Signs of Emotional Abuse

Abusive Expectations

  • Makes unreasonable demands.
  • Requires constant attention, or that you spend all your free time with him/her.
  • Constantly criticizes. Nothing you ever do is right.
  • No matter how much you give, it never seems to be enough.


  • Calls you names, accuses, blames, threatens, or gives orders.
  • Can be disguised as “helping” or “teaching.”
  • Judgmental “I know best” attitude.

Constant Chaos

  • Deliberately starts arguments and may be in constant conflict with you or with others
  • Treats you well in front of others, but changes into a different person when you’re alone together, or vice a versa.
  • May enjoy “drama,” because it creates excitement and brings the focus back onto him/herself.


  • Denies your personal needs, especially when that need is greatest, and does so with the intent of hurting, punishing, or humiliating you.
  • Denies that certain events occurred or that certain things were said.
  • Refuses to listen or communicate (silent treatment), and withdraws emotionally.
  • Denies your perceptions, memory, and sanity.
  • Disallows or overrules any viewpoints, perceptions, or feelings that differ from his/her own.
  • Causes you to lose confidence in and question your own perceptions and feelings.
  • Causes you to doubt your most powerful survival tool: your own mind.


  • Manipulates the relationship so that the only feelings and opinions that count are his/her own.
  • Must have his/her own way, and will hurt your feelings if necessary in order to get it.
  • Holds you personally responsible for his/her own happiness.
  • Disregards your personal standards or beliefs, and may try to persuade you to do things that you don’t want to do.

Emotional Blackmail

  • Plays on your fear, guilt, compassion, religious values, or other “hot buttons” to get what he/she wants.
  • May threaten to end the relationship, totally reject or abandon you, give you the “cold shoulder,” or use other tactics to control you.

2 Responses to Signs of Emotional Abuse

  1. admin says:

    The ‘Master’s Manual’ by Jack Rinella may be a good resource for you. You might also check out the books by Mike Makai. Mike has some of the most down-to-earth advice about D/s than just about anything I have read.

  2. Sheila Perkins says:

    Feel like I don’t have a say about myself he always wants to punish me. Which just irritates me. I’m the older one in this relationship yet to punish me he wants to spank me. Wtf? I feel like I need to get out.

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