Your partner may have completely moved on from their ex. But unfortunately, baggage from past relationships can have a way of staying with you for an undetermined amount of time. If your partner was emotionally abused by they ex, chances are, it will affect your relationship now.
“Our past experiences and the way we responded to them determine who we are in the present moment,” Human Behavior Expert and Relationship Expert, Patrick Wanis, Ph.D., tells Bustle. “Thus, emotional abuse in a former relationship results in trauma and will affect the way we interact and the way we express and receive love in a present relationship.”
According to Wanis, emotional abuse can take many forms such as criticism, condemnation, judgment, isolation, lying, and claims that the abuser is “perfect” while but the abused is flawed, worthless, and never good enough.
“It’s the mistreatment of someone with the intention to gain a benefit such as control or dominance,” he says. If that describes your partner’s ex, they may have used things like manipulation tactics to keep your partner hooked. As their current partner, it is important that you be supportive, and patient with any fears or difficulties your partner may be having now, as a result of this past trauma. It may also be helpful to encourage your partner to seek professional help.
Like Wanis says, experiencing emotional abuse in a past relationship may affect the way someone behaves in relationships after. So here are some signs that your partner was emotionally abused by their ex, according to experts.
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