How are Things, Really, Behind Closed Doors?

Roberta Gallagher relationship coach, marriage counselor

On the outside, your relationship appears fine. As a couple, the two of you visit the right places and always look like a perfect couple. Everything on the outside looks perfect.

But behind closed doors, your relationship is far from fine. It may be your relationship is just having a few bumpy parts, just like any relationship does, so you aren’t sure if you really need couples counseling.

Those bumpy parts can be heightened in unhealthy relationships. Emotional abuse can be very subtle. You won’t even be aware of it sometimes until it has progressed quite a bit.

It starts out as your partner wanting to know where you are every second – and you brush it off as he was protecting you and keeping you safe. After a while, you wonder if it is really concern or if it’s a measure of control and keeping tabs on you.

When the controlling behavior gets really bad, you may find yourself being alienated from family and friends.

But at what point do you begin to realize something is not right?

One couple’s marriage started off seeming like a fairy tale, but soon, Liz found herself feeling trapped. Her husband, Erik, didn’t want her going anywhere without him. He insisted on being with her where ever she went.

At first, he claimed he couldn’t bear being away from her. Then, he got to the point if she got a text message while they eating dinner, he demanded to see who it was from.

Anytime Liz was asked to go for a girls' night out, Erik either he told her couldn’t go, or he would lie and tell her he had made other plans for them that night.

Liz never told her friends how Erik was acting – so they eventually quit asking her to do anything. She never shared with her family either, how Erik wouldn’t let her do things she did before they married.

Even though Erik wanted to keep close tabs on Liz, he did what he wanted. If Erik wanted to go to Vegas with his friends for the weekend, he did. But Liz better answer her phone the minute he called.

Liz’s odometer was checked to see how far she went if she did go somewhere by herself. Her cell phone was checked constantly. And, her Facebook page was monitored to see who she chatted with online.

Liz knew this was not a healthy relationship but would never consider this abuse.

She thought Erik just didn’t know how to properly show her how he loved her.

Erik didn’t want her doing anything that gave her self-confidence or improved her self-worth. As long as he could keep her feeling poorly about herself, he had her where he wanted her.

No one would suspect anything was wrong when they saw them out. If anything, they looked like a loving, happy couple who couldn’t get enough of each other. But every word Liz said was guarded because Erik would have a fit behind closed doors if it wasn’t perfect.

He never hit her. But he would tell her she was worthless.

He would tell her she wouldn’t be able to live without him, and she would never find someone who cared about her the way he did. Liz went from being a happy, outgoing person to being quiet, emotional, and depressed.

But ..... he never hit her.

Liz never would have thought she was in an abusive relationship until she started searching for ways to improve her marriage and landed on signs of emotional abuse.

Then she realized, what she had been living was not normal and they needed help.

Even if Erik didn’t want to get help, she needed it.

You wouldn’t be reading this if you felt like everything was okay with your relationship. I can help.

Let’s get started today.

#trust #emotionalabuse #couples #couplescounseling

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