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Baltimore County Family Law Attorney Blog

Psychological Abuse: It Doesn’t Always End With the Divorce

Written by Amar Weisman » August 17, 2016 »

When individuals think of abuse, they typically think of the physical battering and beatings that someone faces at the hands of another. It is important to note that although statistics show that abuse is typically perpetrated by more men against women, women can also perpetrate various forms of abuse as well -- including psychological abuse.

What is Psychological Abuse?

Generally, psychological abuse occurs when the alleged abuser creates an atmosphere for the victim that is based on his or her terms and conditions (as opposed to what the victim wants or prefers) with only his or her happiness in mind. Simply stated, the abuser in such instances is exercising control over the individual being abused by manipulating or controlling his or her thoughts, feelings, desires, preferences, needs or appearance.

Emotional Captivity

An alleged abuser may use a number of tactics in an effort to hold the victim emotionally captive. On one hand, the abuser might constantly compliment and flatter the victim, making him or her feel a sense of indebtedness for all the attention. Simultaneously, the abuser could be making the victim feel as though he or she is the only individual who truly understands or appreciates the victim. If the victim tries to leave, the abuser could make him or her feel as though he or she is ungrateful for the attention that has been paid and ultimately, the victim is made to feel ashamed for hurting the abuser’s feelings or trying to abandon him or her.

Signs That You May Be Dealing With an Abuser

Individuals who believe that they are suffering from psychological abuse before, during and/or after the divorce process are encouraged to speak with their Towson domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can help victims determine their exact needs and preferences regarding how best to handle the situation.

There are some general signs that are typically associated with abusers, regardless of the type of abuse to which they may subject others. For instance, abusers tend to blame outside events, other individuals or even their victims for an attack. Many of them also deny the occurrence of the abuse or make light of the incident.

Some abusers might even show signs of remorse or seek forgiveness by making what appear to be loving gestures toward the victim.

Additional Information You Need to Know

In Maryland, cruelty of treatment and excessively vicious conduct is a ground for divorce. Such cruelty can include physical and/or mental abuse. What is important to note is that the spouse’s actions must demonstrate that he or she planned to seriously hamper the health or permanently destroy the happiness of the other spouse or his or her minor children.

To be clear, the cruel treatment must place the other individual’s safety or health in danger or causes that individual to think their health or safety is in danger such that it is mentally (or physically) impossible to remain married. Rudeness, marital neglect or the use of abusive language or profanity does not necessarily equate to excessively vicious or cruel conduct.

Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.