Recognizing whether somebody is in a physically abusive relationship is a lot easier than noticing if somebody is in an emotionally abusive relationship. As time goes on we may become tolerant to this and accept the emotional abuse and make excuses for this. To a certain extent we don’t need to tolerate this but we can find ways to help them learn better habits. If they don’t see there is a problem and a need for them to change then seeing professional help may be the next step.
- Humiliation, degradation, discounting, negating. judging, criticizing:
- Does anyone make fun of you or put you down in front of others?
- Do they tease you, use sarcasm as a way to put you down or degrade you?
- When you complain do they say that “it was just a joke” and that you are too sensitive?
- Does anyone regularly ridicule, dismiss, disregard your opinions, thoughts, suggestions, and feelings?
- Domination, control, and shame:
- Do you feel that the person treats you like a child?
- Do they constantly correct or chastise you because your behavior is “inappropriate?”
- Do they remind you of your shortcomings?
- Do they give disapproving, dismissive, contemptuous, or condescending looks, comments, and behavior?
- Accusing and blaming, trivial and unreasonable demands or expectations, denies own shortcomings:
- Do they accuse you of something contrived in their own minds when you know it isn’t true?
- Are they unable to laugh at themselves?
- Do they have trouble apologizing?
- Do they make excuses for their behavior or tend to blame others or circumstances for their mistakes?
- Emotional distancing and the “silent treatment,” isolation, emotional abandonment or neglect:
- Do they use pouting, withdrawal or withholding attention or affection?
- Do they not want to meet the basic needs or use neglect or abandonment as punishment?
- Do they play the victim to deflect blame onto you instead of taking responsibility for their actions and attitudes?
- Do they not show empathy or ask questions to gather information?
- Codependence and enmeshment:
- Does anyone treat you not as a separate person but instead as an extension of themselves?
- Do they not protect your personal boundaries and share information that you have not approved?
- Do they disrespect your requests and do what they think is best for you?
- Do they require continual contact and haven’t developed a healthy support network among their own peers?
If reflecting on these question you see many in your relationship. It may be time to be open with your partner. It could be as simple as doing this test together and evaluating the outcome together. I am grateful my husband had the courage to be open with his feelings with me and to let me know that he was hurting from how I was treating him. It didn’t come overnight for me to recognize my behavior but in time it did. But if it goes beyond your abilities there is plenty of support out there to work through this.
Would love your feedback and comments about this. Let me know what you think. If you or somebody you know is going through something like this I would love to talk about or message me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be Amazing!!! xo Tracy