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    The ‘red flags’ of an emotionally abusive relationship

    July 1, 2016

July 1, 2016

The ‘red flags’ of an emotionally abusive relationship

Have you ever suspected yourself of being in an  emotionally abusive relationship? Were you left feeling confused after the relationship ended? or maybe you suspect you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship now and aren’t quite sure if you can trust your gut.

Here are some easy ways to identify if you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. I urge you to not ignore these signs, or sweep them under the rug as the behavior will only get worse. I’ll also add that this can happen to both men and women. Often times, men are portrayed as the ones who are the abusers and this simply isn’t the case. Men and women can find themselves as victims of emotional abuse.

What is emotional abuse exactly? 

Emotional abuse goes much further than many think. When one thinks of emotional abuse they envision two people yelling at each other, or putting the other down. We know that emotional abuse goes beyond just words spoken to another person. Emotional abuse is designed to control, demean, subjugate, punish, and isolate the other person from friends, and family. This is done by fear of abandonment, humiliation, and other means of control

This type of abuse can range from constant criticism, incessant put downs, manipulation, and intimidation.

Do any of these look familiar?

  1. Threatening to abandon you, and the relationship if you don’t do ______.
  2. Isolating you from friends and family. Won’t allow you to make phone calls, texts, etc.
  3. They project their behavior on to you. For example if they are cheating they will accuse you of the thing they are guilty of.
  4. They deny you affection or love.
  5. They give you contemptuous looks.
  6. They often speak to you in a condescending tone.
  7. Frequent accusations and constant blame; they never take responsibility for their behavior.
  8. They blame their ex for all the issues in the past relationship. This goes back to not taking responsibility for their own behavior.
  9. They often give you the ‘silent treatment’ for days or weeks if you upset them.
  10. You are often judged and criticized unnecessarily.
  11. They trivialize or dismiss your feelings.
  12. They want to move incredibly fast. They are talking about love and marriage within the first 30 days of being together.
  13. They monopolize all of your time, and are jealous if you want to hang out with family or friends.
  14. They don’t care how their behavior makes you feel.
  15. They act as if they are superior to you, and everyone around them.

How does this type of abuse affect a person?

  1. Depression.
  2. Decreased self-esteem.
  3. Loss of interest in those things that used to bring joy.
  4. Difficulty making decisions.
  5. You no longer trust yourself, what you think, or how you feel.
  6. Hopelessness.
  7. You blame yourself for the situation.
  8. You feel ‘stuck’ and wonder if this is the best you can ever do.

Understand that emotional abuse is incredibly destructive. It slowly chips away at the person, and erodes their self-esteem. You are being brain washed by the abuser to believe all the things that they are saying about you. It isn’t until you look in the mirror one day, and don’t recognize the person looking back at you.

I will be writing part II of this blog post on what you can do if you find yourself in this situation. Be sure to subscribe to my blog to receive all the updates. If you need coaching in this area I can help.


  • Angie, July 4, 2016 Reply

    Good article! My ex-husband was emotionally abusive. I experienced 14 out of the 15 instances of emotional abuse.

  • Wilma Johnson, September 6, 2016 Reply

    Awesome article.......I wish I knew then (17 years ago) what I know now.

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