The subject of abuse is a hot topic in the media (as it should be! Let’s keep talking about it!) and typically it centers around sexual abuse. Every day, women and men are subject to sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and the emotional side can sometimes be forgotten about.
How many times have you heard guys complaining because their buddy is “whipped?” He can’t hang with the boys because his partner says “no.” How many times do girls have to cancel plans with their friends because their significant other demands their attention? And how many times do people actually realize the manipulation that is happening behind the scenes?
Too often, too often, and then never enough.
Wake up and listen to what is being said.
“If you love me then you’ll do this.”
“If you love me then you won’t see those people anymore.”
“If you do x, y, or z, then obviously you don’t love me.”
How is your significant other supposed to prove their love when you hardly give them an opportunity? When you manipulate them into thinking the only way to prove their love is to leave behind everyone and everything that was there before you?
Emotional abuse brain-washes the victim. The abuse erodes a person’s sense of self-worth and personal value. Eventually, the victim gives their whole self to another person and can be left with psychological scars that will last a lifetime.
The abuse involves much more than the statements above. Abusers will put their victims down, try to control many aspects of the victim’s life, correct what they believe is inappropriate behavior, make their victims feel as though they are always wrong, are completely intolerant of any seeming lack of respect, cross boundaries the victim put in place, and make excuses for their behavior.
Abusers blame victims for all of their problems in their life.
Recently, I lost one of my best friends to a girl who is emotionally abusive. He is afraid to break her wishes because all that will come of it is yelling and degrading. He is afraid to speak to me or my friends because then he is berated with insults and told what an awful person he is. He is afraid to end their relationship because she may become self-destructive.
She has outwardly told him that she believes all of her requests are fully justified. She believes her anger and insecurities are caused only by his failure to obey her every command.
People see obeying every demand as “being whipped” but we all need to step back and evaluate what is really happening. If you believe someone in your life is being emotionally abused, please help them.
More importantly, please help yourself.