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Are you in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship?

According to experts, emotional abuse has reached epidemic proportions. Though hard statistics are elusive, experts say as many as two-thirds of couples experience emotional abuse. And despite the prevalence in everyday life, few of us recognise it, identify it, or do anything about it.

What exactly is emotional abuse? Emotional abuse is defined as behaviour and language designed to degrade or humiliate someone by attacking their self-value or personality. It can take the form of name-calling, shaming, blaming, intimidating, dismissing, stonewalling or making threats. Whatever form it takes, the effects for the abused individual can be crippling. Anxiety, destroyed self-esteem, depression, feeling alone, unimportant and isolated are all common feelings of someone who has been emotionally abused.

Emotional Abuse, while it leaves no marks can sometimes be the hardest type of abuse to understand in a relationship. It’s hard to imagine that someone who “loves you” could abuse you and besides it’s just words, right? It’s not like you’re being BEATEN!

Sad truth is, while broken bones heal, the wounds left from emotional abuse can last a lifetime. 

 

Signs you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship:

  • Your partner keeps a tight control on all things: money, the phone, using the car, using the internet, who you see and what you do. 
  • Your partner treats you like an object, like property not like a person with feelings. 
  • You’re afraid to tell your partner about a normal event, such as your car needs a new tyre or you stayed behind at work to catch up, as you’re not sure how they will react. 
  • When you do talk to your partner, they belittle you and make you feel stupid. 
  • You’ve begun to feel as though you deserve to be treated badly. If you were a BETTER person you wouldn’t make your partner so mad. 
  • To avoid confrontation, you make yourself available to your partner no matter what the personal cost to yourself. 
  • When talking about an accomplishment or something equally exciting, your partner sneers and puts you down, mocking your achievements, rather than congratulating you. 
  • You no longer want to have your partner around your friends or family because you’re afraid he will embarrass and humiliate you in front of them. 
  • You’ll go out of your way to please your partner, no matter what you have to sacrifice. If that means you have to stay up all night to clean the house then so be it, it beats him shouting at you. 
  • If you fight back your partner blames you for the abusive behaviour “if you weren’t so stupid I wouldn’t have to yell at you!” 
  • You feel helpless like you’re trapped in the relationship. 
  • You’ve begun to believe you’re the crazy one, that you’re the one with the problem. 
  • You’re in complete isolation. Your partner doesn’t want you around your family or friends and has convinced you that they’re the ones who are abusive to you – not him. 
  • You make excuses for his behaviour regardless of the situation. 

Though some may say emotional abuse is not as bad as physical abuse, this is simply not true and should be taken very seriously. If you or someone you know is suffering from emotional abuse, please seek help. No one deserves to be treated this way and everyone is worthy of respect, even you!

 

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