How to Handle Emotional Abuse in Relationship and Marriage?

Published on July 7, 2017

Emotional abuse is one form of abuse which people can experience in a relationship. Though emotional abuse doesn’t leave physical scars, it generally has a huge impact on victim’s confidence, self-esteem and can lead them to depression and suicide. However, if you are being emotionally abused, there are a number of things you can do to get support.

Emotional abuse in relationships, marriage, is sneaky because while abuse is taking place, no physical marks or scars ever appear. Often the only sign that something is wrong in emotionally abusive relationships is just a feeling that something is amiss. Often the victim can't quite put their finger on it, but to outsiders, there is often no doubt that emotional abuse is taking place.

Generally, an emotional abusive relationship is a difficult situation and it turns into a cycle where the victim falls in the web of the abuser, gradually. In the initial stage of such a relationship, the victim does not identify if it’s a maliciously intended act by their better half, who keep on using tactics like sarcastic jokes, bullying, criticism to tell the victim that she is incapable, guilty, wrong and weak and he/she is incapable of taking the right decision etc. Gradually, this act destroys victim’s judgment capabilities, push them in fear, guilt and anxiety. Relationship and Marriage Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo, shares steps on how victims of emotional abuse can act and try to get out of such situation.

1. Be aware of the signs of emotional abuse.

The first step is to be aware of the signs of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse functions to make the victim suffer from lack of self-value, esteem and destroys their independence and shatters their confidence. Generally, emotional abuse is identified by following acts of the abuser:

  • The abuser limits the victim’s freedom like not allowing him/her to spend time with some people or insisting on knowing his/her whereabouts.
  • The abuser pretends that the victim doesn't exist in the relationship, blames victims falsely, frequently insults victim’s family or career.
  • Abuser monitors or even spies on the victim’s phone, email, financial statements, expenditure etc.
  • Abuser tries to limit the victim’s contact and meetings with his/her family members.
  • Abuser accuses the victim for the failure of their relationship.

2. Must Realise I am Right

The victim should recognise and realize that he/she has all the rights to be treated with respect within an equal relationship with his/her partner. She has the right to change his/her mind and/or end the relationship if it no longer serves you. The victim partner has the right to have his/her own opinions, even if his/her partner disagrees and throws all kinds of tantrums.

3. Avoid relation if your partner is good at manipulation.

If your partner is excellent at manipulation, then realise that a common tactic of emotional abuse is to provoke the victim to the point of breaking, then blame him/her for everything. Hence try not to reach to point where you lose your control and act in anger and/or become emotionally weak. Try to walk away, taking a deep breath, understanding the hidden intention of the abuser’s provocation. 

4. Don’t shy or become hesitant to take an expert's help.

If you are facing the situation and it becomes unbearable for you, then don’t hesitate to share the situation with your family, friends and then seek professional help.

Category(s):Abuse / Abuse Survivor Issues, Relationships & Marriage

Written by:

Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo

Shivani Misri Sadhoo is of Delhi's eminent Psychologist, Relationship expert and marriage counselor and works with India 's top hospital groups like Fortis Hospital, IBS (Indian Brain

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