Emotional abuse is a silent, sly, and dangerous companion. It causes pain and does more harm to you than you would ever think. You won’t bleed, there will be no bruises, but there are internal scars that remain and shape the way you function, the way you act, and the way you think. Victims of emotional abuse might not even know they are the victims, they might sense that something is wrong, or something seems off, but might even put the blame on themselves or disregard their feelings entirely.
This kind of abuse is a thief of joy and a thief of a calm and peaceful present as well as a peaceful future. The perpetrators of emotional abuse act the way they do in attempts to control the other person. It’s safe to say that there might also be perpetrators of emotional abuse who don’t even know they are being abusive, it’s the way they are taught to act, and oftentimes they don’t know better. However, in a world that is filled with people who might misunderstand you or disregard you, it’s important to take care of yourself. To make yourself a priority is very essential.
Taking care of yourself, however, comes with many challenges. But in the end, it’s so very worth it, that you won’t regret a single day you spent on trying to do so. As previously mentioned, people might not even be aware they are the victims of emotional abuse, but if you happen to notice that something is not right with your relationship, if you feel like you spend the vast majority of the time feeling hurt, ignored, or even stuck – it might be time to sit down and reflect on what might be the reason causing these issues. You can sit down and talk to a person you trust outside of the relationship in order to get genuine advice, or you might sit and try to be as objective as you can in order to understand the source of your inner troubles.
Relationships do not merely consist of love, they are a blend of compassion and determination. It takes two people to make a relationship work, and the two should be making the same amount of effort toward one another. Marriage, on the other hand, is basically the same thing. It’s just that you become legally related to your partner, you exchange vows, and you expect them to be there for you when you need them most. In good and in bad, right? That’s what the vows said.
But what happens when you feel like your partner is showing signs of an emotionally abusive person, and this way you feel like you’re stuck, unloved, or even disregarded in a place that is supposed to be your safe haven? Initially, you start by asking professionals or reading through facts as to what an emotionally abusive relationship looks like. There are different signs that might indicate that you’re being the victim of emotional abuse, such as:
– You’re being controlled. Your partner constantly checks up on you, tries to manage who you hang out with, and tells you what you should and should not do. They check your phone, messages, and even your social media profiles.
– Your partner shows signs of excessive jealousy. They become jealous over the simplest and most innocent interactions you may have on a daily basis, they act upon it, tell you about it and throw tantrums trying to make sure you do not repeat the same thing again. Eventually, you see yourself becoming distanced with your friends and family.
– Your partner controls your finances. They tell you how much you should spend, they have your passwords, and you can’t make a single purchase without first getting their permission. This way, you feel like you have no freedom or even independence.
– They lack empathy and compassion. They are not there when you need them the most, or when you’re most vulnerable.
– They gaslight you, blame you, and intentionally hurt you. They manipulate you in such a way that it makes you feel like you’re the one to blame for all the problems your relationship might be going through.
– An emotionally abusive partner doesn’t take your opinions into considerations, and disregards your thoughts or even feelings, oftentimes calling you out for being ‘too sensitive’.
But how do you stop emotional abuse in marriage?
First of all, you should be aware that your emotionally abusive partner can change their behavior, all it takes is for them to want to do so. If you both entered the marriage or the relationship wanting to make it last forever, means that you both signed up to overcome whatever problems that might come your way. If there’s love in the relationship, your partner is going to want to make you feel good, and if they find out and understand they are hurting you, they are going to want to make things better.
Talk to them about the issue, tell them about the way you are feeling, let them understand your point of view. 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. They will say they are angry because you do not do what you should be doing.
According to Go Smart Life, if your emotionally abusive partner starts finding excuses for their behavior, claiming they won’t change, that’s a sign that the abuse is going to continue, and that they are not willing to save the relationship.
What do you do when your abusive partner doesn’t accept the blame?
You will feel insecurity, you will begin doubting yourself as to whether the pain your partner is causing you really is emotional abuse. However, you need to trust your feelings, as Steven Stosny, Ph.D., says, “it doesn’t really matter what you call it or how you describe it; all that is matters is that it hurts”. And that should be your starting point.
However, there are a few things you have to do in case your partner does not accept the blame. Go Smart Life says:
– Do not accept the blame: Know that you are not the one who should be blamed for their abusive behavior. Ask from them to treat you with respect.
– Ask for advice: There are professionals who can help you make the right decision, social service agencies, therapists, or even your loved ones. If discussing doesn’t seem to be working, they are blaming you and victimizing themselves, again and again, talk to a psychologist, or people you can trust. Get another point of view of the situation and try to be as objective as you can. Yes, you love them, but emotional abuse is not healthy.
Remember: You are worthy, you can achieve things, you can love yourself. You belong, and just like the rest of us, you too deserve to be happy and respected.
Further reading on the topic of abuse: