So you just met this great new guy. He’s charming, outgoing, gets along well with the family and is always there for you. But you notice something funny; instead of showering you with complements, he likes to describe you with adjectives such as “dumb, ditzy, weird, mean, horrible, and lazy.” At first you may think his words are in jest, but you will soon find yourself drained from combating them. Some men are prone to inflicting mental or emotional abuse on their partners, and this form of abuse is a serious and real problem.
As with all personality types, there are prominent red-flags that can identify whether or not you are dealing with an emotional abuser. Be keen and do not let yourself become brainwashed into accepting everything your partner tells you about the relationship.
Does it seems like you are the scapegoat for every thing that goes wrong in the relationship? Does he admit to when he is wrong or does he always hold you accountable? Face the truth, relationships between two people are hardly smooth rides and you will both make mistakes at one point or another. If the man you are seeing stubbornly refuses to acknowledge his blunders, then he may be insecure about the relationship and he may still be struggling with baggage from his past.
Emotional abuse can occur on many levels ranging from being a minor nuisance to a clinical issue. Emotional abusers do not want an equal, they want a crutch. They want someone who follows them around and adores even them without having to be treated in a kind or loving manner. Many emotional abusers use manipulation to force their partner into accepting otherwise irrational behavior. Manipulation is an abuser’s main tool and they will use it mercilessly to weaken your backbone, your sense of judgement, and your self-esteem. If you find yourself doing things for this man that you would have deemed unacceptable before you met him, be warned, he could be manipulating you.
Is your intuition telling you that something is wrong with the way you are being treated? If you’re getting uncomfortable vibes from the way this man treats you, then there is most likely an underlying cause. Use your sense of judgement; if it feels wrong, the it probably is. Do you find yourself thinking, “what am I missing?” “it seems obvious to me, what does he not understand?” If you are standing up for yourself in the face of emotional abuse, you will notice that the relationship may become weighted down with small arguments. This is because you are not relenting the way the man wants you to and this is making him feel powerless. Emotional abuse can often come off as being a power-struggle between you and your partner.
A good way to get other opinions about a guy is to talk to the people close to you. At first, they may be just as easily tricked into believing that the man you are with is a new friend to them. Although, as they become acquainted with him, your friends and family will usually pick up his odd behavior before you do. This is because he is not around them enough to manipulate them. Also, your family will notice changes in your mood and emotions, which are tell-tale signs of how well the relationship is working out. Even if only one person has a negative comment about the man you are dating, take note and ask them why. They may have a deeper insight about a this person since they are getting to know him from a different perspective.
If your partner bounces from happy to sad frequently, or tells you one day that you look nice and the next day that you need to dress differently, this could be an clue to his own indecisiveness. If he tells you that he likes what you could “potentially be,” then you are wasting your time with him. An emotional manipulator will take someone that he likes and try to change them to suit his own needs. A true lover will accept you for who you are, faults and all, and will not force you into a mold.
A man who does these things to a girl is dealing with his own feelings of worthlessness and insecurities to the point of being abusive. Emotional manipulators want to be in charge and they do not want you to have your own opinions or beliefs. If he challenges your ideals, values, and opinions by saying that you are “wrong,” or “stupid,” he is trying to make himself feel righteous by putting you down. If he yells at you and causes you to feel the need to handle him with hot-gloves, he is trying to instill fear in you so that he can control you even more.
Becoming involved with an emotional abuser is something that gets harder to break away from the longer you are in the relationship. It is best if you understand what type of person you are dealing with and make the appropriate choices about what to do. Remember, always be gentle but firm with people. It is your life and you are not bound to this person. It is wise to do what is necessary to protect your health and safety.