Abuse, in any form is unacceptable. Emotional abuse, unlike other forms of abuse, is difficult to diagnose because it leaves no physical scarring. Many people are unaware that they are victims of emotional abuse. Other people are aware of the abuse, but put up with it because of the love that they have for their partner. Although no relationship is easy, love should never cause any pain. Emotional abuse can have a big impact on a person’s self-esteem and confidence. There are different forms of emotional abuse, all of which aim to exert power over and control the victim.
Different Types of Emotional Abuse
Sometimes in a relationship, emotional abuse becomes so normal that it is difficult for the victim to recognise the sings. The following are examples of what is healthy and normal in a relationship, and what counts as emotional abuse in a relationship.
The person who should be encouraging you and building you up the most is your partner. Emotionally abusive partners on the other hand will look for every opportunity to bring you down. This can be something as simple as what seems like a small negative comment. However, if you are constantly being given negative comments, they will start to ware you down. The purpose of keeping your self-esteem low is so that the victim doesn’t feel that they are worthy of a love better than that which they already have.
Blaming the other partner
When someone blames all the wrongs in their life on their partner, this is emotionally abusive behaviour. There is no limit for what an emotionally abusive person will blame on their partner, as they are incapable of recognising their faults or taking responsibility for their actions.
In a healthy relationship, partners are supportive. They support each other’s goals and aspirations, and are happy for each other when their partner progresses in life. However, an emotionally abusive partner doesn’t support their partner, making snide remarks and not congratulating or encouraging their partner when necessary.
Be there for the other partner
It is emotional abuse if a partner is not there for their partner when something upsetting has happened in their life. In healthy relationships partners are there for each other as a shoulder to cry on, when needs be. Abusive people, however, need the attention to be on them at all times. Moreover, abusive partners have little to no patience when their partner has something negative happen in their life.
Lastly, in a healthy relationship, when things in the relationship become tricky, the focus for both partners will be to come to a solution. However, in an emotionally abusive relationship things will very rarely feel peaceful. The victim will thus feel emotionally drained and like they are living in a constant state of turmoil.
In sum, in a healthy relationship partners support each other, are empathetic, admire each other’s achievements, find balance and take personal responsibility for their actions. If you these things are not present in your relationship and you are living in a constant state of fear, anxiety or feel like you are walking on eggshells around your partner, it is likely that you are a victim of emotional abuse.