Ending Mental Abuse

Abusive partners are most often survivors of abuse themselves, and wreak havoc on the receiver(s) in mental, verbal, emotional and physical ways. Yet for many abuse survivors, mental abuse in relationships leaves the most lasting scars.

Mental Abuse Checklist:

1. Does your partner criticize or call you denigrating names like ugly, stupid or worthless?

2. Does your partner blame every argument or thing that goes wrong solely on you?

3. Do you second guess your own thoughts and feelings in favor of those of your partner?

4. Does your partner deny or refuse to acknowledge your feelings?

5. Is your partner hot and cold – loving one minute, and critical or distant the next?

6. Do you live in daily fear of upsetting your partner, or making him or her angry with you for something you’ve done?

7. Does your partner threaten, intimidate, isolate or control you?

If you have answered yes to any of the preceding questions, you are experiencing a form of mental abuse in your relationship, and contrary to what you may think and believe, you have done nothing to warrant being treated this way. You deserve respect and love.

Low self-worth and self-limiting beliefs are at the core of mental abuse in relationships, and are something that can be healed over time, though recovery is a gradual process. With abusive relationships, both the sender and receiver must change to stop the cycle; however, an individual can only truly change if they’re willing to make the change for themselves.

By allowing yourself to be abused, you are enabling your abuser, and if you are the one doing the abusing, continuing the behavior is accepting it and telling yourself that you are content with abusing a person who should be receiving your love and respect instead. Mental abuse over long term periods of time can cause psychological breakdowns, as hurt after hurt builds up and washes away all traces of the person’s individuality. Should you be in such a situation, it is imperative that you seek outside help.

(If, as you worked through the checklist, you personally identified as somebody exhibiting these behaviors to your partner, I strongly encourage you to seek help as soon as possible and confide in family, friends, your pastor, or a local counselor for help in healing the root causes for the damaging behavior.)

10 thoughts on “Ending Mental Abuse

  1. Mary

    To peanutsmommy.

    I was in the same situation. Mine was even worse. I got out, you have to contact any abuse hotline you can. One solution that was given to me was to sell everything I personally owned get plane tickets using false info (yes the authorities told me that) and fly to another state and enter the woman’s shelter in that state. That was in the 80’s. And I can only imagine the help a women’s shelter can give now. There is a way out don’t live this life another minute. This is your life now. Get in touch now. Bless you and good luck.

  2. peanutsmommy

    I spent most of my life in abusive relationships, my first husband for 15 yrs, beat me bad a few times, my ex bf was a closet meth addict…and now second husband is the same way ,wheut now i am , n i met thses guys they were all s weet and nice, but after they had me where they wanted me they started in , i thought i had learned my lesson and never would b in this situation again, my husband and i have been married since 2008, he was real nice to me , give me nice things ect, then he beat me , he is a ex meth and alcohol addict, his mother is a mean evil person too, she would let him beat me in the bedroom of her house when we lived thier and done nothing about it,if i called the police she would lie for him and tell the cops it was my fault — now we have a 3 yr old son, i do everything for him , i cook clean, everything, my husband works and comes home and goes to sleep he spends no quality time with my son, he yells at me all the time saying i dont discipline my son , he is a lil wild, but not eccessive, i think he has problems bcause his dad done drugs, but his father treats him like he is a stepchild — somwtimes i think he hates me and my son, he constantly puts me down, and says my son has problems bczause i wont hit him when he is bad , i do not blieve in hitting a child and not trying to go to jail for abuse, which i know would b the case if i did cause his mother would call the police on me, my husband demands sex fromme,if i do not give it to him he gets mad telling me , u jus wait b*tch , i am done with u, i am gonna leave, u jus wait and see, then walks around the house mumbling under his breathe , then leaves and comes back hrs later or next day and tells me i need to have respect for him, although it is hard for me to have respect for a man who abused me to the point he did, andisnt a father to his son, he thinks in his world, he is a father cuz he works and pays the bills, and does nothing else, and constantly tells me to get a job , which where is the mone coming from for daycare, bcause i wont leave my kid alone with him , he is very short tempered.
    he looks at other women when he is with me , and i have also caught him online on dating sites, he threatens to leave me all the time, he knows i hae no family that will help me , i have no wheres to go, i dont have a car, it is like he likes to keep me in his control by keeping any grasps of a real life away from me, and gets off on mental and verbally abusing me, he buys me things when i dont want ot have sex with him he goes into a rage ,threatening me again , accusing me of cheating on him — we have went to counceling bfore at our old church , but it didnt help , as for he blames me for everthing t, and takes no responsiblily for anything he does , admits to nothing, yesterday we went to church , my son wanted to go into church with me than the daycare, so i let him, he was good for a while and was enjoying the church , then when the singing was over and the pastor started, he got bored with it, started crawling on the floor , but wasnt being loud , jus acting like a 3 yr old and my husband got mad and made us leave, mumbled all the way to the car, we got home and he started yelling at me telling me i need to hit my son, i dont discipline him ect, then threatened to have my ointernet shut off take my cellphone back he got me for x-mas and leave, i am so tired of all this so i was like leave then ,he said o u jus wait i will and u wont b able to pay the bills , i will have everything shut off .. blah blah blah, i jus ignored him and went on with taking care of my son, i am not happy no more in my marraige, but have no wheres to go and i am in school to get my ged so i can get a job and get out of this marraige and get me and my son away from the abuse,

  3. Nena

    I’ve been in abusive relationships and boy do they knock you down. The last abusive relationship almost killed me. I still have PTSD issues from it.

  4. Rose Cocca

    i dont feel like i am being abuse…i dont need help with it..i just get over it and forget what he said…sometime i dont remember what was said…i get thing over with fast…because i dont think about it at all…all it takes the next day.and im over it…as far if i abuse someone else with my stupid words…( an i dont curse)i dont mean it. .i never like to hurt anybody feelings…and i have to try not to get back.to anyone…i should let it past and forget it…but someone thats it very serious..he has to learn to overlook everything.or he will go crasy to figure it out…i try to TELL HIM TO LET GO..he has to learn how to take jokes..i like to joke a lot but you take offence to it…but in time i thing he will learn…it just time..because the way he was abuse…he thinks he is abuseing me..NO WAY…i try not to let thing bother me…but in time you will understand ..but for now DO NOT THINK ABOUT ABUSEING..because it only i word and nothing else….we do have make each other angry.but i dont want to hurt you…and i know you dont mean to hurt me ..

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  7. chloechloe

    Hi Giovanna,

    What an important article. Sometimes, because we may not be getting battered physically, we don’t realize we’re getting battered emotionally or mentally.

    I couldn’t agree with you more. These kinds of relationships can really take a toll on one’s self-esteem.

    Whenever I’ve come across these kinds of issues in my readings I always remind my clients that their self-worth is not connected to whether or not they can please someone else.

    How someone else treats you is not an assessment of your worth. It is a projection of their own feeling about themselves. Thanks for this sharing this article with us Giovanna!

    Love & Light!
    ~Chloe ext. 9421

  8. r0sina1981r0sina1981

    Been through it in a past relationship…He was very charismatic for the first 2 months…for the remaining he put me through all of the above. After 8 months of anguish, i finally woke up and dropped him. His mom also whooped his behind for it after i told her what he had put me through ecause she was a feminist….

  9. velvetoversteel

    This is so powerful and needed, Giovanna! This article can help so many people!

    I experienced abuse for many years and you are absolutely right that the verbal abuse is the most lasting scars. At that time I got a diagnosis of PTS, Post Tramatic Stress. It has taking me years to heal and get my self-esteem back. The effects on my children were the most destating to me. However, they are saw the abuse for what it was.. Wrong and are all 3 incredibly conpassionate and protective of woman. They have told me the lessons they learned, which are how to not to treat someone and how not to tolerate anyone else they see doing it. I am so thankful and so proud of them!

    I am a much stronger person and confident person now a days and use my expierences to help other woman (and men) who continue to and have gone through the same experiences. I truely believe that God used our life experiences, both good and bad, to grow and to help others if we so choose.

    Thank you for a wonderful post, Giovanna!
    Big Hug to you,

  10. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Giovanna,

    I liked your article…….I work with victims of domestic violence now and then and I can tell that
    all of your points are prevalent with those victims…especially #6 & #7.

    Abuse occurs in many forms…..mental, emotional, and sometimes it reaches the physical level as well……counseling, for the abused AND the abuser can help .

    …..when it reaches the physical level though…it’s time to call 911. The very first time they hit, slap,punch you or whatever …you need to make sure it is the last time.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500


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