What are the characteristics of emotional abuse?
- screaming, and
- name-calling are all forms of emotional abuse, as are more
- subtle tactics such as: refusing to be pleased with anything,
- isolating an individual from family and friends and
- invalidating another’s thoughts and feelings.
Examples of emotionally abusive behaviors include:
- Humiliating and degrading
- Discounting, distorting and negating
- Accusing and blaming
- Withholding affection and emotional support
- Withholding financial resources
- Dismissive, disapproving, or contemptuous looks, comments or behavior
- Threatening harm to an individual’s pets, possessions or person
The effects of emotional abuse are often debilitating the symptoms you may have are:
- difficulty concentrating and making decisions,
- overwhelming feelings of worthlessness,
- hopelessness and
- poor physical health.
Emotional abuse is an ongoing pattern of behavior designed to:
- manipulate and
- subjugate another that usually occurs behind closed doors.
Why does one individual abuse another individual?
What does the Bible say?
Nowhere in scripture does God sanction any kind of abuse! In 1 Corinthians 13, 4-7 God tells us what love is and what it is not. “It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs…It always protects
Can survivors of emotional abuse find help and hope?
You were created for so much more!
Emotional abuse is rampant in our culture, and Christians are not immune. While all emotionally abusive relationships exact a toll on their victims, this type of domestic abuse within marriage is particularly destructive. The intimate nature of the marriage relationship presents unique challenges.
Do you feel like you are walking on eggshells?
Were you raised in a dysfunctional family? Our childhood experiences may set us up for making poor choices later on in life. You may need help to work through the challenges—as a couple, individually or both.
Is separation from this individual an option?
A time to heal in the life of the abuser. It forces them to face the destructive nature of their behavior and gives them an opportunity to seek help. The ultimate goal of this type of separation is healing—for the victim, the abuser and the marriage. When a woman says, If I stay here much longer, I’m going to hurt myself or he’s going to hurt me, it’s time for them to move into a period of separation,” There are safety factors for individuals or families that need to be considered.”
An emotionally abusive childhood
Your childhood may have been emotionally abusive and unpredictable. My mother, struggled from mental illness when I was a child. Not only did the incidents of violent and frightening outbursts of rage leave me feeling insecure, unloved and inherently bad, I sought out my attention by ditching school altogether or seeking affection from the opposite sex. Lonely, insecure and feeling unloved, I grew to accept cruel and destructive behavior from friends, thinking I didn’t deserve any better. Then I met _____, described it as “love at first sight.” But he had a difficult home life, too. Raised by an abusive, alcoholic mother and burdened by the trauma of his past, he grew increasingly controlling and possessive. As the abuse worsened, so did my health. I developed chronic pain. Although he was not a good fit for me I seemed to thrive for the challenge of tug of war. I can honestly say this pattern repeated with other relationships, some with different outcomes and different forms of abuse.
My testimony of God’s faithfulness and love. God has redeemed my pain and uses it to bring healing to others.