Abuse doesn’t always result it scars, bruises and divorces. Emotional abuse can be subtle, but serious. Often the people who are emotionally abused don’t even know it because the abuse doesn’t get physical and its easy to overlook and excuse the partners’ behaviour especially at the onset of a relationship.
Interestingly, many a times the emotional abusers also do not know that they are in the wrong. They truly believe that they know what’s best for their partners, and apply sly, even subconscious, tactics to gain control over the individuals.
We all could have shown some of these signs, and dominated our partners at some point, but if you see a pattern, it may be time to pause and evaluate your actions and their consequences.
Here are 11 signs that you are the emotional abuser in your relationship:
1. You feel that your partner has to tell you about their whereabouts all day. You constantly feel the ‘need’ to know where they are and with whom at all points of the day.
2. Your partner has to offer you explanations and apologies every time they miss your call. If they don’t, you get suspicious and upset.
3. Most of your friends think that you treat your partner a little too harsh- they could be right you know.
4. Often times the signs of emotional abuse are really subtle. Are you name-calling, insulting, humiliating, inducing guilt and intimidating your partner every time they do something that you don’t like or approve of?
5. Do you keep on bringing up past mistakes every time you guys fight?
6. Do you ask them to cut off contact from their friends and family that you don’t like? Emotional abusers often manipulate their partners into isolating them from their circle, to establish and ensure that the abuse continues without onlookers calling out the twisted dynamics.
7. You demand total dominance in every aspect of your relationship because you somehow feel that your partner is not capable of taking the right decisions.
8. You laugh off and excuse your rude and hurtful behaviour by saying things like, ‘I was just having a bad’ or ‘It was no big deal’ instead of owning up your bad attitude and apologising.
9. You constantly offer non-apologies, and refuse to take up the blame for your actions.
Do you often find yourself saying things like-
“You’re being too sensitive.”
“It was just a misunderstanding.”
“I didn’t mean it that way. You’re interpreting me wrong.”
10. You treat your partner like they are an extension of you. Everything right from their political opinions to dietary choices must align with your mindset. You don’t allow your partner to have their opinions without ridiculing them.
Recognising these patterns early on is the best way to deal with your flaws and disturbing behaviour. Don’t hesitate to take help from a medically qualified person if you are unable to work on the issues on your own. The key to a healthy, loving relationship is a balanced distribution of power and mutual respect.