Domestic violence is not the only type of abuse that someone can endure. There are subtle ways in which a relationship can become toxic, so subtle in fact that we may not know we are being abused.
As we become more involved or more dependent in our relationship, we can turn into victims of psychological abuse. This form of abuse and manipulation is also called mental or emotional abuse as well as gaslighting. The power dynamic between the two partners is always that of an abuser and their victim.
The mechanism that the abuser usually applies is distorting or withholding information from the victim with the intent of making them question their sanity and beliefs. The victim will always feel like they’re walking on eggshells, ultimately leaving them helpless and even hopeless.
Emotional abuse is very destructive, toxic and dangerous as it will majorly affect the victim’s self-esteem. So much that they will become fully dependent on their partner, in all aspects of life. The abuser will hold the victim responsible and blame them for anything that goes wrong in the relationship.
Here are the most important red flags that you are being psychologically abused:
2. Humiliating or embarrassing you
3. Constant put-downs
4. Saying “I love you but…”
5. Extreme jealousy
6. Refusing to communicate
7. Ignoring or excluding you
8. Blaming your for everything
9. Extramarital affairs
10. Isolating you from friends and family
11. Provocative behavior with opposite sex
12. Use of sarcasm and unpleasant tone of voice
14. Mean jokes or constantly making fun of you
15. Domination and control
16. Withdrawal of affection
17. Guilt trips
18. Using money to control
19. Constant calling or texting when you are not with him/her
20. Threatening to commit suicide if you leave
What matters is that you remember it is not your fault and that you have options. You may have to seek professional help so that you take a stand against abuse and get back on your feet. Although you feel you love them, know that genuine love and connection is never about abusive behavior, manipulation or putting one down. You can find again your self-worth once you regain your power.