10 Tell-Tale Signs You Are In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship
It’s not always easy to realize that a relationship is abusive, especially if you’re the one who is at the receiving end of abuse. Some abusers never lay a hand on their partners, but the emotional harm they inflict on their victims can be felt for years after the relationship is finally over.
If you feel like any of the ten signs listed below can be used to describe your relationship, it’s time to break it off:
1. They demand to know how you spend your every waking minute when you’re not with them.
If your partner makes you report to him or her everything you’ve been doing throughout the day, every location you’ve visited, and every person you’ve met, it’s a sign of trouble. They may explain it by saying they “just worry about you so much,” but such possessiveness and overprotectiveness is unhealthy and should be recognized as such.
2. They have taken full control over your finances.
Abusers label all or most of their partners’ personal spending as “wasteful.” They may also take away their partners’ credit cards and demand a full report on how every penny was spent. It may even get to the point when they don’t allow you to simply buy groceries without them.
3. They are overly secretive.
They feel the need to control your every move, but if you try to ask them about where they are going or who they are going to meet, they act angry or offended, saying things like “You don’t trust me enough, and that hurts” or “What right do you have to control what I do and where I go?” In other words, the reaction is disproportionate to a harmless question you had asked.
4. They are trying to isolate you from your friends and family.
Abusers may express a strong dislike for their partners’ friends and label them as “bad influence.” They can’t give a reasonable explanation why they don’t like your family and friends. It may get to the point when they try to prevent you from communicating with family and friends and force you to choose either them or friends/family.
5. They have gone through your phone and internet history.
This is another manifestation of abusers’ controlling behavior. If your partner goes through your phone calls, messages, or internet history without your permission, and if he or she does this repeatedly, such behavior is one of the red flags.
6. They are unreasonably jealous.
Emotionally abusive partners want you all for themselves and get extremely jealous without any reasonable grounds. They may try to limit your communication with coworkers of the opposite sex, or try to prevent you from hanging out with a group of friends if they think one of the friends “is trying to steal you” from them.
7. They throw objects when they are angry.
If your partner gets so angry that he or she throws various objects in fits of rage, it’s a huge red flag. Even if they don’t throw things directly at you, next time it may escalate to actual physical violence.
8. They never take the blame.
If they have problems at work, it’s always their coworkers’ fault. If things aren’t working out with you, you are the one who’s to blame. Abusive partners blame you or other people if something doesn’t go their way, and they never apologize sincerely.
9. They are like two different people at the same time.
If you are in a relationship with someone who’s emotionally abusive, it may feel like you’re living with Jekyll and Hyde. They may be controlling, manipulative, and verbally abusive at one moment and turn into the sweetest, most charming and loving person you’ve ever met just a moment later. Don’t fall into that trap; abusers sense when they are losing their grip on you and start to act nice, making you reconsider leaving them.
10. You’ve started to question your own sanity.
Life with an abuser seriously damages your self-esteem and self-confidence. Some abusers go as far as to create an intricate web of lies to make their partners think they are losing touch with reality (examples of such acts include saying events that happened before actually never happened and you’re “inventing” them, or placing objects around the house and claiming they were always there and you just never noticed them).
The BBC has a collection of real-life stories that illustrate what it’s like to be in such relationships.
If you think that warning signs described above apply to your romantic relationship, get out as soon as possible. You may need the help of a counselor to see the relationship for what it really is and get your life back. Reconnect with your friends and family and start living the life you deserve!
This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.