Emotional abuse can happen to anyone at any time. It is a form of domestic violence between intimate partners and spouses. Emotional abuse is extremely damaging, but it often goes unnoticed. The victim is usually so afraid to speak up for fear of the abuser’s retaliation or withdrawal from the relationship that they stay silent.
What is Emotional Abuse?
Emotional abuse is any kind of mistreatment or aggression that is carried out with the intent of harming or controlling the emotional well-being of the victim. It can take many different forms, from insults and put-downs to threats and physical violence.
The effects of emotional abuse can be devastating — it can cause long-term psychological damage, reduce a victim’s ability to trust others, and even trigger mental health problems. If you are in an abusive relationship, it is important that you get help as soon as possible. There are many resources available to you — find one that is right for you and start working towards your recovery.
This can cause severe damage in a relationship and make them unable to move on with their lives and experience anxiety and depression.
Feelings in Emotionally Abusive Relationships
- You feel like your partner controls or dominates all aspects of your life.
- Your partner consistently puts their needs before yours, refusing to listen when you express yourself instead of making decisions without consulting you.
- Your partner refuses to apologize or make any gesture of remorse, even after committing an act that has hurt or offended you.
- Your partner consistently insults, criticizes, and makes demeaning remarks about your intelligence or appearance.
- You constantly feel like you are walking on eggshells around your partner due to the fear of provoking them into an anger outburst.
Here are some clear signs of emotional abuse.
1. Emotional Withholding
You have to earn love by doing what they expect from you. You feel you are not worthy of their love. Abusers use love and affection as bribing tools to get what they want.
2. Aggressive Behavior
They show aggression without any reason. They shout on you, near your ears. They damage your belongings and break things. They can also trough stuff on you or near you. Sometimes they punch the walls.
Abusers are masters of intentional cheating; they use it to teach you a lesson or hurt you. They will blame you for the cheating. They say you did something, and then I have done this to you.
4. Threatening Tone
Emotional abusers start this game by threatening you that they will harm themselves. Sometimes they threaten you or your loved ones. They use bad words for them and make you realize that your parents are responsible.
5. Excessive Control
Abusers control everything; how you talk, what you wear, what you eat, what you drink, what you watch, and what you hear. They want to show you a selective picture of things. In this case, emotional abusers and Narcissists are on the same page; they both share this skill of control and manipulation.
Emotional abusers of jealous of you; they don’t want you to hang out with family, friends, and colleagues. They will criticize your family, friends, and colleagues.
Abusers keep an eye on you every time. They secretly monitor your social media and daily activities. They will over-question your everything.
Emotional abusers crack bad jokes on you. They demean you in front of others. They kill your self-esteem. They call you nasty names and laugh at you without any reason.
What can you do?
If you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, it is important to seek professional help. There are many resources available to assist victims of emotional abuse, including:
- Hotlines that offer support and counselling for people who have been abused. (many of which also provide free phone services)
- Speakers’ bureaus can bring guest speakers who discuss domestic violence issues specifically from the victim’s perspective.
- Various online communities and forums can offer support and resources to victims of emotional abuse.
- Local support groups for people who have been in abusive relationships.
- Non-profit organizations provide support and counselling to victims of all types of abuse.
- Counsellors who specialize in working with emotionally abusive couples.