Dr. David B. Hawkins, Director of The Marriage Recovery Center, describes how heal from emotional abuse, end this trauma and begin recovery. In any emotionally destructive marriage, you feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells around your spouse. Are you afraid that you may set off your partner with the wrong word or behavior?
Do you feel worthless, never quite living up to your spouse’s expectations? If you answered yes to these questions, you may be in an emotionally destructive marriage and struggling through the silent killer of emotional abuse. Despite the secretive nature of emotional abuse in homes across the country, it is a real struggle that needs to be openly discussed and confronted.
How to Heal From Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse can have devastating effects on individuals and relationships. It creates a lack of safety and stifles personal growth. Acknowledging the presence of emotional abuse is the first step towards ending it. However, the abuser may deny its existence and attempt to rewrite history or shift blame. To heal from emotional abuse, it is crucial to identify the behaviors and actions that make you feel unsafe on an ongoing basis.
Learn the Language of Emotional Abuse
To effectively address emotional abuse, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the language associated with it. Understand the tactics used by abusers, such as rationalization, minimizing, and sanitizing destructive circumstances. Recognize the impact of harsh, critical, and derogatory words. By learning this language, you can identify when emotional abuse is occurring and confront it directly.
Enabling refers to actions or inactions that allow destructive behavior to persist. For example, if you tiptoe around an abusive person, collude with their actions, or sanitize their abusive language, you enable the abuse to continue. Healing from emotional abuse requires recognizing your enabling behaviors and taking steps to change them.
Intervention is a crucial step in ending emotional abuse. It involves standing up against the abusive behavior and refusing to tolerate it any longer. It takes immense courage to intervene, but it is necessary for your well-being.
Surround yourself with a supportive network and seek professional help to assist you in this process. Confront the abuser and clearly communicate that their behavior is abusive and must stop.
Seek Appropriate Treatment
Following an intervention, it is important to insist on appropriate treatment. Emotional abuse is a serious issue that requires professional help. Just as you wouldn’t treat a brain tumor with a headache remedy, you need to address emotional abuse with the appropriate level of support and treatment. If the abuse persists or recurs, it may indicate that the intervention was not strong enough. Adjust your approach and seek stronger measures to ensure a lasting change.
Realize the Potential for Change
Understanding the severity of emotional abuse is crucial for recognizing that growth and improvement in a relationship are impossible while abuse persists. By taking action and seeking help, there is real hope for change. Healing from emotional abuse requires a commitment to personal well-being and the courage to confront the issue head-on.
In conclusion, healing from emotional abuse is a challenging but necessary process. By acknowledging the abuse, learning its language, understanding enabling behaviors, intervening, and seeking appropriate treatment, you can break free from the destructive cycle. Remember that you deserve a safe and healthy relationship, and with the right support, healing is possible.
Also read: Narcissists Lack These 6 Critical Skills
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.