I came across an article today about a woman realising she had been verbally abusing her husband for some time and, following this realisation, making the effort to stop. The article is here and it is something that more people should recognise.
Both women and men do this to their partners, regardless of gender. I know that I experienced it at the hands of my ex husband, and as a result of the constant barrage of criticism became severely depressed and eventually suicidal. My partner also experienced the same form of abuse from his ex. The trouble is, unless the abuser recognises what they are doing and makes the effort stop and try to improve the relationship, the harm from this type of abuse continues long after the relationship is forgotten about. It is not only romantic relationships where this happens. Parents can do this to their children, siblings to each other. On reflection, I now see some of my parents behaviour was fairly harmful, especially the emotional manipulation and threats my mother used to use on me.
If emotional is happening to you, what can you do? I always think communication is the key and the first thing to do. If the person will not or cannot listen to you, then try to get friends and/or family involved to help mediate or even help you communicate to the person doing this. I am sure in my case, my ex simply did not recognise what he was doing. My friends intervened in my case, although on reflection it was too late and when it crossed the line to physical abuse I made the decision to leave. And I think that if talking and trying to sort things out doesn't help or the person won't listen, you need to consider the boundaries of the relationship. I left my ex. I could not leave my mother, obviously, and our relationship has changed significantly due to her current illness so that type of problem resolved itself. the most important thing, I think, is to look out for yourself. We each need to be responsible for our own lives. We cannot control the actions of others. We need to weigh up the importance of the relationship and both the positive and negative aspects of it. Friends of mine always likened this to a bank account. All the good stuff in the relationship is the credit, with extra deposits being made periodically in the form of treats and having something nice done to you etc. Withdrawal are also made, when things are not going as well as they should be or when you have to carry the responsibility of the relationship on your own for a while. In healthy relationships the account will always have some credit in it. In unhealthy relationships you will rapidly get into debt and will need to reassess the terms of the relationship.
I think some people are very quick to cry abuse falsely, and others to not recognise it for what it is until too late. No one can know more about your relationship and how it makes you feel than you. Seek help when you need it and ,at the end of the day, it doesn't hurt to treat each other, and yourself, kindly. There is no point making yourself and everyone else around you miserable by focusing on the small things that really, in the wider scheme of things, do not matter.
Can you heal from it? Yes. Like everything, it takes work, but it is possible.
Skeptical kinkster musing on whatever takes my fancy!