Emotional Abuse: How To Identify It and Recover

I have been too forgiving, made excuses for others’ behavior, put the blame on myself when I was taken advantage of, believed someone could change that wasn’t willing to, and therefore should have called it quits long before I did. Does this mean there is a point when you should know to break up with someone?

But when do you know that someone isn’t right for you? At what point do you stop forgiving someone? How many chances is too many?  When do you work things out and when do you call it quits? Can people really change? You can’t just break up with someone the first moment they do something wrong, right?

If someone admits guilt, is willing to change, actually does change, and treats you like the beautiful gift to earth that you are, then you’re good! Hang on to that human! If you sound more like me who thought someone would change that proved time and time again they aren’t going to, then you gotta get out of there. There’s a possibility it’s not just a crappy relationship, it could be emotionally abusive.
Coming to the realization that you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship can take time and be very difficult to admit. If you are dating someone manipulative, you probably blame yourself for the faults in your relationship with your abuser and your outside relationships that have been affected as well. When you learn that you are actually not to blame for these faults and the person you love is the one causing you this pain, it’s hard to grasp. You’ve been told you weren’t giving your abuser enough attention so that’s why they cheated. Or he made fun of your family until it caused you to distance yourself from them. These comments can be subtle and said with a smile or before an “I love you,” which is why emotional abuse is sometimes hard to target. “It’s your fault I cheated on you” may not have been said, but “I feel like you were distant and don’t love me as much” may have been. You could then find yourself apologizing for their cheating. It sucks to have to say you’re a victim and you’ve become damaged from the relationship, but it’s true and it’ll help you recover.
So how do you know if you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship? 

Here are 30 signs:

1. They humiliate you, put you down, or make fun of you in front of other people.

2. They regularly demean or disregard your opinions, ideas, suggestions, or needs.

3. They use sarcasm or “teasing” to put you down or make you feel bad about yourself.

4. They accuse you of being “too sensitive” in order to deflect their abusive remarks.

5. They try to control you and treat you like a child.

6. They correct or chastise you for your behavior.

7. You feel like you need permission to make decisions or go out somewhere.

8. They try to control the finances and how you spend money.

9. They belittle and trivialize you, your accomplishments, or your hopes and dreams.

10. They try to make you feel as though they are always right, and you are wrong.

11. They give you disapproving or contemptuous looks or body language.

12. They regularly point out your flaws, mistakes, or shortcomings.

13. They accuse or blame you of things you know aren’t true.

14. They have an inability to laugh at themselves and can’t tolerate others laughing at them.

15. They are intolerant of any seeming lack of respect.

16. They make excuses for their behavior, try to blame others, and have difficulty apologizing.

17. They repeatedly cross your boundaries and ignore your requests.

18. They blame you for their problems, life difficulties, or unhappiness.

19. They call you names, give you unpleasant labels, or make cutting remarks under their breath.

20. They are emotionally distant or emotionally unavailable most of the time.

21. They resort to pouting or withdrawal to get attention or attain what they want.

22. They don’t show you empathy or compassion.

23. They play the victim and try to deflect blame to you rather than taking personal responsibility.

24. They disengage or use neglect or abandonment to punish or frighten you.

25. They don’t seem to notice or care about your feelings.

26. They view you as an extension of themselves rather than as an individual.

27. They withhold sex as a way to manipulate and control.

28. They share personal information about you with others.

29. They invalidate or deny their emotionally abusive behavior when confronted.

30. They make subtle threats or negative remarks with the intent to frighten or control you.*

After I got out of my relationship, my friend told me it was emotionally abusive. I had never even considered that it was. He never told me I was stupid or ugly or any other direct insults… I thought that’s all emotional abuse was. The article I just referenced, “30 Signs of Emotional Abuse in A Relationship” has 11 signs that matched what he did to me. That was when I realized that I had gone through something much worse than my denial was making me believe. And it caught up to me a couple months later. That anxiety hit me so hard in the freaking face.

I have low self-esteem, difficulty trusting others, hesitancy to express my feelings, and the fear of falling back in to the same kind of relationship. I overcompensate and find myself acting over the top on small suspicions that comes to mind. Other times I choose to not express my emotions for fear of being called crazy or paranoid.

My best advice?

GET THE F AWAY FROM HIM/HER. Move on. Meet new people, rekindle old friendships, get back into doing what you love to do. Put your happiness first. Manipulative relationships often result in dropped friendships and quitting activities you enjoy. It’s time to get back into a life you love. Waste no more time being unhappyand trying to change someone not willing to change. Judge whether someone is willing to change based on their actions. Anyone can say anything and if you’re dating someone manipulative, you’re dating an actor. Someone that can say they aren’t cheating while they were in another girl’s bed the night before. You can’t take their words seriously. If someone is willing to change they will show you those changes. And if they keep hurting you over and over and over confront all those difficulties that have resulted from your abusive relationship while diving back into what you love doing. It’s going to be a long process, but it will make you much happier in the end, you beautiful gift to earth you.
Hopefully no one reading this is in this situation, because I don’t wish it upon anyone, but if you are, seek help from friends, family, and even a counselor if you need it. And if you have a friend whose relationship matches some of these signs, support them while they figure out that it’s abusive because it will take time to come to the realization.
Thanks for reading my first blog post for Whine Night, I’d love to hear feedback if you have any!

6 thoughts on “Emotional Abuse: How To Identify It and Recover

  1. Hi Ashley ! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂 It’s really hard to know when someone who is such a good liar is cheating… even when they’re caught they can STILL convince you they didn’t cheat on you. It’s really scary how manipulative people can be. I never had any solid evidence until I interrogated him after years of suspecting him cheating on me.. he actually admitted it himself. If your friend doesn’t feel secure in her relationship, I think that says a lot. If you suspect someone’s cheating there’s a reason. Everyone should feel confident that they’re significant other is being loyal to them. If I didn’t feel that way, it’d be a deal breaker for me. After what I’ve been through, I couldn’t handle any sketchiness..

    Hope this helps 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s awful. We have shown my friend solid evidence including text messages with date and times and screenshots but she is still in denial. At what point does someone not become a victim anymore? We are so frustrated with her!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It definitely makes sense that you’re frustrated with her… I’m sure it seem so obvious to you that he’s cheating and confusing why she is still with him. I know I was sooooo stubborn and needed to decide for myself that I was done. But once I decided I was done being a victim is when I wasn’t one anymore. Your friend needs to say she’s done being treated poorly, block his number, and begin healing. Then she won’t be a victim anymore and can take back her life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can totally relate! You just have to remember cheaters are actually the ones who have low self esteem and are insecure. Glad you moved forward! And also I wish all girls could come together because it usually is not the other woman’s fault either 💜


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