How To Recover From Emotional Abuse After Leaving A Psychologically Abusive Relationship

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How To Recover From Emotional Abuse After Leaving A Psychologically Abusive Relationship
Self, Heartbreak

Getting over an emotionally abusive relationship is simple but it isn’t easy. Emotional abuse is the proverbial grinder and you’ve been through it.

Believe it or not, it's also a system: it follows a clear and specific game-plan. And it can be seriously hard to take on board.

RELATED: 21 Signs You're In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

You met one particular person, fell in love with them, did your very best to love them the way you felt they needed to be loved, worked your socks off to keep that love alive, and invested heavily in them.

But, that investment of love and effort failed. In the process, you went from being someone your partner loved enough to want to make a life with, to being rejected, humiliated, blamed, criticized, abandoned, and repeatedly shamed for a multitude of perceived failures.

Your toxic relationship was a personal tragedy for you — it undermined your entire sense of self-worth. Yet, now, you’re being asked to accept that your emotional abuser was simply following a pre-determined game-plan!

That the whole sorry, painful business wasn’t really about the relationship between two people.

That acceptance will be a big part of your liberation.

The question victims of emotional abuse — many types of abuse, really — ask themselves over and over again is this: "How could this person — whom I loved and who I thought loved me — do this to me?"

For as long as you think your partner must share your emotions and your perspective, that question will drive you crazy. You’ll never come up with an answer that truly satisfies you.

So, if you're seeing signs of emotional abuse or domestic violence in your relationship, it's time to take charge of your life.

Here are 6 important steps to take to begin your recovery from emotional abuse from an emotionally abusive relationship.

1. Ask yourself, "How can this person do this?"

When you start asking that question, you have already taken the first step towards recovery.

You’ve made the massive, empowering shift from believing that it all has to be somehow about you — and what you could or could not do for another person — to looking at the dynamics of a relationship that was predestined to fail.

There wasn't much you could do about that.

The very first step to getting over an emotionally abusive relationship is putting a little distance between what happened and your feelings about what should not have happened.

2. Understand their agenda

This means gaining some understanding of how domestic abuse and emotionally abusive relationships work.

Once you understand that your abuser had an agenda — specifically about having power and control over you — you have a framework in which to understand their behaviors.

Blaming, shaming, criticizing, rejecting, sulking, and fits of anger were all techniques geared to satisfying their need to feel powerful, and better than you.

It’s all about establishing your place in the pecking order. Your place is at the very bottom of any heap that they are a part of. Love was just the bait on the hook.

3. Know the difference between who they are and who you want them to be

Much as you might like to, your emotional abuser’s behavior is something you cannot change. You simply cannot transform them into the person you think they should be.

No matter how much you want to. What you can change are your own feelings of being worthless, stupid, and unlovable. You were none of these things.

You just weren’t sufficiently prepared to spot an emotional abuser before they messed with your head and your heart.

Nobody deserves to be published for not knowing what they couldn’t have known, including you.

RELATED: 7 Things That Look Like Love (But Are Actually Emotional Abuse)

4. Become self-reliant

You fell for an emotional abuser in the first place because you were hungry for love and he appeared to be equipped to give you that love.

Sure, everybody wants and needs to be loved, but it’s a very bad idea to rely on someone to give you that feel-good feeling, especially if you can’t provide it for yourself, first.

It’s not entirely dissimilar to having to rely on a ‘chemical high’. You need to learn to love yourself first. Once you can, you won’t be tempted to settle for a pale shadow of real love, ever again.

If you aren’t able to love yourself, you become very vulnerable to anyone — like an abuser — who will exploit your need for love for their purposes.

5. Re-learn how to trust

An emotionally abusive relationship leaves you feeling that you can never trust anyone again. In fact, the key person you don’t trust is yourself — the person you should be able to trust the most.

It's perfectly normal to want to be with someone who is trustworthy. However, one big problem victims of abuse have is a desperate want for trust and, therefore, assuming that other people must be trustworthy.

You cannot afford to invest your quality of life in your assumptions. Other people have to earn your trust through consistent good, respectful behavior towards you.

You have to build a healthy relationship of trust with yourself, and learn to trust your judgment where others are concerned.

6. Enjoy life now

You're ignoring the glaring emotional abuse signs. You always say to yourself, "I’ll be happy when…" But, the problem is, all you’re doing is practicing waiting for something you want to happen...one day.

Despite all you have been through, you can learn to be very happy, right now, whatever your life circumstances.

Happy people attract happy people. Put the past behind you now and focus on your radiantly happy future.

Domestic violence comes in the form of physical abuse, verbal abuse, mental abuse, and emotional abuse.

If you choose to believe that your abusive relationship has changed you forever, your life will be miserable But, if you follow this simple-road map to happiness, you’ll soon be amazed just how much joy you will find in every aspect of your life.

RELATED: 5 Major Red Flags Of Emotional Abuse In A Relationship

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Dr. Annie Kaszina is an author, counselor/therapist, and coach. She spent 12 years helping emotional abuse survivors reclaim their happiness, and their self-worth, so they can enjoy peace of mind, great relationships, and personal and professional success.

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