Crystal Happiness : Emotional Wellbeing

Signs of Abusive Relationships: Understanding Emotional Abuse

In my experiences as a practising life-coach, I have found that many are confined to bad relationships because they place a big onus on conforming to accepted social practices. Many find it difficult to step-out of abusive relationships, whether emotional or physical, because of the consequences and social discomfort to immediate family and friends. Where the relationship is beyond repair; and abuse continues despite all your efforts at reconciliation; then it IS time, you get out of the abusive relationship.

Emotional Abuse different from Physical Abuse

Emotional abuse can happen without the physical evidence of a busted lip or a black eye, says famous Latin-American singer, Jennifer Lopez, in her 2014 memoir, “True Love.” The celebrated singer ended her seven-year marriage with famous singer March Anthony, in 2011. Though she does not name him or other ex-es directly, Lopez states that she felt abuse “in one way or another: mentally, emotionally and verbally.”

What is emotional abuse?

Social scientists label emotional abuse as just one of the forms in which an individual in a relationship can experience abuse. It is often regular in occurrence and includes various types of verbal bully, offense, threatening and endless criticism. Many times it may also include tactics, often clothed in subtlety, leading to the abuser manipulating, intimidating or derogating the partner.

The dark side of this type of abuse is that it is ‘insidious.’ Many times neither the abuser nor the victims are aware that they are in an abusive relationship.

Others suggest that most of such abuse cases occur in all types of intimate relationships between friends, relatives, spouses and parent with their child.

Why do partners indulge in emotional abuse?

Psychologists are not far from the truth when the state that the abuser in an emotional relationship is often, himself a victim of some sort of insecurity. The individual may have failed to learn the correct mechanism to overcome such abuse himself. Sometimes their personal failures in achieving their potential, builds within them the urge to demoralize, manipulate feelings of partner, so that they feel obligated to them and do not leave them. Their need for power and control stokes their behaviour leading to their hurtful behaviour towards the partner.

Impact of emotional abuse

The immediate impact of the abuse, typically rendered by words rather than physical action is loss of confidence and fall in self-esteem of the individual subjected to such abuse by a dominant partner.

What are the signs of abuse?

In understanding emotional abuse, one has to first identify the various signs of abuse. The abuser disregards opinions, suggestions or needs of the partner. Most times the victim is treated, as if he or she is a child, controlling all actions of the partner. The abuser would not hesitate or spare a thought before denouncing or chastising the victim in full public view. Empathy or compassion is never shown towards the victim. Negative remarks, demanding compliance with their suggestions are some of the major signs of such a relationship.

You owe it to yourself that you leave an Abusive Relationship!


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