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Are You In an Emotionally Abusive Relationship?

Does your partner continuously degrade or belittle you? If you think that just because you aren't being physically abused nothing is wrong, think again.

Emotional abuse can have devastating consequences on both physical and mental health. While emotional or psychological abuse may be difficult to pinpoint, examples abound. Here are some characteristics:

  • Using economic power to control you

  • Threatening to leave

  • Making you afraid by using looks, gestures or actions

  • Smashing things

  • Controlling you through minimizing, denying and blaming

  • Making light of the abuse and not taking your concerns about it seriously

  • Continually criticizing you, calling you names, shouting at you

  • Emotionally degrading you in private, but acting charming in public

  • Humiliating you in private or public

  • Withholding approval, appreciation or affection as punishment

Results of Verbal and Emotional Abuse, from the Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness:

  • A distrust of her spontaneity

  • A loss of enthusiasm

  • An uncertainty about how she is coming across

  • A concern that something is wrong with her

  • An inclination to reviewing incidents with the hopes of determining what went wrong

  • A loss of self-confidence

  • A growing self-doubt

  • An internalized critical voice

  • A concern that she isn't happier and ought to be

  • An anxiety or fear of being crazy

  • A sense that time is passing and she's missing something

  • A desire not to be the way she is, e.g. "too sensitive," etc.

  • A hesitancy to accept her perceptions

  • A reluctance to come to conclusions

  • A tendency to live in the future, e.g. "Everything will be great when/after ..."

  • A desire to escape or run away

  • A distrust of future relationships