Good afternoon friends,
I have spent a significant amount of time recently responding to emails and Facebook comments surrounding emotional abuse. As a result, I’ve felt compelled to write a short blog about what constitutes emotional abuse, as well as our rights in relationship.
Emotional abuse (or verbal abuse) can look very different from relationship to relationship, and can often create confusion, sadness, guilt, and minimizing. I have been in conversation with hundreds of women over the past few months who are questioning their relationships as a result of controlling behavior, manipulation, name calling, blaming, threats, belittling, jealousy, and ongoing accusations.
We often define “domestic violence” as a physical act of harm to one’s partner, however the devastating and lasting effects of emotional abuse can scar us in ways that we may not even realize, redefining the way we feel about ourselves, creating an image of being stupid, worthless, unreliable, unlovable, and deserving of hurt.
Each of us are deserving of a relationship that includes mutual respect. Some questions we must ask ourselves as we enter into relationships include:
- Do I feel safe to share my thoughts/feelings/opinions without fear of repercussion?
- Are the “rules” of our relationship mutually agreed upon and up for discussion?
- Am I encouraged by my partner to spend time with friends, family, and hobbies separate from him/her?
- Do I often feel blamed for my partner’s outbursts or “bad behavior”?
- Does my relationship include name calling, put-downs, mandates, threats, or blaming?
- Do I feel loved unconditionally or do I “earn” feelings of love and/or adoration?
If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions LET’S TALK! You are not alone!