So many women (and men) are in emotionally abusive relationships and they don’t even realize it. So many don’t know because they don’t realize the implications of what is being done to them.
Emotional abuse leaves deeper scars than physical abuse. because your mind is attacked. In almost all cases of physical abuse, emotional abuse usually starts long before the physical assaults.
In case you have not been paying attention, here are some signs of an emotionally abusive relationship. I’m addressing women here but it also applies to men too. So, read with understanding..
If someone repeatedly tries to make you feel ashamed of yourself, your looks, your characteristics, etc, this is abusive.
If somebody makes you feel you ‘need’ to be with them, and resents you spending time with others, this is abusive.
If somebody humiliates you or puts you down, either alone or in front of others, this is abusive behaviour.
If somebody talks to you like you are a child, patronizes you, or dismisses your opinion (‘you wouldn’t understand’), this is abusive.
If somebody turns up at your house, work, etc, repeatedly and without invitation, this isn’t ‘romantic’, it’s STALKING.
“I can’t live without you” is not romantic either, when used in conjunction with threats of suicide, it’s manipulative, abusive, exhausting.
“You should only want to be with me” as response to wanting to see friends/family is a control/coercion mechanism. It is abusive.
Name-calling and unpleasant nicknames, especially based on known sensitivities, is abusive. People we love should not degrade us.
If someone attempts to change you, to fit their ideal, and insists despite your reluctance, this is abusive.
If your partner *insists* you respect them, is intolerant of any perceived lack of it, they are abusive. Respect is earned, not demanded.
If they insist you change your outfit because ‘you’re not going out like that’, this is abusive. Your body. Your style. Your agency. You’re an ADULT. Nobody should be making rules about your personal style.
If they tell you you look too ‘sexy’ to be going out without them, watch for above listed behaviours. Secure people don’t act like that.
Don’t stay trapped in an abusive relationship thinking and hoping that “He will change”. YOU CANNOT FIX YOUR ABUSER. It is not your responsibility to FIX them.
You owe it to yourself to let nobody degrade you and rake away your self esteem. When someone loves you, he/she will build you up in every way. People that TRULY LOVE YOU will never use words and attitude to keep you under their thumbs. They will do all they can to see you flourish and blossom.
(Special thanks to Jack Monroe for this post)