Are you suffering signs of emotional abuse?

signs emotional abuseDo you ignore the signs of emotional abuse and minimise how badly you’ve been treated and become hooked into feeling sorry for the person who abusers you? Maybe you’ve made it your mission to rescue them.

You can be drawn to lovers who mirror back the way you feel about yourself. You can feel attached to someone who’s not good for you, if you don’t feel good about yourself.

When you’ve endured abuse in childhood, you can be attracted to an abusive partner in order to get the love you hoped for. You can repeat the pattern of pleasing an abuser and avoid the emotional beatings. If you’ve internalised your not good enough, you can be attracted to someone who treats you not good enough.

So, what are the signs you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship?

Are you in a relationship with someone whose actions deliberately end up hurting you, or even get back at you?  Do they seek revenge or punish you when they misconstrue that you’re hurting them?

Do they use the silent treatment, verbal abuse or cheating to get back at you? Do they end up feeling better, when you feel hurt? Do they threaten to punish you in some way, so that you end up giving them what they want?

The emotionally abusive person can find ways for you to blame yourself, so that you become unware of being emotionally abused. 

You may discover that emotional abuse occurs whenever you assert your independence away from your relationship, bringing up the fear of abandonment in your partner who feels insecure or jealous. Yet, they disguise their insecurity by being abusive towards you, so you doubt yourself and not leave them. By putting you down, you feel not good about yourself and feel as though you do not deserve any better and not leave them.

Emotionally abusive behaviours are used as a way to control you, so you do not leave, and force you to meet the  needs of  the abusive person.

Signs you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship.

  • Does your partner blame you for not meeting all their needs and expect you to always be available to meet them, or otherwise you get punished?
  • Do you suffer the silent treatment or verbal abuse, if you express yourself?
  • Do you get blamed for how they feel?
  • Do they feel abandoned when you work late, as if you do not care about them?
  • Do they make you responsible for all their feelings?
  • Does it feel easier to give into what they want, so that you avoid the emotional abuse?
  • Do you have a partner who acts maliciously to punish you or get revenge on you, when you do not accommodate their needs?
  • Do they frequently accuse you of things you have not done and make you pay for it? Are you being punished for their past hurts and forced to make up for it?
  • Do they discount your views or feelings, as if it’s not important?
  • Do they expect you to do what they say, meet all their demands, and take care of them? Do you get punished or abused for not towing the line?
  • Do you feel you have no rights as person, and any attempts to assert yourself cause you to be punished in some way?  So, its safer to comply and give up on yourself to avoid the abuse?
  • Do they have tantrums if you do not do what they want? Do they become abusive to get their way?
  • When you offer them helpful advice, do they think that you’re telling them off or reprimanding them? Do they turn things against you? Do they attack back?
  • Do they manipulate situations, so you can’t go out with your friends, from time to time? Do they do this, so you will be there exclusively for them.
  • Do they know exactly how to hook you back into the relationship, preventing you from moving on?
  • Do they feel satisfaction when you end up giving into them?
  • Do you feel guilty or bad doing things for yourself? Have you slowly stopped doing things for yourself? Does it feel like your needs do not matter?
  • Do you constantly think about how they will react and adapt yourself to accommodate them?
  • Have you got into the habit of saying the things that they want to hear to avoid conflict, rather than being your real self? Do they financially control you, so you can not leave?
  • Do they turn you against your friends and family, so that they can have you all to themselves?
  •   Do they control the things you do?
  • Does it feel like the only option is to say nothing or do what they want to avoid getting into trouble for something you haven’t done wrong?
  • Do they constantly misconstrue your behaviour, so you end up the bad person and have to make it up to them?
  • If they perceive abandonment by you, do they punish you by abandoning back. Does it feel like you’re constantly being wrongly accused for things that you haven’t done wrong?
  • Do they find a way for you feel sorry for them, so that you stay and minimise the abuse you’ve endured?
  • When you go out with your friends, do they punish you, so you feel bad or guilty?
  • Are they extremely jealous and insecure when you talk to anyone, so much so that they monitor and control what you do? Do they take ownership over you, taking away your rights to have friends, go out, work or study?  Do they threaten you or make you suffer in   some way, if you do not comply?
  • Perhaps they threatened to leave you or take the kids away. Have they ever gotten so angry that they deliberately set out to hurt you, causing you to suffer in some way?
  • Do you feel responsible for causing all their past hurts and is expected to make up for it and make them feel better, or you will will suffer?  By making you suffer, it causes you to meet their needs, so that the abuser can feel better about themselves. In this wayyou are perceived to be causing them to feel abandoned.

Have you noticed that you’re losing yourself by appeasing them, so much so that you’re becoming increasingly miserable and unhappy.

Guess what, no matter how much you do to please an emotional abuser, the more you placate them or give in, the more you become trapped in the cycle of emotional abuse.

  These are indicators of emotionally abusive tactics, which are attempts to cause you to suffer, if you do not meet their needs. 

Once they see that their abusive tactics get their needs met, it enables the abuse to continue. The more they get away with it, the more reward they get for the abusive behaviour.

Perhaps, this person has a way to draw you back into focusing on them or keeping you in the relationship, so it is easy to focus on them and lose sight of how you’re being treated.  Perhaps they can convince you that you’re the problem. Perhaps you do not see their actions as abuse, because they say that you are to blame for how they feel.

What they’re seeking is a fantasy relationship that does not exist, and you will never be able to make them happy, because they feel unworthy deep down inside.  They have to heal their own wounds, rather than make you responsible for how they feel.

The emotional malicious person ends up pushing love away and blame their partner when they end up withdrawing from them. They need to become aware that their actions work against getting their needs met and destroy relationships, when the partner pulls away.

Are you ignoring these red flags of emotional abuse in your relationship?

emotional abusive relationship Emotional abuse can happen when a person shuts out past feelings of childhood abuse and protect themselves so that no one can hurt them again, by getting revenge or punishing others, so that they do not feel like a victim again.

When an emotional abusive person becomes triggered to feeling rejected, unwanted, or unworthy, it is easy for them  to misconstrue that loved ones cause them to feel this way. So, the emotional abuser can take revenge on loved ones, as if they had caused their pain. The partner gets blamed for causing them to feel this way, and all the past hurt gets displaced onto them.

The emotionally manipulative partner ends up repeating the abusive behaviour that they endured. Perhaps they were emotionally manipulated to meet the needs of a caregiver or otherwise they were rejected, punished, or reprimanded.

So, when they feel abandoned, they emotionally manipulate others, as a way to feel loved or wanted. By repeating the abusive behaviour done to them they can often act out revenge or punish loved ones for past hurts.

James Masterson describes the Talionic Impulse used by those, including  Personality Disordered individuals who repeat the abusive behaviour that was originally done to them, by reacting towards the partner as if they had abused them. I

The unstable abusive person usually takes out revenge and punish those they perceive to have hurt them. The partner who triggers the pain is seen as being responsible for it. This causes them to take revenge and punish them.

Do you spot these warning signs of emotional abuse in your relationship? 

If you detect the warning signs of being emotionally abused then perhaps you’re in a relationship with a person who hurts you as a way to feel better about themselves. Inflicting abuse on you is an attempt to escape these abandonment feelings and feelings of self-loathing. It also controls the partner as  way to make them feel better.

The emotionally abusive person must address their feelings and rebuild their sense of self, rather than making others responsible for their feelings.

If you recognize signs of emotional abusive behaviour in your relationship, you can get the help you need to build healthier boundaries,  protect yourself, and maintain healthier relationships. To find real love starts with having love for yourself and changing the way you feel about yourself, so you can attract real love in your life. 

 Nancy Carbone is a counsellor in Melbourne provides anger management, relationship therapy for those suffering signs of emotional abuse. .

To visit more relationship articles from sign up on her newsletter for free advice and tips from counselling Melbourne.  Follow her on social media at Facebook and Twitter


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