9 Early Warning Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Understand the kinds of abuse and know what you need to do in an abusive relationship.

- | 110 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Love & Relationships

Woman making warning signs of emotional abuse

The worst you can expect from your partner is an abusive relationship. Physical abuse is bad and it’s apparent when it happens. But emotional abuse in a relationship is a hidden danger and often very painful and devastating. People go through emotional abuse in marriage because they simply do not recognize its signs and symptoms. What are the signs of an abusive man? What are the signs and symptoms of emotional abuse? Get an in-depth understanding of the early warning signs of emotional abuse and learn how to save yourself from getting hurt in this updated post. ~ Ed.


 

Have you ever gone through an abusive relationship?

If you’ve then you’ll recognize the emotional abuse signs mentioned in this post.

Even if you haven’t, I think it’s good to know the early signs of an abusive relationship that might help you in your marriage.

The fact is that often times you might not even come to know that you’re going through an abusive relationship, and this goes for both, men and women.

Yes, the signs of emotional abuse could be so subtle.

But there are some warning signs of emotional abuse in a relationship that can help you foresee what you’re getting into.

Besides, there are things that you too can do to keep away from such abusive relationships.

You’ll learn everything in this post.

I’ve often come across men and women who go through a lot in their relationship, whether it’s before or after marriage.

Most of them tend to bear up things, not realizing that sooner or later serious issues will arise in their relationship.

However, the sooner you recognize the signs of emotional abuse, the better.

Before going any further, let’s first understand the meaning of emotional abuse, and who is an abuser.

What is Abuse

Generally, to abuse means to exploit, insult, and mistreat.

Specific to a relationship, abuse is the misuse of power that uses trust and dependency, and the bonds of intimacy to make the victim vulnerable.

“The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.” ~ Edmund Burke

Abuse is experienced in many different ways, and isn’t just limited to physical violence. Simply put, it’s an attempt to control the behavior of another person.

What is an Abusive Relationship

An abusive relationship can include emotional, mental, physical, verbal, and sexual abuse, and also involve control of finances.

  • Physical abuse can include things like punching, hitting, pulling hair, kicking to name a few – as sometimes seen in domestic violence besides other relationships.
  • Emotional abuse can be bullying, teasing, and humiliation. Intimidation, threats, putdowns, and betrayals are other forms of it.
  • Mental abuse shows up in the form of mental harassment, mental torture, blaming, and demeaning ways to put the person under stress, and made to suffer from feelings of intellectual incapability and despondency.
  • Verbal abuse involves the use of foul language and calling names that often leads the person to have low self-esteem.
  • Financial abuse occurs when you aren’t allowed to keep or use your money, nor have any control over money.
  • Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, and it’s mainly being forced into any type of sexual relationship that you don’t want.

“The quiet but inexorable breaking down of self-esteem is much more sinister – it’s violation of the soul.” ~ Rachel Abbott

What is Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is also known as psychological abuse. It involves malicious manipulation systematically used by the abuser through non-physical acts. It is recognized through various emotional abuse signs and symptoms.

The signs of emotional abuse include intimidation and threats, criticism, name calling, mocking, blaming, shaming, undermining, being made to feel guilty, ignoring or excluding, humiliating, economic abuse, emotional bullying and controlling behavior.

According to Wikipedia, emotional abuse is a form of abuse, characterized by a person subjecting, or exposing, another person to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Who is an Abuser

An abuser is also a human, but he or she has a complex and destructive problem that no one should underestimate.

Such a person acts deliberately, rather than accidently. His or her behavior is conscious at most times.

The person knows what he or she is doing, though not necessarily the underlying reason why he or she is doing it.

An abuser learns about controlling behavior and manipulation from various sources like peers, roles models, and pervasive cultural messages. On reaching adulthood, his manipulative behavior becomes automatic!

Man shouting and expressing anger towards woman who shuts her ears

Emotional Abuse in Marriage

Falling in love feels so wonderful that you often forget the potential problems that might occur, let alone entering into an abusive relationship – a thought that never crosses anyone’s mind.

You fall in love and quickly get married. In marriage, you tend to give yourself up completely to make your partner happy that you forget to see the early signs of an abusive relationship creep up slowly – when they do.

During the process, love hurts at times and you also face problems in a marriage. However, an emotionally abusive relationship is a bit different, intense, and serious.

Violence or abuse in a relationship doesn’t appear at the beginning of a relationship, but builds slowly over time. The more you give of yourself, sometimes the faster the red flags appear.

Everyone wants love in their lives. No one ever plans or thinks of entering into an abusive relationship, and some of those who do get into one, swear never to enter into another relationship ever again.

“You have the right to your own ideas and opinions, to make your own decisions, and to have things go your way at times. Stand up for those rights.” ~ Beverly Engel

One of the first early signs of an abusive relationship is your gut feeling that something isn’t going right. Sadly though, it often takes nearly five to seven acts of violence before a person leaves the abuser.

Taking the other person for granted, or lack of love from your partner could also lead to an abusive relationship.

It’s easier to avoid such a relationship if you are able to detect the initial signs of an emotionally abusive relationship. If your partner is doing any of the below, you may be in an abusive relationship.

9 Signs of Emotional Abuse in a Relationship

Be very careful of these warning signs if you are in a relationship because if you experience them, you might just be in an abusive relationship without even knowing about it.

I should mention here that sometimes even normal people show these signs of emotional abuse. However, if these get intense or repetitive, then these may really be the signs of an emotionally abusive relationship.

You need to weigh out that from your gut feeling about your partner or the person in relationship with. If you see the signs he will abuse you, you need to take action.

I’m also providing call to action or suggestions that might help you deal with the emotional abuse problems if you’re facing them in your life.

Here are the emotional abuse signs and symptoms:

1. Quick Commitment and Involvement

This is one of the earliest signs of emotional abuse. Your partner might come on strong and pressurize you for a commitment before you are really ready for making one. He or she might want more involvement than your present one and force you into it.

Does he or she want your hand in marriage very quickly? Does your partner flatter you a lot more than expected to win you over?

While these might occur in normal cases too, just be careful because these are also the early warning signs of an emotionally abusive relationship.

Words like “You’re the love of my life. I’ve never loved anyone like this before”, might pressurize you to make a commitment immediately.

What Should You Do? Take your time and let your partner know that you will weigh out the situation and decide. What’s the rush if it’s love? Love always takes time to bloom, so keep things going slowly till you are very sure about what you want. Don’t commit and give in to the pressure, only to regret later in life.

2. Controlling and Jealous Behavior

Perhaps your partner is of a controlling nature and wants to control how you dress, where you go, what you do – is it so?

Or your partner might be calling you constantly and making unexpected visits?

Sometimes your partner might even accuse you of having an affair, flirting, and blaming you for things you haven’t done because they are jealous or get sadistic pleasure out of it.

If this happens, then it rings an alarm as these could be the signs and symptoms of emotional abuse.

Jealousy is a negative emotion, and a sign of insecurity and being over possessive. State of being over-jealous could lead to an abusive relationship.

Sometimes the partner tends to think he/she is in control. Or feels he/she should take all the decisions as he/she is normally the one heading the relationship.

It’s nice to take a back seat letting your partner take the decisions; though don’t let his/her expectations become controlling.

Is your partner a little jealous and tells you of how much he/she loves you and can’t see you with anyone, or allow you to be near anyone?

I wouldn’t call this love; instead, it’s trying to be in control!

When you are in love, your relationship is built on trust, faith, and freedom. This means your partner will trust you wherever you go, or with whomsoever you are. He/she won’t stop you from being yourself.

True love always gives freedom. Ensure you don’t interpret jealousy as a sign that your partner loves you immensely, or taking control as your partners concern for your protection. Instead, these may be the signs of emotional abuse.

What Should You Do? Learn to say no, and do what you feel like doing – including what you feel like wearing! (depending on your culture and society). See your family and friends without second thoughts. There is no person superior than the other in a relationship, so work out your problems and take decisions together. Don’t give in to the jealous and controlled pattern of your partner as that might just set a pattern for your future relationship, or you might be expected to do as you’re told, if you do it once.

“Trying to make someone fall in love with you is about as pointless as trying to control who you fall in love with.” ~ James Earl Jones

3. Possessiveness & Isolation

Do you find your partner always wanting you to talk or be with him/her? Is it that he/she doesn’t like you socializing around?

Does your partner take out reasons why it’s better to be with him/her, rather than with others? Such people directly or indirectly try to isolate you and keep you for themselves.

I hope you don’t follow such a person’s possessive behavior and as a result lose contact with your family and friends! That would totally cut you away from them and the rest of the world.

This isn’t good as it’s one of the signs of emotional abuse. If yours is a healthy and loving relationship, it should thrive in a community where you have your loved ones and friends around you.

What Should you Do? Involve your family and friends, or meet up with other couples and people. Make this a habit from start, so that you know from your partner’s reactions if he/she is the kind of person who is possessive and wants to isolate you from others.

4. High Expectations & Humiliation

Does your partner expect you to be the perfect man, or perhaps the perfect woman? Are you expected to meet his/her every need and demand? And if you don’t, or make mistakes, you are punished for it?

Perhaps your partner then tends to sulk, withdraw, and use all in his/her hand to put you down to punish you. They do everything to humiliate and make you feel bad about yourself.

He/she might call you names, insult you, bring you shame, and publicly put you down to make you feel powerless.

Don’t let anything fool you because these are definitely signs of emotional abuse in a relationship.

Everyone makes mistakes, so set yourself off the hook when you make them too – dealing with people becomes easier when they have too many demands from you.

What Should You Do? Set limits to, and challenge the high unrealistic expectation your partner has from you. Don’t let them take hold of your life or humiliate you. Start doing this early in your relationship and live with boundaries about what you can accept, and cannot.

5. Oversensitivity

Do you or your partner feel insulted easily? Or perhaps he/she tends to take little setbacks as a personal attack?

Perhaps you feel that anything or everything you say just might upset your partner, so you stop yourself from conveying your feelings.

Does this happen quite often? Then it’s a problem and may be one of the signs of emotional abuse played by your partner.

No one is perfect, and you need to remember that there are problems in every relationship. There will be times when you will disappoint and upset your partner, so accept that fact.

What Should You Do? You need to confront your partner and resolves issues in your marriage or relationship, instead of adapting to his hypersensitivity. If you fear talking to your partner and can’t convey your feelings because of such a behavior, rethink on your decision to be with such a person. You need a person who is more understanding and doesn’t take things so personally or as personal attacks.

6. Mood Swings

Does your partner have mood swings? Is your partner’s behavior unpredictable? Does he/she have a short temper? Perhaps your partner has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kind of personality!

You just don’t know what might happen next, when he/she loses temper, or you just don’t know what mood he/she is going to be the next minute. All this can often lead to misunderstandings that should be avoided.

Often times, as a partner you might bear with such mood swings and wild temper. You even might try to remain calm and resolve things if possible, but it’s not always possible – isn’t it?

Such frequent behaviors are signs of emotional abuse in a relationship.

What Should You Do? Once your partner shows such traits; you need to set limits on it. It’s normal for everyone to get angry once in a while, but going overboard can be dangerous and should be taken as a warning sign of what might happen in your relationship later. Convey to your partner that you won’t tolerate such temper, mood swings, and violence. Nip it in the bud as they say, before it gets out of hand.

7. Blame Game

Does your partner tend to blame anything or anyone for the problem he/she faces? Indirectly, he/she blames you for the reason of his/her behavior.

Sometimes people love to play the blame game and say that had you not put them in such a situation, things would have been different.

Or then if you change your way, he/she wouldn’t have done what he/she did? Such people keep blaming you for their faults. Doesn’t it break your self esteem?

Don’t accept this as normal behavior. It is one of those signs of emotional abuse that your partner uses to put you down.

Such people don’t take responsibility for their own actions, but prefer blaming others for their life. You might feel you are worthless or there’s something wrong with you.

What Should You Do? Take this as one of the early signs of an abusive relationship because he/she will always blame you for whatever goes wrong in his/her even later in life. And if it happens once, it might happen again and again. The blame game continues lifelong if not stopped when it starts.

8. Sexual Demands

If your partner forces you to have sex with him without your will or puts you down for not having it, you need to reconsider things. These are sure shot signs of an abusive man.

He might not reconsider your feelings and emotions, and is only keen to gratify his own sexual needs. Such people don’t care about the consequences of how you feel about such an act.

If your partner is successful in forcing his way, then it is physical or sexual abuse. If your partner makes you suffer emotionally as a punishment for not letting have their way, then it’s one of those signs of emotional abuse that should raise a red flag for you.

What Should You Do? Say ‘no’, when you aren’t ready to make love to your partner – so no to disrespect. If you are being forced against your will to have sex, then it’s time to get out from such a relationship because this IS sexual abuse. Such people seldom change, so don’t wait for that time and bear it all up.

9. Past History

How much do you know about your partner’s background? Does he/she have a history of abusive relationship?

Or perhaps your partner talks about the past relationships and blames everything and everyone for why things didn’t work out.

You need to be careful of such a person because if your partner does have such a background, then you could be next in line. Unless such people undergo counseling, it’s rare that they change their ways. Be watchful of the subtle signs of a controlling partner and their emotional abuse signs.

What Should You Do? Don’t fall for the talks such people make nor their promises to get better, because their past records are proof that they cannot change. It’s a clear sign that such a person can’t see his/her own behavior and would land up blaming you for what happens to him/her. Steer away from such a person if you get to know of it before, or try moving out if you know of it later.

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” ~ M.Kathleen Casey

A woman showing a fist to a man expressing abusive relationship.

Wrapping It Up

There may be more signs and symptoms of emotional abuse but this post gives you a pretty good picture to assess the situation you’re in.

Right from the first signs of abusive relationship, do not take any of the red flags lightly. Don’t accept mistreatment, disrespect, verbal abuse, or abusive behavior of any kind.

Remember, you aren’t the one who is guilty. Instead, by learning these early signs of an emotionally abusive relationship, you can keep away from people who might ruin your life later.

Don’t feel ashamed for what’s happened, instead, seek help or support. It will boost your self esteem, make you feel empowered, and keep you protected from more abusive attacks.

Lastly, never ignore your conscious and intuition about the way you feel about your partner.

If you feel fearful, in danger, or mistrustful, then rethink as to why you feel this way. Do you really want to continue in such a relationship? The long-term effects of emotional abuse could adversely affect your sense of self-worth.

“Remember sadness is always temporary. This, too, shall pass.” ~ Chuck T. Falcon

I hope you use these warning signs of an emotionally abusive relationship in your and save yourself from getting hurt.

 


Over to you

Do you know of anyone who has been in an abusive relationship? If it were you, how did you deal with it? What early signs of an emotionally abusive relationship would you warn people to be careful of? Share your experiences and thoughts below in the comments.



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110 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Shannon

    2014-01-04 at 12:01 am

    Such an important topic, Harleena.

    I feel blessed to be in a very loving and supportive marriage but I know many people are not so fortunate. It breaks my heart to hear stories of their abuse and I can’t help but cheer when they find the strength and courage to leave their abuser. As a mother to two young girls this is a topic that needs to be discussed often so they recognize the signs too.

  2. Donna Merrill

    2014-01-03 at 11:56 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Have you written about the story of my life 20 years ago? I went through all of that.

    I would have to say the big red flags at the beginning of an abusive relationship is jealousy and rage.

    Rage happens just by raising a voice and then apologizing with a big sob story of how he/she was treated as a child. They seem to capture your sympathy.

    Then comes isolation. All the excuses why your family and friends are no good for you. After a while you fall into a syndrome. It is something like the “Stockholm syndrome.”

    You feel like you will do ANYTHING within your power to “control” the abuse.

    Yes, this did happen to me with my first husband. It did not become violent until I became pregnant.

    By that time, I was in the “syndrome” stripped of self esteem and believing that if I left, he would harm my family.

    Well, long story short, I got out alive with my child and then became an advocate for many years.

    Excellent topic that every one should pay attention to.

    -Donna

  3. Temir

    2013-09-10 at 2:18 pm

    I am in such an abusive relashionship these days because I am an abuser. Thanks to my gf who showed me the way how she sees things happening between us and made me realise how I acted wrong with her, no matter how strong I love her.
    The main issues we have are verbal, trying to keep control over her…
    What should I do to make things work for us?

  4. Khairul Zamri

    2013-09-06 at 4:32 pm

    Sexual demands comes into critical issue sometimes, need to understand each other first before you get married.

    So you will understand how is your partner because marriage is not a short term life.

  5. Davina

    2013-09-05 at 9:24 am

    Thank you for sharing a topic we rarely hear nor speak about, I spent 6 year’s with a abuser. I truly felt it was all me. I was lost and so alone and had nobody I could turn to. I sincerely didn’t even realize how controlled I was. I don’t want to rehash all the details of the abuse my son and I endured. What I do want to say is how dangerous it is once we leave. I left my abuser 6 months ago, He found where I moved and he started showing up at my door asking me to come back through the locked door. I had to get a attorney to send him a warning letter, He than began stalking my son and I, The stalking was not taken serious nor even acknowledged by our court system. Through the grace of God I turned to a Police officer who helped me get a PFA which did not stop him from stalking us. He would break the PFA and the Judge’s in my area would not issue a warrant for his arrest !! Why ? Because he didn’t threaten me !! What kind of crap is that. The same Police officer started charging him with harassment every time he stalked me or tried to make contact with me. He was always found guilty and had fines to pay. To this day I still leave in fear !! I am relocated out of State now. I hope reading this will help someone out there.. Stalking is a crime and should not be taken lightly. If you think you are in a abusive relationship run as fast and far as you can away from the abuser. I pray everyday that once I leave he won’t find me.. Thank you for reading and sharing your stories.

  6. Mic johns

    2013-07-29 at 9:24 pm

    Hi,

    In todays scenario it is unwanted guest in home.We need to tackle with situations in family.There is a way and always a way. Quitting is not an idea instead of make him/her realise that they are doing something wrong which is ruining his life as well as other those are depend on them or with them.

    Good post.

  7. Malika Bourne

    2013-07-06 at 7:46 am

    Harleena,

    You just shared such vital information. I wish everyone could read you post. This is so important for other to know that I listed this url at the top of my resource list on my personal blog.

    Many thanks, Malika

  8. Nora

    2013-06-17 at 7:01 pm

    Wow 4 signs.
    I knew my ex was a little controlling but in the 7 years we were married I withdrew from OUR checking account once, never got a debit card and had to ask for money,like a little girl.
    I was always being put down as to why I “let myself go”,being told I wasn’t pretty and made to feel like shit when I ate. The comments got so bad I would cry when I was alone. Looking back I don’t understand why I tried so hard to make it work with him.

  9. Brain Harry

    2013-06-10 at 9:55 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    I would like to thank you for bringing this most important issue in front of people.They should go forward instead of being in this situation.I had such issue in my life but i move forward and i advice same to people whether they are men or women. Instead of living for happiness of other and bearing burden of a pathetic relationship, why don’t quit?

    Awesome post…..

  10. Sarah Young

    2013-06-04 at 7:15 pm

    It’s good to know that i read post regarding abusive relationship. Sometimes if we are so much in love, we don’t feel we are abused. I hope that many people will read this. God bless!

  11. Kristina

    2013-06-04 at 11:20 am

    This article will help many. It’s amazing how these signs start out innocent enough and progress. It’s almost easy to make an excuse when really it is an early warning sign. Thank you for sharing this.

  12. Siddhartha Sinha

    2013-06-04 at 12:00 am

    Hello Harleena Singh

    You have written very good blog post on the issue of Abuse and its meaning which is going over the society. By writting this post the message is being delivered to huge people.

    Regards

  13. Melanie Kissell

    2013-06-03 at 3:18 pm

    Harleena, my heart sings with joy to see you address a topic most people avoid talking about. You are very courageous and thank you for caring so much!

    My story of abuse is a very long one so I will spare your readers all the sordid details. Suffice to say I stayed in a marriage for almost 15 years where I was verbally, mentally, and emotionally abused on a daily basis — and then finally physically abused, as well. I finally walked away from the marriage when I was pregnant with twins and I was shoved down a flight of stairs in our home. As I was falling, he was screaming, “I hope you break your neck!”

    I wish and I hope and I pray everyone reading your exemplary post will learn to trust their instincts … listen to their “gut” feelings … and leave a relationship showing any of the warning signs you’ve shared.

  14. Gagandeep Singh

    2013-06-02 at 9:12 pm

    Hello mam,

    It’s good to be back on your blog again. When ever i read your blogs it makes me feel wow. You have amazing skills want to learn a lot of thing from you. You are a great inspiration to all. After reading this blog it seems like you have a great command over relations. Now a days abusive relations a re increasing with great tendency. And its we people who are making it worse for ourselves.

  15. Joi

    2013-06-02 at 6:37 pm

    Well Harleena! I’m back from logalot and thanks for yor response. This is such an incredibly informative post. I’ve been in discussion before about other forms of abuse besides sexual & it didn’t register to me. Reading this clarifies some situations that I wouldn’t have necessarily called abusive. Wonderful that call to actions were included. What an awesome first time visit.

  16. Vishnu

    2013-06-02 at 8:28 am

    What a Blog , Very True and Completely Agree with you , But dont you think that following all this point to protect relation is like following any agreement.

    The best way to maintain relationship is Understanding , and only to abuse relationship is also understanding.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-06-02 at 11:07 am

      Welcome to the blog Vishnu!

      Glad you liked the blog and could relate to it 🙂

      I’m not sure what you meant by agreement as we are talking of abusive relationship here, and when an abuser abuses there is obviously no understanding on his or her part, that’s why all of this takes place. Had there been love and understanding between people, these early signs of an abusive relationship wouldn’t have existed.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  17. Adrienne

    2013-06-01 at 2:45 am

    I’m oftentimes surprised to learn about some people who have been in an abusive relationship. Knowing them from the outside you would have never thought but then you head what was going on behind closed doors and shocked beyond belief.

    I was in somewhat of an abusive relationships. I see the tendencies of it having been that without the physical altercations. Of course he was abusive physically to his child which is the only reason I stayed as long as I did, to protect him.

    He was very controlling though and manipulative. He was really great at convincing you that everything was your fault. He would just beat me down until I gave in just to shut him up.

    I hate that people have such a hold over you at times and I can definitely understand why it’s hard for a lot of people to leave. I had family and loved ones to fall back on where a lot of people don’t.

    My niece is in a controlling relationship right now and I’ve warned her of the type of man she couldn’t possibly be involved with. I just hope that she doesn’t move too quickly with him.

    Important topic you shared Harleena and way too many people involved in an abusive relationship I’m afraid. What a sad sad state of affairs.

    ~Adrienne

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-06-01 at 11:48 am

      Hi Adrienne,

      I can understand what you mean – and what lies within such people, does surprise most of us. I guess they really don’t reveal their true selves till someone tells us or we find out for ourselves.

      Sorry to hear about all that you underwent, though surprising that he was abusive physically to his own child and not to you, or perhaps there were a few weak attempts as it’s often observed that if they are abusive in one, it’s the case with most others too.

      Oh dear…heard so many cases like yours and what surprises me in all of this is how can people be this way, especially when they love you. Or perhaps they never loved you and just get together to show their control and bossiness over the other.

      Yes, when someone has a hold over you in such a way that you really can’t leave them and yet have to carry on in the same relationship – the pressure that must be building up inside must be so tremendous. Family and friend’s help always, provided you tell them your story, which again most people take so long to come out with. They just keep bearing it all up for years or till their lives just end in misery.

      I’m glad you are there for your niece to guide her rightly to choose the right man, and I’m sure she’s going to learn a lot from your experience and take a good decision to walk away from the relationship in time.

      I agree, there are so many of our friends who have been through it all, and I just hope these early signs of an abusive relationship can help others who are in a rough patch of their lives to take timely action, before it all gets too late.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences and wisdom with us. 🙂

  18. Sebastian Aiden Daniels

    2013-05-31 at 10:19 pm

    This post inspired me to write a post on my blog. A post about when you are the abuser or were the abuser and how to change. : D

    I thought this was a great post. I had one disagreement with it. That you call jealousy a negative emotion. Jealousy is just an emotional, a chemical reaction in your body and it is neither good or bad. How you respond to it is what makes it effective or ineffective. We all have felt in some form or shape jealousy, but it is how we react to it that matters.

    I wish I could say I have never been jealous or possessive, but that would be a downright lie. I have. The key is how you act because of your emotions.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-06-01 at 11:20 am

      Hi Sebastian,

      Good to hear that 🙂

      While I agree with what you wrote about jealousy, it is a negative emotion if it brings up such feelings that make you abuse your partner, especially if you become so jealous and don’t allow him/her to do or be who he/she want’s to do or be. Otherwise, yes, jealousy is a very normal emotion that anyone can have.

      I guess we all have our little jealous or possessive moments, but going over-possessive and going overboard with it all is when problems occur. Yes indeed, sometimes even when you have such emotions, if you are able to keep them under control and not react to it – it works well.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  19. Sharky Liu

    2013-05-31 at 4:36 pm

    You’re welcome. 🙂 I like reading your posts. They are very informative. Keep it up, Harleena!

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-31 at 5:41 pm

      You are most welcome. It gives me immense pleasure to know that you are liking my posts and hope you keep coming by to read more of them.

      Thanks once again 🙂

  20. Annie André

    2013-05-31 at 1:07 pm

    You brought up some really great points. Some of the commentors left some really great points of view too from personal experience.
    I wanted to add that sometimes when you are in a verbally abusive relationship where theh person is passive aggressive, you don’t even know that you are in an abusive relationship. So you don’t know what to look for or how to get help. You feel a lot of guilt and feel like it’s YOUR fault trying to make things better and the other person happy but it never works. Only when the relationship ends and you are in a good relationship can you see the past for what it was..

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-31 at 7:12 pm

      Hi Annie,

      Glad you liked these early signs of an abusive relationships, and yes, I’m grateful to all those people who have shared their experiences with all of us, especially those who have gone through it all.

      Your’e absolutely right – you never really can make out half the time. I’m glad you added those lines that the self-guilt factor remains and we keep trying to please the other person but it never really works. Oh yes…when you compare your past relationship to the present one is when you make out the difference and wonder as to why you waited so long to move out of that one. I wish things were simpler for people, or they had someone to tell them that it’s best to get-away from such a person.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post 🙂

  21. Gladys

    2013-05-31 at 6:48 am

    Hello Ms. Harleena

    I agree with many of the comments that have posted already. I can tell you I WAS in an abusive marriage for many years. This person would put a gun to my temple and would raped me. The abuse was beyond words.

    To make a long story short…. Anyone in this type of relationship needs to get out…. not matter what. My scars and the pain of the beatings was beyond me, BUT Harleena, I am so thankful to God for my healing in the emotions. It took a long time, but my first step in healing my heart was to FORGIVE HIM. This sounds strange to many, but I felt in my heart that if I would forgive him, that would be the beginning of my healing.

    Thank you again for this wonderful article. I appreciate your voice to the world.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-31 at 11:24 am

      Hi Gladys,

      Nice to know that you could so well relate to the post and to what others mentioned above

      Sorry to hear about all that you underwent – just amazes me how people can be so brutal and behave like this! Sadly most of my dear friends have been through a lot too, but I’m glad they are all out of such abusive relationships and living much better and happier lives now.

      I can well understand that such a lot of hurt and pain take ages to heal, though the scars left might only heal, and if they do, the memories must still be coming up off and on. Gosh! To be able to forgive such a person must have taken a lot of courage and acceptance of a lot of things too. But I agree with you, when you forgive and let go of things that are now beyond your control – you can begin your new journey and the healing is much better and quicker this way. However, as you rightly mentioned, very few are able to understand this aspect, leave alone follow it.

      Thank for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us, which might help many in the same condition

  22. Praveen Rajarao

    2013-05-31 at 1:00 am

    Harleena – This is a very touching article and you have proved to be a fabulous writer again and again with such well written posts!!!

    Abuse is rampant in today’s society, and many go un-noticed. One should stand up and say ‘NO’ as you have rightly pointed out. Voice for concern is very important, and no one can dominate any other person. If everybody understands this and reads this article, it can actually help them to a great extent.

    Your call for action piece is very good and you have taken the right stand to publish them against each point. There is a lot to learn from this article and also share with others to make them informed as well.

    Thanks once again.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-31 at 1:26 am

      Hi Praveen,

      Glad you liked the post, and yes, it is a touching one. I guess one just feels sp bad seeing so many people being abused in their relationships.

      Ah..thanks for your kind words of appreciation, though I wish I could have done something more worthwhile for those who undergo so much. I guess by trying to make people a little aware by sharing these early signs of an abusive relationship might help them to take action in time and live happier lives.

      I agree with you there, but if you see the previous comments, most of the victims are so much in awe and love with their partners that they see no flaw, and keep accepting or taking the abuse as it comes because they get used to it, or they want to stay in such a relationship, or then because they have the fear of society and what people might say. Whosoever is in such a relationship, or knows of someone who is in one – you need to help yourself, or them, to stand up and say NO or then move out if things aren’t working. Often times the waiting and hoping carries on till it gets too late in the day and you just live the rest of your life in regret.

      I did feel these call to actions might help in some ways because we all know the problems in hand, but what about some kind of solutions for those who are going through such relationships. I don’t say I know all, and there might be much better solutions to these problems too, but I just tried using what best I knew, keeping myself in place of such a person.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  23. Aleshia Clarke

    2013-05-30 at 10:32 pm

    My sister was in an abusive relationship for 20+ years. She continues to be stalked by her ex-husband 3 years after their divorce. I was in one for 6 years, then stalked for 1 year afterwards. Our children have suffered immeasurably. My advice to anyone in a relationship: If you EVER feel FEARFUL in a relationship, END IT.

    It always gets worse; maybe not tomorrow, or next month, but it will eventually. It gets harder to leave the longer you stay. Abusers are skilled at “entangling” your life with theirs, so that you are ALWAYS CONNECTED to them. If you are in an abusive relationship, find supportive people to help you emotionally and physically (family, friends, counselors, advocates). Don’t worry about shame, or hiding the secret – they already know, and they are terribly worried about your safety.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-31 at 1:06 am

      Welcome to the blog Aleshia – good to have you over 🙂

      Sorry to hear about your sister and all that she’s going through even to-date. I guess she took too long to move away from such an abusive relationship, or perhaps such early signs of an abusive relationship weren’t there to help her out that time. I’m glad she took the decision and moved out finally, and am sure if proper measures are taken, even this stalking would stop.

      Ah…you too – tough to believe so many people who have been through such a lot, though I’m glad all have come out of it and are here today to share their stories with everyone here. Yes, the children are the ones who suffer the most, and in some cases, the victim doesn’t even move out of such an abusive relationship for their kids sake – it’s all so sad.

      I agree with your advice – if anyone is living in such a fearful and horrible relationship, gather up the courage to end it, or else move out in time so that you and your kids, if you have any, can lead better lives.

      Oh yes…it does get worse in most of the cases unless the abuser understands his mistakes and make amends, which rarely happens. It does get harder to leave later in the relationship, and as you mentioned, there is always something or the other that they do to keep you tied to them.

      I love your message to all those who are going through such an abusive relationship – don’t feel ashamed or try to hide your name, nor hide behind with false hopes, because it’s not worth it, and no one is going to come out to help you if you don’t reach out to seek it yourself. Instead, take that one bold step and move forward – you will only be glad you did.

      Thanks for stopping by and encouraging those in such a relationship to take action. 🙂

  24. Shazida Khatun

    2013-05-30 at 7:27 pm

    Harleena @ Relationship and love are the head and tail of coin , so it must maintain the balance on real time needs . If any one fails to do so then it will force to becoming abusive or horrible ! However thanks for the thoughts !

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-31 at 12:48 am

      Welcome to the blog Shazida – good to have you over 🙂

      I agree with you there, we do need to maintain the right balance when we are in a loving relationship. I guess if either of the partners starts to take control of the other or when the drifts start in a relationship – that’s when things can become pretty bad. I hope these early signs of an abusive relationship can help people take timely action before it’s too late.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  25. Dwayne Castle

    2013-05-30 at 6:40 pm

    Good read.

    One of the frustrations I have in regard to abusive relationships is the frequency that victims escape this abusive behavior but then go back into the same situation with the original abuser or someone else with the same characteristics. Low self-esteem produces a type of cycle where some don’t believe they are worth loving. Until we get an understanding that we are each a treasure to The Creator, and are born with value, this epidemic will continue. It is incumbent upon those of us who “know love” to “show love” to all people and to encourage those in our spheres of influence that they matter. It is a must that when we see abuse taking place that we stand up for justice, even if it creates awkward moments. Silence is the enemy of solution. Thank you for highlighting the warning signs and the issue.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-31 at 12:31 am

      Hi Dwayne,

      I agree with you there, but if you see some of the comments above, most people do this because they are blind in love to see the flaws of the person. I guess they don’t realize that they are living or have a relationship with an abuser till it gets too late in the day.

      Yes indeed, low self-esteem or a feeling of worthlessness are common with the victim and it’s tough for them to come out of such an abusive relationship when they are going through one – at that given time. It does take a lot of will-power and determination to move out of one, and those who have done it – have proved that their step was the right one and are now leading better and happier lives.

      I liked what you mentioned about we the people, standing up for justice, especially when we see such abuse carrying on. While we do have a few institutions and law policies made for the same, how many of us do really step out and take charge or try to make a difference? We need to think more on this, and really bring about measures so that a change can be brought about – perhaps by each one of us being a responsible citizen and playing our part.

      Thanks for stopping by and help create awareness 🙂

  26. Hiten

    2013-05-30 at 5:27 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    This was a wonderful article on the early signs of an abusive relationship.

    I’ve never experienced such a relationship and have found your advice to be so helpful for if I ever do, or know of anyone who does.

    For me, you summed it up brilliantly when you stated to look out for feelings of fear, danger, or mistrust that we might experience. As you quite rightly said, if we do experience such emotions then it is definitely important to investigate why. Indeed, such signs could indicate that we are in an abusive or potentially abusive relationship.

    Thank you.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-31 at 12:19 am

      Hi Hiten,

      Nice to know that you liked the post 🙂

      I hope you never have to go through such a relationship ever, but yes, I do hope these early signs of an abusive relationship help those who are going through a rough phase in their relationships so that they can decide which direction they can take.

      If we are able to trust our instincts and know those feelings of fear, danger, or mistrust – we need to weigh out why such feelings have arisen, or else if we still feel strongly about them there should be no second thought, other than to move out from such a relationship because our inner or gut feelings are rarely wrong.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us 🙂




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9 Early Warning Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

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