The truth is you may not recognize him or her at first because they will work overtime to make you feel like you are the answer to their prayers. They will make you feel like you are one in a million, larger than life, and floating on cloud 9 in an intense love affair. They will sweep you off your feet with their charm and move very fast to win your heart.
This may not be true of all emotional abusers, but it is a familiar scenario for many who have been caught in this spider’s web and have experienced the charisma of this love-bombing perpetrator. Once they have won your trust and now feel secure in their ability to control and manipulate you — the subtle abuse will begin.
Obviously, the first sign is the intense, fast-moving, too-good-to-be-true, gift-giving sweet-talking romancer who puts you on a pedestal before enough time has gone by to know you.
You find yourself feeling safe and happier and more in love than you could have imagined, then your world will begin to shift and shake.
Eight Warning Signs of an Emotional Abuser to be Aware of:
- You will begin to feel dismissed. You are not heard and listened to the way you once were when they were trying to reel you in. Notice if they have really empathy for you and the things you care about.
- You will experience intermittent love bombing with dismissals. This will cause great confusion and stress to you.
- You will be excluded from important decisions and begin to see them act more independently. This will make you feel like you don’t matter, and it is a way to control you.
- You will begin to feel like you are going crazy with confusion and stress trying to figure them out. Reach out for help if you have not already.
- When you begin to confront the abuser about these things they will shame and blame you and make you feel there is something wrong with you.
- As the abuse escalates you may continue to try and confront them and question their crazy-making behavior and they will gaslight you. This will cause you to doubt your own reality.
- They may use money to control you by not giving you access to finances or financial information. You may feel like you don’t have a real partner who cares.
- They will manipulate you to get their way. This can be sexually or even spiritually as well. You may feel scared or obligated to comply with them or guilty about not doing what they want.
There may be other warning signs for an emotional abuser as well. These are a few of the more common ones. Abusive behaviors tend to fall into patterns once you know what red flags to look for.
This is all so very sobering, painful, and frightening. If you suspect that you are being emotionally abused, please reach out to a professional therapist or coach who is well acquainted with emotional abuse and pathological partners.
As I often say, the abuse is not your fault, but it is your responsibility to do the work, seek help, and learn, grow, and understand why you were vulnerable to such insidious harm.
Staying in this kind of relationship too long will eventually make you physically ill from the stress and indignities. There is help available for you and for your children to recover and you will all be better in the long run.
These are extremely hard lessons to learn, but I know from my own experience that there is hope and life after abuse. Dig deep into your spiritual well and know that yes, God hates divorce AND God also does not want his people living in abusive relationships. There is compassion, mercy, and grace available. You are loved.
If you are truly in an unsafe emotionally abusive relationship or marriage, the chances of you having trauma from this abuse is very high as well. 75% of victims have some form of PTSD or C-PTSD.
My own experience both personally and professionally led me to create my Soul of Healing program with a group for each stage of recovery. Please check out my groups on my website and don’t hesitate to reach out to me for a free consultation.
Trade the trauma for truth and the pain for purpose.
I pray for you to find the courage you need.
Thanks again to Donna. Her amazing insight makes for such informative articles!
Donna’s calling is to help spiritual women understand if they are involved in the confusion and trauma of a toxic emotionally abusive relationship and to guide them to heal transform and transcend the pain into a meaningful new beginning. She has been a clinical therapist for over 20 years and is a certified holistic wellness coach who specializes in grief and loss, trauma (Brainspotting certified), and emotional narcissistic abuse recovery.