Unfortunately abusive relationships are all too common, and the nature of the abuse makes it difficult to ask for help or leave. It is easy to think that we would never allow ourselves to get into that situation in the first place, or that all it would take is one abusive event and we would be gone! The truth is that abuse starts slowly. An abuser rarely hits their partner during the first act of abuse. It starts mentally and emotionally, and it is often subtle. By the time abuse turns physical, the abuser has gained an amount of control – financially, emotionally, mentally, with children, etc – that can make it very hard to seek help.
Many times abuse doesn’t turn physical, but it doesn’t make it any less abusive. Mental and emotional abuse (sometimes also called verbal abuse) is still abusive, still wrong, and still something that you don’t deserve – no matter what you’ve done or said to the other person.
If you suspect you are in an abusive relationship, you are not alone. There are thousands of women and men who either are where you are right now, or have been there. There are also many resources that can be helpful to you. I have linked to some online resources that could be enlightening, or helpful. Most cities also have local resources that can be found through searching online.
If you are in an abusive relationship, it is easy to feel so ashamed of what is happening in your home that you don’t tell anyone. Silence is an abusive person’s ally. Please tell a trusted friend, family member, or professional in your life. You don’t have to suffer alone!
Verbal/Emotional/Mental Abuse – you can click here to read a great article with a list of warning signs of emotional abuse!
The Verbally Abusive Relationship is an amazing book if you believe you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. I have it on my shelf at work, and regularly recommend it to clients. It will not only help you feel less crazy, and not alone, but gives practical tips on how to respond, and ways to get help. You can order your own copy by clicking here.
Help with Leaving – Every abusive relationship is both different and the same. Click here for a great article on recognizing, and leaving an abusive relationship. It is a four part article, but each article links to the next part.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at www.thehotline.org or by calling 1−800−799−7233. Not only will there be people on the other end to help, but the website has amazing information on it.
This is not an exhaustive list of resources or books. Amazon has many, many books on abusive relationships. The internet is full of helpful articles on how to recognize abuse, and what to do if you find yourself in one of these relationships. (It can be helpful to do searches like that at a local library if you believe your partner is monitoring your devices.) Leaving can be very painful, and very scary. Finding some support through a friend, family member, your faith community, etc. can be helpful. And please remember that if you approach someone for help, and they tell you it’s your fault, or you must be making it up, or to just pray more then find someone else. That is not helpful advice or comments. You do not deserve to be abused, and it is not your fault!