Abuse in relationships is often minimized to being physical and ignores any other aspects of abuse. This can be in relationships regarding friends, family members, or romantic. As painful and dehumanizing physical abuse is, there is more to abuse than that. There is the emotional, mental, and psychological aspect of abuse that is so often ignored in relationships. People condition these kinds of abuse to personality characteristics or something that can be "changed". But all abuse needs to be treated and handled the same way, with you recognizing the abuse and leaving as safe and soon as possible. Here are 12 signs of abuse in romantic relationships that are not physical:
1. Being called "too sensitive"
Abusers dismiss that your concerns are actually real and happening to you. They call you "too sensitive" because it is easier to push you off than listen to you, especially if they are the problem.
2. Being blamed for their problems
Blame is an abuser's favorite mind game. According to them, you are the reason for any and all of their problems. After a while, you will start to think that anything that happens between you and the abuser, or you and anyone, will be your fault.
3. Being embarrassed or humiliated alone or around other people
From personal experience, all signs of abuse are bad, but this, makes you hate yourself to the point you never want to leave your room. Nothing you do is good enough especially around other people. Your jokes aren't funny and often your abuser makes you the joke around their friends.
4. The silent treatment
Many are unaware of this but the silent treatment is real abuse. Not the, "Hey I am upset with you, could we talk later?" but the whole 9 yards. You do not hear from them and they blatantly ignore you for hours or even days. You see them on social media or out, and they do not say anything to you because they are upset with you.
And that feeling you get when you know you are getting the silent treatment is real, but they will never know that because you aren't allowed time away.
5. Using your words and actions against you
Anything you say and do will be the strings that turn you into their puppet. They find ways to twist your words and turn your actions into reasons that you deserve to be yelled at, dehumanized, and inferior to them.
6. Insulting those you love
Abusers do not like anyone you hang around. They make belittling comments about your family and friends, even those they have never met. And don't get this confused with people who are concerned about your actual well-being or those who are a threat to your relationship. Abusers are much different. You make a new friend and that alone is enough to make dehumanizing comments regarding who they are as a person and why you shouldn't be friends with them, and they have never met them. They want you to be alone or wish they had the ability to choose your friends for you.
7. Name-calling/Destroying your sense of self-worth
You will find yourself being called names for absolutely no reason. At first, you thought you were actually the problem but then you start to pick up on the fact that you don't have to do anything to be called a name. You find yourself being called "bitch" for simply standing up for yourself or "slut" because you made a new set of friends.
Not even name calling, your abuser will target the way that you look. You don't always look your best and that is a problem and when you feel good about yourself, that too is a problem.
8. Disguising minimizing comments as jokes
"What? You can't take a joke?" Your partner loves to tell you that you cannot take a joke or that they "cannot joke around with you" because you take to heart the comments that they make. Do not listen to them. They're pushing the idea that you cannot take a joke because they do not want to own up or take responsibility for the idea that they have hurt you in any way. They would rather say that the comment that they made was a joke than think for a second that they should apologize.
According to them, you are being blamed and being "too sensitive" here.
9. You are walking on eggshells
After being treated so poorly for too long, you have no idea what you can or can't do. At this point, you are trying to spare your feelings and from them from being mad at you. Nothing you do is right and you get blamed for everything, so the only thing you can do is watch your every move so you don't make any wrong ones.
10. Threatening to leave you if you do not obey them
As simple as that. If you do not do what they want you to do they will threaten you with their absence. They will tell you that they don't love you or that they cannot be with you unless you do what they want you to do.
11. Sex does not feel like an option
This is painful to realize and to write. You start to feel like you don't have a right to your own body and that you cannot say no to sex. If you say no, you are always either guilt-tripped, made to be a problem, or felt like they will leave you if you don't give in. Sometimes these actions are indirect but very obvious.
12. Inferior vs. Superior
This is a game that your abuser plays with your mind. You are inferior to them and you probably do not recognize that they see you this way but you are nothing but less than them. You are the ground that they walk on and you have no say in how you feel or what you want out of your own relationship.
Being their inferior ultimately sums up emotional, psychological, and mental abuse. This is how they see you and you will never be on the same page as them. As long as you keep them in your life, your abuser will walk all over any of the boundaries that you think you have set.