Sometimes you don’t even realize you are being abused, and sometimes it’s so obvious that the only question is, “why do I take this?”. If you can clearly read the subtle signs of emotional abuse, then it’s time to take action and protect yourself.
What are the signs of emotional abuse?
If you are not sure whether you’re being abused or not, you should know that, in most cases, abusers want to control other people. They are possessive and can use any form of abuse to gain control.
It is quite easy to identify physical abuse in a marriage; however, when it comes to emotional abuse, the partner being abused can take a long time to identify their partners’ toxic behavior, let alone prove that they are being abused.
In an attempt to create awareness about emotional abuse here are some emotional abuse signs and the symptoms of emotional abuse that will help you know if you are being abused along with some advice on tackling such situations.
How it looks
Verbal abuse could take many forms and shapes. In some cases, the actions of the abuser may be very obvious, while in other cases, the abuse could be very subtle.
Verbal abuse could manifest itself as ordering, swearing, lying, calling names, criticizing, blaming, etc.
Some signs of spousal emotional abuse are not so direct. They could be in the form of communication that is inappropriate and hurtful, such as sarcasm, offensive joking, or making unpleasant statements without being overly aggressive.
These are a few random signs of emotional abuse in a marriage, and a person needs to be aware of them.
The person at the receiving end will feel confused and, in time, begin to question his reactions, the self-esteem will decline, and they will become full of doubt.
What to do
How to handle emotional abuse? And how to respond to emotional abuse?
There are several choices when it comes to responding to abuse.
What’s important is to be careful not to escalate the abuse.
When you take a firm stand in an abusive relationship and start confronting an emotional abuser, it could lead to the abuser believing that they are losing control, and they could respond with even more aggression.
First, when confronting a verbal abuse, it is important not to become confused.
Don’t explain yourself or try to make sense because the abuser’s point is not to have a reasonable argument, but to gain control over you and make you do what they want.
Simply be concise and draw a line explaining that you won’t take the bullying. “Stop it” and “Don’t do that” are simple, but effective sentences.
If the abuser is using direct abuse such as calling names or swearing, then explain that you will not put up with that kind of behavior.
Remember that they can’t gain control over a person that is not willing to obey them, so simply leave the room or don’t take seriously the abuse, joke about it, or end the conversation.
This is a mind game, and no one can control your mind if you don’t let them.
How it looks
There are many kinds of control abusers, and they have one thing in common, gaining some sort of power over their victims.
If your partner is always suspicious about something, it can be frustrating and make you restless.
Jealousy is the feeling when a person thinks that their partner likes someone or something more than them.
If not controlled, jealousy can turn into possessiveness, which will lead to completely occupying the life of the abused person.
The abuser will control who he or she can hang out with, talk to, and have in their friend circle. Such a partner may forbid you from having profiles on social networks, and even going out in public by yourself.
What to do
Possessiveness is a serious problem. Usually, the abuser doesn’t realize he’s possessive, and that is why you need to talk to them and point that out.
If talks don’t help and the abuse continues with the same or different abusive behavior, then you should try explaining that you will not continue being possessed like an object.
Point out that you are a person with feelings and need to be treated like one.
It is tough to know someone entirely until you have attempted to leave them. So, it is imperative for a person to pick those hidden subtle signs of emotional abuse in their relationship before it starts taking a toll on their health.
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.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.