The hardest part about being in an emotionally abusive relationship is that it’s almost impossible to realize you’re in one—until you’re out of it.
Here are nine signs that you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship. There’s still time to recognize the negativity, and get out as soon as possible. Were you in an emotionally abusive relationship? Did we miss any red flags? Let us know in the comments.
- They don’t stop telling mean jokes, being critical towards you, and/or being judgmental.
At first, it might seem like aggressive flirtation, but after a while, it will start to subconsciously hurt you.
The constant humiliation becomes the only way they can talk about you, and that isn’t healthy or normal in any relationship, let alone one that’s supposed to be romantic and positive.
- The constant feeling of guilt.
Are there times when you feel like you did something wrong, even when you know deep down inside you didn’t?
Through their subtle humiliation of you, you might begin to feel guilty all the time. Even when you did nothing wrong—or did nothing at all—you feel sorry about every action that doesn’t seem to live up to their impossible standards.
- When separated, they don’t stop trying to talk to you.
When you’re together, they don’t want to talk, but when you’re not together, that’s all they want to do.
It doesn’t, that’s why, and it’s a form of manipulative behavior to make sure you’re tied to them at all times. If they continue this behavior and it becomes a pattern, then it’s absolutely a red flag that you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship.
- Everything they do is your fault.
When they’re in a bad mood, it’s your fault. When they can’t find something they lost, it’s your fault that you didn’t keep track of it. Situations like this are totally irrational and emotionally abusive.
You can never feel good about anything, because sooner or later you’re being blamed for something you didn’t know about. Thus, beginning your guilt trips that never go away.
Everybody gets jealous, granted, but their amount of jealousy isn’t logical. When they’re scolding you for something you had no control over—some dude liking your sexy photo, or a girl talking to you normally—and they make it your fault, then that’s abuse. This jealousy also goes into friendships and the amount of time spent in them. They don’t like you being out for an extra hour after work because they want you for that hour? How is that fair to you?
Whether it be control your time (like we mentioned before) or your finances, it’s emotional abuse. The only person who controls your behavior is you, no matter what. If they want to control how you spend your leisure time, or who you hang out with, or what you spend that extra money on, then that’s abuse.
- They’re unfaithful to you, or always hold the threat over your head.
If your significant other uses your worst nightmare—being cheated on—as a way to manipulate you into doing anything, then you’re being emotionally abused by them. That isn’t fair to you and you shouldn’t deal with that level of risk every time they might get upset over a decision you’re making.
- Refusal of communication
One of the most important aspects of any relationship is communication. So if your partner refuses to talk at the most important times (you’re stressed, you need their support, etc.), then that isn’t a great sign to begin with. Shutting you out of the conversation is simply rude and immature, and they likely know that, which is a huge sign of disrespect to your emotions.
- Violence is always a risk
When you show signs of leaving the relationship and they respond by threatening to hurt themselves or you, then that’s emotional abuse. The stakes should never, ever be that high in a relationship.
If you’ve found yourself agreeing with many of the signs on this list, then consider getting help. Don’t let yourself be treated unfairly by someone who doesn’t value you as high as you value them.