Do you feel desperate and helpless in your marriage? Do you think something is not right in your relationship but you couldn’t quite put your fingers on it? Do you find yourself in a predictive cycle of sweet harmony followed by emotional chaos? If you suspect that you are receiving emotional and psychological abuse from your husband, then read on.
Being in this relationship can scrape every last drop of sanity, peace, and self-esteem in your personhood. Yet several women out there remained stuck in this kind of relationship without any idea about the real state of their marriage. The first step to freedom is awareness. Marni Feuerman, a licensed marriage and family therapist, identified 21 signs of an abusive relationship:
- Humiliating or embarrassing you.
- Constant put-downs.
- Refusing to communicate.
- Ignoring or excluding you.
- Extramarital affairs.
- Provocative behavior with opposite sex.
- Use of sarcasm and unpleasant tone of voice.
- Unreasonable jealousy.
- Extreme moodiness.
- Mean jokes or constantly making fun of you.
- Saying “I love you but…”
- Saying things like “If you don’t _____, I will_____.”
- Domination and control.
- Withdrawal of affection.
- Guilt trips.
- Making everything your fault.
- Isolating you from friends and family.
- Using money to control.
- Constant calling or texting when you are not with him/her.
- Threatening to commit suicide if you leave.
For a detailed evaluation, Waltz, Rushe, and Gottman have devised a selt-test called Emotional Abuse Questionnaire (EAQ) to assist women in determining if they are being abused. They identified four sub-scales of emotional abuse namely: isolation, degradation, sexual coercion, and property damage sub-scale.
Here are the EAQ questions. Read each statement, and choose among the four frequencies ( Never – Rarely – Occasionally – Very Often) with which each statement applies to you.
I. Emotional Abuse – Isolation Sub-scale
I have to do things to avoid my partner’s jealousy. Never – Rarely – Occasionally – Very Often
My partner tries to control who I spend my time with. Never – Rarely – Occasionally – Very Often
My partner disapproves of my friends.
My partner does not believe me when I talk about where I have been.
My partner complains that I spend too much time with other people.
My partner accuses me of flirting with other people.
In social situations my partner complains that I ignore him.
My partner is suspicious that I am unfaithful.
My partner acts like a detective, looking for clues that I’ve done something wrong.
My partner checks up on me.
My partner keeps me from going places I want to go.
My partner keeps me from doing things I want to do.
My partner says I act too seductively
My partner keeps me from spending time at the things I enjoy.
My partner threatens to take the car keys if I don’t do as I am told.
My partner threatens to take the money if I don’t do as I am told
My partner prevents me from leaving the house when I want to.
My partner disables the phone to prevent my using it.
My partner disables the car to prevent my using it.
My partner threatens to pull the phone out of the wall.
My partner forcibly tries to restrict my movements.
My partner acts jealous.
My partner keeps me from spending time with the people I chose.
Scoring is only quantitative, and really any abuse is unacceptable. But Score 1 point for every “Never” circled, 2 points for every “Rarely” circled, 4 points for every “Occasionally” circled, and 5 points for every “Very Often” circled. If the client scored between 51-67, the client is being emotionally abused through isolation. If the client scored 68 or greater, the emotional abuse is severe.
II. Emotional Abuse Degradation Sub-scale
My partner tries to catch me at inconsistencies to show that I’m lying.
My partner tries to convince other people that I’m crazy.
My partner tells other people that there is something wrong with me.
My partner says things to hurt me out of spite.
My partner has told me that I am sexually unattractive
My partner tells me that I am sexually inadequate.
My partner insults my religious background or beliefs.
My partner insults my ethnic background.
My partner insults my family.
My partner talks me into doing things that make me feel bad.
My partner tells me that no one else would ever want me.
My partner humiliates me in front of others.
My partner makes me do degrading things.
My partner questions my sanity.
My partner tells other people personal information or secrets about me.
My partner swears at me.
My partner verbally attacks my personality.
My partner has insulted me by telling me that I am incompetent.
My partner ridicules me.
My partner forces me to do things that are against my values.
My partner questions whether my love is true.
My partner compares me unfavorably to other partners.
My partner intentionally does things to scare me.
My partner threatens me physically during arguments.
My partner warns me that if I keep doing something violence will follow.
Our arguments escalate out of control.
I’m worried most when my partner is quiet.
My partner drives recklessly or too fast when angry
Scoring is only quantitative, and really any abuse is unacceptable. But Give the client 1 point for every “Never” circled, 2 points for every “Rarely” circled, 4 points for every “Occasionally” circled, and 5 points for every “Very Often” circled. If the client scored between 73-94, the client is being emotionally abused through degradation. If the client scored 95 or greater, the client is being severely emotionally abused.
III. Emotional Abuse – Sexual Coercion Sub-scale
My partner makes me engage in sexual practices I consider perverse.
In bed my partner make me do things I find repulsive.
My partner is not sensitive to me during sex.
My partner pressures me to have sex after an argument.
I feel pressured to have sex when I don’t want to.
My partner intentionally hurts me during sex.
Even against my will, violence is a part of our sex life.
Scoring is only quantitative, and really any abuse is unacceptable. Give the client 1 point for every “Never” circled, 2 points for every “Rarely” circled, 4 points for every “Occasionally” circled, and 5 points for every “Very Often” circled. If the client scored between 14-18, the client is being sexually abused through sexual coercion. If the client scored 19 or greater, the client is being severely sexually abused.
IV. Emotional Abuse – Property Damage Sub-scale
My partner threatens to hurt someone I care about.
My partner intentionally damages things I care about.
My partner threatens to break things that are valuable to me.
My partner damages things in our home.
My partner threatens to destroy my property.
My partner does cruel things to pets.
My partner threatens to hurt animals I care about.
Scoring is only quantitative, and really any abuse is unacceptable. Give 1 point for every “Never” circled, 2 points for every “Rarely” circled, 4 points for every “Occasionally” circled, and 5 points for every “Very Often” circled. If the client scored between 15-21, the client is being emotionally abused through property damage. If the client scored 22 or greater, the client is experiencing severe emotional abuse.
My wife and I are on the brink of ending our relationship. I actually saw your website from browsing the inet for marriage counselling that we can attend to. She is always complaining that i am emotionally abusing her, and i get it now, by reading this article, that i am an emotionally abusive person. Is there any person/counsellor that you can suggest that can help me to stop being an abusive person?
Nova Cruz says
Hi Alex, I commend you for seeking a counselling for yourself. You can ask for an appointment with Dan of RCWFI for your counselling. You may call Mae at 4360710/4266832 to set an appointment with him. Hope that helps.