Signs of an emotionally abusive wife or girlfriend
Are you living with an emotionally abusive wife or girlfriend?
Or dealing with an psychologically abusive ex-wife?
Wondering, "Am I being emotionally abused?"
Is a man you know and care about being emotionally abused by a woman?
This is how one man describes the relationship that nearly destroyed him:
“My ex-girlfriend was an emotional terrorist.”
Emotional and psychological abuses tear a person up inside.
Emotionally abused partners feel drained, distracted, and debilitated.
What's in This Post
|What is Psychological, Mental, or Emotional Abuse?|
|Psychologically Abusive Relationships are Destructive Whether the Abuse is Coming from a Woman or Man|
|Is it an Emotionally Abusive Relationship or Not?|
|Is She an Emotionally Abusive Woman or Not? How to Decide.|
|Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Wife or Girlfriend|
|Why are People Emotionally Abusive?|
|Book About Abusive Women|
What is Psychological, Mental, or Emotional Abuse?
All abuse has at it's core one or more of these 3 self-centered goals:
- demean, or
Emotional abuse also goes by the terms psychological or mental abuse.
Emotional abuse causes emotional, psychological, or mental pain.
All other categories of spousal abuse (financial, verbal, sexual, physical, legal, and spiritual) have an emotional/psychological component.
This is true when the source of the abuse is a man and the target of the abuse is a woman. It is also true when the genders are reversed: the source of the abuse is a woman and the target is a man.
Abused men have the extra degree of difficulty in that it is so hard to get your head around the idea that you, a man, are being emotionally, financially, physically, sexually . . . beat-up by a woman. Our culture pretends that what is happening is not happening.
Psychologically Abusive Relationships are Destructive Whether the Abuse is Coming from a Woman or Man
If you have a bully wife or girlfriend, you are likely feeling extra confused and isolated. But, you are not alone. Abuse OF men BY women is, unfortunately, all too common.
And, contrary to media representations depicting the actions and attitudes of abusive women as funny and amusing, it is neither funny nor amusing. It is hurtful and destructive.
You might find this video enlightening or confirming:
Is it an Emotionally Abusive Relationship or Not?
It can be challenging to figure out whether a particular behavior is abusive because that same behavior might be properly labeled as healthy depending on the circumstances.
The Spousal Abuse Continuum
Behaviors that are potentially abusive can be placed on a continuum that goes from not-at-all abusive to very abusive.
Major deciding factors for where a particular behavior belongs on the continuum are the reasonableness of the behavior given the circumstances and the motivation behind the behavior. The conscious or subconscious goals of spousal abuse are to control, demean, or punish.
Is She an Emotionally Abusive Woman or Not? How to Decide.
A woman who gets upset and "makes a fuss" when her husband says he's going to go have a beer with his friends could be seen as controlling and demanding (abusive) if the husband is usually available to her and doesn't have a history of overdrinking.
But if the husband has previously promised not to drink any alcohol because he has a history of drinking and driving, or of becoming belligerent or of having affairs when he's been drinking, then the woman's reaction may be reasonable and belong on the non-abusive end of the continuum.
When trying to decide whether something is abusive or not, look for patterns of behavior and attitudes.
- What would a reasonable person do in the circumstances?
- Is she being controlling, demeaning, or punishing?
- Or is she having a reasonable response to a situation given the situation and backstory of your past behavior?
Keeping the spousal abuse continuum in mind, let's take a look at the ways that women sometimes emotionally and psychologically abuse their partners.
Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Wife or Girlfriend
A woman may emotionally and psychologically abuse a man in a myriad of ways:
- isolation from friends, family, or other supportive people
- alienation of his children’s affection
- minimizing his time with his children
- playing helpless
- abdicating responsibility for decision-making or her bad behavior
- making him feel responsible for the abuse
- neglect/withholding affection
- false accusations of abuse (of her or the children)
- character assassination
- distorting the truth
- unfounded jealousy
- gaslighting: trying to make him feel crazy
- unreasonable expectations
- false promises
- sabotaging his ability to have another relationship
Why are People Emotionally Abusive?
If your a man worn out with being controlled, manipulated, demeaned, or punished, you may be wondering why your girlfriend or wife is abusive.
The reasons for an individual's behavior varies greatly. One woman may be driven to be controlling because she lacked control in her early life. Another may be driven to control because she was raised to get her way.
While working on my book, Abuse OF Men BY Women: It Happens, It Hurts, and It's Time to Get Real About It, I came up with a list of 72 reasons why a woman might abuse a man. You can see them in this blog post: Why do Women Abuse Men?
Whatever conscious or subconscious reason someone has for their abusive behavior, remember that reasons for behavior don't excuse behavior. It's every adult's responsibility to notice when their behavior is harmful and figure out why they are doing what they are doing and learn how to make changes.
Book About Abusive Women
For further explanation of each of the ways women emotionally and psychologically abuse their male partners, and all other forms of partner abuse where a man is the target of abuse and a woman is the source, check out my book:
- Tags: abuse OF men BY women
- Ann Silvers