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Recovering From Emotional Abuse During a Divorce

Two rings and a word divorce
Married couples often experience many emotional highs and lows, particularly if one partner is emotionally abusive. Emotional abuse takes on many forms, including passive-aggressive insults. Anyone emotionally abused in this way has the right to pursue a divorce to find happiness outside of an abusive and debilitating situation.

Unfortunately, passive-aggressive emotional abuse is often hard to discuss with others and may seem difficult to prove. That said, divorce courts take all forms of emotional abuse very seriously. As a result, a pattern of passive-aggressive behavior, including name-calling and insults, is grounds for divorce. And a person's emotional recovery often begins the moment they start divorce proceedings.

Emotional Abuse Is More Than Enough Reason for Divorce

Emotional abuse doesn't have to come in the form of screaming matches or aggressive insults. In fact, passive-aggression may be more common than aggressive emotional abuse. For example, an abusive partner may try to manipulate their spouse by hinting that they are ugly. Passive-aggressive abuse works by subtly making a person feel bad without direct insults. 

Therefore, passive-aggressive abuse is often the hardest to discuss with friends and family members. Those outside of a marriage may think the abused partner is overreacting to what may seem ordinary comments. However, passive-aggressive abuse still makes an individual feel bad, and persistent passive-aggressive emotional abuse is grounds for divorce.

Divorce May Not Immediately End Emotional Abuse 

Abused individuals going through a divorce may hope that their emotional abuse will immediately end. Unfortunately, abusers often amp up their abusive language during divorce. Often, passive-aggressive emotional abuse during a divorce is merely an expression of anger or resentment and should be ignored. However, abuse victims may have a hard time experiencing that abuse. 

More insidiously, passive-aggressive emotional abuse is often a way to manipulate an abused partner. For example, an abuser may subtly and repeatedly insult their partner throughout the proceedings to make them feel less independent. Abusers of this type hope that they can convince their partner that they cannot succeed outside of the marriage. 

Restraining Orders May Be Necessary 

Anyone experiencing passive-aggressive emotional abuse during a divorce should file a restraining order against their partner. Though restraining orders may seem more common with physical violence, emotionallyabused individuals can submit a restraining order to keep their partner away from them. Typically, restraining orders keep an abuser 100 yards away from the abuse victim.

However, qualifying for a restraining order requires showing proof of emotional abuse from a partner. Evidence includes recorded incidents of name-calling and testimony from others involved in the case. Judges will grant restraining orders if they believe that there is reasonable proof that the abusive partner will continue abusive behavior. 

Beyond the previously mentioned restraining orders, divorcees can also talk to their divorce lawyer about using that abuse evidence against their spouse. For example, the lawyer can collect testimony from psychiatrists and anyone else who witnessed the abuse and use it against the abuser to get a better result in the divorce. 

Abuse Recovery Is Possible During Divorce 

Individuals who suffered from passive-aggressive abuse during a marriage should seek counseling during divorce. Therapy can help a person overcome the negative emotions caused by past passive-aggressive behavior from a partner. Just as importantly, counseling may provide an individual with increased strength to go through a challenging situation. 

For example, an abused partner may feel more confident after counseling and able to withstand the subtle and passive insults from their partner. In this way, the abused spouse can break the cycle of negative behavior in which they are trapped and emerge as a happier and healthier person. 

Help Is Available for Emotional Abuse

Individuals in an emotionally abusive marriage may have a hard time finding their way through a divorce. Unfortunately, self-esteem issues and feelings of loyalty to an abusive partner often make separation hard. So please contact Frederick J. Northrop Law Offices to get help through what can be a traumatic situation.