Do I Have an Emotionally Abusive Partner? Here’s How to Tell

Are you having issues with your romantic partner? While partners should be a source of love, acceptance, commitment, and fulfillment, many find themselves not getting these things from their partner. And, wondering if abuse has anything to do with the issues that have arisen throughout a relationship. Is your relationship just going through a challenging period or do you have an emotionally abusive partner? Fortunately, there are ways you can identify emotional abuse so you can address it in your own relationship. And, help available for both the victim and emotional abuser with Southcoast Psychiatric Services.

Identifying What Emotional Abuse Is

Many may not know they are the victim of an emotionally abusive partner because they are unaware of what emotional abuse is. When you don’t know what’s happening to you is abuse, you may give it other names or even excuses for its existence.

Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse doesn’t have to do with causing physical pain. Rather, it has to do with inflicting emotional, or psychological, pain. To cause this psychological pain, an emotional abuser may manipulate, lie, intimidate, gaslight, neglect, or humiliate a victim.

Unfortunately, while this type of abuse can lead to long-lasting and even lifelong effects, the symptoms aren’t always easy to identify. As manipulation and gaslighting are common strategies for emotional abusers to utilize, victims may not even know they’re experiencing emotional abuse. Therefore, it’s vital for individuals to understand and be able to identify signs of emotional abuse in their own lives.

Some Signs of Emotional Abuse to Identify

As mentioned, the signs of emotional abuse aren’t as easy to identify as other types of abuse. It’s common that individuals won’t recognize that they’re in an emotionally abusive relationship until they get help for mental health issues that arise as a result of abuse. But, there are some common traits people who are victims of emotionally abusive relationships may show. These traits can serve as signs of an emotionally abusive relationship for some.

Some of the signs that you may be a victim of an emotionally abusive relationship include:

  • being insecure about decisions or oneself
  • experiencing verbal abuse (shouting, insults, etc.) from a partner
  • making excuses for the emotionally abusive partner’s behaviors or words
  • avoidance of friends, family, loved ones, events, and previous interests
  • feeling both mentally and physically fatigued
  • doubting one’s own thoughts or feelings
  • feelings of inadequacy

Deciphering Between Abuse and Normal Relationship Challenges

It’s no secret that every relationship comes with its own challenges. Even healthy romantic relationships can have their bouts of rough patches and emotional outbursts. And, that’s why it’s so difficult to determine the difference between normal relationship challenges and emotional abuse.

However, one determining factor is how often these relationship challenges occur. If there is a pattern of negative arguments, insults, and dishonesty, this could be a sign of emotional abuse. Some of the patterns to look for that can indicate emotional abuse in a relationship include:

  • yelling
  • making threats
  • gaslighting (manipulating the victim into second-guessing themself)
  • disrespect
  • putting guilt and shame on the victim

In almost every emotionally abusive relationship, the abuser will use manipulation as a means to not have to own up to their own actions or words. And, may even twist the victim’s perspective to thinking that they’re the problem.

How Therapy Can Help With Emotionally Abusive Relationships

Victims of emotionally abusive partners can get help to move forward with healthy perspectives and boundaries through therapy. During therapy sessions, individuals can learn to identify emotional abuse when it comes to their relationship. And, methods in which to set healthy boundaries, work on insecurity, and implement helpful coping mechanisms.

Furthermore, therapy offers a safe environment in which individuals can share their experiences with emotional abuse. And, address any trauma or other developed issues as a result of that abuse. This allows individuals to enter into the first stage of healing and acceptance and take the first step to move forward.

Therapy Services Available at Southcoast Psychiatric Services

Here at Southcoast, we offer therapy for all types of individuals and needs, including those who may be suffering from an emotionally abusive relationship.

Learn more about how we help to treat a wide range of issues and help all kinds of people on our website. And, contact us today by writing to us on our website or calling 561-241-6628 to talk to us about our therapy offerings.