WHO ARE THE EMOTIONAL ABUSERS?
Emotionally Abusive Lovers and Mates
Emotionally abusive lovers and mates can cause tremendous damage to a women's ego. They
have our trust, our vulnerability, our hearts, and our bodies. Using a variety of tactics,
an abusive husband or lover can damage a woman's self-esteem, make her doubt her desirability and
hate her body, and break her heart.
It is incredibly painful to come to the recognition that someone you love and want desperately
to believe loves you in return could actually be abusing you. Because of the feelings you
have for him, it is especially difficult to recognize that you may be emotionally abused
by your husband or lover. When we love someone we tend to make excuses for his behavior,
we always want to give him the benefit of the doubt. This is especially true when the
other person is good to us in other ways. This was the case with Samantha.
I knew my husband was critical of me, but he could also be so good to me.
No one ever treated me as well as he did when things were going his way. But when he was
under pressure at work, he was horrible to me. He berated me constantly, finding fault
in everything I did. I became a nervous wreck, waiting for the next round of complaints.
My opinion of myself became so low that I actually considered suicide. when he wasn't
under pressure he treated me like a queen, and I felt great about myself, about him,
and about our marriage.
2. Blames others (including you) for his faults.
3. Blames circumstances for his problems.
("If only I had a job, I wouldn't be so upset").
4. His behaviour is unpredictable.
5. He belittles you verbally.
6. He cannot control his anger.
7. He always asks for a second chance.
8. He says he'll change, that he won't do it again.
9. His family resolves problems with violence.
10. He plays on your guilt. (If you loved me, you'd...")
11. His behaviour often worsens when he uses alcohol or drugs.
12. He is close-minded. His way is the only way.
Withholding: does the abuser stop speaking to you when they're displeased? do they ignore you?
do they withdraw affection in order to punish you? do they blame you for this?
Countering: does the abuser tell you you're wrong if you don't agree with them? do they argue
against your every thought? do they tell you your feelings are wrong? do they tell you that
you don't know what you're talking about? do they forbid you from having your own opinions?
Discounting: does the abuser ignore or disparage your feelings? do they put down your feelings?
do they dismiss you with statements such as, "you're too sensitive" or "you don't have a sense
of humor" or "you're just taking it wrong"?
Ridicule (Verbal Abuse Disguised as Jokes): does the abuser make fun of you? do they ridicule
you regarding subjects about which you are particularly sensitive? do they seem to enjoy it?
do they accuse you of not being able to take a joke? do they use sarcasm to put you down?
Blocking and Diverting: does the abuser change the subject when you try to bring something up?
do they divert serious discussions by accusing you of various things?
Accusing and Blaming: does the abuser blame you for everything that goes wrong? do they
accuse you of hurting them when you tell them your feelings? do they accuse you of having
affairs? are they jealous?
Judging and Criticizing: does the abuser find fault with everything you do? are they extremely
hard to please? do they tell you you "ought" or "should" do things a certain way?
Trivializing: does the abuser belittle what you say? do they dismiss your feelings or
accomplishments? do they insult you when you express pride in your own abilities?
do they act as if your work is no big deal?
Undermining: does the abuser squelch your enthusiasm with insensitive comments such as,
"You wouldn't understand", or, "You'll never make it"? do they sabotage your ideas by pointing
out all the ways in which they might fail? do they interrupt you when you need time alone?
Threatening: does the abuser threaten you, overtly or covertly? do they threaten you with
violence? do they threaten you with emotional pain?
Name-calling: does the abuser use vulgarities to insult you? do they call you cruel names?
do they use terms of endearment with intense sarcasm?
Forgetting: does the abuser make a promise and then "forget" to keep it? do they pretend not
to remember certain incidents or discussions? do they pretend not to remember prior agreements?
Ordering: does the abuser order you to do something instead of asking? do they demand things?
Denial: does the abuser deny that certain things happened? do they tell you that they didn't
say something, or that you never saw something occur?
Abusive Anger: does the abuser erupt into a rage when they are angry? do they scream, yell,
or shout? do they hurl obscenities? does their body language become more aggressive?
do they stomp, strut, hit things, or hit you? do they become red in the face? do they throw
things? do they physically get in your way, or follow you from room to room? do they snap
at you? do they shake their finger right in your face? are they usually irritable? does all of this usually take place in private, when
you are alone? (It's a sure sign things are escalating if the abuser attacks you in public.)
does the abuser blame you for their anger?
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