8 Signs You May Be in An Abusive Relationship
Most people in society associate the term abuse with black eyes & broken bones. And while this is certainly abuse, emotional & mental abuse can be just as damaging to a person’s welfare and often does not leave scars that are recognised as damage by the general public.
Unfortunately we live in a time where abuse within intimate relationships – is increasing. Many people are unaware that the emotional & mental treatment they receive from a partner is abusive, & will often believe there is something wrong with themselves. Or they may think it is a trivial matter, & they don’t want to ‘rock the boat’ over nothing. Alternatively they may think they will not be believed by other people, or they don’t want to risk causing a scandal & so continue to hide the situation from others.
However, continuing to stay in an abusive relationship is not trivial & will cause serious damage to a person’s mental & emotional health.
Below are 8 signs that could indicate you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship:.
1. Extremely jealous
A prominent trait of abusers is their jealousy. An abusive partner or spouse is often jealous of you, other people and even your dreams and goals. If they often falsely accuse you of infidelities with other people, this is a huge red flag. Their jealousy over your perceived cheating, or intangible things like your aspirations stem from the lack of control they feel over those aspects of your life.
2. Verbally Abusive
If someone calls you derogatory names, they mean to hurt you, shame you, destroy your confidence and keep you in line. Abusers sometimes cover themselves by saying they are joking, blaming you, saying that you need to lighten up or that you are too sensitive. You are not too sensitive; you are feeling in your gut that this is not the way you should be treated.
This is the case whether the insults are said to your face, over the phone or in texts or emails. A common tactic of some abusers is to send many derogatory texts & then refuse to address this in a specific way afterwards.
3. Instills fear
If you feel fear around your partner or spouse, there is something very wrong. Abusers may try to intimidate you with violence, dominance or power tactics. For example, intentionally putting you in possibly harmful situations, smashing furniture in front of you, almost hitting you then pulling back at the last moment, or showing you their gun collection and stating they are not afraid to use them.
If you are afraid to speak up & are constantly walking on eggshells & dreading the next outburst, this is a very bad sign.
4. Alcohol and drug use
Not all abusers use drugs or drink excessive alcohol, but many do. An addiction can lead to erratic and inappropriate behavior. Substance abuse can be a gateway to emotional abuse and an unhealthy relationship.
5. Controls you through emotions
An abuser is a grand manipulator and will give you the silent treatment, and emotionally punish you for not following their idea of how things should be. An abuser will try to make you feel guilty any time you exert your will and assert what is right for you. At times the abuser may appear to be apologetic and loving; but the abuse begins again when the abuser feels he or she has your forgiveness.
6. Blames you for their behaviour
This is classically verbalised by statements such as ‘look what you made me do’ . If your significant other always blames their bad behaviours on you, this may be a bad sign. If he or she throws a tantrum or attacks you verbally, he or she will say it was because of you. It is not a sign of a healthy relationship. if your partner does not take responsibility for their own actions, & makes no efforts to change.
7. You are always forced to put them first.
If your partner will not focus on you or your needs & always insists that their needs come first, this is not a good sign. In a healthy partnership, both people should get roughly equal amounts of time, consideration & love. But if one partner is always ‘exploding in anger, or acting out in dramatic & overemotional ways & the other partner is always in damage control trying to soothe the other, this is unhealthy, It could lead to one partner becoming exhausted & even developing CPTSD symptoms.
8. Things that are important to you are dismissed or sabotaged
In the beginning of the relationship, your partner may have said they shared many of your interests – they may have even participated in these activities/interests with you. But as the relationships develops, you notice that they gradually stop supporting you in these goals & say that they are not really interested. Worse, they may start to sabotage your ability to participate in & enjoy these activities that represent your goals & dreams.
These are only 8 of a huge list of possible signs which indicate you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. If you recognise any of these traits in your partner, you may be in an emotionally abusive relationship & it’s important to get help. I work with clients to identify & work through any damage or conditioned patterns of thinking & behaviour you might have learned. Over time, you can recover & move forward to regain control of your life & start to thrive.