While the bruises of physical abuse disappear, the scars of emotional abuse can last a lifetime. Emotional abuse includes criticism, humiliation, manipulation and intimidation. This unacceptable behavior leaves the victim feeling insecure and unlovable. Most people think that a divorce will end this behavior. The truth is that the abuse will continue as long it is allowed. Learn to stop abuse in its tracks before it finds a permanent residence.
- Utilize information relevant to emotional abuse in marriage and after divorce. Learn how your ex-spouse's mind functions to understand the abusive behavior. There is information online and at your local bookstore or library. Once you find an interesting book, you can also purchase it at discounted prices on sites like Amazon or eBay.
- Recruit a support system consisting of a licensed therapist and trustworthy friends and family. A professional can provide useful information tailored to your individual situation. Do not include people in your support system that are in contact with your ex-spouse. This may further complicate things and lead to more emotional abuse.
- Confront your ex-spouse in a calm, confident manner. Rehearse with a friend, if needed. Clearly state that you will no longer tolerate anymore emotional abuse. Be stern and never show that your are frightened, even if you are.
- Ignore your ex-spouse at all costs. There is no reason to contact your mate post divorce, unless you have children together. If your ex-spouse makes contact, remember to enforce your boundaries. If negative behavior occurs, politely end the conversation.
- Realize that you are your own boss. Do not let your ex-spouse control your emotions any longer. You are the only person that can allow your ex-spouse to abuse you.
- Talk to a trusted friend or family to gain an outside perspective on the situation.
- Build self-esteem after the abuse has stopped.
- Listen to audio messages for self affirmations. A good collection of these audio recordings are available when you need them at "Your Emotional Nutrients."
- Change your phone number if the abuse continues. Your cell phone service provider may be able to block the abuser's phone number from making contact with you.
- Seek a restraining order if you feel unsafe.
Emotional abuse can leave lifelong scars behind if it is not dealt with properly. All victims of abuse, regardless if it is physical or emotional, need to seek the help of a licensed counselor. These educated professionals are trained to deal with the emotions you are having. You may need to do several things to stop the abuse, but the most important is finding a counselor you can trust.