Emotional Abuse Checklist: Are You Being Emotionally Abused?

What is emotional abuse?

There is no universally accepted definition of emotional abuse. Like other forms of violence in relationships,emotional abuse emotional abuse is based on power and control. The following are widely recognized as forms of emotional abuse: Your spouse…

  • Frequently blames or criticizes you
  • Calls you names
  • Ridicules your beliefs, religion, race class or sexual preference
  • Blames you for “causing” the abuse
  • Ridicules/makes bad remarks about your gender
  • Criticizes or threatens to hurt your family or friends
  • Isolates you from your family and friends
  • Abuses animals
  • Tries to keep you from doing something you wanted to do
  • Is angry if you pay too much attention to someone or something else (children, friends, school, etc.)
  • Withholds approval, appreciation or affection
  • Humiliates you
  • Becomes angry if meals or housework are not done to his/her liking
  • Makes contradictory demands
  • Does not include you in important decisions
  • Does not allow you to sleep
  • Repeatedly harasses you about things you did in the past
  • Takes away car keys, money or credit cards
  • Threatens to leave or told you to leave.
  • Checks up on you (listens to your phone calls, looks at phone bills, checks the mileage on the car, etc.)
  • Tells people you suffer from a mental illness
  • Threatens to commit suicide
  • Interferes with your work or school (provokes a fight in the morning, calls to harass you at work, etc.)
  • Minimizes or denies being abusive
  • Abuses your children
  • Breaks dates and cancels plans without reason
  • Uses drugs or alcohol to excuse their behavior
  • Uses phrases like “I’ll show you who is boss,” or “I’ll put you in line”
  • Uses loud or intimidating tone of voice
  • Comes home at late hours refusing an explanation

Emotional abuse can have serious physical and psychological consequences for women, including severe depression, anxiety, persistent headaches, back and limb problems, and stomach problems. If you are concerned about the abuse level you are experiencing, please call 1−800−799−SAFE (7233).


  1. 2

    joe says

    So many of these traits I had endured for years, but as a man does this stuff count or is it a sign of weakness being male and living this. For me I lived this because I felt so controlled and tried to please her while always thinking something is wrong with me, that I was and am not worthy and need to change or do something to please her. But it always seemed even when I thought I made her happy and she acted like she liked me something would tick her off and I would be demoralized and put down, I’d usually feel like a looser and failure.
    It seemed that at times when their was a chance of being close at times because we had a good moment she would start a fight by saying something demoralizing or being put down. Many times it seemed intensional, excpecially at night, eliminating any hope of effection or acceptance.
    I really don’t know any more, it feels as though my life has been meaningless and of no value.
    How can a man in his late 40’s get to such a state.

  2. 4

    tom says


    You are not alone. I’m 38, been married since 1999 and just recently seen the light. I thought my wife just had a Type A personality but to find out, according to my therapist (she has seen both my wife and myself) says my wife has “narcissistic personality disorder”. In researching what that means, my wife is text book case. Obviously I don’t know your situation entirely but some food for thought for you.

    You may not have found your menaing for life yet but that doesn’t mean your life doesn’t have meaning, you just haven’t found your calling yet.

    Addtionally, there are many forums out there for support. Find one and I think it will help.

    I’m too new at this “awakening” to give you any sound advice other than you do have the strength in side your soul. The very face that you are reading this post says that.

    Good luck!


  3. 5


    Very imformative my girlfriend’s MUM does this to her all the time I try telling her her mum is wrong for the things she does to her but she always makes excuses for her mum’s actions so i was looking for some information on how to deal with her cause i do get angry sometimes when i see how stress her mum gets her.
    I really need help on how to deal with this situation because i really love her and i am planning to Marry her so can you please tell me what is the best way to deal with her and her mother

  4. 6

    Tom says

    Washington, D.C. In 44 year old man that just recently almost was married , (long story) well I have just realized recently that the women the I loved had completely blew my mind and that I came to realize I nor her don’t have a clue on how she is inside, the entire relationship of on and off 4-5 years was lies and I don’t think she even knows it, I believe she’s even posted on here several times.. Without a dought I beleive she is bpd with the abandonment issue narriss of the worst kind. This has completly change me as I had no idea anyone human could do the things I’ve learned that has happened.
    What do I do?


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