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Emotionally Abusive Relationship: 15 Signs You Just Can’t Miss

emotionally abusive relationship

Sometimes love blinds us to the point we don’t even realize we’re being hurt. Here’s how to tell if you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship.

Our minds do really crazy things. Sometimes we see the signs of something straight away, and other times certain situations blind us to the truth. An emotionally abusive relationship often falls in the latter.

This is especially true in a romantic relationship. Love is such a powerful emotion that it has the power to completely shield you from the reality of being in a harmful situation. Such as being in an emotionally abusive relationship, which can be JUST as damaging *if not more* as a physically abusive relationship.

Why is emotional abuse so bad?

Many of you may think being in a physically abusive relationship is worse than an emotionally abusive one. I disagree with you for several different reasons. However, a physically abusive relationship is usually accompanied by emotional abuse, too.

Emotional abuse impacts the mind long after it stops. What someone tells you stays with you for a lifetime. That abuse eats away at you even long after the relationship is over.

Signs you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship

Your love for your significant other can blind you to the truth. Making it hard to tell if you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship. Therefore, we must look at the signs one by one to know if there’s any emotional abuse.

It may take time to tell if these signs are true or not, but give it a week. You should be able to clearly tell if any of these signs are in your relationship. Consider talking to a close friend for confirmation. They will know if you have changed.

If you see these signs often, get out of this emotionally abusive relationship.

#1 You have a low self-esteem. This is a major sign of an emotionally abusive relationship often overlooked. Yes, it’s true some people struggle with a low self-esteem naturally.

However, when you’re in a relationship you should feel REALLY good about yourself. Your partner should make you feel great about who you are. If they don’t, they could be contributing to your self-esteem issues, and that is emotional abuse. [Read: 10 signs of low self-esteem and 5 ways to increase it]

#2 You don’t often speak your mind. If you’re afraid to speak up about something that you disagree with your partner on, you could be in an emotionally abusive relationship. If you can’t speak your mind out of fear, it can be assumed that it’s because they’ll get angry or start saying mean things about your opinion.

#3 You get criticism a lot. “You should really stop doing that.” “You need to get to the gym more.” “I can’t eat that, it’s gross.” If you get some of these from time to time, and it seems like they’re just general observations, you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship. These are harsh criticisms to put you down, not mild comments to help you improve upon yourself.

#4 You don’t feel supported by your partner. If you don’t feel as though your partner would be there for you if you wanted to quit your job and try to live your dream, then you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship.

You should be emotionally supported in all your ventures *unless they’re illegal or immoral* by your partner. If they’re not giving you that support, then you are being emotionally abused. [Read: Emotional abuse signs: How to spot an emotional abuser]

#5 Every argument ends in YOU apologizing. People are often blind to this. If you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, you are always the one apologizing for things that are NOT your fault in any sense at all. Think back on your last five arguments. Who apologized?

#6 You’re not allowed to talk to certain friends anymore. Isolation is a sign you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship. It is terrible for your mental health to be taken away from your friends simply because your partner doesn’t “approve” of them.

#7 You’re not allowed to go out without your partner. More than likely, this is due to trust and jealousy issues. Both of which mean you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship. If you can’t go out with friends without having your significant other tag along, it’s emotional abuse. [Read Emotional manipulation: 14 ways people mess with your minds]

#8 They get mad if you’re not always in constant communication with them. This is the most blinding—especially to girls—simply because we think it’s cute that they always want to keep in touch. We take this as a good thing when it’s really NOT.

If you can’t be on your own for a few hours without your partner going nuts and angry that you haven’t texted them back, you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship. You need to get out. [Read: 15 subtle signs of a controlling boyfriend]

#9 Extreme jealousy. A little jealousy here and there is completely normal. You care about your partner and never want them to be drawn to someone else. However, if this is to the point where you’re being restricted to certain clothes, it’s abusive.

Some people may even resort to calling you names when they get jealous. Or blaming you for being “too flirty” or dressed too “provocatively.” If this sounds like your significant other, you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship.

#10 Double standards. In an emotionally abusive relationship, double standards are EVERYWHERE. They’re allowed to go out alone, but you’re not. They wait hours before texting you back, but they get mad when you do the same.

If you have ridiculous double standards in your relationship, it is an emotionally abusive situation. You need to get out. You should each treat each other fairly and equally. [Read: Boundaries in dating: How far is too far?]

#11 Daily arguments. Arguing as a couple is completely normal and healthy. But if you’re arguing about little things every single day, it’s a sign your relationship is in trouble. You should never be in tears every single day. If you are, you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship.

#12 You’re embarrassed to tell friends/family about your fights with them. This big sign often ignored means you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship. If you can’t even vent about your fights to your friends for fear that they’ll tell you how wrong your relationship is, it IS wrong.

You should never have to hide your problems in your relationship from others. Sure, some issues may be unfair, but if you’re embarrassed about your arguments, it’s probably because you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship. [Read: 18 emotions you should never feel in an unhealthy relationship]

#13 You feel like you’re walking on eggshells around them. If you’re someone who feels the need to watch what you say, what you watch, or where you go simply because your partner might be angry with you in an instant, you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship. It is time to leave.

#14 You are the only one putting in effort. If you’re the only person showing affection, doing things for your partner, or even the only one doing anything to even show that it is a relationship, you’re in an abusive relationship.

You should feel as though your significant other is putting in JUST as much of an effort as you are, and they’re showing you love and affection just as much. [Read: 30 deep questions to ask someone before getting in to far]

#15 They threaten to leave you if you don’t do something. This is the main sign you’re in an abusive relationship. They manipulate you to STAY with them, which is ridiculous.

If you don’t do something they ask and they threaten to break up with you for it, then it’s an abusive relationship NO MATTER what the situation is.

[Read: Am I in an abusive relationship? 17 sure signs]

Being stuck in an abusive relationship can be really hard if you don’t even know it’s abusive. With these tips, spot an emotionally abusive relationship and put an end to it as soon as you can.

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Bella Pope
Bella Pope
Bella is a lifestyle writer, cheese enthusiast (Wisconsin native over here) and fantasy adventure author-in-progress who enjoys all things love, dog, p...

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