Emotional abuse is defined as all types of abuse other than physical or sexual, but it is really so big that it includes those too. If you've been hurt physically or sexually, then you've been hurt emotionally too.
Abusive relationships can also cause self-doubt and insecurity, which adds to your anxiety.
The important things are to know when it's happening, what to do about it, and how to heal.
That can be very challenging, because this type of abuse is often very subtle and indirect.
You can do this, though. You've got what it takes. You are a good person with a good heart, and you deserve to love and be loved.
What Is Emotional Abuse?
You are probably being abused emotionally if your relationship causes you to be anxious, afraid, nervous or worried most of the time.
This is really a big subject, but you can learn a lot about it just by looking at common examples. Here are some that might be familiar to you:
Name calling--being called anything that makes you feel bad about yourself, even if the other person was "only kidding."
Ridiculing, mocking and making fun--this can be just as damaging as the more direct forms of abuse
Shaming--anything that suggests that you are not good enough, bad or unworthy
Chronic ignoring--this is hard to deal with, because it is...well, nothing. That's right, your partner does nothing, and you feel ignored. This can be so painful that you might pick a fight just to stop the ignoring.
Put downs--this can also happen under the guise of "kidding" or "joking." There are a lot of ways your partner can put you down, without you even realizing what is going on. Just refer back to the definition above--how do you feel in and about your relationship?
No one should have to feel intimidated and insecure in personal or family relationships, but many people do. This is often because of emotional abuse.
Another way of looking at this is that if you're not being abused in any way, you will feel comfortable, safe, respected, valued and cared for. That's the goal of relationships, and the goal of this site.
Relationships are supposed to feel good most of the time! And they are supposed to help you toward your goal of being happy and becoming the best person you can be.
What Can I Do About Emotional Abuse?
You are worthy of respect, no matter who you are or what you've done. And, you are not a helpless victim, unless you're a child in the custody of your parents. So, what can you do right now to improve your situation?
First, let's look at your part of the problem. You may have unintentionally created or added to the emotional abuse you're now experiencing. Try these exercises:
Make a list of your emotional needs, as best you can. Include your need for kindness, touch, respect and love.
Identify which of those needs are and are not being met, including any ways in which you feel you have been hurt emotionally.
Do the journaling exercises described on this page, which will help you review your own past trauma, clear your anger, and focus on the positive aspects of your situation.
If you have emotional trauma (including physical and sexual trauma) in your background, then use the imagery processes on this audio CD program to clear the emotional baggage that may be adding to your current problems.
Second, let's look at what action to take:
If you feel like you just want to learn more before doing anything (like separating, filing for divorce, etc.) then check out our books and these audio CDs/MP3 downloads which will help you understand relationships, anger management and self-love.
If you want to know when it is time to get out of an abusive relationship, then go to this pagewhich will help you make your decision.
Your brilliant mind is your greatest tool for accessing the healing power from within you, and you are your own best anger management resource!
Don't miss this excellent audiobook program below!
NURTURING YOUR INNER CHILD Affirmations & Visualizations For Self Love & Healing
Get this revised and updated version of Dr. DeFoore's classic CD/audio download program! Using a combination of visualization and affirmations, he will guide you on a journey of emotional healing that will lead to greater self esteem and self love. Don't miss this opportunity to connect with the tremendous value of your true, original nature and begin your journey to a joyful, fulfilling life.