Are you constantly walking on eggshells to avoid disappointing your partner? Does he/she require constant check-in, wanting to know where you are at all times? And, are hurtful comments too often disguised as jokes?

You are in an abusive relationship. Here’s the thing, unlike physical or sexual abuse, there’s a subtlety to emotional abuse. You may not think you are being abused if you’re not being hurt physically. Although the scars may not be visible to the eye, the effect that it has can be devastating.

Being involved in an abusive relationship is not a choice that anyone makes. When you meet someone and fall for them, chances are you can’t even imagine that this person will eventually hurt you mentally, emotionally, or physically. The impact of emotional abuse is severe; a victim may lose their entire sense of self-worth, and, over time, hidden in self-doubt, you feel worthless and unworthy of love. The anguish of being isolated, put down, and controlled by someone you love can stay with you for years.

Faced with it, you can either run and hide, denying it, or you can face it and grow stronger. If you’re wondering whether you should leave an emotionally abusive relationship, just know that it will get worse. It does not get better. Also, be aware that emotional abuse may result in an escalation of abusive behaviours. Where there’s emotional abuse, there is an increased risk of potential physical violence. It is always a good idea to get the help of a trained professional to assess your situation and your safety.

So, if you are in an abusive relationship, make the decision to make your mental and physical health a priority. It’s up to you to stop the cycle. The first step is to recognise that this is happening and that it is not your fault. Prioritise self-care and take care of your needs. Stop worrying about pleasing the person who is abusing you. Reach out and surround yourself with an army of loved ones. Establish boundaries with the abuser. Tell him that the conversation will be over and that you will leave the room if you are belittled in any way. Follow through on those boundaries. Don’t engage with an abusive person, walk away if you can, don’t try to smooth things over. Work on an exit plan. Walking away is always the best option, but it is not always the easiest.

Toxic love and abuse is noisy. It’s fast moving, unsafe, cruel and destabilising. Healthy love is quiet; it’s so still that you almost forget it’s there. It’s constant, safe, kind and selfless… it’s a cup of tea next to your bed in the morning.

Remember, you are worthy of love, respect and safety, always.

“It’s not the bruises on the body that hurt. It is the wounds of the heart and the scars on the mind.” – Aisha Mirza.

Source: www.psychologytoday.com, www.womanshealth.gov, choma.com, www.cosmopolitan.com, ww.verywellmind.com, www.bustle.com, www.mentalhealth.org.uk, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.joinonelove.org, upliftconnect.com, www.goodreads.com, www.womanshealthmag.com, www.crosswalk.com, www.goodtherapy.org

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DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.