In my previous posts on emotional abuse, we discussed what emotional abuse is, what effects it has on the abused and the relationship, and how to deal with an emotionally abusive partner. In the latest post, we shared with you a test that would help you find out if you were being emotionally abused. But for those who think, “am I emotionally abusive”, and are wanting to change that about themselves, we are going to share a different set of questions with you all.
Before we go ahead, I need to tell you that your effort to find out if you are emotionally abusive towards your partner and your willingness to change makes us very proud, and we wish to help you in this regard.
Suggested read: Everything You Need To Know About Emotional Abuse
Emotionally abuse, as we have already gathered is easily overlooked. However, if one were to look closely, then there are plenty of signs that suggest that the relationship is emotionally abusive. Emotional abuse involves a great deal of manipulation at the hands of the emotionally abusive. As a result, it is difficult for the abused to retaliate as would have been in the case of physical abuse. This causes emotional abuse to be undetected even for years, in some cases.
To believe that you are emotionally abusive, you need to convince yourself of the truth, and the following test will help you get there.
Has your behavior towards your partner changed?
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In the months/years you have spent with your partner, has your behavior towards them changed gradually? Usually, when the change is gradual, it is overlooked. Even if you are being emotionally abusive, you may not have taken note of it.
Abuse is cyclical, but it has to start somewhere. Was there a point in your relationship when you did something that really upset your partner? Did your partner overlook it and instead of calling you out on it, showered you with more love as if they felt that they were not good enough for you?
When someone is emotionally abused, they start believing that the abuser is unhappy with them and rightly so. So they start making amends for something they have not even done. And you, unknowingly/knowingly start taking advantage of that because hey, whenever you abuse them, they become nicer to you! That makes you feel powerful and in control of your lover. See, my friend the pill you have decided to swallow is really bitter and is going to give you a hard time, but it will surely treat you of your abusive behavior.
Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License
Once again, let us talk about what is emotional abuse, in the first place, so that we are on the same page.
Emotional abuse is psychological abuse, which involves words, verbal aggression manipulation, emotional blackmail and/or isolation that is aimed at making the abused feel weak, alone, helpless and not good at whatever he or she does.
The easiest way to determine if you are being emotionally abusive is to notice if your partner feels weak, stressed, and/or suicidal in your presence.
Your emotionally abusive nature might be changing your partner’s personality. Their self-esteem is getting shattered. They have started believing that they are not good for anything, that they are not good enough for you. You need to understand how helpless your behavior is making them feel, how they think they are an emotional mess. They might even start thinking that they are going crazy.
If you are still asking yourself, “am I emotionally abusive”, then take the following test. Answer the questions in yes or no. We urge you to be absolutely honest with your answers as emotional abuse is something that can have drastic effects on your partner’s life if not done something about. And to deal with it effectively, you need to first be sure if you are being abusive.
Emotional abuse test
To get he answer to your query, “am I emotionally abusive”, answer the following questions with a yes or a no.
- Do you find yourself constantly discouraging your partner?
- Are you more discouraging than supportive?
- Do you feel that your partner is afraid of you?
- Do you make your partner feel like they are not good at what they do?
- Does your partner try to make you happy constantly and in their efforts, stretch themselves to exhaustion?
- When you and your partner have a fight, do you withhold sex to teach them a lesson?
- Are you extremely sarcastic while talking to your partner?
- Do you never take no for an answer?
- Do you think that your partner is deserving of the mistreatment they receive from you?
- Do you treat your partner like he or she is your property?
- Do you ask your partner to not keep contact with his or her friends/family?
- Do you humiliate your partner in public? (Note: It could also be in the form of a joke)
- Do you yell at your partner most of the time?
- Do you make your partner feel stupid?
- Are you severely critical of whatever your partner does?
- Do you put your partner down in public?
- Do you make fun of your partner’s accomplishments?
- Do you constantly blame your partner for all that is wrong in your life?
- Do you belittle your partner in front of their family or friends?
- Do you have a horrible temper? Is it usually directed at your partner?
- Have you ever threatened to kill your partner?
- Have you ever threatened to kill yourself to get something from your partner?
- Do you keep threatening your partner that you will take your kids away?
- Do you force your partner for sex?
- Do you use sex as a weapon?
- Are you jealous of your partner?
- Are you over protective of your partner?
- Are you possessive of your partner?
- Do you limit your partner’s access to money?
- Do you limit your partner’s access to the phone?
- Do you limit your partner’s access to the car?
- Are you a control freak?
- Do you constantly check on your partner?
If you said “yes” to most (say 15)/all of the questions on this test, then there is a high possibility that you are emotionally abusive.
How can one stop being emotionally abusive?
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Altering one’s abusive behavior is a difficult and very challenging process. One cannot stop being abusive by themselves. You will need help. This is because your abusive behavior is not a bad habit that you have developed, it is a part of who you are, and a part that needs to be changed for the good. In most cases it is seen that one’s emotionally abusive nature is associated with their past experiences; most of the time, children who have emotionally abusive and manipulating parents tend to become emotionally abusive themselves. So, first thing, you will need to avail professional help.
You need to stop being verbally aggressive towards your partner. You need to understand that physical and sexual violence are not the only kind of abuses. Your words, body language and behavior is having a devastating effect on your partner’s mental health. That needs to stop right away. So, no manipulation, no threats, no isolation and no trying to control by limiting access to money, car or the phone.
You have to be committed to this process of change if you want to improve the health of your relationship. This will take time, but there is no going back. You need to address the roots of your behavior. You need to usher is love and more importantly respect into your relationship. And you need to remember that this is possible, you can make it possible.
Change is very hard. At times, you will want to go back to your old ways and justify your actions, but don’t. You will feel like you cannot go on any more, and will want to give up, but don’t. Every time you feel this way, think about the effect your emotionally abusive behavior is having in your partner. Think about how, if you change your ways, you will share a healthy relationship with the person you love the most.
Suggested read: Effects An Emotionally Abusive Relationship Has On A Person
That is a wrap on today’s post on ‘Am I emotionally abusive towards my partner? Take this test to find out’. If after reading the signs you think you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, then it is time you get out of it immediately.
If you have any questions, then do write to us. Our experts will respond to you immediately.
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See you again tomorrow!