I discovered that emotional abuse came from several directions. It came from my first husband who, for years, told me that I was not clever, no use at ironing his shirts, not like his mother, not good enough to be part of his family….. and so on, and on he went.
It also came from my parents who encouraged me to stay with my first husband even though I was plainly unhappy and the marriage wasn’t working. I was told that I was far too young to know my own mind and that divorce was out of the question.
My parents-in-law agreed with my husband that I wasn’t good enough for their family and therefore I should learn how to be a good wife and do everything that I was told to do by my husband.
I dealt with this in the only way that I knew how at the time. I kept my head down, did as I was told and just plodded on through life. I was unhappy and I couldn’t see any end to the misery that I was enduring.
I did, however, find a way out in the end. I was more and more unhappy, the marriage was just not working. My husband was diagnosed as being schizophrenic but he would not accept this. He refused to be treated in any way and accused me of being the instigator of his supposed illness. He was unreasonable and unpredictable and became obsessed with the idea that I was having an affair and would tell me that because I had taken five minutes longer to do the shopping than he expected I must have been meeting a man. This was plainly ridiculous as I had three small children and the shopping to carry. I had neither the time, the energy or the inclination to do so.
This emotional and psychological abuse went on for 10 years. In the end something clicked in my head and I couldn’t take it any longer. I realised that this was not normal. I had assumed that every marriage was like this. I was wrong.
I plucked up the courage to consult a solicitor who, after hearing my story, agreed that this was not normal and that I had grounds for a divorce. I filed for divorce and it took nearly 2 years to go through as it was contested. We all lived in the same house, but separately for that time. After 2 years I was granted divorce and I took the children and left. I received enough money to buy a small flat where we could live in another town twenty miles away. A new start, in a new town, with a new flat and no emotional abuse day after day.
The feeling of relief was immense, though it took some months before stopped being overwhelmed by it all.
I am now a much different person and I won’t tolerate emotional abuse from anyone, not from my children, my parents, friends – whoever. My husband now of 31 years would never emotionally abuse anyone and I am so very happy now.
Looking back I do realise that I allowed this to happen to me. At the time I didn’t realise it, but now I understand. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
So to deal with emotional abuse can be difficult and it can become impossible. If it becomes impossible for you then you have to choose whether you deserve better or not – I think you do.
So what can you do to get out of this place where you are emotionally abused?
•Buy a self-help book and take some action to change the way you think about yourself.
•Make the decision to not be emotionally abused any longer.
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- Get some help from a qualified coach or therapist – make sure it is someone who understands what you are experiencing and can relate to what you are telling them so you can begin your healing process. •Look online for some blogs that refer to what you are going through. Read them, make comments on them. Open up a dialogue to help you get some answers.