Emotional Abuse: It Can Happen to You

Shalom Bayit

Emotional abuse quotes

Abusive behavior does not always look or feel like what we might expect. Emotional abuse can be difficult to recognize, devastating to your well-being, and a precursor to a physically violent relationship. Do any of these behaviors sound familiar? Do you ever hear these words from your dating partner or spouse?

“I love you. That's why I always need to know where you are.”
•          Accusing you of flirting or cheating
•          Resenting time you spend with family and friends
•          Excessively checking on you with texts, emails, calls
•          Dictating what you wear, where you go, what you buy,  
           who you talk to
•          Accessing your phone, texts, email, or social media
           sites without your permission
“It's for your own good. You just embarrass yourself when you go out.”
•          Forbidding you from going anywhere without
•          Preventing you from seeing, calling, or communicating
           with family or friends
•          Limiting your access to the phone, car, or money
•          Treating you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your
            family or friends to visit
“You’re useless. You don’t know anything.”
•          Ridiculing your appearance, beliefs, ambitions, or
•          Humiliating you in public or in private
•          Ignoring or putting down your opinions and
•          Insisting that you can’t do anything right
•          Insisting everything is your fault
I didn’t mean anything by it. You're just too sensitive.”
•          Starting a fight to make you miss work, school, or an
•          Pressuring you to attend to his/her needs at the
           expense of your own
•          Hiding your money, keys, phone, or financial
“I can’t live without you.”
•          Threatening to hurt you, family, friends, or pets
•          Threatening to commit suicide
•          Threatening to take the children
•          Threatening to have you deported or reveal your
            sexual orientation
•          Intimidating you using looks, gestures, or actions
•          Destroying your belongings

This is what an emotionally abusive relationship looks and sounds like.  If your relationship leaves you feeling bad about yourself, you are not alone. You may need someone to talk to. 

For counseling, support groups, crisis management, and referrals, contact Shalom Bayit at 770-677-9322 or shalombayit@jfcs-atlanta.org

The authors of this article are grateful to a friend of Shalom Bayit who shared her personal journey as a means of encouraging others to seek support. 

Written by Wendy Lipshutz, Patty Maziar, Posted in Counseling Services

About the Author

Wendy Lipshutz

Wendy Lipshutz

Wendy Lipshutz has directed the Shalom Bayit (Peace in the Home) Program at JF&CS since 1993. Through this non-sectarian domestic violence program, Wendy provides individual counseling, advocacy and support groups for abused women and conducts educational programs about abuse within the Jewish community.

Patty Maziar

Patty Maziar

Patty Maziar is a licensed clinical social worker who has volunteered with Shalom Bayit for many years and has served on the JF&CS Board of Directors. As former co-chair of the lay committee for Shalom Bayit, she is interested in program development and community education. She believes when people become educated about abuse, they will become advocates for stopping the violence. Her interests include travel, yoga and studying the spiritual aspects of Judaism. She considers herself to be a "life-long learner."