I think often times people forget that abuse is not merely physical. Abuse does not always mean being thrown down the stairs or having a black eye. Of course it can mean these things, but many times abuse comes in a very different form. Abuse sometimes looks like this, and can sound like, "but he doesn't hit me."

He convinces you to stay in from girls' night because they just "look like trouble" and you don't need them anymore anyway, but he doesn't hit you.

He scolds you for wearing a top that is "too low" and demands you change before you leave the house, but he doesn't hit you.

He tracks your location and shows up unannounced just to "check in," but he doesn't hit you.

He often says that you're stupid or ignorant, when you have an opinion contrary to his, but he doesn't hit you.

He isolates you from your friends and family; he says it's because he loves you and wants you all to himself, but he doesn't hit you.

When you confront him about the sketchy texts you've noticed on his phone, he calls you a psycho and says that you're "oversensitive," but he doesn't hit you.

He stays out all hours of the night, but must know where you are at all times or he goes ballistic; but he doesn't hit you.

He learns your deepest darkest secrets and then holds them against you when you finally have the guts to leave, but he doesn't hit you.

When he gets mad, he calls you a whore, and says that no other man would ever want you, but he doesn't hit you.

When he gets angry you actually start to shake, because you know his words cut like a knife; he may throw things or storm out in a rage, but he doesn't hit you.

You walk on eggshells with everything you say and do, just trying to make him happy everyday; but he doesn't hit you.

When he comes in after a night of belittling and rage with a bouquet of flowers and another empty promise, you take him back... because after all, he doesn't hit you.

Abuse is a cycle. Many feel trapped, helpless and afraid to face the reality of their relationship. Many stay because they feel like they have to. It is shown that emotional abuse can lead to very serious things such as PTSD and long term anxiety and depression. Many of the scenarios listed above can be disguised as "love" and "overprotectiveness," but they are not. The scenarios above are all signs of emotional abuse. There is always a way out. There is always happier times ahead with people that respect and value you. Please do not let someone treat you this way.

Abuse is not just physical.