Marriages can develop into emotionally abusive relationships without realizing it. The influences that cause these relationships to turn abusive are not obvious. Media and social environments mold people to believe what is acceptable in a relationship and desensitize from oppressive behavior. There are two types of emotional abuse: aggressive behavior and passive behavior.
Aggressive behavior can be noted by degrading your spouse with insults and humiliation. Passive behavior exudes an attitude of invalidation and distortion. Both types of behaviors are key elements of emotionally abusive relationships. However, it is never anyone’s intention to be a victim of an emotionally abusive marriage.
One type of abusive relationship is conditioned. This means that you have been a victim of emotional abuse in previous relationships and it will continue to occur in your future relationships. You do not realize you are looking for characteristics that demonstrate emotional abuse when you are looking for a partner because you have experienced being with them for too long. It is important to educate yourself and be aware of the emotional abuse you are experiencing, especially in marriage. If your marriage does look like it has been conditioned to an emotionally abusive relationship, you have to look for the patterns that make it abusive and break those habits.
Secondly, there is a type of relationship that is “self-fulfilling,” meaning your partner is a mere reflection of yourself. If you feel self-loathing, you will attract a partner who agrees with you and treats you the same way you treat yourself. The best way to avoid this type of emotionally abusive relationship is to do some self-examination and figure out how you feel about yourself and why. You will have to stop being self-destructive before your partner can be destructive also. The best advice is to look at yourself as the person you want to be seen and treat yourself the way you want to be treated.
Lastly, a pre-meditative relationship demonstrates emotional abuse simply by being with a spouse who is a sociopath, narcissist, and/or has mental and behavioral disorders. This type of emotionally abusive relationship is difficult to pinpoint, so it is crucial to figure out what are the signs that show that your partner is emotionally abusive. These partners are looking for someone to trust them fully and abuse you in small instances so it doesn’t seem like they are taking advantage of you to begin with. This type of behavior should not be present in a marriage and will ultimately be the reason for a divorce. Make sure you look for all precautions and educate yourself about these serious attitudes and behaviors.
Orange County has extensive resources including therapists and attorneys that can assist you with these issues. Ask for help before it’s too late.