Identifying emotional abuse within a relationship is not about blaming, being a victim, and remaining powerless. It’s about empowering those, like myself, that have been in unhealthy/abusive situations and giving them a voice and the tools necessary to heal and move forward.
This article is a useful starting point in helping people to recognise that they may have experienced emotional abuse within a relationship, and to then seek the assistance needed to recover: https://liveboldandbloom.com/02/relationships/signs-of-emotional-abuse
Speaking to a trained counsellor, like I did, can be invaluable in enabling you to articulate your experiences and then put steps in place to take back control and overcome the abuse/toxicity encountered. Recovery can be a slow process but having fought my way to the good place I am in today, it is definitely possible.
In my relationship with my ex (i.e. The Good Husband, not Mr Control – there were some red flags but he never did anything to deliberately hurt me, unlike TGH) these were the aspects of the relationship that I identified as being emotionally abusive:
I was shocked when I read through the list to see so many behaviours that I had dismissed, made excuses for, and basically allowed within the relationship because I loved him. I don’t think he even realised he was being emotionally abusive – I hope not anyway – so discussing the issue openly, and acknowledging that unhealthy/abusive behaviours have occurred – however difficult that can be – is the first step to healing and to change. Your partner has to be willing to do the work, but if they refuse, then you should put your needs first, protect yourself and leave the relationship.
Help is definitely available – look online for support groups in your area and make an appointment with a doctor/counsellor/therapist (whichever you feel most comfortable with). Many people find talking to friends about their experiences helpful but it can be hard for them to fully understand, particularly if they are friendly with both you and your partner, so a trained professional can be an excellent objective person to speak to whose only goal will be to support you. Don’t feel too ashamed to ask for help when needed.
Good luck on the journey to healing…
*Interesting article on dealing with trauma after a toxic relationship https://www.bustle.com/p/11-signs-you-are-experiencing-trauma-after-a-toxic-relationship-8759486 Reach out for help if you need it.
Take care, Lisa.