Many relationships in Ghana have seen the persons involved suffer from various forms of emotional abuse.
Although many people refuse to accept the fact that they are being emotionally abused in a relationship, it is a very common.
Unfortunately, most victims fail to realise until it’s too late and out of control. Emotional abuse comes in different forms, including physical, sexual and even financial abuse.
Your partner many not readily show signs of ill-treating you, but as time goes on there are certain things he or she does that should prompt you that you are experiencing emotional abuse in your relationship.
Here are eight signs that suggest emotional abuse in a relationship:
1. Always criticizing your looks and dressing
Everyone has the right to dress in a particular way that he or she wants, and that applies to those in relationships. It is not right for one to always be found criticizing the looks or dressing of his or her partner at the least chance.
This is a form of emotional abuse because it lowers the self-esteem of the victim. There is no problem if one asks his or her partner to dress in a particular way once in a while, but the moment is becomes constant, then you must know what you are into.
More especially when he or she always tries to force you to dress or look a particular way to impress friends or relatives.
2. Constant and repeated texts
Relationships thrive on constant communication, however, it could become emotional abuse when one partner chooses to always call or text to check in.
Immediately your communication becomes inseparable – he or she always calls or texts to check up on you at the least minute – it could escalate into guilting.
He or she may soon require that you are always glued to your phone so you don’t miss their calls and that could constitute emotional abuse.
3. No personal space
Another form of emotional abuse which many people fail to spot in a relationship is when your partner is reluctant to allow you have your personal space.
Everybody – even husbands and wives – have the right to their privacy and this is s non-negotiable thing. The moment your partner decides not to understand this situation and goes further to pester you all the time, he is emotionally abusing you.
Both partners in a relationship need to respect each other’s boundaries.
4. They try to control your associates
A relationship can only work when the two people involved respect each other’s friends and loved ones. As such, it is totally wrong for one to try to control who the partner should and should not hang out with.
If you realise he or she is with bad company, you can draw their attention to it, but to demand that they stop all acquaintances with some of their close friends constitutes emotional abuse.
Never must you allow your partner to decide for you who and who not to hang out with.
5. When they always try to speak for you
Many people confuse this type of emotional abuse with being romantic. It many sound good when your partner tries to always defend you in public when you are in a tight spot.
However, the moment it becomes a habit that he or she always wants to speak for you, an abuse comes in.
He or she has no right to act as your spokesperson in conversations where you are preset in person and can speak for yourself. That amounts to curtailing your independence.
6. By force sex
This is the most common form of emotional abuse. Most partners, especially men, force their fiancés or wives into having sex with them, which is not right.
In fact, this is a crime which is punishable by law in most parts of the world. A good relationship allows for healthy and consensual sex. Anything less is unacceptable, especially when he tries to force himself on you.
7. Directing angry outbursts
Getting worked up and annoyed is a normal thing in every relationship, but it becomes emotional abuse when one partner constantly directs angry outbursts at the other.
A relationship is meant to be about passion, laughter, love, companionship and all the good that come with it, and even where there are differences, it must never escalate into an abuse.
Physical abuse is not the only form of emotional abuse; yelling, shouting and aiming angry outbursts at your partner is equally an abuse.
8. They try to manipulate you
Manipulation in any relationship also constitutes emotional abuse. This is because each partner has the right to their own judgements and convictions.
Never should one partner try to lure the other into thinking his or her convictions are never right. For instance, you may begin to realize that your partner has anger issues and try to talk to them about it. Rather than take responsibility or listen to your concerns, they say, "You're being way too sensitive. You just don't know what adult relationships are really like."
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