In this article, we will be looking at signs of an abusive spouse. Moreso, we will answer common questions like “Am I emotionally abusive?” and “Am I verbally abusive?” to help people figure out how to make things right in their relationship.
How to know if you are an abusive spouse
It is important to note that it doesn’t boil down to the physical version when it comes to abuse, which many people know. Abuse can occur verbally, psychologically, and mentally. Whatever the type of abuse that is experienced in a relationship, it tends to destroy it.
The reason is that abuse reduces trust in a relationship, weakening the existing bond and connection between both partners. Therefore, if you notice things are no longer the same between you and your partner, it won’t be bad to find out if abuse exists in your relationship.
Emotional abuse exists when one partner uses emotions to shame, criticize, embarrass and manipulate the other party. When there is an eternal pattern of abusive behaviors and words, emotional abuse exists in a relationship.
Here are five signs that could reflect abusive tendencies in a man.
If your partner begins to complain that you are too involved in their private life, you might be emotionally abusive. Understandably, partners have the desire to be involved in each other’s affairs.
However, if you find it satisfying to control every little aspect of your partner’s life without giving them the freedom to make their decisions, they may be emotionally abused.
Partners howl or yell at each other when they have an emotional outburst. However, when disagreements and fallouts usually escalate into howling or yelling at each other, it is not healthy, and emotional abuse might be at play.
If you howl at your partner, it would be difficult to make a conversation productive. In addition, a power imbalance is created where the loudest individual is heard. This can make your spouse cower in fear and be reluctant to speak because they don’t want to offend you.
However, if you discover that you always respond to your partner’s needs with disgust and disrespect, you might be creating an atmosphere of emotional abuse in your relationship.
4. Always defensive
If you have asked yourself, “Am I emotionally abusive to my girlfriend?”, being defensive is one of the signs to look out for. When you always feel the need to defend yourself, it would be difficult to achieve positive communication with your spouse.
You and your partner must be able to discuss honestly and openly when resolving issues without being defensive.
One of the reasons why people ask if “I am the abuser or the abused?” is because they don’t know the signs to watch out for. If you constantly find yourself issuing one threat or another to your partner, there is a chance you are emotionally abusive.
Usually, these threats come in coercive or forceful statements accompanied by blackmail and other trepidatory remarks. The intent is to corner the victim and prevent them from rescuing themselves.
Watch this video to learn more about the signs of an abusive spouse:
Have you asked yourself, am I emotionally abusive to my boyfriend or husband? Here are some signs to help you find out if you have been emotionally abusive or not.
1. Playing the blame game
One of the highlights of emotional abuse is making the victims believe that they are responsible for their faults and unhappiness.
This is why it is difficult to break the cycle of emotional abuse when it is in play. If you put on this behavior at various intervals, you may be emotionally abusing your partner.
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that makes the victim doubt their sanity and judgment.
If you often make your spouse feel that their feelings and memories are crazy and false when they are not, you might be gaslighting them.
Stonewalling happens when you refuse to discuss or communicate with your partner. If you always need to disrupt uncomfortable conversations, you might be making your partner uncomfortable in the process.
This refusal to always continue discussions might come from a place of lack of concern for your feelings.
Emotional abuse can affect all aspects of our lives. It affects our relationships with friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and a host of others. Usually, abusers find a way to convince their partners that no one is concerned about their welfare.
This notion makes the victims refrain from their friends and loved ones and keep to themselves.
5. Explosive attitude
Everyone is bound to experience mood swings, but a relationship can be affected if it experiences this every time. An explosive attitude becomes a problem when your partner takes the fall for your mood swings.
The typical attitude of explosive individuals is to shower their victimized partner with love and affection after an outburst, and they repeat the cycle.
3 Ways to Dealing with emotional abuse through self-compassion
If you fear you have been abusive to a partner, what can you do? One of the profound ways to help yourself is through self-compassion.
Self-compassion in this sense means being kind to yourself and channeling your emotions the right way to prevent using them as an abusive tool on your partner.
Here are three ways to deal with emotional abuse through self-compassion.
1. Practice forgiveness
You need to stop punishing yourself for past mistakes. It is essential to accept your flaws because they are part of what makes you human. The act of practicing forgiveness on yourself is the first step to having a good understanding of self-worth, which helps you treat your partner right.
2. Talk to someone
If you have been combatting some unresolved long-term issues, you need to speak to someone experienced, preferably a mental health professional. You will be surprised to see an improvement in your emotional and mental health which instills self-compassion.
3. Practice mindfulness
Another way to hone self-compassion is to hone mindfulness. You need to make conscious efforts to be aware of each moment and what is happening. This will help you control your acts, thoughts, and emotions displayed towards your partner.
To the regular person asking, “Am I abusive?” the points above help you answer questions that relate to emotional abuse. Hence, if you have asked yourself, “Why am I abusive?” or “Am I in an abusive relationship?” you will be able to tell at this point.
It is essential to mention that you take deliberate steps to treat emotional abuse before it takes a big negative toll on your relationship.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.