This answer might surprise you, it did me. It is more than what meets the eye. Not all violence results in bruises, cuts, and broken bones. Relationship does not always mean those who you sleep with. Most relationship violence is though directed by men towards women. But there is violence from women towards men as well. Then we also need to understand that domestic violence (DV) is also in LGBT relationships just like Hetrosexual. But what is emotional violence in real world terms, what does it look like?
When I was in a relationship that had DV, I did not know that I was experiencing it. Until one person asked why do you let her do that to you? Even another person called that person out saying “You need to stop abusing Ally”. Sometimes those who are violent do it in such a way that it can creep up on a person. Then one day you are looking back and you can see that you are a shadow of your former self. That is a moment in time that will make you grip your very soul. Making you question your basic thoughts on everything you have ever done in that relationship. You even get to a point where you question yourself thinking you might be a bit off your rocker.
We all think that most DV is visible to the naked eye. Sadly this is not the case. Some of the hardest parts of DV are the years that follow after you are able to get away. In mine I felt the sting of emotional abuse. Which as I said above makes you second guess everything that you have done during that relationship. It also make you second guess what you ever might have done for that person. Because emotional abuse does not always end when a relationship does. There issues of the lingering effects of that abuse. I know that by what I am about to say my abuser will read and feel some sense of sick satisfaction. I am stuck with the sense of not wanting to trust others in a new romantic relationship due to what took place. Even though years have passed and logic has replaced some of it. I still not sure it is worth the time and effort of the risk.
Then we also need to know a lot of the time emotional abusers feel like they must win at all costs. Some will even carry on their abusive actions afterwards by trying to change others opinion of you. What is sad is when they are able to convince other and members of your family. But what those people don’t understand that they are also being abused at the same time. Which they might not see for years to come if even at all depending upon what is said or done to support the lies and abuse. There is also the issue that if an emotional abuser cannot with they will change their abuse to that of a physical nature. Though if you are lucky you will see that your abuser has changed their focus onto someone new. Which really is a breath of fresh air. But if you have children with the abuser they will keep abusing regardless if they have found a new person. It is a bit of a sick game to that person.
There is something that I did not know until many years later. I want you to let you know that there are warning signs. Though saying these signs are not always a “tell” but it is something to keep an eye out for. In healthy relationship that ends there are hurt feelings and people move on. The unhealthy ones are when one person cannot let go and in the new relationship they are always trying to demonize their last partner. In my case it was backed by the former partner having dealt with the form attacks poorly. Not that trying to regain who you are after a relationship that has DV in it is easy. But I did not see the warning signs such as “That person always was lazy”, “They were not good in bed”, “They could not keep a job”. Emotional abusers always create reasons to convince everyone that their target is a horrible person. But there is other signs that should ring a bell. These can be discrediting things you say or suggest. Now please understand that saying your ex was bad in bed is not a full sign of emotional abuser warning. Because we might have had a relationship where that was the case. But when it is added in with so many other issues you might want to not be dating that person because that person cannot let go. Which means your relationship is not always about you it has an extra person in it. One who has no voice to defend themselves. That is not fair or healthy.
You see there is something that we all need to be aware of when going into a relationship. That being one of we are all damaged and we all need to leave those damages to the professionals and not dump them constantly on our new partners. We all are damaged but how you deal with those damages determines the future of your happiness. Make the most of it.