Unlike physical abuse, where the scars are often out in the open for all to see, emotional abuse is a lot harder to define and identify. It can even leave you confused as to what is happening, and the psychological dilemma can almost drive you insane. With that in mind, here are some things that count as emotional abuse, although they might not seem as such.

1. They play the victim every time.

Emotionally abusive partners will never admit when they are wrong. They will always find a way to blame you for everything that goes wrong in your life, even when it’s their fault.

2. They regularly criticize your life choices.

An emotionally abusive partner will not want you to progress in life so that they can keep you dependent on them. Therefore, they will try to criticize your dreams and your attempts to progress in life as that feeds into the insecurities they have about losing you.

3. Being made to cancel plans with family and friends for your partner.

While you can gladly change your plans to spend time with friends or family for the sake of the love of your life, when this is regularly demanded of you against your wishes, it counts as emotional abuse.

4. They call it teasing, but it’s actually cruelty.

They’re “games” tend to be quite mean, and they tend to touch on your insecurities in an attempt to make you feel as insecure as they feel about themselves.

5. Their moods and unpredictability make you too cautious around them.

Emotionally abusive people can be very emotional. They can move from one emotional extreme to another. For instance, they might berate you harshly and then apologize profusely the next day.

6. They don’t like it when you dream big.

An emotionally abusive person will not want you to progress as that can make them insecure. Therefore, they might react angrily when you talk about chasing dreams that might diminish their domineering influence on you.

7. They humiliate you publicly.

To ensure that you do not have any self-esteem, they will often humiliate you publicly so that you think of them as the only person on your side.

8. They never forget your mistakes.

While we might not always forget the mistakes our partners make, which is quite normal, an emotionally abusive person will often relish reminding you of the mistakes you made in the past in an attempt to belittle and control you by making you doubt your abilities. This is emotional abuse.

9. They hate it when you call them on their behavior.

Emotionally abusive people like to create the illusion that they are never wrong, which means they hate being held responsible for anything, even when it’s clearly their fault. So, even when they do anything wrong, they will get upset when you point it out to him.

10. They get upset when you share unsavory details about your relationship with friends.

Everyone needs some form of support. When they have problems with you telling your friends about the struggles you are going through in your relationship, then they are clearly cutting off your support system and emotionally abusing you.

11. They draw ruthless comparisons between you and other people.

Emotional abuse also includes negative comparisons being made between you and other women/men. They don’t care how much this might hurt you, or how unfair it might be given what they know about you. Funnily, they will never notice the ways in which you are better than other women/men.

12. They call it love when they are possessively jealous.

A spouse who is controlling but then turns around and claims it’s love is emotionally abusing you. The claim is only intended to hide the fact that their deep insecurities are hurting you.