For those of you in relationships...
An emotionally abusive spouse wants you all to themself and makes efforts to have it that way. They do not understand that you have a life outside of the relationship - one that includes family and friends. It is healthy and normal for you to hang out with other people as well, so if your partner prevents you from doing so, this may be a sign of a bad relationship.Check out some of the "symptoms" from Health Central...
Is Verbally Abusive
If someone calls you derogatory names, even if they say they are joking, they mean to hurt you and keep you in line. Abusers sometimes cover themselves by blaming you, saying that you need to lighten up or that you are too sensitive. You are not too sensitive; you are feeling in your gut that this is not the way you should be treated. Abusers have a way of making you think that this is normal behavior and that it is you who has the problem.
Blames Others for His Problems
If your significant other always blames everything on someone else, namely you, this may be a bad sign. If he throws a tantrum or attacks you verbally, he will say it was because of you. It is not a good sign of a healthy relationship if he never takes responsibility and never admits to being at fault.
Alcohol and Drug Use
Not all abusers use drugs or drink excessive alcohol, but many do. An addiction can lead to erratic and innappropriate behavior. Substance abuse can be a gateway to emotional abuse and an unhealthy relationship.
If you feel fear around your boyfriend or spouse then there is something very wrong. Abusers may try to intimidate you with violence, dominance or power tactics. For example, showing you their gun collection and stating they are not afraid to use them or intentionally putting you in possibly harmful situations.
Punishes You for Spending Time Away from Him
This goes along with the isolation technique, where abusers want you all to themselves. If you do go somewhere or do something without him, or even if he goes along, but others are also there, he punishes you later. An abuser may shout, insult, threaten or worse, because you were not exclusively hanging out with him.
Expects You to Wait on Him Like a Servant
An abusive man goes through life feeling entitled to be treated like a king and he wants you to be his willing servant. He expects you to do everything for him and will not help at all.
Is Extremely Jealous of You
A prominent trait of abusers is their jealousy. An abusive partner or spouse is often jealous of you, other people and even your dreams and goals. Their jealousy and rage over intangible things like your aspirations stem from the lack of control they feel over those aspects of your life.
Controls You Through His Emotions
An abuser is a grand manipulator and will sulk, threaten to leave, and emotionally punish you for not going along with his idea of how things should be. An abuser will try to make you feel guilty any time you exert your will and assertiveness of what is right for you. At times he will appear to be sorry and loving when you declare that you have had enough and might plead, or even cry, and insist that he will change. This "remorse" doesn't last long though and when he feels secure that he has you back, the abuse begins again.
If you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, there is a good chance that eventually things may get physical. At first, he might pull your hair, push you, or grab you so hard that you bruise, but these are the warning signs that things can easily escalate. If your boyfriend or spouse has an explosive temper and you have seen him react with violence before as in breaking things, punching holes in the wall, getting into altercations with others then it is only a matter of time before it is your body he is hitting.