When you recovered from the verbal and emotional abuse, the abuse might still go on. How can the abuser be restored? Have you tried to communicate your heartache to a loved one who has hurt you, yet there iss no indication that your pain was heard? Perhaps your many appeals for compassion, understanding, or even acknowledgement have been fruitless because the abuser is simply not empathetic. The demeanor of the abuser has possibly been formed by callous treatment throughout childhood, the hard exterior that develops does not allow sensitive emotions to come in or go out. And without empathy, a person is incapable of being sensitive to the emotional pain of someone else.
In order for change to occur and for the relationship to be healed, the sovereign, loving work of God in the heart of the abuser is necessary. But the one who has been abusive must be willing to meet certain criteria.
Honesty is required from the abuser.
- Are you aware that many abusers have no idea that they are abusive? Is it possible that you may have been abusive?
- Are you willing to consider that you may not be in touch with your own emotions because they have been buried for so long?
- Will you acknowledge that you tend to place all blame on another person and that you believe you are always right?
- Will you concede that you may be in denial about the seriousness of your behavior?
“A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies.” (Proverbs 12:17)
The Questionnaire to assess Abuse:
- Has a loved one ever said that you are emotionally insensitive or uncaring?
- Has a loved one ever said your behaviour is abusive or unreasonable?
- Has a loved one said you act “nicer” when you are with others than when you are alone with that person?
- Has a loved one ever said that you tend to overreact?
- Do you avoid responding to questions that you don’t like?
- Do you get angry when asked questions that you don’t like?
- Do you refuse to acknowledge your past negative behaviours?
- Do you have a short fuse that ignites anger?
- Do you think your personal interactions with others could be destructive?
- Have you previously had several failed, unresolved relationships?
If you answered yes to at least three of these, the chances are good that you are abusive to someone.
“Honest scales and balances are from the Lord; all the weights in the bag are of his making.” (Proverbs 16:11)