5 Warning Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

It's becoming more and more common to see young people in emotionally abusive relationships. We'll show you some behavioral patterns that will let you know if it's time to seek help and get out of the toxic relationship.
5 Warning Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship
Bernardo Peña

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Bernardo Peña.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

Abuse in couples is becoming more and more recognized in young people and teens. Often, they don’t know that they’re in an emotionally abusive relationship. Therefore, in this article, we’ll show you how to recognize some of the warning signs.

If you’re reading this article, you might think it’s because you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship. Maybe you feel bad, or maybe you realized that your significant other acts in harmful ways.

If this is the case, make sure to go see a professional that has the necessary tools to get you out of this situation.

Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

1. Hostile Attitude

This is one of the main signs of an emotionally abusive relationship.In fact, the article Boundaries between psychological intimate partner violence and dysfunctional relationships: psychological and forensic implications states that this might happen because of sexual and gender stereotypes.

Pathological jealousy or the idea that violence is a way to resolve conflicts can also indicate that it’s an emotionally abusive relationship. In addition, both physical and mental manipulation and aggression may happen every day in cases of emotional abuse.

Using violence to resolve conflicts is one of the signs of an emotionally abusive relationship.

2. Projection of Anger in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Another sign of an emotionally abusive relationship is the projection of anger. People who are always angry have an impulse to express that anger. As a result, they hurt the people around them.

What causes these explosions of anger?

Setbacks, problems at work, or financial issues. However, this should never be a reason for your partner to hurt you in any way. Your significant other needs to learn to manage his or her anger by going to see a professional.

Also read: 7 Phrases that Can Hurt Your Partner

3. Lack of Communication

This isn’t something that happens all at once. In fact, it happens progressively over time. The abusive person starts to use silence as a form of punishment, instead of communicating openly about his or her likes or dislikes.

Then, the abuser uses silence as a way to manipulate and subdue. If your partner doesn’t communicate and uses silence to make you feel bad, you’re in an abusive relationship and should consider leaving.

4. Blame

Another sign that you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship is that the abuser says that everything is your faultThey’ll blame you for anything: if something gets broken, if they’re feeling uncomfortable, or even if they’re having a problem at work.

Some things he or she might blame you for may even be completely absurd.

In an emotionally abusive relationship, the blame always falls on the victim.

In these cases, it’s important to not let yourself get carried away by this. In addition, you need to realize that in reality, whatever you’re accused of isn’t your fault.

If you keep believing the other person, it could cause a total loss of self-esteem.

5. Absolute Control

The final signs of an emotionally abusive relationship is their need for absolute control of their partner. He or she will try to control your money, children, work, or time with friends. This means that you aren’t independent, but rather an extension of your partner.

Without a doubt, this is what a violent or abusive person does. When you are dependent on your partner, it is easier for you to submit.Then, the abuser can do whatever they want with you because you are at his or her mercy.

How to Leave an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Without a doubt, the first thing you need to do if you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship is go to a professional psychologist. This person will listen to you, analyze your situation, and help you see what’s happening from a healthy, mature, and experienced perspective.

This will let you know if you need to go to couples therapy to work on some things. For example, you might need to work on communication or respecting each other’s space. On the contrary, you might need to breakup.

Why is it so important to see a psychologist? 

It will help you improve how you relate to others. In addition, you could learn what to look for in a helathy partner, as well as learn from your experiences.

We hope this article has helped you detect patterns of abuse. That way, you can take action and leave the relationship. Unless they go and seek help, people who are abusive or hurtful don’t change.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.