Home / Health / 14 Emotional Abuse Signs: From Control To Guilt, Therapist Reveals The Subtle Red Flags To Protect Yourself From

14 Emotional Abuse Signs: From Control To Guilt, Therapist Reveals The Subtle Red Flags To Protect Yourself From

By Andrew Alpin, 1 March 2018

Are you experiencing these emotional abuse signs in your relationship? Domestic emotional abuse has always been on the murkier side of the law worldwide. The biggest problem in certain cases is that most victims are usually financially and emotionally dependent on their abusers such as their fathers or husbands and fear speaking out for fear of social stigma of being abandoned if they complain about the head of the family. Society too, on the other hand, is quick to castigate and ostracize the victims rather than giving them shelter or an alternative means of self-sustenance. In spite of the signs of emotional abuse, domestic violence is one of the least reported crimes in the world.

Laws have been changed for emotional abuse crimes in the UK

The United Kingdom has gone one step further in changing its sentencing laws with harsher jail terms for emotional abusers. Courts have been instructed to take view such incidents more seriously than others as such a crime represents a 'violation of trust and security' related with intimate family relationships. In fact, for the first time emotional abuse using technology and social media will be taken into account in every case.

emotional abuse crimes

Image Source: www.betterhelp.com


Be aware of the red flags and emotional abuse signs in your relationship

The trick is to be self-aware and be prepared for the traps of emotional abuse that are usually insidious and sadistic by nature. These leeches gradually undermine your confidence and yourself belief systems. They are hugely skilled in subtle ways to convince you that everything is your fault, which is a serious dent to your value system and you lose trust of your own instincts anymore.

Psychologist Sally Brown warns that certain signs of emotional abuse aren’t very clear which is why she helps in breaking down these 14 subtle emotional abuse signs victims usually face from a perpetrator. Do not ignore these signs that can hint your relationship is getting destructive and you need to do something about it ….fast.

emotional abuse signs in your relationship

Image Source: www.vixendaily.com


1You are mocked

Do you have this uncanny feeling that your partner cracks jokes at your expenses, embarrassing you in social get-togethers or parties? In simpler terms, his aim is to blow small mistakes of yours out of proportion for the whole world to hear and judge? It could be your inability to manage money, or driving skills and the like.  If you protest, you are blamed of being party pooper. The easiest way to know if he is insulting you is to gauge the reaction of your guests. If they are laughing and taking it a lightly, it’s probably a jibe but if they are uncomfortable, your partner is out there in a sadistic mission against you.

You are mocked

Image Source: kampustoday.com


2You always feel guilty or are made to

Well, if you are always on a panic mode and scared of making the slightest mistake, it means you are on a guilt trip instilled by your insidious partner. The constant feeling of being compared and shamed by him eats you up. You are over-vigilante about everything you do to please your partner so that he does not hurt you by his blatant criticism. The real sad part is that your partner may blame you for their failures insinuating they got drunk perhaps because you upset them. They blame you for their stresses in life or your imaginary jealousy when they indulge in flirting.

relationship disputes

Image Source: lausks.com

3You suddenly need protection

Suddenly girls-night-outs are banned stating silly excuses with time limitations or needing to be picked up. He always needs to keep a tab on you and who you are hanging out with. He insists on a photograph to show who you could be with as well. In reality, there is no love involved here, it’s just power play and keeping you in a leash like a pet dog, that will keep getting shorter and tighter.

checking partners phone

Image Source: healthversed.com

4Grand gestures are made by them

Among the emotional abuse signs, when you finally start confronting him, they get threatened and realize they have overstepped the border. So how to get things back to normal? Be ready for grand gestures, like a romantic dinner, a surprise weekend trip which you always wanted, a flurry of surprise gifts and flowers, enough to nauseate the neighbors. The trick here is that the to divert your mind from the real festering relationship problems, with an expectation of buying more time when you would be little less confrontational about the real issues in the relationship.

Grand gestures

Image Source: ilmattino.it

5You are being Gas-Lighted

One of the most famous signs of emotional abuse and tactics. “Gas-lighting” is an English term implying indirect mental manipulations opted as a more cowardly strategy rather than confronting the problems directly like a man. The prime tool here is lying and deceit. Your partner contradicts most of the claims he made earlier, about his last job, his previous relations. They deny with such conviction that you really start doubting yourself. This is the most disturbing form of mental manipulation which makes you question your own emotional stability.

stressed relationship

Image Source: siudy.net

6Your bubbles are burst one by one

The most heartless thing a partner can do to you is to break your confidence and belittle your accomplishments. You will find them taking a sadistic pleasure in ruining your self congratulatory mood over a good day at work. He would try anything to demoralize you by convincing that your victory is not a big deal and there are a 1000 ways it can go downhill, or simply he would ignore your excitement by engaging in an unrelated argument which would break your happy bubble instantly. This triggers the attitude of never sharing your achievements, ideas or success, because they would always knock you down without any display of positivity.

relationship fights

Image Source: understandingrelationships.com

7Backhanded compliments are the new style of complementing

As the years pass by your partner loses interest in you, unlike in the past when he would find you attractive and compliment you that time has long gone by and forgotten now. In fact now it’s safer not to ask how you look as it would invite nasty comments on how “bad” you look, or you’ve gained weight. If you display any sign of objection, you are termed oversensitive.

partner loses interest

Image Source: www.kawpan.com

8Lack of empathy

This is a classic working couple malady. A man facing a problem in his work is a catastrophe which everyone sympathizes with. But if it’s the lady of the house with the same problem and if she shares her ordeals, it is always met by terms as “over-reacting”, “what would you have done if you were in my place” or worse “its part of life- get over with”. In fact, these abusers slyly disappear when you need them the most.

Lack of empathy

Image Source: www.mensstyle.com.au

9You're always in the wrong

A classic tell tale sign of an emotionally abusive partner is that he is always right and you are always at fault, no matter what! They are so sick they will keep a mental list of all the past follies whether big or small and regularly use it against you time and again. Seems like the dictum “let the bygones be bygone is sacrilegious to these sort of people”.

emotionally abusive partner

Image Source: microfilenetwork.com

10The purse-strings tightening partner

One of the emotional abuse signs is financial control. God help you if you married to this abuser and are unemployed or for some reason dependent on his money, you can see your dignity fly off the window. Financial abuse is a classic trip with friends tactic of an abusive partner is to controlling you financially. Before you ask for money for your own use, be ready with a complete expenditure plan for him to approve and later it would be crossed checked too. If that’s not embarrassing enough, you would see that your partner never feels like discussing where he is spending or “investing his money, but he would always be ready with a truck load of advice on how to be careful with money! If you are planning to borrow money for training, career or having a trip with your friends, you may be refused as you can ill afford it.

purse-strings tightening partner

Image Source: patheos.com:

11They involve others

When your first started dating you probably heard about his tumultuous relations with his family. But gradually as your family and friends begin interacting with him; it is they who are getting equally hostile towards him. You find yourself in an awkward position of taking sides which is highly uncomfortable, whatever is the true reason, your love life is a complete drama”.

tumultuous relations with his family

Image Source: www.rd.com

12People find a change in you

Your old school and college friends meet you after a decade and all of them complain that you have changed completely. For them you are not your bubbly self anymore and are always pensive and brooding. They also notice your sharp drop in socializing and going out and you find it hard to explain, after all how can you blame all that on your love partner right?

consolig a friend

Image Source: www.thrivingnow.com

13You look forward to being alone in the evenings

Regardless of how ashamed you are in accepting it, but you do feel light as a butterfly when your partner has a night out and you have a whole evening to yourself. In fact, if your partner tells you he has to go out for a work week you just can’t wait for it and count the days on your fingers. When he is not around you are light like a feather just floating and bouncing with a silly smile stuck on your face.

being alone in the evenings

Image Source: www.shotfromthestreet.com

14He/she is stonewalling you

A Passive-aggressive nature is a death knell for a relationship and a classic sign of emotional abuse. If your partner completely withdraws from you for days, sulking, not making an eye contact without explaining what’s bothering him/her, but indirectly making it quite clear that they are pissed off with you for some reason, it can be really frustrating. They get overtly guarded about having their own space, without letting you in physically or emotionally and is a sign that the relation is downhill and beyond salvation. These are the most subtle emotional abuse signs you should always be careful of.

 stonewalling you

Image Source: bayarearelationshipcenter.com