Maybe he doesn't hit you, but he enjoys having power over you and purposefully fails to communicate and solve issues that are hurting you. He regularly disregards your thoughts, opinions and needs. He makes you believe that you're too broken and too useless to be wanted by anyone else besides him. He often criticizes you by comparing you to "better" women and tells you that you will never look good enough. He slowly starts isolating you from your family and circle of friends, and before you know it, he's all that you have left. He treats you like you are a piece of furniture by obliging you to "ask for permission" before doing anything and yells at you if you do something wrong. He makes subtle threats or negative remarks with the sole purpose of frightening and controlling you. He doesn't care how you feel about anything.
A tear of red, a circle of blue and a drop of water are not triggers but results of an abusive relationship. We often wait for such tangible signs to call it "violence" because that is how we picture abuse. We picture someone who is physically hurt by their partner all while ignoring other types of violence. Lack of physical violence does not mean that the abuser is any less dangerous to the victim, nor does it mean the victim is any less trapped by the abuser. However, it is important to keep in mind that violence does not always portray as being physical and visible. Emotional and psychological abuse can often be just as extreme as physical violence and in most cases leave more permanent scars.
Psychological or emotional abuse is a form of abuse that is characterized by a person exposing another person to a certain behavior resulting in trauma, anxiety, chronic depression, etc... According to a CDC report published in 2010, more than half of women have been psychologically abused by their partner. Nevertheless, this form of violence is still rarely acknowledged since it is not easily visible at the first sight.
This toxic relationship will soon enough poison you and drown you in a pool of self-hatred. The first step in the process of healing is recognizing that it is happening. If you are aware of some signs of emotional abuse, you are one step closer to regaining power over your life, yourself and your self-esteem. So stop making excuses for your abuser and stop convincing yourself that they will change. Put yourself as a priority for once and seek support and help from your entourage, because you are not to blame.
Maybe he doesn't hit you, but it's still abuse...