According to Love is Respect, emotional abuse includes non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring, excessive texting, humiliation, intimidation, or stalking. A relationship with an emotionally abusive person is unhealthy and destructive. It causes emotional pain and scarring.

Sometimes, the abuser is so good at manipulation that you begin to believe what the abuser says. Constantly being criticized causes you to lose confidence, and being told you aren’t good enough is hard on self-esteem. After getting out of an emotionally abusive relationship, it can be difficult to date or enter into a relationship again.

Even if you feel ready to begin dating again, it can be an uphill battle. Although you want to trust and love another person again, your past is a constant reminder of what could go wrong.

Maybe the abuse didn’t come from an ex-boyfriend; it’s possible it began in your childhood. Regardless of whether the emotional abuse was from an ex or a family member, it hurt you deeply and betrayed your trust. The hesitation to trust people after suffering from emotional abuse is normal, and it’s natural to fear another person will do the same thing.

The good news is that it’s possible to overcome this damage, but it takes time, work, and forgiveness. It isn’t that you have to or should forgive the person who emotionally abused you; the person you should work on forgiving is yourself.

It’s easy to beat yourself up when thinking back on the relationship, and often, you are your own worst enemy. It’s important to work through these issues; it won’t be easy, and it will take time, but dealing with the past is key to forgiving yourself and moving on.

Here are a few tips collected by Brittany Wong, divorce editor at The Huffington Post, on how to approach a relationship after having an abusive partner:

  • Ask yourself what drew you into a relationship with an abusive person in the first place? Figuring out what drew you in and kept you in the relationship will make you less susceptible to ending up with the same type of person the next time you date.
  • List what you won’t stand for in your next relationship, and stick to it.
  • Get to know yourself again.
  • Believe it’s possible to trust and love again.

Healing can be a challenging battle, but it’s important to remember that the abuse was never your fault. Instead of living in fear and letting dark memories run your life, you can take back control by getting help. A therapist can help you learn to be patient with and gentle to yourself.

If you’d like to set up a time to meet up with Reka, you can contact her by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at, or via Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: Kent & Haruka via photopin (license)