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The Whisper of Subtle Abuse – How to Recognize the Signs

  • JEALOUSY – Okay, we all love to see our partner just a little jealous. It makes us feel we are worthy. But, taken too far, it isn’t fun. You are allowed to smile at another person. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s called being friendly. If you smile at a guy, or girl, at the coffee shop and get the third degree or a silent treatment, that is taking it too far. If you receive a text and smile and your partner wants to know every word that is said, that’s too much. If you are on the phone with your daughter and laughing, and he gets upset and feels slighted, that is wrong. Think about the levels you are willing to accept.
  • Feeling like you are constantly being watched – If I am on the phone in the bedroom with my dad or brother, my ex found excuses to come into the room. He wanted to know what I was doing and what I was talking about. Once, he asked why I couldn’t talk in front of him. Well, for one, he interrupts constantly asking questions. For another, I can’t hear on the phone when others are talking in the room. And last, it was none of his business.
  • Never getting privacy, and if you manage to find any, he or she interrupts – I love soaking in a hot bath. That is my me time, my time to think and unwind. He often sauntered in to talk, or to get something, or knock on the door asking if I am alright. This was an invasion of my privacy, and I was too stupid to see it. Don’t make that mistake.
  • The silent treatment when your partner does not get their way – My ex was non-violent. I have never been afraid of him; however, he pouts. If I said the least little thing, even something such as, “I don’t agree kids should be in bed at ten on a weekend (they are teens), he went into a pouty, whiny, feelings sorry for himself mood. I would receive texts saying everything he did was wrong, everyone would be better off without him, etc. And he cried. Now there is nothing wrong with a man crying, in fact, it is quite manly, but crying over every little thing is a form of control! He was quite good at making me feel guilty, giving in, and going along with whatever it was he wanted in the first place.
  • When you speak your mind, your partner withdrawals into a deep depression – I am not talking about a huge, relationship ending argument, but a small, necessary one. For instance, if I told my husband I didn’t appreciate him telling me it was time to go to bed (true story), he would start texting me (not talking, but texting) that he is useless, a waste of space, and everyone would be better off without him. Yes, he suffers from depression, but this was done as another form of control. He wanted me to feel sorry for him. He needed me to cater to him, to ignore my own needs and feelings, and concentrate solely on him. This was not healthy for either of us.
  • Again, these are just examples. There are other things that are controlling and emotionally destroying. If you or a loved on is suffering from quiet but damaging control, take steps to stop it and find your own self again. We are strong. We are capable. We are independent. We are amazing. Don’t let anyone take that from you.