Am I in an emotionally abusive relationship?

To know if your relationship is emotionally abusive, it's important to understand what emotional abuse is. Abusive relationships are based on a foundation of control, manipulation, and power. Emotional abuse can greatly impact a person's mental and physical well-being, which begs the question: "Am I in an emotionally abusive relationship?"

What is Emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse involves actions to control, isolate, or scare somebody by using emotions like criticism, embarrassment, shame, blame, or otherwise manipulate another person. It is also called Psychological abuse. In general, a relationship is emotionally abusive when there is a consistent pattern of abusive words and bullying behaviors that wear down a person's self-esteem and undermine their mental health.

Emotional abuse quote

The main motive of any form of abuse is to hurt the person and take over the victim's control. Verbal abuse or physical abuse though they affect the person in the same effect, it is easy to identify by the victim that they are being abused. But in the case of emotional abuse, it is tough to funnel down that “ I am emotionally abused” by the victim.

What is included in emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse is defined as any form of abuse that isn’t physical, pretty broad, right? But the fact is it is a long list of actions that come under emotional abuse.

#1. Intimidation- An aggressive behavior of yelling, threatening, blaming, name-calling will be noticed frequently in a relationship by the emotional abuser.

#2. A pattern of events- Emotional abuse is rarely a single event; it is mostly observed as a manipulation and humiliation pattern over some time. Even if you find out things in little details, you sometimes miss what is happening around you. This pattern of events will slowly erode the self-esteem of the victim.

#3. Insults & Sarcasm- When you often feel insulted or taken a sarcastic reply from your partner, it also comes under emotional abuse.

#4. Gaslighting- It is the process of confusing and manipulating a person and make them self doubt their sanity. Most abusive relationships will see gaslighting almost every day.

#5. Forced Isolation- When your partner often exhibits a silent response or nil response to whatever you want to open with them and clear the waters. You feel isolated inside your own house.

#6. Scapegoating- It is the process of singling out a person for the unmerited blame and consequent negative treatment. When your partner often blames you for something that went wrong that is totally out of your hands, then for sure, you are in emotional abuse.

How does emotional abuse affect a person?

When you find out that your partner/husband/wife is emotionally abusing you, it is initially tough to take it. But when you realize that all the signs of emotional abuse are situations, you face daily. Then you should know how emotional abuse affected you or changed you inside out. Emotional abuse has short term and long term effects on a victim.

The short term effects due to emotional abuse are, the victim may feel the following,

  1. Confusion
  2. Fear
  3. Hopeless
  4. Nightmares
  5. Increased Heart rates

The long term effects due to emotional abuse are,

  1. Many emotional abuse victims develop a various mental illness at some point in time, like generalized anxiety disorder, depression disorder, etc.   
  2. They experience chronic pains, muscle tension, etc.,
  3. Insomnia is observed in many people affected due to emotional abuse, lack of sleep; their sleeping pattern undergoes a drastic change.
  4. Loneliness is another thing that victims face; they show social withdrawal and try not to mingle with people.

How to handle emotional abuse?

  • Speak up for yourself; an emotional abuser’s main motive is to take control of you, so don’t give them that chance; whenever you felt abused, don’t take that easily. Don't accept their excuses for abusing you in the name of love. You can also find out if you are in a trauma bond by taking the trauma bond test
  • Don't hesitate to ask for help from other resources like counseling centers or mental health practitioners to come out of the situation. Many gaslighting victims go into a severe stage of depression at some point in time, so spend time self-care yourself.
  • Take some space from the situation; when dealing with gaslighting, you may go through many emotions. You feel depressed, frustrated, and angry on your own. But first, take a break. Remaining calm can help you handle the situation more effectively.
  • Carefully look down for red signals that will warn you of the abusive behavior of your partner. Never take those red signals as normal; if the same abusive behavior was expressed more than one time, then you should think.

Conclusion

Love is all you need in life, but you should not lose everything from your self-respect, mental stability, peace for love. So, whom you are with doesn’t matter; it may be your partner, your sister, or a friend, but if you are constantly feeling insecure and negative when being with them, wake up!! No one has the right to abuse you, so stand up for yourself and take the first step towards your peaceful inner self.

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