Is mental abuse as bad as physical abuse in a relationship?

United States
May 27, 2009 4:34pm CST
I think that mental abuse, is just as bad as physical abuse, because if a person hits you, in time your wounds will heal. Emotional abuse is much worse because when someone says hurtful things to you, that is something that sticks with you forever. It may make you lose confidence in yourself, it can also make you feel a certain way about yourself. Especially if you have been in that abusive relationship for a long period of time. That's just my personal opinion, and I know a lot of people will probably disagree. Some people don't really understand how much of an effect that mental abuse can have on a person, and I think it's really something that a lot of people should think about, wheather it's an intimate relationship, or a family situation, parents do it to their children all of the time and probably don't even notice when their doing it.
2 people like this
26 responses
@rrdj71 (696)
• United States
27 May 09
Abuse is abuse!! But I truly believe that physical scars heal quicker than emotional ones. Words hurt more than fists. Thankfully I've never been punched but I have been verbally abused and it can bring you down if you don't have enough self esteem or knowledge on how to react to it.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 May 09
A lot of people don't have knowledge of how to react or how to get out. How do you react to something like that.
1 person likes this
@rrdj71 (696)
• United States
27 May 09
That is exactly the thing people like that want you to do, react. You DON'T react you get help, get them help if they'll have it or get out. I was strong enough to make it through and am thankful I did not give up or get out. My relationship is stronger for it and so am I. Unfortunately, it's usually not the case.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 May 09
Yeah but when I tell him to get help, he's not the one who needs help, it's me because i'm the one who thinks it's wrong, I need to toughen up, and I'm to emotional.
1 person likes this
@jugsjugs (13047)
27 May 09
I must agree with you that mental abuse is just as bad as any other kind of abuse.It can make you feel inadiquit and very self consious.I used to find it very hard to feel good about my self as the abuse from another person made me feel so low and bad about myself that i lost my confidence to go out side in public with out wearing long sleeved tops and jogging bottoms all because of a person calling me a name due to me having a skin problem.It took me along time to change to who i am today.Im now going out in low cut tops with no sleeves and my skin condition has got alot better as less stress.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 May 09
This kind of abuse really does cause a lot of stress, which is not good, especially for a person who already has a medical condition, as if you aren't already going through enough, than that person of all people, knows exactly what you go through on a daily basis because of your condition ,does it the most, when they should be trying to do everything in thier power to keep you healthy, but instead thier adding on to the problems that you already have and in some cases making them even worse.
@cest_moi (207)
• Canada
27 May 09
No abuse whatsoever period, either mentally or physically, they have the same affect. Mentally abuse imprints in the person's brain and physical abuse would come back and haunt the person so they both have the same affect. In this world, it is rude to see one person abuses another, we should have the same value of life and should enjoy as much as the other person does. Just imagine, if you hurt someone either mentally or physically and someone else does the same to you, will you be able to take it? Cheers!
1 person likes this
• United States
28 May 09
That's what I don't understand, because if you treated that person the same way, they wouldn't be able to handle it.
• United States
27 May 09
Emotional abuse is deeper, as you said physical wounds heal over time but the ones caused by verbal or emotional abuse are not so easy to get through! You can also call the cops for physical abuse and there can be easy intervention. With emotional abuse, you cannot even prove it has happened and can't press charges against the person causing them. I took myself and my children out of a situation with much verbal, emotional abuse. I am not sure you ever totally heal... maybe... I don't know.
• United States
27 May 09
How do you get out of something like that, when you really do love the other person, and then the person keeps promising you that things will change, and for a minute they do, and then eventually, it's right back to the same thing again.
• United States
27 May 09
Yeah but when I ask him to get help, the problem isn't him it's me.He doesn't need help because I'm the way who feels that it's wrong I need to toughen up.
• United States
27 May 09
When I got tired enough of the yo-yo life I left. I had to get sick and tired enough though. I also wanted to get my children out of a dangerous situation. I never knew when my spouse was going to explode and go past using only words.. that's all a partof the abusive cycle! I left and told him that I would not consider coming back for at least 6 months. In that time we could seek counseling. He went about 3 weeks... just long enough for the pain to stop temporarily! IT was easy to see rather quickly that there was not any real change... but you got give it time for them to prove change or lack of it. In that time, you change too... you become better able to handle situations and make decisoins (something that has probably been stripped from you)...in the mean time, you get counseling too... then if he changes... and you can tell ... you never know!
@justinus (1112)
• Karawaci, Indonesia
27 May 09
Yes it is ! even for some people mental abuse will more severe than physical, I cant not forget to someone who shouting at "pig" just because I was passing through him with my motor cycle when I was in a hurry, afraid of late and wanted to cath my morning train !hahaha, ok, I cant still laugh to that evidence but surely I dint forget yet, The good aspect is that this scons changed me not to pass anyone roughly at stree however I will be at ruch situation. I also cant forget someone SPITing towards me at the same situation at street also, hahahaha, if I were not in a hurry I prefer to fight first rather that stand and keep it at my heart, even perhaps I didnt mind hit his face many times !! even today if I remember this man I still want to hit his face severely hahaha..
@justinus (1112)
• Karawaci, Indonesia
28 May 09
Sorry for my incorrect words, it should be like this : Yes it is, even for some peoples mental abuse will more severe than physical abuse, for examples I cant forget to someone who was shouting at me with word "PIG !!"just because I was passing through him at street by motor cycle when I was in a hurry catch my morning train, afraid of being late !hahahaha ok, I can still laugh to that evidence but surely I didnt forget after 2 decades. The good aspect is also adhere, that later I do not dare passing through at street with that roughly way however I will be at rush situation. I also cant forget after teen years to people who was SPITING toward me at the same case ..hahaha, if I were not in a hurry I will prefer to stop first an fighting or hit his face several times rather than to keep this memories at my mind, even if I still recognize this man today I am ready to fight right now although it was already happened teen years ago ! hahaha, see that hate and revenge for mentally hurt is in need significantly ! I understand that may be I did the wrong but I can not accept the balance ! hahahaha
• United States
28 May 09
It is something that you will always remember, because of how it made you feel at the time when it happened, and probably because of the fact that it makes you feel helpless, like you have no control over the situation.
@justinus (1112)
• Karawaci, Indonesia
28 May 09
I hope I can forget those 2 accidents, I will try to forgive and make peace or cease fire with my past, it's a kind way to cure our wounds according to some phsycologist and not good to keep anyone mistakes according religions. forgive, forget and make better and more and more better attitute is a must, see now I am already 56 years of age and retired so that it will good time to me to be as good man as possible. Thanks you anyway for your ineresting topic so that I can still send my new post and added my earning
• United States
27 May 09
I think that they go hand in hand because when you get physically abused you need to leave and when you have been mentally abused you cannot because that mental abuse makes you feel like you are nothing without the person I dont know if you understand I have been in a abuseive relationship and when the person hits me I know in my head that I needed to leave but I could not physically leave because I had been so programed that I thought If i left I would be worth nothing even though I think I was already worth nothing by staying there a abuser takes all value away from you, they make you feel like you are nothing without them
• United States
27 May 09
When in all actuality thier nothing without you.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 May 09
that is very true an abuser is someone that has no self esteem and because they dont have self esteem themselves they try hard to make you feel less than them to make themselves feel better but the person that is being abused dosent see that until they get out of the situation abuse is very bad if you fee like you are in that situation then try as hard as you can to get out
• United States
28 May 09
The sad part is that I know what he does is wrong ,but I still find it hard to walk away. I have walked away, but I keep taking him back thinking that things will get better on their own, but now I see that it's never going to happen.
• Philippines
27 May 09
Mental abuse or emotional abuse is not as bad as physical abuse... Sometimes it helps as to improve our or the abuser's way of life depending how we react on it. That is why we should always do our best to learn how to take it positively so that it could be constructive rather than destructive for both ends. Physical abuse on the other hand could lead to a fatal result which is a great loss. Life is precious and it should be valued. But still of course abusing is still bad and evil...
• United States
28 May 09
How can you take something like that as being constructive, when the person is intentionally trying to hurt you. What is the positive reaction to that. You can only ignore so much ,even if you don't respond the words still hurt, you stil hear what the person is saying.
• United States
28 May 09
I think that mental/emotional abuse is in every way as bad as physical abuse. I had a friend in high school that was in a highly abusive relationship. The abuse was all mental. Her boyfriend beat her down so much emotionally that she didn't even feel like a person anymore. After a while she actually started to believe the things that he said to her, and started cutting herself. It's almost like the mental abuse resulted in a different type of physical abuse in which she abused herself for what he thought of her. I think all abuse is wrong but when it affects how you feel about yourself and wiggles it's way into your psyche, the way that mental and emotional abuse does... it transcends the physical.
• Philippines
28 May 09
I do stand corrected for your comments. And I thank you for that. Let me rephrase my 2nd sentence which is "We should be able to learn..." What I want to say is "We should learn how to react positively if we are abused by somebody so as not to be devoured by the abuser." Thank you.
@jbrooks0127 (2330)
• United States
28 May 09
Let me tell you a story about my wife. In her first marriage she had a husband that never ever was physically abusive but was very abusive mentally. He kept putting her down and telling her how worthless she was and of course if she ever brought up getting help it got even worse. It got so bad that she begin to loose all of her self confidence. He controlled pretty much everything she did. He had to know what and where she was at all times and as time went on she was much like you..she didn't know that she could get out much less do it. At some point it got so bad that even she knew it had to end. The only way she could make it happen however was to take her child while he was at work and packed up a few things and left. She went back to live with her mother...several states away. This worked for a little while and of course he found her and tried everything he could to get her to come back. She begin to know that as long as he knew where she was he would always be doing this so decided to move half way across the country to live with her sister. He would not know where she was. She did this and it was a very big step in both her daughter and her life. She then begin to become much more independent. She no longer had anyone telling what she had to do or to keep track of her and she found herself again. By then she had divorced him and that was that. If you knew her today you would never believe that she had no self confidence at one point in her life. She is a very independent woman. Mental abuse can be as bad or even worse than physical because it controls your every waking moment. You carry no scares except what is inside you which makes it even worse. Who would ever believe that this goes on behind closed doors. We all need love and we need respect. All of us. When we don't get that from the one we love we do one of two things. We loose respect for them or ourselves. And no matter what they say it will never change. One thing I keep seeing you say is very telling. You keep saying that he doesn't have the problem it is you. He has brainwashed you to the point you actually believe that. It is soooo not the truth. He has a very serious problem or he would treat you with the respect and love you deserve. It is not your problem it is all his and you are suffering for it. You must begin to take back control of your life. You must. If that means divorce then by all means do it. If you have tried many times to have him seek help and he will not you can better believe he will never change. Seek help from whoever you can to begin making a plan for you to do what you need to do. What my wife did was once she knew she had no choice she begin hiding money back so he would never find it and when she finally had enough she left. If finances are a consideration in your not knowing what to do then this is a possibility. Consider this....what ever you do to get out of this situation is justified. He does not respect you so it is up to you to begin standing up for yourself and do the right thing. You will never ever regret it I assure you.
• United States
28 May 09
I know exactly what I need to do, it's just a matter of when I'm going to do it, I know it's going to be hard, but it's something that I have to do. You are right he doesn't respect me and I don't respect myself for allowing him to do this to me, and have my children bare witness to all of it. I will be taking that first step really soon, to get as far away from him as I can, and hopefully I can be as sucessfull as your wife was with gaining back my self confidence, and self respect. I don't know what I could have been thinking, thinking that things would change. I should have known when my family started to dislike him that it was a sign to move on then, but I didn't, because I thought that things would get better, but they only got worse. Your story was very helpful and has opened my eyes to the possibilities that are waiting for me. Before I meet him I was an independent woman as well, but when I got into a relationship with him, I just put my life on hold, which is something that I shouldn't have ever done, because we could have grown together, but nothing that I had to do ever was important to him, or it didn't make sense, like me going back to school. Thanks a million for the words of encouragement, you have made it a little easier for me to do what I have to do.
• United States
27 May 09
I completely agree with what you're saying. The only thing I don't agree with is in time physical wounds will heal. In my opinion physical wounds turn into mental wounds. Sometimes those physical wounds turn into permanent scars. Wheather physical or emotional it takes a toll on your body. I completely agree with what you say about children. I know of a few people personally who have children that stay sick constantly. These people don't see that the instability in these childrens lives make them sick the way they are. I see a lot were these parents put the blame on their children for being in their present situation. Our babies did not ask to be here. We brought them here and it is up to us provide for them and give them the values they need to get ahead in life.
• United States
28 May 09
I beleive a child is innocent, so how can they be the blame for how they act, They learn from what they see. Some people think that they are disciplining thier children, when they are really doing them more harm than good.
@GemmaR (8527)
27 May 09
I believe that emotional abuse can be just as harmful, if not even more harmful infact, than physical abuse. Just because a person doesn't have any scars or bruises doesn't mean that they haven't been damaged. One of the greatest thing in relationships is love and trust. If a particular partner prevents you from having these things, then that could have an effect on potential partners in the future. The bullying nature of just one partner can affect you for the rest of your life, and nobody should have to put up with that.
• United States
28 May 09
The only thing that would probably help someone in this situation is support from friends and family, and some seriuos counseling.Thats the only way I can see someone pulling through something so tramatic.
• United States
27 May 09
They are both as bad. You will never forget any of them.
• United States
28 May 09
Very tramatic experiences.
• United States
27 May 09
Mental abuse can take years to heal.
• United States
28 May 09
Yeah if your that lucky. Then the drama just continues into another relationship, causing a whole new set of problems.
@meandmy3 (2229)
• United States
27 May 09
As I have always said bruises go away but the damage you cause by emotional abuse will never leave you. I was in a relationship in which the guy was very emotional abusive, okay it was my ex husband, in fact after we divorced and I moved told him I was moving from our small home town to the big city of Chicago (across country move) he told me that I would be home in three to six months crying to my mom, that the city would eat me alive. When in fact within three months I was promoted to senior buyer, I purchased my own apartment over looking lake Michigian and well spent New Years eve at a by invitation only party overlooking time square. You can just imagine how happy I was to send him the picture of me standing in front of that big picture window with the ball behind me. For nine years he told me I was stupid, that I would not be anywhere without him, that my life was nothing without him and that he was surprised that I could get dressed alone. He told me that I did not run right, as in go running, run down the street. yes I did not even run right. Our biggest fight was when I put the ketchup in the wrong place in the fridge, and you got it I could not even do that right. The first thing I did when he moved out was re-arange the entire fridge and toss the ketchup.
• United States
27 May 09
How can a person that loves you, constantly put you down when you know that you are none of those things that they claim you to be, is it some kind of issue that they have with themselves where they have to put others down to make themselves feel good.
@clorissa123 (4930)
• United States
28 May 09
I agree with what you said here. Mental abuse cause chronic effects on that particular person. Just like a nightmare keep on lingering on that person's dream. I just can't imagine what that person would become if he can't handle that abuse.
• United States
28 May 09
I grew up in a home where there was a lot of mental and physical abuse. Back then people were allowed to hit their kids with a belt and we never heard of emotional abuse. I can tell you I am 54 years old and have spent years and years in therapy trying to deal with childhood issues. The physical wounds heal and I have pretty much forgotten them. They were not severe. But the mental anguish has left me with low self-esteem and no confidence in myself. You never get over that. What my dad did would be against the law if he did it today. I love my dad and I see him out of duty because I am a good daughter. But the way I was raised did a lot of damage and I do not know if it will ever completely heal. I know I was not that way with my kids because I knew how it felt and never wanted my kids to grow up with the emotional baggage I grew up with.
@23uday (3000)
• India
28 May 09
hi i feel mental abuse is more worse than physical abuse.as the physical abuse can be healed over a period of time.but when a person undergoes mental abuse,it remains with them their life long. when a child is abused mentally,then they turn up to be psychos and undergo some mental disorders.so one should always control their anger and be always calm and loving. happy mylotting
@elmiko (6642)
• United States
28 May 09
mental abuse can be worse more of the time i think but i know people who go through bad physical disabilities and its possible to be worse than mental abuse as some suffer terrible physical pain. i feel so sad for them as the doctors can only do so much as well as me and the person whos suffering. Theres situations where physical pain can be worse. Were talking about physical and mental abuse though and not disabilities. Mental Abuse is worse most of the time.
@ckyera (17202)
• Philippines
28 May 09
for me, mental abuse is worse than physical abuse. its right , true that wounds in skin heals faster but mental wounds takes very long time to heal...it causes depression, low self-esteem and everything... but both of them are still abuse and no one deserves it.
• United States
28 May 09
I believe it is just as bad as physical abuse. You can break someone down and ruin the way they see themselves. Especially children. Unfortunately their are no laws against it. CPS does not recognize it. Well not in Texas anyway. I have a sister-in-law who causes at her kids and calls them all sorts of names. I hate it! I don't understand why people do it. It does not make anything better. In fact it makes things worse in my opinion. I try to tell my daughter as many postive things as I can. Like you are so smart. Or you look so beautiful. And of course when she does something mean I tell her that is not nice we don't do that. She is almost 2 but I think she hears a lot of what I say to her. I think it is important to build our kids and show them what I call positive direction. Tell them when they do wrong and show them the right thing to do. When they are older their are ways of punishing them whitout yelling or cursing.
• Portugal
28 May 09
i think emotional abuse it's worse because it eats you inside and even after it stops, it will continue to hurt you for years to come. it's jusst dreadful.