This page is for those who have been tormented by emotionally abusive partners, family members, parents, or anyone else in authority.
Nobody should have to live in an emotional abuse situation, but getting out of one is often difficult. Those who allow themselves to be abused in this way over a long period of time are generally those who are co-dependent and unable to imagine their lives without their abusers.
As emotional abuse increases, self-esteem slips away. Whereas you might once have been independent and happy, you’re increasingly depressed, distressed, confused, and traumatized.
Do you want to be free from the abuse? Do you have the desire to live a peaceful life? Do you want the abuse to stop?
You know you might have to leave the person who is hurting you. That’s very likely, especially if he/she won’t acknowledge the problem and take steps to end it.
Abusers often have no understanding of how abusive they are. They blame their victims and take no responsibility for the problems in their relationships. They may refuse to believe there’s a problem.
Be powerful. Be strong. Take a stand in your own self-defense and make the decision that will bring your life out of bondage and back into a condition of peace and serenity.
Emotional abuse – what is it? – How do you know if you’re being abused?
It may be hard to understand emotional abuse unless you’ve experienced it. Even if you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, you may not fully understand what’s happening to you.
It is easy to detect physical or sexual abuse… but emotional abuse is more difficult to spot.
I was in an emotionally abusive relationship and it took me years to finally understand that what was happening was abusive in nature. I’ll explain more about my story further down on this page, but for now – I want to give you some questions to ask yourself, so you’ll know whether or not your relationship is abuse-based.
Emotional abuse is often combined with verbal abuse, but there are other ways people can be emotionally abused.
Every situation is different. Only you will know what applies in your situation.
- Does the other person try to make you feel guilty?
- Do you feel marginalized, as if you’re not very important to him/her?
- Do you have to wonder if the other person is truly committed to your relationship?
- Are you being neglected in any way?
- Is the other person frequently taking advantage of you financially or otherwise?
- Do you have needs that are unfulfilled?
- Are you being pressured to do things you feel are wrong?
- Do you notice passive-aggressive behavior patterns?
- Are you being verbally assaulted frequently?
- Are you being called names?
- Are you accused of things you never even considered before?
- Does the other person try to make you feel obligated to him/her?
- Do you feel your self-esteem is slipping away because of the way the relationship is going?
- Are you afraid of the other person in any way?
- Do you feel you must hide what’s happening in your home?
- Does the other person believe all this is not very important?
- Are your concerns minimized and dismissed?
Remember this: There are a lot of other fish in the pond.
You don’t need someone who treats you badly, puts you down, calls you names, or intentionally neglects your needs.
Does your abuser have a personality disorder or mental illness?
The man I was with probably had a personality disorder… I believe he was a narcissist, as he fit well with seven out of nine traits that therapists use to decide if that disorder fits the person they’re working with. However narcissists rarely go to therapy so most of them are never diagnosed. That certainly was the case with my friend who was hyper-paranoid about dealings with medical providers of all types.
Narcissistic personality disorder is a possibility for an emotionally abusive person, but there are other disorders that might be more fitting, and some mental illnesses that could be helped with proper medication.
If you suspect your abuser is a narcissist, please have a look at some of the videos in my playlist, Co-Dependents and Narcissists.
Here’s a list of personality disorders along with links to learn more about them. If you find one that fits the person you’re dealing with, you might want to get as much information as possible. This could help you decide whether you are willing for this relationship to continue.
Learn more about personality disorders here.
- Antisocial Personality Disorder
- Avoidant Personality Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Dependent Personality Disorder
- Histronic Personality Disorder
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
- Paranoid Personality Disorder
- Schizoid Personality Disorder
- Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Once you escape from the situation consider going “no contact.”
It hurts like hell at times, but it is the best way to end things.
I have not seen or talked to the man who abused me since the day we split up: June 29, 2013.
I no longer miss him, and am glad we split up.
Ways to Prepare Yourself for Freedom From Emotional Abuse
Get ready… you can do it.
1. Analyze your relationship – write a list of pro’s and con’s so you can gain perspective on your ability to find happiness in that relationship.
2. Pray about your situation – even if you don’t believe in God, try this out. There might be someone or something out there listening to your prayer… you’ll never know unless you start asking for help.
3. If you decide you must separate, start saving money – put your money in a safe place and no matter how tempted, do not tell your abuser that you’re planning an escape and saving money for that event.
4. Develop a hobby – one you have always loved, or something new. This will change your life in a way that will help you uplift your self-esteem, and will show your ability to exist independently of the person who has been emotionally abusive to you.
5. Create a life for yourself – one that doesn’t include your abuser. You need friends who will support you outside of his or her sphere of influence.
You Can Get Through This
Never give up hope.
Life can change. Life can get better.
If you must break up with your significant other in order to find peace in your life… – …these books will help you get through it.
It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Break-Up Buddy
This book helped a lot. I read it once before I left him, and once afterwards.
Sometimes the writer’s unwarranted flattery annoyed me, but overall I enjoyed the humor and encouragement during a difficult and painful separation process.
Of course, if you’re a guy, this book won’t work for you at all as it was written for women. Check the next book…
Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You
This book has helped all kinds of people: young/old, male/female, etc… and has earned five stars on Amazon which is pretty amazing; most books aren’t rated that highly, and this one has over 200 reviews. It is definitely worth reading during a breakup.
I have this one, the one above, and several others. They all helped strengthen me while I was feeling depressed, distressed, and confused.
It is absolutely true – that breaking up is hard to do, and it doesn’t matter whether you were the dumper or the dumpee… either way, it usually hurts, in a myriad of ways.