What Is Psychological Abuse?

When people talk about domestic violence, they usually mean physical and sexual violence. But it is difficult to identify the effects on the partner’s psyche that don’t leave scars visible to prying eyes. It is even more difficult to make clear recommendations. Still, let’s try to understand and answer the eternal questions — “who is to blame” and “what to do”.

Abuse or Reasonable Claims?

Experts are cautious about giving practical recommendations outside of a specific situation. The explanation is simple. There are not many obvious behavioral pathologies that can be confidently described as hard manipulation without communicating directly with both partners.

Most experts classify signs of human behavior, the combination of which makes it possible to talk about the presence of psychological violence. The list of the features varies, but the differences are not fundamental.

In some situations, these signs are quite clear. If at least some of them are present in your relationship with your partner, this is a reason to seek professional help:

  • your needs, desires, and asking are ignored or ridiculed;
  • you get constant negative assessments – of your plans and hopes, achievements, appearance, worldview, style in clothes and makeup, any of your qualities, and personal manifestations;
  • you are declared the cause of all your partner’s problems in your relationship;
  • you are totally controlled, the communication environment is minimized, and you are isolated from contacts with people who can give you support — your parents’ family, relatives, friends, etc.;
  • the partner ignores you as a punishment for bad behavior, for resisting the practice of total control, provokes feelings of guilt for imperfect relationships in the couple and their own failures;
  • the partner shows suspicion, regularly plays the jealousy card, often in a rude form, unceremoniously violates your personal boundaries;
  • At the same time, the partner’s requirements are contradictory, they put you in a situation where it is impossible to understand what they want. As a result, any of your actions according to the partner’s scale of assessments is qualified as wrong, destructive, stupid, etc.;
  • In any situation, the partner is absolutely sure that they are right, which makes any discussion of the relationship almost impossible.

Many experts note the presence of cycles in the practice of psychological violence.

SOS: Where to Run and What to Do

The ideal option for you, in this case, is to contact a therapist. Don’t have groundless hopes — if you have found in the actions of your partner most of these signs, then the question of saving the relationship isn’t worth it. You can’t change your personality. But you can save yourself.

Your partner may react aggressively to your desire to break up. Come up with a backup plan — it can be the help of relatives, friends, and in case of the dangerous behavior of a partner — the law enforcement authorities.

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