How to Get Out of An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Monday, June 10, 2019

     Unfortunately, it is increasingly common to hear about love relationships in which abuse is a common thing. This type of toxic behaviors is complicated to hide for a long time. An abuser, as soon as he or she has a loving relationship, will establish parameters in which the abuse, of whatever kind, takes deep roots. For now, we are going to talk about the definition of abusive relationships in the first place.

     The problem of identifying it as quickly as it arises is that most of the time it appears intermixed in manifestations of affection, attention, and passion, which confuses the couple. This even makes them believe that these actions are no type of abuse, but only "samples of attention, love, and interest." Affective and emotional bonds are created until reaching codependency that is exceptionally complicated to break.

How to Get Out of An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

How to know if I am in an abusive relationship?

     The pattern of abuser actions is about the same regardless of the nature of the relationship with the victim. First, a person gains the trust, and only after that, he or she begins to criticize and humiliate the victim, because he/she does not "pass the standards." And of course, it is eventually is found out the cause is a victim, and not the fact that there is no absolute best, some ideal. As quarrels, resentments, or criticism may arise between any people, violence deceptively masquerades as such usual misunderstanding. But the difference is in how often this happens and what a conclusion the parties make after the conflict: if the same person is always considered to be guilty, then this is a time to reflect on what is going on.

     Emotional abuser, manipulator pushes the victim into isolation - for example, by prohibiting meeting with friends or co-workers (directly or not). As a result, the victim does not have anything to compare with the toxic relationship, and also there is no one with whom it is comfortable to talk about the problem or seek support. At the same time, an abuser proves that all the problems and negative emotions are fictions and the victim is carping over small matters. 

     Such a form of psychological manipulation is called gaslighting. This is a complete denial of the problems and feelings of the victim, up to the accusation of mental disorder. The victims become so accustomed to feeling guilty so that the behavior of the abusee may seem ordinary and natural for them, and even the insults seem fair.

     In general, the separate actions of the abuser often look logical and correct, but over time, it occurs that the prevailing emotions in a relationship are anxiety and fear of doing something wrong.

     According to huffpost.com, the main symptom of an emotionally abusive relationship is the total panic which replaces a feeling of mutual support.

     Also, abusers are obsessed with control, which they present under cover of care, love, passion, jealousy. An emotional rapist often pretends to be supporting (jealous, cherishing), but this is just a way to achieve submission. The abuser proves that the victim does not know how to make decisions and choices, and therefore he/she continually needs sensible advice (guess who is always ready to give it).

     All of the above leads to the fact that people suffering from toxic relationships, sometimes recognize the danger too late - when it has already affected the psyche or their physical security is put under threat.

A need for love

     Sometimes, people cannot understand why it is so hard to break up with their partner once and for all. They have heard about men and women who were stuck in the circle of an abusive relationship. Now, they cannot accept the fact that such a story is related to them. All the people want is to be loved and accepted, but one day it occurs that this need had taken them to a dangerous situation. Do you recognize yourself?

     For men and women, this need and that pain often have family roots. The desire for love and acceptance is born in us from the day we come into the world. For men and women who grew up in healthy families, this need is nourished through the words of love of the parents, through their hugs, their gentle presence and their care and fulfillment of the emotional needs.

     However, for many others, the need for acceptance and love is never fulfilled. As a rule, these people had lacked parents' attention: distant mothers preoccupied with their affairs, aggressive and abusive fathers, or both parents so busy fighting among themselves that they ignore the needs of their children.

     As a result, in adulthood, for some of these men and women, relationships become the way how these long-ago emotional needs can be fulfilled. This is how the cycle of emotionally toxic relationships begins - with the search for a partner who is emotionally unavailable and in the hope of obtaining from them what they could not receive from their past. There is a subconscious hope to change them, hoping to catch up and to gain more with their love.

     The sad reality is that such relationships, although they are often passionate and exciting, are also chaotic and unstable. Finally, they will never bring the fullness that we are waiting for at heart because it is out of reach. These relationships are likely to end with pain and shattered self-esteem. 

     However, do not despair. There is still hope and opportunity of getting free from these unhealthy relationships.

Now, how to quit it safely?

     Make serious decisions. The changes in the abuser's behavior are possible with a lot of will, supervision, and therapy, but those who achieve it are an exception. According to onlinedivorce.com, the vast majority of abusers never change and are responsible for increasing the numbers of domestic violence.

     Therefore, if you care about the welfare of your children as well as for your own life, health, nerves, and future, it may be time to leave the relationship resolutely. 

     As mentioned above, one of the characteristics of an abuser is that he/she "isolates" the victim in such a way that when the partner starts looking for the help, it turns that there is no one around who can support. Therefore, restore contact with family members, friends, neighbors, or, depending on the circumstances, contact a religious, feminine or legal association.

1. You must realize your needs and agree with them. An excellent way to start this process is to start writing a journal a few times a week. Try to take an analysis of your emotions, from the things that hurt you to the things that thrill you. Ask yourself what keeps you in a relationship that only makes you fall apart. Ask yourself how you feel about yourself and what has impacted your self-esteem, self-respect, your objective significance. Take some time to get to know yourself and understand your emotional needs clearly.

2. Find some friends to accompany and support you. Make a list of the reasons why you have decided to take these steps towards change and find some good friends or family members to help you walk along this way. Give them a copy of your list and when you need a little push, call them to meet them and talk about your struggles and successes. Do feel sorry for yourself, do not let yourself to feel and seem miserable and pathetic. Your current aim is not to cry on your friend's shoulder or to seek an unconditional acceptance of all of your actions. You need not only support but also bravery and inner power to face reality and make real steps to achieve a better future.

3. Separation. Now is the time to continue with the changes you have decided to make. End the relationships that have swallowed the best time of your life. Whenever domestic violence or any physical, verbal or emotional abuse is involved, it would be good if you could see a professional counselor, psychologist or therapist to guide you to take the necessary steps. Surround yourself with friends and family who can support you through this hard time.

4. Remember: this process is never easy. It is always difficult to let go of the comfortable and familiar, even when it is harmful to us. Treat the situation as a bad habit. Changes can seem scary, so if you feel motivated to take the right steps, you should not expect it to be a walk in the park. Be ready that your emotions will continuously mislead you and make you wonder if you have made the right decision. Rely on your mind, logic, and the created journal to sober yourself up.

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