No wonder mental health professionals don’t seem to understand emotional abuse. In trying to conduct research about it, they don’t even have a comprehensive list of typical emotionally abusive behaviors.
Here are 10 behaviors that Lovefraud readers experience, time and time again, from their sociopathic partners. How many have you seen?
- You’re blamed for everything; it’s all your fault.
- Your partner flirts with others and cheats on you.
- Your partner disappears — you have no idea where he or she is, and when, or if, he or she will return.
- Your partner does or says something incredibly hurtful — and then acts like nothing happened.
- You get the silent treatment.
- Your partner moves the goal posts — what he or she wants keeps changing, and you’re berated for not doing what they want.
- Your partner refuses to offer you support when you need it.
- Your partner gaslights you — trying to make you doubt your own perceptions.
- Your partner lies.
- Your partner threatens to commit suicide.
These are standard abuse tactics in the sociopath playbook. But none of them are on the Emotional Abuse Questionnaire developed by Neil Jacobson, Ph.D., and John Gottman, Ph.D.
This well-known questionnaire has 28 items on it, and yes, they are examples of emotional abuse, such as “says things to hurt me out of spite” and “has told me I am sexually unattractive.” But so much is missing that I wonder how useful the test really is. Take a look for yourself:
Why was I looking at this questionnaire? I found it while reading the following scientific paper:
Emotional abuse in intimate relationships: The role of gender and age, by Gunnur Karakurt, Ph.D., and Kristin E. Silver, B.A.
This paper was based on the above questionnaire. The investigators gave it to 250 people — 141 females and 109 males. Their average age was 27, and 58% of the respondents were between the ages of 20 and 30. I think the sample skewed the results.
The paper does say that emotional abuse is the most common type of interpersonal violence, and that both men and women experience it. This agrees with Lovefraud’s research. Here are the other findings:
- Younger men reported experiencing higher levels of emotional abuse, which declined with age.
- Older females reported experiencing less emotional abuse than older males.
- Overall, emotional abuse was more common in younger participants.
- Younger women experienced higher rates of isolation.
- Women’s overall experience of property damage was higher than that of men and increased with age.
Emotional abuse is more common among younger participants? Really?
Personally, I think these results related to older women may simply be because there were so few in the study. Of the 250 participants, only 18 respondents were between the ages of 40 and 50 and only nine were older than 50.
The Lovefraud Senior Sociopath Survey had more than 1,000 respondents over the age of 40. Of them, 91% reported emotional abuse.
And how do these researchers explain older women’s increase risk of property damage? Here’s what they say:
Gender conflict has arisen in recent years due to changing roles and expectations, fueled by women’s acquisition of instrumental resources such as higher education and lucrative employment. Male violence against females, illustrated through property damage in this study, could be analogous to women’s increased emotional abuse of men in the current study: there is a competition for power and control, and this struggle manifests itself in relationship conflicts between the genders.
So now that women have more resources, emotional abuse is the result of a struggle for power and control between genders?
How about one person is disordered, and because of that he or she seeks to exert power and control over the partner? That’s what Lovefraud’s thousands of cases indicate.
Personally, I think the researchers simply do not understand what happens in emotionally abusive relationships, and because of this, their findings aren’t very useful.
Regardless, if you’re dealing with emotional abuse, please check out the free Emotional Abuse Recovery and Resilience Summit. It may help you find a way out.