If He Does THESE 12 Things, You're Being Emotionally Abused

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Signs You're Dating An Emotional Abuser
Love, Self

Your partner should respect you, not belittle you.

Emotional abuse: it's insidious how it creeps into your life. It's one of those things that, at first glance, feels innocuous.

In the beginning it isn't uncommon for a victim to innocently ignore the infrequent snide comments and put downs. This is because they occur sporadically and are often "peppered" with random acts of kindness — leaving the victim feeling confused and unsure. Forgiveness and oversights are common.

According to Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. in their article, "Domestic Violence and Abuse," "Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming. Isolation, intimidation, and controlling behavior also fall under emotional abuse. Abusers who use emotional or psychological abuse often throw in threats of physical violence or other repercussions if you don't do what they want."

It simply (or not so simply) "chips away" at how we think, value and esteem ourselves. However, over time the road narrows between an abuser's acts of kindness and emotional and verbal abuse.

For those who have been there, you understand; moving from victim to survivor you found yourself wondering, "How did that happen?" and "How did I get here?" That's how insidious it is. But let me make it clear: you have done nothing wrong. Abusers are just that good.

I can deeply empathize with a victim of abuse in many ways. As a therapist, it's very painful to watch, to experience, to sit across from and to absorb. As a woman, these same feelings and experiences were once part of my life. My depth of understanding reaches far.

And, of course, to watch this unfolds breaks my heart. Instinctively, I want to protect them from further harm and tell them to run. But unfortunately, it isn't that simple, though I wish it were. I know we all have our own journey. My hope is that through therapy and personal introspection, the necessary steps are taken to extricate themselves from their abusive and unhealthy relationship.

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Here are 12 common signs of emotional abuse (though not exhaustive).