Emotional Abuse – Overt and Covert

In recognizing forms and signs of abuse, it is necessary to establish that abuse can take many forms, and they are not always as obvious as yelling or beating.

Overt abuse is the more obvious form of abuse. The abuser is often aggressive and physically and/or psychologically violent. They may employ vicious name-calling, act with subversive behaviors like spying or phone-tapping, use sex as a tool for manipulation and self-satisfaction, spend large amounts of money without respect for the victim’s needs, and deny love, affection, and warmth to the victim or the entire family.

Often, through coaching and the victim’s own commitment to change, overt behaviors will cease. In some cases however, the abusive mindset is so deeply rooted that an abuser will switch from overt abuse to covert abuse.

Covert abuse is well-disguised and hard to pin down. It manifests in manipulative and sneaky behaviors. One such example is a line like, “I can have anybody I want, but I’m with you.” Or leaving the house but denying an explanation of why or where, leaving the victim open to doubt and insecurity. The abuser may give subtle hints about the victim’s inability to do something right or their inability to understand the abuser, and turn the conversation around and insist that they are the misunderstood victim. Other mind games might be a denial of compliments and affection, but will talk about other women/men constantly. They may forget important dates and treat the victim differently from friends, co-workers, and other women/men.

Covert abuse creates a harrowing relationship for the victim, one seeded with doubt, insecurity, and feelings of foolishness and jealousy. Some victims may experience the abuse and wonder if abuse is occurring at all, and whether they are just blowing things out of proportion.

Don’t get locked in that trap. If the situation was the other way around, how would treat your partner? Would you take the time to reassure, comfort, and explain in situations that could be taken the wrong way? If you’re willing to do that to preserve a relationship, and your partner is not, you have a problem. It isn’t about something you did - it’s about what your partner isn’t doing.

Neil Warner

Neil Warner

I'm the “relationship guru,” and my main focus is to increase the quality of love-based relationship experiences. In this ground-breaking guide I offer useful strategies on healing a difficult angry relationship with love and compassion. You don't have to stay in an unhealthy relationship one more minute. Let us share our tools with you today, by buying the ebook with solutions for healing emotional abuse in your life and having a happier love relationship….


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