Many people wonder why a victim of an emotionally abusive relationship doesn’t pick up the signs that are so abundantly clear to onlookers.
However, unlike physical abuse, which has very obvious signs; an emotionally abusive relationship is actually a lot harder to spot because it manifests itself slowly and gradually.
Often it is only when it is too late and the damage has been done, that people realize their relationship has become abusive. If you recognize any or all of the following warning signs highlighted below in your own or someone you love’s relationship, it is likely that you are involved in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Always Worried About Upsetting Your Partner
If you find yourself constantly feeling like you have to walk on eggshells because you are worried about upsetting your partner, it could be a sign that your relationship has become emotionally abusive.
This is often because your other half’s reactions to things you say and do can be so erratic that you don’t know what will set them off. It can be something big, but often it is something rather trivial.
Only Your Partner Is Allowed to Express Opinions and Emotions
Whereas healthy relationships are balanced, as much as they can be; emotionally abusive relationships are very imbalanced. If you find that it is okay for your partner to sound off about things they dislike in your relationship, without it being contested; while you are criticized for voicing your opinion on even a relatively small matter; this is another warning sign.
You Are Not Allowed To Brooch Problems and Issues in the Relationship
Following on directly from the above, if your partner always sees any form of criticism or discussion of issues and problems in your relationship as an all-out attack on them as a person, it could be the signs that your relationship is not a healthy one.
Do you avoid having discussions about the things you don’t like about your relationship to ‘keep the peace’?
You Are Constantly Full of Doubt
Over time, if you notice that not everything your partner says does not have the ring of truth to it, and your partner contradicts themselves or you have that feeling you are not getting the full story. It could be a sign of the incredibly manipulative technique known as gaslighting.
Often an emotionally abusive partner will deny saying or doing something even if you remember it clearly and because they deny it with such self-assuredness; you actually start to believe them and doubt your own memories.
People Notice Changes in You
A sign that often is not picked up on by the victim is when their friends, relatives, and close associates start to notice changes in them. Perhaps they tell you that they have noticed that you aren’t quite yourself anymore or quieter than normal or not as sociable as you used to be – it could be they have seen changes before you have.
It is possible to be oblivious to these changes, but more often than not the abuse victim knows they have changed and why they have changed but is anxious about facing up to it – or even worse, that their abuser will retaliate.
You Have No Say over Your Finances
This is perhaps one of the most common signs of an emotionally abusive relationship. In the beginning, this form of control and manipulation can manifest itself as genuinely helpful advice with debts and savings.
Soon, however, this seemingly innocuous behavior transforms into domination, with your partner forcefully making all the decisions about money and when one has to stop spending so much, earn more or save more – it is always you that has to do it.
Your partner, however, can spend freely without repercussions.
Grand Gestures Follow Problems
In an unhealthy and emotionally abusive relationship; when your partner has done something wrong and you are questioning their actions or whether you should even be together anymore; you may notice that a grand gesture follows.
This could be a bunch of flowers, a gift for no reason, or a special weekend break you weren’t expecting. While it is important to note that not all gifts are a sign you are in an emotionally abusive relationship; if the above happens more often than not – be wary.
The grand gesture is their way of buying your silence – so in exchange for the gift, you forget about the problem that was raised and act as nothing happened. Emotional abuse can be a silent killer of the victim’s esteem, confidence, psychological well-being and eventually their physical health in general.
The aim of this article was not to scare you. It was to arm you with knowledge about signs that you may have overlooked that you or someone you love could be involved in an emotionally abusive relationship. We hope it helps to act to get out of the relationship or encourage your friend to do so.