My long time girlfriend and I have a long running issue that we have learned to deal with. It's always the same: She asks a question or makes a statement to which I respond, she ignores my response and presses again, I respond again, she presses again and with each successive repeat I get more frustrated and respond more emphatically and loudly. What I have learned is that once she senses my frustration and closes up against my increased energy ... it doesn't matter how much louder I get or how more detailed my explanation ... she's not listening. So what I have learned to do is just disengage. We've even gotten to the point that we say "We have to stop right now before it gets ugly!" and walk away. And it works. Mostly.
But once in a while all that gets through all my filters. Last week she said something in anger that she knew would cut right the heart of who I am. If she had been in a rational mindset when she said it, it would have been pure evil, but since she was already upset and hurt and it was HER inner rage speaking, then it was beyond her control as well. But the bottom line is I became so angry I punched a wall until I made a hole in it.
I know that's wrong. I know there are better ways to manage one's anger -- when one has the luxury of control as I usually have and usually do.
My rhetorical question here (and YES! before you say it I'm looking for validation!) is this:
Why is punching a wall "emotional abuse that she should never have to put up with! Red flag! Red flag!
But deliberately pressing him to the point where he loses control isn't emotional abuse?