Article: 30 Signs Of Emotional Abuse In A Relationship

I came across an article by Barrie Davenport on called 30 Signs Of Emotional Abuse In A RelationshipI highly recommend reading it. The article includes some excellent and helpful information, including the following list of signs of emotional abuse:

1. They humiliate you, put you down, or make fun of you in front of other people.

2. They regularly demean or disregard your opinions, ideas, suggestions, or needs.

3. They use sarcasm or “teasing” to put you down or make you feel bad about yourself.

4. They accuse you of being “too sensitive” in order to deflect their abusive remarks.

5. They try to control you and treat you like a child.

6. They correct or chastise you for your behavior.

7. You feel like you need permission to make decisions or go out somewhere.

8. They try to control the finances and how you spend money.

9. They belittle and trivialize you, your accomplishments, or your hopes and dreams.

10. They try to make you feel as though they are always right, and you are wrong.

11. They give you disapproving or contemptuous looks or body language.

12. They regularly point out your flaws, mistakes, or shortcomings.

13. They accuse or blame you of things you know aren’t true.

14. They have an inability to laugh at themselves and can’t tolerate others laughing at them.

15. They are intolerant of any seeming lack of respect.

16. They make excuses for their behavior, try to blame others, and have difficulty apologizing.

17. The repeatedly cross your boundaries and ignore your requests.

18. They blame you for their problems, life difficulties, or unhappiness.

19. They call you names, give you unpleasant labels, or make cutting remarks under their breath.

20. They are emotionally distant or emotionally unavailable most of the time.

21. They resort to pouting or withdrawal to get attention or attain what they want.

22. They don’t show you empathy or compassion.

23. They play the victim and try to deflect blame to you rather than taking personal responsibility.

24. They disengage or use neglect or abandonment to punish or frighten you.

25. They don’t seem to notice or care about your feelings.

26. They view you as an extension of themselves rather than as an individual.

27. They withhold sex as a way to manipulate and control.

28. They share personal information about you with others.

29. They invalidate or deny their emotionally abusive behavior when confronted.

30. They make subtle threats or negative remarks with the intent to frighten or control you.

The article also includes what an abuser needs to do in order to begin recovery and strategies for how the victim/survivor can reclaim their power and self-esteem.

Please check out the full article by Barrie Davenport on

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  1. I was married to a verbally abusive man for 34 years. during that time I went to rehab to get sober. The counselor stated he had gone back to achool after he got sober and was about to finish his psyd. He encouraged me to see him in his private practice and after 5 years of therapy and sexual inuendo, which eas insidious with lots of hugs, I became totally enamored with him. He had sex witj me and turns out he never had proper education or training, he got his psyd from a non accreditted university online called Brighton University of Hawaii. It was closed down and the the owners were prosecuted, but never aid a dime in restitution. I relapsed after almost 10 yrs of sobriety, my husband divorced me and my adult children dont speak to me. I thought I was in love with him and wanted to please him no matter the cost. I was so delusional I thought we would be married. Well today I finally confronted him after almost 20 years since it began. It ended 10 yrs ago but the damage has been done. He finally was outed for not being licensed, but they let him continue to do counseling without using Psyd after his name. I told him I spoke to an attorney and will file a civil suit against him so pther women will be alerted to these types of creeps. I have lost my family, my good name and he is still married and lives on as normal it seems. Im now 61 years old, although my husband also was a verbal abuser, he went on a crusade to tell my friends and family what I did. I will never recover my good name or standing and must start over at this age. I have no money, hubbie screwed me in settlement and my guilt and shame allowed me to settle for a raw deal. My kids who I love dearly will not see or speak to me and Im not sure I will ever have a relationship with them again. My daughter got married and I was not invited to her wedding. PLEASE GIVE ME NAMES OF GOOD PEOPLE TO HELP ME GET THROUGH THIS, IM AFRAID I WILL COMMIT SUICIDE IF I DONT GET HELP. THANK God I finally had an epiphany and woke up to the fact Im not the bad girl, rather his victim. I live in So California so any names will be welcome, females only pls. I will never trust another man or have another love in my life.

    • Hi Mary,

      Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry to hear about what you’ve been through! It sounds so very painful.
      Please, if you are feeling suicidal, call 911 or a crisis hotline. There are some numbers listed in the right sidebar if you scroll down the page on the website.

      Unfortunately, we don’t have therapist referrals on the website, although we have some legal referrals on the Legal Resources page. If you can get a recommendation from someone you know, that can be helpful. There are also therapist directories you can search on, such as on and You can also check out someone’s license online through their licensing agency. This will tell you whether there have been any complaints or administrative actions taken against them. If you can’t find someone locally, more and more therapists are working via Skype, so that may be an option.

      Also, here is a post I wrote about looking for a new therapist, which may be helpful:

      Another resource available is TELL – They have email responders who can offer some support for victims.

      Wishing you all the best!

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