Emotional abuse can be hard to perceive. It enters your relationship very subtly, in a way that you’re not even able to question properly.
You might just shrug it off thinking that it’s nothing too serious, thinking that it’ll just pass off, and thinking that this horrible feeling you always have is probably just your own problem and not your partner’s. You feel so unsure all the time, unsure of your own feelings and even more unsure of this person standing beside you. And when you finally realize that all these things you’ve been thinking and all these horrible feeling you’ve had were actually a result of emotional abuse from your partner, it might just be too late. You might just be too involved to even get out.
So look out for these 6 signs of having an emotionally abusive partner. And break free before it’s too late!
Their reactions to extremely normal situations have started to terrify you
In my last relationship, there were a lot of things that my ex didn’t approve of. Whether it was talking to friends he didn’t like or going to places where he couldn’t supervise my every move, I always felt like I had to be extremely careful in everything I did because I just couldn’t afford to upset him in any way. So I was at a party once and I ran into a guy who used to like me a long time back. We talked casually for a few minutes and there was nothing sexual or romantic about it. He was actually there with his own girlfriend. But all I kept thinking in the few minutes we talked was that if my ex ever found out about this, he would definitely freak out.
He would probably end up screaming and then accuse me of trying to cheat on him or something. And once he had cooled down, he would just apologize and say that he only did it out of love and possessiveness for me. If you feel like you’re being questioned on every single one of your actions and if you feel the need to hide stuff from your partner just to avoid his unreasonable anger, then there’s a good chance that your partner is being emotionally abusive.
They try to control all your finances
This is one of the most common tricks emotional abusers use to keep you trapped. They know that if you were completely independent and in control of your life, then there would be a good chance of you leaving them. So it will start with a dialogue like “My money is your money” and ideas of how you should keep all your finances combined. It will sound romantic in the start until you realize that the one in control of all the money is always him. And he’ll make you feel guilty by saying things like “Don’t you trust me?” if you ever try to take the control back.
They try to keep you away from your family and friends
Even though your partner will never actually admit that they’re abusing you in any way or doing something wrong but they’ll still know in their hearts that the people who truly love you, the people who care about you and the people who have seen you two together can tell that something is just not right. They’ll fear that your family and friends might even talk to you about this and make you realize all the things that are not so obvious to you at the moment.
So they’ll impose restrictions, they’ll poison you against them and they’ll make sure that your contact with them is kept to the minimum. By doing this, they are effectively cutting off the one support system that can help you escape and they’re gaining even more control over your life.
They make you feel sexually uncomfortable
Sexual abuse isn’t something that you can only experience with random strangers as you walk by a scary alley or by drunken guys at a party. A lot of sexual abuse is actually committed by the people we know, the people we thought we could trust and the people who we can’t readily blame. If you feel like you’re being pressurized in any way to do things you don’t want to do, if he makes you feel guilty by saying you don’t satisfy his needs, or if he downright forces you into things you don’t like, then this is definitely abuse
They make you feel like you can never do better than them
Emotional abusers don’t try to control you by physical force. They tend to exert their control on the way you think.
Because if they can control your thoughts and if they can control your emotions, then they can control almost every aspect of your life. They’ll make you believe that you’re worthless. They’ll make you believe that no one other than them can ever put up with you. They’ll make you believe that they’re doing some sort of favor to you by sticking by you. You’ll get to a point where you’ll start feeling thankful towards them for “accepting” you because you’re obviously such an awful person.
And when your self-esteem has been broken down so badly, when you have no respect left for your own self, then it will be pretty hard for you to realize what the actual problem is. And it will be even harder to realize how this person beside you is not the saint you think he is.
You feel scared of leaving them
If the only reason you can’t leave them is because you’re scared of what harm they might cause to you or to their own self, then you’re being abused.
If the only reason you can’t imagine a life without them is because you feel like you have nothing else left in your life and not because you actually love them and want to be with them, then you were being abused. When you’ve been with an emotional abuser long enough, you forget the person you actually were. You forget that there is a life outside of this relationship, a life that probably holds more happiness. And you forget that you are worth much more than this.
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