Are you in an abusive marriage, that is increasingly taking a toll on your mental health?
Does your spouse abuse you emotionally and/or physically? Do you spend most days living with fear and shame and self-loathing? If yes, it’s time to set boundaries in an abusive marriage before it kills you.
For many people who are in an abusive marriage, getting out right now just isn’t an option. Whether its financial considerations, concerns for yourself or your children, geographical issues or sheer terror, the need to stay in place is necessary.
If you are in this place, it is essential to set boundaries in an abusive marriage now so that you can survive, and maybe even thrive, as you live through it.
What kind of boundaries? Let me share!
1. Take care of yourself.
It essential that, if you are being emotionally or physically abused, you make an effort to take care of yourself.
We all need affection and loving touch and if you aren’t getting love from your spouse, it is important that you love yourself. Loving yourself, and believing that you are worthy, is very hard to do when you are constantly being demeaned so demonstrating to yourself that you are loved is very important.
What makes you feel loved? A hot bath? Time with your girlfriends? A ‘Real Housewives’ binge? A massage?
Take an accounting of what you could do to make yourself feel loved and pampered. If you can do this, you will be able to stay in touch with the fact that you deserve to be loved and cared for, even if the person in your life isn’t making you feel that way.
2. Spend time with those who love you.
If you find yourself in the middle of a lot of anger and insults every day, it is important that you make sure that you spend time with people who love you.
Much like the self-love, I described before, being surrounded by people who love you just the way you are is an important part of surviving an abusive relationship.
They will remind you that you are a wonderful person, deserving of love and affection. They will remind you that what is happening isn’t your fault. They will remind you that you have strength, strength to survive this and get through it. They will remind you that there is a life worth living out there.
So, make sure that you reach out to friends and family as much as possible. If your partner makes it difficult for you, make it a priority to make it happen whenever you can, even if just for a short period.
Do it! You will be glad you did!
3. Don’t blame yourself.
Many of my clients who are in abusive relationships blame themselves for the abuse that is being showered down upon them.
Their abuser is forever telling them that what is happening is all their fault, that if they just did this or that differently their partner wouldn’t be forced to discipline them. They tiptoe around, hoping to not get noticed or blamed. And this is not okay.
It is important to understand that the abuse that is happening to you is not your fault. Yes, we are all humans and we make mistakes, but no one deserves to be abused, no matter what they might do or say.
Most abusers have something that has caused the damage in their life and that leads them to abuse others. Some kind of trauma or abuse that has led them to do the same to you.
The reason that it’s essential to set boundaries in an abusive relationship is so that you don’t lose touch with who you are. Learning how to not blame yourself is a key part of keeping in touch with that person and not letting the abuse tear you down completely.