Not every relationship is a healthy one. While most people know about physical abuse, many
don’t understand the realm of emotional abuse. This type doesn’t always leave behind
noticeable scars or injuries. However, that doesn’t mean the victim is alright.
Emotional abuse occurs whenever a person uses manipulation tactics to control another
person. Repeatedly shaming, embarrassing, or criticizing the victim eventually breaks their spirit
and diminishes their mental health. Victims need emotional abuse support to help them learn to
cope. Here are common examples of mental abuse:

  1. Constant Arguments
    All couples bicker at times, but abusers may frequently pick arguments just to provoke their
    partner. During these disagreements, abusers often use name-calling and swearing to tear
    down their partner’s confidence. This isn’t healthy, and the abuser may eventually become
    violent.
  2. Gaslighting
    Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic used to make victims question what they hear and see in the
    world around them. It’s also a form of mental abuse. In a relationship, the abuser creates false
    narratives to control their partner’s thoughts and actions. They might claim something didn’t
    happen, even if the victim witnessed it themselves.
  3. Cheating Accusations
    Infidelity affects many relationships; however, not everyone cheats. An abuser may continually
    accuse their faithful partner of cheating without any proof. Sometimes they do it because of their
    own infidelity. Other times, jealousy controls their actions. Regardless, these accusations
    emotionally scar the innocent partner.
  4. Withholding Affection
    Physical touch is essential, especially in relationships. However, many abusers withhold
    affection from their partners to control them. This tactic makes victims feel undesirable and
    unlovable. It can even cause feelings of self-doubt or worthlessness in other aspects of their
    lives.
  5. Criticism
    Criticizing a person’s actions is often justified and healthy, but it can quickly turn into a form of
    emotional abuse. An abuser may judge everything about their partner, from their job to the
    clothes they wear. Name-calling and yelling are also typical. As time passes, constant criticisms
    tear down victims and damage their self-worth.

Suspect Emotional Abuse? Here’s How to Respond
Emotional abuse often goes on for years without any outwards signs. Bruises, scratches, and
other wounds don’t occur unless the abuse turns physical. However, victims still need help. If
ignored, they might become depressed, anxious, or suicidal. Self-harm and eating disorders are
also prevalent among abuse victims.
The first step to getting help is recognizing the problem. Victims often blame themselves and
don’t see the issue clearly. Next, try to talk the abuser into attending therapy. They may not
realize the impact of their actions otherwise. Some people will make a conscious effort to do
better, but it’s not possible to change how an abuser acts or thinks. In these cases, it’s best to
have an exit plan. However, leaving the situation on your own isn’t always easy, and it can be
dangerous. That’s why it’s best to build up a support network of friends and family to walk you
through the process.
Beating the Odds
No one deserves the mental anguish that comes from an emotionally abusive relationship. It’s
important to realize that the grass truly is greener on the other side. Therapy and coaching are
great tools for helping victims come to terms with the situation and make healthier plans for the
future. Abuse is never okay, and there is someone out there who will love and cherish you
without any manipulation.