Being emotionally abused changes you. And often those changes are unnoticed by the person that suffered through the emotional abuse.
However, it impacts their lives and relationships forever. One place this impact is most often felt is in their romantic relationships.
People that have suffered through emotional abuse tend to give, and receive love differently.
Starting with this…
1. They are very cautious during the honeymoon phase.
When you first meet a man they are charming, they say all the right things, and are on their best behavior.
People that have been emotionally abused are very cautious during this phase of relationships and dating.
They understand that as time passes people often change.
2. They have a hard exterior but are often very gentle and loving once they trust you.
Emotionally abused people start off by loving you from a distance and they try their best not to be overbearing. They know what it’s like to be smothered and they try not to do that to someone else.
However, they also approach relationships this way for another reason…
3. They wear a shield over their hearts.
To avoid another situation of being heartbroken and taken advantage of emotionally abused people will maintain a guarded disposition when it comes to new relationships.
This is done out of caution and the person that has been emotionally abused doesn’t mean anything personal by it. This wall tends to come down over time as trust is earned… Which brings me to my next point…
4. They take their time.
A person that has been emotionally abused takes it slow when opening up to a new love interest. They have learned the hard way the importance of not jumping in head first in new relationships and letting things develop naturally.
5. They often value emotional intimacy over sexual intimacy.
Emotionally abused people are content with cuddling and kisses on the forehead because they realize that sexual intimacy is not the most important thing in a relationship.
They realize that showing real love and affection goes far beyond sexual contact.
6. They look out for and will fiercely protect the people they love.
Emotionally abused people know the telltale signs of a toxic person. So they are quick to tell you that a friend or associate is a waste of your time because they know how people that hurt others act and carry themselves. They also love hard and will protect you from anyone that means you no good.
Which brings me to my last point…
7. They are always there for you.
A person who has been emotionally abused knows how to love unconditionally. They have successfully found out how not to become the same person who abused them. As a result, they remain steadfast and are usually that friend that will always be there when you need them.
Above all, they value truth, honesty and just plain ol’ keeping it real with the people you surround yourself with.
Emotional abuse can be done purposely or indirectly. Some people don’t have the ability to feel compassion for anyone other than themselves.
However, after being emotionally abused, it’s very important to keep faith in yourself and not become the abuser who abandoned, mistreated, and used you. As the old saying goes, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.”
A person that has been emotionally abused is living proof of that mantra.
If you have suffered through emotional abuse I have one last message for you. Don’t give up. True love is still possible… A loving and healthy relationship is out there for you… Trust in God first and the rest will take care of itself.