Lundy Bancroft argues that, “The scars from mental cruelty can be as deep and long-lasting as wounds from punches or slaps but are often not as obvious. In fact, even among women who have experienced violence from a partner, half or more report that the man’s emotional abuse is what is causing them the greatest harm.” Indeed, many victims of emotional abuse are unable to see their circumstances for what they truly are—or it’s too late when they finally are able to make the realization. Please read the list below to ensure that you’re aware of any emotional abuse that may be happening to you or another person that you may know.
#1: When a partner is unhappy, they always find a way to rationalize that it’s the other person’s fault.
#2: When a partner doesn’t answer an abusive partner’s calls or texts immediately, they become genuinely angry.
#3: One partner shares the other’s secrets, fears, insecurities, and even sexual nature with friends and acquaintances.
#4: One partner always makes the other person’s accomplishments seem insignificant, and they talk about the other’s person’s career like it’s a joke.
#5: One partner always insists that they know what’s best for the other person, and they force their decisions on the other person frequently.
#6: One partner constantly accuses the other person of doing negative things that they actually didn’t do.
#7: A partner’s “suggestions” are actually (scary) commands.
#8: A partner assumes and believes that the other person is just lucky to be with them, so they can treat them however they like.
#9: One partner forces themselves to be part of the other person’s social life (every time).
#10: A partner becomes dangerously angry when the other person jokes around with them.
#11: A partner always refuses to admit they’re wrong, even when it’s blatantly obvious.
#12: One partner uses demeaning names or adjectives to describe the other person (even in public).
#13: One partner uses refusal to have sex or show affection as punishment for the other person doing something they’re unhappy about.
#14: One partner has a slew of subtle ways to criticize or intimidate the other person in public, such as touching their shoulder or squeezing their hand.
#15: A partner always articulates that the other person is overly sensitive or emotional.
#16: A partner never forgets past mistakes and continually brings them up to put the other person down.
#17: One partner tells the other person that they are not allowed to spend time with certain people, or even to communicate with them.
#18: One partner doesn’t care about the other person’s goals, dreams, or ambitions—even the least bit.
#19: A partner has full control over the other person’s bank account.
#20: A partner is so intimidating that the other person is truly afraid to do anything wrong in their presence.
#21: One partner insists on constantly knowing where the other person is, what they are doing, and who they are doing it with.
#22: One partner is insulting, hurtful, sexist, or racist toward the other person.
#23: A partner feels as though their success or failure at work will be a direct result of the other person’s support.
#24: A partner forces the other person to work or go to school where they tell them to.
#25: One partner causes the other one to become a perfectionist due to constant criticism.
#26: A partner feels like they can’t do a single thing right for the other person.
#27: One partner humiliates the other person in private and in public.
#28: One partner gives the other person regular lists of things to do for them, and they are upset if everything doesn’t get completed on time and in order.
#29: A partner feels like they are the other person’s maid—or slave, even.
#30: A partner feels as though their success or failure in life will be a direct result of the other person’s support.
#31: One partner determines when the other person can take leisure time or be free to do what they want.
#32: One partner continually asks the other person if they are lying to them or cheating on them.
If think that you or someone you know may be a victim of emotional abuse, take action to verify if your suspicion is true, and refer to think links below for more specific help.
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.