Abuse and Abusive Relationships

Emotional abuse is characterized by actions or behaviors which can result in psychological trauma. Depression, anxiety, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be common symptoms of such abuse, which often includes pathological power imbalances, various forms of domestic violence, manipulation, and bullying.

Signs Of An Abusive Relationship

There are a variety of signs that could point to an abusive relationship and emotionally abusive partners. These can include:

  • Constant humiliation
  • Frequent criticism
  • Refusal to communicate with the other
  • Constant “put-downs”
  • Involvement with a 3rd party
  • Unpleasant tones in voice
  • Purposely being ignored
  • Domination and control
  • Guilt trips
  • Extreme jealousy
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Constant calling or texting when away from the other
  • Threats to commit suicide if abandoned

Types Of Abuse and Abusive Relationships

There are many variations, irradiations, and pathologies that can contribute to abuse in relationships. Here are a few of the most predominant and pervasive.

Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse

Narcissism by definition pertains to a severe lack of empathy. Additionally, narcissistic individuals often objectify their partners and “use” them for their own narcissistic supply. This inevitably leads to abuse of power and control and can magnify abuse when the narcissistic partner is “emotionally full” and pushes their partner away. This type of abuser/victim relationship often leads to traumatic bonding which can make it difficult to leave the relationship.

Sociopathology

Sociopaths in relationships tend to display a variety of signs that can be of concern for their partner. They can have severe limitations when it comes to conscience and what most people would consider “right behavior” can be simply ignored by the sociopathic partner. Lying, emotional blackmail, manipulation, love bombing, and intensity can be daily realities in these relationships. These partners can also have an inflated sense of self entitlement, often reflecting off others who end up being blamed for their own failures. Sociopathology is also demonstrated through a lack of empathy towards others, a lack of remorse, and disregard toward societal norms.

Psychopathology

Psychopaths display traits related to antisocial behavior that make forming real emotional attachments difficult. This in turn can lead to shallow relationships that benefit the psychopathic partner which they then use to forward their own personal goals.

Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a frequently used form of manipulation in abusive relationships. It involves one partner intentionally “brainwashing” the other by suggesting that they are insane or that their understanding of reality is false through the use of lies.

Gaslighting can create a power dynamic in relationships, with the partner being subjected to micro-aggression or judgement based off of subtle lies at its weakest. At its extreme, gaslighting can lead to psychological abuse and a severe form of mind-control.

Alienation

Alienation in an abusive relationship is the act of cutting off or interfering with a partner’s relationships with others. This can result in feelings of helplessness, being left out of events or conversations, as well as having difficulty approaching others.

Borderline Personality Disorder

Individuals displaying signs of borderline personality disorder (BPD) display a wide variety of tendencies. These tendencies tend to fluctuate on two extremes: being terrified of others leaving them and feeling smothered and fearful of intimacy. This can often result in chaotic relationships that lead to frequent conflict as a result of the person displaying BPD being fearful of the other leaving and demanding attention from the other; threatening suicide or extreme jealousy at its worst

Our Approach To Abuse and Abusive Relationships

Whether it’s physical or psychological, abuse can take a heavy toll on one’s self-esteem, self-identity, and confidence. Those undergoing these ill effects on their self-worth as a result of emotional abuse and abusive relationships can benefit from psychotherapy.

Abusive relationships can cause a heavy effect on one’s confidence and self-esteem. Our approach in working with abuse includes helping you manage the trauma of an abusive relationship, working with you to claim your own independent self-identity, and developing your strength, sense of efficacy, and resilience.

Talk to one of our associates today.