How to fix an emotionally abusive relationship? Are you someone who is in an emotionally abusive relationship and has decided, for now, to stay and work on the relationship? If so, then your next steps are critical in determining the direction that things will go.
While you are certainly not responsible for fixing the marriage, your actions have as much of an impact on the relationship as your spouse’s actions. Find out what it means to show up well to whatever it is you are facing today, and what can happen when you are functioning in your best self.
How to Fix an Emotionally Abusive Relationship
Is it fair to ask a woman who has been emotionally and narcissistically abused to do her part?
When faced with the complex and painful situation of being in an emotionally abusive relationship, one might wonder if it’s fair to expect the victim, especially women, to take any responsibility for fixing it. In this article, we’ll explore the question of whether it’s reasonable to ask someone who has endured emotional and narcissistic abuse to actively work on their relationship. Dr. David Hawkins, director of the Marriage Recovery Center, offers insights and guidance for those considering this path.
The Power of Choice
The first step in addressing an emotionally abusive relationship is acknowledging that it’s ultimately the survivor’s decision whether to stay in the marriage or not. This choice should not be taken lightly, as it will shape the course of future actions and recovery efforts. It’s essential to remember that emotional abuse is never acceptable, and the abuser is responsible for their actions.
Choosing to Stay and Work on the Relationship
For those who decide, at least for the time being, to stay in the marriage and actively contribute to its recovery, there is hope. This choice can lead to healing and, potentially, the salvation of the relationship. However, it’s important to note that this path is challenging and requires deliberate effort.
Learning from a Spanish Lesson
Dr. Hawkins offers an analogy: Learning a language doesn’t happen by osmosis. Just as we need to actively learn a new language, we also need to acquire the skills necessary to navigate and improve our marriages. This process involves identifying deficiencies and seeking expert guidance.
The Need for Expert Guidance
Healing from emotional and narcissistic abuse cannot be achieved alone. Expert guidance is essential. These experts can step back, assess the situation objectively, and help individuals discern their role in the relationship. They can identify destructive behaviors, whether from the survivor or the abuser, and offer a path forward.
Changing Ourselves Changes Everything
One of the fundamental truths about relationships is that when we change ourselves, we change the dynamics of the relationship. Just as a mobile shifts when one piece moves, the entire relationship is affected when one partner undergoes positive change. This principle underscores the importance of personal growth, emotional maturity, and setting healthy boundaries.
The Law of Functionality
When we operate from our best selves, we often encourage others to do the same. While this isn’t a guarantee that everyone will change, it creates an environment where positive change becomes more likely. This concept is known as the Law of Functionality and serves as a guiding principle for healing in abusive relationships.
Embrace Where You Are
Ultimately, the decision to stay and work on an emotionally abusive relationship is a personal one. Whatever choice you make, embrace it fully. If you choose to stay, commit to showing up in the most effective way possible. Recognize that your current situation is the starting point for your journey toward healing and transformation.
In conclusion, addressing and healing from an emotionally abusive relationship is a deeply personal and challenging process. While it’s never fair to place blame on the victim, some individuals choose to stay and work on their relationships.
In doing so, they must seek expert guidance, focus on personal growth, and embrace their current situation as a place to begin the journey toward a healthier, more fulfilling partnership. Remember that seeking professional help and support is a critical step on the path to healing and recovery.
Also read: What are The Effects of Emotional Abuse?
About Dr. Hawkins:
The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.
Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.
He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.
In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.