See below for 10 Common Emotional Abuse Techniques.
Also, I am looking for people to post very brief examples of emotional abuse that they have suffered from their partners, as well as techniques that they have found useful to survive emotional abuse…
Please post anonymously!
PS. Thanks so much…I am hoping to use the information to help others.
10 Common Emotional Manipulation Techniques
In intimate Partner Relationships
Remember: The abuser uses your two greatest strengths against you: your love for your partner and your love for your children. The abuser knows that you are not likely to abandon either, and will put up with almost anything to keep both.
- Belittlement: on a regular basis, the abuser says negative things to their partner. These put-downs range from intellect, ability to control emotions, appearance, housekeeping abilities, income production, parenting skills, use of time, sexual performance, general ability to manage your life, general worth to the world, and etc. Note that often times this comes in the form of sarcasm and humor, which makes it no less harmful, just easier to try to justify.
- Isolation: cutting the recipient off from any emotional support, including family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. This is often done very subtly; every time you mention spending time with someone else, you are not necessarily ordered not to do so, but it is accomplished nonetheless by one or more of the following: a) strong negative comments about the person, b) strong negative comments about your abandoning tasks at home, c) falsely claiming they emotionally need you at home, d) claiming there is not enough money for you to go out, and etc.
- Intimidation: emotionally or physically placing you in a position where you feel fearful for yourself and/or your children. This can be accomplished by physical aggression (body language), tone of voice, holding potential weapons, and etc.
- Coercion/Threats: Proposing or promising negative reactions if you do not comply with stated desires or plans. These threats can be to your body, your children, your reputation, your financial status, your relationships with others, and your life. Many also threaten to take their own life, or take the children from yours. Coercion through attempts at stirring up pity or claiming that you do not want to save the marriage/relationship are also emotional manipulation.
- Blame-shifting: taking little or no blame for things to themselves and shifting most or all blame to you. Whether it be for a child’s sniffles, lost keys, unpaid bills, or loss of a job, abusers are very good at finding some way to shift the blame to their partner leaving little or none at their own doorstep.
- Economic Control: not giving you access to money, credit cards, and etc. Many abusers give all sorts of reasons why they do not allow their partners access to money, but the underlying reason is always the same – controlling your activities. Economic control is also accomplished by hiding all the records, bills, accounts, and etc. to keep you in the dark about the financial condition of the household, often in anticipation of a divorce/separaation.
- Logistical Control: not allowing access to the car, phones, email, or even going to the store alone. Many abusers want to make sure that they are fully aware of where you are at all times, what you are doing, and with whom. Installing of tracking devices on computers or phones and putting GPS tracking devices on vehlcles is also logistical control.
- Child Manipulation: using the children to bring about any of the other types of abuse and control. The key phrase is “using the children”, and this is done without care or concern about any negative effects or harm might come to them as a result.
- Male Privilege: assuming that because he is a male, he has been granted by God or the universe, the right to: be smarter, have the first say, have the last say, do little or nothing around the house, have sex whenever he is in the mood, have no responsibilities for the children, ignore your concerns, or even things interesting to you, and etc.
- Religious Control: using religious authority to coerce you into behaving in ways in which you are not comfortable. This can be the area of complete submission, sexual domination, religious education, and etc. This is a double whammy when woven in with male privilege. There are often strong and effective attempts to make you feel guilty and like a horrible sinner if you do not comply. This control is especially insidious because it is coupled with male privilege of being the one who gets to say how to interpret the religious texts. (Note 1: this is not to in any way meant to put down the texts themselves or their authority. In my experience it is misinterpretation and misapplication that is the problem, not the texts themselves.)(Note 2: The three major living religions in the U.S. are Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and I am not aware of any problematic use of female privilege in these systems.)