As you know, every marriage has its challenges. However, yours seems to be more difficult than others. Not only is your marriage not the picture-perfect relationship in movies, it isn’t even the dysfunctional but loving marriage you see in most sitcoms. However, your spouse has never physically hurt you, so your marriage can’t be abusive, right? You and other Californians need to understand the signs of emotional and psychological abuse.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence cautions that emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical violence. In fact, many instances of psychological, emotional and verbal abuse can be more insidious and difficult to recognize as abuse, since you don’t have the bruises to prove you are being hurt. However, emotional abuse causes mental scars that are as devastating as physical ones.
But how do I know what this kind of abuse is, you might ask yourself? An emotional, verbal or psychological abuser might engage in the following behaviors:
- Making you feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells, afraid to upset him or her with the slightest provocation
- Frequently yelling, name-calling, insulting and belittling you
- Making you feel like everything that goes wrong is your fault
- Not allowing you to see your family and friends
- Not letting you have a job, a phone or car of your own
- Making you feel like you’re “crazy,” as well as telling everyone else that you are crazy and unstable
You should also consider that an abusive spouse who has never hit you may turn physically aggressive without warning. It is usually difficult to escape an abuse relationship, but you can do it with the help of trusted allies and experienced legal representation.