Being in a mutually loving relationship is a wonderful thing. When you are in a loving relationship, you feel safe, happy, and secure. Every day may not be perfect all the time, but what always wins is love and all the good and happy emotions that come with it.
However, not all relationships are characterized by mutual love. Some romantic relationships are in fact the total opposite, with no mutual love and respect.
An emotionally abusive relationship is exactly that. Instead of mutual love and respect, attempts to frighten, control, or isolate are common in the relationship.
Beware of Emotional Abuse in Relationships
Emotional abuse comes disguised in many different forms. In many cases, the victim does not even realize that they are being abused.
It could be because victims are in denial due to their professed love towards their partner. It could also be because of their hopes that their relationship can still be restored somehow.
It could also be because victims are so manipulated with emotionally abusive tactics and so traumatized that they are unable to make out their own feelings or judge things correctly. That makes them get abused and ill-treated even more.
An emotionally abusive relationship wrecks you. It changes your perspectives about life and especially about yourself – changes it in ways that will do you no good.
While you, the victim, might think that your relationship is just going through tough times, the truth may be that it’s already ended long ago. It already died long ago, but you don’t even realize because your emotions are being manipulated and used against you.
It’s sad and horrible.
If you are a victim of an emotionally abusive relationship, the first step to free yourself is to recognize the abusive patterns in the relationship. Identify the signs of emotional abusive and manipulation in your relationship so that you can take the necessary steps to end it.
Signs of Emotional Abusive and Manipulation in Relationships
Here are some signs that you may be a victim of an emotionally abusive relationship, even though you may not immediately realize it yet:
1. You do not feel comfortable and trusting around people.
When you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, your perspective about other people gets distorted. There could be anxiety about building new friendships and meeting people outside the circles you already have.
You do not feel comfortable and trusting around people. Your socialization skills are negatively affected. Your self-esteem is low and you tend to isolate yourself from other people.
An emotionally abusive relationship is so cruel that it does not only affect how you move within the relationship, but also how you interact with other people outside of it.
You have developed twisted trust issues. It’s also possible that you started acting differently and awkwardly even with close family members and friends.
2. You feel worthless.
In an emotionally abusive relationship, your partner manipulates you into thinking that they are superior and better than you. They drag down your self-confidence and ruin your self-image through name-calling, gaslighting, discrimination, among many tactics.
As a result of how bad they treat you, the way you see yourself gets warped. You start to feel worthless and believe that you really are useless.
Emotional abusers want you to feel pathetic about your existence, so they can use you and put you under their control. You shouldn’t give them that much power over you.
3. You are always afraid and anxious to make mistakes.
Living in fear is what victims of emotionally abusive relationships suffer from. Wherever they turn their eyes to, they do not feel secure. They feel unsafe and close to danger.
If you are in such a toxic relationship, you are always afraid and anxious about making a mistake. You think you should always do everything right. You think you have to be perfect because that’s what your partner expects and even demands from you.
You become extremely conscious about all your words and actions, dreading, fearing, and hoping that you will not do anything that can make your other half upset and disappointed. It’s like you are always being monitored even when your partner is not around.
4. You focus on others’ expectations more than your own.
Oftentimes, losing yourself while in a relationship could mean that it’s not a healthy one. If all you think of is how to satisfy your partner and their impossible standards; how to meet their expectations and accomplish their desires, it’s a sign you may be a victim in an emotionally abusive relationship. In such a relationship, you forget about yourself and your interests.
This self-defeating habit can manifest outside your relationship too, where you focus on others’ expectations more than your goals. You are living for others’ applause and desires, not yours. It’s difficult because this does not make you happy. If you think it makes you happy, then you are just being blinded by the thought of wanting to make others happy.
5. You can’t voice or let out your emotions and thoughts.
In healthy relationships, each side has a say. There is freedom to speak up and say what’s on your mind and also express your heart’s desires and emotions. In that way, communication in the relationship becomes wholesome and healthful for both parties.
However, being in an emotionally abusive relationship is characterized by your inability to voice your thoughts or express your emotions freely. There’s no avenue for sharing what you feel and think, and it’s very painful. It’s like you are living in a dark, dump dungeon.
In an emotionally abusive relationship, you are restricted from contributing to decisions, even those that involve only you and not the other person. Your partner treats you like a puppet under their dominion. You think, say, and do what they want when they want, which is bad.
6. You cannot eat, sleep, and live healthy.
The effects of being in an emotionally abusive relationship is evident in your physical health too. Since your mind, emotions, and psychological state are not in good condition, your physical appearance will also show it.
This happens because you cannot eat, sleep, and live properly while in the relationship. You are constantly troubled and distressed. Maybe even fearful of your life ending at their hands because of the physically violence meted out on you.
Life is generally tough, but being in an emotionally abusive relationship makes everything horrible. You lose appetite and are unable to eat healthily. You are unable to sleep peacefully because of your partner’s toxic words that keep replaying in your head. The emotional torture they inflict on you is all too much to bear!
7. You always feel guilty.
Deceitful and unfair accusations and blaming is a form of emotional abuse. Abusers always point an accusing finger at their victims whenever something wrong happens.
If you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, you always feel guilty. Even in things you have nothing to do with, your partner accuses you. They turn the tables around shamelessly. Since you are being manipulated, you believe them and feel like it’s really your fault.
8. You feel so stressed and depressed.
Depression is a common feature in toxic relationships and a sign you may be in an emotionally abusive relationship. You are constantly lied to by your partner as they make you believe that you are not worth it. They make you hate yourself.
By humiliating you in front of others, they degrade you and make you cry when you are alone. As the embarrassing scenarios flash back in your head, you are frustrated and angered, yet you feel like you cannot do anything, which can lead to serious depression.
Emotional abusers threaten you that they will hurt you, your kids, and the people you love if you go against what they want, which is very stressful and scary for the victim. They devalue your whole existence and think you are rubbish.
Such emotional abuse can easily lead to depression—not mere sadness but tremendous feelings of desolation. You should separate yourself from that toxic environment and get help if you notice or recognize any of these signs of emotional abusive in your relationships.
Treatments and therapies are available for victims of emotionally abuse. Speak with qualified medical experts that will help you recover your emotion awareness and self-worth, and who will support and walk with you through the process of mental and emotional healing.
Police and other protective programs for emotionally abused individuals are also available to help you get away from your abusers. You can also seek legal help to fight for your rights.
All in all, you should not have to stay in a toxic relationship and suffer emotional abuse. You deserve better and you can get better!