October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Abuse in a relationship isn’t always physical and knowing the signs of emotional abuse is just as important. There aren’t always slaps and bruises. Emotional abuse occurs without such marks, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. Emotional abuse is most often verbal abuse, and although many people assume it is done at high volume, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is shouting and screaming. Emotional abuse is just as deadly at normal volume. And let’s make it clear, emotional abuse IS abuse. Here are signs of emotional abuse that you should know.
1. He Makes Mean Jokes about You
Have you noticed that he constantly makes mean jokes about you in front of your friends? You might be able to laugh them off at the time and put on a brave face, but what he’s actually doing is trying to damage your self-esteem bit by bit until you have a really low and horrible opinion of yourself. At that point, he seems like the only thing or person in your life that is sticking by you, even though he is the one creating the problem. Mean jokes is one of the most obvious signs of emotional abuse.
2. He Makes You Feel Stupid
Not only does he like to insult you, but he also likes to make you feel small and weak by picking on all the little things that might make you feel stupid. Anything that he can demonstrate as knowing more about than you, he will, and this constant belittling is a classic form of emotional abuse.
3. His Insults Are Not Shouting
When we raise our voices in frustration, we can all say things that we don’t mean and that we need to seek forgiveness for, but if he is saying mean things to you at a normal, thought out, casual level and tone, then it means that he has carefully considered what he is saying, and the insults are not just outbursts that he wishes he could take back straight away. They are something much more sinister.
4. He Ignores You
Does he ignore you when you are talking to him if it is a discussion about something that he isn’t particularly interested in? Partners do this to try to humiliate and disempower the person who is talking, making them feel insignificant without actually saying the words. This can also apply to him not responding to any calls or text messages that you might send his way.
5. He Guilt Trips You
This is a classic sign of silent abuse. Does he always find a way to make you feel bad if you are planning on doing something, either without him or that he doesn’t want to help you with? Similarly, does he often make it seem like you owe it to him to do something that he wants to do and you don’t? These guilt trip tendencies are a way to make you feel really lucky to have him even though he is dragging you down.
6. He Gives You the Cold Shoulder
If you have had a disagreement, rather than doing the mature thing and finding a compromise, he will give you the cold shoulder and make you feel like you are the only one who has done anything wrong in the situation. By making himself into a false victim, he is only succeeding in victimising you even further.
7. He Says You’re "Too Sensitive"
He could say that worst things possible right to your face, and no matter how you react, he will always come back with the fact that you are "too sensitive." You are not too sensitive at all. He is just saying that so that you learn to accept even more abuse from him without complaining.
Being with someone who treats you in this manner is not destined for a happy ending. You deserve so much better!