How to Get Out of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship


Physical abuse is unacceptable in any way. But there is a more insidious type of violence that friends, family members, and even the victims themselves may not immediately notice. It’s about emotional abuse. Unlike physical and sexual abuse, emotional abuse is a rather subtle instrument. With its help, the manipulator gains almost unlimited control in the relationship. Unlike physical, emotional violence leaves invisible but very deep scars.

signs of emotional abuse

Emotional Abuse Definition

What is emotional abuse? The term “emotional abuse” has recently appeared in psychology. The emotional abuse definition means “violence,” “insult.” An abuser is a person who mocks their close people, oppresses them, suppresses or ignores their desires, insults, forces them to do certain things or shows physical violence to them. Emotional violence can take different forms in relationship issues, ranging from seemingly harmless but frequent ridicules to open insult and humiliation.

According to psychologists, emotional abuse is not recognized by the victims directly. Moreover, usually at first, the abuser acts as a “good person” who takes maximum care, thereby confusing the victim. The abuser enters into trust, which makes the object of their attention even more vulnerable. Those who have been emotionally abused for a long time are at risk of consequences in the future, such as anxiety disorder, depression, chronic pain, and substance abuse (alcohol, drugs). Several signs are characteristic of the emotional abuser and emotionally abusive relationship.

Tricks, Manipulations, and the Behavior of Emotional Abusers

When you visit a site to meet single ladies, find that one and start a relationship, everything seems perfect. At the very beginning of a relationship, it is difficult to understand whether a person is capable of causing emotional or physical pain. At first, your new life partner may look attractive, both externally and internally. It’s hard to say that this cute person can be an emotional rapist. However, abusers are subtle psychologists and manipulators. They choose partners who are ready for a serious relationship and know what they want at the moment. Victims themselves don’t notice how they become participants of abusive relationships.

1. Rushing events

Just a few days after meeting, the abuser surrounds with attention and care, talks about serious relationships, weddings and children. Many people rejoice, thinking that they have met the very person who is madly in love with them and makes plans for a joint future. But this is one of the emotional abuse signs, which can last up to a year. Usually, this time is enough for a person to completely fall into emotional dependence.

2. Humiliation of your close people

An abuser says your friends are stupid and not interesting enough people. Abusers manipulate victims, and sometimes threaten them, demanding to stop communicating with friends. Gradually, victims begin to lose connection with relatives, colleagues, friends, and all because the abuser “protects” them from communicating with loved ones. They try to isolate people from society, justifying this with concern, “They have a bad effect on you” – this is one of the alarming signs of emotional abuse.

signs of an emotionally abusive relationship3. Name-calling of exes

It is very important to listen carefully to what you are told about exes. It is clear that rarely anyone experiences tender feelings after a breakup, but extremely negative words can serve as an alarming bell. Unfortunately, sometimes we understand that we have made a mistake, that we are not suitable for each other and decide to leave. So, most likely, you will be the worst person ever too.

4. Insults

Is there a disrespectful attitude to your requests, desires? Rudeness and sarcasm? Well, abusers will not do it so obviously. The first thing they do is that they prove by actions that you are ordinary, the same as others, you are nothing special. More precisely, they consider it necessary for you to feel happy that such a nice person pays attention to someone like you.

5. Breaking borders

It manifests itself even in gifts and favor, which you don’t even ask for. This allows them to control you and feel the power. Therefore, if you say that you don’t like something or don’t need something, but your words are ignored, and the abuser acts only as he/she considers right, this is an invasion of personal space. If you don’t end it right now, then you will be healing from emotional abuse for a very long time.

6. Threats of physical violence, assault

After what has been done, the abuser didn’t apologize, quickly cooled down and continued communication as if nothing happened. When you try to complain, you get repeated assault or outbreaks of aggression and conversation in rough tones in return. Also, rudeness is manifested to animals, children.

Obvious Signs You Are in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

When we start a relationship, we don’t think about the consequences. We are obsessed with love. Emerging problems seem trivial. But over time, these little things become serious problems. Abusive relationships are a serious problem that not every person can cope with. Yes, we all quarrel with our partners, but how to understand that you are in an abusive relationship?

1. You always try to please your partner

Does the most harmless joke offend your partner? Does your soulmate respond inappropriately to your comments? All these are signs of an emotionally abusive relationship. We calmly accept comments from loved ones. Constructive criticism is helpful. It serves as a source of development. But what if your loved one is too sensitive to any comments? Relationships can’t be built solely on praise. Such vulnerability is a dangerous sign that your partner can’t cope with objective criticism.

2. You are afraid of disappointing your partner

Perhaps the most difficult thing in emotional abuse is how gradual and insidious it can be. People often don’t realize that they are victims until their life changes radically, and they are completely under the spell of their offenders. The abuser is always the center of your universe. But when you obey, you gradually begin to dissolve in the person.

3. The relationship doesn’t bring you joy

In a healthy situation, you can make plans and direct your life towards their implementation. Understanding that there may be many great events in the future inspires activity in the present. In a situation of dependence, there is a feeling of a complete lack of perspective, everything ahead is gloomy and hopeless. Any situation suddenly turns into a nightmare: all promises turn out to be forgotten and carelessness.

4. You feel controlled

People often confuse it with care because it’s quite normal when you are constantly in touch with a partner in your relationship. But round-the-clock control over where you are, with whom you are and what you are doing looks like of abusive control. Caring is replaced by manic distrust, and now you feel guilty for everything.

5. Your needs are neglected

If your needs mean little to your partner, if he or she allows themselves rudeness or sarcasm in communication with you, these are clear signs of disrespect. If they behave this way, despite your remarks and especially if they defend their behavior by claiming that you are overly sensitive and make a big deal over nothing, this is a clear sign that you will soon become a victim of an abuser.

Leaving and Healing from Emotional Abuse: Crucial Tips

First of all, try to properly prepare for cardinal changes in your life. Almost always a long life with an abuser greatly reduces self-esteem and violates the perception of reality. Abusers often force people to quit their favorite jobs, end relations with friends and relatives. If there is a threat of emotional violence, then you should act carefully, preparing to leave before the appointed day “X.”

how to leave an emotionally abusive relationship1. Don’t become the offender yourself

How to get out of an emotionally abusive relationship? We should not be ashamed of our natural reactions in response to pain and resentment. It’s very difficult to have a relationship with an abuser, and it’s typical for victims to cry in response to grievances, “cherish” plans for revenge, etc. And no one has the right to condemn such behavior – it is only a natural reaction to abuse and the destructive behavior of the offending partner. But in case of a relationship with an abuser, it’s best to just get out of it.

2. Surround yourself with positive

Recovering from emotionally abusive relationship, it is important to surround yourself with positive and practice personal care. Spend time with people who make you feel good, go to church, spend time outdoors, or do anything that brings you joy. Experiencing a difficult time in a relationship can cause untold stress: it is important to try to replace these negative emotions with positivity.

3. Stick to your own decision

After leaving someone, we often begin to miss a person. This is normal. It’s easy for our brains to remember good times than forgetting the bad parts. You may want to bring this person back. But in this case, the whole process through which you went through would be ruined. So, how to leave an emotionally abusive relationship? Stick to your decision and remember that it was made to improve your life.

4. Understand that you are not losing anything

Many victims of an abusive relationship think that by breaking an unhealthy bond, they will lose something very valuable. You don’t lose anything but give yourself a chance to live happily. The easiest way is to make a specific list. Leaving an emotionally abusive relationship, write on paper all the good things that you will lose by breaking all ties with a person. It immediately becomes clear that there is nothing positive in mutual interaction.

5. Get rid of guilt and shame

You will have to get rid of the feelings of guilt and shame that the abuser has managed to impose on you over the years. But it is important to do to “make peace” with yourself. Analyze the experience of your relationships. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you once made and your weakness, for losing so much time building unhealthy relationships. And most importantly, try not to feel sympathy for the person who was left.

Relations between people are multifaceted. But the main principles of emotionally comfortable communication are exclusively positive emotions that prevail in the interaction of two personalities. Attraction, respect for each other, trust, love…But what if communication gives only negative? This is an abusive relationship that causes pain to at least one person. Do you need it? Most likely, you don’t want to be treated for the effects of emotional abuse in the future. So, take away from such people and relationships.

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