Relationship emotional abuse is the most silent but damaging abuse which involves grave verbal offenses, bullying, destructive criticisms and threatening by a superior partner. Other forms of emotional abuse include manipulation, playing on partner’s emotions that can lead to trauma and intimidation.
This kind of abuse is used by offenders to control and manipulate partners who keep silent while being subjected to emotional harassment. Sometimes, partners are not fully aware that they are having this kind of problem in their relationship. The abuser finds it normal to criticize his partner and the victim accepts it without question. However, constant criticism can become addictive and destructive. Occasional negative remark is acceptable but not when it becomes a normal part of daily conversation. The more the victim keeps silent, the more the abuse becomes grave.
Studies show that abusers are usually victims of childhood emotional troubles that wounded them and not resolve as they grow old. When this is the case, the cycle continues. They may have experienced the same relationship emotional abuse during their childhood, seeing their mothers being verbally berated by their fathers or they themselves received verbal abuse from parents. Memories of the past continue haunting them and their anger, fears, hurts and weakness surface. When they become insecure in some part of the relationship, they begin imitating their abusive parent or authority during their childhood. They feel good in making their partners feel ashamed, afraid and weak. The cycle will not stop unless their partners learn to fight back not by the same way but with healthy coping mechanisms which include professional help.
But some victims keep silent because they are afraid to experience more abuse which can become physical. They let their partners abuse them despite the gradual damage in their self-esteem and confidence. Sometimes, they deny that there is an abuse happening in the relationship. They consider them normal just to avoid fights and aggravate the abuse.
These kinds of emotional abuse not only happen in intimate relationships but also occur in other relationships such as parent and child, among relatives and close friends. It is power abuse especially when abusers observe that the other person is weak or powerless to fight back.
Here are some signs of emotional abuse:
• Abuser controls and treats the victim like a child.
• Abuser chastises the victim for misbehavior or ways he thinks are not appropriate
• He makes fun of the victim in front of people
• He disregards the feeling, opinions, and needs of victim
• He calls the victim over-sensitive
• He wants the victim to seek permission from him before making decisions or going out
• He controls money and keep tabs on how the victim spends it
• He belittles the victim’s accomplishments
• He does not appreciate the things she makes for him
• He makes her feel wrong and even say it loud
• He shows disapproval with his looks or body language
• He reminds her of your past shortcomings
• He blames the victim for relationship problems and difficulties of life
• He calls the victim names that aim to demean her
• He distances himself emotionally and physically