I recently did a video showing 7 behaviors to watch out for; behaviors that not only make a personal difficult but actually cross the line into abuse.
1) A pattern of constant arguing that creates an ongoing sense of fear over a sustained period of time. Everyone argues, everyone disagrees…and sometimes it may get more heated than we would have liked. However if the arguing is chronic as opposed to every now and then, if the intensity is overboard each and every time, if it has become a constant pattern of behavior each time you disagree then it may be crossing into the realm of abuse.
2) Abusers seek to scare their victims with domestic violence. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will act on that violence, seeing your fear can be enough to sustain some emotional abusers. This is one that creates a grey area. Some people will say “no he’s not abusing me, he never hits me.” However if a person behaves in a way that is designed to intimidate, frighten or coerce their partners behavior, or if you are constantly worrying about the consequences of minor things, walking on eggshells because your partner gets furious over the slightest little thing, then you have crossed the line into abusive territory.
3) My way or the highway. In a healthy relationship both partners “see” the needs of the other. Equality is present. But an abuser will not think about their partners wants or needs or even feelings. They are first, second and third. There is no consideration for their partner and if that upsets their partner, well that’s irrelevant to the abuser, they are only concerned with themselves.
4) Gaslighting. “Nothing happened.” “I never said that”. “You’re making it bigger than it really is”. An abuser will outright deny abuse, pretend it didn’t happen, pretend it didn’t happen in the way you perceived it or outright blame YOU for what happened. No disagreements are ever resolved.
5) Unhappiness is not an option. In a healthy relationship if you tell your partner that you are unhappy and they love you, they will listen to your feelings and work at changing them. A narcissist will not even contemplate the fact that you are “unhappy”. After all, if they are happy in the relationship, they are thoroughly thrilled that they are with someone tolerating their abuse, then you should be happy too. If you try to tell the abuser you are not happy, they will be unwilling to listen, will minimize your feelings or views and will try to TELL you what you are REALLY feeling by rewriting your emotional script for you!!
6) Controlling Behavior. Control is a significant factor in psychological abuse. An abuser will isolate their partner from family, friends, even hobbies that bring happiness. They will control you to the extent that your every waking moment will be revolving around the abuser. Their control will extend to financial control, spiritual control, online control.And it will be a double standard..they will be free to do whatever they want whenever they want….you are in their narcissistic prison.
7) Personal Attacks. Once again, emotional predators, especially narcissists can be very covert in their verbal abuse. They know that name calling and degrading a person outright can be identified as verbal abuse, some of them don’t care and choose to attack this way. My covert narcissistic ex knew how to hide his insults and criticism behind a “I’m trying to help you” attitude. The insults or pointing out my flaws and imperfections constantly were “for my own good”. If you can make a never ending list of what your partner DOES NOT like about you and not list a thing regarding what he/she tells you they DO like about you, you have crossed the line into abusive behavior.
Nobody understands what you're going through more than someone who has been there. I grew up with narcissistic family member and had intimate relationships with malignant narcissists. For the majority of my healing journey, I felt as if I was all alone. I now dedicate my life to being the person for others, that I needed on my own healing journey, so that YOU never feel alone.