Exploring Emotionally Abusive Relationships

onlinecounsellingcollege:

Characteristics of an emotionally abusive relationship include:

· Using money as a means of control

· Threatening to walk out or abandon you

· Creating fear and anxiety through looks, words, threats and actions

· Destroying things (and often things you value) – either in a cold and heartless way, or in an angry fit of rage

· Using blaming, shaming, minimizing and denial to control you

· Verbally attacking and demeaning you (includes name calling, shouting at you, criticising and putting you down – especially in public)

· Attacking and putting you down in private, and acting loving and charming in public

· Minimising the abuse; acting as if you’re over-reacting and it’s “no big deal”

· Deliberately withholding approval, affirmation and affection as a means of punishment or control

The effects of living with emotional abuse include:

· A fear of being natural and spontaneous

· A loss of enthusiasm

· Insecurity related to how they coming across to others

· An inner belief that they are deeply flawed

· A loss of self-confidence and self esteem

· Growing self-doubt (so they’re afraid to make even the smallest decision, or to take on even the simplest of tasks)

· Never trusting their own judgment (as they believe that they’re likely to get it wrong, or to misunderstand or misread everything)

· Having a constant critic in their head

· Feeling they should be happier and more upbeat than they are (in order to meet the approval of others)

· Feeling they’re too sensitive, and ought to “toughen up”

· Fearing they’re going crazy, or losing their mind

· Having a tendency to live in the future (“Everything will be OK when/after ….”)

· A desire to break free, escape or run away

· A distrust and fear of entering into any close relationships again.

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