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14 Signs of Emotional Abuse In Relationships

Do you find yourself stuck in an emotionally abusive relationship?

Nothing destroys a person’s self-esteem and confidence like staying in a relationship with an emotionally abusive partner. Some may consider this form of brainwashing more damaging than physical abuse since it slowly takes away someone’s trust in others and themselves, security and self-worth.

Emotional abuse happens when you are at the receiving end of frequent verbal offense, bullying, constant criticism, threats, and financial control. Also, it can present in more subtle ways like manipulation and shaming. And women are not the only victims. Men can be too. Do you think you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship? Here are 14 signs that can help you tell.

#1. You are constantly mocked.

Your significant other always finds it “funny” if you get yourself in a sticky situation, which not only involves legit embarrassing moments. It may be that he feels you’re a hopeless case or someone who tends to overdo things. If you don’t like the “joke” that he or she has made about you, he teases you about being oversensitive or lacking sense of humor.

#2. Your partner becomes too protective.

Your partner has become unusually protective of you, to the point that you can’t go on without him or her being around. Your better half feels you need protection anytime and anywhere. If you do go out, it’s likely that your partner will insist on picking you up. He/She might even ask you to update constantly with pictures. You are then told that he or she simply cares. But the truth is, your significant other is simply keeping you on a leash.

#3. Others will be involved.

When you and your partner met, there may be an explanation why he or she already had a fallout with his or her family and friends. Now, your special someone starts to create a drama so that you are forced to pick a side.

#4. Grand gestures

When you make your abusive partner realize that he has crossed the line and let him know you’re having doubts of the relationship, expect that he’ll surprise you with grand gestures. This means that the main problem will not be addressed or it will likely be swept under the rug. For your partner, the grand gesture should keep you silent about the whole thing.

#5. Persistent feelings of guilt.

You tend to feel that you’re walking on eggshells. You’ll have to be mindful of your behavior because you don’t want to be shamed or criticized. Most of the time, you don’t even know why you feel guilty or ashamed in the first place. What’s ironic is that the emotional abuser can put the blame on the victim and make them guilty for their bad behavior.

#6. Gaslighting.

Gaslighting happens when your partner makes you doubt your own logic and mental health. You may remember clearly something your partner had told you, but because he/she denies it with conviction, you start to doubt your sanity.

#7. Absence of empathy.

You are not allowed to be majorly upset over something because an abusive partner will simply tell you to “get over it.” There are times that the abusive partner will disappear in times of need or will criticize the victim heavily.

#8. Abusive partners burst your bubble.

You know that moment when you are so excited to share with someone the good news, maybe at work – like you getting a promotion? An abusive partner will not be happy about the news. In fact, he or she will even tell you that things could go wrong if you take the promotion or that accepting it is a bad idea. This eventually leads to argument, throwing your happiness down the drain.

#9. You're never right.

An emotionally abusive partner never sees the good in you. Instead, he or she will ALWAYS remember the wrong that you’ve done. If you’re in an abusive relationship, everything you say is wrong. You will likely be encouraged to be honest about your bad past only to have the information used against you later on.

#10. Backhand compliments

You may have been flattered by all the positive words your partner gave you the first time you met. However, there will come a time when he no longer appreciates you. He’ll be more critical of how you look. There are also so many “buts” when he or she compliments you. And when you object, you’ll be labeled as oversensitive again.

#11. Financial control

Also called financial abuse, this is a classic sign of an emotionally abusive partner. Between the two of you, it seems like you are the one pressured to cut back, do the budgeting, earn more and reduce spending. On the other hand, your partner will never consult you when he or she needs to spend.

#12. Stonewalling.

An abusive partner can withdraw emotional from you to the point that they’d disappear for days. There is no explanation. No contact. You are left to figure out what’s wrong and you might even start to think it’s your fault. When he or she returns, you’ll be told he/she needed space. But you’ll never really figure out what he/she was thinking or what happened to him/her.

#13. Change in your personality.

People might see that you’re behaving differently and not being yourself. You can’t even explain to people who care about you why you’ve changed.

#14. Looking forward to "me" time.

You will notice that there are days when everything feels right. Those days are usually when your partner is not with you or that you’re alone. When your partner tells you he needs to be away, you actually look forward to it.

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