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Emotional Blackmail is part of Domestic Violence

Updated on June 3, 2011

Do it just this once...for me!

One thinks of Domestic Violence and images of a bruised and battered woman come to mind. Usually poor, often illiterate, definitely not in control of her own destiny or life. This is the image that the media has formed in our mind.

The truth is that the smart looking lady before you at the billing counter is just as likely to be a victim of domestic abuse as any one else. Think I'm joking? No I am not. Domestic Violence does not have to be always physical violence.

Emotional abuse is just as bad for the victim. The worst part is that it happens so slowly that the victim is not even aware of the submission that has become second nature. It starts of with a tiny favor that takes you a little out of your way.

For instance, "Since you are going that way could you get my chore done?" is a really innocent request. No one will have a justifiable reason to say no to it. Yet if it becomes, "You have to go and do this chore for me again. It doesn't matter that you are not going that side. You can always take a trip that side today. I do so much for you and you can't do this one thing for me?"

The tone of the person has changed. The request is a command. It has become obligatory, but you think about it and say, maybe he was tired. What difference does it make? Let me go ahead and get the chore done. The next time it will be "I need to get some rest. So why don't you go and do the chore, then we'll go out for some fun." Notice the resistance is all but gone.

How to identify if you are being emotionally abused?

Do you get frustrated that your partner is palming of more than half the house hold chores on you?

Have you felt guilty about not being able to cope up with the huge load of work you have at the home and office front?

Do you feel that your partner needs to do more around the house and take you less for granted.

Do you offer apologies to your partner for not completing work that he had given you to do, which he is well capable of doing himself?

Do you find yourself drifting away from your family and friends as a direct result of the demands made on your time by your partner?

Do you feel that you don't have any choice in the manner he behaves with you?

Does his jealous streak leave you worried?

What should you do about it?

Sometimes the abuser is not even aware that he is doing it. Not always, but sometimes. So you should start a dialogue and tell him, that you are feeling abused.

Don't get confrontational. Just find a quiet moment and pass on the feelings to him. Don't talk for more than 2- 4 mins.

If he wants to talk more make sure that you have concrete situations that you can remind him about rather than general feelings and emotions.

If he does not want to talk, leave it at that for the moment and observe his next actions. Does he act guilty and try and change? If so he was unaware of what he was doing.

However if the demands now increase you have confirmation that he is emotionally abusing you. Now confront the behavioral patterns with him.

Refuse to be a victim. Don't do chores that he sets you which he should be handling himself. Let whatever monetary losses come be born by him. If he gets more abusive, you need to get help.

The first time he lays a hand on you to deliver physical violence walk out of the house and DO NOT RETURN.

You don't deserve this. The problem is with him, and not with you. Help is only possible when he seeks to make a change and not if you force him into therapy. Don't get trapped with the Lame Duck.


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    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 6 years ago from India

      Dear Abby, the fact that you have identified it and moved on is what counts. You are not part of the endless numbers that suffer and don't know what to do about it. More power to you.

    • abbykorinnelee profile image

      Abigayle Malchow 6 years ago from Ripon Wisconsin

      I have been a survivor of emotional abuse my entire life and throughout adulthood I finally learned to identify it as such; abuse. My second marriage had me very much broken and not understanding why. Thank you for your insight into an issue that scars and wounds sometimes won't heal as bruises do.

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 7 years ago from India

      Skye2day I know what courage that decision to leave takes. Good for you!

      AEvans, yes, in America it is spoken about in the open, in other countries women have no public voice to air these issues.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      I am impressed! There are so many women out there who are abused mentally, physically and emotionally it is high here in America and I am certain that it is worse in some other parts of the World. A man does not have any right to Abuse a woman and more like yourself need to speak out! I refuse to be a victim , if they cannot respect you just like you said walk away!

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Well said Cashmere, I hope many woman read this. It has given me a great deal of insight. Abuse of any sort is unacceptable. I was abused emotionally by a man many years ago. That abuse then turned to physical Thank You Lord I am long gone and so is he. It was hard to be rid of this person. Once I made up my mind for certain, I dont think any sort of manipulation cold have brought me back.

      Thank You for sharing this info With Love and Hugs

      Thank you visiting my hubs

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 8 years ago from India

      Money Glitch, when its intentional it is not lack of communication...yes it is more difficult to prove that it is not intentional.

      Thanks Alek and Bingskee

    • bingskee profile image

      bingskee 8 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

      i agree. emotional abuse is a form of violence against women.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Good hub, with lots of really good tips and information

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 8 years ago from Texas

      Hhmmm, interesting hub. I must admit that I would not have identified all of the questions above as emotional abuse. More like a lack of communication...It just goes to show how careful one must be when it comes to the feelings of others. Thanks for sharing!

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 8 years ago from India

      Yes Candie, Making excuses for his behaviour is a major one I missed. Guess he's changing or I'm withdrawing into my own world of friends :)

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 8 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      I may have missed it, but 'offering apologies to friends, excusing the bad behaviour' is one, too.. Great hub cashmere.. this is a 'been there done that' for me and I ache for anyone in this situation. Keep spreading the word! Someone will reach for your life ring!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a very good hub and to bring domestic violence more emphasized. It happens too much and too often in the famouse four walls and the victim is always ashamed instead shout about it.

    • advisor4qb profile image

      advisor4qb 8 years ago from On New Footing

      I am applying lame duck repellant as we speak...