Overarching mechanism

Emotional abuse is a continual behaviour pattern which undermines the healthy mental and physical state of another in order to control, it can involve other manipulations and strategies.

It leaves the targets isolated and often unable to identify exactly the cause of the sadness and confusion.

In order to maintain control a cycle develops, cold disinterest followed by promises of love and change. Intermittent reward. Consider examine the concepts of Stockholm Syndrome on Cadets resource thread.

Here are some techniques of abuse:
Withholding, countering, discounting/demeaning/devaluing, dismissing, joking/ blocking, diverting, accusing/blaming, judging/criticing, trivialising, name calling, forgetting, revising/rewriting, ordering, manipulating/lying, denying/negating, anger/aggression, echoing, humiliating, condescending/mockiing

So how do you know if you are being abused?

You are afraid and off balance
You enforce your boundaries and that is ignored
You feel like nothing you do is right
Feel guilty
Walk on egg shells
Avoid public appearances
are subject to shifting sands of expectation
Always cave in
Subject to threats or intimidation
are ignored
Embarrassed or social isolated as a result of your partners actions
Occasionally 'love bombed' or 'groomed' then ignored
Belittled or trashed
The first year or so was loving
The abuse gradually intensified with different behaviours

Try googling the power and control wheel by Kim Eyer
A users believe they have the right to control and get their own way by:
~telling you what to do and expecting obedience
~using force or threats including leaving, suicide and 'sorting you out'
~no discussions, or challenges expected or accepted
~doing whatever they feel like, whenever they want
~blaming the target and taking little or no responsibility

These are broadly the types of actions which are elements in abuse

Cutting you off from family and friends, moving to a new location, deliberately preventing interaction with others, interfering with car use

Not working or preventing target from working, using or hiding funds for their own use including compulsion and addiction, not paying essential bills, what is mine is mine but what is yours is ours, depriving of basics

driving recklessly, destroying, giving away, selling or devaluing property of target, using looks/gestures, throwing objects/ punching walls/tearing items, having or using knives and guns, over using alcohol/substances/porn, threatening to remove or hurt children or pets, abusing children or pets to control another

Treating another like a servant, making all the decisions, defining roles, acting like the owner of the castle

demanding sex or a particular type of sex, rape or non consensual sex, using language or porn to degrade/diminish, denying reproductive freedom (choosing sterilisation say), putting another's sexual health at risk, denying sex or withholding, insulting another's sexuality, avoiding sex by pretending illness, tiredness, overwork or TV

Biting/scratches, slapping/punching, kicking/stomping, throwing/breaking objects, pushing, confining or preventing leaving (blocking doorways), denying or interfering with sleep, warmth, medical attention food or health disturbance, shoving down steps, tripping, assault with weapons, insisting another change appearance/have surgery etc, risking another's health

So what behaviours are not abusive?
Dressing as they please, wearing makeup, appearance
Choosing their own food, friends, location, jobs, hobbies, cars etc
Fitness status, fit or unfit
Choosing to put on or loose weight
Visiting friends and relatives
Choosing to leave an R or to S
Keeping their opinions to themselves
Not working on the R
Changing who they are
Holding different views
Going dark or leaving
Expressing a different view
Not wanting or wanting a holiday
Needing time alone
Having reasonable personal resources to use
Not wanting sex or leaving the marital bed
Dealing/not dealing with health issues in their own way
To have their own feelings, views or actions
Deciding to please themselves
Educate or undertake new pastimes
To participate in an activity or not
Freedom of religion, membership of support groups, take/not take IC or MC or FC
To change their mind
To request an apology
To enter into another R after ceasing the previous R
Access to children, pets and home (unless abusive)
To request sex, R or discussion
To be free of interference
To define themselves and enforce boundaries
Disagreeing even without discussion

Some be inappropriate and may be an infringement of another's boundaries.


Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.
V 64, WAW