Remember — emotional abuse is never your fault. In fact, your partner may just be trying to control or manipulate you into staying in the relationship.

Here are some characteristics:

• Using economic power to control you
• Threatening to leave
• Making you afraid by using looks, gestures or actions
• Smashing things
• Controlling you through minimizing, denying and blaming
• Making light of the abuse and not taking your concerns about it seriously
• Continually criticizing you, calling you names, shouting at you
• Emotionally degrading you in private, but acting charming in public
• Humiliating you in private or public
• Withholding approval, appreciation or affection as punishment

1. Degradation: This is when someone puts you down all the time and /or makes jokes at your expense. This can make us second guess our own feelings and experience.
2. Controlling or dominating: Do you have to plan your whole day around what they think is okay? Do they control your money or time? Many people will struggle to think on their own if this has been going on for a long time.
3. Accusing or blaming: Is nothing ever their fault? Do they blame any issues they have on everyone else in their life? Are they super sensitive to any personal criticism?
4. Neglect: Parents may give their children the silent treatment or stone wall them when they have done something they see as wrong. They may not meet any of our basic needs as a punishment for wrongdoing.
5. Enmeshment or codependence: This is when someone sees you as an extension of themselves. They will overstep boundaries and pull you into their situation or tell you inappropriate things about their life. They struggle to see any differentiation between themselves and another person.