Posted June 9, 2019 from Nigeria

One of the causes of emotional abuse is gender roles as seen in the previous posts. Women and girls in marriage and relationships think they are not responsible for anything but cooking and nurturing. Hence, the man, if he is not doing his responsibilities as it were, is threatened, verbally abused and pressured. How pathetic! I am not saying the man shouldn't provide but it's the woman's duty to help as well.

Men based on gender roles as well tend to be abusive emotionally because they're culturally brought up to be aggressive, dominant and violent. If they don't show those characteristics, they are less a man! How true could that get? All these are not needed if respect is glaring and reciprocal.

Most of us try to demand respect from one another which is totally wrong. We say stuff like, 'Do you know how old I am? I paid your bride price; I am the man...'. How ridiculous! Who doesn't know you are older, paid the bride price or the man? All these things are obvious and enough to make your partner respect you if respect was indeed demanded! However, respect is earned and reciprocal. Everyone is valuable. They want to feel important, honoured and respected irrespective of sex or gender. Why would you swallow up someone else's worth, dignity and pride in quest to satisfy yours? Respect begets respect. Everybody deserves to be respected irrespective of class, age, sex or gender.

Low self-esteem is the judgement of negativities placed on yourself. People might influence it by calling you names and the likes but the moment you accept such tags and see yourself that way, it becomes your perspective about yourself. And this is another cause of emotional abuse. Due to low self esteem, the abuser finds fault in others or their partner in order to control them. They are very quick to blaming others without accepting responsibilities for their wrongdoings. They, due to low worth or bad judgement about themselves, force others to acknowledge personal values. They blame others for their actions as a means of making them feel threatened, bad and controlled.

As shown in domestic violence, emotional abuse has its roots in childhood traced back to bad parenting, parental neglect, magnification of power while the would-be perpetrators observe such abuse. Most of them while growing up, experience this and see it as the only means of gaining control or power, hence, they use it diligently on their partners or others. In this way, abuse is the only way to be in charge! Power or control is derived only from emotional abuse.

The effects of emotional abuse look quite subtle but they hurt deeper than pains and injuries sustained by domestic violence. It causes confusion while it plants fear, hopelessness or shame within the victim. Here, they start to doubt the relationship while they feed on fear. They are always frightened and can't even express themselves well to their partners.

They also find it difficult to concentrate at work or school. The words from the perpetrators keep ringing in their heads and might prompt them to doubt their abilities, potentials and even themselves. They start feeling moody and might even let out their pains in tears and the likes.

It leads to anxiety and chronic pain. Guilt is not an exception! You can imagine how someone who is always blamed for someone else's actions and theirs would feel!! They always feel guilty and sometimes worthless while they withdraw from social activities. They dwell on the pain so much that it sometimes lead to insomnia. They give in to anxiety and welcome depression! And I'm sure you know what's with depression among Nigerians these days!

You should note that emotional abuse is not just common in relationships but with children. In fact, it is most common with children. Verbal abuse is just the most common form of psychological violence with children here in Nigeria. Here, people are quick to insulting, punishing and subjecting them to threats. Just because they delivered of them? The rate at which they insult these children is alarming and disgusting! How could you just bless your children with curses every damn day? This should be corrected. Parents should know that their children are as sensitive as everyone is. And when they are verbally abused, it affects them. It affects their decision-making process; they could develop low-self esteem and see emotional abuse as the only way of being in control!

Everybody should be respected! I'd be talking about sexual abuse in my subsequent posts and we'd see how gender roles have made sexual harassment a norm in schools and the workplace which is due to lack of respect for the other sex or gender. Thank you for following!

Comments 5

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Jun 09
Jun 09

Nice article. But you know very well our African culture place only the man as the provided for the family, and its true that the wife can only support if she can.
As regards respect, its reciprocal. As you do your things, and say certain things then you either accumulate it or not. Thanks for the highlight..

Hello, Latoria,

Thanks again for this informative post. It’s easier to spot physical abuse than emotional abuse. If we are not careful, we won’t know we already are in an emotionally abusive relationship before it’s too late.

Jill Langhus
Jun 10
Jun 10

Hi Latoria,

I agree that everyone should be respected. It's sad if children are subjected to this on a regular basis, like you said, because they will develop anxiety and depression that will carry into their adult years.

Jun 10
Jun 10

Hello dear,
Well said!
I todelly agree with you that emotional abuse is directly related to gender inequality, where the patriarchy system takes over, we should burry all the stereotypes carried in sake of women and girls.
Yes everyone should be respected!
Thank you.

Beth Lacey
Jul 29
Jul 29

The hidden torture