Emotional abuse is a silent but powerful problem not only in romantic relationships but it can also come from one’s parents, friends, as well as the workplace. Many times, emotional abuse can even go unnoticed. In relationships, especially, the perpetrator of emotional abuse causes harm and pain to their partner in a variety of ways. Emotional abuse won’t leave bruises, it won’t cause physical pain. Instead, it will be felt deeply and the scars that it leaves risk being with the victim for a long time. There are different types of emotional abuse, but all of them include causing pain on the other person, by blaming them, belittling them, or isolating them.
What are the signs of emotional abuse in a relationship?
When you’re in a relationship, you expect to feel at peace, you expect to have the utmost support as well as compassion from your partner. Although all couples fight and have arguments, there are certain cases when a relationship is straight out emotionally abusive. Therefore it’s important to acknowledge the way you are feeling and start looking for the signs you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. Some of them are:
– Your partner controls you: They control who you talk to, who you hang out with, the people you interact with, they even control your finances. You feel like you have no freedom, and they make you believe you are not an individual of your own. They leave you completely dependent on them.
– They get overly jealous: Your emotionally abusive partner gets overly jealous over the most innocent interactions you might have on a daily basis. They throw tantrums in order to assure themselves this won’t happen again. Eventually, you find yourself in a distance from your friends and even family.
– They show no compassion or empathy: Your partner is not there for you when you need them the most. They don’t seem to understand the way you feel and disregard your emotions completely. They begin by calling you out for being too sensitive.
– They put the blame on you: For everything that goes bad in the relationship, they put the blame on you. They victimize themselves to the point you even start believing you’re to blame. This method of manipulation is also known as gaslighting.
– They weaken your efforts: This includes your partner disregarding your opinions, not being aware of all the things you do about them. They basically do not take your thoughts into consideration.
– They intentionally hurt you: They know what hurts you, they know your weakest point, and they still cause you pain by using your weaknesses against you.
– They guilt trip you: An emotionally abusive partner will use whatever method that is in their power to make sure you won’t leave them. They will use blackmailing, or even threatening to hurt themselves or the ones you love if you leave the relationship.
What are the signs you have grown up with an emotionally abusive parent?
There are cases when even the ones we expect to never hurt us, will do so. This is a result of them not knowing how to act or having problems of their own. However, the effects growing up with an emotionally abusive parent are not healthy and they will destroy the child’s mental health and behavior. We will go to the effects later, initially, what are the signs you have experienced emotional abuse while growing up?
– You can’t keep healthy relationships with people: You find it hard to maintain healthy and long-lasting relationships with people.
– Your parent had inappropriate expectations about you: They expected you to be perfect in everything you do and even expected you to contribute to the family income from a very early age.
– Verbal abuse: Your parent degraded you through verbal abuse. We all know words can hurt, and especially when they are coming from someone as close to you as your parent.
– They humiliated you publicly: An emotionally abusive parent will humiliate and hurt their children in front of large numbers of people. This way the child remains feeling insecure and even unloved.
– They isolated you: Isolation is also a form of emotional abuse. Emotionally abusive parents tend to isolate their children by threatening them with violence if they don’t come home right after school and they won’t allow them to go to other friends’ houses or even have other people over. According to research, these parents do not trust anyone outside their house, so they end up isolating their children.
– They invaded your privacy: There are parents who invaded your privacy excessively. This way, the child ends up feeling like their parent doesn’t trust them and has the belief that their parent is violating their privacy. These all lead to confrontations.
– They teased you: According to Bustle, emotionally abusive parents will tease their children a lot. This might mean that the victim will grow up to show the same behavior towards other people.
What are the effects of emotional abuse?
Emotional abuse, just like any other type of abuse, has its effects on the victim. According to Healthline, it may have effects as harmful as those caused by physical abuse. Some of the long-term effects of emotional abuse are:
– Low self-esteem
– Chronic pain
– Social withdrawal
Among the short-term effects, you may find:
– Difficulty in concentration
– Feeling moody, constantly
– Seeing nightmares
– Racing heartbeat
– Ache or pain
– Muscle tension
The victims of emotional abuse might find themselves crying constantly, feeling shame or guilt, avoiding eye-contact, feeling powerless, manipulated, or undesirable.
What are the emotional abuse effects on children?
According to research, children who have experienced emotional abuse will be affected in many harmful ways. Some of which are:
– They will not eat well.
– Their mental development may be held back, as well as their intelligence and memory.
– They will be unable to express or control their emotions.
– They will show behavioral problems, such as difficulty in socializing, learning, as well as relationship problems.
– They might show rebellious or violent behavior.
What should you do if you’re in an emotionally abusive marriage?
What you need to know if you’re in an emotionally abusive marriage is that your partner can change their emotionally abusive behavior only if they really want to do so. If there’s love in the relationship, your partner is going to want to change things for the better if they understand they are hurting you.
– You should begin by talking to them about the issue, letting them know exactly how it is that they are making you feel. Emotionally abusive people usually refuse to take responsibility for their actions, they will blame you for the abuse that is being caused upon you. They will start finding excuses as to why they bully you, saying you do not cooperate. They will excuse their demanding of you claiming you do not give them what they deserve.
However, according to research, if your partner starts finding excuses for their behavior, claiming they won’t change, that’s a sign that the abuse is going to continue and they are not willing to save the relationship.
There are moments when you will feel insecurity as to whether the pain your partner is causing you is really emotional abuse. But keep in mind, whatever the pain is called, it’s still pain. And people who are responsible for that pain should take the responsibility. If your spouse/partner doesn’t accept the blame and starts blaming you instead, according to Go Smart Life, there are two things you can do:
– Do not accept the blame: Ask from them to treat you with respect and know that you are not the one who should be blamed for the pain caused upon you.
– Talk to professionals/people you trust: There are people you can talk to about these kinds of issues, like social service agencies, or therapists, or at least people you love and trust who can give you their most genuine advice. Do this in order to get another point of view of the situation, then take control of this whole thing by doing what you believe is best for you and your mental health.
All in all, remember that you are worthy. Worthy as a human being who belongs in this planet, worthy of being loved, respected, and treated with dignity. In life, you may come across situations that might be difficult to overcome, but remember, nothing is really permanent, that’s why you should take matters into your own hands and make sure you are living a healthy, happy, and peaceful life. Instead of settling for pain, remember there is another option of settling for happiness in this life. It will be difficult, it will take time, but it’s worth it.