Emotional abuse may not leave bruises, but it destroys self-esteem and ability to make decisions.
Emotional abuse does not leave scars that other people can see. But it is just as insidious as physical abuse. Emotional abuse falls under the issue of domestic violence and abuse because it is a means used for power and control over another.
Emotional abuse doesn't involve physical punching, kicking or shoving. Instead your partner attacks your self-esteem by whittling away at it bit by bit until very little is left. It is a difficult situation to describe in writing because many people cannot understand why the person who is the target of such abuse does not leave the relationship. The problem is that self-esteem is eroded slowly until you stop being able to make reasonable and rational decisions.
Emotional abuse involves many different tactics, but they all have the same goal. The abuser wants to use make sure he or she has total control of you. With physical violence there is often a wound or broken bone that testifies to the violence. With emotional abuse a person has no scars or broken bones to point to in order to prove emotional abuse has occurred. There are signs of course. For example someone who has been experiencing emotional abuse may never be able to make a single decision without consulting their partner. But the real sign is the fear shown by the abused.
Some of the tactics used by emotional abusers include the following.
1. Makes you feel as if you can't be yourself at any time and be trusted
2. Constantly yells, cusses or name calls to belittle you
3. Insults you in front of others
4. Threatens to break up or divorce you frequently
5. Attacks you verbally with no provocation
6. Spies on you and then confronts you about your activities
7. Accuses you of doing things you did not do
An emotional abuser will follow a certain pattern of behavior. One of those patterns is the expression of emotionally wrought outbursts intended to scare you into submission followed by apologies. Often the abuser will say that they are sorry and then, add that they had no choice but to get angry because of the way you act or talk.
Game Of Intimidation
Emotional abuse is a game of intimidation. The abuser uses looks and gestures that are intended to scare you without ever actually hitting you. For example, the abuser may yell and scream obscenities and then, threaten physical violence, but doesn't actually follow through. But you are led to believe it could happen.
Some people believe that emotional abuse is worse than physical abuse because it can't be seen by people. As a result, it can be difficult to convince others it is happening if you do reach out for help. Even the court system has been slow to recognize emotional abuse as domestic violence.
A relationship that involves emotional abuse is not a healthy or good relationship. Emotional abuse is also often part of a system of battering. Battering is when one person establishes control over another by using psychological and emotional abuse in conjunction with violent acts. Domestic abuse in any shape or form is damaging.
Getting The Help You Deserve
When you are emotionally battered or abused, the best way to deal with the situation is to first remove yourself from the situation and then, get help. No one should have to endure abuse of any kind. Somehow, it seems even worse coming from someone you once loved.
Unfortunately, it can often be difficult for an emotionally abused person to take the first step. One of the consequences of abuse is the insidious erosion of self-esteem which leads to the inability to act in your own defense. If you see yourself in this situation, it's important you at least turn to your family and friends if you are reluctant to get professional help. You need to leave your home and go to a place that will act as a buffer between you and the abuser.
You might be thinking that it's easy for someone else to give advice. But emotional abuse is just as dangerous as physical abuse. In fact the psychological abuse often leads to violent acts over time. It is better to head of the abuse now by dealing with the problem.
If your abuser truly loves you, they will seek help. It takes time and patience, but it's perfectly possible to get therapy and restore the love within your relationship, if that is ultimately what the both of you want. The only caveat is that each of you must want to prevent the destruction of your relationship and your abuser must be willing to admit that they have a problem and be willing to get help. It is also just as important for you to get both coaching and counseling to overcome the natural consequences of emotional abuse.