A victim of emotional abuse may not even recognize their situation as abusive. They tend to use denial, minimization, and make excuses to deal with the stress and anguish they feel. While children are most often the victims of an emotionally abusive parent, men are not immune. In fact, men are resistant to seeking help as they may see it as a weakness or failing. News alert — it isn’t either of those things.
The first step for those being emotionally abused is recognizing it’s happening. If you recognize any of the signs of emotional abuse in your relationship, you need to be honest with yourself so you can regain power over your own life, stop the abuse, and begin to heal. For those who’ve been minimizing, denying, and hiding the abuse, this can be a painful and frightening first step. Here are just a few of the warning signs that Barrie Davenport covers in an excellent piece over at the LIVEBOLD&BLOOM.com site. In a post titled “30 Signs Of Emotional Abuse In A Relationship”, they cover a number of things that you should be aware of for yourself and to recognize in others.
1. They humiliate you, put you down, or make fun of you in front of other people.
2. They regularly demean or disregard your opinions, ideas, suggestions, or needs.
3. They use sarcasm or “teasing” to put you down or make you feel bad about yourself.
5. They try to control you and treat you like a child.
6. They correct or chastise you for your behavior.
7. They make you feel like you need permission to make decisions or go out somewhere.
9. They belittle and trivialize you, your accomplishments, or your hopes and dreams.
16. They make excuses for their behavior, try to blame you or others, and have difficulty apologizing.
18. They blame you for their problems, life difficulties, or unhappiness.
21. They resort to pouting or withdrawal to get attention or attain what they want.
23. They play the victim and try to deflect blame to you rather than taking personal responsibility.
29. They invalidate or deny their emotionally abusive behavior when confronted.
30. They make subtle threats or negative remarks with the intent to frighten or control you.
In addition, here are some of other items from well-respected sources to add to what BarrieDavenport has included:
- They will use the children to further manipulate and coerce you.
- They will use threats of self-harm or suicide to create guilt.
- They spend money on frivolous things, while you sacrifice, to show they control you.
- They call you or the children names, give you unpleasant labels, or make cutting remarks under their breath.
- They are promiscuous or adulterous with others.
- They will claim to have experienced some trauma, such as rape, incest, or physical abuse, to gain your sympathy.
- They will use loving words one moment, then insult you the next. This is not their problem, they are doing it specifically to break you down and control you.
(Based on material from Live Bold and Bloom http://liveboldandbloom.com)