Getting Help with Emotional Abuse

When you start a relationship with someone you expect to have a wonderful long lasting life together. Unfortunately, in most cases it just doesn't work that way. Many women have suffered from emotional abuse that leaves its mark for life. Emotional abuse is just as dangerous as physical abuse and in some cases, even more so. There may be no outward signs but there are inner scars that are difficult to heal.

However, the good news is that getting help with emotional abuse is possible and you can recover from the emotional trauma that comes with being in an abusive relationship. Here are three main steps that you need to follow to get help with emotional abuse.

Step One: Recognizing the Signs

It is vital that you recognize the signs of emotional abuse or you won’t realize you even need help. Many women find themselves in an abusive relationship and don't know it or they may be in denial over the abuse. Don’t confuse compromising with control. Of course, you need to give and take when it comes to a relationship but if you find yourself on the giving end all the time, then you may be the victim of abuse. There are actually many different ways in which you can experience emotional abuse.

Emotional abuse is typically more subtle and harder to detect than physical abuse. At first, you may rationalize the cruel remarks or you may make excuses for your partner.

Signs of emotional abuse include:

• You change who you are to please him.
• He makes decisions for you all the time.
• You are being manipulated.
• You have very low self-esteem.
• He withdraws his love and affection.
• You’re not allowed to have friends.
• You are always being criticized for things you do.
• You feel like everything bad is always your fault.

Look for these signs if you feel like you might be in an emotionally abusive relationship.

Step Two: Finding Help

Once you have accomplished the first step and you recognize there is a problem, you can start searching for help. The problem is that many women simply don't know where to go for help. Here are some options to consider if you need help with an emotionally abusive relationship:

• Look in the front of your phone book for help lines you can call.
• Ask family members, friends or even neighbors for help.
• Shelters provide a safe place to stay and information about your options.
• Call 911 if things get out of hand.
• Contact a social worker.
• Contact online organizations.

Don’t wait until things are so bad that you can no longer deal with them; seek help as soon as you realize there is a problem.

Step Three: Education

If you educate yourself about abuse, you may be able to better understand why you were treated this way. Understanding can help the healing process begin because you will see that it was not your fault that you were abused. This step is not meant as a way for you to help the abuser; it is meant exclusively to help you heal. You can learn how to protect yourself from future abusive situations as well as what you can do to help you get out of an abusive relationship that you are still in.

Emotional abuse is just as damaging to a person as physical abuse can be. It will leave scars that may never heal without proper care and work. If you are being emotionally abused, don’t let it continue. Seek help as soon as possible and learn to value yourself more.