Let’s listen about ‘emotional abuse and its wounds’ from Dr. David B. Hawkins:
First, emotional abuse is a broad issue with far-reaching consequences. Emotional abuse is an epidemic in marriages today. It is not limited to physical abuse, but includes emotional power and control. The impact on the victims of emotional abuse includes anxiety, depression and a wide range of physiological problems subsequent to stress.
Second, emotional abuse is damaging to a person and marriage. No person or marriage can withstand the ongoing trauma of emotional abuse. This “crazymaking” behavior is extremely debilitating and victims suffer “death by a thousand cuts.”
Third, emotional abuse is fueled by denial and enabling. Emotional abuse is uncontrolled where there is denial and some form of enabling. Denial serves the abuser by allowing them to continue to carry out harm while believing they are doing nothing wrong. The victim of abuse often is confused, frightened and at times even experiences “brain fog.” Paralyzed, they are often threatened not to take decisive action.
Fourth, emotional abuse rarely stops without intervention. “There can be no breakthrough without a breakdown.” Intervention--taking decisive action against the abuse--is necessary to obtain the professional help that can bring an end to the abuse.
Finally, emotional abuse can stop and be replaced by healthy relating. With decisive and significant intervention many abusers will ultimately get help. They will often resist help initially, but at the risk of losing something important to them, such as their marriage, they will often get help. With depth, intensive help, change is often possible.
You are not going to change what you don’t own. She/he needs to feel free to speak about difficult topics each other!
Model for couples how to approach each other --that of Christ--“he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death--even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:7-8)
Again, you are not going to change what you don’t own.
(We’d love to hear from you. Are you living in an abusive marriage? Would you like help in learning how to bring about an intervention? We can help. Please send responses to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and also read more about The Marriage Recovery Center on our website. You’ll find videos and podcasts on emotionally destructive marriages, codependency and affair-proofing your marriage--Dr. David B. Hawkins).