Look at mental abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse.
Are You Being Mentally/Emotionally/Verbally Abused?
Mental abuse often has some threat involved such as, "If you don’t shape up, I will…"
"If you leave me, I’ll go off without a trace. You and the kids will never find me and never get a penny from me."
All abuse takes a toll on self-esteem. The abused person starts feeling helpless and possibly even hopeless.
In addition, most emotional abusers are adept at convincing the victim that the abuse is his/her fault. Somehow, the victim is responsible for what happened.
Mental abuse is a blow of death to your self-esteem. Often the first step in leaving the abuse is obtaining counseling to rebuild that esteem.
Women and men can be verbal abusers.: The following recurring thoughts indicate you are being mentally or emotionally abused by your spouse or lover.
"Sandy has no right to do that." "I had better not tell Harry or he will be mad again." "I’d better keep this private to avoid being criticized again." "I can never do anything right with Chris." "I can’t stand it when Erin does that to me." "Sometimes I think Natalie is tearing me apart with her mouth." "Bob is always so sarcastic." "When Pat talks to me like that I feel really small."
A common form of emotional abuse is "I love you, but…" That sounds so sweet, yet it is both a disguised criticism and a threat. It indicates, "I love you now, but if you don’t stop such-and such, that love is of short duration." It is a constant put-down that works on your self-esteem.
Bob Carver is a relationship coach and a family mediator in Dallas, Texas.