Emotional Abuse Signs: Identifying Signs of Abuse 

When you begin the divorce process, one of the first questions you’ll have to answer is ‘on what grounds?’ What is happening that justifies a divorce. For every divorcing couple, the answer will be a bit different. From irreconcilable differences, alcoholism, an abusive spouse, and so forth. There are plenty of reasons for a couple to divorce, and abuse is absolutely one of the most pressing. When you think about abuse, you likely think of physical violence. But, emotional abuse is just as prevalent, if not even more so. When you’re consider emotional abuse, and if they’re happening to you, it’s important to be able to identify some of the emotional abuse signs.

Emotional Abuse Signs: Identifying Signs of Abuse


One of the most obvious signs of emotional abuse, is making verbal threats. In most cases, an emotionally abusive spouse will use threats as a means of gaining control, and getting what they want from the other spouse. Those threats can range from a threat to leave you, embarrass you, take something away, or threats of violence unto themselves or to you. By your spouse making these threats, you may feel a responsibility to the outcome, and to making sure you don’t lose someone or something you care about.

Withholding Affection

Another means of emotional abuse can be through withholding affection. This can be as a means of punishment, or even one of those communicated threats we discussed above. This can also be as a means of getting something that they want, making you suffer, or as a means of ‘breaking you down’. For the most part, once you break down emotionally, the abuser knows they have control and will let up.

No Respect of Privacy

One of the more subtle aspects of emotional abuse, is to take away your sense of privacy. This can be due to a lack of trust, or to create paranoia. By doing this, they make you feel as if you’ve done something wrong even when you haven’t. For this reason, you may become paranoid and nervous about your every move or doing something they can misunderstand.

Emotional abuse can come in many forms, and can be unique to your relationship

Each relationship, and divorce is different. In that same sense, emotional abuse is not a one-size-fits-all system of abuse. Instead, it is calculated, precise, and tailored to your relationship. If you can relate with any of these emotional abuse signs, or relate to them— consider speaking with an attorney, a therapist, or someone who can help you determine a next step. No one deserves to live with abuse, and you do not have to…