How would you react if someone was constantly criticizing or belittling you? Would you want to leave them behind? Or would you stay put and try to change their bad behavior? You might be dealing with an abusive relationship if you answered yes to either question.
Abusive relationships can take many forms, from verbal abuse to emotional manipulation. While some abusers are apparent, others are less obvious and harder to spot.
Abuse is defined as using force or power over another person. It can include emotional, verbal, psychological, sexual, financial, and even legal abuse. The abusive partner usually uses these tactics to control his partner.
You don’t deserve to be treated like this. If you are being abused, you should get out now.
To escape an abusive situation, you’ll need to recognize the signs and get out before things escalate further.
Table of Contents
What Causes Abuse in a Relationship?
Emotional abuse happens when someone uses words, actions, or threats to control another person. This type of bad behavior usually occurs between two people who are already involved in a romantic relationship, although it can also happen outside of a relationship. It includes family members, friends, co-workers, bosses, teachers, religious leaders, partners, etc.
However, abusive behavior is most common in narcissist relationships where people often use these emotions to gain power and influence over another person.
Types of Emotional Abuse
There are many types of emotional abuse, including verbal, physical, economic, sexual, and psychological abuse. Verbal abuse includes name-calling, belittling remarks, and insults. Physically abusive behavior includes hitting, slapping, shoving, kicking, punching, choking, burning, and threatening suicide. Economic abuse involves controlling access to money, possessions, and resources. Sexual abuse includes forcing sex, stalking, and rape.
The most common form of emotionally abusive behavior is verbal. People often use verbal abuse to express anger, frustration, jealousy, and resentment. They may yell at each other, call each other names, threaten divorce, or tell lies.
Verbal abuse can be very damaging to relationships because it makes victims feel bad about themselves and makes them doubt their own value. Victims often become depressed, anxious, angry, and confused. They may try to change their abusive partner’s behavior, but this only leads to further arguments.
Physical abuse is sometimes used to punish or scare people. Sometimes abusers hit their partners repeatedly until they learn not to argue back. Other times, they may beat up their partners just once. Either way, physical abuse is dangerous and should never be tolerated.
Economic abuse is a severe problem in some families. Some people take advantage of others financially through manipulation, deception, and theft. Others withhold financial support, refuse to pay bills, or deny family members access to money.
Sexual abuse is a violation of trust. It can include unwanted touching, kissing, groping, and forced intercourse. It can also involve watching pornography together, having sex with someone else, or making unwanted advances toward someone.
If you suspect that you’re being emotionally abused, talk to your partner. Don’t let him intimidate you into silence. Tell him exactly what he did wrong. Ask him to apologize and promise to stop abusing you. Then leave.
Don’t stay in an unhealthy situation. Get out now.
Identifying the Situation
If you think you might be experiencing emotional abuse, here are some things to consider:
- Someone else’s moods are controlling you.
- Your partner insists on having total authority over every aspect of your life, including where you live, work, eat, sleep, play, pray, study, meditate, exercise, socialize, etc.
- They might refuse to listen to anything you say.
- You feel like you are living in fear of them.
- You are afraid to speak up for yourself because he will use the situation against you.
- You are constantly criticized, humiliated, belittled, shamed, blamed, intimidated, isolated, threatened, insulted, degraded, dismissed, ignored, punished, disrespected, or put down.
Can an abusive relationship be fixed?
Emotional abuse is a form of domestic violence that occurs within relationships. While physical abuse is blatant and easy to spot, emotional abuse is harder to detect, especially since it usually involves verbal attacks rather than direct actions.
It’s important to understand that emotional abuse does not always result in physical harm. Instead, it causes damage to both parties involved. Passionate abusive partners try to control their partners by isolating them, making them feel guilty, threatening them, humiliating them, and managing their finances.
While emotional abuse is difficult to recognize, it’s possible to fix an emotionally abusive relationship. Several treatment options are available, including individual therapy, couples counseling, and group therapy.
Individual therapy allows each partner to talk freely about their feelings while receiving professional guidance. Couples counseling focuses on improving communication skills and problem-solving abilities. Group therapy provides support for both partners and teaches coping mechanisms.
There are other forms of treatment as well, including medication and self-help techniques. Ultimately, however, the goal is to break the cycle of abuse and create a healthy environment for both partners.
How to Fix an Abusive Relationship
Abuse is an ugly thing. No matter how much you love your partner, abuse is still wrong. Here are seven steps to fix an abusive relationship if you find yourself in a toxic relationship.
1. Understand What Abuse Means
Before you change anything, you first need to understand what abuse means. There are two types of abuse: physical and emotional. Physical abuse involves hitting, kicking, biting, choking, and other violence against another person. Emotional abuse is verbal abuse, such as name-calling, belittling, threatening, and controlling behavior.
Physical abuse can lead to serious health problems, including broken bones, internal injuries, and even death. Emotional abuse can cause depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts.
2. Recognize That Abuse Happens
Recognizing abuse doesn’t mean you condone it. However, recognizing abuse does mean you acknowledge that it happens. This acknowledgement allows you to recognize the signs of abuse and seek help.
3. Seek Help From Someone Who Can Provide Support
No one deserves to be abused. If you don’t think you deserve support, ask for it. Don’t wait until things get worse. Get help from someone who knows what you’re going through.
A counselor, therapist, pastor, friend, parent, sibling, or spouse can provide support. They may offer advice on how to deal with the situation, give you tools to cope with stress, and help you learn healthier coping strategies.
4. Talk About Your Feelings With Someone Who Will Listen
Talking about your feelings helps you express your emotions and gives you the opportunity to vent. Talking about your feelings can also help you feel better.
However, talking about your feelings can be challenging. Sometimes you may feel embarrassed or ashamed. Other times, you may fear that no one will believe you.
Talk to someone who will listen. Tell your story without judgment. Let your feelings flow.
5. Take Initiative
Take action to stop the abuse. Please do something to show your abuser that he has hurt you. For example, leave the house, call the police, tell a trusted adult, or write down everything that happened.
This step shows your abuser that you won’t tolerate his actions anymore.
6. Make Changes
Make changes to prevent future abuse. Change your environment. Move away from the abuser. Find a safe place to live.
Change your habits. Stop drinking alcohol. Quit smoking cigarettes. Avoid drugs.
These changes will allow you to avoid triggers that may lead to further abuse.
7. Be Patient
Be patient with yourself. Changing your life takes time. It may seem impossible right now, but eventually, you will succeed.
Remember, you aren’t alone. Many others have been through similar situations. Ask for help from those who care about you.
It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel sad. But most importantly, it’s okay to heal.
What to Say To Someone Who Is Abusing You
If you’re currently in an abusive relationship, you must take action. Don’t wait until things get worse. Chances are you’ve tried everything to end it. But sometimes leaving isn’t enough. So what do you say to someone in an abusive relationship? What should you do when you realize you need help to cope with abuse and move forward in your life to a healthy relationship?
You need to identify the reason behind the scenerio. It might possible your partner trying to turn the table in a relationship to manipulate you or using such tactics for something else. Whatever the case, finding the cause is crucial.
The most important step is to seek professional counseling. This is especially true if you’re being physically abused. However, there are some things you can try yourself to stop the abuse.
First, talk to your partner. Tell them how you feel and ask them to listen to you. Don’t be afraid to tell them exactly what you think of them. Even though this may seem scary at first, it’s actually very liberating.
Next, find out where you stand legally. If you live together, you may be able to file for a divorce. Otherwise, you can still file for a legal separation. Either way, you’ll need to hire a lawyer specializing in family law.
Finally, consider getting a restraining order. If you fear for your safety, you can apply for a temporary restraining order (TRO). Once granted, a TRO gives you protection until a hearing date. At the hearing, a judge will decide whether to grant a permanent injunction.
However, if you still need to get ready to leave, you can also try to change your partner’s mind. Try to show them that they need to change their ways. Ask your partner to apologize and admit wrongdoing. Make sure to keep your cool and avoid yelling or threatening violence.
Remember, no matter what you do, you can never force someone to change. Only they can do that. So if you truly care about ending the abuse, just let go and trust that they’ll eventually come back to you.
Abusive or toxic relationships aren’t easy to break free from. But if you want to leave an unhealthy relationship behind, here are some steps you can take to help you along the way.
First, you need to know that you deserve better than someone who hurts you. No matter what your partner says or does, you never deserve to be treated like that. So whenever he tries to tell you otherwise, remind him of that fact.
Next, you need to figure out whether or not you really love him. If you do, you need to decide whether you will stay with him or walk away. Either way, you need to let him know you’re leaving because if he doesn’t hear it from you, he won’t believe it.