Emotional abuse

I found out recently that an acquaintance of mine is being abused by her husband. It’s unclear if there is any physical abuse or if it is mostly emotional, but the bottom line is she’s being bullied in her own home.

She has several children and doesn’t plan to do anything about her situation because she doesn’t want to rock the boat. Her husband has a good job and gives her the lifestyle that she wants for her children.

I’m in no position to judge her decision, but I feel sad for her and her children. No one should have to be scared at home.

She’s also not the first woman I’ve met who has dealt with emotional abuse from a husband that seems perfectly happy-go-lucky to the outside world. Another good friend of mine saw her husband change almost overnight after they got married. He became emotionally and verbally abusive the day they returned home from their honeymoon. He yelled, called her names, belittled her and took every chance to make her feel less than she was. She ended their marriage within several months.

Of course the first question that comes to many people’s minds is, “Where there any signs of a temper before? Did he ever treat you like this while you were dating?”

But for the women I know in this situation, the answer is usually no. There were no signs, no warning behavior. Then after the wedding is over, the relationship changes and the wife finds herself trapped.

And even though there aren’t bruise with emotional abuse, it is still real and it is still abuse. I’m not an expert on this by any means, but it seems like the result of such emotional abuse is a spouse that feels worthless and unlovable. So even though an abused spouse may want to leave the relationship, she won’t because she feels like no one else could possibly love or want her. She stays rather than be alone.

What should a woman do in this situation? What if there are children involved? Any advice for women who are being emotionally (or physically) abused?

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