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Signs you are in an emotionally abusive relationship in California

Learning the signs of emotional abuse is just as vital as knowing about physical abuse.

When it comes to domestic violence and abuse, it does not start and end with physical instances. California couples might experience a type of abuse that leaves emotional bruises rather than physical ones, but both types can serve as grounds for divorce. Spouses should know the signs of emotional abuse to recognize when it is time to leave a harmful situation.

Sudden bursts of unexplained anger

There are instances of relationships starting off perfectly with open communication, affection and laughter, but suddenly one spouse starts verbally lashing out over trivial matters. When one spouse feels as if he or she cannot talk to the other spouse without fear of a verbal blow up or verbal abuse, it could lead to anxiety, depression, fear and fatigue, any of which could start to eat away at the marriage.

Receiving more criticism than admiration

Spouses sometimes expect to be complimented by each other on a new piece of clothing, workout or exercise results or for no reason in particular. Backhanded compliments that break down more than they build up and outright criticisms not only impact a person’s self-esteem, they can also serve as a form of abuse.

Shifting blame

Another sign of emotional abuse is when one spouse shifts blame to the other. Some people might find it harder to accept blame and responsibility, but that is no reason for them to be emotionally abusive. Specifically, one spouse might shift blame for any problems in the marriage onto the other spouse and refuse to admit any responsibility in the matter.

Being made to feel like a different person

Emotional abuse can slowly wear away at a person over time, making it feel more like a natural and normal progression rather than a sudden shift. An abusive spouse might gradually make the other spouse feel as if he or she has to self-isolate from friends and family to avoid making the abusive spouse angry. Emotional abuse can also make a person change the way she or he dresses, acts, socializes or speaks, all of which can compromise a person’s overall identity and leave him or her feeling out of sorts.

Feelings of indifference

When life brings tough times, such as a loved one dying, getting laid off or having to put a beloved pet down, it is nice to have someone to lean on. When a spouse acts more indifferent to the other spouse’s problems but does not expect the other spouse to ignore her or his problems, it is a potential sign of abuse.

Fearing for your emotional well-being is no less frightening than fearing for your physical well-being. Speak with a family law attorney in California to explore your options for getting out of an emotionally abusive marriage.