uses gaslighting and refuses to admit that he or she is emotionally abusive.
Accuses you of lying or having a bad memory. He comes home with a brand-new sports car and swears the two of you discussed it.
Home | The National Domestic Violence Hotline
You would never have felt comfortable spending that money on something so frivolous. Hijacks a conversation to confuse or divert the subject away from your needs.
Rather than listening to you, she starts yelling and complaining that you never listen to her and that you only care about yourself. Plays intentional mind games. Blames you for his or her bad behavior.
And the argument your partner presents is so compelling, you start to believe it yourself. You have opened your calendar, your phone, and your computer to your partner to prove your innocence. Logic and truth mean nothing to your abuser.
Your abuser's snide remarks or passive-aggressive behaviors are all in your head. You are just too sensitive to see things clearly. At least that's what your abuser wants you to think.
He wants you to believe he is the grown-up, while you are just an overly-needy child. Tries to make you feel as though he or she is always right, and you are wrong. You may know in your heart of hearts that you are right about something.
It could be trivial or important, but your abuser digs in and won't admit that you are right. He or she is so convincing and adamant that you begin to doubt yourself. Makes excuses for their behavior, tries to blame others and has difficulty apologizing. Your abusive partner never steps up to personal responsibility. He or she deflects and blames rather than acknowledging and apologizing. You've lost complete respect for your partner because of his or her inability to own the issues that a causing so many problems.
Blames you for their problems, life difficulties, or unhappiness. All of the bad things that happen to your partner are your fault. At least that's what your partner thinks.
If he or she is depressed, lost a job, or has some other difficulty, you are the reason it's happening. If only you were a better partner, he or she would finally be happy and successful. If you hear this enough, you begin to believe it.
Domestic Violence and Abuse
The first step for those being emotionally abused is recognizing it's happening. If you observe any of the symptoms of emotional abuse in your marriage, 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've been minimizing, denying, and hiding the abuse, this can be a painful and frightening first step.
The stress of emotional abuse will eventually catch up with you in the form of illness, emotional trauma, depression, or anxiety. You simply can't allow it to continue, even if it means ending the relationship. A professional 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.
Stop worrying about pleasing or protecting the abuser. Take care of yourself and your needs, and let the other person worry about themselves — even when they pout or try to manipulate you and control your behavior.
Set some firm boundaries. Tell your abuser he or she may no longer yell at you, call you names, put you down, be rude to you, etc.
Just keep quiet and walk away. You can't make this person change or reason your way into their hearts and minds. They must want to change and recognize the destructive quality of their behavior and words. If you've been entrenched in an abusive relationship for a while, it can be crazy-making.
You start to feel like something must be wrong with you since this other person treats you so poorly. Begin to acknowledge to yourself that it is NOT you.
This is the first step toward rebuilding your self-esteem. Talk to trusted friends and family or a professional counselor about what you are going through. Get away from the abusive person as often as possible, and spend time with those who love and support you.
This support system will help you feel less alone and isolated while you still contend with the abuser. Develop an exit plan. You can't remain in an emotionally abusive relationship forever. If finances or children or some other valid reason prevents you from leaving now, develop a plan for leaving as soon as possible.
Can an emotional abuser change? It is possible if the abuser deeply desires to change and recognizes his or her psychologically abusive patterns and the damage caused by them. However, the learned behaviors and feelings of entitlement and privilege are very difficult to change.15 Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship (real one)
Are you seeing any of the signs of emotional abuse in your relationship? However, many are so focused on physical forms of abuse that they too often miss the warning signs of emotional abuse, at least, until they find themselves caught in the trap of an emotionally abusive relationship or marriage themselves. If you were raised in an environment of abuse, you may feel more comfortable living within a cycle of violence, which includes emotional forms of violence such as threats to your privacy and control of resources, than you realize.
And even if you do realize this and feel certain that you want to get divorced or leave the toxic relationship, abusers have plenty of tricks up their sleeves for making you believe that doing so impossible. Here are 11 signs of emotional abuse in relationships and marriages, and how each may affect you in a divorce or breakup.
Withholding affection from a partner is a way to punish the partner and to exercise power and control. An abuser might threaten to expose you in a way you find embarrassing, or they may threaten to take something important away from you, such as money, your home, or even your own kids.
Lack of Respect for Your Privacy. This is often a subtle sign of emotional abuse. Your partner may check your private messages or voicemails, either by hacking into them or directly insisting you give them the passwords for all of email and social media accounts. They might even go so far as to insist your share email and social media accounts, so they can analyze everything you do and say.