Julie Andrews was in her mid-twenties when she first met her sweetheart at the New York film festival. His Mel Gibson-like looks, that charming Australian accent, and a bard/vegan/libber – all that she felt she was looking out for following her split with a stereotypic frater – exalting soccer & keg-stand.
Her boyfriend was poles apart from what one would call progressive. During the three years they were together, she was constantly at the receiver end of an emotionally abusive relationship, unaware of him doing it as there wasn’t any smacking involved. She did not have a name to describe his behaviorisms that made her feel ‘sickly’ whenever he was around – the faint putting-down, physically avoiding her, the mockery.
However, specialists have a name for this – emotional abuse – rampant in passionate relationships since it is misconstrued. Stated, emotional abuse is behaviors & verbal communication intended on degrading or humiliating the other person by assaulting his/ her self-worth or character. Even as regular couples might disagree on monetary matters, for instance, emotional abusers would typically be making their mates feel as if they were rather dim to comprehend the complexities of money.
Emotional abuse could be ranging from verbally hurled abuse – yell, shame, name-call, blame the person for isolating, intimidating & threatening. It even prevalently surfaces as stone-walling & dismissals, behaviorisms making the victim sense loneliness & feel trivial.
Though there are some actual stats on the pervasiveness of emotional abuse in pairs, specialists state that nearly 2/3rds are experiencing it, 1/3rd of them unceasingly. Its impacts can be shattering & making the receiving party depressed, anxious & marring self-worth. Emotional abuse can erode the victim – irrespective of it being obvious or concealed, it tends to negate a female’s happiness & welfare.
Emotional abuse can be faint. Take, for instance, Smith’s case, in her live-in relationship, she recalls how in their Miami house, there were instances when he would be walking past her, though deliberately moving his body in a manner that any likelihood of contact is avoided – something that made her feel terrible.
Then at times when they strolled together on sidewalks, he would suddenly decide upon crossing the road sans her – & then calling her stupid, necessitous & extra-sensitive when she brought up this matter.
Emotional abuse could even be more belligerent. Thirty-four-year-old Liza Foster from Denver was wedded to a controlling, temperamental guy inclined to verbal lash-outs at the smallest of provocations.
Lisa states, ‘When we firstly became buddies, he was not like that, I could speak & discuss any thought that crossed my mind.’ ‘I felt a deep connect to him. Our kin had been linked even prior to our births so it just felt as though our relationship was destined to be’.
Matters took a 360 turn on the arrival of their first baby boy, with her hubby flipping out at the most inconsequential of things. However, Lisa felt that he would be more content after his business started flourishing, only ‘if’ she tries more. She did not like how she was feeling daily though she did not think that her hubby was abusive as he didn’t ever batter her in their decade-old matrimony.
Yet, Liza wasn’t feeling secure. ‘I remember having to be particularly wary about what I decided to speak to him lest it would explode into an argumentative state soon. It could be things like anything which transpired during working hours & in some way of the other the conversations would set him off & he’d get mad’. ‘I was like treading on an eggshell path at all times, not discerning what could set off the outbreaks.’
With time, such tip-toeing about could wreck women – triggering anxiousness, weariness & depression, specialists point out. The worst part is that the woman often feels she is accountable & the very idea of parting ways could well be adding a sheath of guiltiness & disgrace to the mound of negative emotions.
Females in such a situation even feel that their man would instead smack them since at least they could be healing from the blow. However, the nastiness in case of emotional abuse keeps ringing in their heads.
The Growing Issue
It is tricky to precisely estimate just how many females are victimized due to emotional abuse. It is also worthwhile to point out the fact that females could even be the perpetrator. It is part of the CDC & Prevention’s stats on close mate violence that punches an over nine billion dollars hole in mental-health services, health care & loss of efficiency yearly in the United States.
Many research findings have uncovered that nearly thirty-five percent of females in romantic relationships have faced emotional abuse & that it was the major risk factor for & forecaster of physically done abuse. A trial even noted that mates who inflict emotional abuse have a great likelihood of committing murders or slay-suicides & the person victimized had a greater likelihood of having thoughts to end life.
The most unfortunate aspect is that the feeling which could be leading to emotional abuse is rising. Several individuals feel an entitlement to happiness & when it doesn’t happen, they feel an infringement of their rights which infuriates them & incites hostility.
An individual who inflicts emotional abuse gets trapped in such a whirlwind of resenting & feeling powerless, sensing like he’s been meted unfair treatment or inadequate attention, backing & compliance. He would then be feeling validated to punish the individual nearest to him, his mate.
Blinded in Love
Women finding themselves in emotionally corroding relationships are mostly as taken aback as their buddies & kin are. How often females state that their relationships started so blissfully and largely matters appeared fine. Being emotionally abused on a repeated basis then has a de-sensitizing impact on the victim – it becomes something regular.
It could occur so swiftly. Karen Steward from Boston was involved in an emotionally abusive relationship from nineteen years of age to twenty-one. Karen’s boyfriend was in his mid-thirties & in just their foremost month of having dated, he smooth-talked Karen into having sex with him. However, she did not intend to get physical with anybody before marrying him.
Retrospectively, Karen feels that, in a way, he tried claiming her via sex. No sooner had he put a ring bearing his name on her finger – it was sheer hell after that. He blamed her for betraying him on each instant she was with somebody – even her mother, blowing his lid off whenever she spoke to other guys. Shortly, ‘usual’ for Karen was separation from her buddies & kin as it was less complicated than dealing with his scurrilous allegations. ‘My guy did such a fine job of isolating me from my own life, she spoke.
Looking back, the entire thing jolts her, ‘Despite being tough & prudent, I still failed to spot trouble like that coming from afar.’ ‘I have excelled in school & college, never into alcohols or drug abuse or anything off beam that one would’ve linked to flipping over for an emotionally abuse individual.’ With time, Karen confesses to not even being herself any longer.
Females in emotionally abusive relationships sense entrapment & alter their behavior, speech, dressing, socializing & also job in an endeavor at dodging the wounding behaviors & verbal communication.
Thirty-year-old Trisha Gomes was going around with a guy who would blame her for promiscuousness for the boyfriends she had been dating in the past. He would snatch away foods from her plate, telling her to be slim like his former girlfriend. He would persistently keep questioning her commitment & also calling her ‘this,’ ‘My mom did not bring me up to be with ‘this.’ Whenever Trisha’s kin members or buddies used to call her, he would accuse them of robbing time away from him, despite the duo being in a live-in relationship.
Eventually, she gave up her vocation as a journalist since he was against her work (as he felt it was taking excess of her time) & got even more entrapped in his emotional cavern. Trisha’s pals disliked seeing what was happening & decided not to come around anymore, even her sisters who resided close by. Trisha was quite uncomfortable telling her parents of what she’d landed herself into.
‘I really got into depression, awakening at dawn and just bursting into tears. I was feeling like a real letdown & perhaps what he’s been saying all along about me is right. My self-worth was pinhead-sized at that stage’.
How to Spot ‘Prince-Harming’
When females land themselves in an emotionally marring relationship, it is mostly a manifestation of what’s been learnt regarding love during infancy. When one grows up in a house where the mother or father is mean, critical & cruel, one often tends to mix up affection with pains. One then ends up replicating such pains repeatedly in adulthood relationships.
It is most crucial for all females to identify early caveat indications of an emotional abuse. Here are nine red-flag signs:
- He is constantly blaming you. A man might be blaming his girlfriend for having cut him off on the street or, more sinister, blaming his ex for having made his present life a misery. Initially, such appalling blaming mannerism is tricky in detecting since it is mostly concealed in compliments. Like for instance, ‘Thank God, you are no-way like that slut I dated.’ The rule of guilt is that it would be going to the closest individual – and sooner or later, you would become the target of it.
- He’s bitter. These individuals are incapable of dealing with the reality that life could be difficult & inequitable. They dwell on the unfairness & resentments as a self-shield mechanism to mask fears of being inadequate or having failed.
- He feels entitled to do the things he has to, which at times is linked to resentments. Just because life is tough on him, he feels he’s allowed to break any rule and be abusing you.
- A man who emotionally abuses others is unsatisfied with feeling alright about himself & needs to be feeling better than the other individual. It then turns into a competitive or self-righteous feeling. It could be attractive firstly since he may be flattering you with how you also are better.
- He is constantly making mountains out of molehills.’
- He is sarcasm personified, and ultimately you too will be targeted.
- He is deceiving, exaggerating, or distorting his past – which isn’t a good thing. When he lies, it shows that his self-worth & his regard for his girlfriend is squat.
- Some extent of covetousness is fine, but when the person is incapable of distinguishing what actuality from the imaginary is, it becomes a problem. Many intense relationships aggression has jealousy at their source.
- He is too assertive. Though this could be carried out under the disguise ‘to impress you’ or ‘win your heart’ during courting days, over-pushy could cause troubles as he must understand his partner’s limits rather than his wishes.