What are some hints you might be suffering emotional abuse? People often think of abuse in a relationship as only being physical, but an emotionally abusive partner can do a lot of damage. Emotional abuse can destroy your self-confidence, yet make you think that you can't cope without the person who's doing it to you. These people can be very clever. Here are some of the hints you might be suffering emotional abuse …
1. You've Been Isolated
One of the hints you might be suffering emotional abuse is if your partner has managed to isolate you from family and friends. They want to have all your attention and make you dependent on them alone. A warning sign could be that they've persuaded you to move away from your home town, so that you've got nobody else to turn to, or that they get jealous when you want to spend time with other people.
2. Deflecting the Blame
Does your partner always manage to make you feel that you're at fault? Or do they actually blame you outright? Abusers like to deflect the blame and turn it around to make you feel that you've done something wrong, even when they're the one who's at fault. They'll often do this as a distraction and make it all about you and your perceived faults.
3. Checking up
It's one thing calling to check if you'll be home for dinner, and another to check up on your whereabouts all the time. If your partner wants to know where you are every minute of the day, they're being unreasonable. You don't have to explain where you are all the time; if they don't trust you then they shouldn't be in a relationship with you.
4. Over Critical
Emotional abusers may also wear down your self-confidence by criticising everything that you do. I speak from personal experience, having a family member that destroyed my self-confidence by sneering at everything I said or did. A partner who is overly critical and makes you feel that your appearance, achievements or opinions are wrong is definitely being emotionally abusive.
Some people are happy to let their partner take care of finances, and it can work very well if they're more responsible with money than you are. But if your partner is dictating what you do with your money, there's a problem. Controlling partners may tell you off for how you spend your money, or try to actually take control of finances against your will.
6. Making Fun
Does your partner make fun of you even though it upsets you? Do they say things like 'it's just a joke, have a sense of humor'? Someone who cares about you won't make fun of you when you make it clear that you don't like it; an abusive person ignores your feelings.
7. Guilt Trips
Finally, does your partner attempt to guilt trip you so that they can get their own way? If they insist you'd do what they want if you loved them, or imply that you'll be at fault, they're trying to manipulate you. And anyone who threatens to harm themselves unless you do what they want has a major problem.
Emotional abuse doesn't just happen in relationships; it can also happen in families. So keep alert for signs that it could be happening to you. Have you ever known someone who's manipulative?