love • ★★★★★
Picking up on the signs you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship can be difficult. Chances are you have your rose-colored glasses on when you are in a relationship so you may excuse, overlook and deny your boyfriend’s emotionally abusive behavior. That’s the worst mistake you could make ladies. It’s important to recognize the signs of emotional abuse because little by little this type of abuser will emotionally break you and he will crush your unique spirit with an iron fist. Below, I’m going to reveal 7 warning signs you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship.
1 He Wants Your Undivided Attention 24/7
Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? It’s definitely not. When a guy leaves behind his hobbies and his friends to be attached at your hip, it’s a big sign that your relationship is taking a turn in the wrong direction. I understand that it’s normal for a couple to want to frequently hang out for the first few months, but if you barely have time for yourself; this guy is trying to control you.
2 He Acts like a Dictator and Makes All the Rules in Your Relationship
He doesn’t let you hang out with your girls but its ok if he hangs out with his guys doing as he pleases. He’ll complain that your friends are too slutty and that they are bad influences on you. He’ll say that he hates your best friend. She’s probably the one that is trying to make you see that you are in an emotionally abusing relationship and heading for nowheresville.
3 He Isolates You from People That You Love
One of the worst signs that you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship is that you are losing contact with family and friends. Lately your world revolves around him to avoid fighting and constant accusations that you are cheating. What your guy is doing is trying to force you to choose between him and the rest of the people you know. You should be able to talk to anyone that you like without having to answer to him!
4 He’s Taking Away Your Freedom and Needs to Know Your Every Move
A really bad sign of an emotionally abusive relationship is if your boyfriend demands that you tell him details like where you are going, what you are doing and who you are with. He gets mad whenever you do something without telling him. You are mentally exhausted because you have to constantly explain your actions.
5 He Uses the Silent Treatment to Punish You
An emotionally abusive guy will refuse to answer text messages, phone calls and e-mails when he gets mad at you. He won’t tell you the reasons that he is mad at you either. Instead, he’ll just disappear off the face of the earth until he feels that you have been punished enough.
6 He Puts You down and Hurts Your Feelings
Words like «stupid», «crazy», «fat» and «ugly» aren’t even in the vocabulary of a good relationship. This guy is trying to put you down so he has total control over you. An emotionally abusive guy will accuse you of making a big deal out of nothing when you tell him he’s being hurtful. This type of guy is so insecure of himself that he needs to lower your self-esteem to ensure that you always stay with him.
7 He is Extremely Jealous of Your Guy Friends, Family Members and Pretty Much Any Guys That Happen to Be on Planet Earth
When you are out together, he’s constantly accusing you of looking at other guys. Or he’ll accuse you of trying to make him jealous whenever you dress sexy. He doesn’t let you wear cute and sexy things girls love like your favorite summer mini dress and strappy metallic heels. It’s better to keep your awesome fashion sense-lose the abuser.
8 He Has No Limits
Not all emotional abusers have irrational dependencies such as drugs and alcohol but a good chunk of them does. Their addiction changes and brings out the worst in them especially when they don't know when to stop. Therefore if you feel that your significant other puts his dependencies before you, it is more than likely that you are in an emotionally abusive relationship and need to take control of it before it gets our of hand.
9 He Instills Fear in You
Most of the healthy romantic relationships provide support and security. Therefore if you don't feel any of that coming from your relationship, there is definitely something wrong. You should be able to feel comfortable in front of your significant other and not be afraid to be yourself. However if your partner instills fear by threatening or intimidating you to the point where you hesitate to do things without your partner's approval, it is time to reevaluate the whole point of your relationship.
10 He Lowers Your Self-esteem
When you think of your ideal romantic partner, you think of someone who makes you feel like you are the one and only fish in the sea. He inflates your self-esteem by making you feel beautiful even when you feel like hiding in the closet. However there are emotionally damaging relationships during which you begin to feel like nothing. You start to doubt your strengths and search for flaws within you. Low self-worth and self-esteem are big red flags in relationships.
11 He Treats Your like Property
You know that it is time to end an emotionally abusive relationship when you no longer feel like you have any input in it. Your partner only cares about self-preservation and uses you to benefit himself or herself. There is no "we" in your relationship, it is solely based on the interests of one person. And we all know that that is not how things should work out.
12 Roller-coaster Relationship with Him
If there is never a constant in your relationship and you never know what to expect from it, it would be categorized as unhealthy. Although it is typical for couples to go through their ups and downs, cyclical highs and lows should not become a pattern. Once you get into a habit of severe fights followed by make ups, you will never gain stability. This erratic relationship can only result in lots of stress and heartbreaks.
13 He Gets Physical
Physical abuse and emotional abuse come hang in hand, one usually does not exist without the other. Sometimes we forgive our partners for putting a hand on us once believing that there is some hope but in reality once your partner hits you once, there is nothing stopping him or her from doing it again. Making excuses for repetitive physical abuse can be emotionally draining and it can only leave you defenseless and unprotected.
You have a right to be in a loving relationship in which a guy treats you with kindness, compassion and most of all respect. It’s far better to be rocking the single life with your personal freedom intact and fabulous girlfriends than to be stuck with an emotional abuser who chips away at your sanity. Always walk away if you see the signs that you’re an emotionally abusive relationship and make way for a good guy to enter your life. You deserve nothing less. So ladies, how many of you out there are dealing with an emotionally abusive guy?
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- abusive relationship
- emotional abuse
- warning signs
- Jen If I have to go back in time I wouldn't let him step into my life.. Now my life is awaste because of abuse...
- jenna im 13 and in one have been for a year and almost 3 months. it first stared when i wanted to dye my hair and he wouldnt allow it for him its so easy for him to take anything out on my. He got mad one time because he accidenty hurt me but then i tried hugging him and he would push me and he calls me names when he is upset. He has cussed out half of my friends witch i have distanced away from. We fight constantly and i am scared to tell him anything because he continues to be suicicdal but with me if i do something he acts like its he end of the world. Before i stopped cuting he told me he would leave me if i didnt stop. He then called me a sucidal freak and when he gets mad he always pushes me off of him. I feel like im just freaking out but he used to make jokes of cheating and jokes that hurt. It seems so hard to leave but idk if i want to. If he is in a bad mood he says cool if i say something is wrong. He also uses my mamaw and papaw that passed to make me feel lke i cant do stuff like wear longer crop top etc. He has told a girl he wish he could be with her moments after a break up. ive always thought thats how i deserve to be treated
- Terri Terri
- Kelly After reading this article on signs of emotional abuse - I have to come to terms with the fact that I am in one. It makes me wonder how it got to this level and part of it is because we allow them to treat us this way. That is to say being with them is essentially telling them it's okay to emotionally abuse you. You cannot have a debate or a conversation with someone of that nature - they will tell over you - make you feel worthless and only worry about controlling you. Manipulation is the biggest tactic to get you back when you do leave. I've never been so mistreated and emotionally spent in my entire life. I had no idea these type of men even existed or that I was capable on staying in a relationship and allowing it to happen.
- marie @belly, I am sorry to say this but if he is going to abusive then you need to brake up with him.
- Jennifer it hurts to accept that he may be emotionally and verbally abusie but it will hurt more when you ignore it and stay because in time he will walk away. mine did after 18 years.
- Capricorn :/ I'm sorry loves may the lord Be with yall
- alltimelow I've been in a relationship with the same guy for over a year, and all of these apply to it. I've kinda had a feeling it was similar to an emotional abuse lately, but I'm afraid to tell him that. I'm scared he'll take everything out on me again and ruin whats left of not only me, but himself too.
- Raychela Every man knows I'm easy and they can have me*
- Cyn Been married two years been together for 3.5yrs
- Hotmomw6 I wasted 20 yrs on this kind of person. Best thing I ever did was leave. They never change and only get worse as they become more insecure. They're very insecure people who need to control everything to make themselves feel better.
- Rijen My boyfriend knows me well enough that he knows he can't stop me from doing things i love. But we have fights A LOT... I don't even know if it's normal in a relationship? And we fight over petty things. Sometimes we don't get to see each other for weeks! Cos im busy and try my best to leave him a message or call him for a bit to show i care. But none of those are enough because he would pick fights and im really tired after a long day so i fight back by completely ignoring calls not answering him. He gets worse when he's pissed he said "i will be damned because of the things iv done to him" and when we make up he said he was sorry because he got so desperate cos i was so stubborn. Pretty ironic right? What do you guys think? I just want your thought and opinions about this...
- Ashley Thank you for this. I just got out if an emotionally and physically abusive relationship and it's reassuring to know that I wasn't crazy, which is something my abuser tried to convince me of. Every time id point out the signs of emotional abuse, he'd tell me no one is getting abused, I'm overreacting, I'm crazy, I'm drama.
- Miss_Daisy @Ashley I'm in the same place as you. I thought I was going crazy - he always said how 'everyone else thinks he's a great guy' 'I'm the one with issues & creating the fights'. Don't listen to them & forget EVERYTHING they've said to you & don't listen to them anymore.
- Nikk123 :sticker_crying:
- Estela I've been trying for months but the pity always gets in the way. God give me strength.
- Shannon i hope i find the strength i need.
- Hali Keep your head up. If he is emotionally abusive then you need to find the strength to leave. I did, and I will never tolerate it again.
- Інна :sticker_crying:
- Інна OMG! I can feel some of these signs described above at myself. Although, I don't have a boyfriend!!! At my job! Terrible.
- Lauren Hi guys I'm new to this and I just need someone to talk to or give me advice
- Dortheena Its been. Three. Years! Ive finally. Gotten. The courage, strength, an support to get restraining order.I was denied. Nothing nuff info,now I have to wait,see judge. Serve him court papers ! Informing him Of what's to come. He refuses to leave. Well. At least without seeing my life destroyed first now I'm really scared and slowly losing what little courage I had!
- Heather Oh Dortheena, I'm so sorry. Do you have the option to leave him? Is there a family that you can stay with?
- ixchmel My boyfriend is just like that :( he really hurts me and most of the time i don't know why i'm still with him. I don't know how to leave him
- Heather Oh! Have you tried to confront him?
- Anam Hi, i just want to know if a husband having all these signs?i am really hurt after reading all these signs :/
- Heather Oh no Anam! I'm so sorry that is happening to you. Absolutely this can happen in a marriage as well as a relationship.
- Shannon So i was reading all of this & every single one was how my ex girlfriend was. Me and her just broke up on the 13th, and after we did i don't know why but my self-esteem went right back up. I feelt so much better after i left her than when i was with her. She lived an hour away from me, but everytime i left my house if i didn't tell her before i left she would get mad. & she wouldnt let me hang out with any of my friends because she didnt trust them. But she should've trusted me to know i wouldnt do anything. I mean i didn't know i was being emotionally abused untill i read these. Thank you so much, this helped me alot. Now i know not to go back to her! (:
- Heather I'm so glad that it helped you! It's hard to admit that you are in a relationship like this until you are out of it. :)
- Mellow 6 out of 7. It's easier said than done unfortunatly.
- Dee I have been in a emotional and verbal abuse relationship. Every time I break up I go back. I am now moved out, but was still seeing him, A week ago I thought I finally did it. I have not seen him in a week. I am slowly breaking down again although I usually don't make it 24 hours the past couple month of many breakups. Again I have text and now talked on phone today. Was almost going to go visit. NOW I am thinking what the heck am I doing? Why do I
- Dee Also My guy fits every one of these 7 and is a real pro at the abuse. He now has me believing I am the cause
- Zhandra I totally broke up with him after reading all those signs, which are all correct!
- Mercy I really need help in knowing if I'm overreacting or my boyfriend is...
- Lyndsie Hi Mercy, what's going on between the two of you? Let us know the situation, we'll be so glad to help!
- Christinaidek This is my relationship in a nutshell it was never like this a year ago (I'm in a fairly LDR with someone who doesn't even live in the same country as me). All of these signs but I could just easily end it, I just feel as though I still love him and I've put my blood and sweat into this because I even went over to see him...It's just if I do one simple thing that happens to upset him all hell breaks loose :/..
- Lyndsie Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry. Sometimes, hard as it is, you have to cut your losses. I know it's so hard when you've put so much time into a relationship, but think about whether or not you really want to walk around on eggshells like that. It might be the strain of being in an LDR, is it any different when you're physically with him? Different factors could be at work here, but even still, you don't want to take too many chances with an emotionally harmful relationship.
- Jerry I take offense that the explanations assume its a man abusing the woman and never the other way. The title of this article says nothing about signs of men abusing women but that is what your content is all about. Very discriminative writing.
- Heather Hi Jerry! You are right -- the content does reflect that, but it absolutely can go both ways. Thanks for bringing that point up! I do want to apologize for offending you, that was not an intention at all. In the future, we'll make sure to make our writing a bit more general instead of specific.
- Cindy My ex used to get jealous when I wear cute cloths and get mad when guys look at me. He always talk to me angrily and belittle me. I did not understand why? When a men date a beutiful woman, he knows she is beutiful why he want to change her ? Try to control? Is that a sign of insecure? I did not change someone, bc I beliefs that they have their right to make them happy, and wear whatever they want. I never change him, I love him for the way he is but he constantly want to change me. It is not a happy relationship, when u try to change to make. Someone else happy.
- Mike Do you think the same rules apply if you reverse the sex? As I was reading them it was literally describing my gf's behaviour. Even though she admitted cheating on me for 3 months she still treats me like this.. If we didn't have a child together I'd be loooong gone.
- Heather Hi Mike! Absolutely! This is definitely something that would apply if it is a girl. Is there anyway out of your relationship? That isn't healthy for you to be in.
- jo I can definately relate beause i was in an abusive relationship and i thank god i was able to walk and all the seven signs is what i experienced and worse,my daughter and i are safe now.
- Heather Hi Jo! I am so, so sorry that you had to go through with that. That is horrible and I am so glad that you are out of that relationship now.
- Kaitlyn What if your friend is in an emotionally abusive relationship?
- Heather Have you tried to talk to her about it? It might be the key and she might not realize that she is being emotionally abused.
- Jenna Is there anyway to talk it out...? I've been in an emotionally abusive relationship for 3 years and I just don't have the personal strength to leave...and I quite frank don't quite know if I want to. He has promised to change...but he meets every single one of the signs. What do I do? I need some support :(
- jenn @Margo, I got goose bumps ALL over my body when I read your response. Barely anyone today gives God the credit he deserves! And what you said here holds more truth than many could dream of. God bless you for this!
- Margo @Jenna, that last sentence was suppose to read...RUN AND NEVER LOOK BACK!!!!!
- Margo @Jenna, I was married to an emotional abuser and just like you I did not have the mental strength to leave, you see the objective of a emotional abuser is to break down and control your mind. When I recognized I no longer had control of my mind I did the only thing I knew how to do and that was pray. I prayed daily asking The Lord for strength to leave...my strength came. Your Heavenly Father Loves you and does not want to see you mistreated and abused, that is not your purpose on this earth. God Loves you and remember everyone we choose to enter into relationships with is not who our Father has for us. Look in the mirror daily and tell yourself...I am beautiful...I am at peace...I am joyful...I am strong...I am ok and when your strength comes and it will...RUN AND NEVER BACK!!!
- Michelle @Heather Jensen Hi heather, as I am logged in though this app on Facebook does anything I write on here appear on fb in any form ?
- Heather Hi Jenna! When you are in an emotionally unstable relationship, it's so hard to leave, but sometimes, it might take that courage. I'd say maybe, if you really want help, you've got to seek some outside help. Would therapy be an option?
- Dp Hi, what should you do when you find yourself being like this to your girlfriend ( minus the name calling) and know this just isn't you however she has made you like this, she has made you insecure, untrusting, by her actions and things she has said? Now I'm stuck feeling this way and in this rut but love her still?
- Dp @Heather Jensen the funny thing is I see my behaviour in your article yet know it is not me. I will provide context soon and hope you reply. I need help on this as I feel I can be so much more and hanging on for reasons I don't understand
- Heather Hey DP! It might be time for you two to break it off. Honestly, if she makes you this person, then it is an unhealthy relationship really -- and that isn't good for either one of you.
- Catarina Well i know iM in one i keep telling him to leave and he wont he'll say "i don't have to leave iM still paying rent and i will pay without you knowing so ill have to stay" and then he makes threats to break my things "phone iPod tv" and all that he's always in my business i can never do anything without him always being in my face or asking me questions... and also he threatens to tell my family bas things that he knows about me i do not know what to do :(
- Heather Hey Catarina! Have you ever thought about seeking professional help? You don't have to put up with someone constantly controlling you like that.
- Cat Just read the article and comments. There are those who think you can simply walk away from an emotional abuser. It is FAR easier to get the court system and everyone in it, to take action when the wounds, bruises and scars can be seen. I should know. I went thru this. This guy would NOT let go. I put over 2,000 miles between us and he STILL found me. I think it's important to emphasize that many of these men, and women as well, are very good at manipulation. They are con-artists. When I told my ex it was over, he ran to my sisters' house and sobbed. He "loved" me SO much...blah, blah, blah. I learned over time he could turn on tears like most turn on a faucet, when needed. He had my mother convinced I was addicted to drugs, a pathological liar..and the list went on and on. He told me if I kicked him out of my life, I would 'pay'. Family was/and still is, very important to me. He told me he would shred my family. And he did. It was only after he was caught red-handed stealing my sister's jewelry that she, and others as well, started to see the person he really was. I'm free today because I vanished. I blocked emails, left no forwarding address and have my cell phone under someone else's name now. I told my family only that I was O.K. I have peace today and help others experiencing what I've gone through. Though many would not like hearing it, the signs listed here will only become will only be added to and will worsen over time. One very important lesson I learned: NO CONTACT in any way, shape or form.
- Heather Thank you so much for sharing your experience Cat! I know that must be hard for you. I am definitely glad that you commented. No contact is very, very important when it comes to an emotional abuser.
- Edith Every single one of those describes my ex-husband. He still tries all those things to this day even though he's re-married and I'm in a serious relationship. It's kind of scary. I'm so glad I'm not in that relationship anymore. This article was pretty eye opening. Thanks!
- Heather @Edith Cooper, that is horrible! I'm so sorry that you had to go through with that, but I'm definitely glad that you got out of that relationship. :) Thanks for stopping by!
- Sheila Hi Edith Cooper, Welcome to AWS! So glad you managed to get out of that relationship and are happy now. Keep visiting. :)
- hikari I guess when tempers rise and people get in nasty fights its called emotional abuse? Coz' I dunno too many couples who haven't ever hurt each others feelings or gotten in fights. Now you might be talking about excessive, to the point of oppression of one in the relationship over the other, but in today's society it feels like couple's break up over the stupidest things sometimes. And sometimes those things can BE worked out.
- Heather @hikari, There are a lot of relationships out there that can be considered emotional abuse, especially when one spouse is out to hurt the other. I hope that you aren't in a relationship like that! Everyone deserves to be in a loving relationship. :)
- prozrachnzont If u don't like smthn about your relationship - talk to your partner or end it up. That's the only advice I can give.
- Heather Hello Pro! I do agree that talking it out is best, that way you can figure out if you two are compatible and if it can be worked out.
- Anonymous I very much relate to this. I thought doing adjustment sometimes is a part of a relationship. But now i clearly see my ex-relationship an emotional abuse one. We broke up for some other reasons, but I never had courage to break it because of the emotional abuse. Now I wanna do all the things that I couldn't do because of my ex-bf. I feel free and much lighter mentally .
- Heather I'm so glad that you got out of that type of relationship! While it's hard to get out of it, it's definitely worth it in the end. ;)
- Sheila I'v been there and I completely understand. It's like a weight lifted off your shoulders, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by! :)
- Anonymous Wow totally describes how my stepdad used to (or in some cases still does) treats my mom! I just hate it!:(
- Heather That must be really hard! I"m so sorry that you have to witness that. :(
- Michelle As I was reading the 7 signs all I could think about was my ex boyfriend who I broke up with a month ago. All he would do was put me down about my weight & finances. He was super jealous he wouldn't want me to talk to any guy but yet he could talk to as many girls as he wanted. It was really hard because he was my first love and I'm glad I did because I'm doing much better with out him!!!!:)
- Sheila Hey Michelle, Welcome to AWS! So glad you found the strength to break up with him. I know how hard it can be to bring yourself to get out of a relationship, considering I'm not the best at breaking up but sometimes you just have to take that chance. Glad to know you're doing better without him! Keep visiting hun!
- anonymous I had a friend that after reading this I think was being verbally abusive to me is that possible? A friend to another friend, not boyfriend and girlfriend.
- Sheila Hi! Yes, it's absolutely possible! are you guys still friends?
- Fran! I desperately need your help!! I tried to break up with this guy (which in many ways is this emotionally abusive) like 5 times!! Every time I try to break up on him he starts to threaten against his life, his family won't help either, though they're nice, but I really need some kind of advice in how to end this Hell once for all.
- Heather Hi Fran, it honestly sounds like this is a ploy. A lot of guys that are emotional abusers will try to threaten their girlfriend with their life in order to keep them in the relationship. I'd seek some professional help. There are tons of therapists that you should be able to research in your area just to ensure that you find a bit of help. You never want to stay in an emotionally abusive relationship, you are worth more!
- Fran! *I've tried, sorry for the typo
- Anonymous Lol, I have a friend like this. Isn't that an eye opener... too bad she all ready drove all my other friends away or I'd do something about it... where was this four years ago?!
- Anonymous @Heather, She is still my friend, I just don't have any other friends now. And, I can't date because, in her head, I'm hers I guess. It's an odd situation, that I am working on getting out of. Thanks for the help in realizing it though.
- Dennis @Heather, My best friend and common law wife shilpa sheevam had this unique qulity to exploit you emotionally, be abusive and control your life... Dennis Salandia
- Heather Very true, it's hard to have a friend in an emotionally abusive relationship -- especially if they've pushed you away. Have you tried to reach out to her at all? Or are you completely finished with the relationship?
- Anonymous It's a difficult line to walk. First, because the law (at least in the states) does not recognize emotional abuse as a real form of abuse. While you can try your hand at a civil suit, the police rarely will even take down a report. Which is sad because they won't get involved until it's too late and the abuse escalates from emotion to physical. It's also hard because so many people claim emotional abuse when they just don't get their way. It's not fair to people who actually suffer from emotional abuse, but it's true. Because of this, so many people think of emotional abuse as just being too sensitive and have too often heard the line "just toughen up". If you feel you're being emotionally abused, get help. Call someone, talk to a victim's advocate (many cities offer this service for free), and get out before it gets worse. Trust me.
- Heather Agreed, these are great tips. Thank you so much for sharing Anon and for stopping by!
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