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Types of emotional abuse that justify divorce

Emotional abuse in marriages is often subtle and can be difficult to identify. Over time, it erodes a person’s self-confidence and sense of worth.

Recognizing the different sorts of psychological abuse is fundamental to knowing when the time is right for divorce.

Verbal abuse

Sticks and stones may break bones, but words can cut someone’s soul. Spoken mistreatment involves using harsh language to demean or frighten the individual. This commonly includes yelling, name calling and constant criticisms, such as belittling comments about one’s appearance, intelligence or capabilities. This creates a toxic environment that may necessitate divorce.


Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic where one partner triggers the other into questioning their reality, memory or perceptions. It usually involves denying things or lying about past events, causing the person to doubt their sanity. This form of abuse can be particularly damaging, as it erodes trust in oneself and the relationship.


Abusive spouses may wish to manipulate their companions under the guise of concern or love. This might begin slowly and then escalate into blocking contact with friends and family. Isolation makes the target of the abuse entirely dependent on the abuser.

Withholding affection

Using affection or the lack thereof as a means of control is a particularly pernicious form of maltreatment. Examples are refusing to engage in touch, giving someone the silent treatment and being emotionally unavailable. The purpose is to cause feelings of loneliness and abandonment.

Emotional abuse takes many forms, all of which are damaging to those who experience it. When these behaviors become too much to bear, divorce tends to be the wisest step forward. It sets the stage for a future brimming with success and happiness.