The older you are the wiser you become. When you’re in your first relationship you might make a lot of mistakes, especially if you think (or know.. Sorry, sorry, jeez) you’re in love. Physical abuse is easy to identify, but emotional abuse can be confusing. You may confuse love and care with “ownership” and control. In hindsight, you may realize that you should not have put up with a lot of things that seemed okay at the time. I know that if I could go back in time, I would do a lot of things differently especially in my first couple of relationships. There were certain signs I would ignore or behaviors I would let slide. I found myself making thousands of excuses for my exes, and when I tried to bring up issues they would turn the blame on me. It is easy to be impressionable or blinded by love. Unfortunately, the effects of emotional abuse are serious and can lead to anxiety, depression, distrust, and substance abuse issues. Here are 10 warning signs of an abusive relationship.
1. Correcting Your Perception
A common way that someone can attempt to control you is to control your thoughts and perception. The minute someone is telling you that something didn’t happen the way you remember, something never happened, or that they never said something then they are attempting to change a reality for their benefit. This is the type of manipulation that can leave you feeling isolated and depressed, and left questioning whether you can trust your instincts or whether you’re just “overreacting.”
2. Not Letting You Express Feelings
If you are trying to describe to your partner how something made you feel and they keep cutting you off and forcing their opinion down your throat, they are not respecting or valuing you. It is clear you two are not seeing eye to eye. It’s never okay to be disrespected by your partner. It leads to low self-confidence issues that no one should have to go through. If they tell you to “stop being so emotional,” or “stop overreacting” then they don’t care about you.
If your partner is “unable” to identify when they have done something that hurt you and won’t take responsibility for their actions/change the subject then they can exit stage left. They are brainwashing you for their own gain and, in a lot of cases, to make sure you don’t leave them.
4. You Always Apologize
If you find yourself constantly apologizing when they are the ones that hurt you then they are just manipulating you to get what they want and then making you feel bad for calling them out on their BS. By making you feel responsible for their actions they are again changing the narrative to project their problems onto someone else and rid themselves of guilt.
When someone tells you that you HAVE to do something or they’ll leave you, they are taking away your freedom. This type of abuse generally happens when they have already made you feel like you have nothing without them and in turn, you feel powerless to ultimatums. Don’t be their puppet.
6. They’re Irreplaceable
Look, I’ve been in my fair share of relationships. Once each one ends, you think you may never find it again. I’m here to tell you with extreme confidence that you will, in fact, find it again. Also, if they have to say that you’ll “never find someone who loves you like they do” then they are insecure and planting the idea in your head so that, you got it, you won’t leave them.
7. Making Jokes At Your Expense
Know what a real obvious sign of emotional abuse is? When you are out with either his friends or your friends and you find that he is undermining, mocking, or just making small digs at you. Masking hurtful insults with humor doesn’t make them okay or less hurtful. It’s still an eight letter word called bullying.
It is natural, some might say even healthy, to argue occasionally. What is important to note is the tone of the argument. I remember one of my ex-boyfriends and I had an ENTIRE screaming match because I said that Demi Lovato was good at singing live. He decided to blow up about it and tell me how stupid I was. When you get in a small argument and it escalates into something much bigger you really need to evaluate what is at the root of the issue and whether this person has some real anger issues they aren’t addressing. The scary thing about this one is that it can quickly turn into physical abuse. If you are ever afraid, speak to someone you trust.
9. Seeing You As An Entity
If you are in a relationship and you feel as though you have lost yourself in that person, that is an issue. If someone wants to control you they may just see you as an extension of themselves and not your own person. This contributes to them brainwashing you into thinking you need them.
10. Treating You Like A Child
My ex used to call me “kiddo.” There is nothing worse than being patronized. This is yet another sign of disrespect. They do not value your opinion and are insinuating that you arn’t as smart as them which is obviously a lie because you rock.
There are many more warning signs that can contribute to emotional abuse. If you feel that you are being abused talk to someone about it. Get support from friends and family, and dump that jerk!
If you or someone you know witnesses signs of an abusive relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
Featured image source: weheartit.com
Young "professional," Providence College grad, above average procrastinator, reality tv enthusiast, high profile contributing member of society.