Everyone wants to be in a good relationship, but sometimes it's hard to realize that you've gotten yourself into a bad one. If your partner is physically assaulting you, it's clear that you're in an abusive relationship, but what about other types of bad relationships?
An emotionally abusive relationship can be just as damaging as a physically abusive one, but it can also be more difficult to identify. You're likely to stay longer with someone who's abusing you in a more subtle way, so it's important to recognize the signs of emotional abuse, as this will help you to get away from a toxic partner sooner rather than later.
Here are 10 signs that you're in an emotionally abusive relationship:
1. Your partner is very controlling. If you feel like you need to ask permission from your partner to do things; if they're the one who gets to make all the major decisions, or if you sometimes feel like they're more your parent than your partner, and an autocratic parent at that, you're in an emotionally abusive relationship.
2. Your partner is rigid and unreasonable. If you feel that there's no point in trying to negotiate with them because they always manage to get their way, and because they never seriously consider your point of view, you have an emotionally abusive partner.
3. You feel the need to tip-toe around your partner. If their temper is unpredictable and scary to you or their cold contempt cuts like a knife, and if you find yourself being extra careful not to upset them because of this, your partner is emotionally abusing you.
4. They can be incredibly charming or tremendously cold and unfeeling toward you. If you never know whether the person walking through the door will be your knight in shining armour or an unmovable block of ice, your relationship is emotionally abusive.
5. They discourage you from going back to school or getting a job. If they always have a "good reason" why you should be at home, taking care of the house and the kids, and you never have the opportunity to learn, grow, be challenged or fulfill your potential, your partner is emotionally abusive.
6. They talk you out of seeing your family and friends. If you find yourself more and more isolated because your partner is hyper-critical of your friends and relations, and if there are fewer and fewer people in your life who have a different opinion than your partner or who challenge what your partner is saying, your relationship is in fact, emotionally abusive.
7. They make you feel stupid, ugly, clumsy, inept, or useless. If you start believing that you're worthless, that you deserve to be mistreated or that you don't deserve anything better, you've spent too long in an abusive relationship.
8. Your partner's needs are always the priority. If your partner has no problem putting their own needs first, and if your needs are always described as foolish, excessive or unreasonable, you're experiencing emotional abuse.
9. They constantly let you know that you wouldn't be able to cope without them. If they imply, or tell you outright that you'd never manage without them; that you'd end up on the street, homeless, without them to take care of you, your partner is a typical emotional abuser.
10. They behave in ways that humiliate or shame you. If they flirt overtly when you're with them; if they criticize you in front of other people, or if they belittle you in any way, either privately or in public, your relationship is emotionally abusive.
These are the 10 signs that you're in an emotionally abusive relationship. If you're experiencing any one of these things, you ought to think very carefully about the pros and cons of staying with this person. Sadly, the truth is that when one of the above 10 things is present, most of the others are, as well.
If you want a good relationship, sometimes the first step in creating one is by walking away from the emotionally abusive relationship you're currently in.
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