Signs of mental abuse from wife

What It Is and Signs to Watch For

You might be familiar with many of the obvious signs of emotional abuse and manipulation. But when you’re in an abusive situation, it’s easy to miss the subtle early signs that build up to a a persistent undercurrent of abusive behavior.

Emotional abuse involves attempts to frighten, control, or isolate you. This type of abuse doesn’t involve physical violence, though it might involve threats of violence directed toward you or your loved ones. It’s characterized by a person’s words, actions, and the consistency of these behaviors. Abuse may start gradually, but it happens again and again.

People of any age or gender can abuse or experience abuse. And abuse doesn’t just happen in the context of romantic relationships. The person abusing you could be your spouse or romantic partner — but they might also be your business partner, parent, caretaker, or even your adult child.

Regardless, you don’t deserve the abuse, and it’s definitely not your fault.

Continue reading to learn how to recognize the signs of emotional abuse and get some guidance on what to do next.

Someone abusing you may use different tactics to undermine your self-esteem.

Examples include:

  • Name-calling and derogatory nicknames. They’ll blatantly call you “stupid,” “a loser,” or use other insults. Maybe they use terms of “endearment” that actually highlight things you’re sensitive about — “my little nail biter” or “my chubby pumpkin” — and ignore your requests to stop.
  • Character assassination. This usually involves the word “always.” You’re always late, wrong, screwing up, disagreeable, and so on. They might say these things to you, or use them to describe your behavior to others.
  • Yelling. Screaming, yelling, and swearing can intimidate you and make you feel small and inconsequential. Maybe they never hit you, but they do pound their fist, throw things, or damage property.
  • Patronizing. They belittle you by saying things like, “I know you try, but this is just beyond the scope of your brain.”
  • Public embarrassment. They pick fights, share your secrets, or make fun of your shortcomings in public.
  • Dismissiveness. You share something important to you and they reply with, “What? Who cares about that?” Body language like eye rolling, smirking, head shaking, and sighing help convey the same message.
  • “Joking.” When you express discomfort with something they’ve said, they snap back, “Can’t you take a joke? Grow up.” You’re left feeling foolish and wondering whether you are, in fact, too sensitive.
  • Insulting your appearance. As you head out, they stop you at the door. “You’re wearing that ridiculous outfit? No wonder you can’t get a date.” Or they constantly say you’re lucky they chose you, since they could find someone so much more attractive.
  • Belittling your accomplishments. They brush off your achievements, saying they don’t matter, or claim responsibility for your successes.
  • Putting down your interests. They suggest your hobby is a waste of time. “You’ll never be any good at the piano, so why do you keep trying?” Really, they’d rather you not participate in activities without them.
  • Pushing your buttons. Once they find something that annoys you or makes you uncomfortable, they begin to mention it every chance they get, ignoring your requests that they stop.

Abusive behavior relates to the desire to maintain power and control. Someone abusing you might attempt to manipulate you into doing what they want you to do, often by making you feel ashamed of your inadequacies.

They may try to control you by:

  • Making threats. They imply — or say outright — that they’ll fire you or report you for being an unfit parent. They might even say something like, “There’s no telling what I might do,” to keep things vague and leave you afraid.
  • Monitoring your whereabouts. They want to know where you are, always, and insist you respond to calls or texts immediately. They might show up at your work or school, just to check you did actually go there.
  • Spying on you digitally. They demand your passwords, or insist you go password-free, and regularly check your internet history, emails, texts, and call log.
  • Gaslighting. Someone abusing you may deny that specific events, arguments, or agreements ever happened. This tactic can leave you questioning your own memory, not to mention your mental health and well-being.
  • Making all the decisions. This might involve closing a joint bank account and canceling doctor’s appointments. They may insist you withdraw from school and resign from work — or do so on your behalf. Or maybe they tell you what to wear, what to eat (and how much), or which friends you can spend time with.
  • Controlling your access to finances. They keep bank accounts in their name and make you ask for money. They also expect you to keep your receipts and account for every penny you spend.
  • Emotional blackmailing. Someone using this tactic will attempt to get you to do things by manipulating your feelings. They might use tricky questions to “test” you, take on the role of victim, or try to guilt-trip you.
  • Lecturing you constantly. After you make a mistake, no matter how minor, they catalog all of your errors with a long monologue. They describe all the ways you’ve fallen short and make it clear they consider you beneath them.
  • Giving direct orders. From, “I don’t care what happened. You stay here until you get that client back, or you’re fired,” to “Stop taking the pill,” they expect you to do everything they say without question.
  • Having frequent outbursts. They told you to cancel that outing with your friend, or put the car in the garage, but you didn’t. So, they become enraged, angrily shouting about how inconsiderate and uncooperative you are.
  • Feigning helplessness. They say they don’t know how to do something, hoping you’ll simply do it yourself instead of taking the time to explain it.
  • Unpredictability. They explode for no clear reason, then suddenly shower you with affection. Or maybe their mood shifts from upbeat to dark and angry with little warning, leaving you never sure what to expect.
  • Walking out. A partner or parent might leave a social event suddenly, so you have no way home. A supervisor might exit during a discussion about your assignment, so your questions remain unresolved.
  • Stonewalling you. During a disagreement or conflict, they shut down, refusing to respond to your attempts to communicate.

People who abuse others often try to create a hierarchy that puts them at the top and you at the bottom.

Examples might include:

  • Jealousy. They accuse you of flirting or cheating, or say you’d spend all your time with them if you truly loved them.
  • Using guilt. They might try to guilt-trip you into doing something by saying things like, “You owe me this. Look at all I’ve done for you,” in an attempt to get their way.
  • Unrealistic expectations. They expect you to do what they want, when they want you to do it. They think you should always prioritize their needs, do things according to their standards — and you absolutely shouldn’t hang out with your friends or family if there’s any chance they might need you.
  • Goading and blaming. People who manipulate and abuse typically know just how to upset you. But once you do get upset, they pin the blame back on you — after all, it’s your fault for being so sensitive and incompetent.
  • Denying the abuse. When you express concerns about their behavior, they might deny it, seemingly bewildered at the very thought. They may even suggest you’re the one with anger and control issues, or say they only get angry because you’re such a difficult person.
  • Trivializing. When you explain how much something they said or did upset you and hurt your feelings, they accuse you of overreacting or misunderstanding the situation.
  • Blaming you for their problems. When things go wrong, they always blame you. If only you’d been a more loving child, a more supportive partner, or a better parent, they might say, their life would be fantastic.
  • Destroying and denying. They might throw your phone down to break it, “lose” your car keys, or destroy other important possessions, then deny it or say it happened accidentally.

Someone abusing you will generally try to get you to prioritize their needs and neglect your own.

Often, they’ll also make an effort to isolate you by coming between you and your supportive loved ones — a step which, of course, leaves you more dependent on them.

Tactics they might use include:

  • Dehumanizing you. They’ll intentionally look away when you’re talking or stare at something else when speaking to you in an effort to make you feel unimportant.
  • Keeping you from socializing. Whenever you have plans to go out, they come up with a distraction or beg you not to go.
  • Invalidating you. They might suggest or say straight out that your needs, boundaries, and desires don’t matter to them.
  • Trying to come between you and your family. They’ll tell family members you don’t want to see them or make excuses why you can’t attend family functions. Later, they might tell you that your loved ones don’t care about you or think there’s something wrong with you.
  • Using the silent treatment. They might ignore your attempts at conversation in person, via text, or over the phone.
  • Withholding affection. They won’t touch you, even to hold your hand or pat you on the shoulder. They may refuse to have any intimate contact if you offend them, or they want you to do something you don’t want to do.
  • Shutting down communication. They might wave you off, change the subject, or simply ignore you when you want to talk about important concerns.
  • Actively working to turn others against you. They might tell other people in your life, including co-workers, friends, and even your family, that you lie, have lost touch with reality, or have had an emotional breakdown.
  • Denying support. When you need emotional support or help with a problem, they might call you needy, say the world can’t stop and wait on your problems, or tell you to toughen up and fix it yourself.
  • Interrupting. They might get in your face when you’re in the middle of an activity and take away your phone or anything else in your hands to let you know your attention should be on them.
  • Disputing your feelings. No matter what feeling or emotion you express, they might insist you shouldn’t feel that way. For example, “You shouldn’t be angry over that,” or “What have you got to feel sad about?”

Learn more about codependency and how to overcome it.

If you believe you’re experiencing emotional abuse, trust your instincts.

Abuse is never your fault, and you don’t have to live with it

If you fear immediate physical violence, get to a safe place if you can. You can also call 911 or your local emergency services for help.

If you aren’t in immediate danger and you need to talk or find some place to go, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. This free, confidential 24/7 hotline can put you in touch with service providers and shelters across the United States.

Find more resources here.

These tips offer a place to start:

  • Don’t try to fix them. You may want to help, but it’s often difficult for abusive people to change their behavior without professional support. You can encourage them to work with a therapist, but they have to make the choice themselves.
  • Avoid self-blame. Remember, you never deserve abuse, no matter what you’ve said or done. The only person responsible is the one engaging in abusive behavior.
  • Prioritize your needs. Taking care of your physical and emotional needs can help you move forward to a place where you feel comfortable setting boundaries, reaching out for support, and leaving the abusive situation.
  • Avoid engaging with them. Don’t reply to their text messages, phone calls, or emails. If you can’t avoid working or spending time with them, try to keep another person with you and limit your conversation to essential topics.
  • Set personal boundaries. Decide how you’ll avoid responding to manipulation or getting pulled into arguments. Express those limits to the person using abuse tactics and stick to them. You might say, for example, “If you call me names, I’ll go home,” or, “If you start teasing me in public, I’ll leave.
  • Build a support network. It might feel frightening to open up about what you’ve experienced, but reaching out to loved ones and a supportive therapist can go a long way toward helping you get the support you need to heal.
  • Exit the relationship or circumstance. State clearly that the relationship is over and cut all ties, if possible. Block their number and social media accounts, and ignore attempts to reach out.
  • Give yourself time to heal. Take space to focus on your needs and recovery. This might involve rediscovering your sense of self, creating a new self-care routine, and talking with a therapist who can offer guidance with recovery.

Leaving an abusive relationship often proves more challenging if you’re married, have children, or have shared assets. If that’s your situation, a good next step involves seeking legal assistance.

A domestic violence advocate or mental health professional can also help you develop an exit plan to leave the relationship safely.

The following resources can also help you come up with a plan:

  • Visit this website for educational information, a free hotline, and a searchable database of services in your area.
  • Love Is Respect. This nonprofit organization offers teens and young adults a chance to chat online, call, or text with advocates.

21 Signs of Emotional Abuse in Relationships

Not all kinds of abuse come with visible signs or warnings. Some, like emotional abuse, may affect you before you realize what’s happening.

Emotional mistreatment and abuse can take many forms. Sometimes, it can sneak up on you and hide in sweet words. Other times, it comes in waves of complete silence.

It can be difficult to know when you’re experiencing emotional abuse. You may not recognize some of the signs. Maybe you’ve been led to believe you’re too sensitive, or all relationships are like this.

But when you start feeling isolated, powerless, or worthless in your relationships, you might want to pay closer attention.

There’s never a good reason for you to feel this way. You deserve respect, love, and care.

Learning to pinpoint the red flags in your relationship can help you make empowered decisions about it.

Abuse refers to words and behaviors that intentionally cause harm. It can range from physically violent acts to sexual assault to neglect and humiliation.

Abuse can happen only once, or it can be a pattern of behavior that repeats over time and across situations.

Abuse is always intentional. You might hurt others with words or actions, but this doesn’t always qualify as abuse.

Doing something with the intention of taking advantage of or hurting someone else, qualifies as abuse.

Someone may not be aware that their behavior is defined as abuse. But, if the intention of their actions is to exert control, take your power away, manipulate you, or retain you against your will, then that is abusive behavior.

Abuse is defined by the intention and not always by the impact. In other words, someone may say hurtful things and push you around with the intention to cause you harm. Even if you don’t get hurt by what they do, their actions qualify as abuse.

Emotional abuse

Abuse isn’t always physical or evident. You don’t need to have visible “proof” someone is causing you harm.

Emotional abuse occurs when someone uses words and nonviolent behaviors to exert power and control over you. It’s sometimes referred to as mental or psychological abuse.

Emotional abuse can be any harmful behavior that may negatively affect your emotional state. Even if you don’t experience a negative impact from what the other person is saying or doing, if their intention was to hurt you, that is abuse.

Emotional abuse often leads you to develop a negative self-image and poor confidence.

Someone with emotionally abusive behaviors may try to isolate you from loved ones, for example. They may use manipulation tactics to prevent you from doing things you enjoy.

Sometimes, emotional unavailability and emotional abandonment may also be considered emotional abuse.

You may find emotional abuse gradually takes away your freedom, individuality, and sense of self.

Over 10 years ago, national survey data showed approximately half of people in the United States had at some point experienced emotional abuse by a romantic partner.

Emotional abuse doesn’t have to come from a partner, though. It can also come from employers, co-workers, family, and friends.

Example of nonpartner emotional abuse

Something important happened at work and you’re running late to meet your mom for dinner.

When you call her to let her know, she replies, “It’s fine. You always have something more important than me, anyway. I’m used to it.”

You’re hurt by her comment, but convince yourself her words are justified because you’re the one running late.

When you get to the restaurant, she barely speaks to you. When you say your goodbyes, she says, “I’m busy next week with your brother. He’s a good son and never forgets about me.”

Emotional abuse doesn’t have to happen regularly. It can be a one-time occurrence, or it may happen several times.

You may experience emotional abuse throughout an entire relationship with someone.

Emotional abuse is never OK. But abusive patterns may have greater psychological consequences compared to one-time events.

If someone has a singular abusive behavior, sometimes that behavior can be addressed and changed.

Abusive patterns, however, work over time by affecting your thoughts and emotions, wearing you down.

It’s not always easy to spot signs of emotional abuse. You can learn to recognize abusive behaviors in others. But if you’re experiencing abuse, you may notice your own behavior changes, too.

11 behavioral signs of emotional abuse in others

Some of these attitudes and behaviors may signal someone is emotionally abusing you.


Shaming is any action or word intended to make you feel ashamed of being you.

Shaming can make you feel in the wrong for your thoughts or actions.

It can include expressions like, “Why would you do that?” It may also take the form of comments that target insecurities, such as your body image.


Emotionally abusive blaming can take the form of “flipping the switch,” or suddenly blaming you for someone else’s behaviors or reactions.

“I wouldn’t have done it if you hadn’t made me so angry,” is an example of blaming that removes responsibility from the person with abusive behaviors.


Criticism that’s cruel or isn’t constructive may be emotionally abusive. Interrupting you mid-conversation to say you don’t know when to shut up, for example, can be a form of emotional abuse.


Guilt can be a powerful manipulation tactic. When you feel as though you’ve let someone down, you’re not good enough, or you’re a disappointment, you may change your behavior to avoid that feeling in the future.


One of the more obvious forms of emotional abuse is humiliating. This may come as public embarrassment, or private behaviors that degrade you and make you feel less than human.


Name-calling, mean “jokes,” and sarcasm can all be forms of abusive ridicule.


When your thoughts, values, or opinions are dismissed, it can make you feel unimportant. Over time, you may question if your input has any value.


Unfair accusations can manipulate you into people-pleasing behaviors. If someone is constantly accusing you of infidelity, for example, you may go to extra lengths to be attentive toward them. You might also stop leaving the house out of fear they might confront you about where you are.


When your physical or emotional needs aren’t met, this can be a form of neglect. Emotional neglect might mean deliberately withholding affection, or punishing you with the silent treatment.


Monitoring can destroy your sense of privacy. Reading your messages, scanning your social media, and showing up at events you’re attending are all forms of monitoring.

Verbally berating

Emotional abuse doesn’t have to be subtle. Sometimes it comes as verbal attacks, mood swings, or fits of yelling.

10 signs of emotional abuse in yourself

When emotionally abusive behaviors in someone else are difficult to spot, you may be able to identify the abuse by exploring yourself.

Personal signs you may be experiencing emotional abuse can include:

  • Social withdrawal. You feel isolated or withdrawn from others.
  • Low self-esteem. You become self-critical or feel worthless.
  • Fear. You walk on eggshells or avoid saying or doing things that could cause a reaction.
  • Adapting to other people’s expectations. You change your appearance or interests despite your preferences.
  • Losing your identity. You give up activities you enjoy.
  • Dependence or codependence. You lose your sense of independence.
  • Voice and power. You don’t contribute to decisions or participate in projects that affect both of you.
  • Shame. You feel guilty or anxious about who you are.
  • Physical changes. You notice changes in your sleeping, eating, or weight patterns.
  • Psychological symptoms. You experience mental health conditions such as depression.

The effects of emotional abuse can be broad and often depend on your unique circumstances.

Emotional abuse from a parent, for example, may create different challenges compared with those that result from partner abuse.

The effects of emotional abuse on you may also vary depending on your emotional resources and support network.

If you feel you may be experiencing abuse in your relationship, support is available. There are many ways to deal with the situation.

No matter what type of emotional abuse you’ve experienced, speaking with a mental health professional may help.

You can explore coping strategies and learn how to set boundaries. Setting boundaries can protect your mental health and help you make the right decisions for yourself.

You may also find it helpful to reach out to someone who can understand what you’re going through. These resources are available right now:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline. Call 800-799-7233, text “start” at 88788, or chat here.
  • Crisis Text Line. Text 741741 or start a chat by typing “home” via this link.

Abuse refers to any behavior that has the intention to control, overpower, or hurt you. It can come from romantic partners, family members, friends, co-workers, or strangers.

Emotional abuse may be more subtle, but it can gradually affect your self-esteem and sense of personal power. It’s never your fault, though over time, experiencing emotional abuse may make you think you’re to blame.

The signs of emotional abuse can be difficult to spot. You may not be able to recognize some of the abusive behaviors in someone else, but you could identify some changes in yourself.

Feeling withdrawn, worthless, or fearful are just some personal indications you may be experiencing emotional abuse.

Exiting an abusive situation is possible and healing can be achieved. You’re not alone, and you deserve to start your path toward respect and care.

Psychological violence and ways of coping

Zyuzkina Anastasia Andreevna, psychologist of the health care institution "City Clinical Psychiatric Dispensary"

Often domestic violence against women and children is not perceived as an act of violence.

The topic of psychological abuse is broad, this issue is relevant not only in the field of the family system, but also in the sphere of work.

For example, in the scientific literature, psychological violence is called mobbing - the employer's disrespectful attitude towards employees in the context of labor relations. Situations where periodically (at least once a week) the employee is humiliated and harassed by the team or the manager, the purpose of which is to dismiss the employee during the period of employment. Mobbing is manifested in the oppression of a long period of time and includes negative statements, unfounded criticism, social isolation of an employee, dissemination of deliberately false information about a person, and more.

Psychological consequences for the object of mobbing are so serious that social significance is perceived as traumatic and compared with murder, rape and robbery. Some people even think about suicide.

Most often, psychological abuse occurs in the family. The main victims of domestic violence are women and children. The consequences of psychological violence include sleep and appetite disorders, alcoholism, reckless committing of traumatic actions, a change in the nature of the individual.

Psychological violence is a form of influencing the emotions or psyche of a partner through threats, intimidation, insults, criticism, condemnation, etc. That is, a constant verbal negative impact on another person. More often this type of violence is subjected to wives from their husbands, much less often vice versa.

Psychological abuse can escalate into physical abuse.

Domestic violence also spreads in cohabitation as cohabitation. Most often it is a form of psychological abuse. Psychological abuse is on a par with physical abuse, since the personality is violated by suppressing self-esteem. Under such conditions, the person who is targeted by the negative impact does not assess the situation as dangerous and sometimes it is necessary to convince them that they have become precisely the victims. Beliefs are formed as if she herself is to blame, misunderstood, did not tolerate, did not prove, provoked. As a result, personal characteristics are formed: self-restraint, alienation, negativism, refusal to express one's own position.

Insults, violence, mistreatment in psychology is called abuse. The person who forces to do something, offends, forces to perform actions that are unpleasant to another person, respectively, is an abuser.

The reasons why one partner affects the psyche of another are varied, the most common: the need for self-realization and self-affirmation at the expense of the other, difficulties in the inability to express one's desires and thoughts, past experience, financial dependence on one's partner, the perception of violence as a norm in family behavior, propaganda of violence in the media / movies / video games, psychological deviations in the form of a psychological trauma.

With constant criticism, the self-esteem of the victim decreases to a certain level and self-confidence is shaky, in this state it is easier for the tyrant to impose his opinion and desired behavior. The victim in such a state of mind doubts the correctness of his actions, a feeling of insignificance and guilt is instilled. By psychologically influencing such a person, another model of life is laid, the position of a tyrant is adopted and control is exercised on his part.

There are many signs of psychological violence and a combination of signs is used to determine it, and not each factor individually:

  • criticism - a rough assessment of shortcomings, comments about appearance, intelligence, taste preferences, such criticism may be followed by insults.
  • Humiliation - insults, rough treatment.
  • Accusation - conviction of guilt, for example, in family failures and shifting responsibility for everything that happens.
  • Despotism - commanding tone in communication, orders and instructions instead of requests.
  • Intimidation - Threats of physical violence against the victim and their loved ones, limiting prohibitions on contact with children and threats from the tyrant to commit suicide.
  • Prohibition to communicate with relatives, friends, colleagues, deprivation of means of communication.
  • Prohibited from visiting places outside the home and obtaining permission from a partner to leave the house.
  • Permanent presence, partner rarely leaves alone.
  • Monitoring behavior and communication outside the home, checking private messages, checking call lists, checking email, installing software, hidden or open surveillance (video surveillance).

Emotional abuse also includes jealousy, which manifests itself in constant accusations of adultery.

A psychological abuser has such qualities as: disrespectful attitude towards a partner and his life principles; the imposition of help that was not asked for, generosity that puts you in an awkward position; total control; jealousy; threatening behavior; the presence of double standards “I can, but you can’t”; life credo "a man (woman) is never guilty of anything."

There are several types of psychological violence. Gaslighting is one of the most severe forms of psychological abuse. The gaslighter denies their partner or child adequateness using the phrases “it seemed to you”, “it didn’t happen”, “you just don’t understand it”. The victim is instilled that the perception of the environment is erroneous, therefore, the victim is convinced that she is going crazy. Neglect - ignoring any needs, arguing that a person does not need it, deliberate negligence. Sometimes the abuser pushes his partner to plastic surgery, refuses to deal with everyday life and children. In this situation, it is best to isolate yourself from the abuser. Visholding - refusal to discuss an exciting topic. Emotional blackmail - ignoring any action of the victim, emotional coldness, silence, blackmail with personal information. The purpose of such behavior is the subordination of another person, deprivation of one's own will, and only by limiting communication can one protect himself from this. Ignoring - emotional withdrawal. Isolation - prohibition of communication with everyone except the abuser himself, so the request for help is difficult to carry out. Control - tight control over any actions of the partner. Criticism - pointing out shortcomings and miscalculations, that in front of other people it looks like ridicule. The purpose of such behavior is to form an inferiority complex, after such an impact it is difficult to recover from such a relationship, faith in oneself, partnership is lost.

It is best for the victim to get out of the situation of violence (even run away, disappear from view). Victims of psychological abuse cannot avoid mental problems. Such people are in a state of psychological trauma and experience anxiety, fear, may become depressed, and suicidal attempts are not excluded. There is also emotional dependence, neglect of one's needs, various addictions may arise, for example, alcohol or drugs.

According to studies, in those families where various types of violence (physical, psychological) are used, signs of a delay in the physical and neuropsychic development of children are noticed.

In each specific case of violence, a psychological consultation is required.

It is important to take responsibility for your life, set your own goals, learn to listen to yourself and your feelings, stop negative influences and report what is unpleasant, not tolerate when something causes negative feelings.

In difficult social, economic and psychological situations, you should contact crisis centers to receive the necessary assistance.

For psychological support, you can contact the helpline, where they will listen, support and determine the type of assistance.

If the partner does not beat, but deprives the will. 7 Ways to Recognize Psychological Abuse

Moral abuse is an even more subtle topic than physical abuse. The partner does not drink, does not raise his hand to you, but deprives you of the will psychologically.

With the recognition of physical violence, everything is more or less clear to modern people. Thanks to the educational work of psychologists, it is no longer a secret that violence is not necessarily sexual coercion or beatings. Keep a person at home when he wants to leave or, on the contrary, not let him in when he wants to go home; taking away keys, phone, documents or money to make it difficult for him to move around is also physical abuse. Yelling or hitting a wall/table to break your will during an outbreak of conflict is physical abuse, even if no one has even touched you (yet). An abusive partner intuitively argues very simply: rough physical actions in your presence, in front of your eyes, frighten you and paralyze your will.

But what about moral violence? There is no noise, no destruction. No punches, no slaps. No broken things, no other people's letters read without permission. How to recognize him? Let's look at the types of psychological abuse.

Let's start with the harmless. Hearing that you don't want to visit his parents again this weekend, your partner silently draws a face. The look was covered with frost, lips in a thread. He says OK. But his voice! It's like he just wrote you a ticket. Clearly, guests cannot be canceled (you guessed it).

2. Partially ignored. Filter questions according to your goals. If you cut a pancake cake, then it is striped on the cut. It also looks like "on the cut" communication with a moral abuser. Some answers are successful, others are not.

— How about Friday? I missed.

— Yes, dear!

— And who is Masha Hibiscus, does she flirt with you on Facebook?

He does not answer.

— Honey, what do you want for dinner?

- Bake, please, my favorite sea bass with lemon and rosemary.

— Listen, why do you talk on the phone from the bathroom in the evenings with the shower on? Do you have someone?

He does not answer.

You can, of course, go for broke, wait for the meeting and ask: why do you skip uncomfortable questions? In such cases, moral rapists have other tricks.

3. A closer look without comment. This is when he is Boa Kaa, and you ... you yourself understand who.

- Dear, we could reschedule the trip out of town, I absolutely need to get to this conference for work.

In response, he looks at you without looking away.

- Did I ask something wrong?

Without blinking, he continues to pierce the bridge of your nose with his eyes.

You got scared and your question disappeared somewhere. Then, when you ask: “Are you not happy that I refused that conference, because you were so against it ...”, he will say with a yawn: “I was against it? Stop blaming me for your own mistakes." And he will be right. He didn't say he was against it. He just looked between your eyes. By the way, try to squeal that he somehow looked wrong. He will say: “Did I watch? I stood with my back to you and mixed Cointreau with a martini. Perhaps you drank too much that evening? And it's already called...

4. Gaslighting. 1948 detective film "Gas Light" about how a young wife became a hostage of her husband's criminal goals. He made her look crazy in the eyes of her relatives, and most importantly, made her doubt her own sanity. Gaslighting refers to the intentional "madness" of another person. The gaslighter deliberately asserts and even "proves" that the victim's psyche is flawed and cannot be relied upon. And the victim believes. Your friend does small things (like lying a little all the time) or even some big things (spending the general money on his personal climbing equipment, blackmailing you into having an abortion, or sleeping with your girlfriend). And then he says one of the phrases: “What is wrong with you?”, “Are you in a bad mood?”, “It’s not true, we agreed”, “You yourself wanted this”, “Oh, are you starting again?”, “I don’t meant it”, “You misunderstood me”, “It never happened”. In romantic relationships, gaslighters use the universal property of falling in love - regression. Are you in love and feel like a little child? So nice to submit to a wise and charismatic friend? Let him do as he sees fit, to dissolve in it - a pleasure? If your man is strong and mature, he will thank you for your trust and will only love you more. If you are dealing with a moral abuser, waking up from love, you will find yourself in a relationship where you decide nothing and where everything is against you if you do not agree with it. And to the question "why is everything so?" He will say: "You yourself wanted this." And he will be right.

5. Blackmail, shame or guilt and seduction. Your friend reports that because of a missed visit to the family nest, mom has a bad heart, dad tore his meniscus while running to the pharmacy, and he is now so upset that he doubts the prospects of your relationship. (as usual, he looks down the bridge of your nose). In this example, the whole “package” is visible: the manipulation of guilt, an attempt to shame / scare you, blackmail by breaking up a relationship. If you come to your senses and immediately promise everything that you refused yesterday, he will immediately become nice and make amends with affection, sex or a walk in your favorite park.

6. Ignoring, disappearing for the purpose of punishment. The once-famous pediatrician Benjamin Spock did not recommend going in at night to a crying baby so that he "understands" that good babies sleep at night, and do not cry. At the same time, another doctor, John Bowlby, with numbers in his hands, proved that the baby, again and again experiencing the inability to call on his mother, plunges into "anaclitic depression", from which he can even die despite complete care. We also experience a weak solution of infantile horror-despair when a dear person disappears “from the radar” without any comments. Moral abusers intuitively use this tool to intimidate their partners: “Nice girls don’t ask their lover uncomfortable questions about flirting and phone calls from the bathroom. Twitch, sort out our quarrel on the personnel. Find the mistake, guess where you were wrong. And the day after tomorrow, perhaps, I will forgive you.”

7. In fact, he is the victim. Do you remember that Sunday when you didn't want to visit and he heavily hinted that he would leave you? If one day you risk outplaying him and immediately react with blackmail for blackmail, you will be amazed at the enchanting metamorphosis. Say: “Darling, I get so upset when they put pressure on me that I don’t even know what the prospects for our relationship are ...” - here you need to look at him for a long time between the eyebrows. I know a story when yesterday's moral rapist cried for two weeks without a break and littered all the messengers of his girlfriend with pleas to forgive him. It turned out he was unaware of her discomfort. When blackmail stops working, and seduction is inappropriate, he presses on pity. You soften and everything starts again.

The core of any violence is the object manipulation of another person. Even wrapped in politeness, seduction or cunning, violence betrays itself according to the main feature - in a relationship you are an object, not a subject, not a person, not a person with his own feelings and will. And they treat you like an object: they manipulate you functionally, sorting through different techniques, looking for master keys. If you are malleable, use soft tricks. If soft ones are not effective, use pressure.

Very often a partner prone to psychological violence alternates aggression with seduction. As soon as you stop bending, he becomes charming and in a deep velvety voice asks you for reconciliation. And gives a ticket for a musical or a tour to Bali. You relax, and after a couple of days he again scolds you, drills his eyes and punishes you with silence. Against moral rapists there is only one remedy, but it is enough. You need to know exactly what you want (or do not want) and be able to say it out loud.

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