You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship with a friend or girlfriend, husband or wife, male or female friend, family member, boss or co-worker.

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Did you have any experience with it? If you have never dealt with a cunning, pathological, lying, narcissistic, abusive partner, you may not know what this is about. If you date a disturbing personality, you can be drawn into its charm, boast, and false facade as you downplay its reckless and questionable behavior. Or you distrust your instincts that your boyfriend or husband lies, humiliates and controls you.

The goal of the offender is to influence and control the emotions, objective reasoning and behavior of his victim. Covert abuses are camouflaged by actions that seem normal, but they are clearly insidious and devious.

The offender systematically distracts self-esteem, perceptions, and self-esteem with his subtle clues, unnecessary lies, blaming, accusations, and denials. The offender favors an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, instability and unpredictability. He keeps pushing you to the brink with his deception, sarcasm, and shouting until you break out in rage and then become the “bad guy” who gives him the ammunition he needs to justify his hurtful actions.

If you experience any of the following, you are in an emotionally abusive relationship:

Accusation

He shifts the responsibility and the emphasis on you for the problems in your relationship. He says things like, “It’s your fault,” “What’s wrong with you?”, “You did not remind me.”, “Nothing I do is ever enough.”

Withholding

He refuses to listen, ignores your questions, holds the eye back and gives you the “silent treatment”. He may refuse to give you information about where he is going, when he comes back, about funds and bill payments. He holds back approval, appreciation, affection, information, thoughts, and feelings to lessen and control you.

Block and redirect

He controls the conversation by refusing to discuss a topic or interrupts the conversation inappropriately. He twists your words, watches TV, or leaves the room while you talk. He criticizes you in a way that causes you to defend yourself and lose sight of the original conversation.

Contradictions

He disapproves and opposes your thoughts, your perceptions or even your life experience. No matter what you say, he uses contradictory arguments to frustrate and beat you. When you say, “It’s a beautiful day,” he says, “What’s so great, the weather is shitty.” If you say you like sushi, then he says, “Are you kidding, then you get parasites?”

Discounting

He tells you that you are oversensitive, you are imagining things or that you can never be happy. It distorts the truth and makes you distrust your perception and the reality of its abuse.

Scornful humor

Verbal abuse is often disguised as jokes. The offender teases, taunts, and humiliates you with sarcastic remarks about your looks, personality, abilities, and values. He makes fun of your friends and family over you because he knows you will avoid a public confrontation. When you tell him to stop, he tells you that you are too sensitive or can’t understand a joke.

Craziness

He uses a combination of distortion, blame, oblivion, stone walls and denial to confuse, frustrate and drive you to the edge of madness. He denies the truth and distorts your words by putting you on the defensive. He wants you to question yourself, doubting your reality and your ability to reason.

Criticize

He criticizes you hard and unfairly and then gives it off as “constructive” criticism. When you file an appeal, he tells you that he’s just trying to help you to feel unreasonable and guilty.

Undermine

He breaks his promises and does not stick to agreements. It minimizes your troubles, interests, hobbies, achievements and worries. He trivializes your thoughts and suggestions. If you propose a restaurant or holiday destination, he says, “The food is awful in this place!” And “Why would you want to go to that particular place? It’s a tourist trap! “

To forget

He “accidentally” forgets the things that are important to you. He forgets to pick up the laundry from the cleaning, make a home repair or buy movie tickets. By doing so, he thinks, “I am in control of your time and your reality.”

How about you? Is your boyfriend or husband sneaky, cheating or abusing you verbally?