5 Warning Signs Of Covert Abuse

by | Abuse Literacy

Have you tried to “fix” your marriage by changing yourself, learning better communication skills, even attending couple’s therapy?

Many women who are victims of covert abuse are conditioned to believe that their husband’s (or partner’s) behavior is their fault – somehow the victim is causing it. This false idea, perpetuated by both abusers and their enablers, leads women on a wild goose chase as they try to “heal” the relationship.

Abuse Is Not A Couple’s Problem: It’s His Problem

The traditional route of couple’s therapy, 12 step groups, and women “working on themselves”, simply doesn’t work when it comes to abuse.


Because abuse is not a couple’s problem: it’s his problem. Because covert abuse is notoriously difficult to spot, women are left with only the narrative that their abuser is telling them: she is the cause of the problem, if she were just more ____ or less ___, then everything about the marriage would improve.

Am I A Victim of Covert Abuse?

As victims begin the process of empowerment through abuse and trauma education, they may feel uncomfortable with the idea of labelling their partners as abusers and themselves as victims. However, using the correct terminology for both abusers and victims is an important step in helping women find safety and healing.

Are you wondering if you are a victim of covert abuse? Here are five warning signs.

Five Warning Signs of Covert Partner Abuse In Your Relationship

  • Do you often feel confused?
  • Do you feel like you have to “hide” your activities from your spouse, simple things like phone calls to friends, buying groceries, or eating snacks?
  • Do you find yourself defending your partner to family and friends?
  • Do you find that you spend a large amount of time reading self-help books and trying to “change” for the better?
  • Does your partner reject you sexually and emotionally, or is he overly aggressive regarding sexual contact?

If you are experiencing any of the bulleted items above, you may be in an abusive relationship.

Betrayal Trauma Recovery Supports Victims of Emotional Abuse

The Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group meets daily in every time zone, offering victims of emotional abuse and betrayal the opportunity to connect with other women who “get it”. Join today and receive the validation, support, and community that you deserve.

The free BTR podcast packs powerful stories of other victims who have triumphed over trauma and chosen safety for themselves. Tune in today for inspiration and empowerment.

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