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Domestic Abuse - Emotional

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

  • Do you ever find yourself treading on eggshells?

  • Are you constantly monitoring your partners mood/behaviour?

  • Do you find yourself speaking very carefully to avoid a negative reaction?

  • Is it left up to you to find peace and balance between your partner and others within the house?

  • Are you constantly on high alert and unable to fully relax?

  • Do you do things that you feel you have to do to keep the peace?

  • Are you in a constant state of stress, worry, fear or anxiety?

  • Do you notice different behaviour from your partner outside the home?

  • Are you often left wondering where you stand?

  • Do you find yourself saying things to your partner which are often twisted into something else?

  • Are you carrying guilt or made to feel guilty for the things your partner does or gets for you?

  • Does your partner belittle you or make you feel picked on?

  • Are your dreams and goals often made to feel insignificant?

  • Do you feel you are being punished for doing something wrong?

  • Are you always feeling you are at fault for everything?

If you said yes to some of the above please read on

Domestic abuse can take many forms and often be hidden from the outside world!

If you find to the outside world your relationship appears perfect, everyone tells you how lucky you are to have landed such a wonderful partner, yet inside you feel like the outside world has no clue what they are talking about or you begin doubting yourself - STOP! Only you truly knows what goes on behind closed doors.

So what is going on behind those closed doors?

You may find that when out together in public view your partner is wonderful and treats you well, you may even enjoy their company and find yourself wishing you could have this all the time yet those little looks and the odd comment from them may slip out just to remind you of your 'place'. Very cleverly all of this is unseen to those around you!

Maybe you get home and instantly that sinking feeling in your stomach begins.....what are they going to be like now? Are they still their happy self or their other grumpy self?

Not knowing how they could behave next, you may find yourself questioning them and asking how they feel, almost checking in to test the water and see how safe it is. You may also start doing all those things you know make them happy in the hope things can continue as they did out in public. You may not even notice yourself doing it, its just become second nature. And of course its completely understandable to be doing all these things, this is how you have learnt to cope and survive.

Perhaps that night after going out it goes well, you spend some lovely time together, maybe you even make love. Maybe you even go to bed relaxed and happy, you feel that loving connection that you long for, you think to yourself its okay, they were just grumpy, we all have grumpy times!

Then the next day comes and boom, like a tonne of bricks you fall from that wonderful loving sky high feeling back into your life of guessing how they feel so you know how to act around them.

So what is your partner doing?

Behind closed doors you may find your partner treats you very different to how they do when around others, almost feeling like there are two sides to them.

You may find your partner twists things you say so that everything you say is taken out of context or perhaps twisted in such a way it comes back to hurt you or make you out to be the one in the wrong.

Without even noticing it you will likely find yourself choosing to use words carefully, you may not even say things or you change how you want to say it to avoid upsetting them. Having a true conversation about feelings is often quickly shut down by them and they may even say things like "why do you always do this, we are having a nice day why ruin it?" or "what's the need to always talk about feelings, you know how I feel end of", leaving you feeling upset but wondering if it was your fault.

If you take up a new hobby or learn something new you may find your partner dissing it and finding reasons for it to be the cause of problems leaving you feeling like once again you did something wrong and that you shouldn't try these things.

When you make a new friend your partner will once again they find reasons for this to be an issue and if you make plans to go with this friend you may notice that something comes up so that you must stay home and cancel your plans.

You may find your partner would prefer you to stay home and be a homemaker and often they push to have children to give a good reason for you to stay home.

Without noticing it you will likely feel like you have to do certain things before your partner gets home to ensure its nice for them. You may feel a rush of anxiety or worry before they come home, not knowing what they will be like or whether they will be happy with the things you have done. Your partner will likely use things or gestures of affection as a reward and a punishment depending on what they feel like giving you.

If you try to improve yourself, work on your health and wellbeing you may notice they make you feel guilty about this or once again find reasons for you not to attend or carry out such activities. Sometimes partners will like you to always look amazing so you are the perfect trophy for them to show off or alternatively they may prefer you to be overweight to make you feel you aren't worthy of anyone else but they are doing you a favour by staying with you and ensure they remind you of this.

But they do nice things, don't they?

So perhaps you find yourself unwell or at your most venerable and in need of help, so maybe your partner steps up to the plate and helps you, however often you will find this help is only on their terms or very short lived and being so unused to help you feel riddled with guilt. And afterwards you may notice that you are being 'punished' in subtle ways and they may continually remind you of how much they did for you.

Okay so they do something round the house, maybe one of those tasks you asked them to do and you never hear the end of it, like a new puppy learning how to behave within the house, its as if your partner needs a gold star, recognising and praise for doing something so simple. Yet you will often find if you do anything, its often unnoticed.

Everyone says how lucky I am, so I must be, surely?

Yep, to the outside world they are the perfect partner, you may hear things like "you are so lucky" or "you wouldn't do any better that them" or "not many of them out there, you better keep hold of them" and who the hell are these people??!!! They have no place to comment, however these comments will ring around in your head keeping you doubting yourself thinking you are the problem and that there is no one out there better.

To the outside world they may well seem the "perfect" partner and cleverly these partners wont show their true self's outside the home because once the secret is out they loose their power!

What now, I am trapped, I can't leave?

This is how they cleverly made you feel, they did so many clever things to shut you off from everyone, the world and your own independence. But the question is, are you really trapped, or are they making you believe this?

The first step is truly seeing what is going on and working on yourself, the stronger you become emotionally, the easier the rest becomes. So this is the time to heal yourself, work on you and with the right therapist you can safely explore what's been going on, and find out what's right for you going forward.

Often it takes a little time and planning before being able to leave confidently and securely however if you are ever in immediate danger always call the Police.

There is also support and advice from charities that work only with domestic abuse and you can contact these any time, every local area has different resources so its worth searching to see what's near you.

How I can help

Having the understanding I do, I work closely with clients who are experiencing domestic abuse or have fled domestic abuse with the aim to help them get to the root cause of what's going on and supporting them to achieve the life they wish.

Head to my website: to find out more and book your complementary telephone consultation.

No matter how they make you feel, please know you are no longer alone!! Help is on hand and waiting for you to reach out!

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