This is going to be one of the more controversial articles I will write, but I find it important to start a conversation around it. Why? Because on a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide¹.
There is a difference between being loved and being abused. Yet the ways of being emotionally abused in a relationship can be incredibly discrete.
I have watched as many loved ones excuse behaviors on the basis of “oh he really loves me”. I have even done that! I have accepted really crappy behavior from previous partners because “he loves me”. Or I longed to feel loved, even if it is just crumbs. But this is not okay! First off, no one deserves to be hurt. Secondly, whether we realize it or not, there is a long lasting effect from being in these abusive relationships. It crushes our self-worth in the long run. Each time we accept unacceptable behavior, we are saying, “oh I deserve that treatment, I am not worth being respected.”
What Emotional Abuse Looks Like
- If your partner is constantly late or unable to show up for you/what’s important to you, but more than capable of showing up for others and themselves on time.
- If they talk over you and tell you how you feel. Not allowing you to have a voice in the relationship.
- If they are accusing you of cheating yet they have several individuals clinging onto them- they are being manipulative and abusive. I once had a boyfriend who asked me for nearly a year straight if I was cheating on him, literally every day. Yet if I asked him, “who these girls were?” or saw them sending photos, he made me feel like I am crazy for assuming he is doing something wrong. Not okay!
- If your partner is making you feel insecure in your relationship.
- If they only love you/nice to you when it is convenient for them.
- When your best never seems good enough.
- If you are anxiously waiting for when your partner will get upset again.
- If they call you names.
- If your partner carefully monitors you.
- If you feel free when they are not around, that is a sign you need to get out of the relationship.
Emotional abuse is the first part before it turns physical. It starts with mind games, words, and controlling behavior but eventually it always leads to physical abuse. Read more signs of abuse and how to get help here.
Signs You Have Been Abused
- If you’re constantly stressed, feel like you’re living a double life.
- Carefully tip-toeing around your partner.
- You’re unable to work or concentrate at school because your partner is demanding your time.
- Dramatically lower self-esteem and confidence.
- No longer seeing your friends, families or doing what you love.
- Not able to talk about what’s really going on with friends or families.
- Constantly concern and worried about your appearance.
- Feeling depressed and suicidal.
- Feel stuck in a relationship and cannot get out.
What To Do
As women, we are so strong and often excuse abusive behavior too easily because “we can handle it”. We watch the women in our family excuse it, and then we excuse it. We then teach out daughters it is okay to be treated less than what we are worth.
Let’s end this cycle! We all need to recognize we are worth so much more than what we are use to being treated.
If you are in fear of being hurt, here is a list of resources that will keep you safe while getting out of the abuse.
If you can relate to the above portion, then it is time to rethink the situation you are in. There are tools on building up self-esteem and self-worth. There are support groups and detailed ways on taking the next steps. If you feel like you are NOT being abuse, but are being taken for granted or not value that is still enough reason to get the heck out of that situation.
It is possible to be in loving relationships that EMPOWERS YOU. That is what we all deserve.
Feel free to share what has helped you, or any thoughts on this topic.