Abusive relationships are challenging for the person who is being abused. Many people think of these relationships as ones that involve physical abuse; however, there are other forms of abuse that can occur. One of these is emotional abuse. While emotional abuse doesn't come with bruises and other physical injuries, it is just as serious as physical abuse.
Emotional abuse is troubling because the abuser often presents sort of a fake facade that makes other people think that he or she is sweet and loving. What outsiders don't realize is that this isn't what is going on at home. Instead, the person tends to treat his or her spouse like a doormat.
The impacts of emotional abuse are considerable. The constant pressure of trying to meet the expectations, which are always changing, of the abuser can wear the victim down. The constant put-downs can lower the victim's self-esteem.
Many times, the abuser will have periods of niceness toward his or her spouse. During these periods, the relationship will seem like it is heading in the right direction. Soon, things will revert back to the abusive ways. The abuser might make the victim feel like he or she has been imagining the abuse or mistaking it, which the victim might agree to when things are going good.
Jealousy and control are other big factors in emotional abuse. The abuser will usually claim that things are going on that aren't just to make it seem like the abusive behavior is warranted. Some abusers go as far as demanding that the victim takes pictures when he or she goes places so that the abuser can verify that the victim was where he or she claimed.
A victim who is being emotionally abused might feel like there isn't any hope to make things right. Divorce is usually the way that these victims can get away from the abusive behavior, but it is a difficult step to take. Learning about the process, as well as legal methods that might offer some protection, can help victims decide what they are going to do.
Source: Your Tango, "21 Signs You're In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship," Marni Feuerman, LCSW, LMFT, accessed June 08, 2017