Signs of an emotionally abusive wife or girlfriend

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Signs of an emotionally abusive wife or girlfriend

Are you living with an emotionally abusive wife or girlfriend?

Or dealing with an emotionally abusive ex-wife?

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. 

All other categories of spousal abuse (financial, verbal, sexual, physical . . . ) 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. 

 

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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:

 

Spousal Abuse Continuum

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. Behaviors that are potentially abusive can be placed on a continuum that goes from not-at-all abusive to very abusive.

 

Spousal abuse, emotionally abusive wife, girlfriend, woman continuum

 

A major deciding factor for where a particular behavior belongs on the continuum given the circumstances is the motivation behind the behavior. The conscious or subconscious goals of spousal abuse are to control, demean, or punish. 

Here's an example:

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)
  • harassment
  • stalking
  • character assassination
  • manipulation
  • distorting the truth
  • unfounded jealousy
  • gaslighting: trying to make him feel crazy
  • unreasonable expectations
  • false promises
  • brainwashing
  • corruption
  • exploitation
  • sabotaging his ability to have another relationship

    Signs of emotional abuse, a controlling and abusive wife or husband, verbally and emotionally abusive wife, girlfriend, husband or boyfriend, Abuse OF Men BY Women book

    For further explanation of each of the ways women emotionally and psychologically abuse their male partners, check out my book:

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    • Ann Silvers
    Comments 1
    • Awesomecat
      Awesomecat

      My gf is all of this. I’m leaving her when she goes on holiday to see her family. I refuse to be here and break the news that I am leaving based on her past record of physical abuse towards me.

      It disgusts how abuse to men is ignored.

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