25 Signs That You Are In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

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Being part of an emotionally abusive relationship can take its toll on you over time. Sadly, many people don’t even realize they are in an emotionally abusive relationship until it is too late. 

emotional abuse signs

While the list below not an exhaustive list, it does contain many actions that abusers have in common. Learning to identify these and other signs can save ourselves and loved ones a lot of time and trouble.

Emotional abuse can cause just as much pain as physical abuse. Although no external scars will be present, the internal scars can last a lifetime, if you let them. 

Emotional abuse can lead to weakening confidence, feeling powerless, confusion and low self esteem. Typically an abuser is skilled at breaking their victim/partner down. They have an urge to be in control and have all eyes on them. 

Those who emotionally abuse others will most often deny that they are emotionally abusive, placing blame elsewhere. Most often times family and friends are able to see the abuse from the outside. If you have any doubts that you are involved in an emotionally abusive relationship and your friends and family advise you that you most certainly are…take that as a strong sign to leave that relationship sooner than later. 

Here are some signs to watch out for. 

1 – Abuser constantly humiliates the person in front of others around them.

2 – Victim is made to feel as if they cannot do anything right because they are being criticized all of the time.

3 – Mean and demeaning jokes are told at the victims expense.

4 – Abuser takes control over all of the victims actions.

5 – Shortcomings and failures are always being highlighted instead of being minimized.

6 – Abuser tells the victim that they are simply too sensitive and their feelings of hurt are always ignored.

7 – Victim lives in constant fear of being alone because the abuser is always giving them disapproving looks.

8 – Abuser punishes the victim by sex and affection being withheld.

9 – Abuser discourages and belittles any dreams that the person expresses.

10 – Secrets and private moments are shared with others without respect of the others personal feelings.

11 – Abuser is the only one that knows what’s best for the victim.

12 – Victim is blamed as the cause of the abuser’s failing, moods, problems and overall unhappiness.

13 – Abusers cannot accept any criticism or listen to jokes from others about themselves without getting angry.

14 – Abuser wants to isolate the person from their friends by making them feel guilty and wrong for wanting to spend time with them.

15 – Abuser makes the victim feel as if they should be thankful for being chosen by them since they are really not good enough to be in the relationship.

16 – Victim is always seen as being wrong, and the abuser always has the right answer..

17 – Abuser make subtle threats that’s normally disguised as being helpful to the victim.

18 – Victim’s finances are controlled by the abuser since they want to know how all of the victim’s money is being spent.

19 – When the abuser and victim are apart, the abuser is constantly sending text messages to track and keep up with the person and who they may be with.

20 – Victim is often forced to prove their love because they are being accused of things that’s not true.

21 – Abuser wants their life kept private while demanding yours is an open book.

22 – Abuser will shower victim with gifts to gain their attention. Gifts are also given by abuser when they have done something wrong without the victim’s knowledge, as a way to deal with their own guilt.

23 – Victim will be told often to leave if they do not agree with abuser. This is done as a form of control.

24 – Abuser will always turn disagreements and arguments towards the victim, placing blame. If victim becomes upset, abuser will often times talk down to victim and call them crazy or psycho.

25 – Abuser will often times be flirty or engage in other emotional or romantic relationships while involved with victim.


Preventing these relationships from continuing is of utmost importance since they can manifest themselves in illnesses, depression and even cases of long term trauma.