16 Signs You're In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

I don't find emotional abuse to be a common topic. We all know what physical abuse is, because we can see the scars and the bruises, the physical signs of pain, and we know that that kind of relationship is wrong. But when you're with someone emotionally abusive, they gnaw at your  self-esteem. And because we don't talk about this kind of abuse, you think this relationship is normal and what the other person is dishing out is what you deserve. If you're unsure, these are the signs that you're in an emotionally abusive relationship...

1. You Get Called More Nasty Names Than Pet Names

Bitch is not a pet name. Slut is not a pet name. And I could come up with more but hey, your partner could be pretty damn creative. You should not be belittled by or called by names you don't like. If they do this knowing it's a name that's offensive to you or that nobody would like, they're disrespectful and likely emotionally abusive.

2. They Turn Something Petty Into A Full-Blown Argument


Emotional abusers are super petty and bring you into arguments with ease. They'll take something that's a super non-issue and suddenly will be screaming at you for it.

3. And When Arguing, They Always Yell At You

If you're in an adult relationship, you shouldn't be yelled at like you're being grounded and sent to your room. Fighting isn't unusual in relationships, but if you can't have an argument with lowered voices and rational thinking, they may be emotionally abusive and too immature to recognize your side and your feelings.

4. They Make Baseless Accusations About Your Behavior


They will make accusations, claiming you've done things to hurt them or said things to hurt them that you would never say or do. They do this to make you feel guilty and retain the role of victim in the relationship, even though they are the perpetrator of your pain.

5. And They Point Our Your Flaws To You

We all have flaws and we probably know them all too well. If there's one person we'd like to imagine doesn't notice or even loves us for our flaws, it's the person we're dating. If instead you're flaws are being lorded over you, your partner is abusing you.


6. Whenever They're Angry, You Feel Guilty, Like You've Done Something Wrong

Whenever they're angry, they blame you, even if they're angry about something completely out of your control.

7. You Tell Your Friends That Things Are Better When It's Just You Two

Have you ever found yourself being told by your friends that this person isn't good for you, and then you jump to their defence saying, no, your friends don't see the whole picture, things are really good when it's just you two? If you have to defend them because they ignore you or are rude to you in front of your friends, you're in the wrong relationship. You deserve respect in public too.



8. They're Resentful In General

Are they just the type of person who thinks the world is out to get them and that their luck is shit and that they deserve better? That sense of entitlement if why they come down on you - cause nothing could possibly be their fault.

9. You Feel Isolated From Your Family And Friends


Someone who is emotionally abusive will be possessive of your time and jealous when you spend your time with other people. Often, before you even realize it, you find yourself spending all of your time away from friends and family, and then you feel trapped and isolated from everyone but them.

10. You Have To Tip-Toe Around Certain Topics When In Conversation

You always feel a bit antsy and try to anticipate their reaction to what you want to say before you say it, because you don't want to make them made. Hint, hint: you do not deserve to walk on eggshells every time you're around them. You deserve to be able to speak and really want to be heard.


11. And You're Shy Sharing Your Opinions Because You're Scared They'll Laugh Or Disregard Them

Your S.O. puts you down every time you say something personal or opinionated, and you always end up thinking their opinion is right or having to say their opinion is right even if it's not.

12. You've Changed Your Identity Since You've Been Together

This is another thing that creeps up on you. You start dating this person and maybe even fall in love, and then one day you've realized that you dress differently because they wanted it that way or you eat differently or you act differently all to accommodate not you but the other person. You should never have to change yourself to be in a relationship with someone. Really think about whether you have.


13. You Never Receive Empathy From Them

When you're happy, they don't share in your accomplishments with you, when you're sad they don't seem to care, when you're mad they act as if you're being silly, sound familiar? While you may deeply care about them and share in their emotional triumphs and pitfalls, this person is avoiding emotional attachment to you and doesn't care about your emotional state.

14. They Make Threats About What They Would Do If You Leave Them

They might suggest that they would harm or kill themselves if you ever left them, or that they would cheat on you or hurt you if you ever hurt them. Remember you should never be threatened and their threats of hurting themselves are not reasons to stay. You can call a counsellor or someone you trust to ask for guidance, but get out of the relationship.


15. They Accuse You Of Being Overly Sensitive About Things

When they're mean to you, they accuse you of merely being excessively sensitive or taking things the wrong way. They often speak sarcastically too, so perhaps they'll suggest that you can't take a joke or can't understand their sense of humour. They're just making excuses for bullying you.

16. They're Dishonest With You

They lie. Plain and simple. Relationships ought to include trust and honesty, and you've caught this motherfucker in all too many lies. Time to be honest and tell them you deserve better.



Video: Emotional Abuse (Short Film)



Credit: DARIA

Casey Schmauder
Article written by
Casey Schmauder is a third year student at the University of Pittsburgh studying nonfiction writing and psychology, currently enjoying a study abroad in Ireland writing for CollegeTimes and TeenTimes.
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