Emotional abuse, along with verbal abuse is a "slow cancer " that over the years can destroy who you are. You find yourself becoming a non-person, who is walking around in almost a "zombie- like" state, feeling completely out of control of your own life. It is like you sold your soul to the devil to do with whatever he wants. This is no way to live.
Please do not hesitate to email or call me if you find yourself in this situation and I will be glad to help you find the courage to change your life. See below for directions on how to contact me.
Patricia Jones, M.A.
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Articles by Patricia Jones, M.A.
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Emotionally abusive relationships can be very damaging because there is no 'concrete' thing that can be seen - and so the cause often goes unnoticed. We often just have an 'uneasy' feeling until it is too late and the damage has been done. You just have this " sick " feeling that something is VERY WRONG.
And this is mainly because your mate seems to be irritated, upset, or angry with you often, and sometimes several times a week or even more than that. What really may surprise you is that they appear to get angry with you when you had no idea or intention of upsetting them. It comes as a shock therefore when they get angry and have unexpected outbursts. A perfect example would be when you are feeling especially happy and good about your day, and then all of a sudden they direct their anger at you accusing you of saying or doing something that you did not say or do.
The next thing you know, they are blaming you for their anger or outrage and then they turn around and deny even being angry or upset in the first place. Which causes you to begin to question everything you say or do so as not to upset them. it is like "walking on egg shells" when you are around them.
Sometimes when you try to discuss these upsetting times with him, he will refuse to even discuss them with you. And so the issues never get resolved which causes you to become even more depressed, and anxious about your relationship. How can you communicate with someone who refuses to talk? So he gives you the "silent treatment" which is also a from of communication believe it or not. It is also abusive.
It gets to the point where he appears to misunderstand everything that you are saying. And because this daily emotional battle drains all of your energy, you begin to put on the back burner the more important issues of your life such as your work, your children, your other family members, your friends, and any future goals or desires that you might have. In other words, just trying to communicate with this person becomes a major all time consuming endeavor. By this time you are beginning to think that there is something wrong with you because life should not be this hard or this complicated. The simple things, or what should be simple conversations with him turn into World War III.
Have you also noticed that you cannot share how you feel with him about ANYTHING without him turning it around on you, or making whatever you are upset about your fault? It is almost like he purposely disagrees with you to the point that you begin to think he says the opposite of what you want to hear or think, just to upset you. This is called "crazy making." For instance if you said the earth was round he would say it was square.
Another thing that happens is he makes you feel that you are always wrong and he is right. There are no compromises. It is "his way or the highway." If you argue or dare to day NO or STOP THIS to him then you are punished. So you have learned to "give in" just to keep the peace. Afterwards you feel like you gave away part of yourself, and your identity and you wish that you could just stand up for yourself, just once without consequences.
The bottom line of emotional abuse is that you mate holds all the power in your relationship. So much so that you find yourself asking for "permission" to do something or to get something just as if you were a child. And the most humiliating part is when you actually start to apologize and then your mate makes you feel like your apology is expected and required.
Answer Yes or No to the following questions:
Have you gradually stopped talking to or seeing your family?
Have you lost contact with your friends?
Does your mate criticize your friends, or belittle your family members?
Does he complain when you visit them to the point where you stop just to avoid the confrontation and argument?
Does your mate's behavior often embarrass you?
Does your 'bowing down to him' behavior embarrass you?
Do you think that everything is your fault and that if you can somehow fix your flaws that everything would be okay?
Do you often give in to his sexual demands to keep the peace?
Do you have sex, or consent to unreasonable sexual demands, even if you don't want to?
Does he do drugs or drink alcohol?
Does his personality change when he does these?
Does he make fun of you or joke around about your flaws?
Can he laugh at his own mistakes, or himself, or admit to his own shortcomings and weaknesses?
Does he quickly and easily admit when he's wrong?
Can he apologize for his own behaviors?
Does he make excuses for his behavior and blame it on someone or something else?
Does he point the finger at you and make you feel like you are the reason for his upsets or to fault for his mistakes?
Does he make all the decisions in the relationship?
Does he plan outings, finances, vacations, retirement, children's discipline, the car, etc?
Does he control, curtail, or disapprove of your spending?
Has he put you on an allowance, or strict budget, yet has complete freedom to spend as he wishes?
Does he keep you financially needy of him?
Would you feel frightened or uneasy if he caught you reading this questionnaire, or taking this test?
If you have answered yes to just three of these questions, odds are you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. You probably find yourself often depressed and wondering why. You may just feel 'unhappy' but can't put your finger on the source of your unhappiness. Or you may find yourself thinking that you are clumsy, stupid, incompetent, wrong, or no-good. These are all subtle signs of being emotionally abused.
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