Answering the following questions will help you to determine whether or not you are in
an emotionally abusive love relationship. A "YES" answer to even half of these
questions indicates that you are in an emotionally abusive love relationship.
Do you feel like a child in the relationship, having to ask permission and apologizing
for your behavior? Do you feel powerless and "less than" your lover or mate?
Have you stopped seeing your friends and family? Does your lover or husband criticize
your friends and family members? Did he complain so much when you saw them in the past that
you finally stopped seeing them altogether so you wouldn't have to argue with him about it?
Are you ashamed to see your friends or family because of your mate's abusive behavior, and
because you're embarrassed at having put up with so much from him?
Do you believe that you are to blame for your husband's or lover's problems? Do you
feel you are mostly responsible for the problems with the relationship?
Does your mate try to take advantage of you sexually or make unreasonable sexual demands
Does your lover's personality change when he drinks alcohol?
Does your mate use "HUMOR" to put you down or degrade you?
Does he lack the ability to laugh at himself?
Does he find it hard to apologize or to admit when he is wrong? Does he make excuses
for his bahavior or always blame others for his actions?
Does he usually get his way in deciding when and where the two of you will go?
Does he control or disapprove of your spending but seem to have no problem spending
About the Abused
Have you learned to overlook unkindness and disrespect?
Do you deny incidents by the abuser, and do you think you are wrong?
Do you think your feelings are wrong?
Do you intermittently forget your upset feelings when the abuser is intermittently friendly. (see cycle of violence)
The abuse can be very subtle - the control increasing gradually over time so that you gradually adapts to it.
The abuser controls the interpersonal communication by refusing to discuss upsetting interactions.
The abuser and partner may function very well together in their respective roles; making a home,
raising a family, and "getting ahead," so the abusive nature of the relationship is overlooked.
At times the abuser is not abusive. Consequently, you forget the "bad times."
The abuser's behavior is alternately abusive and non-abusive, so you are never sure whether
or not the relationship is working.
You may have never seen a model of a healthy relationship and good communication; therefore you have no basis for comparison.
Your reality has never been validated. Others don't see the abuse, so it doesn't seem real to you.
You may believe that if your mate provides for you, he really loves you.
You believe that when your mate is angry, you have somehow hurt him/her.
You may believe that the behaviors of the abuser are "gender" related.
You believe your perceptions are wrong.
You are so absorbed in raising a family or developing a career that you ignore problems in the relationship.
You may believe that only physical battering is abuse and does not perceive your conditions as abusive.
The partner (you) does not realize that an abusive personality - one that seeks power and
control over another - is not capable of the empathetic comprehension that love and a
healthy relationship require.
If you are aware that the possibility exists that you may be in an emotionally abusive relationship, you may begin to recognize the abuse by becoming aware of abusive patterns.
In order to discover these patterns, it is helpful to become very aware of your own experiences and feelings. You may need to keep a journal in order to keep your thoughts clear, to analyze your own experiences, and to record your feelings.
Some of the questions you might ask yourself are these:
How often do you feel upset by what is said or not said to you?
Do you feel isolated and alone?
Are your opinions, thoughts, suggestions, and feelings routinely disregarded or ridiculed?
Do you often feel confused, surprised, hurt, frustrated, diminished, or threatened?
Is there an absence of laughter and sentiment in your relationship?
Does your relationship experience a great many extreme "highs" and "lows?"
AM I BEING ABUSED?
Look over the following questions. Think about how you are being treated and how you treat
your partner. Remember, when one person scares, hurts or continually puts down the other person,
Does your partner....
____ Embarrass or make fun of you in front of your friends or family?
____ Put down your accomplishments or goals?
____ Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions?
____ Use intimidation or threats to gain compliance?
____ Tell you that you are nothing without them?
____ Treat you roughly - grab, push, pinch, shove or hit you?
____ Call you several times a night or show up to make sure you are where you said you would be?
____ Use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?
____ Blame you for how they feel or act?
____ Pressure you sexually for things you arenít ready for?
____ Make you feel like there "is no way out" of the relationship?
____ Prevent you from doing things you want - like spending time with your friends or family?
____ Try to keep you from leaving after a fight or leave you somewhere after a fight to "teach you a lesson"?
____ Sometimes feel scared of how your partner will act?
____ Constantly make excuses to other people for your partnerís behavior?
____ Believe that you can help your partner change if only you changed something about yourself?
____ Try not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner angry?
____ Feel like no matter what you do, your partner is never happy with you?
____ Always do what your partner wants you to do instead of what you want?
____ Stay with your partner because you are afraid of what your partner would do if you broke up?
If any of these are happening in your relationship, talk to someone. Without some help, the abuse will continue.