They are invisible to anyone, but deep spiritual scars remain if the person you love and care for has devalued and humiliated you in every possible way.

When it comes to abusive relationships, this does not always mean physical abuse . While this essay does not serve to distract attention from the problem of domestic abuse that has affected (and continues to suffer) far too many women, it should only point to the fact that emotional abuse can be just as harmful, but one completely different way.

When you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, it is not always immediately noticeable. It does not leave bruising, as in a physical attack, but you are still scarred in many ways, and this scarring leaves a mark on your soul and mind that can affect any future relationship.

It’s hard to love again after being manipulated, degraded, controlled and humiliated by someone you’ve given your heart and your trust.

As someone who has been emotionally abused in the past and can now clearly see it, I realize how much it has changed my idea of ​​relationships and my access to love.

Here are seven behaviors that abused people experience in a new relationship:

1. We keep the distance longer than most others.

Even if we think that we are really on you, we stay reserved. We keep you at a distance, may not respond immediately, and definitely do not want to spend too much time with you. We are just too scared of what it might do to our soul if we get so hurt again by someone so close to us.

2. We play with hidden cards.

After being emotionally abused, it is painful to be open-minded. We do not want to get ourselves into a vulnerable situation, and when you open up, you do just that. You show the parts of you that suddenly make you a target object. It’s safer for us to just keep some things to ourselves.

3. We start slowly.

Not only physically slow, but also emotionally and mentally slow. Like a wounded puppy, it’s hard not to be careful. It’s just an instinctive way to protect yourself from further suffering.

4. We are overly suspicious.

If you were with somebody who has always decried you – saying that you are worthless and worthless – you can not help but ask yourself why anyone could ever fall in love with you again. If you tell us that you love us and we look at you strangely, it’s not that the feeling is not mutual; rather, we are still a little unsure what could be attractive or adorable to us for someone else.

5. We are reluctant to get to know the people in your life.

When you start getting to know the friends and family of the person you are in a relationship with, it means that things are getting serious. It also means that your life is increasingly intertwined. Since abused people love differently, it can feel a bit scary, so we act with caution.

6. We are loving, but on our own terms.

When I met my husband for the first time, he was struck by how little affection he showed me. Even at the height of our love I had to be loving after my own ideas. When he cuddled up to me, I sometimes retired. It was not that I did not want to be close to him, but after the relationship, in which the affection was so small, it took me a long time to learn how to cuddle and enjoy it again.

7. We start from the worst (but hope for the best).

If you have been abused by someone you love, you will automatically build a wall around your heart. You stay alert and you hand over your love bit by bit.

Because this is the case, we naturally assume that things will not last or that we will be hurt again. Of course, we hope it does not remind you of the past, but we start from the worst, longer than most. It’s just a coping mechanism that works for many of us.

The victims of emotional abuse experience a very hard roller coaster ride of emotions, long after the emotionally abusive relationship ends. Be patient with such a person and she will start opening up to you bit by bit … 

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