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What is emotional abuse?

answered 11:01 PM EST, Mon September 10, 2012
anonymous anonymous
How do I know if the way my partner treats me is emotional abuse or not. We have been together for 9 months and are living together. He often makes me feel stupid for no reason but when I ask him why he does this he says he is just kidding and why cant I take a joke and then he makes me feel like I am no fun at all to be with and he won't talk to me for a day or so. I love him but sometimes i am not sure if the way he makes me feel is healthy for me.

Jill Palmer Says...

Emotional abuse is different for different people. If you feel bad about the way your partner is treating you and he won't honor how you feel about it, there is something off. I don't know if it's your communication style together which is off or your dynamics with each other. Communication is about talking in a language our partner can understand and about our partner wanting to understand what we are trying to communicate. If communication isn't the problem, then maybe it's not in the understanding but in how to change one's behavior. How was he taught to be a man and how to be in a relationship?

Whether you are in a healthy relationship or not depends on how you feel about it. Are you happy enough? Are you the best you? Are you fulfilled enough? Is this really about a difference in sense of humor or is there something behind his words that isn't loving? 

I would try talking to him about how his words affect you and see how he responds. Does he take your seriously and is sorry or does he get defensive and justify his words? You might want to seek counseling to get the wording right with your partner or to determine whether you think you are being emotionally abused. A therapist can help you to feel more empowered to make appropriate decisions for your life and how you want to be treated. A therapist an also help you communicate in a way that is better understood by your partner.

I hope this helps some. 

Jill Palmer, LPC

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