Many people think about domestic violence when the topic of abusive marriages comes up. However, abuse is not always physical in nature. If you are emotionally abused, it can cause as much damage as being physically harmed.
The signs of emotional abuse can be challenging to recognize because they can be mixed into your daily interactions as a married couple. The shouting, threats, insults, demeaning and constant feeling of having to walk on eggshells to avoid upsetting your partner can leave long-lasting emotional wounds. If you have children, they may also carry these scars into adulthood.
Emotional abusers use subtle tactics to keep their victims under their control. One minute your spouse may be accusing you of cheating, spending too much money or not caring enough, and the next minute they may deny ever saying anything like that.
You may find yourself the one blamed for their unhappiness and everything that goes wrong during the marriage. There may also be frequent instances of positive reinforcement, which make you think that the abuse was all in your head and your situation is not that bad – only to have the cycle repeat itself.
Victims often need outside help to escape their situations. This is also true for those who are being emotionally abused. You do not deserve to live in fear or unhappiness. Reaching out to those with knowledge and experience in escaping abusive relationships is the first step.