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Emotionally abusive relationships: 3 Do's When You Are Blamed

Emotional abuse in a marriage or committed relationship...

emotional abuse, psychological abuse, emotionally abusive relationships

After taking a deep breath, Sharon asked: "Am I being emotionally abused?" As a professional marriage and family therapist, I am often asked this question.

I directed Sharron to my online emotional abuse test. Confirming that her husband was emotionally abusive, I then discussed with her the characteristics of an emotionally abusive relationships and some options of what can be done if one is in an emotionally abusive relationship. I encouraged Sharon to learn more on the topic of the emotionally abusive marriage.

Did you know that close to half of the women in the United States have experienced psychological abuse? Emotional abuse, which is interchangeable with psychological abuse, in marriage is common. Hitting, slapping, pushing and verbal abuse have destroyed many people and families.

According to the American Psychological Association, physical abuse results in three women a day being murdered by their male partners and many more are injured physically and emotionally.

These above statistics are not to imply that only men are abusers. Women also contribute to the overall levels of abuse in marriage. There is no difference between a verbally abusive husband or a verbally abusive wife. The difference is that women are more vulnerable to physical abuse because men are usually stronger and more aggressive.

In my work as a marriage and family therapist for over twenty-five years, I have been told by thousands of couples that men and women psychologically and physically abuse. 

If there is physical violence in your intimate relationship here are some suggestions of where to find help.  

The emotionally abusive husband and the emotionally abusive wife both destroy an otherwise potentially good marriage and home for themselves and their children. An abusive home is a place of conflict, fear, anger and mistrust—no one deserves such a life. You and your loved ones are entitled to kindness, respect, understanding and love.

Your marriage or committed relationship, is it abusive?

When you know for a fact that you are in a psychologically abusive relationship—then what?

What you do next will make the difference between a life of loneliness, degradation and emotional pain, or one of love, respect and peace.

To start: Know as a fact, that your emotionally abusive husband or emotionally abusive wife can stop their bad behavior… but only if he or she wants to!

If your partner acknowledges that he or she is behaving abusively toward you and regrets it, this is a major step forward in transforming unacceptable behavior into acceptable behavior.

You want a good marriage and so does your partner, at some deep level. He or she just doesn't know how or can't control himself or herself to behave properly.

Why does stopping the emotional abuse seem impossible? Because in emotionally abusive relationships the abuser typically refuses to take responsibility for his or her bullying, demanding, angry, critical, unreasonable and belittling ways.

The emotionally abusive husband or emotionally abusive wife blames his or her partner for their 'abusive behavior.' When this happens, there is no way to improve the marriage—to remove the 'abuse' from the relationship equation.

For example, the husband's or wife's false excuses and justifications for his or her abuse are many:

  • He or she bullies because you don't cooperate.
  • He or she demands because you don't give him or her what he or she deserves.
  • He or she is angry because you don't do what you should.
  • He or she is critical because you are wrong.
  • He or she is unreasonable because as the 'man,' he is entitled to have everything his way, or as the 'woman' she deserves to have what she wants.
  • He or she is belittling because he or she is trying to show you a better way.

When your partner blames you for the abuse, it is as if he or she is saying, "there is nothing I can do to stop my abusive ways—it's all your fault," which is code for, 'the abuse is going to continue.'

Once your partner starts blaming you for his or her bad behavior, the blame will never stop. Your abusive partner will be critical of everything you do since the cause of the abuse is you—not him or her! A rabid dog will bite anyone in its proximity. It is not the victim of the dog's bite who is to blame—the 'blame' goes to the dog that bit because it is sick! The same is true for victims of emotional abuse or any other kind of abuse. The cause of the abuse lies solely with the abuser!

Are you in an emotionally abusive marriage? If so, does your partner accept responsibility for his or her bad behavior? Does he or she blame you for his or her critical, angry, unreasonable and cruel behavior?

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Take my FREE Emotional Abuse Test and learn if you are being emotionally abused. No email required and immediate results. ONE MILLION INDIVIDUALS have already taken this scientific-based Emotional Abuse Test!

Click - Emotional Abuse Test

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Here are the 3 do's when an abusive husband or wife blames you and won't take responsibility for his or her bad behavior:

1. Don't accept blame  Know for certain, that you are NOT TO BLAME for your abusive partner's behavior—he or she is!

For example, no one can cause a person to eat in a certain way. If someone does not want to eat meat, they don't, and no one can force them to do so. So too, no one can cause a person to behave in a certain way. Your verbally abusive husband or wife is abusive because he or she chooses to be that way or doesn't know how to behave differently, but that it is not your fault.

2. Get outside help if needed  Most people are not experts on how to stop psychological abuse or physical abuse. One should never put themselves in the way of physical harm or danger. When there is physical abuse, standing up to your abuser may not be a safe option. You can ask your abuser to stop, but since most of us aren't experts in dealing with abusive people, you may need outside help.

This is not to your discredit. Once you realize that you don't know how to stop the abuse, or that you need help to do so, this is the time to get help from others. We all use doctors, lawyers and accountants when we need them. The police, social service agencies, hospitals, and trained therapists in private practice are there to assist you in changing your daily experience from being abused to being respected. Then you can go on to live your future in dignity.

3. Don't compromise  You are responsible for taking care of yourself and not putting yourself in harm's way. Just like you take care not to put yourself in danger when you cross a busy street, so too take care not to be around people who hurt you.

If someone hurts you, you can either leave them or ask them to change and treat you respectfully; to behave toward you with love and kindness, not with hatred and cruelty.

If you take a firm stand and stick to the above three positions, you will stop the abuse. When your partner takes full responsibility for his or her bad behavior, then he or she can move on to change their bad behavior to loving, caring behavior. If the abusive person will not change, you can and should separate yourself from him or her.

Here are some places to learn more about domestic violence and emotional abuse:

USA

Department of Justice

CDCCenters for Disease and Prevention

Women's Health

Canada

Department of Justice

The bottom line: You have a human right to be treated respectfully, and no one has a right to steal this from you. Abusive behavior toward another person is a choice. If you are being abused, DON'T ACCEPT IT. If you are an abuser, STOP IMMEDIATELY.       

Canadian Women's Foundation

The bottom line: You have a human right to be treated respectfully, and no one has a right to steal this from you. Abusive behavior toward another person is a choice. If you are being abused, DON'T ACCEPT IT. If you are an abuser, STOP IMMEDIATELY.    

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About the author

Abe Kass, MA, RSW, RMFT, CCHT., is a Registered Social Worker, Registered Couple and Family Therapist, Certified Hypnotherapist, and award-winning Educator. He has a busy clinical practice in Toronto, Canada and throughout the world using the phone or Zoom.

After many years of clinical practice and research, Abe concluded that practical solutions requiring a focused effort of no more than a few minutes a day for very specific relationship problems were critically needed. GoSmartLife Publishing House has been created to fill this need.

Topics: What is emotional abuse, Abusive wife, Abusive husband