Overcoming An Emotionally Abusive Relationship
A relationship should bring out the best in each of the persons involved. However, the truth is, it does not happen all the time. While it is true that both people should do what they can to make the relationship work, at times, only one of them feels the burden of striving to save the relationship. Do you find yourself in a relationship that brings you a combination of highs and lows? Does your relationship leave you feeling that something’s amiss or even drained? If yes, chances are you need to re-evaluate your relationship and do some reality check. You just might be in an emotionally abusive relationship. Here are telltale signs that you need to watch out for so that you can do something positive about your situation.
It is impossible to correct abuses unless we know that they’re going on. – Julian Assange
You don’t feel good about yourself
A great relationship should make you feel good about yourself, both inside and out. You should feel a sense of joy and satisfaction by just looking at yourself in the mirror. Also, you should and derive inspiration from your partner in whatever you do, especially in your work and accomplishments.
If what you’re feeling about yourself is the opposite, then perhaps it has something to do with the kind of relationship you share with your partner. Instead of feeling good whenever you’re together, you feel tension (though most of the time you don’t want to acknowledge it), and perhaps prefer to stay quiet and avoid discussions for fear of starting an argument.
Your partner deliberately hurts you with words
Words spoken can never be taken back. They leave permanent marks in our minds and emotions. If your partner sincerely cares about you, then there should not be any verbal attack thrown your way. Only kind and positive words should come out of your partner’s mouth. Moreover, there should never be an intention of saying harsh words (whether they are meant to be humorous or worse, mocking) because you may get hurt in the process. Calling you names is taking it to the extreme. Therefore, that action alone should warn you that you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. Finally, if your partner keeps on raising their voice at you or has bouts of screaming, then you need to rethink your relationship.
Words spoken can never be taken back and leave a permanent mark in our mind and emotions.
There is frequent lying
A person who emotional abuses a partner is likely to feel comfortable lying whenever the situation suits it. Furthermore, the person has no qualms about lying and can come up with excuses to justify the lie. It is obviously a ticking time bomb if you continue to let your partner carry on with the lying.
You don’t have control in the relationship
When this happens, you feel that your partner makes the decisions all the time and that you practically have no say in any matter that concerns the both of you. You can maybe voice your opinions and suggestions, but they are readily dismissed and at times even ridiculed.
You feel being manipulated
Since you don’t have a say in the relationship, your partner takes control. You are left with no choice but to follow. They never let you have your way. Cleverly, your partner has a way of making you feel guilty if you resist following the lead. Even if in the end, you realize that you were tricked into agreeing, you still accept the situation but feel bad in the end. Manipulation is your partner’s way of gaining control over you and makes. It makes them feel secure in the relationship at the expense of your happinness.
All you get is constant criticism
Your partner will make you feel that you no matter what you do, you can’t seem to do things right. They will always have something to say, and that will leave you doubting yourself. Yet, you’re sure that you did great or did nothing wrong. As a result, you tend to have a distorted notion that what you do is always not good enough.
Your partner gives excuses for their bad behavior
Rather than openly admitting to you that they have a problem, they will instead make excuses for the bad behavior. Yet, they always put the blame on other people, or on you. Individuals who resort to this behavior have deep-rooted emotional or psychological issues that have been present even before you met.
You feel that you’re the one to blame
You finally establish the pattern of emotionally abusive situations. Afterward, you are likely to feel guilty and blame yourself for contributing to or causing the abuse. It’s like you have been brainwashed into thinking that you’re the reason your partner behaved that way. In this case, you’ve genuinely fallen into the trap.
One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered. – ” Michael J. Fox
What is left for you to do?
What do you do if you find these signs present in your relationship? If you want to preserve the relationship in the hope of fixing the problem permanently, then seek professional advice from a mental health professional. If you care enough about yourself, which should come first before caring for your partner, here’s what you should do:
You should draw boundaries in the relationship and let your partner know them in certain terms. Boundaries spell out behaviors that are unacceptable to you, and the actions that you will take if your partner exhibits such behaviors. For your part, you should do what you have committed to do no matter how painful it is to you or your partner to drive across your point.
Setting boundaries is a sign of re-establishing respect between the two of you, and honoring that respect. Boundaries are not meant to serve as ultimatums. Rather, they act as relationship rules or guides that both persons should accept.
If despite your efforts to make things work, one or both is finding it hard to accept the need to change, then it is time to end the relationship. If the situation worsens and there is jealousy, distrust, insecurity, and resentment between the two of you, then you would be better off turning your back on the relationship. Also, seeking professional help may be an act of good deed. This is especially for the benefit of the abusive person. You should know that it’s time to cut the person loose if the behavior persists or even worse if it is accompanied by physical abuse.