22 Warning Signs Of Emotional Abuse

22 Warning Signs Of Emotional Abuse

It's hard to recognize warning signs until it's too late.
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Hey! I'm Caroline, and once upon a time, a long time ago (in a past life?), I was young, I was dumb, and when I should've been worried about normal teenage issues, like next month's term paper or the fact that Jesus himself decided I needed acne on my chin, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, and it was the only thing I could focus on.

Every part of my life suffered. I lost many friends, who viewed my relationship from the outside, and thought I just didn't want to spend time with them anymore, when really, my boyfriend was strategically isolating me from my friends. I stopped spending time with my family, because my boyfriend had convinced me I couldn't trust them anyway. I lost weight, I failed a class, I almost didn't graduate, and I'm a different person today because of it.

Here's the thing - I can't bring myself to regret any of the things that have happened to me, because in spite of the pain, I'm in a really good place in my life now, and things wouldn't have worked out this way if I hadn't lived through a lot of tough stuff. Do I wish I could have learned these lessons a different way? Of course. After my breakup, I suffered from flashbacks for months, battled crippling insecurity, and - even today - am certifiably terrified of commitment, all of which I could probably do without. But, again, I love who I am now, and while I should have loved her all along, it took a lot of trials and tribulations to get here.

So, what am I getting at here?

The problem (well, one of them, anyway) with emotionally abusive relationships, especially ones you get into when you're young, is that it can be really hard to recognize warning signs until it's too late. You see your partner do little, worrying things, and in the early stages of the relationship when you're so focused on the newness and the joy of a new relationship, you ignore them, or you assume they'll get better, or that really, they're not that big of a deal. The first time they tell you you might think about losing weight, you may laugh it off, or think, Yeah, maybe I could stand to lose a few pounds. But what about the second time? The third time? The first time they demand to know where you've been and what you've been doing, throwing unfounded accusations of cheating and lying at you, you might think, They've probably been cheated on before, they're just insecure. But trust me, it'll happen again, and again, until you're so worn down you don't even know what a good relationship is supposed to feel like.

That's why I'm writing this - I want to put together some of the signs I shouldn't have laughed off or ignored. If only one person reads this and realizes they or someone they know is in a situation that's going south, I'll consider it a success.

Please also keep in mind - I go about this with levity because I'm removed from this situation now, and I've coped with it by finding humor in it, but emotional abuse is very much a serious subject, and shouldn't be taken lightly.

Here goes:

1. Your complaints to them are dismissed as trivial, annoying, overdramatic, or exaggerated, while their complaints are valid, real, and what you need to be listening to.

Am I a dramatic person? Yes! But are all my complaints trivial? God, no! If I had a bad day, I don't want to hear, "Yeah? Well, that's no reason to complain because my day was worse." Congrats! You are terrible.

2. They believe they are entitled to go through your phone, your Facebook, your emails, your computer, anything personal because if you want privacy, you're probably hiding something.

Maybe I just don't want anyone to know just how many memes I have saved to my phone. Or maybe I'd just rather you didn't go through it because, you know, it's my phone!

3. You feel as though your very existence is an annoyance or an inconvenience to them.

4. They criticize or belittle you for your physical discomfort (being too hot, too cold, or otherwise uncomfortable), but they expect you to take their physical complaints seriously.

Yeah, because it's so weird that I'm a human being with physical perceptions of heat and cold! God forbid I need to borrow your jacket, dude.

5. They have convinced you that no one else will love you, so you might as well stay.

6. You preface every complaint about them with an, "I'm sorry," as though it's invalid for you to be upset about anything.

7. They criticize your body in any way whatsoever (sometimes under the guise of "I just want you to be healthy!").

I think back to all the times my ex-boyfriend make remarks about my body; he knew, of course, that I had a lot of dysphoria about my body, and that I'd had trouble with eating. Despite this, he still felt the need to point out my "chubby belly" or my "love handles." I was eighteen years old, 110 pounds, anemic, with a low BMI and a bad habit of skipping meals. These remarks were crushing; the body I already hated was hated by someone else, too.

Guess what! Even if I had had love handles or a chubby belly - literally, who cares? It's my body, dude, not yours, and I get to decide if I want to cram three orders of chicken nuggets into it. Bye!

8. They belittle you for getting emotional, for crying, for being angry, or for being anything but positive at all times.

Because of this, it's difficult for me to feel as though any of the emotions I share with my partner are valid. Watch out for this especially, because once your partner begins to police your emotions, you'll start to police them too.

9. You find yourself worrying about how they will react if you are unhappy about something.

Yep, it's definitely my job to be positive at all times! If I'm not, I must be a sad, miserable, depressed person, and, man, do I bring everyone down. I should stop being a bummer!

10. They believe they are entitled to your money, your bank statements, and the things you purchase for yourself.

"I stole $50 out of your account, but it's okay, because I spent most of it on a Christmas present for you!" - my ex, after buying me a scented candle for Christmas

11. They accuse you of being "too sensitive" if you call them out on abusive behavior.

12. They make you feel like your dreams and accomplishments are insignificant.

Fun fact: it's your life, it's your career, and, yes, your accomplishments matter. You want to live in Italy and study wine and cheese pairings for the rest of your life? Go for it. You got a good grade on that paper you were really worried about? God, good for you!! You're better than your abuser makes you think you are.

13. They threaten to hurt or kill themselves if you leave.

Ummm...sorry, but it's not that serious. Like, I know I'm pretty great, but this tactic is trite, and I am in no way responsible for what someone else decides to do to themselves because of me. I'm not trivializing suicide - but I've had this tactic employed on me so many times, and I'm tired of it. This is never okay.

14. They make you feel as though your life MUST revolve around them, and if it doesn't, you're a bad partner.

15. They are emotionally distant or unavailable most of the time, and make you feel as though it's because of something you did.

16. You regularly inconvenience yourself or put yourself at risk for the sake of their happiness, and it feels normal.

"Yeah, I made you pick me up from school when you'd got off a 20 hour flight from Mumbai two hours earlier. But my mom couldn't come!" - my 21-year-old ex

17. They share intensely personal information about you with others.

18. They isolate you from your friends, or otherwise try to turn you on them. This can be obvious, or it can be subtle.

You'll hear stuff like, "I don't like that one friend, she has it out for me, so you can't see her anymore." Maybe there's a reason your friends have it out for them in the first place?

19. They wait for you to pick up on their thoughts and feelings instead of sharing them with you, and get upset when you don't magically know what they're feeling.

Dang...I think I left my crystal ball at home!

20. They make 100% of the decisions about what you're doing.

It could be for a date, what movie you're watching, what you're having for dinner, but it could also be big things, like where you'll go to school, what career you should have, or even personal decisions about your body - and they expect you to comply without question.

You know how guys joke that girls never know where they want to go for dinner? This is, like, the opposite of that, and it's also about twenty times worse. Don't, I repeat, DON'T, let someone else call the shots for you! It's your life!

21. You feel like you need to ask permission to do anything, like go out with friends or spend time with family.

22. You feel as though all of your free time must be spent with them, otherwise you don't love them.


If you've just read this and you recognize several of these signs - it's not too late. Just know that an abusive relationship cannot be salvaged. Abusers do not believe they are abusers, and it's almost impossible to convince them otherwise. Move on. As hard as it will be to move on - especially if they have convinced you that you're not worth loving - your life will change the instant you leave them in the past.

Cover Image Credit: thetipsguru.com

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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The 7 Stages Of A Breakup, As Told By Netflix's 'Someone Great'

Alexa play "Truth Hurts" by Lizzo, and max volume, please.

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We all know how it feels to get your heart broken by a guy. Whether it be in your teens or in your 30s, everyone experiences it, or already has. After watching the movie “Someone Great" on Netflix, it hit me deep in my feels. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out. It made me realize all of the stages of going through a rough breakup, and I could not relate to a movie more.

1. When you first breakup and will cry about it to just about anyone

We all know that we do this almost immediately after a break-up. You are just trying to get out of the house so you go to the store, something reminds you of our ex, and next thing you know, you're talking the stranger's ear off in the grocery store for the next 2 hours.

2. When your friends call you and you say you're fine but you really haven't moved from your couch in two days and all you have done is eat two gallons of ice cream and watch "The Notebook" on repeat

"Just come do something with us, or let us come there."

"Nah, I'm okay, I actually have a super busy day today."

Yeah, if you mean busy as in binge-watching every episode of "Pretty Little Liars," then yeah, count me out of all plans so I can rewatch every episode for the next 3 weeks. We all know that feeling of not wanting to move out of bed for as long as you can after a break-up.

3. When that ONE song comes on at the mall, and you suddenly realize it was "your" song

This one hits differently. You're literally just minding your own business, trying to treat yourself to a little bit of a wardrobe change because of how sad you have been all week and BAM, it hits you like a train. Next thing you know you're crying in the dressing room of Forever 21 wondering where it all went wrong.

4. Finally caving in and hanging with your friends, realizing that this is what you needed all along

You never want to leave your bed after a breakup, you seem to cancel or bail out on every plan you try to make, then finally, after you have run out of tears, you actually follow through with a girl's night, and then you suddenly realize that all along, just time spent with the gals is what you needed. Trust me, been there, done that. In most cases, a dance party is also well needed.

5. The morning after your girl’s night, you realize that having these gals is better than the boy 

Having your girls there for you in such a tough time actually helps so much. It helps save the tears, the constant replaying of memories in your head, and saves you the time you could be wasting if you're sinking into a deep sadness over something so dumb. That support system is vital for post-breakup, and even I know that.

6. You let him go one last time

Whether it be writing a letter, throwing away all your old memories with him, or by finally getting all your clothes back from his place that have piled up over the past few months or years. It is a truly bittersweet feeling and might even hurt a little, but it's time. You're going to thrive without him.

7. You truly know how much better you’re doing without him

You have reached the point of no return. You’re finally thriving without him. You’re never going back, and you know how much potential your life has and how much better you are without him. Your heart is whole again.

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