Signs your being emotionally abused

What is emotional abuse? | The National Domestic Violence Hotline

“I don’t want you going out with them. I trust you; I just don’t trust them.”

“You know you can’t get anyone better than me. You are lucky to be with me.”

“Are you sure you want to eat that? I’m just attracted to someone who takes care of themselves.”

“You’re so dumb. I knew this would be over your head.”

Do any of these sentences sound familiar? If so, you might be in an emotionally abusive relationship.

Many people hear the word “abuse” and think of physical violence. Physical abuse is one type of abuse, but it is certainly not the only one.

According to  The Hotline’s 2020 Data, 95% of contacts stated they were experiencing emotional abuse. Emotional abuse may not be what most people think about when they picture abuse, but that does not make it any less real or less serious. Because of its subtleties, emotional abuse can be quite difficult to detect when it is being experienced. Emotional abuse is also a foundation for other forms of abuse. Often, it is used erode a person’s self-esteem and self-worth and create a psychological dependency on the abusive partner. Let’s look at what emotional abuse is and how to know if emotional abuse is present in your relationship.

Emotional abuse includes non-physical behaviors that are meant to control, isolate, or frighten you. This may present in romantic relationships as threats, insults, constant monitoring, excessive jealousy, manipulation, humiliation, intimidation, dismissiveness, among others. Sometimes emotional abuse is more obvious, like a partner yelling at you or calling you names. Other times it can be more subtle, like your partner acting jealous of your friends or not wanting you to hang out with someone of another gender. While these emotionally abusive behaviors do not leave physical marks, they do hurt, disempower, and traumatize the partner who is experiencing the abuse.

Over time, emotional abuse can wear down a person’s self-worth, confidence, and their mental and emotional strength.

It’s difficult to feel sure of yourself when a partner is demeaning, dismissing, and second-guessing you constantly. Additionally, when you care about someone and have invested time in the relationship with them, you want to believe the best of them, and you may convince yourself that you were overreacting in how you interpreted their hurtful actions or words. An emotionally abusive partner may try to gaslight you by telling you outright that you are overreacting, being dramatic, being too emotional, or that you can’t take a joke.

For these reasons and more, it can be tough to detect emotional abuse and see it as a dangerous concern. Even then, survivors of emotional abuse are often hesitant to seek help or tell friends and family about their relationship concerns because they fear they will not be believed or taken seriously. Nonetheless, emotional abuse is serious, and it is not uncommon for emotional abuse to escalate to physical violence. In some relationships this escalation to physical abuse is slow, and in others it can happen rapidly.

So how do you know if you are in an emotionally abusive relationship?

Here are some red flags:
  • Your partner name calls you or demeans you.
  • Your partner tries to control you, your time, and your actions.
  • Your partner tells you what to do and what to wear.
  • Your partner often makes you feel silly or dumb.
  • Your partner questions your reality and says that things that you know happened didn’t happen. This is called gaslighting.
  • Your partner is critical of your appearance.
  • Your partner is jealous of time spent with your friends or family.
  • Your partner punishes you by withholding attention or affection.
  • Your partner doesn’t want you hanging out with someone of another gender.
  • Your partner makes threats to hurt you or others to get what they want.
  • Your partner wants you to ask for permission before doing something or spending time with other people.
  • Your partner monitors where you go and stalks your whereabouts.
  • Your partner doesn’t want you to work.
  • Your partner embarrasses you in public.
  • Your partner does not trust you and acts possessive.
  • Your partner threatens breaking up or divorce to manipulate an argument.
  • Your partner wants access to your phone, your passwords, or your social media.
  • Your partner threatens suicide during arguments.
  • Your partner is constantly accusing you of cheating.
  • Your partner blames you for their unhealthy/abusive behaviors.
  • Your partner makes you feel guilty or immature for not wanting to have sex.
  • Your partner overloads you with compliments and gifts, and then uses that to manipulate you later (love bombing).

If any of these red flags feel familiar to you, know that you do not deserve to be treated that way and that you are not alone. It can be hard to decide what your next step should be, after learning that your relationship is not healthy. You might consider reaching out to a trusted friend or family member to talk about what you have been going through. You can also reach out to our Hotline advocates to talk about next steps and options available to you.

We are here 24/7 via phone, online chat, and text to provide you with education, support, and safety planning. The Hotline is completely free and confidential.

Answers shouldn’t be hard to find.

We're here to help!

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.

Hidden Relationship Violence: 8 Signs You're in Danger


Man and Woman Relationship Crisis Practices how to

Arguments and reconciliations are normal in a couple, but if they happen too often, there is reason to worry. Violence in a relationship is not always obvious, physical, when you are pushed, grabbed, hit. It can be insults, intimidation, humiliation, tracking every step, refusal to listen, disregard for your feelings, lies, sexual harassment.

Domestic violence specialist Tamara Star lists eight signs of hidden violence in a couple that can affect both women and men.

Those of us who have lived through a dysfunctional childhood are at greater risk than others. Children who have been yelled at, now showered with apologies and gifts, who have been intimidated, humiliated, morally and physically suppressed, made a scapegoat, grow up without knowing what a normal loving relationship is. If your childhood was filled with emotional ups and downs, as an adult you may mistake this type of relationship for love.

Signs of violence in a relationship that you should pay attention to in order to take action in time

upset him. You probably behaved the same way with your parents, and now - unconsciously - at home and with your friends and work colleagues.

You prefer to keep quiet, keep your opinions to yourself so as not to rock the boat, justify your mistreatment with all your might - “again, I overreact to everything.”

These are all signs that you are not listening to your inner voice. Whenever you are in doubt - "Am I allowed to be upset about this?" - you miss the important things that your inner voice says.

2. You have almost stopped communicating with friends

You don't have time to meet with friends, as before, because it takes all the time to sort things out with your partner. Instead of going out and having fun together, you spend the weekend in endless fights. You begin to feel isolated - the partner demands that you pay attention only to him.

Perhaps you make excuses for him and find explanations for his behavior. Gradually, the victims lose confidence in themselves and begin to blame themselves for all the problems in the relationship.

3. You try to avoid any conflicts

Instead of expressing everything that hurts, you are silent in order to keep the peace. Moreover, you avoid conflicts in any area of ​​life, not only at home, but also at work. Perhaps you do it out of habit or because you are too tired and do not find the strength to freely express your point of view after so many conflicts at home. It's like you're living huddled up.

Standing up for your interests is now an impossible task for you, it is much easier to adapt than to worry that your rebelliousness will turn into tension in the relationship.

4. You are not aware of your feelings and needs

Children who live with explosive unbalanced parents learn to put them first and take care of them. As a result, an adult who grew up in such a family gets used to being a parent for his own parents, and then for a loved one, justifying them and blaming himself, ignoring his needs and desires for the sake of loved ones.

5. You put yourself in danger because of your partner

This could be, for example, his aggressive, high-speed driving style. You are frightened and angry at heart, but remain silent so as not to provoke a fit of unbridled rage on his part.

6. You feel very tired

All day you feel terribly exhausted. It becomes more and more difficult for you to solve elementary everyday tasks related to your life needs - your head is in a fog, and you are no longer sure that your needs are so important. You no longer feel like a competent person, do not trust your knowledge and experience.

7. You have sex against your will

You don't want to, but you have sex just to keep the peace. Is this scenario happening more and more often? Every time you do something against your will, just to avoid conflict, you give others your power, you betray yourself.

8. You forgive again and again

Recently, you have broken off relationships for good several times lately, only to forgive again and promise to love each other for the rest of your life. You forgive rough treatment, give one last chance, and believe in empty promises that are never kept.

True love assumes that both partners are equal, they both give and take equally in a relationship. Of course, sometimes we can do something that we don’t want to do for the sake of a loved one, but when such actions become a habit, this is a bad sign. If two healthy individuals love each other, they respect each other's boundaries, share the burden of guilt when things go wrong, and together try to find a way out of the situation - without mutual insults and rage.

Text: Ksenia Tatarnikova Photo Source: Shutterstock

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21 big signs of emotional abuse you may miss / My life

Emotional abuse is extremely easy to ignore.

Just look at these 21 signs of emotional abuse to see if you are being abused and not loved ones!

As humans, we are not stupid. When someone opposes or overwhelms us with emotional abuse, we are always ready to strike back.

But what do you do when you manipulate a little every day?

What do you do if you just don't realize that you have been deceived and deceived by sweet words of love?

What if your love for this person convinces you that you need to lean back to please them, even if it results in emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse is easy to overlook

Reality and our interpretation of reality are completely different and subjective.

You would believe that you are being emotionally abused only if you convince yourself of this truth.

And until you see the truth for yourself, no one can help you realize it.

This is like the metaphorical boiling frog syndrome.

It is said that if you drop a frog into boiling water, it will immediately jump out. But if you put a frog in a pot of cool water and boil the water very slowly, the frog will continue to stay in the pot of water until it boils to death. . But this story plays a big role in understanding your own relationships.

Has your partner's behavior changed?

Do you think that over the years that you both have been together, has your partner's behavior changed over time??

If the change is gradual and you choose not to see the change, you will never be able to recognize it.

And even if you are emotionally abused, you may never see the signs.

Abuse in any form has to start somewhere. There is a moment in a relationship when your partner does something that mentally disturbs you and yet you choose to ignore it out of love for them..

And then it happens again. And you still want to ignore it. And finally, it comes to the point that you feel suffocated and weak, and you don’t even know why you feel so helpless.

What is emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse is any psychological abuse that traumatizes a person's mind or condition, making them feel weak, traumatized, and helpless.

You may experience moments of emotional abuse from time to time in your own relationships with people around you, be it your parents, siblings, friends, or even your romantic partner.

The easiest way to understand that someone is insulting you is if you feel weak and stressed around you.

Emotional abuse can change your life forever

A person can only understand the harm emotional abuse can do to them if they experience it. Someone may tell an emotionally abused person to leave the relationship. But they will never be able to understand your state of mind, how helpless you are, or the emotional mess you are in.

If you ever experience emotional abuse, you need to realize that you can ask for any help from others, but if you don't strengthen yourself from within, no one can help you change your life.

Don't be ashamed of insults or helplessness

Emotional abuse feels shameful and humiliating. It is not easy to talk about this with others, especially if you believe that it was your weakness that led to the abuse. But you must remember that this did not lead to your weakness, but to your unconditional love for this person..

Emotional abuse is not limited to gender or certain types of relationships. So, the first thing you need to remember is to stop being ashamed.

21 big signs of emotional abuse that you can easily miss

Emotional abuse always starts small, and it has to start somewhere. The easiest test you can take to see if you're being emotionally abused is to ask yourself if your partner's behavior has hurt you mentally. If so, you need to talk to them about it.

After all, emotional abuse doesn't always make you feel overwhelmed. Sometimes emotional abuse can also be caused by neglect and ignorance.

Use these 21 subtle signs of emotional abuse to find out if your spouse, your boyfriend, or your girlfriend pushed you against the wall. And if you see these signs, maybe now is the time to start discarding.

# 1 You're scared. Your partner's behavior scares you. You are afraid to ask or tell them something because you just don't know how they will react.

# 2 Continuous lectures. Your partner is constantly telling you how imperfect you are and how you still need to improve in so many ways. But instead of trying to help you, they point out your shortcomings and act like you've lost a cause that can't be helped because you're too weak or stupid.

№ 3 Pain comparisons. Your partner constantly compares you to your more beautiful or successful friends and tells you how much better they are than you. Your partner might even be sly and point out celebrities and tell you how much more attractive they are than you.

# 4 Constant delusions. Your partner often yells at you. But when you try to argue or prove that you are right, they may even kneel or humiliate themselves, just to apologize to you and return your affection.

# 5 You are accused through no fault of your own. Your partner is blaming you through no fault of yours. They blame you for your friend's behavior, how the kids are, your friend's divorce, or something else. Sometimes your partner may even hear about something on TV and yell at you because he got mad!

# 6 Possessive jealousy. Your partner always has something negative about your friends, especially if they are of the opposite sex. Your partner hates it when you get phone calls from your friends and sometimes even asks you to hang up. They just don't like it when you lead an active social life.

# 7 Your self-esteem is damaged. Your partner keeps telling you how bad or useless you are and gets mad at you because you always rely on them. But even when you try to do things on your own, they tell you that you are incapable of making decisions and make you feel stupid all the time.

# 8 Two-faced personality. Your partner's behavior and attitude confuses you. Sometimes they can be extremely loving and caring. And at other times they are really evil and harmful. You just can't predict how they will react to everything you do.

# 9 Sadist inside. Your partner feels better when he points out your faults or criticizes you. They may be more cheerful or happier on days when you are overtired or stressed out by your own mistakes.

# 10 Humiliation. Your partner puts you down or makes mean remarks, especially around your friends or people who admire you.

# 11 Big demands. They set unreasonable expectations and make great demands on you, secretly hoping that you will fail and say, "I told you so!"

# 12 Sexual manipulation. Your partner emotionally pushes you into sexual activities that you do not like. They may even confuse you emotionally by saying things like “Other girls/guys are doing it! Why can not you? "??

# 13 Big confessions. Your partner shares his problems with everyone who is listening. But if you confess your problems, especially in relationships with friends or family, your partner will become very upset with you.

#14 Turning everyone against you. This is a clever ploy that emotionally abusive partners use to gain an advantage and leave you helpless. Your partner may constantly talk about how difficult or stupid you are to everyone, including your friends, your family, and even your children. Your partner may even give biased examples to convince everyone else and turn them against you so that no one takes your side against them..

# 15 Quiet handling. If you are standing up for something or trying to take control of the situation, your partner may leave in annoyance and give you a silent treatment. The emotionally abusive partner works through the guilt and they hate to give away power in the relationship. Your partner may simply ignore you until you apologize for not agreeing with his decision!

# 16 Physically abusive. Sometimes your partner may use physical violence, such as a slap, a painful prick, or even a threatening gesture, just to scare you into submission when you stand up to them for something. .

# 17 You can't think. Lovers of emotional abuse enjoy complete control over relationships. They will manipulate you one step at a time until you lose confidence in your judgment. You convince yourself that you are not capable of making any decisions on your own without the guidance of your partner.

# 18 Isolation and dependence. Initially, your partner may tell you that he doesn't like your friends or a particular family member. Soon they may tell you to avoid that particular person. And before you know it, your partner may carefully isolate you from everyone who was once close to you. And one day you will see that the only person you can turn to for help or dependency is your partner.

# 19 Emotional memories. Your partner constantly reminds you of all the times you screwed up, every time there is an argument or discussion. They constantly bring up your failures or the mistakes you have made in your life to reinforce the idea that you are dependent on your partner and cannot survive on your own without their help and guidance in life. Your partner glorifies even the smallest of his achievements and proudly boasts about it. But on the other hand, no matter what you achieve or do, your partner always makes fun of your accomplishments and makes you feel stupid by celebrating it.

# 21 Failure. Even when you point out their emotionally abusive actions, your partner does not perceive their emotionally abusive actions as a disadvantage. Instead, they convince themselves and try to convince you that they are only doing this to help you get better and get back on your feet.

Recognizing the subtle signs of emotional abuse

If you're not sure you're experiencing abuse, just look at yourself from the other person's point of view. Or ask yourself how you would feel if your brother or your child lived your life. Will you be happy for them? Do you really believe that they are in the happiest relationship of their lives, or do you want them to leave or gain the strength to face the problem?

If you see these signs in your personal love life, you need to remember that the power to overcome abuse is within you.

Learn more