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What Is Psychological Abuse

Psychological abuse in a relationship is not always obvious to the outside world and the victim has even greater difficulty seeing it. Although psychological abuse does not leave physical bruises or scars, severe psychological abuse occurs, which is why victims should seek professional help immediately. At Cuppls, we help people with all types of relationship issues, so if you think that you or someone you love is the victim of psychological abuse, you can get access our trained professionals to help you better understand the situation and heal the damage.

Why Psychological Abuse Is Difficult to Recognize

Psychological abuse is difficult to recognize because you don’t want to believe that someone you love doesn’t love you the same way. We always try to view our partners in the most favorable light, so most people find it very hard to see that their partners are abusive. When someone is the victim of abuse, the abuser slowly breaks down the victim’s sense of self and self-esteem and the victim feels shame and guilt. To the outside world, the relationship probably looks great, but at home, you feel the fear and shame of not having control over your own life. Normal life becomes replaced by frequent abuse. Daily abuse becomes your new normal. After a while, you have lived with the constant abuse for so long, it seems normal and you can hardly remember how great your life was before the abuse began.

Signs of Psychological Abuse in a Relationship

Although many behaviors may signal psychological abuse in a relationship, some of the most common signs include:

  • You don’t know when your partner will have another abusive outburst, so you walk on eggshells around him or her.
  • You make excuses for your partner’s abusive behavior.
  • You experience negative consequences if you ask for what you want within the relationship.
  • The focus of your relationship remains on your partner most of the time and he or she only focuses on you when you do something that is wrong in your partner’s eyes.
  • Your partner punishes you if you don’t pay enough attention to him or her.
  • Your partner belittles, ridicules and treats you like you don’t matter.
  • Your partner isolates from your friends and family.
  • Your partner withholds love and affection.
  • Your partner blames you as the cause of his or her problems.

Because psychological abuse comes in many forms, you may experience other signs not listed here. If you are experiencing any behavior from your partner that you believe is abuse, then you need to seek professional help as soon as possible to escape from the abusive situation and begin to heal yourself emotionally.

Understanding the Cause of Psychological Abuse

The most important aspect of abuse to understand when trying to recognize psychological abuse is that an abuser abuses as a way to manage his or her own fears and insecurities. An abuser will not stop abusing until he or she resolves the underlying psychological issues. Victims of abuse often think that they can stop the abuse by being better or doing more of what their partner wants. The truth is that in an abusive relationship, you can never satisfy your partner because the source of your partner’s dissatisfaction is internal and has little to do with you.


If you see signs of psychological abuse, seek professional help immediately and encourage your partner to do the same. Here at Cuppls, our therapists have the compassion, understanding and training to help you recognize, deal with and heal from psychological abuse.


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