Emotionally abusive relationships are more common than physically abusive ones, the problem is that the signs are often much harder to see and that makes it more difficult for anyone in an abusive relationship to get the help they need.

Without the outward signs, many people don't seem to even understand that they are indeed in an abusive relationship. A simple definition of abuse could be any behavior that causes pain and suffering to another, no matter if that pain is physical or emotional.

The best tactic is to avoid getting involved with an abuser. For many, this won't really be that hard since the signs of an abuser will almost always come out very early in the relationship. They can be a little subtle, but if you pay attention you will see them early on and you can then call it quits before you get in too deep and it becomes more difficult to end the relationship.

Here are some behaviors that should send up a red flag:

1. If the person you are dating is overly jealous. An abuser will feel the need isolate their victims so they don't have any type of safety net, that makes it more difficult for the person who is being abused to leave.

An overly jealous person will use jealousy as a way to control and the worst part is that in the beginning of a relationship many people can be flattered by this attention and mistakenly believe it means that their partner is really crazy about them.

2. How does your partner treat other people? Is he rude and demeaning to staff when you go out to eat? How does he handle situations where there is a problem? If he gets cut off in traffic, does he lose his cool over the slightest thing? An abuser is a person who has a lot of insecurities and that has led to a lot of pent up anger.

3. Does the person you are dating have a lot of friends? How do they treat their friends? Are their friends friendly, confidant people or are they just "yes men"? Having a hard time with intimacy is another sign of an abuser. If your partner doesn't have a lot of friends or tends to surround themselves only with people who do everything they want them to do, that is a red flag.

The best way to protect yourself from
emotionally abusive relationships is to know what to look for and don't get involved in one in the first place. It's always easier to avoid one than it is to get out of one later on.