I was in my thirties before I realised that I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, and it’s a sad fact that many women don’t realise they are. I’ve now learned what a respectful relationship consists of.

I know that every relationship is different and everyone’s experiences are different, but for the sake of this article and because I want to help you I will list a few things that I was putting up with. This may be what you are experiencing or this may be similar to what you are experiencing.

Emotional abuse is insidious you don’t always realise what is happening but the effect it has on you is major if this is left unchecked. Read below to see if any of these issues form part of your relationship.

When you voice an opinion you’re ridiculed or belittled.

When you’re watching TV, you receive comments about what you’ve chosen to watch comments such as “what’s this rubbish” are commonplace. You receive a loud huff or a’ tut’, and a rolling of eyes, this makes you feel bad or guilty about your choice of programme.

Your partner has control of the finances and when you wish to buy something, you have to justify why you want it, if it’s not deemed as important in their eyes, you go without.

When you wish to go somewhere or do something that you feel is important to you such as a college course or somewhere special for the day etc. You only go if it fits their expectations.

Holidays and big decisions are made without acknowledging your opinions or feelings.

You’re continually criticised for what you haven’t done and not acknowledged for the things you have done.

You rarely get positive comment about your looks or achievements.

You feel generally under-valued and feel you don’t have a voice.

When you do something that in their eyes is wrong, you are ignored or they become defensive when spoken to, sometimes you experience the’ silent’ treatment.

These are just a few of the behaviours that identify you’re not being treated respectfully. It ‘s NOT OK when you feel belittled or undervalued and have a continual supply of negative comments. Why should you have to justify the reasons for your choices. Your thoughts, opinions, wants, hopes and dreams are the essence of WHO YOU ARE. You’re an individual you possess unique gifts and talents that you bring to the world.

NO-ONE has a right to undermine or tell you what’s right. If your relationship displays the issues I listed above then this is emotional/mental abuse.

There are relationships where the perpetrator doesn’t realise they are behaving in this way or that their behaviour is having an effect on you. And there are relationships where the perpetrator knows exactly what they’re doing and uses it to control situations in their favour.

If you do recognise yourself as being in a relationship like this what can you do?
1. Talk to you partner about how you feel and suggest you both get help through relationship counselling or relationship specialists.

2. You can go to a relationship specialist/coach or go to see your GP on your own.

3. You can make the decision that you do not want to continue the relationship and leave.

4. You may be able to get support through a women’s support group.

There are many families that display this type of attitude and behaviour and if you’ve been unfortunate to grow up in one of these families you’ll generally take on the same patterns without knowing, treating others in this way. You can also grow up thinking that relationships like this are the norm, you have not experienced a loving caring or nurturing environment, so don’t have another reference to judge what’s right or wrong, it’s only when you see others in a loving environment you realise that yours is different.

I hope I’ve alerted you to potential problems or issues that could affect you, and highlighted what you can do.

You can overcome these problems and go on to have a very loving and fulfilling relationship if both parties recognise where the problems lie and take action to change them.

For those of you where the partner doesn’t change or doesn’t want to change then the only action is to leave and work on building your confidence and self esteem before rushing into another relationship.

Loving yourself is the key, when you love and respect yourself, recognise yourself as an individual and believe you are important you’ll not allow others to treat you this way and you will only attract those that are respectful and loving.

Author's Bio: 

Shelley Harris is an expert in life transformations, she works with many issues including relationships, confidence, success. She has a keen interest in WHY people do what they do. And WHY people don't do what they don't. She will help you uncover the emotional and mental barriers that's stopping you from living life to the full.