The signs of being in an emotional abusive relationship are always there, even though the individual who is abused may not be aware of what is happening to them. Many times friends and family will also recognize these signs, but they may not address them until things begin to progress.
Dissimilar to physical abuse, the person that is being abused will not have physical scars on them that can be seen. However, emotional scars may already exist in the form of shrinking confidence or in the form of feeling less safe and secure because the abuser may begin to pose a threat. In many cases, the person who is being abused will often feel powerless, afraid and confused because the abuser is skilled at working on diminishing their self-esteem and confidence. This can easily be done by demeaning and humiliating the victim when they are alone or around others.
According to numerous psychological studies, it is also important to note that the abusers are not primarily men, but also women too since they are now being counted in the number as being equally guilty of these actions as well. Therefore, for people who are interested in the 20 warning signs that identify these emotionally abusive relationships, here’s a list that should be closely reviewed.
#1 – Abuser constantly humiliates the person in front of others around them.
#2 – Victim is made to feel as if they cannot do anything right because they are being criticized all of the time.
#3 – Mean and demeaning jokes are told at the victims expense.
#4 – Abuser takes control over all of the victims actions.
#5 – Shortcomings and failures are always being highlighted instead of being minimized.
#6 – Abuser tells the victim that they are simply too sensitive and their feelings of hurt are always ignored.
#7 – Victim lives in constant fear of being alone because the abuser is always giving them disapproving looks.
#8 – Abuser punishes the victim by sex and affection being withheld.
#9 – Abuser discourages and belittles any dreams that the person expresses.
#10 – Secrets and private moments are shared with others without respect of the others personal feelings.
#11 – Abuser is the only one that knows what’s best for the victim.
#12 – Victim is blamed as the cause of the abuser’s failing, moods, problems and overall unhappiness.
#13 – Abusers cannot accept any criticism or listen to jokes from others about themselves without getting angry.
#14 – Abuser wants to isolate the person from their friends by making them feel guilty and wrong for wanting to spend time with them.
#15 – Abuser makes the victim feel as if they should be thankful for being chosen by them since they are really not good enough to be in the relationship.
#16 – Victim is always seen as being wrong, and the abuser always has the right answer..
#17 – Abuser make subtle threats that’s normally disguised as being helpful to the victim.
#18 – Victim’s finances are controlled by the abuser since they want to know how all of the victim’s money is being spent.
#19 – When the abuser and victim are apart, the abuser is constantly sending text messages to track and keep up with the person and who they may be with.
#20 – Victim is often forced to prove their love because they are being accused of things that’s not true.
While this is not an exhaustive list, it does contain many actions that abusers have in common. Learning to identify these and other signs can save ourselves and loved ones a lot of time and trouble. Specifically, when the signs are normally their strongest. For example, the abuser robs the person of being who they really are, and makes them feel as if they are worthless and inferior. Getting out of these relationships can be difficult until the person recognizes the abuser for who they really are, an abuser. Preventing these relationships from continuing is of utmost importance since they can manifest themselves in illnesses, depression and even cases of long term trauma.
This said, when loved ones begin to recognize these signs, they should proceed with caution since this may be a sensitive subject to address. However, it is important for the person to have the appropriate help because these relationships can begin to graduate into relationships that include physical abuse as well.
Written by: Elizabeth H.