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Emotional Abuse Does NOT Belong in a Relationship

Let me say this out loud - Mental Abuse is STILL Abuse. A person does not have to hit you or hurt you physically in order for it to constitute as abuse.

Someone who is emotionally abusive often feels worthless themselves, and uses their relationships to create a feeling of personal power and control over someone else.

Relationships should be about respect, and if you are being mistreated emotionally, it is wrong, and the relationship needs to end ASAP. Emotional abuse can take on many shapes and you may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner:

  • Calls you names, insults you, or constantly criticizes you
  • Doesn't trust you, or acts jealous or possessive
  • Tries to isolate you from your family or friends
  • Doesn't want you to work, get an education, or do the things that you love

Want to see the rest? Then

An emotionally abusive partner may also:

  • Control finances, or refuse to share money
  • Make all the decisions
  • Punish you by withdrawing love or affection
  • Expect you to ask permission
  • Threaten to hurt you, your children, your family, your friends, or your pets
  • Humiliate or embarrass you in any way

Dear's Advice: If even one of these sounds familiar to you or to someone you know, you can get more information or support by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.


Join The Conversation
Rachie-Rees Rachie-Rees 9 years
sorry I spelt rear wrong its rare sorry sugars!!!
Rachie-Rees Rachie-Rees 9 years
thanks dearsugar, i had a domestic violence period of my life with my husband, my dad had me stay and get a protection order placed on him, and we went to court, my husband had to attend probation, and go to anger management, finishing with us going to relationship counselling. I find the result amazing, my husband does'nt touch or go near me when he gets angry, we deal with things correctly now, Here in Nz that makes My husband a rear person, one that did change, and I am pleased, I no longer have to run and hide. We have overcome together!
yogini yogini 9 years
This is so important and not easy to talk about. Thank you for addressing a serious topic that many blow off as just part of a relationship. Emotional abuse is not healthy and unfortunately, many people have to experience and get out of this before they realize what has happened to them.
partysugar partysugar 9 years
Dear I'm so glad you highlighted this point. It's very important for gals to realize this. Thank you!
bookgirl bookgirl 9 years
Like others, I have been in this type of relationship. In fact, I just ended it a little over a month ago. I didn't realize it was abusive until the very end. I'm really glad you posted this.
millarci millarci 9 years
I wish I had teamsugar when I was in college. I had this boyfriend who didn't do all those things on that list but some of them. For one thing, he was the jealous type. At one point of my life, I did wonder what it was like to have a jealous boyfriend and I will never wonder again. He said that I should hang out with straight guys because it wasn't right. It would be like cheating on him. Secondly, he put down my career completely. He said that once I have children I would want to be with them (btw, he wanted like four+ children). Basically, he was implying that I shouldn't work. It was awful. He really showed his true colors after we have been together for about a year.
intensebandgeek intensebandgeek 9 years
Well said, Dear! Thanks!
Marci Marci 9 years
My first serious relationship was an emotionally abusive one, although I didn't realize that for a long time. Everyone else saw it and would try to talk to me but I wouldn't listen. Emotional abusers are very skillful and cunning at manipulating their partners. I agree with c0rkie that I wish there had been a Sugar site around when I was in that relationship. I probably would've hooked into it sooner and gotten out of that long before I actually did.
Bonne Bonne 9 years
Mental abuse will lead up to physical abuse. Gah, I never had a bf who was abusive, but good ol Mom was...
junebrug junebrug 9 years
Thanks Dear, based on a lot of questions in this section lately, this was greatly needed.
i-am-elle i-am-elle 9 years
Thanks for posting this Dear! I took a Violence & Women class last year & it was all about domestic violence. It's scary how manipulative abusers can be. It's sad to know that there are some unlucky girls out there who don't realize that they're in an abusive relationship. If you read this & realize that you are, please get help before it's too late!
nicachica nicachica 9 years
yes i wish i had seen this article before when i was 18 and didn't know any better. luckily it didn't last too long but that taught me a very valuable lesson - i need to put myself first and any relationship where there is more worrying than there are happy times, is not worth my time.
KrissyThePirate KrissyThePirate 9 years
Kudos to this article. I've had this relationship. You must learn that real love does exist, and that you can't settle because you're afraid you can't find someone else. There is someone out there who will want to love you the way you should be loved. Believe me--I've seen it.
c0rkie c0rkie 9 years
I wish I had Teamsugar when I was an adolescent. It took me 3 years to realize my high school relationship was not a healthy one and that I had find the strength to end it. And then after I got out of it, I had to figure it out on my own that Emotional/Mental Abuse is equivalent to Physical Abuse. It's only now, 6-7 years later, that I can say I have completely move on and grew from that personal demon (referring the whole experience) in my past. I hope young women today (in fact ALL women regardless of age) learn that loving yourself is really all you need. Healthy relationships DO exist. Don't ever settle for anything less. If you find that you are not yourself anymore by being with that person you call your significant other, that is a sign something isn't right. :hug:
arrhythmia arrhythmia 9 years
yes, so many girls are unaware of mental abuse :( this is a nice and informative article dear! <3
rlveronica rlveronica 9 years
I totally agree with this article, but how to bring it up to my friends who are dealing with this? Hmm.
NdHebert NdHebert 9 years
I dealt with this in my very first relationship at 19. I'm so glad it happened then and not now that I am older. Now I know I dont have to, and I WONT put up with any of it.
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