When it comes to emotional abuse, friends and family struggle with the danger involved because there are no visible bruises. In fact, many believe that abusers prey only on the weak, but the reality is that they seek out those who are attractive and exhibit confidence, yet may be going through a bad time, making the potential victim more vulnerable.
Emotional abusers display the "charm syndrome" to get their way using the sheer force of their charismatic personalities to manipulate someone. This trait is why many people are usually so surprised to find out the truth. Your friends and family think he's so amazing.
Even worse, when the abuser switches from charm to anger, it's confusing because he/she isn't that way all of the time. Because of the lies being told to others, and the ability to convince you that you're at fault, doubts about what's going on become the norm, making you question your own judgement. This creates a vicious cycle, making it even more difficult to leave. Then there is the fear.
But the abuser is a person who may have been abused, or enjoys the feeling of power and control when hurting someone. This person has many insecurities that may not be readily visible, but causes suffering to others near them.
Meanwhile, you walk around wondering if the house is clean enough or your dress is perfect. Will he find something wrong with that meal it took all day to prepare? Almost everything about life is no longer really your own, while you consider what you can do to not say or do the wrong thing to trigger an abusive reaction. Your emotions have been affected and your self esteem is now zero. That's no way to live.
Emotional abuse is absolutely considered domestic violence, and includes being
cheated on or lied about, gaslighting, being degraded publicly or privately, having funds withheld or being threatened. If there's no one you trust, contact a domestic violence shelter which has people available 24 hours a day to offer assistance and/or counseling. Or perhaps a pastor can assist.
What amazes me is when my own friends tell me that I'm making too much of this topic. I've even heard that some women "deserve" to be mistreated, or "these women must like it because they stay."
No one deserves to be belittled, called names and humiliated. There's no need to make excuses any longer for someone who's supposed to be in love with you. The thing about walking on eggshells is that eventually they do crack. Please seek help for you and your family, when you feel that you can do so safely.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is: 800-799-7233
If you live in Wake County, NC Call InterAct: 919-828-3005
If you love in Harnett County, NC Call Safe: 910-893-7233
Someone is available at these numbers 24 hours a day, and they are available to offer support and guidance.