Emotionally Abusive Men

Tell-Tale Signs of Emotionally Abusive Men

Women frequently don’t realize that they are dating emotionally abusive men before significant damage to their self-esteem and feelings. If you are on the lookout, however, and know what signs to watch for, you can get out of potentially damaging relationships with emotionally abusive men before too much time and energy has been vested.



If you are in an abusive relationship, physically or emotionally, it is important to get out of it. If you are having problems leaving, or need assistance and guidance through the situation, there are several hotlines and organizations available to women, including mothers.


Emotionally abusive men seem to know instinctively that in order to have power over their spouses and lovers they need to separate them from their emotional support systems (i.e. friends and family). What may start off as a request to stop hanging around with your male friends can progress slowly into not calling your mother so much because he feels your phone calls and visits are taking time away from your relationship with him.

This is one of the biggest signs of a potentially harmful relationship, both emotionally and physically. By isolating you from your friends and family, you will no longer be able to have instant feedback from the people who know you best. You may be blinded by signs of potential abuse because you are not looking at the situation from an outsider’s point of view.

No Outside Activities

Similar to the isolation sign, many emotionally abusive men will also limit your activities outside of the relationship. This may include anything from school activities, solo shopping trips, traveling, and anything else that would cause you to be away from him. Keep in mind that he will not necessarily forbid you to engage in these activities, but he may give you a guilt trip and make you feel like you are neglecting him.

Putting You Down

Arguments happen in every relationship. In healthy relationships, though, disagreements are not accompanied by insults. If the man in your relationship puts you down, belittles you, or besmirches your character either in private or in public, you could be in a potentially abusive relationship.

Mind Games

Many men that try to control their women do so by bending them to their will and changing their perceptions and realities. This is accomplished in many ways. One of the most common ways emotionally abusive men do this is by accusing you of being crazy when you make a statement or question his judgment. If you question him, he may make you think that you are being paranoid and that nothing is wrong. This can train you to ignore certain warning signs and behaviors.


Demanding and Rebuking Affection and Intimacy

Affection and intimacy are powerful tools to the emotionally abusive man, and can be manipulated to his advantage easily if allowed. Some men may hold affection from you, making you crave any positive reinforcement from them that you can get. By doing so, they can often convince their spouses and girlfriends to alter their appearance or behaviors in order to gain the attention and affection that they crave.

In regards to sex, the opposite can be true as well. Many abusive men find it titillating to make their partners bend to their will sexually. This may involve convincing you to have sex when you don’t want to, or even participating in sexual activities that you may feel uncomfortable with or potentially disgusted by. In some cases, the man may force his partner to beg for sex, despite the fact that they don’t want it. They may also degrade them by performing humiliating acts.

Please remember—if you or someone you know is in a potentially abusive relationship, there are places and people to turn to that are ready and able to help put an end to a bad situation.