Healthy Relationships: Handling Emotional Abuse
Last month, we had a Family Therapists/Clinical Counsellor speak to our Villagers about healthy relationships. The therapist, Jane Kuria answered some of the questions, offered expert advice on various topics and got to shed light on some of the issues that were raised in the WhatsApp chat. We are going to share the pieces of advice in a series of articles. In this article, we share tips on how to handle emotional abuse.
Lay Boundaries and Follow Through.
Make it clear that you don’t appreciate the name-calling, the demands, the yelling. Let them know that if they continue, you’ll walk away until they can engage in a healthy conversation. Don’t make threats or empty promises. Be firm.
Stop Blaming Yourself.
Emotional abusers make you doubt your sanity and think there’s something wrong with you. It is not your fault. It’s their problem that they have to deal with.
You Can’t Fix Your Spouse.
They have to make a deliberate effort to change. Trying to do everything they demand won’t fix them. They will always find something wrong to blame you for. Your power lies in how you respond.
Do not bite the bait when they try to start an argument so you can react. De-escalate the situation by walking away and only agreeing to engage them when they’re calm.
Speak to a Trusted Person.
It helps to have a listening ear. A person who will help you process the hurt and help you cool down and speak some positive and encouraging words.
Exit if You Feel Endangered or Threatened
If they become violent and endanger your life, find a way to exit. You don’t need to go through suffering for the rest of your life. If you’ve tried and they’re not willing to change, seek safety and peace of mind.
Abuse is not only physical but also emotional and psychological. Any kind of abuse leaves the abused in a state of confusion, depression, doubts and many other effects due to trauma. If you are going through abuse or you know a person going through abuse, the Gender-Based Violence-free hotline is 1195. Furthermore, if you would like to join a community of women healing from abuse, WhatsApp +254736275978.
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