Understanding the emotionally abusive relationship

Unlike someone who is physically abusive, the emotionally abusive relationship can sometimes be difficult to detect, define and understand. It’s not as obvious and visible as if you walk out with a black eye. If someone hits you, you know something is wrong. There’s no question. With an emotionally abusive relationship, it’s usually not as obvious.

Emotionally abusive relationships are far more difficult to uncover and understand because of the nature of how these relationships work and because they can be insidious and elusive. These kinds of relationships can be just as damaging, if not more, than physically abusive relationships, maybe because they are more difficult to become aware of, and as a result you don’t get away from these people and relationships quickly enough.

For clarity’s sake, let’s quickly define what I mean by an emotionally abusive relationship: It’s a relationship where one of the parties in the relationship thrives on controlling and manipulating the other party. This is often done in insidious ways that are not obvious to the naked eye and masqueraded as love.

The emotionally abusive may or may not be aware of what they are doing, as they have often learned this behavior in their own family dynamic, where they often were abused or mistreated as children, and they continue this subconscious pattern of behavior. The emotionally abusive usually feels entitled to control the other person’s behavior and will act out if they don’t get their ways or if you don’t abide by their commands. A common trait for these people is also that they don’t respect boundaries, and will continue to violate them even after you tell them clearly to stop.

These kinds of relationships can wreck havoc on your business, your self-esteem and self worth and tear you down physically, emotionally and spiritually.

It took me years to discover that I had been surrounded with emotionally abusive relationships for a good portion of my life, and by the time I realized what’s was really going on, the damage was already done.

I’m not a fan of labeling, but there are times when putting a label on something is helpful to your understanding. Sometimes you need to call a spade a spade. Click To Tweet

I remember when a friend of mine guided me to a book about emotionally abusive relationships. As I read the book cover to cover I couldn’t stop my tears from flowing. Every single word on every page resonated so deeply in my heart and soul as I finally understood what was going on in my relationship and why I felt so broken and confused. It was a very healing moment.

 

I felt validated for my feelings and could see things in an entirely different perspective. I finally understood that there was nothing wrong with me. Everything that had felt so wrong and difficult on the inside, yet so hard to define or put into words was revealed and explained in a way that even though it hurt, made total sense. Now that I saw the relationship for what it really was, I could better a make a decision about how to unravel it.

Unfortunately many people are in an emotionally abusive relationship without even realizing it. They may just feel like something is not right, and not be able to put words on what’s going on.

It’s not uncommon for highly functional, successful and educated people to be in these kinds of relationships. In fact, the emotionally abusive person is often drawn towards people who have their stuff together. They like to be able to depend on them, and to be able to draw from their resources and energy. This is because the emotionally abusive person is kind of like a parasite, who quite literally gets their energy from you. That’s why they drain you.

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Very often, these kinds of people are naturally drawn towards empaths and if you are an empath, the likelihood of you being or having been in a toxic relationship like this is actually quite high as the emotionally abusive person can smell an empath from miles away and will leach onto them as fast as they can.

One thing to keep in mind about these people is that to the outside world they can seem like the most charming, smart and amazing people out there. Nobody would be able to guess that they would be capable of treating you the way they do. People in other circles who are not experiencing this abusive behavior may even talk about how wonderful this person is! This makes this relationship especially difficult and confusing and you may start to question your own judgment and sanity and wonder if you are the problem. If everyone loves this person so much, what’s wrong with me?

The answer is that they usually will find one person to “draw their blood from”. For example, let’s say you have a parent that fits this description. As one sibling grows up and moves out, the abusive behavior against the older one may now be directed at a younger one as the older one is no longer as accessible.  These people are usually not capable of living without sucking the energy out of somebody else, and who that someone is can change over time and with different circumstances.

After reading the book my friend recommended me, even though my life and situation was still the same, inside of me, everything had changed. It’s as if I had taken my power back.

I finally understood what I was really dealing with. All this time I had started to think there was something wrong with me, because the emotionally abusive person tends use blame and shame to manipulate you, as well many other insidious techniques to control you, and after hearing that you are crazy over and over again there is a part of you that starts to question yourself.  It can make you feel like you’re crazy.

Understanding what these techniques were allowed me to see them in real time as they were happening, and as a result, respond or not respond from a different mental space.

One day the person I was dealing with had used all the techniques explained in the book in a ten minute period. I’m sure it had happened before, but this time I could see it for what it really was and respond and choose to see it for what it really was: An abusive person. And rather than taking it to heart I could reason that I hadn’t said or done anything wrong, this person would act this way no matter what I did, because you can’t win with these people unless you’re willing to sell your soul and become their puppet and slave.

If you want to learn more about some of the techniques these people use and how to protect yourself from these relationships, read this article. 

Understanding that you cannot deal with these people the same way you deal with emotionally healthy people was a huge eye opener for me. You can reason with a “normal” person, but different rules apply for how you deal with emotionally abusive people, and learning these rules completely changes the nature of the game. You can finally take your life and power back.

You can reason with a “normal” person, but different rules apply for how you deal with emotionally abusive people, and learning these rules completely changes the nature of the game. You can finally take your life and power back. Click To Tweet

Understanding that for these people it’s not about coming to a resolution no matter how much they would like you to think that.  It’s about winning – and winning at all cost, even if it’s not in their own best interest and even if they break you in the process.

The truth is, even if they pretend to care about your feelings, they truly don’t. All that matters to them is that they can fill the hole inside themselves and they get the false feeling of power when they put you or others down.  They will act in unreasonable and illogical ways in order to have power over you. However, once you learn the nature of their game, everything changes and you can regain your life and personal power.

One of the biggest aha moments was learning the fact that these people rarely change their behavior patterns even if they say they will. This is because they don’t think there’s anything wrong with them, but instead blame other people. And because they think there is nothing wrong with them, they don’t need to work on themselves in the relationship either. It’s all you that is the problem in their mind. They feel they don’t need a therapist and they will likely say that the therapist is stupid and that going there is a waste of time and or money, or something along these lines. Or they might go and try to manipulate the therapist as well!

Now, of course, you have read this far, I hope you read this with a grain of salt, because there are different degrees of these relationships, and not all are equally abusive or manipulative. What I am trying to do here is paint a picture, because until someone painted that picture for me, and put a label on it, I wasn’t quite able to dissect it. Please know that there are variations and everyone is different, I’m just coming to you with what I felt was helpful to learn, so hopefully it can help you too. There are no black and whites but many, many shades of grey, just like in the movie, but sometimes labeling can help you understand the dynamic for what it is, because that is key in order to get yourself out of it.

Once you understand, you don’t need to use those labels anymore. But if you’re going to do heart surgery, you kind of need to know what a heart is, and if you’re going to disentangle yourself from one of these relationships, you might want to be as strategic as a heart surgeon if you want to have a successful outcome. These kinds of people don’t make it easy for you to leave them and will use all kinds of techniques and manipulation to drag things out.

Another trait of these relationships is that 90% of the time, things are really good and they treat you nicely, but the key here is to understand that that nice treatment is usually part of a bigger strategy of building up to something and actually used as a way to manipulate and control you, because they don’t really care about you, they just care about what they can get from you. The mistake so many people make is mistaking periods of them being nice to you for being in a healthy relationship, when in truth the relationship is based on deception, not love.

The 10% when they treat you horribly can easily be forgotten when they turn around and act like an angel shortly after. If it was bad all the time, they wouldn’t get away with it and you would have left the relationship long ago. This is how these relationships sustain themselves through peaks and valleys.

However, don’t expect an apology because in their minds they justify what they did and they don’t think they did anything wrong. In their minds you deserved to be treated the way you were treated. Remember, they will blame you or someone else rather than take responsibility for their actions, and playing the victim role often becomes part of their manipulation technique. They want you to feel bad for them even though they were the ones who treated you with disrespect! They literally turn situations upside down and inside out, making you feel like you’re crazy. See how insidious this can be?

If you resonate with this, and if you or someone you know is in a similar kind of relationship, whether with family members, friends or lovers, know that there is a way out no matter how entangled you feel.  But unless you want to continue this soul sucking relationship, you need to figure out a plan of action, because the likelihood that things will change is very small. I don’t believe anything is impossible, but for me it was very helpful to understand that last piece.

As you read this, I’m sure you can understand how this can wreak havoc on your business and overall well being, because how you feel is everything, and if you feel bad all the time, you are not going to manifest great things into your life or business.

Make sure to read this article where I talk about how to stop toxic relationships from ruining your business if you are dealing with a difficult relationship.

If you feel like l hit you with a brick, I feel you. Sometimes seeing the truth for what it is can be hard, but it’s much easier than to continue to be in these dead end, soul sucking relationships. If you feel you need help to get out of or recover from having been dealing with this, I am here for you. Feel free to comment below with any questions or concerns you may have or click here to schedule a complementary call with me to see how I can be of support. 

7 Comments

  1. Cat Valentine on March 2, 2018 at 12:16 am

    This is so spot on – I love the clarity you use to explain. This



    • Vibeke on March 2, 2018 at 12:30 am

      I’m glad to hear you resonated Cat 🙂



  2. Pat Bailey on March 6, 2018 at 4:56 am

    You know how I feel about this post, it resonates deeply and I’m grateful for your clarity and wisdom on this subject and many others. Thank you for another insightful post!



    • Vibeke on March 6, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      Glad to hear it resonates with you Pat 🙂



  3. Ijeoma on April 19, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    This is making so much sense. I am sharing it to someone i think its in this situation



    • Vibeke on April 20, 2018 at 9:23 pm

      I’m glad it’s making sense. Please share!



  4. Jane on April 19, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Wow i agree and can relate to so many lines that seems to be describing my relationship



About Vibeke

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I believe that the foundation for wealth is inner peace and that success should never sacrifice your health and well being.

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7 Comments

  1. Cat Valentine on March 2, 2018 at 12:16 am

    This is so spot on – I love the clarity you use to explain. This



    • Vibeke on March 2, 2018 at 12:30 am

      I’m glad to hear you resonated Cat 🙂



  2. Pat Bailey on March 6, 2018 at 4:56 am

    You know how I feel about this post, it resonates deeply and I’m grateful for your clarity and wisdom on this subject and many others. Thank you for another insightful post!



    • Vibeke on March 6, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      Glad to hear it resonates with you Pat 🙂



  3. Ijeoma on April 19, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    This is making so much sense. I am sharing it to someone i think its in this situation



    • Vibeke on April 20, 2018 at 9:23 pm

      I’m glad it’s making sense. Please share!



  4. Jane on April 19, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Wow i agree and can relate to so many lines that seems to be describing my relationship



Vibeke's Bio

Vibeke's Bio

I’m Vibeke Schurch, the founder of Success-soul Living® and The 5D Business Model®.

I work with coaches, healers and change-makers to help them grow their business and live life on purpose so they can use their unique gifts to make a difference in the world while creating a lifestyle aligned with their soul blueprint.

Ever since my spiritual awakening many years ago when I healed myself from “chronic” illness in just two weeks, it’s my mission to help you wake up to your inner power and potential. I want to show you how to use your mind to manifest your wildest dreams and create your own heaven on earth while living life on purpose, and serving the people you are here to serve.

In my 20 years as a small business owner, one thing is crystal clear to me: What helps you thrive is not your not your intelligence, level of experience or skill-set, but the programming in your subconscious mind. You can be programmed for struggle and lack, or flow and abundance. In my work, I help you reprogram your mind for success and abundance so you can create a prosperous and fulfilling life living your life’s calling and doing the work you came here to do.