Leading Authority in Treatment of Narcissism and Emotional Abuse

victim of emotional abuse

What Does A Victim of Emotional Abuse Really Need

Dr. Hawkins talks about what a victim of emotional abuse needs to understand about his/her situation, and how they can move forward in their healing.

Narcissists––usually men––have a high propensity for manipulating any situation in their favor because of their need to assert superiority in their relationships. This causes their partners to have a fragmented sense of authority and perceived helplessness in their situation. Relationships require an equal amount of give-and-take.

They are, ideally, built on genuine compromise and collaboration, not self-centered principles. For everyone involved in relationships, it is fundamental to maintain one’s individual sovereignty, dignity, and identity. And if that is not being upheld, significant changes must take place to turn the situation around.

What Does A Victim of Emotional Abuse Really Need

Emotional abuse can leave victims in deep distress, causing immense pain that affects both their emotional and physical well-being. Many women who reach out for help are desperate for intervention in their emotionally abusive relationships.

Dr. David Hawkins, director of the Marriage Recovery Center, specializes in narcissistic and emotional abuse and understands the complex needs of victims. In this article, we will explore what victims of emotional abuse truly need and discuss the crucial steps they can take to heal and regain control of their lives.

Recognizing the Need for Change

While it is understandable that victims of emotional abuse long for their abusive partners to change, it is vital to acknowledge that change takes time. In the immediate moment, expecting the abuser to transform is unrealistic. Victims must come to terms with the fact that change is a long journey, requiring commitment and effort from the abusive partner.

Seeking Support

One of the most essential needs for victims of emotional abuse is a support system. Having a safe space to share their experiences, emotions, and concerns is crucial for healing. Joining a narcissistic abuse support group or seeking counseling with professionals who specialize in emotional abuse can provide the necessary support and guidance.

Focusing on Personal Recovery

While the abusive partner embarks on their own journey of change, victims must prioritize their own recovery. Building a strong foundation for personal healing is crucial. This includes working on setting boundaries, holding the abuser accountable for their actions, and learning to prioritize self-care. Victims must learn to detach their healing process from the progress or lack thereof in their abusive partner.

Exploring Options for Safety

Victims of emotional abuse often find themselves in a cycle of hope and disappointment as their partners revert to abusive behavior. It is important for victims to assess their safety and consider difficult decisions such as separation or seeking temporary relief from the abusive environment. Creating a calm and secure space is essential for victims to gain clarity and make informed choices.

Utilizing Available Resources

Recognizing the need for professional assistance is a significant step towards recovery. Victims should explore the programs and resources available to them, such as counseling services, support groups, and workshops. The Marriage Recovery Center and similar organizations provide tailored programs and guidance to help victims navigate their healing journey.


For a victim of emotional abuse, the path to recovery requires understanding and meeting their immediate needs while acknowledging that their partner’s change is a long-term process. By seeking support, focusing on personal recovery, exploring options for safety, and utilizing available resources, victims can take crucial steps toward healing and regaining control over their lives. It is essential to remember that victims of emotional abuse deserve compassion, understanding, and the opportunity to rebuild their lives free from the cycle of abuse.

To learn how we can help, reach out to us at (206) 219-0145 or info@marriagerecoverycenter.com to speak with a Client Care Specialist

Also read: Can a Narcissist Really Change?

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.


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