You and your honey have been together for quite a while. There isn't anything you wouldn't do for him, and vice versa.
At least, it used to be like that.
You still love him, but he just hasn't been treating you right.
He's not physically abusive, so you don't want to say anything about it. You convince yourself you're overreacting, but no matter what you tell yourself, things just aren't right.
Sound familiar? It's possible you're in an emotionally abusive relationship. Healthy Place, a website about mental health, describes it as being "any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth". Sound familiar?
Here are eight signs your partner is emotionally abusive:
1. They humiliate you
This could be in public or in private. Your sweetheart should be there to love you and lift you up, not make you feel ashamed or embarrassed. If you feel self-conscious or degraded in your relationship because of your partner, you might be a part of an emotionally abusive relationship.
2. They tell you to stop being so sensitive
This is how they try to get away with what they're saying or doing. If you try to address a problem, your honey will try to play the victim and blame you for being too sensitive.
Whether or not you're a sensitive person shouldn't matter. If your man truly loves you, he'll never use this excuse. He'll be flexible and accommodating to your needs, not blame you for overreacting.
3. Your partner has difficulty apologizing
Someone who's emotionally abusive has a difficult time taking accountability. They will try to blame someone or something else for their mistakes and refuse to own up to anything.
It's nearly impossible to communicate with someone who can't own up to their own faults. You're left trying to fix all the problems yourself. They will never accept that they did something wrong, instead blaming you for any problems in the relationship.
4. You feel like you need his permission to go anywhere
Emotional abusers are incredibly possessive and jealous. You can't hang out with your friends without telling your partner about it, and even then, they cause a scene. You feel like you've lost your independence in this relationship.
That's not how it should be - a healthy relationship means being able to be yourself when you're in a relationship and come home to a partner who trusts you.
5. They take themselves too seriously
Your mister is unable to laugh at himself and doesn't tolerate anyone laughing at him, even out of love. Someone who's emotionally abusive will demand respect, and they don't feel that respect when someone laughs at them, even if it's all in good fun.
6. They blame you for their unhappiness
No matter what you do to try to make your sweetheart happy, they're going to find a new reason to be unhappy with you. They'll make you feel like a failure. This might seem like an obvious red flag in a relationship, but often times this can start subtly enough that you don't think much about it.
If your partner makes you feel like you're the reason they're unhappy, they might be emotionally abusing you.
7. They don't listen to you
When you try to talk with your spouse, your honey doesn't show any sympathy or compassion. When you want to address any problems with your relationship, they either wave it off or blame you for it all.
Two people in a happy, healthy relationship will listen when the other wants to speak. They'll be able to address any problems or concerns they might have without fearing retribution or resentment.
A good friend of mine was stuck in an emotionally abusive relationship for years because her boyfriend threatened to commit every time she tried to break up with him. I've never seen anyone struggle in a relationship as much as she did. And as awful as it is, these kinds of threats aren't uncommon.
If your partner is making threats when you try to leave, you need to have someone else intervene and help. You should never feel obligated to be in a relationship you're unhappy with.
You deserve to be in a happy relationship with someone you love, who loves you and takes care of you. Signs of emotional abuse are much more difficult to recognize than physical abuse, but can be just as damaging.
If you think you're in an emotionally abusive relationship, reach out to someone you trust. Don't be afraid to get help, whether from friends, family or the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-723 ). There are people who love you and can support you as you work toward getting the life and love you deserve.
Emily Brady is a member of the FamilyShare content team. She studied Communication with an emphasis in journalism. She loves photography and finding a good book to read in her hammock on a sunny, breezy day.