The fairytale books say relationships are a fairy tale. You meet the person of your dreams, and voila, you’re in complete bliss and happiness: “happily ever after” as they say.
Well, the Truth of it is, it’s not a fairytale. It takes work. It takes effort to communicate, resolve conflict, work through money issues, decide how you’re going to raise the kids, and more.
Relationships can be beautiful and dynamic and loving too.
But that’s not what this article is about. It’s about abuse. Not just physical abuse, but verbal and emotional abuse as well (take a look below to find out what’s constitutes abuse).
I know, I’m talking about something the society doesn’t like to talk about. I’m nervous in even writing this, but my heart tells me it’s time to talk about it, because when it’s not talked about, it breeds shame – and more abuse.
There are a lot of reasons to stay in a relationship, and a lot of reasons to leave a relationship, but it’s my opinion abuse is one of the TOP reasons to leave.
Why? Because it erodes your self-esteem like none other. It takes away your life energy, your desire to have an open heart, and so much more. When you stay in an abusive relationship, you are saying to yourself that you’re not worthy of being loved by anyone else.
I’m here to tell you that you are worthy of being loved in a healthy way (if this applies to you). My guess is, if you’re not in an abusive relationship, you know someone who has been or who is now.
Last month I witnessed my neighbor yelling at his wife of 27 years, throwing things around the house. I’m not talking a small voice. I’m talking really loud. My heart broke for her.
My heart goes out to my friends who struggle with this in their life, and support them as they begin to start seeing how untrue the verbal abuse was that they experienced, (and begin to get to know themselves again).
Abuse happens at ALL economic levels. Money has nothing to do with it. It’s about power and control (and there’s obviously some deep seeded pain the abuser hasn’t dealt with from the past).
Statistically, women tend to be the abusee, but women can be the abuser as well.
According to Haven (Bozeman’s Center for Domestic Abuse), “Domestic violence affects every community across the country, regardless of ethnic group, culture, or background. People of all ages, income levels, faiths, sexual orientation, gender, and education levels experience domestic violence.”
When I talked with the Director of Haven, she told me that verbal and emotional abuse, while harder to see, can be more damaging because there is not actual evidence for it.
So the abusee begins to feel it’s there fault, that they deserve it, or that’s just what relationships are suppose to be like.
Here are some clues of verbal or emotional abuse:
- Does your partner put you down or is critical of the way you look, how you dress, what you cook for dinner, how you are before/during/after sex, how you parent, what you buy, what you think, your body, your feelings, or your friends?
- Do you start to believe you really are a bad parent, person, lover, cook, wife/husband, etc.?
- Do you feel embarrassed sometimes being around them in what they say in front of others about you? These can come in the form of jokes, “Oh, honey, you know I’m just kidding” with a little smile on their face (that’s called manipulation) after they’ve put you down in some way.
- Do you feel shame?
If you experience any of this, please reach out for help. You did not deserve this or ask for it. If you know of someone who is struggling with this, please pass this article on for them to read. Haven has a 24 hour hotline to talk with someone. NO amount of abuse is too small to talk about or do something about.