How to recognize abuse
Emotional abuse is cruel and causes long-term damage to a woman's self-esteem. Learn the signs of emotional abuse and how to get out with your whole self intact.
Everyone loves her husband. He’s charming, handsome, polite, and intelligent. Then why is she so miserable in this marriage? This is a common theme in relationships where emotional abuse occurs.
Emotional abuse is cruel and causes long-term damage to a woman’s self-esteem, yet many women suffer through it because they feel alone and misunderstood. Emotional abuse can leave a woman feeling worthless, flawed, unloved, or endangered, reports the Canadian Health Network.
Abused women may find themselves wondering, “Why do I let him treat me this way? How did this happen and why do I stay?”
This may be because an abusive person often holds back obvious abuse until after a woman moves in with or marries him. Once she is emotionally committed and physically under his control, the real abuse begins.
Unfortunately, even the most intelligent among us begin to emotionally deteriorate under constant verbal abuse. Just think about it. If you constantly hear that you’re worthless and unwanted, you’ll begin to wonder, and then to believe what you’re told, especially in the absence of support from friends or family.
Usually the abuser hides his cruelty from the public so that when his spouse makes an appeal for help, friends and family often don’t understand there’s a problem. This lack of support reinforces the abused woman’s confusion and feeling of isolation. She becomes reluctant to reveal she’s being abused by her mate, especially if others find him charming.
Low self-esteem and self-doubt compound the problem. We think, “He used to be so sweet. I must have done something to make him act this way.” We mistakenly feel ashamed that we’re ruining a relationship with an obviously wonderful man.
In addition to our own doubts, an abusive mate probably has a healthy supply of plausible excuses for his behaviour. For example, “I had a hard day at work” or “I had too much to drink.” We may even make excuses for him: “He had an abusive childhood.”
But there is no good excuse for violating another human being. Remember, an abuser is basically a coward and a bully using a woman as his mental punching bag.
How Do You Know if You’re Being Emotionally Abused? Does He…
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship.
How Can You Stop It?
The Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres (casac.ca) provides links to agencies across Canada that can help.
Protect Your Future
The best prevention is good observation