5 Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

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For many people, it can be quite challenging to recognize the signs of an emotionally abusive relationship. Unlike physical abuse and violent behavior, the scars of emotional abuse can seem far less apparent, but still run deep. Since emotional abuse can also be quite damaging and dangerous, it’s never been more important to understand the key warning signs of an emotionally abusive relationship.

1. Your Partner Is Constantly Checking Up on You

One of the clear signs that you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship is that your partner needs to know where you are at all times, who you’re with, and what you’re doing. When you’re constantly bombarded with text messages and calls from your partner in regards to your whereabouts, he or she is not only showing that there’s no trust between the two of you as well as no respect for boundaries, but he or she's also treating you as though you have no free will or discretion to make your own decisions. If your partner always needs to know your whereabouts and what you’re up to at all times, it’s actually you who needs time to find a new partner.

2. Your Partner Tries to Control You

Another sign that you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship is that your partner exhibits various types of controlling behaviors. For example, if your partner tells you what you can and cannot wear, who you can and cannot hang out with, as well as dictates a list of do’s and don’ts for you to follow, these are classic characteristics of an emotional abuser. You and your partner should treat each other as equals and teammates. But if you’re being told by your partner how to behave and even what to think, you should think again about being in this abusive relationship.

3. Your Partner Gets Jealous Easily

If you’re wondering if you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, another telltale sign is that your partner acts in an envious and possessive way. For instance, if your partner doesn’t like that you have close friends or coworkers of the opposite sex and is suspicious of your platonic relationships, these insecurities are actually signs of emotionally abusive behavior. In a healthy and happy relationship, your partner should trust you fully and recognize that your friendships with others are not threats to the connection that you’ve built with one another. However, if your partner doesn’t trust you, has doubts about your fidelity, and is jealous of the time and attention you extend towards others, you can trust in the fact that you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship.

4. Your Partner Focuses on Your Failures 

For those in an emotionally abusive relationship, an additional indicator is that your partner tends to focus on your so-called shortcomings rather than your strengths. For example, if you cook dinner for your partner, he or she may fixate on the fact that the steak was overcooked rather than focusing on how tasty the other items were and how nice and thoughtful it was for you to prepare the meal in the first place. For many people in emotionally abusive relationships, they feel as though what they do is never good enough since they’re used to hearing a barrage of insults and complaints rather than words of praise and gratitude. If your partner constantly points out your flaws or what he or she deems to be bad or wrong with you, the right choice for you is to end this relationship.

5. You Walk on Eggshells Around Your Partner

An additional sign that you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship is that you go out of your way to please and appease your partner in order to avoid any conflict with him or her. For instance, rather than speaking up and disagreeing with your partner about a certain topic, no matter how large or inconsequential, you don’t say anything because you know it’ll upset or annoy him or her. You don’t want to do or say anything that would rattle your partner because you know that he or she could fly off the handle at any moment. However, in a successful, long-lasting, and strong relationship, you should never be afraid to say what’s truly on your mind or feel the need to hold back your feelings out of fear of your partner’s reaction.