Emotional Abuse 6: Types (2)

9. Emotional blackmail: The abuser will play on your fear, guilt, compassion, values, and other emotional buttons to get what they want. This could include threats to reject you, abandon you, end the relationship, or even commit suicide. Such people will use any type of fear and emotional tactics to control your emotions. When they realise that these tactics won’t work, they move to the next stage, the silent treatment.

 10. Silent treatment: silence is another form of denying. It includes refusing to communicate and emotionally withdrawing from the other person as punishment. Hence it is called the silent treatment. In this case, all your effort to make a connection with the person, will be met by silence.

Sometime, you will not get an answer to even simple questions like, Do you want tea? The problem is after half an hour, after you have made tea for yourself, the person will come strolling in and will throw a bigger tantrum for not getting tea. It can include:

  • Distancing/isolating from a person, for example, by walking out of the room immediately after the person enters a room or shortly thereafter.
  • Not replying to your queries or questions and locking in a separate room.
  • Walking around as though you don’t exist at all.
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Looking at the person with an air of disgust. Although “not speaking” is a manipulative tool often favoured by narcissists, not everyone that uses silence abuse is a narcissist.

The victim is usually unaware that it is a highly destructive form of emotional abuse. The abuser withdraws affection, love and respect from the victim for an indefinite period. This behavior will go on for a day, a week, a month or even longer. At the end of the torture, the person expects you to accept him/her with open arms without any complaints or queries. The only way to counter this behavior is to look happy and not affected by the behaviour. If the abuser knows that you are being affected, he/she will increase the duration of the silence and do it more often to disturb you more.

11. Money game: If you are a home maker (and have no income), your spouse will keep sole control over all of the money. If you are working, you will find that there will be a “my money” and “your money” type discussion. Initially you might give in, because you are used to the concept of “our” money. But later on you will realize that you are the one who is spending money for all the requirements—your’s your spouses, your kids, and house hold expenditure.

The moment, you realise what is happening and try to get things into control, the abuser gets out of control. He/she will refuse to make any expenses for you or the kids. Might spend some money in groceries or things they like, but otherwise, they openly crib about money.

Example: Suraj and Bijli both are well-to-do professionals working with well known MNCs. Suraj appears to be a charmer, but in reality is an emotional abuser. Bijli realised it only after the birth of their child. Till then she did have the feeling that something was wrong, but could not pin point the problematic area.

Now, Bijli takes care of all her expenses and that of her teenage son’s. Every time they plan a vacation, Suraj agrees to it under the condition that she pays for herself and their son. According to him he has no bank balance, and Bijli has absolutely no idea about his financial condition. Recently things got so bad that Suraj refused to pay up or support in funding for his daughter’s medical coahing class. According to him she should do home science instaed of making them spend money on coaching classes snd professional courses.

On the other hand Suraj gives counselling to his sister and brother regarding  their kids further education and tells them how a good coahing class can make all the difference for cracking an enterance exam.

With this kind of dual behaviour, no one will actually believe that Suraj is not bothered about about his daughter’s studies when he takes so much time and effort to counsel his nephew and neice.  

12. Irresponsible behaviour: Doing every chore and duty in the marriage is the responsibility of both the partners. Not assisting in any work relating to the household, family, or children. Adding to the burden by making cutting remarks about how poorly you manage the children/household. Living with someone like this is tremendously demanding and anxiety provoking. Sometimes, the abuser also displays drastic mood changes which is damaging specially to the kids.

13. Sexual. Most of the time, the abuser, especially the husband treats his wife like a sex object. He is rough, self centered, degrading, an/or forceful in expressing his sexuality. If his wife shares an opinion about certain behavior, he will ensure to do it—so that she does not complain further.

Example: Jasmine is extremely allergic to cigarette smoke and she the smell of alcohol repelled her. So she requested Imran, her husband to avoid coming to her in the night smelling of a cigarette or of alcohol. She also took the efforts to explain. Unfortunately, the sick man did not even try to understand why she made the request, inspite of knowing her condition pretty well. Imran ensured to go to her smelling of a cigarette and alcohol. As a result of which Jasmine would go on a sneezing bout as soon as he came close to her.

What Imran did not understand is that Jasmine wanted to make life easier not only for her, but for him as well. Instead, he thought of this as a command from her (rather than a request and a suggestion) and ensured to do what she requested him not to, to show her who the “boss” was. When a husband exerts his power and control sexually, it is both physically and emotionally abusive! It is a total turn off!


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