Most people recognize that abuse comes in three primary forms.
There’s verbal abuse, physical abuse, and emotional abuse.
However, what many people fail to acknowledge is that verbal and emotional abuse are just as damaging as physical abuse.
Being that we give more weight to abuse that is physical over other forms, it’s no wonder that many of the signs of emotional abuse go unnoticed, or better yet, seem completely normal to most people.
All the while victims suffer in silence, not knowing if they are being overly emotional or exaggerating the situation.
In many cases defending the abusers actions, unknowingly leading themselves to anxiety and depression.
No one should have to go through that.
It’s time to spotlight emotional abuse, it’s impact, and what it looks like in relationships.
Are you in an emotionally abusive relationship and don’t realize it?
These 8 things are key indicators that you are.
Here are the signs of emotional abuse that people often think are normal…
1. Disguising criticism and insults as compliments and jokes.
Respect is one of the primary pillars of all relationships.
But what about when the disrespect isn’t so obvious? What about when it comes in the form of sarcastic insults and criticism disguised as compliments?
The crazy thing about that type of emotional abuse is that although they notice it, the person on the receiving end of the remarks often let it go because the disrespectful comments aren’t overt.
But here’s the thing… If they do speak up, the person throwing shade will pretend that they are “hearing things” “acting crazy” or “being dramatic.”
Then to add to that, when onlookers notice the shady comments they often wave it off as “Jackie being Jackie.”
Make no buts about it this is emotional abuse.
It tears down your self esteem, is made to make you feel inferior, and causes you to second guess yourself and your actions.
Whether it’s a “friendship” or a romantic relationship, this type of behavior is unacceptable.
Remove that person from your life or at the very least limit contact with them as much as possible.
2. It’s always your fault…or someone else’s…but never theirs…
I think we’ve all been involved in this type of relationship at some point in life.
No matter what goes wrong, no matter who’s really at fault, the blame is always on you… Or someone else…
The crazy thing is that if you call this type of person out on their bullsh!t they throw a fit like a damn three year old.
Intense arguments, guilt trips, and a “what I say goes” attitude are all hallmarks of people that use the blame game to emotionally abuse the person they’re dating.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to start believing that this behavior is normal when you’re in the midst of a relationship with a person that behaves this way.
You might even start believing that you are at fault for things you had nothing to do with because of how insistent they are.
Don’t put yourself through this.
Rarely do people like this change.
They typically learn this behavior as children, by having a parent that never called them out on their “it’s somebody else’s fault” excuses and maybe even went as far as defending them even when they were clearly in the wrong.
That leads to this “I’m never wrong” ideology that’s deeply instilled in them.
If you see these things in your relationship, get out.
3. Using breakup threats to get what you want.
People in relationships that constantly use threats and ultimatums to get their partners to do what they want are being abusive.
And it’s so prevalent that many people believe this behavior is normal.
If your partner is always threatening to leave you, start seeing other people, or go back to an ex as a way to get you to comply with their request, without a doubt, you are in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Ladies, I hate to say it, but I think we’re more guilty of this than our male counterparts lol.
In fact, the majority of the men we interviewed for our book “Secrets Revealed: The Uncut Truth That Will Change Your Love Life Forever” believed that nagging is just something that girlfriend’s and wives do.
Now I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with asserting yourself and speaking your mind when you feel like your significant other has done something wrong.
But nagging all the time is an abuse of power, damaging to your relationship, and as studies have shown, it’s even damaging to your partner’s health.
As a rule of thumb, if a person is so irresponsible that you have to constantly remind them to take care of their responsibilities you probably shouldn’t be in a relationship with them.
5. Frequent jealously…
Jealousy in relationships. It’s nearly impossible to avoid and doesn’t necessarily signal that anything is wrong in the relationship.
In fact, most experts agree that a little jealousy is normal in romantic relationships.
However, when the level of jealousy in your relationship leads to frequent arguments and accusations something isn’t right.
For instance, if your partner is insecure because you work with other men, accuses you of having affairs, and gets upset anytime you dress up and go out without them, these are signs of an emotionally abusive relationship.
Who wants to be bombarded with constant suspicions when they have done nothing wrong?
This type of behavior isn’t fair and is emotionally draining to you.
6. Non-stop calls and text when you’re out.
Ain’t it crazy how a person can argue with you all day, have no concern about your needs when you’re in their presence, but blow your phone up as soon as you step out the house
What most people fail to realize about this behavior though is that it’s emotionally abusive.
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of this you know exactly what I’m talking about.
It’s stressful, upsets you, and ruins what should have been a fun or relaxing time.
Yea… You’re not your partner’s child… If this resembles your relationship, make no mistakes about it, it’s unhealthy and they need to change or come to the realization that they’re going to lose you one day if they don’t.
7. Using the silent treatment as a punishment.
In relationships, sometimes silence is a good thing, particularly when you don’t want to say something out of anger that you might regret later.
But some women and men use silence as a tactic to punish or manipulate their partners to get what they want.
Many people don’t realize how emotionally manipulative and abusive this is to the other person.
When someone really cares about you, they want to do whatever possible to make your relationship work and keep the peace.
The silent treatment takes advantage of those emotions by putting the person in a prolonged state of concern about your feelings and what they’ve done wrong.
Simply put: It’s toying with your partner’s emotions for your own gain, and that’s abusive.
8. Frequent arguments.
It’s crazy how many couples believe that the frequent arguments they have are normal.
It’s also crazy how much emotional turmoil they put themselves through to try to fight for a relationship that clearly isn’t working.
They usually stem from both partners trying to change each other into their ideal mate.
It’s just not worth it. You can’t make someone be who you want them to be just for the sake of being together.
But it never fails how much people try to change their partners, and how much emotional turmoil it causes both parties.
If you find yourself in a relationship where arguments are the norm, it’s probably because you’re incompatible, and it’s clearly not the relationship for you.
One thing I want to make clear with this article is that emotional abuse IS abuse.
Just because you’re not being physically harmed doesn’t mean that it’s not just as damaging.
If you notice any of these signs of emotional abuse in your relationship it’s time to make some changes.
Whether that means that you tell your partner that they need to change their behavior or you remove yourself from the relationship is all up to.
Just set firm boundaries and stick to them.
Don’t fight for a relationship that tears you down psychologically and emotionally.
You deserve better… And only you can guarantee that you get it…