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Six Signs You’re In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Emotional abuse is the most subtle type of abuse, you know something is wrong but you can’t exactly tell what is until it’s almost too late.6 signs you & 39;re in abusive relationship – Talk of Naija

Also, unlike physical abuse, there’s no tangible evidence for emotional abuse. This makes it pretty hard to isolate and prove.

Read on to learn how to spot an emotionally abusive relationship according to experts.

Emotional abuse is so subtle, sometimes you’re unaware that you’re even adapting to their abusive patterns.

“If someone is physically violent, that is overt and obvious,” Says Dr. Sherry Benton, Ph.D., founder and Chief Science Officer of TAO Connect. “Emotionally abusive relationships are more subtle.”  They creep up on you, making it difficult to isolate the signs and even, leave.

“Each time, you’re getting more adapted to the negative patterns, so it gets more difficult to see—as well as to leave”

Abusers are sleek enough to not start out nasty, they tend to build on it as type goes on.

“There’s this story that [says] if you toss a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will scramble to get out,” Benton explains. “But if you put the frog in while the water is still cold—and slowly raise the temperature—the frog will [stay] until it is boiled to death. The same kind of thing can happen in relationships.”

Thankfully experts have given us some signs to watch out for.


You’d notice your abusive partner holds on tightly to the reins of control, keeping you on a short leash. Your social life, association, and friendships, mostly all parts of your life would be scrutinised with them trying to impose their will on you without considering your desires.

No trust

An emotionally abusive partner would always suspect you of infidelity. They’re constantly suspecting you’re cheating on them and will sometimes evade your space just to catch you “in the act”. A good example is tapping your phones, suspecting every person of the opposite s*x around you, and sometimes showing up to your workplace unannounced.


If your partner shows no regard for how you feel or do not respect your views, then it’s a clear sign of emotional abuse. Ordinarily, in a healthy relationship, your partner would listen attentively to what you’ve to say even though they may not have contributions or solutions. If they respond with derisiveness, harsh words, sarcasm, mean-spiritedness, and other negative responses then it may be pointing to the fact that they regard you in contempt.

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Sometimes emotions may become high and partners may yell at each other, but when it’s becoming a consistent pattern so much that it breeds fear, then it’s something worthy of note.


Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse where victims’ concerns are dismissed so much they begin to doubt themselves. If your concerns are constantly dismissed as false, crazy, or you’re being told you’re just overthinking, it’s a sign you’re being gaslighted.

Silent treatment

The silent treatment is yet another form of emotional abuse. If you’re partner constantly shuts down on you, refusing to discuss issues and block you off, it may come across as rejection or lack of concern for your feelings.


Emotionally abusive partners are really good at apportioning blame to their S/O. He/she will constantly blame you for the issues in your relationship, making you believe that the abuse is your fault.


In an emotionally abusive relationship, your partner would subtly but effectively cut you off from close associates especially family and friends. This creates a breeding ground for the abuse to thrive.

When to break it off

Experts recommend looking at other healthy relationships around you and making comparisons with your own if you’re not sure when to break it off.

Look around and find a relationship that you can imagine yourself wanting,” Benton says. She notes that comparing real-life relationships will help you realise what you’re not getting in your relationship.

A large part of it is recognising what you want in a relationship and what you deserve.

“[Your relationship] should make you feel secure, supported, and connected, and if that’s not what you’re getting, you’re probably getting more pain than love and growth,” Benton says


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Sarah Oyedo

A reader, thinker, a dreamer and a believer. Fruity cocktails and asun are the way to my heart.