Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

The signs of an emotionally abusive relationship can be very subtle and difficult to spot. It’s possible to be in an abusive relationship and not even realize it. Hopefully, knowing how to spot signs of abuse early can help you get the help you need. Knowing the goal of an abuser is helpful. Firstly, they want to tear you down and take away your self-confidence. After that, they want to try and control you. And finally, they do their best to isolate you from friends and family. Knowing what to look for might help you spot an abuser.

Signs of an Emotionally Abuse Relationship: Know What to Look For

Tearing You Down

One of the main signs of an emotionally abusive relationship is a partner who insults or tears you down. An emotional abuser’s goal is to make you feel weak and worthless. By doing this, it can be easier for them to control you and make you revolve your life around them. By insulting you or making your feel stupid, they can achieve this goal more easily. Look out for your partner always tearing you down, criticizing you, or flat out insulting you. If they call you overly sensitive or try to distort your views of reality, you might be dealing with emotional abuse. Similarly, if they refuse to listen to your opinions or dismiss your feelings outright, it can be a red flag.

Controlling You

The ultimate end goal of an abuser is to control you. So another of the signs of an emotionally abusive relationship would be a partner who tries to control what you do but also how you feel. If your partner asks where you are constantly or wants to know all of your plans, it could be a warning sign. Healthy relationships are built on trust, so if you feel like you need permission to do things and have to let your partner know your every move, it could be emotional abuse. Similarly, if your partner tracks you with your phone or social media, it’s a warning sign. You should also mutually agree on financial decisions too.


A major one of the signs of an emotionally abusive relationship is your partner making you feel isolated. They may criticize you or make you feel embarrassed about your feelings. This is so you’ll be too ashamed to seek help. They may also manipulate you into spending all your time with them. Or making your life and priorities revolve around them. If your partner insults your family or friends and makes you feel guilty for spending time alone or with others, it could be a red flag.

Hopefully, knowing the signs of an emotionally abusive relationship can help you spot warning signs if your partner is abusive. If you feel that they tear you down, control you, or try to isolate you, you might want to really take a look at your relationship. If you do find that you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, reach out to the National Domestic Abuse Hotline for support. Hopefully, they can assist you in getting the help you need.