Sometimes abuse is not as obvious as your partner hitting you or punching you. Sometimes it is more subtle, such as your partner calling you names and insulting you. This kind of abuse slowly sneaks up on people and before they know it they constantly feel upset and ashamed. They are upset because they are treated badly on a daily basis, and they feel shame as they think that they are at least partially to blame for the way their partner treats them.
This is emotional abuse, and it can be just as damaging as physical abuse. Often people deny that their partner is abusing them, or they minimize their behaviour as they want to believe that their partner loves them and has their best interests at heart.
However, allowing your partner to demean you is unfair on yourself. Over time you will start to become unhappy, self-doubting, depressed, and anxious. This can cause mental health problems and it can even lead to suicide, so it is important to find the strength to leave the person who is abusing you. Here are 10 signs of an abusive relationship; if you can relate to them, you may need to take a second look at your relationship.
1. They Constantly Put You Down
Your partner is always putting you down; they disregard your opinions and ideas, and they think that your dreams and goals are trivial or stupid. They insult you both in private and in public, and if you say that they have upset you they either say “I’m just joking” or “I have your best interests at heart”.
2. They Try to Control You
Your partner tries to control every aspect of your life from your social life to your career. They even try to tell you who to be friends with, and how often you can see your friends. This indicates that they view you as an extension of themselves, rather than an independent being.
3.They Make You Feel Like You Are Always Wrong
You always feel like you have done something wrong, as your partner loves to point out your mistakes. Even when you haven’t done something wrong you your partner still treats you like you did. This is a sign of emotional abuse; your partner tries to make you feel unworthy of them, so that they have power over you.
4. They Always Point Out Your Flaws
Your partner is supposed to love you for who you are, but instead they often point out flaws in your personality and appearance. Your partner is doing this to ruin your self-esteem so that you won’t leave them, as you will think that you are ‘lucky’ to have them.
5. They Blame You for Everything
Everyone makes mistakes, but your partner blames you for everything – including their own mistakes. It feels like you apologize to them every day, but you can’t remember the last time they apologized to you.
6. They Don’t Respect Your Boundaries
Your partner reads your private text messages when you are out of the room, and they will go through your things to make sure that they know everything about you. They can also be pushy about your beliefs; for instance if you are a vegetarian they often try to get you to eat meat. This shows that they don’t respect your rules – they only respect their own rules.
7. They Try to Manipulate You
They often threaten to start fights or end the relationship in an attempt to get you to do what they want. This means that you often end up going along with something you’re not happy about to avoid fights or tears.
8. Their Love Is Conditional
They only love you when you bow to their will; they don’t love you for exactly who you are. This means that you feel like you have to do as they say, otherwise the relationship will end. It also means that you constantly have to pretend to be someone you’re not.
9. They Play the Victim
They start all of the fights and arguments, but they also play the victim and say that you actually started the disagreement with your attitude or behaviour.
10. They Are Emotionally Unavailable
Your partner rarely talks to you about their feelings and you wish they would open up to you more. There are lots of reasons why they abuse you in this way; they may have been abused as a child, and now they think that abuse and being emotionally unavailable is normal and healthy. They also may have mental health issues or a disorder.
You are with your partner because you love them, so you may be tempted to try and fix their emotional problems for them. However, you cannot fix these problems―only your partner can do that, by acknowledging that they have a problem and taking steps to fix it. It can be very difficult to put yourself first after spending time in an abusive relationship, but it is the best option for both you and your partner. You deserve to find happiness, even if that can be hard to accept. Try to summon the courage to end the relationship so that you can find your happiness and self-esteem again ― you may not see it now, but you are a wonderful person who deserves to be loved.