This question is not easy to answer. The response may be vastly different for each person affected by spousal emotional abuse in New Jersey, this nation or the world. What is clear, though, is this: the impact of a spouse’s continually abusive behavior on their supposedly cherished life partner can be devastating and irrevocable.
Like the whittling away of a stone when water drips onto it for a long period of time, when one person in a marriage is belittled, ridiculed, humiliated, sniped at or otherwise denigrated long-term, the damage steadily accumulates.
They begin to see their self-esteem plummet. Their ability to stand up for themselves goes out the window. They give in more to their tormentor in a futile effort to keep the peace. They pretend it’s not happening by retreating into denial. They wish the abuse would stop, even though it infuriatingly persists.
The target just cannot accept the fact that the person they wanted to be with forever could act so callously brutal and cruel for apparently no reason.
How emotional abuse takes an enormous and painful toll
The effect of emotional abuse varies from person to person, but some of the outgrowths that typically result:
- Denial is common, no matter how blatant or outrageous the abuse is.
- The victim’s worry and fright escalate. Are the verbal jabs on the verge of becoming physical ones?
- Their self-confidence withers after being told so many times they are no good.
- The trust between the two of you vanishes.
If your spouse is agreeable to counseling, that may be an avenue to explore. If the time comes when you feel the situation has become so emotionally debilitating or physically threatening or if actual violence has occurred, a divorce may be inevitable.