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Is it still considered a verbally abusive relationship if he compliments me?

While some signs of abusive relationships are easily recognizable, some signs hide behind masks so as to hide the fact that you are being abused. One very common example of this is when your partner makes it look like he is giving you compliments, when in reality the intention is to insult you. This is also known as a back-handed compliment.

Back-handed compliments are often used by manipulative abusers. They give insults disguised as compliments. And when you let them know that you recognized it as an insult, they act offended. He or she will try to make you feel like you just don’t know how to take a compliment. But at the back of their minds, they were actually expressing condescension.

What could be considered a back-handed compliment?

Beware of the following compliments from your partner because the reality is, they aren’t likely to be meant as compliments:

  1. “What a lovely dress you’re wearing; it does wonders for your figure.” (Is your figure so bad that it needs wonders?)

  2. “Nice haircut; it slims your face.” (Oh, so your face looks fat?)

  3. “For a woman, you drive very well.” (He is belittling your driving actually.)

  4. No one will ever love you the way I do.” (Sounds sweet, but it’s actually leading you to believe no one else will ever love you if you let go of him or her.)

  5. “You are smarter than you look.” (So, you look dumb?)

Just A Warning…

The danger of believing backhanded compliments is that over time such ideas will erode your self-worth. You will develop a distorted belief that you are inferior or that you deserve such treatment.

Never let anyone lead you to believe you are worthless. Get out of a relationship like this as soon as you recognize any signs of verbal abuse …even those beautifully crafted by your partner as so-called “compliments”.

Need more help?

Yes, how should I handle a passive-aggressive husband?

What goes on in the mind of an abusive husband?

How are relationships supposed to affect existing emotions within us?

Is my relationship actually going anywhere?

What are some psychological tell-tale signs that he's cheating on me?


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