Psychological Abuse in Relationships

Tuesday, June 09, 2015


Physical abuse is common in relationships and exists in various forms.  An individual can identify physical abuse from the visible marks on the face, scratches on the arm, broken limbs, and hair missing from the scalp.  However, how do you identify psychological abuse?

Being in a relationship involves trust and respect. The presence of psychological abuse in a relationship can be just as devastating as physical violence.  Psychological abuse begins when a significant other begins to dominate over the other spouse.

Often, the dependence of one spouse on another spouse for financial reasons, usually start the realm of psychological abuse.  Financial dependence on a husband can sometimes do more harm than good, especially when one spouse uses this dependency to insult the other one.  The ramifications of this type of abuse are immense. Sometimes the abused spouse holds on to memories, and the spouse has difficulty dealing with dependence in relationships that follow.

I know what it means to "ask for permission" to get a special drink, while walking in the grocery store. My ex-husband would refuse to buy the drink because I didn't have the money, even though I was a full-time, stay-at-home mother.  I remember having to ask my parents for money to buy sanitary napkins because my ex-husband refused to give me money.
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Dominating over a spouse is psychological abuse that is hard to identify.  Forms of humiliation, such as name-calling and shaming, are considered examples of mental abuse.  The dominating husband may insult the wife's ability to be a parent, ability to be a provider, and capacity to please him.

Many individuals, who are experiencing psychological abuse, often end up isolated from friends and family. At one point during my marriage, I talked to no one.  I didn't talk to my mother.  I felt like no one understood what was going on. I still remember my ex-husband telling me during our marriage that the women, whom he was involved with, were so much better than me.  I had low self-esteem.

Psychological abuse is real.  The person being abused needs someone to listen to their story.   Ironically, the controlling nature of mental abuse affects millions of people every day.

Today, I realized how bless I am to be finally married to a man, who values me as his significant other.  The psychological abuse that I experienced is forever imprinted in my memory. However, those memories are being drowned by the new memories of being loved and treated like I have always wanted to be loved. Every day, I am thankful for being married to him.

For more information, check out the following article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/200808/effects-emotional-abuse-it-hurts-when-i-love

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