5 Signs You’re in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

In many cases, the question of whether a relationship is good or not is not a matter of yes or no. “It’s complicated” is a common answer we get. “Some things in life are not black or white,” is another.

We agree. Sometimes we just can’t put relationships (and the feelings and great moments and the drama in between) into a single box and label them as good or bad.

GIF from Pretty Little Liars via Giphy

GIF from Pretty Little Liars via Giphy

Some women, however, have a tendency to rely on this philosophy too much to realize that there’s something amiss, that they’re feeling things they shouldn’t be made to feel, that they’re being emotionally abused by their significant other.

So how can you tell if you are in an emotionally abusive relationship? Here are signs to watch out for:

1. He has too much control/dominance.

Abusive partners may display excessive dominance and control. We’re talking about both in the big and small schemes.

Being forced to watch a movie you have expressly said you don’t like can be harmless the first or second time. If it happens constantly (and we’re not just talking about movies here) to the point that you feel a part of your freedom is being stifled, something is wrong. It can be a sneak peek into his selfish character that wants to dominate every aspect of the relationship, and even your life.

If you ever feel the slightest suffocation, start entertaining the possibility that you’re a victim of an emotional abuse.

GIF from the Imitation Game via Giphy

GIF from the Imitation Game via Giphy

Sign 2: He verbally humiliates you.

Hurling insults and cussing should not be part of any relationship, especially if your partner knows about your insecurities.

Case scenario: During a fight, he hurls insults at your physical appearance–in front of your friends. You’re humiliated and hurt. You cry in front of him. He apologizes, and you make up. A day later, he does it again. The cycle goes on.

If he’s really sorry, he will, once and for all, decide to take steps toward self-improvement–especially if his actions are hurting you.

GIF from MTV via Giphy

GIF from MTV via Giphy

Sign 3: The smallest thing triggers his jealousy.

A harmless glance from a waiter, a friendly text from a colleague, a completely platonic hug from an old friend. If you’re dealing with an irrational, abusive partner, the smallest trigger can set him off.

If you find yourself looking over your shoulder constantly or depriving yourself of a social life in fear that he would find out and throw a tantrum–it’s a problem that you need to address.

Screencap from One More Chance 2 courtesy of Star Cinema

Image from One More Chance 2 courtesy of Star Cinema

Sign 4: He threatens to use physical violence.

Some forms of emotional abuse can be subtle or neutralized behind layers of disguise. Others, however, are much more direct. If he throws warnings about slapping, kicking, or punching you out of anger, it’s just as bad as the real thing.

Our advice? Find a way to fix it before it happens.

GIF from The Vampire Diaries via Giphy

GIF from The Vampire Diaries via Giphy

Sign 5: He makes your feel like everything is your fault,

The tragedy is that most abusive men don’t see the error of their ways. The even more tragic part is that they make you feel like you’re the one at fault. Like, you’re the reason you’re having a fight in the first place, because you were “flirting” with the bus conductor or you’re too “lazy” or “dumb” or “useless.”

This is probably the hardest to come to terms with, especially if you’ve been led to believe you’re the problem for so long.

GIF from Pretty Little Liars via Giphy

GIF from Pretty Little Liars via Giphy

Women have different reasons for tolerating abusive behavior, either because they can take the blow, or they haven’t taken a step back long enough to realize it. You deserve better. Everyone deserves better.

GIF from Love the Way You Lie MTV via Giphy

GIF from Love the Way You Lie music video via Giphy

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