Emotional abuse may be one of the most subtle and hard-to-understand types of abuse out there.
It's a form of abuse where the perpetrator uses fear, humiliation, and/or verbal assault to undermine the self-esteem of the victim.
Because emotional abuse isn't as clear-cut as physical abuse and is insidious, the scars can last a lifetime.
Being so close to the situation can make it even more challenging to notice and understand when your partner is being abusive. I mean, we all learned the adage "sticks and stones may break my bones..." Truth is, words can hurt -- very much.
Here are some signs you're in an emotionally abusive relationship.
1) He wants to spend every waking moment with you, and expects you to do the same.
2) You realize that you now find yourself questioning every move you make - will this set him off? Will that?
3) If you're worried about setting him off, you find that you simply do not make any move. Easier that way.
4) If you do manage to set him off, rather than have a discussion, he simply withholds his affection and love, and may disappear for hours.
5) When you do something he doesn't like, he gives you the silent treatment rather than talking to you about it.
6) All the rules of your relationship are defined by him - and are subject to change at any moment.
7) He wants to know where you are at every moment of the day. If you're 20 minutes late coming back from the grocery store, he demands to know why and will spend hours grilling you about those 20 minutes.
8) Slowly but surely, he begins to isolate you from everyone who loves you - your parents, friends, family, work friends. It happens so slowly that it can be hard to notice.
9) You either have to share all social media accounts with him (including email) or allow him access to each of your accounts.
10) You realize you're actually afraid of your partner.
11) You avoid all topics that may trigger his anger.
12) You've begun to believe that you are crazy and deserve the cruelty your partner dishes out.
13) You're the one who's to blame for ALL the abusive behavior - just ask your partner!