5 Truths Emotional Abusers Hide To Keep You Under Their Control

These lies were fed to you until you internalized them.

Depressed woman YuriArcurs, Tommy Hei | Canva 

This may come as a massive surprise to anyone who's ever been in an emotionally abusive relationship, but there are things emotional abusers don't want you to know ... about yourself — and they are hidden in plain sight, only clearly visible to those who have eyes to see them. An emotional abuser deliberately tries to blind you to the truth. Your clear-sightedness is always the first casualty of an emotionally abusive relationship. If you're a woman recovering from an abusive relationship, that clear-sightedness will return slowly. And until it returns, you won't heal properly because you'll keep looking for answers in all the wrong places. Never underestimate how effectively an emotionally abusive partner blinds you from the truth.


He employs several techniques, honed to near perfection, which include: Declaring mad, passionate, and eternal love: This enchanting ploy is reserved for the early stages of the relationship, or when you're ready to walk away. Withholding affection: His "love" for you comes and goes. He "loves" you. He loves you not. The longer the relationship lasts, the more he loves you not. Dismissing you as crazy: He denies, undermines, and subverts your reality every which way. Isolating you: He makes himself increasingly indispensable by ensuring you have no one else to turn to. Making you walk on eggshells: He is very, very easy to offend. It only takes a glance — or a smile — from you, and he launches into another Oscar-winning Righteous Indignation performance. Depriving you of finances: When you are constantly worried sick about money and survival, you lack the time and energy to be plotting a rebellion, and threatening to leave: He knows how effective pushing your Fear button is. With all of that going on, you simply don’t have enough mental and emotional 'bandwidth' left to focus on the big picture. So, let me break this down for you with 100 percent clarity.


RELATED: If He Engages In These 12 Behaviors, You're Being Emotionally Abused

Here are 5 truths emotional abusers hide to keep you under their control:

1. You have valid opinions, too

Your emotionally abusive partner may or may not be a bright guy. In this context, it doesn't matter either way. What does matter is that — where you're concerned — he regards himself as "The Font of All Knowledge." He knows everything — allegedly. He knows more about you than you do yourself — although he probably can't tell you your shoe size, dress size, favorite food, or even your favorite place. I remember Mr. Nasty telling me that my favorite place in the world was Milan — probably my least favorite city in Italy.

In reality, he is a very self-opinionated man who just has opinions about you. However, even if they are the opinions of someone deeply in love with the sound of his voice, that doesn’t make his opinions true, or right. Interestingly enough, the more arrogant people are, the more wrong their opinions tend to be. By not listening to other people, especially people more knowledgeable on the subject, they remain in a blissful, self-congratulatory ignorance. Clint Eastwood famously said, "Opinions are like butts. Everyone has one." That is one butthole you have seen enough of for a lifetime. Perish the thought of you taking his opinions for truth any longer.

2. You're (already) more than good enough

This secret takes a little time to wrap your mind around. He goes to a lot of trouble to make you feel worthless and unworthy of one so wonderful as he — allegedly. But think about it. At some level, even you know that he has an inflated idea of his wonderfulness. He chose you for several reasons. One, you made him look good — since you had some status that he felt enhanced his own. He could see that you looked good and that you were a woman with various gifts and talents. You worked as some kind of status symbol for him. Initially, he used to crow about my Ph.D. However, a shift inevitably occurs in his thinking.




Over time, he realizes that you didn't magic away all the dark resentments and hostilities inside his head. It doesn’t cross his primitive little mind that this was never your job, in the first place). So he becomes increasingly cross with you for not being able to transform him remotely, as it were. When that happens (as it must) he starts practicing the thoroughly nasty trick of making himself feel better by making unfavorable comparisons between you and himself.

RELATED: Why Trauma Bonding Keeps People Stuck In Abusive Relationships

3. You have a future worth looking forward to

All emotional abusers know one key truth: if they can keep you looking back — in anger, despair, or fear — then there is no way you can move forward. If you don’t believe me, try it: Walk down a street while turning your head as far over your shoulder as you possibly can. Focus your concentration on what lies behind you. You won’t get very far. Just the pain of constantly turning your neck will wear you out before long. Now, you MIGHT ask yourself: What kind of a jerk would think up something like that? What kind of jerk would do something like that?


And you could go looking for some deep and meaningful answer... But you shouldn't bother. The kind of jerk that would do something like that is the kind of jerk you've been in a relationship with a heartless, hurtful, devious, manipulative little jerk. That is all you need to know on the subject. You could go looking for a loftier, more scientific explanation but it's not going to help you. Facts are facts. You already know that he is a heartless, hurtful, devious, manipulative jerk, because he proved it to you, time and time again. 

4. You’re (part of) what he needs to get by

Maybe he already found a partial replacement for you — some abusers do, others do not. Either way, he just loves to make himself look big at your expense. So, he's not in a hurry to free himself from you, so he tells you that you can never cope on your own. Can you imagine that a man cares enough about you to worry about how you will fare without him? Definitely not. 

An emotional abuser is self-absorbed. When he says, "You’ll never manage without me," what he's saying is: "Honestly, spare me the trouble of having to groom someone else. Besides, if you leave, it will cost me money, and that's just not fair to me." Get him out of your head because being without him will be a thousand times better than being with him. As a general rule, never believe a single thing an emotionally abusive man has to say, without objective proof.

RELATED: How I Saved Myself From An Emotionally Abusive Man — And You Can, Too


5. You are not (and never were) "broken"

Emotional abusers invest nothing in their relationships. What they do invest a lot in is training their partner to blind subservience. They need to make you believe that you are "broken" (and crazy, and selfish — and all of that horse excrement). It’s not true. But it is a good ploy on their part. Here’s how the "broken" scenario plays out:  People only see what they are looking for. I’m guessing you've occasionally looked for something and not found it... when it's right there in front of you. You couldn’t see it because you already told yourself that it was lost. That is exactly how it goes with your "brokenness."



You can't see your wholeness when you focus on your brokenness. In reality, your wholeness has never left you. You can always rediscover it. My lovely client e-mailed me on her birthday to say:  "I was thinking how miserable I was on my last birthday (spent with my ex ), how different it felt today, and how wonderful the journey I am following. I am so happy and full of hope for my birthday — and beyond.

I had this thought today: how far I am already from the deeply desperate-sad states I used to have before working with you. For several weeks now "not feeling good" means at its most some anxiety. This week I had a very familiar 'pity party': I got into it fully for some twenty minutes and suddenly I heard a voice inside me saying (with an impatient tone you'd use with a nagging but nice dog):" Oh, come on, give me a break," and my mood just changed. It is so incredible!!" Her life changed because she's absorbing the give secrets her emotional abuser didn't want her to know — especially the last one: You were never "broken."


The first time I said it to her, she wondered if I'd lost my sanity. But then she started to experience the truth of it. It gave her the power to outwit negativity, despair, and anxiety so effectively. You, too, can do what she did. But you will have to shift your focus from him back to yourself. And you will have to let go of him and all his nasty beliefs. This will give you wholeness, healing, and happiness.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or anxiety as a result of ongoing emotional abuse, you are not alone.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone and is not a reflection of who you are or anything you've done wrong.

If you feel as though you may be in danger, there is support available 24/7/365 through the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-7233. If you’re unable to speak safely, text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474, or log onto thehotline.org.

RELATED: 3 Easy Ways To Know You're Dating A Man With Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Dr. Annie Kaszina is an international speaker, women’s relationship expert, and author of over a dozen books and audio programs.