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Verbal abuse can be hard to detect, particularly in the early stages of a relationship, according to psychologist Marie Hartwell-Walker in her Psych Central website article, "Signs You Are Verbally Abused." Leaving can be very hard and the further into the relationship you are, the harder it is. If the abuse persists, it is important to recognize what is happening --- that you are the victim of verbal abuse --- and admit that it is not going to get better. You can then take the necessary actions to get out, leaving your abusive partner and the relationship for good.
Focus on Self-Care
Verbally abusive relationships insidiously strip you of your self-esteem. This type of abuse eventually leaves you feeling worthless, unlovable and afraid to leave, according to psychologist Lenore Walker in her book, “The Battered Woman.” Taking care of yourself will help you leave an abusive partner and regain feelings of self-worth. Rediscovering activities you enjoy, meeting new people and starting an exercise program are all good ways to begin your self-care, advises Kathryn Robinson in The National Domestic Violence Hotline article, "Finding Closure After Abuse." By staying focused on things that make you happy, you will be able to avoid falling into another abusive relationship.
Ending Contact For Good
Abusive relationships have cycles. The contrition phase is when the abusive partner feels very sorry and does everything she can to pull you back into the relationship. Being showered with affection and loving gestures is very common during your abusive partner's contrition phase. In order to leave an abusive relationship, you have to recognize that the contrition phase is short-lived and not get pulled back in by her charms. The best way to gain closure, begin healing and leave for good is to cut off all contact with your ex, permanently.
Take Back Control
Perpetrators of verbal abusive usually feel powerless, according to psychotherapist and author Julie Orlov in her Psych Central website article, “In an Emotionally Abusive Relationship? 5 Steps to Take.” Because of this, they use control and manipulation to strip you of your power. Afraid you’ll leave, she makes you feel like you aren’t good enough and eventually, you begin to believe her. If you want to leave, you must take your power back. Positive self-talk can help undermine her verbal assaults and help you feel better about yourself and strong enough to end the relationship permanently.
Reach Out For Support
The best way to ensure that you leave an abusive relationship and don’t find yourself in another one is to reach out and spend time with people who love you. Celebrating who you are by connecting with others who love and accept you is an important component to getting your personal sense of power back. Being around loving supportive others will also help you regain your sense of self-worth and positive feelings about yourself will help you avoid falling into another verbally abusive relationship.
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Dr. Jacqueline Simon Gunn is a clinical psychologist in private practice and author. Her published books include "In the Therapist’s Chair," "Bare: Psychotherapy Stripped" and "Borderline Personality Disorder: New Perspectives on a Stigmatizing and Overused Diagnosis." Her new book "In the Long Run" will be released in 2015.
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