Ask a victim of abuse and he/she would definitely claim that more than the physical tortures that he/she has ever experienced, it was emotional abuses that hurt him/her most. Sad but true.
Not every abuse hurled out at you needs to be physical. Emotional abuse can be as bad as its physical counterpart but is rarely taken into consideration in most cases.
Why does Emotional Abuse go Unnoticed?
This happens because the individuals in question tend to react differently to both kinds of abuses. In the case of physical abuses which usually involve broken bones, permanent scars and painful bruises, the victim either takes it in his/her stride or threatens to walk out of the relationship.
In most cases of emotional abuse however, the victim chooses to remain silent either because he/she feels this is far better than being beaten up or because he/she becomes psychologically disturbed by the constant abuse and feels scared to raise his/her voice in front of the abuser.
How can Emotional Abuse Hurt you?
Emotional Abuse can hurt you on a psychological level and can with time push you to the limit of your sanity. Emotional abusers usually belittle their victims to the point that the latter starts feeling apprehensive of their individual abilities and feel compelled to stay with their abuser come what may!
Emotional abuse can make you mentally weak and timid, with the potential to turn you into a nervous wreck with time. And this state can take months, maybe years of counseling to get cleared. Victims of emotional abuse usually suffer from severe depression that can lead them to experience a multitude of health related ailments, the culmination of which in some cases leads to suicide.
How to Recognize the Symptoms of Emotional Abuse in a Relationship?
If you feel you are being emotionally abused by your partner but are not sure about the same, here are some pointers that can help you come to a decisive conclusion about the issue.
Emotional Abusers would mostly stick to verbal taunts and threats rather than hurting you physically. They would stick to several kinds of verbal abuse, including name calling, yelling, hurling threats, throwing the blame and causing shame etc. until they either push you into a corner or make you break down into tears.
Emotional Abusers would usually threaten their victims into accepting their demands. These threats range from simple taunts like refusing to give them money or withdrawing their privileges, to more serious issues like threatening to harm the victim or his/her loved ones (including children).
An emotional abuser would most surely not take the blame for any mistake of his/hers’ and would stuff it upon you, making it clear in the process that it was entirely your fault and that you would need to come up with a solution for the issue. In some cases, the abuser would even blame the victim for his/her own behavior.
Individuals who emotionally abuse their partners expect to be the dominating personality in the family. And this they assert by being authoritative with their partners at every other instant. They would not give any heed to their partners’ words and expect the latter to follow their instructions to the ‘T’ instead.
An emotional abuser would most probably isolate his/her partner from social circles, including the latter’s family members and friends. In addition to this, the abuser would constantly try to belittle or humiliate his/her partner in front of others to appear superior himself/herself.
How to Overcome Emotional Abuse
Most of the time emotional abuse goes unnoticed because the individuals who experience it don’t understand the fact that they are being emotionally abused by their partners. Realizing that there could in fact be a problem is the first step to overcoming emotional abuse. Once you realize and accept the fact that you are being emotionally abused by your partner, you could take the necessary steps to thwart the issue. One of the best ways to overcome emotional abuse is to stand up to your abuser and let him/her know about your worth. Even if this would require tremendous effort and courage on your partner, a single incident like this would let your abuser know that you would not take things lying down. This would make him more wary of abusing you in the future.
Speaking to friends and family members can help you deal with emotional abuse. You can also ask a close friend or family member to speak on your behalf and solve the issues. Support groups can also help you deal with emotional abuse in the least problematic way possible. If nothing you do seems to end the abuse, you need to take matters into your own hands and become the abuser for a change. Threaten him/her with dire consequences if he/she continues abusing you. Opting to walk out of the relationship or filing for a divorce would be the extreme step you would need to take if absolutely nothing you do seems to stop the abuse.