15 Signs You're in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Emotional abuse, while it leaves no marks, can sometimes be the hardest type of abuse to understand in a relationship. It's hard to imagine that someone who "loves you" could abuse you -- and besides, it's just words, right? It's not like you're being BEATEN.

Sad truth is, while broken bones heal, the wounds left from emotional abuse can last a lifetime.

Emotional abuse is a form of abuse in which a partner uses verbal assault, fear, or humiliation to undermine the other person's self-esteem and self-worth. Emotional abuse is every bit as damaging as physical abuse.

Here are some signs you're in an emotionally abusive relationship.

More from The Stir: Michelle Williams Gives Love Advice Every Woman Should Hear

If you're in an emotionally abusive relationship or even if you think you're being abused but it's "not bad enough" to do anything about it, remember: it is. No one deserves to be treated this way, and everyone is worthy of respect. Even you.

Have you been in an emotionally abusive relationship? Did you get out of it? What would you tell someone who was being emotionally abused?

Image via gideon_wright/Flickr

commitment, dating, divorce start slideshow


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

dreamsky dreamsky

That's a pretty powerful picture.

tiny_... tiny_mama

You must know my ex-husband!

06katc08 06katc08

i was in a verbally abusive relationship from 17-22. My ex husband would scream at me, call me a whore and a bitch, take my car keys when he went to work just so i couldnt leave the house, and when i had 2 leave 4 the grocery store, dr, etc. i had 2 call b4 i left and as soon as i returned. He went so far as to have his family follow me when i had 2 go out 2 make sure i wasnt cheating. I finally realized i am so much better than that. Unfortunately ive lost most of family and friends bcuz of him. My family has flat out turned against me believing the lies he has spread. To ANYONE in an abusive relationship (mental, physical, emotional) i say GET OUT NOW! Abuse only gets worse over time. No one deserves to b treated like dirt. No one. Do not sit back and take it. Pack ur things and leave. Take ur kids with u. Go to the police. If u r scared 4 ur well being or ur kids tell the police. Cops take abuse seriously. They will protect u if u tell them. Tell somebody. Just dont stay. Get out b4 it gets worse.

Littl... LittleFrogsMA

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 15

And yes, I got out and I took my kids with me.  It's not official but it will be soon. 


But I'll never be free of him entirely because of the kids.  

sofia... sofia0587

Yup I delt with that w/my ex husband from the time we were dating in HS til I finally divorced his ass when I was 22! I finally wised up than had his ass on his knees crying it felt great to see him in so much pain, and than later on I forgave him and told him to grow up who knows if he has but ive regained some of the friends i lost bc of him and gotten closer to my family especially my sister whom he hated.

Bruic... Bruickson

About a yr and a half into my relationship with my husband (before we were married) he became emotionally abusive. We had just started living together, bills began piling up and he started drinking. We would both drink beer on occasion and it never affected him but when he would drink liquor he was a monster. He would put me down, yell and scream, break things. It was horrible. I didn't leave him because he was only like that when he drank and he made me believe that it was my fault. "I would set him off". I just couldnt accept failure in our relationship. I was young and stupid. He would apologize the next day and say he "couldn't remember" saying all of those ugly things. I finally got the balls to leave him, gave him his ring back and went home to my parents. He quit drinking when he realized i was serious and completely turned his life around. I took him back and now we have been together for 8 yrs and married 4 yrs. My story is definitely not the norm so if you are in an abusive relationship please don't hold on to the hope of your S.O. changing. Most people are who they are and will not change. It took years for us to work through the damage that was caused to our relationship. Now we have a healthy and loving marriage. But now that I'm more mature I look back and can't believe that I put up with it. NO ONE deserves to be treated like trash. Especially not by the person you love.

SaraJ... SaraJamesHigh

Omg that is my current relationship

06katc08 06katc08

@sara...if this is ur relationship GET OUT! U dont deserve it no matter what he says. Abuse isnt love.

lover... lovergal91

Oh how I remember this all too well. I never had to guts to leave him. One night it was getting worse. He told me that I could not drive myself to my sisters house ( who lives 20 min away and he knows very well) because he thought I was going out after that. Note that I am in my pajamas and its 11:00 at night no other clothes or anything. I went to go get my car keys and thankfully my dad saw what was going on and I really thought he was gonna kill him that night but he didn't. That next day after I felt safe enough to go home my mom and dad sat down and talked to me about it. I told them everything going on. I finally got the balls to tell him I never wanted to see him again and that I was keeping our 1 yr old puppy too.  Moved on and never looked back.

@Sara if that's what your going through please get help! If you want someone to talk to just email me.

jcar757 jcar757

I just got out of an emotionally abusive relationship. I always had to walk on eggshells because I never knew when he would scream at me and call me names. Stupid, fat and crazy were the words used most often and I started believing it. He moved me 1,200 miles away from all my family and friends and controlled every part of my life. You can get over physical wounds but the emotional wounds stay forever. Luckily he was sentenced to prison when my son was 1 week old (he is 5 months old now) but my daughter still remembers everything he did to me. She always draws pictures of daddy looking mean and mommy crying. Please do not stay in that kind of relationship. Your children will suffer.

1-10 of 450 comments 12345 Last