WARNING: This post may not be suitable for anyone who feels triggered by first-hand stories regarding emotional/mental abuse and/or abuse from addicts. Please use discretion.
I will be using him/her/they/boyfriend/girlfriend throughout this blog. Please relate the pronouns however you want – I tried to be inclusive, but I will be using boyfriend a lot because that is my personal experience. ♥
Let me just start off by saying I have had this blog on the back burner for quite some time now – like months. It is easily the most personal blog I’ve ever written, but I believe it also has the potential to be the most helpful.
I felt compelled to write this blog because I feel that as someone who has so much history in the area of emotional abuse in relationships, it would be wrong for me not to use the knowledge I’ve gained from first-hand experiences to try to help someone else.
I hope and pray that no girl or guy has to go through what I’ve dealt with, but I know it still happens. Thankfully, I am fortunate enough to say that I’ve come out on the other side after years of being in the darkest & loneliest of places.
If I can do it, so can you. You are so much stronger, smarter, and more deserving than you even know.
If you realize that you are experiencing abuse of any kind, please reach out to someone you trust and get help. Life is too short to waste it with someone who does not truly love, admire and respect you.
I can tell you from experience, one of the greatest feelings is getting to the other side, out of an abusive relationship, & flourishing, and now I can laugh about some of this stuff.
In this blog, I am going to go over some signs of emotional abuse in relationships. I will be sharing my personal experiences. Let’s get into the signs of emotional abuse…
Convincing you to do things you wouldn’t normally do or do not want to do that are damaging to your health/happiness in some way.
I dated an alcoholic for several years. We’ll call him *Brandon* here. Brandon drank every single day, no matter what. At first, it was fun and I thought ‘wow this guy is such a blast to be around, he doesn’t take anything too seriously, he always wants to go out and do fun stuff’… *eyeroll at baby Becky*
After a while, I realized I was drinking every day too and my mental & physical health was at an all-time low.
I decided to stop drinking with him, and things were never the same. I was boring. I was too serious. I didn’t want to have any fun… according to him.
The bottom line is anyone who truly loves you is someone who wants happiness for you and wants you to feel comfortable.
Making you believe things that are not true to keep you quiet and defenseless.
When I was younger, I was in a relationship with a mentally and emotionally abusive addict for two years. We’ll call him *Alex*. One day, I went over to Alex’s house and saw that a girl’s purse was left in his room. I asked him whose it was, and he said the purse belonged to his friend’s girlfriend and that they were all hanging out the night before.
Ok… so as a female, if I leave my purse somewhere accidentally, I’m probably going to remember it within an hour, not an entire day, but…
Alex then got a phone call from this friend a few minutes later, and he told me his friend was coming to get the purse and Alex was just going to leave it outside for him to pick up…
Even though this story was complete BS (and deep in my gut, I knew it was) I went along with it for a day or two. Then, I did what you should NEVER feel like you need to do in a relationship – I looked through his phone. There, I saw that the person who called him was not his friend. It was a girl that he knew I was uncomfortable with him hanging out alone with.
Another experience I had multiple times with Brandon was that I would find inappropriate pictures of ex-girlfriends or co-workers on his phone. I’d confront him and he would say they were old photos or that he didn’t know how they got there … (literally LOL’ing right now at this FOOL) um not sure how that works but okay.
Thankfully, he was one of the worst liars I’ve ever met in my life. This helped me in the long run because eventually I realized that no matter what I asked him, his answer was always going to be a lie.
Sadly, I still stayed with him for several years…
Ask yourself this my loves – if a man/woman is lying to you about something, don’t you think it’s to cover something up, something they know you wouldn’t be okay with?
Your partner reacts very defensively when you bring issues up.
Every relationship is going to have issues. You don’t like the way your S.O. leaves laundry everywhere, or you’re annoyed with how they never help cook dinner. Both normal, easy-to-fix issues.
In this example, we’re talking more along the lines of bringing up something like the way your partner talks down to you, or how your partner is always secretive about certain things around you.
Both Brandon and Alex were addicts.
I found it very hard to talk to them about their issues, but I still talked about it despite how awkward it was to mention it. I would bring up recovery or taking a few nights off, and they would assume it was an unwarranted personal attack.
It is so scary bringing anything up when you don’t know how someone is going to react. It’s even worse when you’re bringing up someone’s problems to them.
In a healthy relationship, sure you’re going to have disagreements, but bringing up something important should never lead into a full-blown fight.
If you find yourself afraid or anxious confronting your partner about issues you’re having in the relationship, that’s normal. It’s all about the way they react.
A respectful reply vs. a reply that’s full of excuses and anger should let you know if this is a healthy conversation or not.
You find yourself making excuses for your partner’s behavior.
There is a fine line between defending your partner and making excuses for him/her. It can be hard to know you’re even doing this while it’s happening.
Looking back, I remember always having to make excuses for reasons Brandon wasn’t at a family gathering. I would lie and say he was at work when he was really just at home drinking.
Having to lie to my family? Having a boyfriend who was so far inside his addiction, that he couldn’t even make it to family events?
It wasn’t worth it. It was draining me mentally. And chances are if you’re in a relationship like this, you feel pretty worn out too.
Your friends/family have expressed worries about the relationship.
And I’m not talking about your dad who hates all your boyfriends just because he’s your dad. I’m talking about a relationship where you already have some bad gut feelings or feelings of “hmm this doesn’t seem right”, and you’re also starting to hear it from your family and friends.
At first, you probably didn’t take your loved ones seriously or you tried to ignore their concerns so they would maybe forget and not worry about you, but you realize they may be right.
I realized this was happening in my relationship with Alex when I told my dad I wanted to get him a fancy Christmas gift. My dad rolled his eyes and let me know that Alex was not going to last long and that I shouldn’t waste my money on him.
Much to my dismay and especially my parents (sorry y’all), I stayed with him for another 2 years.
This can also include feeling like you can’t spend time with family and friends because your partner will get jealous. OR that even though you really want to see your family, you feel like you have to stay with your partner at home instead so you know he’s not doing anything behind your back.
There are so many more things I could write about this subject. A million instances come to mind.
If any of these things resonated with you, please let me know in the comments.
If you’d like to read a Part 2 to this blog, also let me know in the comments or on Instagram @selflovescript.
Thank you so much for reading. I truly hope this helped someone. Feel free to reach out to me if you need someone to talk to. ♥