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9 Ways to Tell If It's Emotional Abuse

Healthy relationships should make you feel safe and loved. But in an emotionally abusive relationship, you feel neither—instead, you feel trapped, worthless, afraid, desperate to please, and alone. You may even feel like you deserve the name-calling and fits of jealous rage. If you're a new mom and your family is transitioning into parenthood, it’s tempting to say your partner just “has a temper,” or “is really stressed right now” instead of admitting you’re with an abuser, says Mary Jo Rapini, a Houston, Texas-based licensed counselor with 20 years of experience working with couples.

“A healthy relationship makes you feel good about yourself,” she says. “If you feel like you’re in a relationship with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself, it’s time to take action.”

Read on for nine signs of an emotionally abusive relationship, and how to get help if you're in one.