What is Emotional Abuse?
We all have heard of sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse…but have you also heard of Psychological abuse a.k.a an Emotional abuse?
let me tell you it doesn’t cause pain (physical pain) neither it leaves any bruises, but it’s still very unhealthy.
Sometimes we only relate abuse with hitting or shoving, calling names, or saying awful things about a person in public.
But, what we don’t know is that we might be Psychologically abused, without being aware of it.
Any action that causes mental stress and robs off a person of his/her identity, self-worth and dignity fall into a category of Psychological or Emotional Abuse. Victims often say that it’s the most hurtful kind of abuse. You can’t stop the abuse without, you being aware of it.
A woman who is subjected to emotional abuse suffers alone, silently believing it’s her own fault.
Emotional abuse is an effort to control the person just the same way physical abuse is an effort to control other person using force. The only difference between the two forms of abuse is in emotional abuse the abuser uses emotion as a weapon to control the victim.
Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, it’s still not taken as an offense.
It’s often overlooked, taken for granted and denied, hence, we don’t seek help or discuss it with people, as especially being women, we are raised believing that, any form of abuse that comes from a man, as our spouse is acceptable.
Women face emotional abuse every day without complaining about it, even if they do, nobody considers it as a big deal, without realizing its impact on women’s well-being.
Constant Emotional abuse may result in chronic depression, trauma, anxiety, and insecurity.
No, I am not a feminist, men can be emotionally abused too, but in the male dominating society we live in, we usually find women being victims, with men acting as women’s protector, they think, they have a right to treat them any way they want, without women complaining about it.
You might also be interested in 5 differences between Love and Attachment
Signs women should look for if they suspect being Emotionally abused in a relationship:
- Frequent teasing and making fun of a woman (and calling it a joke)
- Treating a woman nicely publicly, but being nasty in private.
- Neglecting or abandoning her.
- Not considering her worthy of giving an opinion in related matters.
- Always criticizing the looks, dressing, and appearance of a woman.
- Threatening to divorce and taking children along.
- Blaming the person for everything that goes wrong.
- Withholding any information they have a right to know.
- Not protecting or offering any support.
- Not taking care of needs, and taking any of the responsibilities that they are entitled to being a husband.
- Always making the person feel guilty.
- Showing disrespect and using foul language.
- Punishment or threats to punish
- hold back the affection
- use of language to aimed to shame and belittle the person
- name calling
- Refuse to communicate
- Isolating the person from loved ones
In many cases, the victim doesn’t realize he/she is emotionally abused even if the realization struck hard its followed by a vicious emotional abuse cycle with a similar pattern as the physical abuse pattern.
As soon as the victim figure out whats going on with her and thinks to leave or confront the abuser, he/she will suddenly start being apologetic, romantic and show the best of their behavior (which is, of course, to woo the person back ) and show that they are genuinely sorry.
They will do everything to win you back from buying you flowers, to cooking meals or emptying the bin, supporting with kids, just anything to make you stay and believe that he has realized his mistakes and will no longer be the same person.
The abuser will, in fact, be so good that the victim will start feeling guilty about ever leaving him or suspecting he is not a good husband, or ever doubting his intentions.
but as soon as she comes back around and things become pretty normal, and she begins to start trusting her husband again with a belief that he will never do anything to hurt her, the abuser will be back again with the same abusive pattern.
Mostly men with a giant size ego and a lot of false pride are the possible candidates for abusive behavior.
These men feel inadequate either sexually in a relationship or are not financially stable, had an abusive childhood, suffered from shame and have a bruised ego.
In many cases, Abusers are also those who have witnessed abuse of their own mothers or other women in their home, either by their father or any other male relative of a family. This early influence leaves marks on their innocent minds and later on they practice it on their own families.
Since physical abuse would make them appear bad or as despicable cowards and that is not acceptable to them, they succumb to emotional abuse which becomes a satisfying version.
The societies we live in believe that the husband is the sole and absolute leader in the home, rules made by him should be abode by everyone in the family.
A wife no matter how educated she is, must subservient to him. He must force his authority on her, and the only possible way he thinks he can do is by undermining her confidence, make her appear the imperfect creature and make her submit to his authority.
Man becomes the hunter and woman the game.
These men are basically selfish. Their only focus in life is to seek their own private happiness at the expense of their wives. That’s where they can only practice their false power and manhood.
Marriage can only work well in the atmosphere where there are mutual love and respect. Marriages work even better with esteem and confidence than romance.
According to Lawrence Crabb, a renowned counselor, “for a person to experience satisfaction in life there must be two inputs – a sense of personal worth or acceptance, and security. If either of these inputs is not available to one partner, the marriage becomes dysfunctional. Indifference can be much worse than hate.”
First of all, if someone is being abused it’s not their fault, abusers manipulate the victim and have a knack to make them feel as if they deserve to be treated the way they are being treated.
Often times the victim is so much stressed that they can’t decide, what is wrong and what is right. It’s highly recommended to seek help and talk about how the person feels.
I won’t lie to you coping with emotional abuse is a lonely struggle. What people can’t see doesn’t bother them.
They are quick to label a woman who constantly complains about her husband as a liar, as she cant show any concrete evidence against him.
Her accusations cant be challenged in any court of law. The least she can do is argue she is a victim and will end being labeled as a troublemaker or a neurotic.
There are basically three things women can do about it.
Tolerate the situation
Most of the women opt for this option comes from an abusive background who already have a poor self-image of themselves.
According to Kim Charnin, “It is in part the anxiety of being a woman that devastates the human mind.”
As time passes by she gradually convinces herself that fault is hers alone. She starts owning the failure.
A constant and repetition attacks on her many shortcomings makes her believe that she is guilty of whatever her husband accuses her of.
She loses her self-worth, her purpose of life and merely ends up being a ‘Handy punching bag’ for her husband.
Fight for the betterment of situation
She is a brave girl who can fight the situation. She is a girl who is raised to see herself as a worthy individual who deserves every bit of respect, a spirit that refuses to be crushed or suppressed by anyone even its her husband.
She is someone who is taught to believe in herself and demand her rights.
She may be called a bad wife because she demands her rights and doesn’t tolerate cruelty. but her mind is made up of what she should expect from marriage and fights to continue her identity and individuality
Her education contributed to her confidence and a healthy self-image. She knows her rights and when she is being denied them. Her aim is to win the battle of the mind.
End the relationship
This woman won’t keep up with the crappy relationship. She will terminate it if she has a good family/friend support system.
No Negotiation if abuse is involved in a relationship
It takes balls but she is determined to end it if she doesn’t earn the respect she deserves in a relationship. She is a self-made woman. Money, she can earn her own, but she won’t get abused every single day, feeling sorry for herself l, she won’t take a minute to end it and ask the man to shove it up his ass.
Family counseling sessions can help both the victim and abuser.
But other than that, the following are the few things that we need to remind ourselves daily to boost our self-esteem and regain the confidence if we happen to be in an abusive relationship.
- I have every right to be happy.
- I am not inferior to anyone in any way.
- I am beautiful inside and out, without anyone telling me that.
- I am not a slave of anyone’s approval.
- I have my own point of view.
- I am worthy of respect just like anyone.
- I am a human, I can make mistakes, but that doesn’t make me a bad person.
- I am capable of taking my decisions, whether right or wrong.
- Others opinion about me doesn’t matter.
- I am not dependent on anyone, I can take care of myself.
- Lastly, I love myself. Each day remind yourself this.