Red Flags of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

1. Your Partner Is Casually Manipulative

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Emotional abuse stems from a place of selfishness and entitlement. Partners who are less inclined to compromise use emotional manipulation to get what they want regardless of how it effects their partner. Partners who are manipulative usually have been that way their entire life. It's just the way that they are used to communicating so that they are not held accountable for their actions. 

"Gaslighting" is one of the most common forms of emotional manipulation in relationships and is when someone makes you question your own sanity. One of the ways that this can manifest is that you may begin blaming yourself for everything that is wrong in your relationship. If you start to see this happening, try to take a step back and recognize that your partner may actually intentionally planting these unsettling emotions within your mind. 


2. Your Partner Feels Entitled to All of Your Time

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A desire to spend most of your time with your partner is very normal, especially early on in the relationship. However, this can become a problem when you need to do other things and your partner finds it unacceptable. This can happen when your partner insists you spend time with them, or guilts you into cancelling other plans with friends or family members in order to spend more time together. This type of control is very unhealthy for the relationship. Having your own autonomy in a relationship is critical to your personal happiness and your happiness within a relationship. So don't feel guilty about setting boundaries and keeping some time for yourself. 


3. Your Partner Gets Jealous Often

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Passion is something that everyone wants in a relationship. It can make you feel alive, wanted, and reaffirmed. However, it can be difficult to identify obsession and control because it comes disguised as passion. You can tell the difference because passion feels good. If it doesn't, then it could be a form of abuse.

For example:  "He/She loves me so much, and that is why they freak out at me if someone looks at me when I am walking down the street." Or, "He/She loves me so much and that is why they refuse to let me spend time alone with my friends." Remember, jealousy is not a compliment.


4. Your Partner Frequently Puts You Down

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Emotional abusers tend to undermine their partners. They want you to have a low level of self-esteem so that it is easier for them to maintain control. These mind games attempt to tear you down so that you will become dependent on them for praise and reassurance. Along these same lines, emotional abusers will also target anyone in your support system like your friends and family with the goal of isolating you from any sources that could build your self-worth. 



*If you or anyone you know suffer from an abusive relationship, click here for resources.