Gaslighting: How can you tell whether your partner is emotionally abusive or controlling?
Find out some of the signs of a verbally abusive relationship, including An overly controlling partner may be someone who is "telling you what. Coercive control is a form of domestic abuse Credit: Alamy that one argument crosses the line and it becomes an abusive relationship,” say Women's Aid. Learn the signs and effects of emotional and verbal abuse. Home · Relationships and Safety · Other types of violence and abuse Emotional and verbal abuse includes insults and attempts to scare, isolate, or control you.
In time, self-doubt creates a loss of trust in your perception and judgment, making you all the more vulnerable to a partner who wants to control you. Lambertpsychotherapist and author of Women with Controlling Partners 3. Your partner requires constant check-ins and wants to know where you are and who you are with at all times. There is truth to the saying that behind every mean or sarcastic remark is a grain of truth. Your partner is hot and cold. They deny being withdrawn, and you start panicking, trying hard to get back into their good graces.
Done often enough, this can turn a relatively independent person into an anxious pleaser — which is where your partner wants you. Your partner refuses to acknowledge your strengths and belittles your accomplishments. The ways your partner reacts to your accomplishments or positive feelings about something can be telling. Does he show little interest or ignore you? Over time, confronted with hurtful responses, your sense of confidence and trust in your own competence can slowly diminish.
You are so caught off guard by this outburst, you have no idea how to respond. You never know what to expect next.
Stomps out of a room during an argument or heated discussion. Sulks and refuses to talk about an issue. Unpredictable behaviors often involve your partner resorting to juvenile performances. Shakes a finger or fist at you or makes threatening gestures or faces. All he needs to do is get in your face and pull back his fist. Acts jealous and suspicious of your friends and social contacts. No matter how innocent, platonic, or wholesome a relationship might be with a friend, coworker, or even family member, your spouse has a way of twisting it into something sordid, selfish, or wrong.
She acts out with jealous tantrums or accusatory questions. Acts out to be the center of attention. Makes a big scene about small or insignificant life problems.
The holiday turkey gets burned, and he has to announce what a lousy cook you are in front of the entire family. You forget to bring some important documents to the meeting with the accountant, and she makes sure everyone knows you always make stupid mistakes like this.
Your partner trolls through life, looking for reasons to have a blowup and make a scene. Does something to spite you, just to get a rise out of you.
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Threatens infidelity or divorce to throw you off balance. This marriage is over. Uses neglect or abandonment to punish or frighten you. Your abuser wants to make you suffer, so he or she will just stop participating in the relationship.
Maybe he or she will stop coming home at night or take trips away from home without telling you. After arguments, he or she might take off in the car and neglect to call so you will worry.
Belittles, insults, or berates you in front of other people. Puts down your physical appearance or intellect. Even a kid knows better than that!
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If the attacks happen often enough, you begin to feel ugly and stupid. You worry that if you leave the relationship, no one else would ever want you. In fact, your abuser may remind you of that fear frequently.
Belittles and trivializes you, your accomplishments, or your hopes and dreams. The one person whose good opinion matters most to you refuses to give you a morsel of praise or support. Tells you your feelings are irrational or crazy. Maybe you are sensitive, sentimental, caring, affectionate, and loving. You might have a soft spot for the pain of others or feel emotions intensely. You might simply want a hug, a calm conversation, a loving response, or a supportive comment.
So he or she derides you for having them.
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Turning other people against you. Your abusive partner feels threatened by the positive attention, praise, or love shown to you by others. She wants to taint your reputation in order to make herself look like the star or to prevent you from having outside influences or distractions.
Corrects or chastises you for your behavior. No matter what you do, it never seems good enough for your partner. He or she is constantly pointing out what you do wrong or how you could be doing it better.
You are made to feel incompetent and stupid, even when you have done your best. Shares your personal information with others. Your abusive partner uses your personal information as a weapon against you. If you've shared something private or shameful with your partner, he or she doesn't treat that information with dignity and compassion.
Rather, it's seen as a useful tool for controlling, manipulating, and shaming you. Accuses you of being crazy or being the abusive partner. You know you rarely feel loved, but she claims you are off your rails and unappreciative of the good treatment you receive.
You feel completely trapped and confused. Invalidates or denies their emotionally abusive behavior when confronted. You finally have the courage to speak up to your partner about his or her behaviors, but you are met with a blank stare and a complete denial.
No matter how many examples you give or how convincing you might be, your abusive partner uses gaslighting and refuses to admit that he or she is emotionally abusive. Accuses you of lying or having a bad memory. He comes home with a brand-new sports car and swears the two of you discussed it. You would never have felt comfortable spending that money on something so frivolous. Hijacks a conversation to confuse or divert the subject away from your needs. Rather than listening to you, she starts yelling and complaining that you never listen to her and that you only care about yourself.
Plays intentional mind games. Blames you for his or her bad behavior. And the argument your partner presents is so compelling, you start to believe it yourself.
- Gaslighting: How can you tell whether your partner is emotionally abusive or controlling?
- 11 Subtle Signs You Might Be In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship
You have opened your calendar, your phone, and your computer to your partner to prove your innocence. Logic and truth mean nothing to your abuser. Your abuser's snide remarks or passive-aggressive behaviors are all in your head.
You are just too sensitive to see things clearly.