Emotional abuse happens when we or someone we are in relationship with are not treated with dignity, respect or kindness regarding emotions.
Being disappointment or frustrated from time to time is normal for all people in relationships but emotional abuse happens when that disappointment or frustration is taken out on the one we love in a way that humiliates, ridicules, belittles, manipulates or ignores.
Sometimes even teasing is emotional abuse if it is unwelcome and ongoing.
If you feel bad about yourself or try and make your loved one feel bad with the intention of controlling or creating a sense of meanness, that’s emotional abuse.
It is common for emotional abuse to happen alongside other forms of family harm, such as intimidation and psychological abuse, but these can sometimes be hidden behind reactions to unrealistic expectations like feeling mad because the house is a mess, or someone forgot to buy milk. If these matters can’t be negotiated by discussion, co-operation and agreement with both people feeling ok, then it’s not an ok relationship.
When we feel emotional, because of disappointment or frustration, making the choice to be respectful while navigating the way forward in the relationship, is a what both people can and need to do for safer relationships and safer families.