Emotionally abusive relationships, sometimes, are hard to recognize–especially if you are in the middle of one.  Emotionally abusive relationships can go on for years and appear, on the surface, as good relationships.  The problem with emotionally abusive relationships is what they are founded on and what keeps them going.  These relationships, even after years of existing, are actually very fragile.  The foundation of an emotionally abusive relationship is control rather than love.  What keeps the relationship going is emotional manipulation.  If you are in a relationship that you suspect might be emotionally abusive, look for these signs.

  1.  You are afraid to disagree or say “no” to the other person.  On some level you know the relationship will be in jeopardy if the other person does not get their own way 100% of the time.
  2. You find your self doing things you don’t want to do.  You realize, deep down, that meeting the other person’s needs exclusively is the only thing  holding the relationship together.
  3. You never say what your really thinking or how you really feel.  Again, pleasing the other person is the most important thing in the relationship.  Anything that would potentially cause the other person unpleasantness is avoided.
  4. If, by chance, there is a disagreement, the other person always over-reacts and acts like they’ve been victimized in some way.  They cry and go on and on about “what did I do to deserve this”.  Asserting yourself and taking care of your own needs in a perfectly healthy manner results in escalated emotions and negative back-lash in the relationship.
  5. When you try to decline or say no (even indirectly) the other person will not accept it and will not stop until they get what they want (which is your compliance).  “No” in any shape, form, or fashion, is simply not an option for you.  (They, on the other hand, are free to decline anything they want with no consequences whatsoever).
  6. Following an unavoidable disagreement, the other person demonizes you to others and paints a picture of you as being selfish and 100% in the wrong (they bad mouth you).
  7. The other person ghosts (ignores) you for an excessive period of time after a disagreement or following a refusal of a “request” or “invitation” (remember, if no is not an option–it’s not a request). You feel emotionally abandoned, shunned, and ostracized (which will continue until you give some sign of giving in or bending to their will).
  8. The relationship is characterized by an “all or nothing” mentality.  In other words, you have to say “yes” to 100% to what the other person wants to do (or agree with them 100% of the time) or you are rejected, abandoned, or emotionally punished–by withdrawal, ghosting, or character assassination.
  9. The other person always maintains they “love” you and cannot understand why you have needs, opinions, or plans of your own which may not always align with theirs (are not completely in agreement with everything they say or do).  The price you pay for their “love”  is that you agree with them and do what they want 100% of the time.
  10. The relationship, your life, and everything you say and do is, somehow, about them (and only them).  Your needs only matter as a reflection of your dependence on them and their ability to feel superior to you.  They may do many things for you but there is always the underlying expectation that you “owe” them obedience and loyalty forever if they help you or give you something (there are always strings attached).



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