Telltale Signs you are in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship


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Emotional and verbal abuse, just like physical abuse, is real and brings a lot of damage to the victim. Sadly, not so many people openly acknowledge and spread awareness about emotional abuse and how to deal with it.

If you feel your partner is verbally and emotionally abusing you but are unsure, do not be worried – it is totally normal. Such abusers are experts in hiding their true colors in the beginning if the relationship. So, how do you confirm whether you are a victim or if your suspicions arise from other problems in the relationship?

Here are 5 major signs you are dealing with an emotional abuser.

  1. They Constantly Hurl Orders, Corrections, and Insults

This is by far the biggest warning sign of an emotionally and verbally abusive partner. It is normal for someone to lose their cool once in a while, but if you identify a pattern, you have reason to be concerned.

A person that is always ordering you and offending you is trying to belittle you so that you believe you can’t do better than them. This behavior is common when you have a valid opinion or they need you to do something from them.

  1. They Use Dismissive Silent Treatment

The first thing you should know about these abusers is that they use silence treatment as a weapon to hurt you. Sometimes, it is not about what they say, but rather, what they do not say!

This silence leaves victims with insecurities and a sense of uncertainty since they do not know what move to make next. If your partner has made it a habit to weaponize silence treatment which always leaves you in turmoil, they are probably a narcissistic abuser.

  1. You Walk on Egg Shells with Your Partner

Emotional availability is key in every healthy and successful relationship. You know you are walking on egg shells if fear controls your every decision. It could be the fear of communicating your needs and frustrations, or fear of making mistakes.

This absence of emotional availability makes the victim scared to upset or inconvenience the abuser.

  1. They Use ‘Jokes’ as Insults

Most people expect verbal abuse to be portrayed by yelling or using harsh word sonly. As a matter of fact, people who cannot openly, maturely, and healthily express their frustrations tend to use ‘funny’ yet offensive jokes that are usually at their partner’s expense. This way, the victim cannot complain that the abuser harshly insulted them.

Are you familiar with gas-lighting? It is when someone manipulates you and even makes you feel crazy to an extent of questioning your sanity. When your partner jokingly attacks you but when you react, they claim you are too sensitive they are gas-lighting to emotionally get control of the relationship.

  1. They Publicly Embarrass or Humiliate You

Experts say that criticizing a partner in front of an audience is one of the major signs of emotional abuse. Relationships expert Dr. Wish warns that when name-calling extends to social gatherings, then it is a major red flag; be it on the first date, or deep into years of marriage.

When your partner, spouse, or date crosses this line, you can confirm that you are dealing with an emotional abuser who exhibits signs of superiority complex or narcissism.

What to do

If you confirm your fears and confirm that your partner is an abuser, you have to think of your next step – emphasis on ‘YOUR’. If the relationship or marriage can be salvaged, try seeking therapy. Be careful to call out your partner as abusive or schedule couple’s therapy as this will make them feel threatened. As a result, they will punish you more.

If the abuse is damaging you emotionally, psychologically, and socially, the best option is to walk away. Submitting to them will only make it easy for them to hurt you. Since you are the victim, think about your safety and avoid making any rush moves you might regret later.

There are many hotlines and offices online that have professionals equipped to deal with any sort of abuse – physical or emotional. This should be a start to your recovery journey.


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