3 signs you are in an emotionally abusive relationship

It is always tough to detect emotional abuse in a relationship. I mean, the person you love can be saying some not-so-nice things to you but they mean well, right? Well, not always. Even though we take some teasing and honest comments from our partners in good faith, sometimes they are not well-meaning as they appear. Usually, emotionally abusive people have very low self esteem will likely use their mean words to bring you down. They poke holes at your confidence, energy and before you know it, you are in rut of self doubt and low esteem. How do you know if your partner is being emotionally abusive?

1. Severing your important relationships

An emotionally abusive partner will come up with ways to sever your relationships with people you care about. These could be your parents, siblings or friends who form your support circle. Humans are social beings and we need the support of others for our wellbeing. Therefore, when your partner makes you cut ties with your support system, you find that you’ll depend on them (the partner) more for emotional support. Unfortunately, this is where they get a good grip of your emotions and manipulate them further and since you have no other relationships to depend on, you cling on him creating unhealthy dependence.

2. Focusing on your insecurities

Being romantically involved with someone leads to exposure of our true self to this person. They therefore learn about our deepest fears or insecurities. Sharing your concerns with a loved one is a great feeling, but for emotionally abusive partners, they focus on these insecurities and use them to bring you down. If for example you are concerned about a certain physical appearance, this person will constantly remind you about it and since it is your weak button, you lose a tad of confidence every time this is brought up. Before you know it, you will forget about all your other positive traits that you love and proud of and focus on this one thing that you don’t like such that it controls your perspective about yourself.

3. Reverse Psychology

This is an old trick that some people use to get themselves out of sticky situations. Your partner may be using this every time you have an argument to make it all seem like your fault. This manipulative behavior is emotionally abusive and may make you doubt your decisions and actions in that relationship every time. In addition, your partner may use this tactic to get things their way which will not always be favorable to you. While it is always healthy to compromise sometimes in a relationship, and it’s good to know that you can’t win in all arguments, you should be alert to differentiate between a logical argument and when your partner is playing victim in circumstances where it is uncalled for.

It is important to note that not all times that your partner shows any of the above mentioned behavior relates to emotional abuse. However, consistency in such behavior is a red flag that you should take a closer look to. Most importantly, you can learn some coping strategies and guard emotions from such occurrences.
At Transitions Counselling we work with clients to help them gain their self-confidence, recognize negative patterns in their life and make positive changes. These changes often opens the door to change and improved relationships and a more rewarding life.

Please call us if you are looking to make positive changes in your life. We would love to help you.