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What Are the Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship?

Abuse is an unfortunately common issue in many divorces. This abuse is not always physical or visible — it can take many psychological and emotional forms, as well.

The following are a few common signs of emotionally abusive relationships. If you believe these signs describe your situation, it may be time to consider whether the relationship is salvageable:

  • You are always worried about angering or disappointing your partner: You shouldn’t have to feel as though you’re walking on eggshells around your spouse or partner. This often means you have accepted and internalized your partner’s regular anger or abuse.
  • Your partner gets angry when you do not check in: You are adults, and you should not have to constantly check in with your partner and tell him or her where you are and who you are with. There’s a difference between genuine concern and a person who desires control and power in the relationship. If your partner gets angry when you do not make these check-ins, it’s not a sign of genuine concern.
  • Your partner regularly makes hurtful jokes at your expense: All partners joke around with each other, but there are limits as to what is or is not acceptable in a relationship. If your partner regularly makes hurtful comments about you and attempts to dress them up as “jokes,” even after you have complained about these comments, it’s a form of emotional abuse.
  • Your partner constantly belittles your accomplishments: Degrading comments and attempts to belittle your positive feelings and accomplishments are an attempt by your partner to maintain control and power in the relationship. For abusers, there is a fear that a person who is able to find happiness or success through his/her own merits will no longer be in their power.
  • Your partner withholds affection or money as a form of punishment: If there is a history of your partner being purposefully cold to you, withholding sex or restricting your finances to punish you for certain behaviors, it may be a sign of emotional abuse.

If you are about to remove yourself from an abusive marriage or relationship, speak with an experienced Minnesota divorce attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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