When you have been in a relationship that is emotionally abusive for years, it can be a major relief to get out of the situation and leave the relationship. However, life after an emotionally abusive relationship is not always as smooth and as easy as you might have thought it would be. As you transition to a life without your abusive partner and adjust to being on your own, there are some things that you should know about how to handle life after an emotionally abusive relationship. Get to know some of these things and then, you can be sure you know what to expect as you begin your new life without your abusive partner.
The Abuse Was Not Your Fault
Emotional abuse, just like physical abuse is the fault of the abuser, not of the person that has been abused. Most people that have suffered from chronic abuse of any kind feel as if what has happened to them is somehow their own fault. Abusers are good at making people feel guilty and feel as though they deserve the emotional abuse they have endured.
Your guilt and feelings of being at fault are completely normal. However, you have to keep reminding yourself that you are not at fault. Tell yourself this repeatedly every day. Eventually, the message will begin to sink in and you will begin to feel better about yourself and your role in the relationship.
You Will Miss Your Former Partner
Relationships, especially abusive ones, are quite complicated. Even though you know logically that you are better off without your partner and you are happy to be free, it is inevitable that you will miss your former partner and that you may even feel some remorse for no longer being in the relationship
These are feelings that can make you feel confused and conflicted, but they do not have to derail you. You can and will miss the good parts about your former partner. It does not mean that you made a mistake leaving or that you should go back. It only means that you are in the grieving process. Allow yourself to experience those emotions without judgement. Do not take action based on those feelings (i.e. do not contact your former partner or try to rekindle the relationship. These feelings will fade as you take the time to grieve and heal.
You May Benefit from Trauma Therapy
Being in an emotionally abusive relationship will cause you trauma. Your sense of self and identity will be damaged. Your confidence will be damaged. You will likely have a hard time discerning the negative things that your partner said about you from your own opinions of yourself. You might even have flashbacks and nightmares about the abuse.
These are all common symptoms of PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder). While most people associate this disorder with victims of war violence, emotional abuse can also lead to PTSD. If you have any of these issues as you come out of this type of relationship, trauma therapy can help. It helps you to directly address the trauma in your past and learn ways of coping with and overcoming trauma.
Now that you know some of the things you should know about handling life after an emotionally abusive relationship, you can be sure to give yourself the time and help you need to rebuild your life going forward. For more information, reach out to therapy centers like The A Treatment Center.