20 Warning Signs Your Relationship is Emotionally Abusive

abusive relationship FI

Abuse is defined as any behavior that is designed to control another human being through the use of tactics such as fear, humiliation, intimidation, guilt, coercion and manipulation. While emotional abuse doesn’t leave outward scars, it can be just as damaging on the inside. Many people in an emotionally abusive relationship feel like they are not being hurt physically, so they are not being abused. But emotional abuse can seriously damage emotional health, causing clinical anxiety, depression, a skewed view of self-worth and an extreme lack of self-esteem.

Emotional abuse is often more psychologically harmful than physical abuse, as victims are more likely to blame themselves. The road to recovery from emotional abuse is a long one, but the first step is to recognize an emotionally abusive relationship, and get out.hands tied

You might be in an emotionally abusive relationship if:

1. Your partner constantly embarrasses you on purpose in front of other people.

2. Your partner criticizes everything that you do, constantly points out your flaws and makes you feel like you can’t do anything right.

3. Your partner tells mean, inappropriate and demeaning jokes, with you as the punch line.

4. Your partner tries to control every move you make and every word you say.

5. Your partner constantly reminds you of your failures and flaws, eager to make sure you know “what’s wrong with you.”

6. Your partner could care less about your feelings, and often tells you that you’re too sensitive or your opinion is just wrong.

7. Your partner dismisses you or gives you disapproving looks that make you afraid or nervous to be alone with him or her.

8. Your partner shows no affection toward you or withholds affection as a form of punishment when you do something he/she doesn’t approve of.

9. Your partner constantly belittles you and tells you that your dreams, goals and accomplishments are stupid or insignificant.

10. Your partner shares your secrets or your private moments openly with others, knowing that’s not what you would want.crying

11. Your partner thinks you are incapable of most things, and knows what’s best for you.

12. Your partner blames you for his or her problems, bad moods and overall unhappiness.

13. Your partner is incapable of laughing at weaknesses or mistakes, and gets extremely angry if others are laughing at those weaknesses or errors.

14. Your partner makes you feel guilty about wanting to see your friends and family, or going anywhere on your own.

15. Your partner makes you feel like you aren’t good enough for him or her; your partner says he or she could do better, and you should be thankful to be in the relationship.

16. Your partner insists on always being right and doing things his or her way, because you are always wrong.

17. Your partner makes subtle threats that might be disguised as a “suggestion” to help you.

18. Your partner controls the finances in order to control your actions and monitor how much money you spend and what you spend it on.

19. Your partner constantly calls, texts or even shows up to check up on you to see who you are with and what you’re doing when he or she isn’t around.

20. Your partner accuses you of things that aren’t true, then forces you to “prove” your love.

h/t: power of positivity

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Melina - June 28, 2016

Or perhaps when they are angry with you, they completely twist your words to make it sound like you meant something entirely different in order to make you look like a bad person publicly. Then they show remorse, but do it again.

Maria White - November 2, 2016

Hmm… my brothers boyfriend does some of these things to me all the time, I guess its not so much as just solely ‘partner’ just people you live with.

AH, he’s done, 1, 2, 3 (blame me for everything, as a joke…yeah okay), 5, 6, ((Mostly this one, I get yelled at for showing the slightest bit of frustration with him, or my brother))7, ((When I have to go, or want to go with them to get something he sits there and makes disgusted noises when I ask to grab something, EVEN WHEN I ALWAYS PAY FOR IT)) 10, ((this one is my brother, he tells his boyfriend EVERY FRACKING THING)) 11, ((he is younger then me, and treats me like a child most of the time)) 13, ((I get thought punished around this all the time, and get yelled at for making jokes about him, or my brother even when my brother LAUGHS)) 14, ((I have to go to the store, ask my brother to take me, he doesn’t and I get yelled at for the temerity for asking)) 16, ((most evident in me having to be the politest fracking person in the world in asking to go anywhere in a car)) 17, ((I get yelled at for even asking my parents to go somewhere and told to just buy a car on minimum wage if I want to do anything)) 20. ((Like I said thought punishing, I never have recently told my brother he is lazy, when his boyfriend is accusing me of saying this. I haven’t even said he plays too many video games, still get punished for this.))

I got a bike now, so I don’t have to sit there and rely on my brother as much, but my parent’s still sit there and insist I have to rely on him. I keep telling them no its fine, I don’t have to and such. I’m so much happier spending ALL my money on my bike. I blocked my brothers boyfriend on the phone so he can’t text me anymore, or call, which also makes me feel better. Though I dread telling him this… I just don’t know how to HANDLE it. I just can’t tell my parents, I’m 26 I should be able to handle this shit on my own. I have to be a damned adult and gut as much of him out of my life as possible.

Em - November 12, 2016

Being controlled to the point that you no longer want to make a decision by yourself and thinking all your suggestions are wrong and everything you want for yourself should be consulted to your partner means you have experienced being degraded too much already and you just give up for the sake of peace. It is very painful and very hard to separate, you need determination to do that but once you did and you experienced being on your own doing what you like and realized you were wronged and can be successful, the healing starts. You will encounter people even at work with the same attitude but if you can avoid them, stay away from them because the memories and the feelings will still hurt. Hopefully, with time the healing will happen and you will be able to trust again and be able to start a healthy relationship with a man who love and respect you.

    Jcarrera - November 12, 2016

    Em, you just said everything that’s destroying my marriage.. thank you for making me feel less crazy and less alone in this. I wish you luck and I will take this as a sign that it’s just best for both of us to go seperated ways for now at least.. by the way I’m a male and this happens to us too. Especially when all we wanna do is to make our partners happy. I’m guilty of yelling and cursing from time to time and saying I can’t do this anymore and that maybe all of this was a mistake because I’ve never once asked her to change but she essentially tells me if I don’t change we can’t be together and we’ll never have a family..to be honest part of why I never started a family with her is because I was always afraid of what would happen if I was less than perfect. I’m glad I made that decision because I’d die inside if I lost my child over me making some mistakes over 6years of being together..thank you for saying what you have.. you’re helping people like me.

Melina - November 12, 2016


Roxanne Veinotte - November 14, 2016

Would be nice to have the opportunity to let abusers know they CAN change instead of constantly pointing the finger and making it seem like abusers wont ever change….

SJ Swayzee - December 10, 2016

Not ALL these signs need be present for it to be an abusive relationship. The main point is that even with just a few of these features being present, the moment you feel you can’t be yourself, or that you are WRONG for being yourself, that’s the hallmark of being in a relationship with an emotional abuser. The thing people who have never been in such a relationship will never understand is that ANYONE can become imprisoned by one. They don’t understand, because it has not happened to THEM, and therefore they think it never could. But the thing they don’t realize is that emotional abusers don’t start out that way, and they’re not that way all the time! They can be charming, loving, attentive, affectionate, and generous. Especially in the beginning of the relationship! The monsters don’t begin to come out until they feel comfortable in the relationship, and safe to let that side of themselves show. That is what makes it so difficult to just walk away from–you remember how things were, you see how wonderful that person CAN be, and you believe that there must be some THING that you can do (or not do) that will get things back as they were in the beginning. But the truth is, every time you take the abuser back, it’s really telling them…not that it’s OK, both you and the abuser KNOW better than that. But it is telling them you’re willing to take them back anyway, and that you will tolerate it. It is ENABLING them to continue. Truth is, they can’t stop it. Not without at least a few years of consistent therapy, and wanting to change the thoughts that cause them to behave that way. The hardest part is ending it for good, but it is sadly often the ONLY way to force that change; and even absent the change in that person, it’s the only way YOU will regain peace and happiness.

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