Identifying Mental Abuse in a Relationship

We use the term “abuse” quite frequently these days, so it’s critical to know exactly what we mean when we discuss abuse, particularly mental abuse in a marriage or other relationship.

Before we go, let us clarify what mental abuse in a relationship is not.

Telling someone you disagree with their actions does not constitute emotional or mental abuse. That does not fall under the mentioned category of abuse, even if you raise your voice when you say it, like you might when warning a child not to touch a hot stove.

It is not psychologically damaging to argue with your spouse and raise your voices in frustration. That is a natural (but unpleasant) component of debating, especially when your emotions are not kept in check.

Someone is not mentally abusing you if they say anything that makes you feel bad. They might not quite fit into this category even if they might be impolite or careless.

The situations that were previously described are not indicators that you are in a mentally abusive relationship.

What is mental abuse?

In a relationship, mental abuse occurs when someone has a poisonous level of control over your thoughts, feelings, and thinking.

Instead of using physical force, which would be considered physical abuse, it uses a subtler form of abuse that is harder for others to notice.

You could start to doubt your own sanity because it’s so subtle—did he really do “that” on purpose, or am I just seeing things?

A type of mental abuse known as “gaslighting” occurs when one partner uses covert, silent tactics that are hidden from view in order to cause the other person emotional distress.

However, in a way that when the victim accuses them of purposefully undermining them, they (the abuser) can point to the victim and say, “There you go, being paranoid again.”

Verbal and emotional mental abuse

When a partner protests to criticism directed at them, the abuser responds with a remark such as “Oh, you are always taking things the wrong way!” This is an example of verbal abuse.

In order to appear as though he is just being “helpful,” he assigns the victim the blame, and the victim is misinterpreting him. The victim may question whether he is correct in feeling this way: “Am I too sensitive?”

To keep control over their victim, a verbally abusive partner will say hurtful things to her or make threats against her. He might pretend he was just kidding, but he might also make fun of her or put her down.

A partner who attempts to keep his victim away from her friends and family in order to maintain complete control over her is an example of emotional and psychological abuse in a relationship.

He’ll convince her that in order for her to mature, she must put her toxic family behind her. He will be critical of her friends, labeling them as immature, stupid, or detrimental to her or their friendship.

He will persuade his victim that only he is capable of determining what is best for her.

Another type of mental abuse in a relationship is psychological abuse.

The aim of psychological abuse is to change the victim’s perception of reality in order to make them reliant on the abuser in order to “keep them safe.”

This type of abuse is frequently carried out by cults by ordering their adherents to cut all contact with friends and family who are not members of the cult.

They persuade the cult members that in order to be safe from the “bad” outside world, they must obey the cult leader and carry out his orders.

When husbands who physically abuse their wives inform their spouses that their actions were the reason behind the husband’s hitting because “they deserved it,” this is psychological abuse on top of the physical abuse.

Risk of being mentally maltreated

People at risk of being victims of this particular form of mental abuse in a relationship are people who come from backgrounds where their sense of self-worth was undermined.

Growing up in a home where parents frequently chastised, insulted, or abused one another can incite children to pursue this type of behaviour as adults because they associate it with love.

Individuals who believe they are unworthy of loving, healthy relationships run the risk of ending up in the company of mentally abusive husbands or wives.

They accept abusive conduct because they think they don’t deserve better and have a distorted definition of what love is.

How can you know if someone is abusing your mind?

What makes a partner insensitive and one who abuses their mind different from one another?

There are clear indicators of a mentally abusive relationship if your partner’s treatment of you frequently makes you feel horrible about yourself, so unhappy that you cry, ashamed of who you are, or embarrassed for other people to witness how he treats you.

You are emotionally abused if your spouse instructs you to cut off all communication with your loved ones because “they don’t really love you.”

Your boyfriend is emotionally abusing you if he constantly calls you names like “fat,” “ugly,” or “stupid.”

But it’s insensitive if your spouse occasionally tells you that something you did was stupid, that he doesn’t like the clothes you’re wearing, or that your parents are insane.

What to do if you are mentally abused?

You may find a lot of materials online to assist you in making wise decisions.

If you believe that your relationship has value and that your partner has the potential to change from being mentally abusive, look for a qualified marriage and family therapist to consult with the two of you.

Important: you both need to be committed to these therapy sessions because this is a two-person problem.

It is not an issue for you to work out alone, therefore don’t go alone. And if your significant other says so, respond, “I don’t have a problem.” You go to therapy by yourself, which is evident, which indicates that your relationship is not worth mending.

If you’ve made the decision to leave your emotionally abusive boyfriend, husband, or partner, get support from a nearby women’s shelter. They can offer you advice on how to leave this situation in a way that ensures your safety and physical well-being.