When you think about abuse, chances are good that you are picturing physical manifestations of the issue. Bruises, for example, or black eyes are some of the indications of abuse that many of us recognize. What it less well known and acknowledged, however, is that abuse doesn’t have to leave any physical signs at all. Sometimes the abuse is emotional rather than bodily in nature, which means that the victim won’t show any of the hallmark signs of abuse. That doesn’t mean that they have suffered any less, however, or that their plight is any easy for the lack of physical violence.
Is Cheating Emotional Abuse?
When someone you love cheats on you, it violates the very core of your trust in them and throws your relationship into a very precarious position. Do you stay and attempt to rebuild the entirety of your relationship from scratch and attempt to regain that trust? This is an intensely personal decision that no one can answer for you, however you should be aware that sometimes cheating isn’t “just” a mistake. Sometimes it transcends to something else entirely: emotional abuse.
Let’s look at five signs that your partner’s cheating is emotionally abusive.
1. If The Reaction is “Casual”
Cheating on someone is an incredibly damaging thing to do, both to the relationship as well as the individual in question. It can completely upend someone’s life, and lead to them experiencing serious issues like depression, panic, and terror. If your partner cheats on you and subjects you to this casually – if they do not even show remorse or worry for their actions and how you are reacting – then they might be emotionally abusive.
2. When it Becomes a Pattern
Sometimes someone cheats one time and never again. They understand they were wrong and that they caused their loved one undue amounts of pain, and genuinely regret their actions. On the other hand, sometimes people cheat often. This usually falls into a cycle. The cheating is discovered and the cheater goes into recovery mode, complete with gifts, compliments, and tearful apologies. The next period of time is happy and blissful in nature as you rebuild trust and re-enter the “newlywed” phase. Then, inevitably, the cheater cheats again. When this cycle penetrates your life, the cheater’s actions are abusive in nature.
3. When They Shut You Down
Being cheated on is an experience that will not soon leave your mind. If your partner tells you that you’re crazy for your feelings or attempts to make you doubt yourself, their actions are abusive.
4. When Your Self-Esteem Takes a Blow
If your cheating partner deflects taking responsibility and instead focuses on crushing your self-esteem, then they are definitely not sorry for their behavior, nor are they sorry for emotionally manipulating and abusing you.
5. When You Take the Blame
When your partner cheats, they are in the wrong. If they try to blame you for their actions, then you can rest assured their behavior has turned into emotional abuse.