Emotional abuse involves non-physical behaviors that impacts many of us regardless of age, race or income. It involves insults, threats, intimidation, humiliation, isolation, stalking and/or consistent monitoring/"checking in" via phone and text. It is a pattern of behavior used to establish and maintain power over another person to gain control while chipping away at their self-worth and independence.
Emotional abuse in any relationship is unhealthy. It is no less destructive than physical abuse. In fact, many men, as well as, women also suffer from emotional abuse in relationships and marriage. Sadly enough, it is often minimized and/or overlooked.
The Word of God tells us in Ephesians 4:29, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." We are also instructed that "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit." (Proverbs 15:4) Constantly being criticized, called bad names, talked down to in a degrading way can cause you to lose self-confidence, self-esteem and self-respect. You may even start blaming yourself and even believing what your partner says. In fact, people who are repeatedly abused emotionally often feel anxious, unworthy, insecure, not-deserving, self-conscious, guilty and shameful.
Remember — how the abuser behaves is not your fault. Taking responsibility for making the choice to stay in an unhealthy relationship is the first step to promoting well-being for your mind. If you are in an emotionally abusive relationship and are thinking about leaving pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance on whom to talk with that you can trust. For your safety, ask the Holy Spirit the best way to end the relationship. In person may not be a good idea especially if you know your partner may threaten you, take you through guilt trips or insult you. Additionally, stay safe. Your partner may try to approach you. Ask your local police station for their guidelines of a safety plan.
If you have broken free from an emotionally abusive relationship, seek the Holy Spirit for restoration and healing through Christ. “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) The scars of emotional abuse are real and run deep within a person's soul. It can be just a damaging as physical abuse. Here are some Target Steps for Healing from Emotional Abuse that can help you.