Warning Signs of Emotional Abuse

By Nanda Davis on
Warning Signs of Emotional Abuse

It can often be hard to tell if you are the victim of emotional abuse. Abusers are manipulative and unfortunately their repetitive behavior can become your normal. Below is a list of warning signs of emotional abuse that I see frequently in my line of work. While your abuser might not fit every category on this list, or he has other behaviors not listed, it can still be just as damaging. If the below experiences sound familiar to you, it may be time to consult with an attorney to formulate a plan to leave and to learn what your legal rights are.


Verbal Abuse

  • Calls you names like fat, ugly, stupid, etc.
  • Mocks your ideas
  • Berates you when you make a mistake
  • Doesn’t let you get a word in edgewise in an argument because he is right

Forces Sex

  • Pressures you to do certain sex acts you are not comfortable with
  • Must perform sex acts to have certain things done in the house
  • Must engage in sexting
  • Keeps sex video or pictures of you and reminds you he has them
  • Forces you to watch porn with him

Has Rules for You

  • Cannot wear certain clothing or makeup
  • You have to call or check in at a certain time each day
  • Cannot hang out with certain people
  • Checks your phone and email and you must allow him to have access
  • You must use the bathroom with the door open
  • You must complete certain household tasks by certain times

Controls Your Finances

  • Can spend “his money” how he wants, but he has rules for “your money”
  • Asks for receipts for everything
  • Doesn’t consult with you about investing or savings decisions
  • Doesn’t tell you how much he makes, how much he spends, or how he saves or invests

Has Anger Issues

  • Yells, raises his voice frequently
  • Gets very angry when you challenge him
  • Damages property, breaks dishes, punches walls
  • Blows hot and cold; will get angry quickly, and then be sorry

Discourages Your Goals

  • Doesn’t want you to get a job, degree, or certification
  • Says you are not smart enough, fit enough, young enough etc. to pursue a certain goal
  • Refuses to help with household duties or childcare when you try to pursue your goals

Isolates You

  • Discourages you from seeing friends or family
  • Makes it uncomfortable to have friends over
  • Guilt trips you when you spend time away from him

Paranoid That You’re Cheating

  • Checks your phone for texts from others
  • Questions where you’ve been
  • Accuses you of checking out other men
  • Says other men were checking you out

Threatens You

  • Threatens to take away the children
  • Threatens to leave you destitute
  • Threatens to tell your boss or friends something about you
  • Threatens to share sex videos or pictures online

If you feel you are a victim of emotional abuse and are ready to talk to an attorney, please contact me today.