Emotional Abuse Cycle: Top 10 Reasons to Leave a Relationship

The Emotional Abuse Cycle, Narcissists, and Why You Need to Get Out

There are many reasons to leave a relationship, and sometimes it’s hard to see the toxic traits we’re dealing with when we’re in the relationship itself. Whether you’re just in a bad relationship, dating someone with toxic traits, or with a full on narcissist or sociopath, here are the top 10 reasons to get out of the emotional abuse cycle – NOW.

Note: We are going to use the term “he” to simplify the writing of this article, but this applies to both men and women.

1. Puts you down

If he puts you down, this is the first red flag that you’re in the emotional abuse cycle. He may put you down one day then compliment you the next, just to keep you coming back for more. Of course in every relationship one might slip here and there, saying something they shouldn’t, but if he is constantly putting you down get out.

emotional abuse cycle

2. Belittles you

Does he make you feel worthless? If he’s belittling you you’re in a toxic relationship and part of the emotional abuse cycle. He shouldn’t be belittling your goals, aspirations, looks, thoughts, or anything. In a healthy relationship each partner brings the other up, compliments, and helps the other reach their goals. If you’re not feeling well – look wise, feeling wise, or in any other way – your partner should be helping you feel better, not putting you down.

3. Makes you feel crazy

If he makes you feel like a crazy person, you’re a part of the emotional abuse cycle. You shouldn’t feel insane for doing what makes you happy, or for saying the supposedly wrong thing. You are not crazy; he is, and he is gaslighting you – or making you self-doubt in order to question your own sanity. It’s not you that’s crazy, it’s him.

4. Makes you feel unloved

No one in a healthy relationship should feel unloved by their partner. While not necessarily part of the emotional abuse cycle, if you feel unloved, you’re not in a good relationship. It’s time to leave, whether the relationship has just ended for natural reasons, or you’re dating a toxic person.

emotional abuse cycle

5. Doesn’t pay attention to your interests

You want to be with someone who shows interest in the things you love. If he makes no effort at all to help you pursue your passions, or at least encourage you to do so, he’s not a good one to be with.

6. Never apologizes

In every relationship – whether with a significant other or with a friend or family member – we make mistakes. We all do it, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. But if he never, ever apologizes or admits fault, you’re probably dealing with an emotionally abusive partner.

7. Makes everything your fault

How can you be to blame for absolutely everything? As mentioned above, everyone makes mistakes. A narcissist, however, puts them self on a pedestal, thinking they can do no wrong. And if you’re dating one, you’re in the emotional abuse cycle for certain. It’s hard to know while dating a narcissist what he really is, but making every last thing your fault – even the things you clearly know deep down he was to blame for – is a sure sign of emotional abuse.

8. Makes promises he never keeps

He promises you the world then delivers you a nightmare. Instead of the sweet person you met who assured you he would do everything for you, you get nothing but lies and manipulation. This is all part of the emotional abuse cycle. He promised you everything to start, but never gives you any of those things in the end.

emotional abuse cycle

9. He won’t allow you to see your friends and family

If he won’t let you see your friends and family, leaving you lonely and him at the center of your world, you’re dating a toxic person. No one should deny another of seeing those they love, nor should they be the only one you see, putting themselves above all others.

10. He is physically abusive

I hope this one is obvious, but it can be hard for many to leave even a physically abusive relationship. If he does it once, I promise you, he will do it again. And if he doesn’t apologize or feel remorse for the physical abuse, you may not only be dealing with a physically abusive person, but a narcissist or sociopath.

If you recognize any of these traits, you may be in an emotionally abusive relationship – in fact you probably are. Emotional abuse is a real thing, and often harder to leave than physical abuse. It can leave longer lasting scars, though both are terrible forms of abuse. If you believe you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship get out now. Two great resources are Shahida Arardi’s POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuseand check out this emotional support group on Facebook. #maybehedoesnthityou

emotional abuse cycle


Danie is a crazy nomad who has been traveling the world for five years straight. Check out her stories at https://www.likeridingabicycle.com, or read on for posts from people all over the world!

One Comment:

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