When faced with confrontation or a need to give her opinion, she will retreat into silence. Create a safe space within your relationship where she knows that she can speak her mind without judgement. Watch how you react to the things that she says because a negative reaction might cause her to retreat into her shell. In her past relationships, she has been put down and compared to others.
Her self-esteem has been shattered. Whenever she falls into the trap of self-blame or self-destruction, remind her of her good qualities and tell her why you fell in love with her. This will help her in her journey to rebuild her confidence. She will question everything you do, even the seemingly harmless things.
Give her time and she will eventually learn that you want nothing but good for her. When she asks you to explain something, do so calmly because she just wants clarification. After being in an abusive relationship, your girl will develop a fear of anyone getting too close. This fear stems from past experiences where she allowed people into her life who ended up hurting her. Thus, when she notices that you are getting too close, she will push you away. Be stubborn enough to stay by her side and at the same time give her time to come round.
She might be pushing you away but deep down she wants you to hold onto her. She craves the assurance that you are here to stay and that should she give you her heart, you will protect it like you do your own. Girls who have been in abusive relationships and come out of them are strong. Once in a while, they might need a reminder of their strength.
You will find that deep down, underneath all those scars, is a lovely girl whose only desire is to love you. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated on the latest developments and special offers!
Eve Woman. The Standard. Moi Cabinets. Fact Check. The Insider. Digital News. TV Stations. KTN Home. KTN News. Radio Stations. That being said, if you meet an abuse survivor who has been through substantial therapy and has done most of their healing, you can have a good relationship. There are just things you should know. He is looking at the camera with a serious expression. He is a hipster with a unique hairstyle, beard, eyeglasses, scarf and cardigan.
Offer support Yet another far-reaching consequence of sexual abuse is a lack of self-worth or even a latent sense of guilt in the victim. Thus your girlfriend may at times suffer from a lack of self-confidence or even a crippling form of self-doubt. This could be because subconsciously the person feels that she was in some way responsible for the abuse in the past, that she may have encouraged or invited, so to speak, the heinous act.
What you can do to in such a situation is to regularly appreciate her achievements and attributes — no matter how small they seem. So you could compliment your girlfriend on the new hairdo that she has got or praise the new Italian recipe that she has tried out. The essential thing is to keep reminding your partner that she is much more than a product of her painful past, that she has incredible potential and active possibilities to live a happy, meaningful life.
Help her to trust again Women who have suffered sexual abuse as a child are particularly prone to having trust issues later in their adult relationships. Apart from the physical pain, what hurts most when abused as a child is the realization that no one, not even an adult from the circle of family or friends, is worthy of trust. The memory of this abuse of trust makes it difficult for the victim to have faith in others, ever again.
So you may find your girlfriend at times suspicious, jealous and highly emotionally insecure. Taken to an extreme, the inability to trust a partner may also result in commitment issues where despite finding herself compatible with you, she is unable to commit to the relationship. Give her enough time to find out that you are truly committed to the relationship.
When you feel that your partner wants to talk about her painful past, be sure to listen actively and later offer unconditional support. It is common for victims of abuse to give in to addictions related to drugs, alcohol, and sex or succumb to depression. If such self-destructive behavior is still in the initial stage, you could communicate your concerns to your partner. Sooner or later, the person will have to take charge of her own life and put the demons of her past to rest.
Take professional help If you truly want to be with this woman but find yourself unable to cope with her emotional ups-and-downs despite your sincerest efforts, the only way left is to seek professional past. A therapist or counselor will go a long way in helping your partner work her way through past suffering and encourage her to take responsibility for her present.
You might begin to feel that you have always been giving to the relationship and have got little in return. Thus rather than give in to such negative thoughts, it is far better that you and your partner seek out someone who will be able to help you through a complex situation and move ahead to a mutually fulfilling relationship. All Rights Reserved. Skip to main content. The healing process is different for everyone, and trying to rush the process may backfire. Many victims of verbal and emotional abuse have spent so much time trying to fit a mold made by their abuser that they lose their sense of self, according to the Psychology Today article, "Emotional Abuse: Recovering the Core Self.
A common tactic of abusers is to isolate their partner from friends and family. Encourage her to rebuild her relationships with others and strengthen her support system. Participating in a support group for victims of abuse or talking to a counselor may help her work through her feelings.
Be patient if she has a hard time trusting you. Remember she may need extra reassurance that you truly care about her. Abusers control their victims and call all the shots in the relationship. It may feel very different and even uncomfortable for your partner to be in a healthy relationship.
The website for the National Domestic Violence Hotline says the two main components for a healthy relationship are communication and boundaries. Let him know that you value his opinion. Give him the opportunity to share his input when making decisions as a couple.
The verbal and emotional abuse your partner went through probably did a lot of damage to her self-esteem. You can be a positive force in her life by pointing out all of her good qualities and praising her for her accomplishments. At first, it may be difficult for her to believe good things about herself and accept your comments.
The longer you continue the positive feedback, the more likely your words will drown out the negative words from her abuser. Sharon O'Neil has been writing professionally since She has worked in international business and is a licensed customs broker. She is currently a supervisor with a social service agency that works with families to prevent child abuse and neglect.
She obtained a Bachelor of Science in business from Indiana University. By: Sharon O'Neil.