While physical abuse is very commonly known to people, many are not aware of emotional abuse. To the extent that they themselves may be victims of emotional abuse but still might not realize that they are being abused.
As the name suggests, emotional abuse is only emotional in nature and not physical. It can start from something like constant criticism and reach a stage where the victim of such abuse might lose all sense of self worth and may feel unworthy. In emotional abuse, the abuser ridicules and belittles the victim at all times and tries to prove that the victim is not good at anything. Emotional abuse is much more difficult to heal than physical abuse because it does not leave any signs physically but it affects a person’s psychology.
An emotional affair on the other hand, may start off as a mere friendship but may reach a totally different level. It may be definitely more than a platonic relationship, but it may not involve sex. Some experts believe that an emotional affair is infidelity without sex. There are opinions that emotional affairs are harmless; but there are also views that these affairs may affect the intimacy of the marriage.
So, one may conclude that in both the above cases, though there is nothing physical that is involved, the impact is still the same or in some cases even more. An emotional affair has the same impact as a physical relationship outside marriage and an emotional abuse will have equal effect or more on the victim as that of physical abuse.
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