11 Warning Signs of Emotional Abuse in Relationships
Don't let these warning signs fly under the radar. At the start of a relationship, the abuser may appear to be attentive and kind. Ferentz said. Emotional abuse is insidious and can be hard to spot, especially when the abuser is trying to pass off their actions as romantic. Here are What's more, mental or emotional abuse, while most common in Here are signs that you may be in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Done often enough, this can turn a relatively independent person into an anxious pleaser — which is where your partner wants you. Your partner refuses to acknowledge your strengths and belittles your accomplishments. The ways your partner reacts to your accomplishments or positive feelings about something can be telling.
Does he show little interest or ignore you? Over time, confronted with hurtful responses, your sense of confidence and trust in your own competence can slowly diminish. Your partner withholds affection, sex or money to punish you. The process of withholding affection or emotional or financial support is not always understood as abusive.
Most people equate abusive behavior with the infliction of harm. If a woman feels hurt, afraid or angry with her partner, she will not feel safe and open around him, and her body will respond accordingly.
You feel sorry for your partner, even though they hurt you. In time, it becomes a pattern and your own wants and needs will fall by the wayside. Does something to spite you, just to get a rise out of you. Threatens infidelity or divorce to throw you off balance.
This marriage is over. Uses neglect or abandonment to punish or frighten you. Your abuser wants to make you suffer, so he or she will just stop participating in the relationship. Maybe he or she will stop coming home at night or take trips away from home without telling you. After arguments, he or she might take off in the car and neglect to call so you will worry. Belittles, insults, or berates you in front of other people. Puts down your physical appearance or intellect.
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Even a kid knows better than that! If the attacks happen often enough, you begin to feel ugly and stupid.
You worry that if you leave the relationship, no one else would ever want you. In fact, your abuser may remind you of that fear frequently. Belittles and trivializes you, your accomplishments, or your hopes and dreams.
The one person whose good opinion matters most to you refuses to give you a morsel of praise or support. Tells you your feelings are irrational or crazy.
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Maybe you are sensitive, sentimental, caring, affectionate, and loving. You might have a soft spot for the pain of others or feel emotions intensely. You might simply want a hug, a calm conversation, a loving response, or a supportive comment. So he or she derides you for having them.
Turning other people against you. Your abusive partner feels threatened by the positive attention, praise, or love shown to you by others. She wants to taint your reputation in order to make herself look like the star or to prevent you from having outside influences or distractions. Corrects or chastises you for your behavior. No matter what you do, it never seems good enough for your partner. He or she is constantly pointing out what you do wrong or how you could be doing it better.
You are made to feel incompetent and stupid, even when you have done your best. Shares your personal information with others.
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.
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.
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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.