There are three stages of abuse and each one is carried out with perfect timing for the best impact.

IDEALISATION – Also known as LOVE BOMBING • Gifts • Days out • Weekends away • Meals • Your Soul Mate • Future faking • Constant text messages • Long phone calls • Constant attention. They are letting you know their expectations of you.

DEVALUATION – Put-downs • Comparing to others • Words don’t match actions • Eroding your personality • Destroying your confidence • Smashing any boundaries you have.

DISCARD – The discard can happen many times in this type of relationship • The withdrawal • They disappear • Silent • Secretive • Cognitive Dissonance • Mind Fuckery


You might be in the deep throws of confusion; either at the end or nearly at the end of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship. Or possibly this may have happened many years ago but you still haven’t quite got over it…

Why are these types of relationships so hard to heal from?

The damage caused puts you into a state of confusion, you have no idea the abuse is taking place; and like Chinese water torture, it happens very very slowly and it turns you insane! During the relationship you tell everyone how amazing they are; so, when it ends, they don’t understand what happened either.

You were targeted

There is something magical about you, something pure, your energy, your creativity, your personality, your laughter; that is why you were picked and groomed!

In the IDEALISATION STAGE, everything you said and did was watched and noted. You were swept off your feet with the Love Bombing. Then they move on to the DEVALUATION STAGE, they start by testing the water, just to check they have the programming at the correct setting and, if they got it right during the Idolisation, you will be more interested in protecting the relationship than you are in protecting yourself. They may make comments about your intelligence (something they admired you for in the beginning), or your abilities in certain areas and perhaps your dreams. If you question this, you are perhaps over-sensitive, or they were only joking! And these subtle put-downs, followed by some idealisation, change the chemical reaction in the brain. So you are now addicted and what happens is your intuition is overridden by the need for this drug.

The attention you received at the start of the relationship disappears and you start to accept any little crumb they throw your way.

They use other techniques such as triangulation. They might talk too much about their exes, or appear to talk about anyone who gives them attention, this is used to draw you closer and fight for their attention. They create triangles with anyone you will see as a threat and they love to turn people against each other. They keep people just far enough apart so they can’t compare anything, but close enough to ensure you know they are a threat. They can manufacture situations to make you jealous and question their fidelity.

Like you, they poison and brainwash everyone else in their lives; the stories they made up about the other people they are telling about you.

You may have experienced ‘gaslighting’ where you were convinced your reality wasn’t real, you didn’t understand a situation or your facts were wrong. You may have discovered lies and again been told you have it all wrong.

This is about Power and Control

The cycle now starts; round and round and round it goes.

They add in the discard just to make sure you are fully hooked. They may disappear or not call or do what they said they were going to do. They then re-appear with a gift or a compliment, giving you back the feeling you had at the beginning of the relationship and reaffirming that they do love you!

In the early stages when they were mirroring what was important to you. This was a mask, which they find hard to hold in place and you will have noticed the cracks appearing, but due to the chemical reactions in your brain turning off your intuition you justify their actions because they keep reaffirming their love for you by going back to the love-bombing stages again and again. And they constantly justify this because you are meant to be together as you are Soul Mates!

They turn everything into a competition. You end up fighting for their attention with everyone.

They have mirrored your insecurities bringing them to the surface for you to face; this is the gift they give you. You now have the opportunity to heal them inside yourself.

For you, the trauma of untangling yourself from this is much needed, you may find a huge abandonment wound that needs healing.

I have mentioned the DISCARD but I am going to write more about that stage as a separate article and what happens after the discard.

In SHORT, relationships, which are as bad if not worse than a longer relationship, they may skip some of the devaluing and they will very quickly discard you by ghosting you; leaving you waiting and wondering what happened. BUT your pain may feel much deeper, believe me, I have been there.

I will just ask you to step back out of the situation, out of the constant thought process, and ask yourself how old this person was. Were they really a child in an adult’s body? Is there a possibility they were stunted emotionally before the age of 7? How did they react in situations?

I believe there was an emotional disconnect at a young age. How can one human being just walk away from a seemingly loving relationship with no thought or consideration for another?

Writing your story out can be so cathartic; it can be for just you. Seeing the patterns you possibly didn’t see when you were in the relationship.


  • Elizabeth Goddard

    Author of the A-Z of Emotional Abuse and Finding Lily I help people break the invisible bonds that keep them trapped after a relationship

    Through my own healing journey, I know the damage emotional abuse leaves both in your internal life and your external, physical, and financial life because I’ve been there.

    This was a game and I didn’t have the rules. After an unhealthy relationship, I was left a shell of my former self and I’d lost everything; I was broke and I was broken… 

    I was stuck in a debilitating cycle of questioning and doubting myself- 

    “If only I had said… If only I hadn’t said… Maybe if I had done… Maybe if I hadn’t done… “ I thought it was all my fault.

    The very first part of healing was dealing with the invisible bonds the Trauma Bonding, which kept me trapped unable to move on.  I eventually realised it really wouldn’t have made any difference if I had said or done anything differently I would still be here, I might have been granted more time but I also might have been even more traumatised. 

    I believe the emotions we feel are trapped trauma and we experience over and over again until we remove it completely from our system. 

    And that we need to get to the root cause, and much like a verruca, if a tiny part of the root is left it will lay dormant until it is triggered again. 

    The problem with a lot of methods is they only scratch the surface of the problem and act more like a bandaid rather than a full solution…

    Every step I have taken over the last 20 years has brought me to this point to be able to spot the hallmarks of abuse and transform the grit into gold

    Each new level of understanding has expanded my toolbox.

    I am so passionate about the work I do with clients, seeing them gain the clarity and the inner healing is magical and to see their faces change physically after just one session inspires me. 

    And I love having a business that allows me to travel, for travel was something that saved me when I was going through my own healing journey. 

    When I’m not working on Revive Your Soul, you will probably find me in my garden tending to my vegetables, might find me walking along the canals, writing, or meeting friends for coffee. Or you might spot me at the airport…

    Elizabeth Goddard

     Author - Finding Lily & A-Z of Emotional Abuse and Emotional Abuse Specialist