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Shame in Toxic Relationships

Updated: Oct 10, 2019

In abusive relationships the typical abuser moves in and out of bonding with the victim, periodically sharing warmth and empathy, then suddenly changing to overt and covert abuse behaviours. It is also a regular feature within codependent attachment the abused usually continues to seek attachment bonding hoping to regain the warmth and affections even if they know its not longer an option. Attachment develops in early life of the child whereby it is a warm and safe familial structure where the main carer respond positively tot he child needs there is the foundation for Secure Attachment; when a parent or both consistently fail to respond to the child needs or actively reject the child' s effort to elicit parental care, where parenting occurring more or less frequently, when a parent threaten to withdraw their love as mean of discipline, all these is conducive of generating an insecure attachment in the developing child.


The depth of desperation and anxiety the emotionally abuse person experiences it diminishes their sense of self worth, place them in a position of vulnerability, feeling of confusions, intrusive thought and flashbacks. The abused one feels insecure in their own self, decision making, they feel doubtful and ashamed of their choice of partner, only to turn back to the very source of their pain to obtain an affirmation, a feedback, a reassurance.


Shame is a strong feeling and associated with it usually are other emotions, in particular humiliation and guilt, these can be intense and painful and the experience they originated from can impact negatively on the individual.



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