Warning signs of emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse is repeated abusive behaviour which is used to control someone by playing with their emotions. Overtime emotional abuse chips away at your sense of self-worth and confidence. It can leave you feeling empty, worthless & like there is no way out. Although emotional abuse is subtle and leaves no physical marks there are many warning signs.
Be careful not to mistake jealousy for being ‘cute’ or ‘protective.’ If a partner gets jealous when you talk to other people or when you want to hang out with your friends or family over them — that’s a warning sign. In a healthy relationship you would be free to spend time with the people you love and trust without a problem.
Abusive people have trouble taking responsibility for their own behaviours and actions. If you find yourself apologising for your partners bad behaviour instead of them, alarm bells should be ringing. If your partner says things like, “I’m sorry but I wouldn’t have done it if you ……..” Again, that’s a warning sign.
Remember that being drunk is no excuse for unacceptable behaviour. Things like yelling, anger, name calling, pushing, physically hurting or cheating are inappropriate. If your partner uses alcohol as an excuse for his/her behaviours this isn’t OK. While it might be OK to have a drink, it should be done responsibly.
A healthy relationship would not isolate you from your friends or family. If your partner puts your family and friends down or attempts to keep you away from them — take it seriously. Abuse is known to intensify when you are disconnected from the people you love. Always keep your friends and family connected to you.
If your partner says or does things that are hurtful to you and denies it ever happened — this is called gaslighting. If your partner tells you that the things you saw or heard are not true and attempts to twist your version of events — this is called gaslighting. This warning sign will make you question yourself. Always trust what your intuition is telling you.
If your partner expects you to ask for permission to hang out with friends, go to a party or stay for after work drinks — this is a form of possessiveness. If your partner expects you to phone or text during the day to explain where you are this is also a form of possessiveness. You are your own person and shouldn’t have to provide evidence or proof of where you are or what you’re doing to have a relationship.
If your partner monitors your whereabouts through your phone or Snapchat, this is not OK. If your partner messages your contacts on social media pretending to be you and ends friendships, this is not OK. If your partner controls what you wear or how you do your makeup, this is not OK. If your partner makes you share your passwords to check up on what you’re doing, this is controlling and not OK. A healthy relationship would give you the freedom to make choices for yourself that are trusted by your partner.
If you receive constant messages and phone calls to find out where you are. If your partner needs to talk to you every time you seperate from each other. If your partner questions you about who you are talking to every time you are on your phone it’s not ok.
Abusers will use comparison to their ex as a way to force you to behave outside of your comfort zone. If your partner asks you to do things that make you uncomfortable and says, “my ex would’ve done it for me” — this is not OK. Be aware in the early days of a relationship or getting to know someone if your partner says things like, “All my exes are crazy.” There may be behaviours you are yet to see that caused his/her past relationships to breakdown.
A healthy relationship is built on a foundation of values like honesty, trust and respect. Watch out for early signs of breakdown of trust and dishonesty. Simple things like borrowing $20 and never giving it back like they promised. Or consistently not following through on commitments. If someone cannot display honesty, trust and respect for the small things— it will show up later in your relationship.
These are just some of the warning signs of emotional abuse. To learn about more head to our Youtube channel or IGTV for more.