While there have been a worldwide campaign against physical abuses in relationships and marriages, much less attention have been paid to the other form of abuse that also goes on in relationships. So much emphasis have been made about physical abuse in relationships that people fail to take note of the type of abuse that even causes more damages to a woman- The emotional/mental abuse.
Wikipedia explains emotional abuse as
?…any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics, such as intimidation, manipulation, and refusal to ever be pleased. Emotional abuse can take many forms. Three general patterns of abusive behavior include aggressing, denying, and minimising.”
Physical abuse is actually a result of an accumulation of mental abuse in relationships. No man ever hits a lady immediately they start their relationship. It starts from little unchallenged altercations , then develops into a total control. The man verbally abuses the woman, does everything and gets away with it. Most times the woman takes it all in and endures the relationship hoping that someday the man gets better and she doesn’t live. Her self-worth is sublimated to almost nothing. She’s too in love to protest, or to resist, or to quit. She sticks to the monster as he cheats and blames it on her. Then at the peak of it he lays his hands on her and then she can’t live him even though he beats her because she’s too deeply emotionally helpless.
Emotional abuses have been prevalent in so many relationships and very little is being done about it, because unlike physical abuses, it leaves no physical scars. While physical abuse is a crime which leaves the victim with several legal remedies, emotional abuses does not. This means that a woman can go through the most horrifying psychological experiences without anyone else knowing, without having a recourse, because there are no legal consequences for the perpetrator.
Most victims of emotionally abusive relationships do not realise this until it’s too late. They are usually too in love to realize. They take a lot of psychological torture from their partners without realising how much abuse they are already going through until a long time after, when it might have been too late. According to a testimony by blogger Emily Treat on Theodysseyonline.com:
” I wasn’t familiar with emotional abuse until a concerned adult provided me with a list of red flags, and even then, I ignored all the signs, convinced that she was the crazy one. It wasn’t until months after I escaped an emotionally torturous relationship that I actually used the term “abuse” to describe it. When you’re in the midst of a toxic relationship, it’s hard to see and understand just how poorly you’re being treated. That’s because it starts out completely normal; almost too good to be true.
But as the months pass by, things slowly start to go downhill. I always think of abuse as a hot shower: you start out with the water at a comfortable temperature, and then as you get used to it, you slowly turn it up. After a while, you realize that you can’t see through all the steam, and your body is red and itchy from the scalding water. Everything starts out like a fairy tale, and you have no idea what’s coming.”
Many women are in emotionally abusive relationships today which is actually just as harmful or even more harmful than physical abuse. Emotional abuse may not necessarily scar the body but it scars the mind, and these scars could remain forever. At a point in the woman’s life she losses her self-worth to the constant denigration from her partner. The way he disrespects her, talks down at her and constantly bullies her emotionally makes her lose more and more of her personal confidence and self-esteem. The emotional torture is orchestrated by the sensitivity that comes with loving. Things said to you by people you love affects you most, positively or negatively.
There are women who cry themselves to sleep every night from emotional abuse. They are broken bits by bits until there is nothing left to break. I’ve seen the toughest of women subdued to pieces by the psychological bullying of their abusive partners. They don’t get hit, they don’t get chased around, but actions of their partners and words they say does much more damages to them.
Unlike physical abuses, there are no physical scars. When there are no physical scars, it is difficult for people to empathise with you. Most women have to combine this psychological trauma with their everyday activities without anyone noticing. In most cases the woman does not speak out against it because the world is not as sensitive to emotional abuse as they are to physical abuse.
How do you know you are in an emotionally abusive relationship?
– He treats you like his little sister, he yells at you at the slightest chance, he’s quick to tell you how you’re not good enough.
– He rubs your littlest mistakes on your face.
– He cheats on you and has a perfect excuse that makes it look like it’s your fault.
– He never admits he’s wrong, he doesn’t apologize for being wrong.
– He takes delight in making you look inferior. With what he says and does to you, sometimes you think you are not good enough for him.
– You find it so hard to stand up to him. You can’t fight back even if you want to.
– He always makes it seem like he’s doing you a favour with the relationship and because of this you take many of his excesses for the fear of him leaving you.
– He deliberately makes you insecure.
How To Deal With Emotional Abuse:
The most effective way to deal with it is to nip it in the bud as soon as it starts. Emotionally abusive relationships start little by little. When you allow it grow, it develops into a full blown abuse that could transcend into physical abuse if not properly controlled.
– Without being disrespectful, never let your partner get away by putting you down.
– Never let your partner treat you like his little sister or his servant.
– No matter how much in love you are, put your self esteem first.
– Always be confident about yourself and your abilities.
– Always try to improve in quality, but while doing that, do not ever think that you are not good enough for your partner.
– Never let go of your self-confidence.
– If you are already in an emotionally abusive relationship, do NOT be afraid to quit. You may be hurt for a while, but it is only a sacrifice you have to pay to avoid a greater hurt.