You show off a new shirt to your spouse. You picked it out because red is your favorite color. He says, "It looks nice on you, but I always liked you in blue because it brings out your eyes."
Would you think that that's an abusive comment? Not if it's said in a loving manner!
But if your spouse said something like, "Well, why'd you pick THAT shirt? I guess you would....if you like that sort of thing."
Would you think that that's an abusive comment? Absolutely.
What's the difference in those 2 statements? The differences are three-fold......tone of voice, body language and the words actually spoken. The second statement also carries a degrading undertone.
Emotional abuse is said to be more harmful than physical abuse because it cuts to the very core of a person's self esteem. It can cripple the victim in far more ways than physical abuse. Physical wounds heal. But emotional wounds cut deep.
We all exhibit these behaviors on some level at points in our lives. But what makes the relationship abusive is the habitual nature of the behaviors. It happens on a continual basis and forms a pattern.
The abuser is seen as more dominant in the relationship. This person will control you through behaviors, actions and words to erode your self esteem, confidence, self worth, trust (in yourself and in others), and your emotional stability.
Even non verbal behaviors like heavy sighs, eye rolling, disgusted glances, giving the cold shoulder, slamming doors, banging cups around, and punching holes in the walls can be considered abusive.
Emotional abuse cuts to the core of a person because the behaviors are more subtle. Being told you're ugly, that no one else could possibly love you, that you're a deadbeat parent, and that you can't do anything right is more about sabotaging the victim's spirit and inner self.
Below is a list of things that I've experienced and felt as a victim of emotional abuse and domestic violence. At first, I didn't realize this was abusive until I began to research my feelings.
1. Living in fear of my partner.
2. Walking on eggshells, being extra careful about what I said and did.
3. Felt humiliated and degraded during the many times he made fun of me.
4. Felt such shame when he pointed out my mistakes.
5. Felt so unwanted and unlovable.
6. Felt so alone because I lived so far away from family and friends.
7. Felt like my opinions never mattered.
8. Never felt appreciated for the hard work I put in to keeping the house running while he was deployed for nearly 8 months.
9. Was criticized for the smallest details, like when hot chocolate was spilled on the children's stroller.
10. Felt incapable of doing the simplest of tasks like folding laundry or putting dishes in the dishwasher, because he kept "correcting" me. Kept telling me, "Someday you'll get this right."
11. Was coerced into spending too much on my credit card "for the children."
12. Was blamed for things that went wrong, including the abuse.
13. Felt like a slave, as I was always expected to clean up.
14. Was accused of things, like cheating or taking "his" money.
15. Felt like a different person when he wasn't around.
16. Never felt validated. My feelings were always dismissed.
Other behaviors that fall under the umbrella of abusive are isolating, withholding, criticism, demeaning, accusing, minimizing, threatening and even shaming, ridicule, and rejection.
Being able to recognize abusive behaviors is the first step towards ending the relationship, and beginning your healing and recovery. If you recognize these signs, I urge you to reach out. There is help out there.
It's because of my NX that I spent years feeling worthless. He stole those years from me. But I took back my power. I took back my self worth, my self esteem, my pride and my life. You can too!
Have you been in an emotionally abusive relationship? Comment below. And as always, I appreciate you sharing your stories with me.
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Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna, the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
The Top 10
Here you will find my most popular posts for easier discovery.
How Narcissists Make Sure You Never Solve Problems In A Relationship
The Fake Apology
How I Lost My Identity
Effects of Emotional Abuse
Emotionally Abusive Behaviors
Tightening Your Facebook Privacy Settings
Why You Should Never Defend Yourself Against The Narcissist's Smear Campaign
Going No Contact: A List Of What To Do And What Not To Do
An Open Letter To All Survivors Who Just Got Out Of An Abusive Situation
The Great Manipulator
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The content of this site is told from the blog author/owner's personal experience of dealing with a male Narcissist. Narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths are both male and female, and come from all walks of life. Furthermore, the content contained herein is not intended to be a replacement for medical or legal counsel. This blog's sole purpose is to provide support to those who have endured Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse.