3 Typical Examples Of Emotional Abuse In Relationships
It’s usually easy to see when someone has been physically abused because physical abuse leaves a trail for anyone who looks to see. Emotional abuse is sneakier because there are no broken bones or bruises, but for someone looking, the trail of physical evidence is usually right there to see.
An emotionally abused person will often come across as introverted, with drawn-in body language. The abuse will also often gain or drop a significant amount of weight, and will often have chronic health issues – for which doctors cannot find a cause.
Annoyance Or Abuse?
Just like the symptoms, the forms the abuse takes can seem relatively benign to an outsider, and sometimes even the victim will dismiss the abuse as an annoyance rather than abuse.
Victims of emotional abuse often say things like, as long as he doesn’t hit me, I can put up with it.” Or, “This hurts so much, I would rather have him hit me than do this.”
These two examples are from the perspective of a female emotional abuse victim, but men are also victims of this insidious type of relationship bullying.
Common Types Of Emotional Abuse
Within the parameters of a personal relationship, there are as many kinds of emotional abuse as there are ways to hurt a partner or family member mentally.
Insults are a common form of this type of injury. Things like, “You’re so stupid – or fat, or ugly,” or “Why do you screw up everything you do?” Anything that leaves a person feeling belittled, or that one person uses in an attempt to feel superior at the expense of another is emotional abuse.
Threats can be as overt as someone coming right out and saying they will do something violent, or as sly as a balled up fist no one else can see. Even a hard, cold-eyed glance from someone who has previously been violent can be perceived as a threat. Living under fear of retribution turns a person into a victim – a victim of emotional abuse.
In the case of codependents, a new, and unhealthy dynamic develops, where the victim constantly worries that the abuser will cheat, or drink, or use drugs, or gamble – or whatever the outside influence is that has weakened the relationship.
Insults, threats, and betrayals can be so benign, and so subtly disguised, that outsiders envy the beautiful relationship between the abuser and victim. They are, however, forms of abuse that do as much damage as physical violence, especially if one looks at the relationship over an extended period.