Emotional abuse dating relationships
Because no hitting was involved, she simply didn't have a name for the behavior that made her feel "diseased" in his presence: the subtle put-downs, the physical avoidance, the mocking. They call it emotional abuse, and it's as widespread in romantic relationships as it is misunderstood.In the simplest terms, emotional abuse is defined as behavior and language designed to degrade or humiliate someone by attacking their self-value or personality.Soon, "normal" for Hanauer meant isolation from friends and family, because this was easier than dealing with his harsh accusations."He did a masterful job of separating me from my own life," she says. "I've always been a strong, tough, smart person, and one would think I'd have seen a mental case like this coming from a mile away," she says.
I could be sharing something that happened at work, and somehow the conversation would trigger him and he'd get angry," Costa said.
Her boyfriend was eight years older than she was, and within their first month of dating, he had talked her into sleeping with him even though she hadn't intended to have sex with anyone until marriage.
In retrospect, she thinks he was trying to claim her through sex.
During their two-year relationship, he regularly abused her.
And here's the kicker: She didn't know he was doing it.