Signs of Emotional Abuse

Signs of Emotional Abuse

And How to Stop Being Victimized

It is easy to get wrapped up in the ups and downs of emotionally abusive relationships. Victims too often miss the signs of emotional abuse, even though they are always there. Most abusers have effectively learned how to bounce between attacking and retreating, keeping their victims off balance; undermining and lowering their self esteem

Because the abuser suffers from internal discomfort and conflicts they don’t know how to address, no amount of logic, submissiveness or kindness will be enough to compensate or satisfy their insecurities.

They are not seeking to understand or respect others because they do not fully understand or respect themselves. They hide from their own weaknesses by trying to make others weak. They can’t control their own emotions, so they look to control others. While they may have some positive qualities, they hold toxic and unrealistic expectations which cannot be meet. Those who try to meet these expectations will end up feeling like a failure because it is a game they cannot win.

For those who are abused, it is important to remember, the abuse received seldom has anything to do with them. The actions of the abuser are not their fault. One of the hardest things to realize is one has little to no influence on making deep or lasting changes in the abuser.

Even if the abusers wants to change, they seldom want to put any real effort towards changing. Victims of emotional abuse often think otherwise. They stick around hoping they can fix things and often end up blaming themselves for the state of the relationship.

Signs of Emotional Abuse

Abusers will tend to

  • Tell lies and half-truths to avoid having to explain their actions
  • Accuse and blame to divert attention away from themselves
  • Refuse to accept the perspective of others while irrationally defending their own positions
  • Withhold information in areas affecting the lives of those they are abusing - it give them the control to manipulate future events. 
  • Avoid acknowledging the feelings of others, yet will often bring up how their emotions are being effected
  • Slight or take digs in a non-aggressive or joking manner, allowing the abuser to say he was just kidding while still being abusive
  • Change the subject to divert attention from themselves
  • Make others feel worthless in an attempt to lower their self-esteem and bring them down to the level of the abuser.
  • Threaten or hint of physical, mental or sexual abuse
  • Deny anything is wrong (not being responsible and lying to self)
  • Show inappropriate emotional out bursts (a form of distracting attention, confusing the abused or shifting blame)
  • Try and control others to domineer and limit freedom or expression
  • Forget commitments and promises.
  • Deny success by placing unreasonable demands, unjustly singling out or constantly placing someone in the category of a loser.
  • Take advantage of vulnerabilities using shame, guilt or fear
  • The actions and promises are out of alignment. They say one thing and do another
  • Only be nice when all other options have been removed, when they feel they are trapped into a corner
  • Cut someone off so they are not allowed to speak. Suppressing self-expression.
  • Look to eliminate the choices of others, while gathering control for themselves
  • Ask inappropriate questions or make insinuating comments to evoke emotional responses
  • Humiliate others in public situations to show their superiority
  • Keep pushing buttons and activating places of sensitivity
  • Pretend to understand concerns and then disregarding them
  • Slander the name, reputation, associations or activities of those they can’t control

The Long Term Effects of Abuse and Stress Ruin Lives

The long term cumulative effects of abuse are often difficult to quantify. Many victims successfully suppress or try and forget unwanted and painful memories. For them the past becomes difficult to access or memory gaps exist. Others have feelings of detachment or isolation; their self-worth and self-esteem are lowered.

Unresolved feelings from past abuse can eventually contribute to emotional problems and disorders, including anxiety, panic attacks, stress, depression and OCD.

Stress has been credited for up to 75% of all hospital stays. Studies have shown those who have not come to terms with past abuse, especially abuse suffered in childhood, have a harder time dealing with stressful situations later in life. As life progresses, situations associated to past abuse become more difficult to handle.

Understanding emotional and mental abuse is one thing. Effectively releasing the pain and emotions.attached to abuse is something completely different.

Suffering is Not Mandatory

Many don’t know the signs of emotional abuses, so the blame themselves for the fail relationship. Others don’t know how to let go of painful memories and some don’t want to forget.

Replaying scenarios over and over will only have the mind reliving negative experiences again and again, only prolonging the suffering. Some carry these events for years, even their entire lives, because they didn’t know how to release these events.

Abusive actions never support the well being of anyone. They breed negative emotions, depleting the body’s energy, clouding clarity of thought, and hurt future relationships.

If you are in an abusive environment, the first step is to get out. That may be a scary thought and the options may seem limited. It is what the abuser wants you to believe, that you have no power. But you do and you must find it within yourself to take the first steps.

Healing From Abusive Relationships and Experiences

Work with a professional who can help you sort things out, raise your self esteem and assist you to release old negative emotions. To let go you must take action and to make the needed changes necessary to move on with your life. Abuse tends to impede how we process thoughts and emotions. It very often contributes to PTSD, anxiety and OCD.

Since abuse can touch a person at the core of their mental and emotional abilities, it can be a sensitive subject to approach. At Designed Thinking, our goal is to help clients release the discomfort of old painful memories as easily and effortlessly as possible.

If past events still trigger anger, frustration, fear, hurt, rejection, shame, guilt, or other negative emotions;  they have a hold on you. If you are constantly feeling these emotions, they have a hold on you. You can’t begin living life in a new way if any part of you holds on to the old ways. Every deserves the opportunity to allow themselves to change.

Before You Begin Recovery

Life after abuseFirst recognize the signs of emotional abuse. The next step is to get out of the abusive relationship. This is common sense. It’s hard to let go of traumatic memories, raise self confidence and self esteem and move forward with life again if someone is still holding you down. While it is not always easy to do, you have to decide it’s time to move on, to put your needs front and center.

Next identify the emotions you experience from the abuse. Is it guilt, shame, hurt, rejection, sadness, or anger. Take inventory and get in touch with the emotions your nervous system has been signalling you with.

Then get some help. It can be difficult to sort these things out on your own. Find someone who can help you process and work though the discomforts of your situation. Someone who will also help you obtain skills, so in the future you will not find yourself in the same situation again.

Nothing changes unless you give yourself a chance to change. Raise your awareness by recognizing the signs of emotional abuse. Decide it’s time to be different and support yourself, your mental and emotional needs in a meaningful and willful manner.

Remember, long term emotional abuse can create all sorts of uncertainty, self doubt and self esteem issues, so give yourself some time heal. For more information on specific negative emotional states, click on the links below or call. Designed Thinking at 866-718-9995.

Grief and Sadness

Guilt and Shame

Hurt and Rejection

Anger and Frustration

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319 Comments

  1. I’m currently in an emotionally abusive relationship. We have a 1 and 2 year old together. We’ve been together for 4 years and it has not always been this bad. I used to try to live up to his never-ending expectations. I’ve always been a people pleaser so it came naturally to me. I did the same with everyone. Recently I decided I’ve had enough. I’m a really good person, as I am, and don’t need other people’s validation. He used to become abusive when he would fight and I would follow him trying to get my point across. I stopped and for a long time that seemed to work. When he seemed like he was going to be mean, I would just go out for dinner or something and come back when we were both calmer. That doesn’t seem to work anymore. He starts up again when I get back, follows me, or sends me messages. He yells the cruelest things at me in front of our kids, and I’ve had enough!!!! I do not want our kids learning from his abusive behaviour! …
    Now I know everyone says I just need to leave, and in most cases I would have left ages ago, but my situation is a lot more complicated! Although I am taking necessary steps towards leaving, it is going to be a long process, and in the meantime I need to find ways of protecting myself and my kids from the impact of his abuse.
    My mom always said u teach people how to treat you, but I don’t know how to teach him that his behaviour is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated (while I make arrangements to leave). Any suggestions????

    • While there is validity to the idea “We teach others how to treat us”, because we set our own boundaries, it does not mean you can change everyone because everyone starts from their own set of problems and strengths.
      At this point of your relationship, what you need is legal help. The laws vary from state to state and you need to know what the law requires from you to protect yourself. What evidence do you need to secure so it does not become your word against his. Since you are already planning your exit, do it so you have enough data and proof to give yourself the safest passage out. Find a lawyer in your area who specializes in seperations. It will be worth the money to set this foundation.

      The man you are with does not know how to process things that are not going his way. He will keep getting nastier and you want to avoid him as much as possible, which again can be difficult. Relations are complicated and there is a period of untangling that isn’t as easy as just getting out, although that would be the ideal way.
      You are not going to teach someone things they are not ready to learn. Your relationship, how the two of you interact with each other has already be set. You would first have to unlearn your own way of being (people pleasing) and if you want to do that you need to do it when you are not in a disruptive environment. After you leave him and your life gets settled, you could find someone to work with to help you in this area if you feel it is problematic for you

  2. When I first met my ex-husband 15years ago I was working in Africa as a volunteer and as fun loving, confident, socially outgoing and confident in where I wanted to go in life. On meeting my ex husband he was older, a patriarchal figure brought up very conservatively and had 1 failed marriage behind him. He was charming, over attentive and although I was very flattered I had a niggly feeling that I chose to ignore. I was told not to be over friendly with other met because it would upset their wives, I was brought shopping to get me to wear something decent and when I became pregnant with my first child I was asked ‘is it mine’? Things became worse when I moved to the same country as him. He disliked my friends, had to to go everywhere with him, had to go to bed at the same time and told when breakfast and lunch should be on the table. He commented once that I ‘looked like a bag of shit tied up in the middle’ when we went out to lunch one time. I was threatened with being sent back to my parents once (I was 32 years old at the time). He would take my drink from me at functions to check what I was drinking. He would belittle me in public, deny stories he had told me and would withold information regularly to make me feel excluded.In the end I left after 7 years and made the tough decision to leave my children also as I did not have the financial means to cope on my own as I had been left with nothing as I had ended up socially and financially isolated. Over the next 7 years he has continued to try and control and abuse me through use of the children and I am not able to entrust my emotions to him. The worst part is the shame and humiliation I feel as I am an educated and well respected individual in my community now, but am angry that I did not the ability to stop this earlier. Now after 15 years (children are 14 and 11 and currently with their Dad) I no longer wish to be co-dependent on this emotionally abusive relationship. My children will be 18 soon and will have the choice and freedom to choose their path in life. Reading about emotional abusers and victims of abuse has helped me to break down and process what I have allowed to happedn to me. I now just need to learn how to forgive myself. Thanks for the opportunity for highlighting this here. I very good book I read was ‘Why Charming men make for Dangerous Lovers.’

  3. Hi- I’ve been in a relationship for the past 4 years, that I have recently realized is textbook “emotionally abusive”. When we met it was “love at first sight”. After 6 months of dating and he said “I love you first” I found out he was still sleeping with an ex GF in the area. I was furious, I broke up with him on the spot, bc I was still the “old me”, he cried and begged and promisedit would never happen again. I believed him, that opened the door to 4 years of him lying about sleeping around. He would be the greatest boyfriend/best friend, then out if nowhere break up with me, and totally ingot me for days or weeks until I was so distraught and desperate I literally begged for him to take me back… These little stunts I know know were to give him time with his other women. We have been doing this cycle for 4 years, I’m a good person, I would never hurt someone on purpose, I always try to be kind…. And he constantly says how awful I am, how much I hurt him and I’m petty and mean. He frequently compares me to the ex he still sees and says I need to understand their still friends, and if I was as kind as her I wouldn’t be so mean and jealous. So I tried to trust him and be understanding but even that wasn’t enough. I’m not allowed to talk to men, but he has women calling him constantly and I’m not allowed to be upset or he breaks up with me and says I’m a terrible person and controlling .
    This cycle of great times and then sent treatment and constantly worrying that he was going to other women led me to start cutting myself bc I couldn’t stand the pain. Last week he picked a fight with me bc his ex called and he lied to her and said he wasn’t with me. ….. So I said enough. I can not do this anymore, I will end up killing myself. I’m trying so hard to find the strength to move on. I used to be such a strong independent woman, I don’t even know how I got here. The ridiculous thing is, I still wish he’d call. I wish he missed me. …. But I know it’s not real when he says all the good things. It’s a game to him. To hurt me just to see if he can. So I’m praying everyday, for the strength to be mad instead of sad. But it’s not easy. I do miss the good him, the times when we were us in love. This forum has been helpful to know I’m not the only one who was pulled in. And is desperately trying to get out…..

    • First there is no good him or bad him. People come as an entire package. If you just see parts of a person, you are not seeing the whole person and this guy as issues, lots of them.
      The problem with getting into a relationship with this kind of loser, is they can’t connect with the misery they create for others and all they feel is their own pain, most of which they create. However they have to have someone to blame and you get to be that lucky person.
      There is no magic thing I can tell your emotions so they will no longer care about this Bozo. You are emotionally tangled up in his mess and it will take some time to untangle and for you to land on your feet again. You are not fully committed to giving this guy up yet and that will be the first step. I know it is not easy, but you have to. This isn’t love, it is an addiction on your part, because there is very little love coming from him and the little he puts out is just enough to have you wanting more.

    • Hi Kristen,

      I too have spent 3.5 years with an emotional abuser. The things he has called me and the lies he has told, the manipulation, the blaming and the accusations. It did my head in. I could not understand how someone could be like this. I used to blame myself for how he was and make up excuses for his behaviour. He would punish me by depriving me of affection. If i was sad he would give me the silent treatment. I made a decision to end it then he started begging for me back. It has emotionally destroyed me. I feel like ill never trust again. I now have to give myself time to heal. Just rise above it. They love it when we are weak. Be strong and move on. Become a better you. You can do it!!

  4. Ive been dating my bf fot two years and im now pregnant with his kid. This pregnancy has been very hard bc of our relationship. He breaks up with me over everything. And blames me for everything
    If i give him the wrong answer he leaves me to teach me a lesson. If i raise my voice he leaves me to teach me a lesson. If i have attitide he leaves me to teach me a lesson. I get upset bc he can say rude things yo me to set me off and when i react he explodes and calls me every name in the book. So i cry which makes him believe im going to miscarry which makes him more mad which then makes him threaten to hit me. We fight alot about my dog. Hes 11 years old and doesnt do a thing just sits there in his bed and sleeps. My bf likes to annoy him and pick on hm and i get upaet bc hes old. Bc i get upset he leaves me. Since he cant seem to leave the dog at peace he continues to upset me which leads him to leave me bc i get upset. He now told me i need to get rid of the dog shich ive had for 11 years. I got upset so he kicked me out bc i raised mh voicr
    its a stupid dog according to him. So since hr kicked me out i had little places to go during thr moment so i went to see an old friend tbat he hated. It was my old best friend of 15 yeats and stopped talking to her bc my bf has reasons not to like her. Shes a bit wild and can cause relationship issues. He later on came to apologiE abouy the dog thing and i told him i went to see my old friend for 20 min. Bc i had nowhere to go. He ended it with me again and disappeared all night with friends to get me.r back. Hes drjnking and partyjng. Im 6 months pregnant and cant seem to be strong enough to leave…i do get very emotional when he leaves or yells at me. i try not to but hesdone it 200000.times. he left me one time in tenneshee bc he thought i stared at a guy. He got me a plane ticket but left me by myself. Hes broken up with me over basically everything to teach me lessons i guess but its killing me…

    • Amanda
      You want something that isn’t ever going to happen, that he is going to change, that he is going to give a crap about you, that he is mature enough to be a man and take care of you, that he can handle the stresses of being in a relationship or being a father, that he knows how to process his fears and anger, that he knows how to communicate what is really going on with him, etc.
      How many times does he have to send you the message, another 2000 times? Another 10,000 times? You are in a tough place and you are going to have to buckle down and make some hard decisions and those decisions are going to have to be about you and the child underway and none of your decisions should include him other than how are you going to end this as quick as possible.
      I know this is harsh, but the stress he is putting on you and your child will end up hurting you both.
      See what type of help you can get in your local area. Talk to a counselor, talk to friends a family, but whatever you do, don’t keep doing the same things you have been, which is sticking around with someone who can’t be different at this time of his life

  5. This guy I’ve known him for two years, we used to be together but I found out he was playing around with me so I left him and found another guy, but because I loved him I eventually ended up with him again. From his perspective I left him for another guy. I don’t know if I’m happy in our relationship anymore, I still love him and there’s still times when I’m happy, but there’s so many times when he calls me bad names like fat, ugly, whore, stupid.. I guess that’s just his way of joking around with me. He also likes when I’m hurt because of him and he says its because it shows I still have feelings for him since I apparently don’t show enough love in the relationship..

    He also never lets me go out clubbing, we always use break up as a first option and not as a last resort, he even jokes around about it. I told him stuff about my family problems before and he uses it against me and jokes around about it even if I said it hurts me.. He also thinks I shouldn’t wear too tight stuff because it attracts guys’ attention and made me block all the guys I talk to even if they don’t like me in that way and I explained that to him. Writing all of this makes him sound like a bad person but I do understand that I’m quite closed-off with my emotions and he can be really sweet sometimes. I guess there just becomes a point where you’re so exhausted with everything and just eventually lose the ability to care anymore..

    • Natasha
      How would you know what true love is? Most people think when they have and addictive attachment to a person that this is real love. It is not. Real love is not about being starry eyed for someone or not being unable to stop thinking about the person, it is about acceptance, respect, communication and emotions.
      Everyone has good qualities, so that your guy has them does not make him special. Having a sweet side does not negate his other sides. A loving relationship requires the ability to see the whole person and this you are not doing. He treats you like crap and if you are willing to put up with this so you can get a little taste of his sweetness, then you will feel like crap because you are not respecting yourself or accepting you own ability to be a person of value.
      Letting go can hurt – staying will be painful

  6. i know how you feel. been cheated too by my husband. also when i was pregnant with our first. he took care of the other girl (also pregnant) while he sent me to the US so his parents can take care of me. Now they are all saying that I owe his parents big time for taking care of me and shouldering all the expenses while I was under their care and I’m pregnant. They did that because my husband cannot support me. He took his own sweet time being with the other woman and just showed up when I delivered the baby. What he did cannot be compensated by what his parents did to me. Now all our arguments boil down to what his parents have done for me. All the time. And he kept telling me that it’s part of the past already and that I’ve forgiven him already. Easy for him to say but once you’ve been hurt and cheated on, trust never comes back and all you feel is anger deep inside

  7. I have been married for many years. My question is this: Does “snooping” constitute abuse? When I’m on the computer, my husband intentionally finds a reason to come over and look at what I’m doing. If I have mail or a file of papers on the table, he reads them. I feel this is unwarranted. We have been married for 30 years, and there has never been any infidelity or “hiding” of anything on my part. I feel like he’s invading my privacy. He says that if I don’t have anything to hide, I shouldn’t care. He should be able to read anything or see what I’m doing at any time; why would I care, unless I were hiding something? I would like to hear an outsider’s opinion. Thank you!

    • Snooping in and of itself is not abuse., But the real question here is where do you draw the line as to where your personal privacy is drawn and where the integrity of the relationship begins.
      There are no set boundaries on this subject, but here is one way of looking at it. Your own personal decisions for you, what you do for you and what you personally feel and think about things is your domain. What you want to share of this domain is your place to decide, no one elses.
      When what you do can potentially effect another person, then the issue starts becoming blurry. This is not curiousity on your husbands end, it is a disfunction of trust and trust does not need to disappear because of infidelity.
      What I can’t tell you is how effectively the two of you are communicating with each other to breed trust and if this constituts your husbands own issues of interpreting things. The reasoning of not having something to hide is a weak arguement. It is like writing a personal diary and having someone read it. It is none of their business because we all need places we can do things for ourselves without having to justify them, as long as these areas are truly our own personal domain.
      Again this is a touchy area for many because someone many people don’t trust themselves, they can’t feel satisfied not knowing things that are really none of their business.
      Hope this helps

  8. Hi,

    I am 21 years old and I have been emotionally abused by my father for my entire life. I had this realization just a week ago and I’m so confused as to where to go from here. I feel as though my entire life has been a lie. I feel as though I am living in a movie and this is not actually my life. I feel used and manipulated. I keep recalling memories and all I can think of now is how I was actually being abused but never realized it. I feel sick thinking of how almost every emotional or psychological issue I have experienced – low self-esteem, low self-worth, anxiety, depression, inability to trust others, helplessness – has to do with the abuse.

    For my entire life my father has been manipulating and abusing my finances. When I was born my grandfather gave my parents money to pay for my university education. My father was supposed to put this money into an RESP so it could gain interest, however, he ended up spending the whole amount. He has lied, cheated, and stolen from me.. his only daughter. He has made me feel as though it is my fault and that he is doing me some great favour by (trying, and failing) to pay it back. He has now manipulated my finances so that I cannot even get a student loan to help me through school. Now he is in trouble with the government because he has not paid his taxes, so he literally told me that I cannot get a student loan because this would cause the government to look into his tax history and he would get in trouble. He has made it seem that it is my responsibility to protect him and that he has done nothing wrong.

    My father has abused me by poking fun at me and criticizing me, only to say that he was ‘just joking around’. I always get so sensitive when he ‘jokes’ around me, and now I understand why. He is actually abusing me and I never knew it.

    My father also ‘forgets’ when he has promised me something or when we come to an agreement about something (like money). I called him out on something a few weeks ago and he told me I was the one who made the mistake, even though I have in writing what we agreed on. The terrible part is that I believed him and felt terrible because I was the one who messed up. I guess that’s one of the defining factors of abuse – and it makes me sick knowing that he has made me second guess myself and every choice I have made.

    It is difficult to summarize all of the ways he has emotionally or psychologically abused me in a little box. I don’t even know all the ways I have been affected by it and I am terrified to find out. I have made the decision to cut myself off financially from him and I think that is a big first step – however I am terrified to talk to him about it. I’m afraid he will withhold the rest of the money in my RESP so that I can’t afford to pay for school. I’m even more terrified that he will turn it around and blame me for everything – causing myself to become confused and question whether I am doing the right thing or not.

    Abuse is a crazy thing. I can’t believe this is happening. I can’t believe this is my life. How am I going to get through this?

    • Danielle
      The effects of abuse can be overwhelming, especially when you snap out of the trance you were in and begin to realize what has happened. But awareness is the first step towards change and now you are seeing things more for what they have been.
      You can’t expect your dad to be any different than he is, because this is what he knows. He is this way not because it is how he wants to be, he just has no clue of how to be better. That does not excuse his actions in anyway and he is still responsible for how he is.
      Since I don’t know all of what has happened, you may want to check with a lawyer to see if there are any steps you can take to secure the money owed you.
      As for the rest, it may take time to sort through all this. Working with someone who can help you sort all this and help you rebuild your self confidence and self worth would be helpful. Getting through is will be helped by giving yourself permission to giving time to process some of these new realizations. Put as much distance between you and him so you can get as much space for now to process all this
      Rome was not built in a day, so give yourself some time

  9. I wasn’t married to my abuser or anything. In fact, we only dated for 2 years. But they were the worst years of my life. My ex boyfriend constantly beittled me. He called me ugly, fat, selfish, stupid, worthless, and physcotic almost everyday. He would tell me that I should kill myself because when he left me, no one would ever love me the way he did or would even want to love me. He would yell at me in front of our friends and would laugh when I would cry about it later. He didn’t care about me at all, and I was so confused because I loved him with all of my heart, and he chose to do this to me. I was young and didn’t realize what he was doing. He always blamed me for when he would yell at me and would threaten to hurt me if I told anyone what was happening. So I kept my mouth shut. I would do everything he wanted, and it was never enough. And when I would try and break up with him, he would beg and plead for me to take him back, so I did. I don’t know why he hurt me. I just need closure because I am currently suffering from anxiety attacks and nightmares. If anyone could reply, I would be most grateful. Thank you.

    • You will never get closure from him. He is insecure, immature controlling and doesn’t like himself. The only person you will get closure from is yourself. Your emotions got the best of you. You may feel you loved him, but you can’t trust him, you can’t feel safe around him and you can’t feel good about yourself when he is around. So you were emotional attached to him at one level when the rest of you is repulsing him and it should if you have any iota of self respect and self worth.
      Now you may need to seek outside help so you can sort all this out. Part of you is holding on to someone you can’t congruently hold on to. The rest of you wants let go, because it needs you to stand up for yourself. Until you do this, it can feel confusing, overwhelming and anxious, because you aren’t supporting yourself.
      Seek some assistance so you can get your life back on track and be the person you are entitled to be

  10. Hello, I am a male 39 years of age, I am married to a beautiful woman 35 years of age. We have been married for 14 years, together 17 years. We have a 15 year old daughter and a 12 year old son. For the whole period of 17 years I was an emotional abuser. I controlled, manipulated, and did not trust my wife. I honestly did not know that there was such a thing as emotional abuse. I only knew physical abuse.

    Six months ago my wife said she was 100 percent ready for me to move out. I was floored, I did not know what to do. The only thing I could think of was to move out. So I rented an apartment. Yes I moved out but my wife and I were always around each other, I would come to the house she would come to my apartment. It lasted six days. She came over one night to watch a movie with the kids. We threw the mattress on the living room floor and watched the movie. She even wanted me to lay next to her. She asked if I would take a bible foundational class with her. (At this time she was a woman of God, I only went occasionaly ). I told her I would. So the next day I went to the house and she asked me back. I was ecstatic. That night we had amazing sex (the kind when shes into it also). A few weeks later we took the class together (It was time consuming, 4 days a week 3 hours a day). We were both glad the class was over. A few months go by and neither one of us had been to fellowship.

    Five weeks ago I blew up on her. She had started a new job that has a lot of guys working there and I saw one of her fellow employees at my job. I asked him if he knew her, he said yes shes cool. I also thought he said a guy from her previous job was also working there. I had all kinds of thoughts racing through my head. (Did my wife get him the job?, Is she having an affair with this guy?) My mind went in every direction. So, I asked her to call me on her break. The time in before she called me I was trying to calm myself down. I told myself talk to her on the phone, don’t wait until you get home, so the kids don’t hear it. Well when she called I called her all kinds of names and didn’t believe a word she said. She was so distraught that she had to leave work and went to talk with her aunt. When she got home she said she was done. I thought that she wasn’t serious. I told her I was sorry, but she would have none of it.

    Five weeks have gone by, she lives in same house (for financial reasons) but is in spare bedroom upstairs. I have realized what a jerk and other things I have been. I go to fellowship every Wednesday and every other Sunday. She does not go at all. I have read a few self help books and the one I particularly enjoy is a Man of God. This book is very helpful in teaching on how to treat a wife. I never knew how. Was never shown the way. I have done a 180 degree turnaround. She has even noticed my change. She still feels the same way, she says “its not there for me”. Every time I hear this its just breaks my heart. Ive read numerous articles saying that recovering from emotional abuse takes time. I am trying to work on my patience (something Ive never had).

    I pray a lot now, more than I have ever done in my life. I know Ive should have done what Im doing now with my last chance but I never knew. I just want an honest chance with my wife knowing what I know now.

    Men, please read the book a Man of God. Don’t lose your wife because of your controlling ways. Let her live her life!

  11. This site may only be for women, but just wanted to send this in case it may be found of interest. My situation is that my wife has been verbally and emotionally abusive with progressing intensity over many years (frog in warming water situation), with a couple light physical episodes. Originally from the US, I moved with her to her country of France (after living in the US together for 5 years). This is when the abuse really picked up steam. Early on, her dad was not happy about the marriage, as he was afraid I would take her to the US and he would never see her again. Before the marriage, I told him that we would spend 5 years in the US and that I would try my absolute best to then spend a minimum of 5 years in France, if at all possible. He was very happy about this and I sought to fulfill my word.

    My family background is warm and nurturing with lots of positive encouragement, emotional support and a general good will towards each other, understanding no one is perfect. Her family looks great from the outside, but this is understandable as they are perfectionists. Inside, there is absolutely no emotional expression, sharing of feelings (other than stress or anger), or appreciation for each other’s daily contributions. All good that occurs is expected. There can be major explosions, which include much yelling, accusing and character attacks followed by tears. Then all go to bed and the next morning, everything is ‘fine’ again. In my family, disagreements of whatever nature are discussed respectfully of each other until the relationship is healed.

    She criticizes my manhood in how I deal with life (with no empathy for my experience of moving to France), criticized my manhood romantically (initiating), is now criticizing my fathering, judges my feelings for my child, criticized my role as provider, taken away my self-confidence, my sense of humor, my interests and based on the other things she says—basically seems to see me as a horrible monster of a human being. I never quite measure up. Always feels like just ‘almost’. She has said she loves me, but she has attacked, criticized and ridiculed every part of my being. I have told her several times that I have no idea what she actually ‘loves’ about me. I feel like I have turned into a zombie or robot. I was once very social, funny, outgoing, friendly, empathetic and all those things. How I just feel numb and unlovable.

    I have researched the subjects of verbal and emotional abuse extensively (with your website being a particular help), as well as, how men need to be treated in order to continue feeling like a man in a relationship. I am pretty sure I have found and taken every online verbal/emotional abuse questionnaire there is, and my experience scores 90-100% in every one. Regarding how not to treat a man, my wife has done them all…and with absolutely no restraint. In the descriptions of what men do need in a relationship—all are absent.

    When we moved, I did not speak French and had left all my friends, church friends and support, family, clubs and everything else I knew, so she could be near her family. I never felt more alone in my life. I was totally isolated. Whenever I shared my feelings with my wife, regarding the loneliness given the changes resulting from the move to France (thinking this may be the ONE thing that would garner some shred of appreciation…wrong) and loss in missing all of these things, she would respond with either attacks, defensiveness, or tell me to ‘be a man and deal with it’ and if I can’t, ‘to just leave’, or some other negative reaction. I recently learned (in her words) that she reacted this way because she felt responsible for my feelings, so responded in defensiveness and attacks on who I am and how I handle life. Acceptable or justifiable rational? I don’t know anymore.

    Whenever I share ANY feeling deemed less than ‘contentment’, the reply was blame or some sort of attack on my character, psychological well-being, mental disposition and/or the feeling was attributed to the logical result of one or more of my countless poor decisions or failures. She has never been my partner or friend in any supportive way and when anything negative occurs, the blame and finger points immediately to me. NEVER do I remember receiving encouragement, understanding or anything resembling support. She says she did, but why don’t I remember a single time or one encouraging word? She says it’s because I am a negative and depressed person who is deeply troubled and needs professional help. I think I just need a loving, supportive and uplifting partner.

    Before I met my wife, I knew I was (or at least considered myself) a bit different, but saw as a good thing (as Portlanders say, ‘Keep it Weird’) and was generally a happy person. I used to believe I could do anything, but now barely have the confidence to get out of bed. I once considered myself an intelligent, creative and fun person, but now question absolutely every move and decision I make. I now wonder if I am a creep, weirdo, degenerate, overly-sensitive emotional wreck needing serious professional psychological help. I no longer see the things unique about myself as good, but as things needing repair.

    I think I have tasted Hell. It is the feeling that you could not be any lonelier than you are right now, but then with every moment that follows, you ARE more lonely…and this just goes on without limit. I am more lonely (and anxious) with her than when I am alone. My drinking went from occasional/social to almost full-time, yet remaining ‘functional’. Not hard alcohol, but lots of beer. I was basically a ‘happy’ drunk, never abusive or mean, but slowly checking out of the relationship.

    The more fear I felt in going home the more often I would stay out, which meant drinking at bars, as I found nowhere else to hide and quite obviously, the meaner she became. Also, it was a desperate (and unsuccessful) attempt to find someone who would help or even care about what I was going through. Bars in France are not the best places to find a supportive friend. On the dark side of all this, the abused individual often does not see the problem as they believe the abuser’s character evaluation. I considered myself deserving of the treatment and fully bought into what she said about me. So, I basically figured, ‘What’s the use in trying?’, ‘I’m garbage, anyway, so I’ll just drink myself to death’.

    After many years of this vicious cycle, I met a Christian woman who had just finalized her divorce from a physically and emotionally abusive man. Finally, someone was willing to listen without judging or accusing and what’s more…she REALLY UNDERSTOOD. She assured me that ‘yes, the drinking is not good, but the drinking was a sign of a hurting, beaten and lonely heart, rather than simply being a bad, horrible, disgusting, worthless person, rotten to the core’.
    She assured me that I did not deserve the abuse and that God loved and valued me MORE than I could imagine. For the first time in 14 years, someone reminded me of my value which had slipped away completely after so many years of put-downs, insults and generally being made to feel like a complete failure and constant disappointment. I have significantly reduced my alcohol intake. Now I see very clearly I was using it to suppress my feelings and avoid dealing with the real issue.

    My wife is a quality person, but grew up in a perfectionist family where love is completely conditional and there is also mental illness. Her mother regularly insults, degrades, criticizes and disrespects her father. We have gone to several counselors and my wife admits she ‘did not handle her anger properly’, but it is still very clear that she does not know or accept the level of damage she has done or even recognize the behavior as real abuse. She says I am simply over-sensitive and using the ‘hurt card’ to excuse my behavior. Is this true? I don’t know anymore.

    She has stopped calling me names and directly insulting me (mostly), but still, just the way she talks to me, reacts, looks at me, as well at the things she says if I do something incorrectly (using water from the Brita filter instead of bottled water for the baby formula, for example) tells me quite clearly what she thinks of me. Anything not done to her standard is determined to be caused by my ‘inherent character flaws and deeply rooted ill-will’. But, when I express how these things make me feel, she goes back to saying I am too sensitive, over reacting and reading too much into things. And then I start to question my whole reality all over again. Is she right?

    I could go on for pages, but after about 8 years of this (that I can recall) SOOO much damage has been done and for SO long, that I do not believe I can ever trust her with my heart again. One counselor, as well as myself, told her than I need a LOT of positive and encouraging words for healing–none of which I have received. Her view (as stated by herself) is that I just need to get over it and/or seek professional help. She is entirely unwilling to work through my healing process with me, as a partner or friend, which is what I think is necessary in this situation. Her words broke me down, so I think only her words can restore trust. Are my expectations too high?

    Men’s greatest need is to be respected and made to feel like a hero to the one they love. Haa hah haaa. After studying in depth what men need to feel safe, secure and valued in a relationship, I now see that she broke every single one many times a day and without any impunity. Like shooting ducks in a barrel. I was made to feel like the lowest form of life to the point of suicidal attempts and general recklessness, hoping a fatal accident would take me away from it all–as I am strongly against divorce.

    I love my wife, but can not even begin to imagine a romantic, husband/wife relationship. For so many years I felt totally emasculated and told I am not a real man. She called me, weak, pathetic, pussy, selfish, a-hole, too sensitive, fragile, lazy, a deeply troubled man and whatever else. Besides the name-calling, there was just a general demeanor, tone in her voice and look on her face with how she talks to me that communicates disappointment, disgust and complete lack of respect for me. I do not remember ever feeling completely and/or unconditionally loved and accepted for just being me.

    She now says that if not for the drinking, none of that would have happened. But, if someone you love is killing themselves with any substance, wouldn’t showing unconditional love, support, encouragement and loving communication be the obvious preference to insults and telling them they are worthless (which they already feel)…especially if you claim to love them? Wouldn’t a loving partner come along side and simply try to share in your hurt and pain and ask what is wrong or if there is anything they can do?

    I understand she is not a professional counselor, but wouldn’t ‘her love’ for me alone be naturally SOME kind of positive guidance in how to treat me?? Can I believe that if not for the drinking (which was a way to suppress the feelings and avoid facing the abuse) she would not have treated me this way? I spoke with a therapist recently who assured me that regardless of the drinking issue, the behavior would have still manifested itself, but that the drinking may have exacerbated it to a higher intensity or frequency. I have been assured that the abuse was not justified.

    There is no discernible evidence of empathy in her family and mine is FULL of empathy for each other and for strangers. I finally believe that God DOES want me to be in a happy, uplifting, supportive relationship with someone who respects and shows they value me. I can’t even begin to think that this person is my ‘wife’. Furthermore, I believe she broke the marriage vows early on. I have never felt cherished or honored in any way. I do not remember ever receiving any expression of empathy from her. I do not remember ever feeling like she has shared in my joys or my sorrows.

    Since our marriage began, I have become a far unhappier and feel increasingly worse about myself as a person. This also deeply influenced/changed how I felt God saw me. As I respect my wife’s intelligence, I believed what she said must be true, so how could God see me any differently.

    Now that I am beginning to deal with the real issues, I see myself naturally wanting and changing to become a better person and to basically stop drinking and to really grow into the true me. The me that basically vanished is coming back to life.

    According to Proverbs 14:1, “Every wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.” Daily you are shaping the marriage, either by building it up or tearing it down. Recognize your powerful influence.

    Although I am building self-confidence back, I still often experience feelings that it is ultimately all my fault, that I am a deeply disturbed person and the things she said are true. I also experience PTS (post traumatic syndrome). I sometimes wonder if maybe I am just so clever that I have my parents, therapists, counselors and even myself tricked into believing my experience. Maybe it really is all in my head.

    A wife holds in her hand the power to determine whether her husband feels capable, or not. If you choose to encourage your husband, especially in the midst of failure, you’re drawing out the hero. Criticism, on the other hand, will squelch heroic qualities. Your husband needs your approval. Demonstrate it every day.

    • Aaron
      Abuse is not confined to women or men. You are in a crappy situation, but let me see if I can help get some different perspectives, because yours is keeping you stuck.
      You want to be understood, to be nurtured and supported and guess what, you found a partner that does not have a lot of capability in this area. It is not that she is genetically dysfunctional, she was raised in a non supportive family. You need to accept this, completely and fully. Once you accept this, you can make the decision as to whether or not you can sustain being in a relationship like this (you cannot).
      What you wife does is she makes character attacks on you. You are loser, not a man, a pussy, a jerk off, etc, etc. These are her fabricated opinions to help justify her dysfunctional thought and emotional processes. As long as she attacks your character, you should feel bad.
      You have two choices here. One, get her to realize she can comment on your actions (minus the character attacks), or you need to leave this relationship because she is incapable of relating to people who are not the way she wants. Unfortunately, I have the feeling your religious beliefs don’t allow you to seperate, so you are stuck unless she submits to your wishes.
      By the way, she does not hold the power to do anything over you unless you let her, and it seems you are quite willing to let her do this.You are a person. You make choices. When someone tells you something, you have the choice to refuse or accept. That is your God given right for anything. I suspect in your family, you were supposed to believe everything people told you and that is horse pucky.
      So, here is what you need to do. Tell your wife you are open to her ideas as long as they are focused on your behaviors and only your behaviors and how it effects her, not how you are. This means she can say, “i don’t like when you use this type of water, it upsets me”. That is a useful communication. But if she says, “you are such a douchbag for using that water, what are you stupid?”, that is not acceptable. Her opinion of your character has nothing to do with your actions.
      If she can’t change, if she continues to put down you as a person, that is not part of the marriage agreement, of your marriage vows and if you have to sacrifice your own mental health to stay in this marriage, then there is something wrong with your belief system.
      You will also change how you speak with her. She does not need your long drawn out story. Just tell you don’t like being treated in whatever manner she is and that it is not acceptable for you. Forget all the trying to get her to understand you, she will not. It is not who she is. You may as well speak Greek to her. The two of you need to learn how to communicate or end this misery

      • I really appreciate your reply. It is true that I come from a very conservative family in regards to values and marriage. However, even my parents have said they will support my decision if it is to move on…which means the world to me. There is also a lot of biblical support for this choice (just on abuse alone). The biggest one for me is when it says, ‘if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.’ I read a very good article that explained that ‘leaving’ in this verse is not simply physical, but emotional as well. If a spouse is verbally abusive and generally making the other feel like a constant failure, then that partner has ‘left’ the relationship. Also, we believe that God intends us to live in a supportive, encouraging, safe and reasonably peaceful home.

        I love my wife very much, but she feels like a bossy mom or very mean sibling. The idea of anything romantic happening makes my skin crawl, even though she is quite attractive. I was far too young when I met her and she seemed to check the boxes at the time. Over time, I came to terms with settling for not having laughter, conversation or any verbal support, but as the abuse really picked up, something snapped. It may sound crazy, but I really feel sorry for her that she pushed it so far, as we have so much history together. It seems like a real shame to say that ‘it is over’, but life is short and there must be SOMEONE out there who will see my good qualities (and vocalize this) as out-wieghing my bad ones. I’m definitely not perfect, but I am so tired of ONLY having my nose rubbed in the bad and never being told anything she finds good about me.

        I’m in quite a pickle here.

  12. Hi, it is difficult to know where to start. I’ve been married 10yrs, I have two kids under three. My husband started an affair during my second pregnancy.
    I am far from perfect. However, at this stage I have no idea when or how the problems in our marriage began.
    So I’ll just point out the main issue at hand: his affair.
    It was with a friend of his, he has known her for four years.
    He confided in her that our marriage was on the rocks, one thing lead to another and they expressed their love, physically and emotionally. During this time he was also cheating on me. Which I found out and was told it was because our sex life was so dismall. Keep in mind I was 6months pregnant and also working full-time. So after a lot of pain and anger I excepted that explanation and we strengthened our intimate life. I was also told that I was….a nag, which I curved and tried to be more positive in our marriage.
    Then I found out about the affair, at which time had been going on for approx 4 months. When I did, he repeatedly saught forgiveness and told me, although he loved her, he loved me more than anything else.
    He lied over a year about breaking it off. Multiple times.
    He compared me to her, saying she showed him more affection, encouragement etc.
    Our relationship got volitile. He would say he stopped seeing her. Then I would find out otherwise. Then he flat out refused to stop seeing her but refused to divorce me.
    In the beginning I was very hateful with my words. And he was as well. It went both ways, I won’t lie about that.
    Today, after constantly justifing all of his actions, I can not be around him for more than 2hrs without wanting to start a fight. (Yes, he is still in contact with her).
    He has physically and emotionally abused me. Calling me horrible names and telling me I instigated the violence….which I do out of anger, hurt.
    Now after a year+ of lies he wants to try and fix our marriage, while still having contact with her, or at least resuming contact at some point.
    After writing this, I think it is clear that I am a fool.
    I even offered to open our marriage to new relationships, but he felt that his girlfriend was justified because of their long standing friendship, and opening myself to new possibilities didn’t compare.
    He gets upset and doesn’t understand when we are having a “good” day and I erupt in anger and start a fight. Yet, he lies and lies and lies…..I think I am going crazy :/
    I fear that this time he truly does want to get help, but that I have given up and only want to hurt him and put the proverbial nail in the coffin of our marriage.
    This sounds silly, but all I want is to be loved….and I don’t know what that is anymore.

    • Jenny
      With what you have been going through, I don’t know that many people would know where they stand with love. You can’t be in this relationship. He lies to you and will say what he needs in order not to rock the life style he is living. You can’t win here. We want to try to make relationships work, but at some point you have to realize it is a 2 person effort and you can’t make it work on your own

  13. Hi,
    I am currently 21 years old. Around the time of age 19, I met this man who I went to highschool with. He was a year older than I am which meant he graduated a year before I did. We didn’t have a relationship in highschool only knowing each other mutually through friends. Around the end of my freshman year of college, we met and the feeling was euphoric. I opened up to him in such a way I never had with guys I dated before, and we built a solid and strong friendship.

    We started dating in Febuary 1, 2013. We had became involved sexually prior but I wanted to give us enough time before making such a huge step. Throughout the course of the relationship I noted that he had anger issues and would explode with his family (he still lived with his parents). They constantly had to call the police on him and I had to witness it all. During our relationship I also became very ill (no surprise that it was an auto-immune disease because I was constantly under so much stress). I became weak and had already developed feelings. We had fights, huge arguments, and so many events occurred which ultimately lead to me ending things in the summer of 2014. In the relationship I was the care-giver and nurturer constantly paying for things. He wasn’t worrying so I took care of him in a way a mother cares for a child. I knew that he had went through trauma in his childhood which made this situation more dangerous.

    We didn’t talk for 3 months, and eventually communication was opened back in late September. My friends and family supported me letting go, and I decided to work on me. Life had picked up, but I started to miss him and had an emotional “relapse”. We met for a few times and on the 17 of October decided to reconcile. We sat and ate breakfast- my treat, and by the afternoon we got into a fight. He made me feel violated and threatened I slapped him (going out of my character because I am not that type of person) and he retialiated by placing both of his hands around my neck and cursing at me. He wasn’t choking me but just had his hands cuff. As a way to get him off me, I ended up clocking him in the mouth to which his lip was busted. He went and filed a protective order.

    The problem that I have is that I hate how I still love him and because we were intimate the night prior, there is a possibility of pregnancy. When we are to appear before the judge, I am not sure what will happen if the peace order is in effect? If we cant talk or come near each other, how would he know whether I am or aren’t?

    Thanks so much!

    • Any relationship you have with this person will be a disaster for you. Someone else can notify him on the status of pregnancy

  14. I would like to thank everyone for sharing there stories.

    Here is mine.
    My exe was always called himself the evolved man. I was not aware of what emotional abuse was till after my experience with him. After our break up I was in denial and thought it was because I was ill. I had severe anemia and thought I was crazy. Who I was changed while being with him.
    The first year of the relationship was great. He was this loving attentive charming man, and I didn’t see the red flags during that time, looking back, I see them now, and how he was testing me during that time. He always played the victim and would make his life a hard luck story and how being with me his life was now better. He was starting a business, and I was guilted to helped him out. I am from a well off family, and I realize that was most likely the reason he targeted me.Once I moved in, He always compare me to his crazy exes, and how i was so much better than them, it didn’t matter what we where doing, he always brought them up. He was always taking about another mans wife, or other woman and bashing everyone including his family behind there backs. I address it and told him I don’t need to hear this constant venting. over time it became I was jealous, insecure,that i wasn’t supportive and that I was accusing him of still being in love with his exes, and I didn’t trust him.Oh why, couldn’t i just trust him. Anything I said, like asking in advance to spend time with him always end up in a fight, and I was needy, etc. He would say he would give me what I wanted, If I would change. I would get punished with the silent treatment for days, when ever I didn’t do what he wanted, the way he wanted. He was mainly nice when he wanted something. I tried to leave and over time became afraid to leave, he threaten to break my stuff, or he take away my keys, he say I was crazy and I was just having anxiety and it was cuz of all my issues or cuz i moved in and wasn’t giving it a chance. He would always complain about money. We made a plan before I moved in. I was gonna keep going to school and work part time, and I got school funding. We were suppose to do something for vacations, but he never made the time. Next thing he was renovating the house, or he has to put more time into work. He always complain he was too stress out, and I make suggestions, and he blow up at me and blame me for all his problems and that everything he was doing was for me and how ungrateful I was. Every-time I tried to address anything it became I was having an anxiety attack and how he hated dealing with me, I was raised spoiled and spoon fed. That I was only book smart, but when it came to life experience I was stupid cuz he beat an addiction and been through rehab. Anything nice he did for me, he held it over my head. he made promises things would get better, i just had to wait. when plans where broken I was my fault cuz I was this or I did that. He ask me to help out and to use my savings so things could get done faster, and after things were settled we would have it better. So I help him, baited with hope that it was just circumstances that cause the stress and problems we where having. I became more hurt. It became all about what everyone else thought about him and he drop everything for everyone else. He constantly treated everyone better than me. I asked him why he could drop everything for everybody, but always break our plans. he would say he had to. business came first and he was just securing our future so we could get married and have kids.Our plans together diminished and it became about him, and that I was wasting my time on school and causing myself stress. I could just work for him. I was being disrespected by people in his business, even getting sexually harassed and He laugh at me and tell me I was the problem and I was too sensitive and couldn’t take a joke and I didnt accept people for who they are, i needed to change and be more accommodating. I had a iud, and it was making me bleed really bad. I told him I wanted to take it out. It was the worst fight ever, He got angry at me yelling at me that I was planning to get pregnant on purpose now so i could leave him and gold dig all his hard work and if i got it out he would throw my stuff outside and no other guy would love me and I would end up with a man that would hit me cuz i was too kind and stupid. After his episodes, he would grovel and apologize and be the nicest person ever for a bit. It became all his way, I believed I was crazy and developed panic attacks and anxiety afraid to express my feelings, even being hurt with the silent treatment cuz he was relaxing, which really was his crossover addictions. I should be grateful because he was home with me, cuz other guys where out cheating on there woman. I was lucky he was loyal to me. He used me living with him as leverage. Anything I did was nothing compared to what he was doing. At work he constantly demoted me and got someone else to do what i did and pay them insanely and then say he was just helping me cuz I was having anxiety issues and that I was living with him rent free and If I didn’t want to help him, I should of said no. over time It was a constant circle, dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t, both ways it was my fault and It was always I told you so. He always change his story and that it was me not remembering things properly. He held on to my savings and I couldn’t leave and he get made at me if I tried to spend money and that I should save it. He blame my anxiety on me talking to my family and friends and not to talk to anyone cuz I needed to get better. He forced me to go to a couple counselor and after we went he beat me down with it as evidence i was crazy and that he was right. over time the cycle got shorter and shorter and his list of resentments to shame me got longer and longer. I started to run away to my friends and told her what was happening and he started going to her telling her i was crazy and I needed help. After that I started to go to therapy alone for my anxiety. I started to feel better. but he got angry and I was to go every week becasue i was worst. then it was the therapist who was wrong, I was seeing an idiot. I was using my strategies from therapy to work on things and he would blow up. I had a bad therapist making things worst and to get a new one. I told him she recommended a physiologist to see both of us because she didn’t see an anxiety problem, and my issues were not issues, because I was well adjusted and it was something else. The night before the appointment with the psychologist, he got wasted like he usually did if we had to do anything the next day and ignored me. we had the biggest fight ever that morning and he kicked me out, cuz no one could help me and I was wasting my time seeing anybody. I went to my friend to stay and she told me he screaming at her that he did everything he could to break me and I wouldn’t break. I went to the physiologist alone that day and learned everything I was going through was emotional and physiological abuse and I was never crazy.after the break up,he use financial abuse and held my stuff hostage to try and keep control on me. My family got involved threaten him with the cops and he opened his safe and paid all of it back and I was able to move my stuff out. He started playing that he was this super nice guy to me once i moved out.I refused his help, and got angry at me cuz I was losing his new persona. everything i wanted when i was with him he started throwing in my face by acting like this changed man, and he told me he was telling everyone how crazy I was and how he did the right thing getting rid of me, that I give him a poor self image, and cuz I drove him to drink and get ugly.When I refused to forgive him, and he told me to go kill myself. That he hope to love me, and he would of only love me if I changed, and it was my fault he never loved me, cuz he always wanted to treat me so good and was planning on buying me a car if I changed. I deserved how he treated me, and that everything I did he could of got someone else to do, and how I wasted his time. that I was just a cheap whore and was only good for sex. I got the iud as soon as I left him. and next thing it was the iud’s fault, and my fault I did that to my body and we had a horrible relationship, and now I was myself again. He tried everything to make me see it was my fault. In the end, I refused to forgive him. I refused to believe him and told him he needs help and how he treated me is domestic abuse and he could of killed me with the stress he constantly put me under because I had serve anemia and was lucky I got it treated when I did. He told me in the end, I should of just died and I was worst than his exes, I am heartless because i wont forgive him. I told him he had no empathy and is a manipulative psychopath, he cant take love back he didn’t ever give, and he is void of love to wish me death.the problem isn’t us exes cuz our common denominator is him.He tried his same old lists of resentments and baits.got angrier and angrier it didn’t work anymore and gave up. I still have issues with anxiety triggers to certain things he used to abuse me with but the more I learn the less I have and one thing for sure, he will be the first and last man to be like that to me. I know what it is now, thanks to sites like this. Thank you.

  15. Thank you for your website! The other night I looked up mental abuse and I found your site most helpful in assessing my situation. It was such a shock to me that I was in an abusive marriage of 2 years! Through the list on your site, I pieced together the puzzle of abuse in our case.

    We had a whirlwind of a romance and “fell” deeply in love. 2 months after we started dating, I was diagnosed with (pancreatic) cancer in my liver, and a few months later I was told I had 6 months to live. My now husband committed himself to be by my side no matter what the result. 5 months later we got married, and everyone reveled in our romantic love story. Needless to say, I’m still here, and the cancer keeps on shrinking with chemo, radiation, and my own remedies. My husband has been very supportive, and I think likes to be the “knight in shining armor.”

    However, the problems were there from the beginning. M has ADHD, PTSD from Vietnam, and he is a somewhat compulsive and rigid person. We went through so many conflicts because we are both in our 60′s and set in our ways, and trying to adjust to one another’s ways. About a year ago, I gave him the ultimatum for us to get counseling or it was over. We went to counseling, but the first one was not so helpful, and the second one who focused on deep emotional expression created more explosive volatility in M than I could handle at the time, so we stopped after about 8 sessions or so. The main problem (my take) is that M is a very sensitive person, but does not know how to handle his emotions. He lets them build up inside, then explodes at me for the least little thing that really has nothing to do with his emotions. A lot of times he gets angry because he loves me and feels he is not living up to my so-called expectations. A lot seems to be based on his maintaining a unrealistic self expectations and self image. He blames me for his outbursts saying I am causing them, and is in total denial about his issue with anger. I have been able to detonate his explosions by expressing what is going on for him emotionally in a kind and loving way. I am asking him to take more responsibility for his own emotions by saying the words himself, and taking responsibility for the fact that he has anger issues. He has totally refused, and would rather let go of me and the relationship, and so I have accepted his offer.

    The other signs are that is he very possessive of my time and gets very upset when I schedule stuff with my family and/or friends. He also is in denial about being controlling and projects that onto me, constantly calling me controlling. He used to put me down a lot more and play mind games, but now I call him on it, so he does stop. There are a lot of wonderful things about the relationship, so it is difficult to let go. Both of us have changed drastically over 2 years for the better. The fighting as cut down tremendously. We recently went on a 2 week vacation together and had a wonderful time. There were only 2 incidents of anger, but one of them was close to violent. About 3 times now, he has raised his hand to me and put his hands around my neck in anger, but never has he acted on it. That somehow doesn’t make me feel very secure in our relationship.

    Most important, I have to put my own healing first, and of course the stress of the negatives of this relationship is not helping. I feel that I will miss M greatly, and the good times we shared together. Bottom line, I cannot carry the burden of M’s emotions for both of us. I cannot see our future together without him being willing to own up to his own shortcomings being anything but more heartache. I think he is unable to live with himself if he breaks up the illusion of his own self-image being that “good guy.”

    • Karen
      Relationships of course can be difficult and the most important relationship any of us has is the one we have with ourselves. You can’t carry the burden of his issues, those are for him to deal with and work through. You can be supportive as long as you can still support yourself and it sounds as if that is not really happening.
      The question is does he really see that he has issues and does he want to do anything about it. If he is not willing to put in a lot of effort to change, then you will be at the other end of his pain. That he has already raised his hands to you and put his hands around your neck should have you feeling unfomfortable. How can you trust someone who is coming right to the verge of physically harming you?
      Leaving is always difficult. You have a lot invested in the relationship and he has good sides too. But relationships are an entire package, you don’t just get the good without the bad or the other way around.
      Staying in a place you don’t feel trust is of course is even more difficult. He needs to find a way to deal with his own demons. You know this and you already know what you need to do.

  16. Hi,

    I have been in a relationship for the past 9 moths and of course we have had our ups and downs. The relationship started in a not so calming manner because of other people I saw and assumed he was talking to. The relationship was great at first then it started to get a bit hazy. My boyfriend would go out and I would have to find out through my friends what went on. However this kept on happening and we talked about it and he somewhat stopped. Getting to the point in order for him to feel satisfied and me to “fulfill his needs” he wanted me to have sex with him. There was a lot of pressure going on for me and we almost broke up cause of it. At this point by way of thinking I feel has been so managed by him and his ways. Sexual encounters happened and things both changed for the better and worse. He with me all the time at least, and his cravings have gotten deeper. I love him, he’s my first boyfriend and I feel as if his cravings have been getting bigger. However he makes me feel like crap around my friends, and humilationg me, with calling me names, mentioning other girls and what there packing because I don’t have that. As if I’m one of the guys like common I have gave him way to many chances and I feel I have lost myself in this process.

    • Relationships are the sum of the entire time you spend with the person., not just the strong feelings you have or the good times. How you treat and respect each other, how the two of you communicate, listen and understand each other are what makes a relationship work or fail.
      Having love for the other person while letting yourself be treated poorly means you are willing to sacrifice yourself to have something that can never actually satisfy or fulfill you.
      You only have a few choices. The two of you work out your difference (working with a professional is recommended), you do nothing and let yourself feel bad, or your start speaking up for how you want to be treated and if he cannot fulfill your basic needs, you have to leave and realize this will never work.

  17. It seems I am in this cycle right now.. Have been.. A best friend and partner.. And no matter what I try to say, point out, explain.. it doesn’t matter or make sense to them. My relationship with my boys has even bee brought into it.. my work.. my beliefs and views.. Anything and everything becomes part of an attack.. Then silence.. And wanting to end the silence and explain my side I step back in.. Only to feel that it will all come around again. Many times being told they want time to talk and contact and being there for a moment when there is nothing better in their life going on.. Then to go do silence again.. Followed by the harsh words about me and how I am in my life with my work and my boys as a mother.. Me as a person. As a woman. As an American ( as they are not- which shouldn’t be an issue as there should be respect and not attacks). I feel like I am in a hole and have been put into a hole.. And yet I reach to that same person to help me out of it.. Knowing they don’t even really see, or accept, what has put me into it in the first place.. Or do they??

    • Mary
      We all have our way of dealing with pressure and discomfort. Some people attack, some retreat; some with explain while others go silent. We all accept some things and reject others and when the other person does it differently than us, we don’t get it.
      You said it correctly, “I am in this cycle”, meaning you are part of what is keeping the ebb and flow of the relationships on their current track. That’s OK, because it is where most of us are.
      If this person is your best friend, then maybe your standard for best friend may need to change, because best friends don’t typically make each other feel bad.
      So he attacks and you feel bad, he pulls back and you try to explain and step back in and they attack some more and you wonder why they aren’t helping you out of the emotional hole you are in.
      Mary, this person cannot give you value. You want him to see and respect you, but you first have to respect yourself and not let yourself be treated like crap. The more you let him step on you, the less respect he has for you. The more you try to explain yourself, the less you are focused on how dysfunctional the relationship is. The more you keep trying to step back in, the more it appears to him that you have no value for yourself.
      I know this is difficult to understand, because you are a good person and you feel the way you are approaching this relationship is how good people should approach misunderstandings. But you also have to accept where things are at. This man has emotional issues. Emotional issues don’t logically make sense, but they do have patterns and you are over looking the patterns he is giving you.
      Stop trying to do things the way you think are right and pay attention to the patterns he is giving you. If the two of you could communicate, you could talk through this, but you aren’t. Next time he pulls away, don’t follow. Next time he is silent, go do something for yourself and tell him when he is mature enough to speak to you, you will be open.
      If you want your relationships to change and your partner isn’t changing, the ownership is up to you to pay attention to the patterns he gives, accept those patterns, make changes and see what happens

  18. I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years. He was incredibly mentally, verbally, and emotionally abusive up until we had our son this last June. We are in couples counseling, and he is in anger management. He has been good to me since, but i am a mess trying to heal from all the pain he has caused the past few years. He gets annoyed when i bring it up saying “i’ve apologized, and i’ve changed now, so you need to let it go..” i cry so much still because of it all. What do i do to get over the hurt??

    • Abuse can cut some deep wounds that are difficult to heal. First it is great that he has made changes and is trying to treat you with the respect and understanding you deserve. He can’t feel your wounds (even though he created them) so it is reasonable to expect him not to fully get what you are going through internally.
      You are therapy as a couple and that helps the two of you in the present, but for past traumas, you may need some one on one therapy, since these are pains you are carrying within you, they are no longer being produced by him.
      In your couples therapy, hopefully you can effectively verbalize how this is still effecting you and your therapist should be able to make recommendations. You should also ask your therapist how you and when you can express these pains more effectively

  19. I just came across this article while researching emotional abuse. I’m looking for an answer please. I feel as if both my partner AND myself are emotionally abusive to each other. He snaps over nothing calls me name, makes me feel guilty for things. Humiliates me in front of friends – just makes me feel worthless. And I in return result to name calling, swearing, slamming doors and try making him feel worthless as he does to me.
    We have a beautiful daughter together, I would never want to throw our relationship away – I love him! What can we do to save this relationship? I feel if nothing is done soon we will lose each other. It’s something that embarrasses me talking to my peers so I am hoping for a bit of advice to help us through this.

    • KJ
      While the two of you may have some good times together, it sounds like the overall state of your situation is that you don’t really have a relationship. Relationships require people to relate to each other, to have some mutual understand and respect, common goals and reason to be together.
      Having strong feelings for a person in and of itself is not a reason to stay with someone when they can’t find ways to show affection, respect and love back in return. I understand you feel love for this person, but do you feel love for yourself, because if you love yourself you would not let yourself stay in any situation that consistently creates pain and mistrust. You also would not want to raise your daughter in a household where she is exposed to abusive tendencies, because it very much increases her chances in life to attract partners who will treat her as such.
      So here is the question, if you and your partner truly love each other, you have to ask your partner if the relationship is worth saving. If it is not, the party is over. If your partner says yes, let your partner put his money where his mouth is and the two of you get counseling. Both of you need more effective ways to communicate with each other. There may be other issues going on also, If the relationship is worth saving for both of you, then both of you will commit to changing yourselves. If not, then nothing will change

  20. I Believe that I am this person is their any way to change how I am ? I don’t know why I get that way all I have if love for my fiance if Help is what I need then Help is what I Seek

    • Kyle
      There are many reason people become abusive. Loving someone does not mean you know how to relate to them, especially when their differences or ways of doing things reminds you of painful things from the past or if you don’t know how to emotionally accept things you don’t understand.
      Are you wanting to make changes in yourself because you want to improve or are you seeking help because you fear losing someone you have feelings for? Hopefully you are doing this for you.
      Change is going to require time and energy. It will be a commitment on your part to actually get out of your own comfort zone. Most people want change, but they want to control the change or want it to be convienent. Unfortunately, change usually does not work that way.
      Find a counselor in your area who can find out why you are they way you are and help you emotionally and mentally get into a place that helps you grow

      • I’m sorry, I wasn’t sure how to start my own comment, so the ‘reply’ isn’t necessarily accurate.

        Thank you for this page. I am just trying to work out why I am so filled with anxiety and why I cant stop my mind racing or crying. Sometimes I feel I will die without my boyfriend but I am filled with dread at times when I know I will be alone with him for a prolonged period of time. I don’t know if I love him in the same way I used to, but I wish I could. I can’t bear the pain of his absence from my life. I have been with him for 11 years. our relationship has not progressed in the traditional sense, no marriage etc. I used to dream of these things. I stopped dreaming a while ago, something that just seemed to happen without me noticing. now i feel dead inside and dread.
        our relationship hit a major problem a while back, it was not fidelity related but still affected him, and since that time,i feel i have been struggling to salvage us, to save us. I have experienced some of the worst moments of my life and absorbed them without question as I believed I deserved them, that it was my fault that the relationship was under so much strain. I would have accepted anything to save us.
        From that time, my love life seemed to turn into something that wasn’t safe any more to me, it became scary, tense and out of control. The nature of my relationship means I am isolated…no one knows me or my relationship. I can’t talk to anyone. Our physical relationship felt more and more like I was changing myself to be everything he wanted. I know i have damaged myself emotionally in doing so. Things got crazy, rough and often felt like I was inside myself cowering. I felt I only wanted to please him. I know that there was emotional duress behind the morphing of our relationship.
        I began dreaming beyond our relationship, I don’t know why because I love him, but I felt desperation built in me and I tried to end the relationship. I couldn’t do it, I love him and both his and my own desperate reaction to the idea of being apart shocked me. Now we are still together, things seem much better now in how we interact with each other, but when i am not feeling anxiety to the point of being physically ill, i feel dead inside. I have a feeling i need to live and grow beyond this but I am stuck, i am trapped by my love.
        Will this feeling resolve itself and will I feel peace of mind eventually with him. I don’t know what to do. Thanks for any help.

        • Bernadette
          The fear of losing someone, of not being with them is not the same thing as being in love. These feelings are common and many people mistake love for their own insecurity. You know this is true because you could not possibly love him if the idea of being alone with him for any time period is meet with dread.
          I think your relationship died quite a while ago, but you have been holding on to some idea, some fantasy of how things were supposed to be. You feel you are the one who is supposed to save this relationship and the problem with that is it makes the relationship your burden instead of a joint cooperation the two of you would work on.
          You have been conflicted and I suspect that even though you think things have been OK lately, they really haven’t. I also suspect the two of you cannot discuss issues of core emotional concerns that have building over the years. That is a problem, you dance around a lie of trying to make sure you don’t lose him even though you don’t really have him.
          Right now you have emotionally tied yourself into a knot of having no choice and when that happens, people feel lost, uncertain, dread, anxiety, helplessness, etc, take your pick, but I suspect you have felt them all.
          You need to communicate your emotions to him. If he won’t listen, then there is no relationship, just a shell of things that could have been. At worst, he will confirms your fears, and while scary, it would allow you to eventually find your own emotional center again. At best, the two of your start working through these sticking points and begin to build something better. If you do nothing, if you continue in this conflicted place where you have no hope, you should continue to feel the way you do. You subconscious is trying to get you to take action and at this point, the action is to start communicating. If you have already done this, either seek some professional help or admit to yourself the relationship may not be what you are holding on to. This could still work, but you have to be willing to risk exploring the truth

          • Dear Michael,
            Thank you for your reply. As difficult as some parts were to read, it’s what I know is true. I am still struggling every minute of the day, I try and put it out of my mind but it’s beside me looking at me and I feel it.
            I know I have not given you a list of details and examples to give you a deep insight into things but what you have said to me has demonstrated you already understand things.
            We are working on things, trying to communicate but yes the core seems to never be addressed with resolution. I think this is my fault. I think I have changed now. I have felt under attack for so long, every word questioned, every unanswered call to me, text or answer analysed to within an inch of my sanity, whole nights without sleep as I try to answer questions in a specific, acceptable way. All these things and much more have demented me and I don’t know how I survived some of those times. Convincing me to do certain things then turning them around on me that they were my idea and I was a manipulator. I of course eventually agreed which this view. I maintain some charge of hidden resistance in my core however, I bury things here I guess. There has been aggression in our physical relationship which I have forgiven but they are part of our story now. I know why they happened, it was exerting control over me at times and also an expression of anger. I deserve a lot of what happened. I know that. In fact I deserved it all and feel I deserve more. He is a beautiful person and I feel I have ruined him in a way. I don’t think I deserve happiness and am almost accepting that it will not ever be.
            I have grown a bit cold to protect myself but perhaps this is emotional suicide. I feel like time is catching me, I feel like my life, which has been stopped for years, is ebbing at me to do something. You are right, it is time to act, I just need strength to move forward in any form.
            Now I feel I am hardening my shell at the expense of true intimacy which is so very sad for us. I have read your words carefully and I will think about them in the hope that they soften my shell.
            We have talked and he has changed how he behaves to me. He has so many beautiful qualities and is supportive and making a real effort to mend us but I am afraid things will reroute back to how things were. I’m not strong enough to go through any more. I still catch glimpses of the patterns now and I am afraid that they underly us still. He knows I’m afraid of this.
            It’s a long time to be with someone and my entire life is now founded on our relationship. I know relationships are never perfect all the time, it’s just the horrors I’m trying to forget. It was beautiful once. I know he has just as many issues with me, probably many more, and chooses to still want to love me.
            Thank you for your time, I will you curb my ramblings now, but I just want to thank you for your very true words and I hope I can make use of them.

  21. Hi
    My husband and I have been fighting on and off for years. I never know what will trigger his anger so I feel like I am on eggshells all the time. And when he gets upset the result is that he won’t talk to me – which has lasted for up to 3 months at a time. During that period, when I need to speak with him, the result is either an insult, mocking or being ignored. We have two kids and I take care of the needful during these periods but then he gets upset because I don’t appear to be in pain. I can’t do that around the kids constantly. Being ignored makes me feel like an insignificant speck.
    We are currently separated but living in the same house – and in counselling. This happened because during one of our non talking periods he raised the possibility of divorce and I agreed. He was shocked that I agreed as he had only suggested it to get a reaction from me. I have told him that people who care about each other don’t say things like this just to get a reaction. He has done similar things before.
    I told him this week that I feel he was abusing me and he was shocked. He is an intelligent man and I don’t think this occurred to him.now he is analyzing this to death and driving me crazy.
    I feel like I need to give this relationship a real try for the kids and because of that I feel stuck. I have been abused before (date rape) and now that I have seen it through this lens – it took a long time – I feel like I need to get out.
    He wants me to raise this in counselling tomorrow which feels weird as he will be in the room. And I’m worried that the counsellor will not see this as emotional abuse.
    My daughter (10) keeps asking why I’m sleeping in the other room and I don’t want to tell her the details so I just say we are dealing with issues.
    I don’t know what to do

    • RB
      These are tough situations to be in, but let’s get some foundational ideas to operate from.
      First, you and your husband don’t really have a relationship. To have a relationship you have to be able to relate and your husband just isn’t doing this. What you are trying to save is an idea of a family but that requires acceptance, willingness and understanding. Your husband has issues, he does not know how to relate to his own pains. He does not know how to relate to things that don’t go how he wants. He does not relate to supporting others in his life because he does not know how to support himself.
      What brings people together is not what holds them together. People have to grow and growth in impossible for those whose emotional maturity is stunted.
      Second, the fighting has been going on for years, meaning fundimental differences are not being addressed. How long does this have to go on before you are willing to say enough is enough. You are on the fence right now willing to seek divorce yet wanting this relationship to work. This can continue to drag on for a long time.
      I don’t know what the counselor will or will not see. On our “Signs of Emotional Abuse” page http://bit.ly/zUMjAc you can go down the list and check off what you think your husband does. Then you have to come up with concrete examples of how he has done this to you. Don’t just explain how you feel about in your sessions, but what and how he acts.
      Last, your daughter is going to pick up on everything that is not working in your relationship. While 2 parents is an ideal environment for raising a child, parents at odds with each other and full of abuse can scar a child for a life time

  22. Over 2 1/2 years go I met a dentist on a plane during a trip to Vegas- we exchanged phone numbers and Facebook info. I contacted him after 3 months of having met him and we met at a small restaurant. We clicked immediately that night! We were inseparable after that. We became exclusive after a week of seeing each other and he proposed only after 5 weeks of dating (I said No). One night during the beginning of the 2nd month into dating him, while I was sleeping, he grabbed my phone and read every single Facebook message on messenger, all of my texts and emails. After learning of several of my past events the insults intensified- because yes, they had began since the first month of dating. He would use words to describe me such as “puta” “resbalosa” and “cualquiera”, meaning whore, easy and slut! He constantly made stupid remarks and would throw his mind-fabricated and elaborated events of my sexual acts in my face. This went on for the entire relationship! There is no way to defend a false accusation!! Every two months, as my Facebook messages prove, I tried leaving him but he would beg and shower me with apologies and promises of never doing it again- and I would believe him and grant another chance.
    He had moments of extreme generosity and kindness and he would fill me with expensive gifts, clothes, shoes and jewelry, which confused my thoughts about him; this began to form my codependency to his emotional abuse. He controlled every move I made. I had to answer every call and every text in order to prevent him from thinking that I “was with someone with my legs spread open” as he would accuse! I began to give him detailed explanations of every move I made so that he would be happy when I came home. It was horrible! He drifted me from my family and from every friend I had (male and female). I couldn’t take any calls while I was with him because he would assume that everyone calling was calling to plot a sexual encounter with me. I began to ignore everyone’s calls and I would never dare invite anyone over. When his family members would come over, including mother and daughters (12 and 13), he would complain about it and secretly tell me that he couldn’t wait for them to “get the fuck out of his house.” I couldn’t invite my mother or daughter to come along anywhere unless he suggested it, otherwise he would become upset and say no.
    He is, not was, a very angry and controlling man (age 43). The insults, insinuations, criticism and accusations were present since the first month. He ate away at my self-esteem by judging me harshly and magnifying his every fabricated story about me! It was sick! I began to doubt myself and began to blame myself for his outraged behaviors. I changed who I was to please him. Until I realized that no matter what I did- it was never enough! He drained the life out of me!! He was such a demanding and needy person. He encouraged me to begin my doctorate in nursing only to constantly be mad at me for not spending enough time with him.
    When I finally decided to leave him I immediately felt a heavy load of bricks fall off of my shoulders…. it was such a relief! After two months of abandoning the relationship I suddenly began to miss him and I called him, only to learn that he was dating someone new. I became jealous and obsessed with the situation and I wanted to get back together (acts of co-dependency) so for three straight weeks I begged and pleaded for another chance- to which he said no. I still would see him and we still shared “I love you” but on the 4th week that I went to visit him he began to complain about our dogs, his daughter, his job, his “new girlfriend” and even went on to tell me that he wished he was dead! And magically, just like that, I realized why I had left in the first place; he will always be that angry bitter man and will never hold any value to the precious people around him.
    My advice to women in an abusive relationship like mine is to RUN and never look back because a glimpse of the past can blur your view to your bright future. Emotional abuse does not discriminate against race, ethnicity, and educational level, social or financial status!!

    One quick question, if I am able to blog this without deviating from honesty and knowing that it is such a horrific issue, why do I still miss him and have the urge to see him? I hate myself for feeling so weak!

    • It’s a good question and there are many reasons. I will attempt to give you some generalizations for a couple of them.

      First relationships carry an incredible number of dynamics. You have a relationship with your own thoughts and emotions, your own fears and desires, your own beliefs and dislikes. He has his with him self. Many people have terrible relationships with them selves and they try to hide these sides of themselves, especially when relationships first start. When two people interact, these personal relationships create a different dynamic a new relationship and it is not his or yours. The problem often arises when the relationships we have with our own ideas clash with the other person

      What makes this even more difficult is we can love aspects of a person and at the same time hate other parts of the person. We may love the sex or their outlook on life, but hate how they are when they are stress or how they deal with things they don’t like. So we flip back and forth between attraction and repulsion and it can feel overwhelming for mahy people.

  23. Dear Michael,

    I am a girl (a divorcee who got separated after 4 months of being in an arranged marriage) who is currently having a very difficult relationship with someone i know for about 2 years. I need help deciding what to do with the situation i’ve been in for past year and a half. Initially when we started dating he seemed like a very level-headed mature guy who understood all my problems and who shared my similar kind of thoughts spiritually and mentally. However, later he started changing and for every small fight we had he would say hurtful things, and not care about me at all. He became worse after he saw an old sextape of my ex-boyfriend (who happened to be my bestfriend before and after the relationship). I had totally forgotten that the video was there in my laptop. However, since then his behaviour became bad to worse. Everyday he would pick on some silly thing and would start talking to me abusively. If we are alone at the apartment he would even go to the extent of manhandling me by twisting my hand or using force on me and getting extremely angry and violent. I started getting scared of it, but tried to keep his anger at bay by all means i knew. It just kept getting worse and he kept saying, that he reacts so bcos deep down he is pissed that i still am in contact with my best friend and demanded me to stop talking to him. When i started realising that he was becoming more n more worse, i decided to stop talking to my friend. I just wanted things to work between us no matter what the cost was. However, even after that the same behaviour continued.

    One night he was drunk wen i reached home and he expected me to serve food for him since he was waiting for me. But i was too tired and slept off. And in a bit he woke me up and started shouting at me, and calling me bitch and slut and started hitting me like a mad man. I tried calling someone but he took away my phone and kept shouting filthy things to me about my past relationship as if it is in the present. And no matter how much i cried and begged he wouldnt stop the physical or verbal abuse. That night he slapped me 12 times on the face, and pushed me to the floor and kicked me on the chest. I don’t know how i spent the entire night waiting for dawn to come and get the hell out of there somehow. I wrote a goodbye note to him and waited for him to wake up. To tell him when he was lucid that i’m leaving him for good. When he woke up, the first thing he said looking at the marks on my face was ‘Oh no, what will you tell your family about this mark?’ and i understood he was more concerned about how anyone else would perceive him rather than about how badly i was hurt. He was bothered about his image being ruined once anyone found out what he did to me. I told i wouldn’t tell anyone and was about to leave when he rushed to the bathroom and started vomiting. He started developing a fever and was extremely fatigued. So i did not leave the place. Instead bought him medicines and gave him food and stayed with him the whole day and night. The next day morning when he was feeling better I said goodbye to him. But he kept ranting that he wouldn’t let me go and he realises that he has some issues and would see a doctor soon. He made his mom call me and talk to me and reassure that everything would be fine.
    That day he went to a psychiatrist and talked to him about all the incidents so far. He told him that partially this violent behaviour was due to the extensive use of weed he had 2 years prior to that. A habit he never managed to completely get rid of. On and off he was still smoking every few days. And the effect of the drugs in his brain was adverse. He was not able to distinguish between logic and emotions. When he gets emotional or angry he behaves without logic, not bothering how his actions would affect others. I talked to the doc and he said if i’m willing i could wait it out for a while and see if he takes his meds on time. And that the primary thing is his desire to change and his willingness to undergo treatment. So i still gave him another chance to make things right. I did not talk to him for about 2 weeks during which time he said he took his meds and later once i started talking to him again he slowly slacked off and stopped his meds and appointments with the doc. And within another week or so he was back to his previous behaviour. I still held on, reminding him everytime he treated me badly that i deserve better, and that he shouldn’t forget that i forgave him despite everything. Still i did not see any substantial change in him for more than few days.
    About a month later I got so fed up of the whole cycle of him abusing me verbally and me crying over it and fighting about it and him coming back to me and apologising and us getting back together again. I got so fed up that i said enough is enough and told him that i can’t find any happiness with him bcos he treats me like dirt. There are days when he is extremely sweet to me. But i’ve never found him caring or thinking about what i might be expecting from him, or what any gal wants from her guy. He never tried to make me feel special other than with his occasional hollow words and promises which never meant anything cos he would promptly go back to his violent abusive bitchy self in a day or two. The pendulum kind of life was getting too much for me and i said i want out. Atleast that i need to take a break. And he agreed.
    We din’t meet each other for about 1.5 months. Meanwhile he would text me once a week or so, and sometimes i used to respond. After about a month and half later i planned on a trip alone. And few days before the trip he called me and i picked up and we started talking again. He sounded like he was regretting everything and had changed completely. I went away on the trip and the 2nd day i started missing him after seeing many couples everywhere around me. I told him this and he said he will take the next flight out and come be with me.. and he reached there a day later. Even so we did not have such a great time together. There were so many unresolved issues in my head, his too i guess and we had few petty fights and left back home on a sore note.
    Once we were back this same cycle continued. One day we had a fight for some silly reason and he went into a bar drank and came out. We went for a drive and during the drive we fought more and twice he pulled the hand brake while i was driving the car in 3rd gear and 5th gear. Once the car braked with such force and noise that ppl driving behind me got out and started shouting at me. The 2nd time the car swirled around and luckily i managed to control the car before it hit a high-mast lamp in the divider.
    And after more than a month later i sat down with him and said that im willing to do anything to make this work. And if me talking to my friend is what is screwing his head then i would again stop talking to him. And so i stopped all contacts with him and told him the same. But later some issues concerning our another mutual friend came up and i had no one else but him to reach out and enquire what the situation was. And so i did that without my boyfriend knowing. I just called him to talk about this 2 or 3 times and after that i never contacted him. However, after few weeks my boyfriend dug up my bill and came to me and said i was cheating him bcos i did call my friend after i agreed not to. No matter how much i tried to tell him it was due to that reason, he wouldn’t budge, said i had been calling my friend everyday behind his back, kept calling me bitch and accused me of being a slut who cannot be satisfied with just one guy. I even tried to tell him to think of the logic that this particular phone number was one he has earlier also dug up and scrutinized (cos of his neurotic doubtful) and why would i call from that itself if it was me trying to fool him? I called in a whim bcos i was worried about the situation, without even thinking that he would later check this bill. Then he said he is sure i had been calling my friend from my other prepaid Vodafone number for which bill cannot be generated. And so i went ahead to prove my innocence by logging into My account from where i found that 2 weeks call usage can be generated. I showed him this, and after going through everything his immediate response was “But there are no incoming calls in this.” Once when we had a fight he called his ex gf who dint pick his call cos she hates him and threw him out. But he called her from another num and she picked and said she doesn’t wanna talk and slammed. When i found out abt this incident i did not react the way he did to me abt this incident. He said sorry and he just wanted to check on her and i bought it. But even when i had a valid reason to call my friend he reacted so badly. I cried myself to sleep, but later he said sorry and we patched up again.
    The same day (that is yesterday) he brought up a discussion about some festival where his friend and gf were going to, and he kept saying about taking hash and other drugs while there. He was very excited about it and me very scared about it. I said him taking drugs and drinking too much is not something i’m too keen about cos of how reckless his behaviour becomes after that. Then he started comparing me with his friend’s gf sayin how happy she keeps him and that i never let him have any peace and never lets him have his happiness. What am i to say? I’m worried of my safety cos of his behaviour, and he just doesn’t get it. And he is comparing me to a gal who has never been verbally and physically abused by a gal!
    Even when he is not under the influence he doesn’t hesitate to hurt me with his words. During every small fight he would start saying that i’ve had many relationships and has slept with guys etc and say i’m a slut. And i do not know why the hell he says words showing his mistrust in me, when i never have cheated him or even thought about another guy. He used to be so doubtful about me that he used to keep all my passwds with him and check my emails and facebook and go through my chats that are years old, years before i even met him and would start a fight on that. The first one year went by mostly like that. Later it came down a little but his verbal abuse and physical abuse for every silly incident continued. He even went to the extent of telling me that he had to hit me bcos of my pissing off character when he very well knows what happened that night. He woke me up from my sleep and beat the shit out of me. And he uses my troubled childhood against me when we have a fight. (My parents were too busy and they never took care of me, for which reason i was molested while i was a kid). He knows all about my past and when in a fight many times he has said that “its bcos of your character that no one is there for you and no one cared about u” or that “u r not good enough to be loved, and u will never have anyone in ur life” or that ‘’Being in a relation with my ex gf was so much better” I’ve been so exhausted with all this that i’ve broken up with him many times, but everytime after few days he would come and beg me to take him back and i would when he promises me to treat me well.
    A 1000 broken promises later i still get to hear i’m not as good as someone else’s gal bcos i’m afraid of my safety due to the reasons he himself gave me. He is not even willing to change or put an earnest effort so that i feel like trusting him with my life again. Instead he just wants to keep living recklessly, call me names shout at me, use violence and terrify me, and still expects me to act very normal as if nothing is wrong. Anyway now i’ve told myself that i can’t be suicidal like this. It’s been more than 1.5 years of this and i’m truly fed up. So i told him to leave me alone, and have shut him out of my life. I’ve been so worried and anxious about my future with him all these while. . I’ve had so many nightmares about our married life, about him hitting me and me lying dead. I feel so trapped and so suffocated and hurt and disappointed. Both our parents know about the relation and they have decided to do the wedding in few months. But i don’t think i can carry on this way if he doesn’t genuinely change. It has been such a difficult 1.5 years. Infact I couldn’t even sit down and write all this in one go. It was hurting inside that i had to break it into several sessions before i could finish off this whole letter. I’m so broken. Everytime I try to tell him that he treats me bad or that i’m afraid of him and fed up of being treated this way, he would retaliate saying ‘Enough of your drama, just stop it”. Though I have currently shut him out I feel I can never have a normal life again.There is only so much a person can tolerate. I’m past that stage already. Please tell me what i should do in this situation. I’m so lost!

    - RT

    • RT
      The answer is simple, you already know what to do, but you don’t want to go through with the decision.
      Putting all the abuse and personal issues in this relationship aside, neither of you trusts the other. Obviously he does not trust you around men, especially your ex. You cannot and should not be able to trust someone who can’t keep promises, who acts immature in an adult relationship, who resorts to violence to cope with things he can’t control or understand. He has substance abuse issues and like many addicts he is in denial.
      Having strong feelings towards someone without trust is not love, it is a areana of psychosis. You can say you love him and he might say he loves you, but no one can thrive in this type of atmosphere or ever truly feel at ease. Love requires acceptance and that does not exist in this relationship. You both want to but your own insecurities, both his and yours have you pushing and pulling each other in a chaotic dance that no one would see as supportive, loving or of any benefit other than to cover up working through deep inner fears
      Change can be difficult, but so is staying in a dysfunctional relationship. The unknown is scary, but it offer hope, which is something you will not find in this relationship.
      You know what you need to do. Now the question is, will you be self supportive enough to do what you need to do, to do for yourself what you are craving him to do, to give the love and respect to you that will let you be who you can be. If you still haven’t got it; hint, it is a live without this man.
      Once you make your commitment, get some help so you can work through your own ideas of what you deserve.

      • Dear Michael,

        Thank you so much for your reply. I had been waiting to hear back from u for past few days. I know what u r suggesting. And I have known it is the only solution for long now. But everytime he comes back begging I just let him in again. And he has been texting me and trying to contact me again and again past few days.. and yday evening he texted me and begged me to go for a psychiatric appointment with him tomoro mrng. And I couldn’t say no, when he was asking me to help him out. Infact I tried telling him many times that he needs to get the help himself, cos if I’m in the picture later he wud slack off and start saying that he went in for the treatment bcos of my persuasion. He has talked along similar lines sometime after the last time he went in for the treatment. But he wudnt budge. He kept insisting that if i’m not there to support him he wouldn’t do it. And finally I agreed to go with him. But I made it clear that I wouldn’t get back in the relation with him until I feel he has truly changed and until i’m able to trust him again. I don’t know if me indulging in this again is a wrong move. But i’m just not able to say no when he is begging me to help him out. He said he wants to undergo deaddiction and psychiatric treatment. I’m very apprehensive about meeting him tomoro. But I still told him I would. Please tell me if this was a terrible move from my side. :(

        Thanks again for your reply. Much appreciated

        • RT
          He has already shown you what type of person he is. He says what he needs to say to get his way and then he does not hold true to his word. You need to set real stiff boundaries with him. He has not shown you any reason to be lax or reasonable with his requests. You will support yourself best by distancing yourself from him. If he won’t do something without your help or backing, that is his choice. Why should you have to go out of your way to accompany him with activities he needs to do for himself? His life is his to live and he has to make choices for himself that he will live by. If he has to drag you along, then he can always fault you. In fact he is going to fault you regardless of what you do, because if you don’t go, he will blame you for not changing. See you cannot win or do the right thing with him. He manipulates. He is less interested in saving this relationship than he is in minimizing his pain. He is weak and insecure and you will always be punished by his weakness until you are strong enough to say “NO” and really mean, regardless of his logic or excuses.
          Yes this sounds harsh, but not not as harsh as having your heart dragged around and used to feed someone elses problems. If you went with him, it was not a terrible move, it just was not one supporting you. Sooner or later he will be exactly like he was before. The only thing you lose by saying no and meaning it is the BS he is feeding you.
          You are entitled to ignore his text messages and phone calls. You are allowed to tell him you are not going to respond to his whiny immature pleas that make him look undesirable. Tell him to buck up and make an effort to change and if the relationship is really important to him, to do it on his own like a real man.

          • Yes Michael. I totally understand what you have been telling me.And i’ve been thinking along the same lines for quite some time. Well, I did go with him for the appointment, but did not meet the doc.He said he will continue the treatments on his own. And I’m keeping a distance now. He said he will get better with medication, counselling, yoga and meditation. And asked me to wait for him and not completely let go. He talked as if he understands his issues and realises that he has a serious problem. Which is why I agreed to try and make it work if he turns over a new leaf after the medications and doctor sessions. For now, I’m keeping away from him. Thank you so much for all your help. I can’t thank you enough. And I hope you wouldn’t mind it if I reach out to you again when I want more advice. Thanks again. Take care.

  24. I NEED SOME HELP CUZ IT’S KILLING ME EMOTIONALLY AND MENTALLY. MY FIANCE AND I Have been struggling financially and she is the soul provider paying all the bills as I don’t work. I am trying to get work and have had the opp.too work 5 times but never went .. She has distance herself from me and I feel as if she does not love me or want me around. I feel as if She doesn’t want me to be with her cuz when I ask her about her day or where she says and I have caught her. When she is confronted she gets defensive and tries to blame shift so what do I do

    • Tommy, you probably have a few things going on here. One you are not adding value, at least not from your fiance’s perspective to this relationship. No one wants to have to consistently carry another person, especially if that person is capable of contributing. Be part of something bigger than yourself and get a job.
      Secondly the two of you need to talk. Confronting someone about something that bothers you is not the same as having a dialog with them. I don’t know if the work situation is all that is bothering your fiance, but you know you need to find out. So first, ask her when the two of you can talk. If she tries to get out of it, you want to be calm and state in a caring way, that you don’t know what is going on with her and that if the two of you are going to have a long term relationship, the two of you need to communicate. If she still tries to wiggle out of it, just ask (again in a nice and caring way) if she is reconsidering moving ahead with the marriage, if she is having any doubts, then the two of you need to talk about. If she still balks at this, gently say, OK, I will ask you again about this tomorrow, please think about what you would like to tell me.
      Then drop it and ask her about it again the next day. She will know its coming and she will begin looking for what to say. Start over again the next day, ask the same types of questions and if she still is reluctant to talk, give her another day.
      If the two of you dont support each other, add value to each other and have the ability to communicate and understand each other, you will not have much of a marriage

  25. Hi,
    I’ve read many of these posts, and it’s given me a lot to think about. I’ve been in the same position as many of the women here.
    I’ve a spinal disability. I was abused my whole childhood by my mother. I believed I was worthless. A lot of things that are the same as what other people have written.
    The thing that I haven’t seen other people write though is what I think is the most important that women need to know.
    It is so much worse dreading ending or leaving an abusive relationship! I felt terror about it. Like stepping off a cliff, or jumping into a black hole.

    When I actually did it, it was NOTHING like that. I felt a bit desolate and empty for a few days, maybe. Sad for a week or so. But I didn’t feel any terror, I felt no dread, all that awful pain, it was GONE. I still have nightmares about the abuse, but I wake up and tell myself, I’m safe, I’m alone, no-one can hurt me. And it’s true. I feel better, and I get my cup of tea, and look out my window and it’s quiet and peaceful. I can go back to bed if I want, or I can go out to study or work if I want, or visit someone if I want.
    It’s not nearly so bad to be alone. I thought it would be the worst feeling ever. But it’s not. It’s a huge relief. It doesn’t hurt. It’s not like you fear. I promise. I was abused for 9 years.
    It is hard to leave a partner, when you haven’t the money to pay the rent, and you have a disability, or dependents. The way I did it, I just dealt with one problem at a time. That’s all. Really simple. Pick one issue, and find a solution for that. Set it up. Then tackle the next problem. BUT you don’t need to solve ALL your problems to be able to leave. I probably solved maybe half mine, and I was able to leave with that many solved.
    I didn’t have any support. I didn’t have friends or family to help me, I was all isolated by that time. It didn’t matter, I was able to handle it. You’ll find you don’t need support when you’re AWAY from the abuse. I only needed support when the abuse was happening.
    I figured out ways to handle tasks that I wasn’t able to do due to my disability, that was the most important. I found services from the council to help with the rubbish, because I couldn’t do that physically. I used my money to get appliances to help me with the house, instead of getting clothes or food – I found I could live on rice and frozen veg and canned tuna and still be healthy and save a lot of money. I made sure I had the only keys to my house. Change the locks if you have to, say there was a problem with the locks. Save up to do it, or use home insurance, they like if you improve your locks. Make sure your pets are safe, and that someone knows you’re about to do it, and if you don’t call in, they are to call the police.

    The way I did the ending was pretty crucial. I really hope this helps someone. I said to him that I wasn’t the right person for him, I said that he deserved better, and that I wasn’t ever going to make him happy. I said he deserved to be happy. Basically I made it all about his needs and pleasing him. I convinced him that I was leaving him because it was best for him, and he’d be happier, since I wasn’t good enough.
    It’s not what I believed, but I knew it was what he believed, he’d been telling me it for years. He wasn’t able to get mad or argue, because I was saying I was doing it because I cared so much about him, that he’d find a much better woman than me. I did it all really warmly and caringly and accepting of blame. So he had no choice to accept his own words. I kept saying how much I wanted him to be happy. It was partly true, but not what I was doing it for. I didn’t think he’d ever be happy. Turned out I was right about that, but it’s not my problem now.

    I knew it was all just abusive things he’d told me that weren’t true, but basically if he believed I was never good enough, then why should I stay around making him suffer, from his viewpoint? From my own viewpoint, I knew I didn’t deserve to be belittled and hit and sworn at. I didn’t know if he was right and no-one would ever love me, but so what? I figured if I was that worthless and unwantable, then I’d rather be that way by myself, without having my nose rubbed in it all the time. I figured I could at least have some peace. I was right.

    Everyone, it does not matter if no-one ever loves you. You’ve still got yourself. You are still alive. You can have pets and love them, and grow your garden, and be part of society and contribute, and feel happy. Do any hobby that you love. Work, even. You’ll most likely have friends who love you, and some family who do. But even if you have no-one, you’ll be happier. You can see the beautiful sunrises, and the lovely trees and gardens and beach. Go swimming, go to the shops. Get a hot chocolate at a cafe. Being alone is not the bad thing it’s made out to be. I love getting up at 3 am and making scrambled eggs and hot chocolate. I love watching my favourite tv show whenever I want. Imagine being able to sleep at night knowing no-one will come home drunk and drugged to hit you and scream at you and smash your things. Knowing you’re alone and safe. Tell yourself that, when you are alone. It’s important.
    Because I was abused as a child and a teenager and an adult, I believed I needed someone to love me to feel better and complete. It’s not the case. You don’t need anyone. You’re complete just as you are.
    My advice, rescue a cat or dog or bird, who you connect with, they love you unconditionally in return, and it teaches you that you have worth and deserve love. It’s way better. But it’s not worse to be alone. It’s nice to have independence and freedom and safety. I love those things. No-one is worth losing your safety for, or your independence. I imagine that in a good relationship you’d get to keep your independence, but maybe would need to communicate more about how to work out compromises.
    The other thing is, tell yourself that you deserve to be loved. Tell yourself you’re beautiful. Tell yourself you are worthwhile. Many times a day. Just in your head. But aloud if you want. Every time you say a positive thing about yourself, you’re wiping out a negative thing you’ve heard. I think of it like that. Eventually you start to believe the positive things. If you’re having a hard time accepting that it’s not going to work, tell yourself, I don’t need him. I don’t care what he says. I don’t value his opinion. I don’t want to be around him. Get rid of or stash any reminders of him. If you start thinking about him, do something else IMMEDIATELY. Something that will distract your thoughts. Focussing on someone else you love will work quickest, like a child or niece or grandparent, or a pet. Second, do some work, that is hard. It’s true, work does help!
    The bottom line is, I know how it feels, you remember how the nice version of them was. You wish it was back like that. Grieve for that if you need to, but tell yourself, that person was FAKE. They never were real, and it’s never ever going to be like that again. That’s gone. The person that’s there now, that’s the real one. Make sure you always remind yourself of every bad thing he did, when you look at him, or think of him. Those are the real person. You don’t want that person. You don’t love that person. You love the memory of the fake person. If you tell yourself you don’t love this person, you’ll feel more distant from them. It’s a good thing. You’ll save yourself. If you don’t leave, if you don’t do this, you may end up being killed. Don’t let them take away your life. Take it back. You don’t need someone like that. You don’t love them. You just have a need for love and a need for a connection to come back. It won’t. BUT you won’t ever feel ok until you leave. None of these things will work until you’ve left. All the things about having no money or disabilities, these things can be solved. It’s tough and it takes time, but you can do it, without anyone even. I did. You only need to solve the essential things, not every little thing. Have a place to stay, and food, and be safe from them. That’s all you need. If you physically need help in your life, to wash or keep house, that doesn’t matter. You might be unwashed for a while, weeks even, or not have a tidy house for ages, if you’re physically not able. But it doesn’t matter. You’ll be safe from being hurt. You wouldn’t treat them that way, so don’t let them treat you that way. Leave. Bottom line. The way I ended it, he left. He believed it all because of his ego, he wanted to believe it was all about him.

    I knew if he was convinced that the ending was his idea, then he wouldn’t be angry. I was right. He felt all in control and like I’d finally become beaten and felt so worthless I was giving up completely. It wasn’t the case. I was giving up on him completely. Totally different. I was saying he wasn’t worth my effort anymore, in fact hadn’t been for a long time. But I didn’t say that. He liked it all being about him and his needs. Once he was gone,
    It worked. He left my house, and I was alone. And it was not terrible. It was like I finally came out of a really dark awful place, and it was warm and light and lovely. I realised he had brought all the dark and dread and awful with him and he took it with him when he left.

    Even if you feel like it was your fault, then it’s ok. You’ll still be happier being alone, not being punished for being at fault all the time. You might find someone else, but who cares if you don’t? Life is full of richness and amazing things, having a partner is small potatoes compared. We get conditioned into thinking we need one. We don’t. And eventually, (sooner in my case) you’ll realise it wasn’t your fault. You didn’t deserve the punishment, and you’ve escaped hell.
    I saw that some women still hoped for him to call etc. I went through that before the ending, so I get it. The thing is, take control. Don’t hope. Tell yourself he’s not calling and I hope he doesn’t. Make sure you call someone yourself and be busy on the phone. Avoid online chat! It’s toxic and depressing. Do real life stuff. Plant flowers. Collect for the Red Cross. Look after your pets or children. Clear out your pantry :)
    GO OUT and do something FUN! Don’t care about what he’s doing. Remember, his opinion is worthless! It doesn’t count. Just keep saying, I’m safe and by myself, he’s not here so he can’t hurt me.
    If you accept that it’s over, you won’t hurt for long. A week tops. And it’s a great thing when it’s over. It’s like getting rid of cancer. You’ve lived with it for years, and you’re used to the poisonous routine. But when it’s gone, that’s good. There’s a new routine, and life changes, and it’s a good change.
    He did stay friends with me, and it wasn’t a good idea. He was upset after the initial ending, and he was angry a lot, because he was lonely and wanted someone, anyone, but couldn’t get anyone to go out with him. It would have been better if I’d said a few days after the ending that it was too painful for him to keep in touch with me (get it?) and we should not keep in touch, so that he’d be ok. Code for, it’s not good for me, and I’m safer if you don’t. I’ve done that since, and it’s been heaps and heaps easier with no contact. There isn’t ever going to be closure of that sort. The closure comes with you accepting that he brings the bad stuff, and it goes away when he does. And that’s all you need. He never recognised that he did anything that bad (even though he went to jail for it). So you close it yourself; cut out the bad thing, and let yourself heal with time and good things, and it’s closed.
    Just be glad you’re you. And keep working on solving the issues even after you’re safe and single, so that you become more self-sufficient all the time. Write it down, and list possible solutions to problems. Sometimes if I look at the current one I’m working on, before going to sleep, I think of a solution in my sleep :) If you’re lucky enough to have people to talk to, which I don’t most of the time, then discuss the problem with them, and you’ll likely think of the solution by saying it aloud. I write mine down mostly, not having a person to talk to. The internet has been more harmful than beneficial I have to admit, but I’m hoping that writing this will help some poor person who’s been in my boat. It’s not scary being alone, it’s like going back to the person you used to be. The one who could have fun, and laugh about nothing, and cook something just because, and dress up just to go to the supermarket, cos it feels good.
    I’ve been single for 8 years since splitting up with my defacto partner. I don’t wish for a partner. I’m glad to be just me. Maybe it’s sad a bit, because I can’t imagine how a nice partner would be, but I don’t look for one. I just appreciate the things that are good in my life. Some days are hard of course, and I feel lonely. But not for him. It passes with a sleep and a nice breakfast. Or a good movie :) I don’t watch romantic comedies, they are not helpful. Avoid them! They condition you into really bad ideas.
    I like to watch ones where the woman is the protagonist, or the hero. I like A Long Kiss Goodnight. Or Suit, I think it’s called. Or the ones with Angelina Jolie, where she kicks butt. It just is about a woman solving her own problems and other peoples’ even, without needing a man. It helps boost my perception of myself as being strong and independent. Even though I’m scrawny and disabled :) I have my own home and I’m safe, and I’ve got a career, and 2 pets. My neighbours all like me, and I’ve got online friendships that are really fun. I hope to have a close real life friend too, but life could be a lot worse, and was. It’s ok to feel a little lonely now and then. It’s not major and it goes away, it doesn’t hurt you. It makes you appreciate when you do see other people, and you’re extra attentive and good company to them :) I don’t need someone to love me, and I’m fine. I accept myself.

    BTW my ex got married to another lady, the first and only one who asked him out, after our split, he wasn’t in love, but he didn’t want to be alone; and she is really bossy and controlling and won’t put up with anything. I’m not bossy or controlling, rather I was eager to please and easy going. I make sure I’m not so easy going now, it’s important. Anyway, she made him move to another state, and he can’t see any of his friends now, and he’s really miserable. Oh, and they had a child, who has turned out to have real temper and anger problems, who he described as difficult (before we stopped being in contact at my request). I kind of suspect I know where that comes from.

    Since I ended things with him, I was able to solve my self harm (without any help), and I don’t do it anymore, for some years now. I took up exercising more, and I took up new hobbies. I completed a degree, and had some really interesting part time jobs. I expect to continue along this avenue. I’m considering writing a novel, or maybe a book about how I solved my self harm, if it might help people. I’m not sure about that one yet. I don’t know what I’d call it :-/
    So there is life after, and hope. In fact a lot more of both.

    And we all lived happily ever after :)
    I hope this is helpful to someone.

    • Been There – I want to tell you that your comment is immensely helpful to me. I am trying to gather the strength to leave an emotionally abusive relationship, and what you have done is show me that there is hope after that. This is so important because the whole reason emotional abuse succeeds is that it takes away all ability to imagine another reality outside of the relationship. This article has convinced me that I am indeed in an abusive relationship, and your comment has given me the strength to consider leaving it. You have my grateful thanks.

      • I’ve not been physically abused but I was scapegoated in my family and kept trying to fix things, and myself, and failing… I can definitely share that choosing to leave any abusive relationship, no matter how scary is better than finding yourself alone because you repeatedly fall into new victim traps and end up annoying your friends and always needing their support etc.
        Making the choice for yourself to look after yourself is so empowering. Trying to keep everyone happy and ending up alone anyway is the scary version. And putting up with selfish manipulative people as friends because you’d otherwise be lonely, well turns out loneliness is better, you’re then free to go out and be happy and meet new people.

        When reason doesn’t work, walk away, or even, walk towards a better life even if you don’t know what yet, in the peace of not being abused youll find you can cope really well and a plan will come.

    • Wow. You could write a book! Thank you for your words.
      There is hope and I like what you said about you don’t have to solve everything at once. Baby steps and patience.
      I’m really scared but it has to be done.
      Your emmensly brave and smart.

    • You are such an inspiration. I admire you. Thank you for sharing your story. My husband is abusive to me and I don’t have fears of loneliness. But I have two young children and no ability to support them financially. I’ve asked for a divorce a few times but he threatens to take my kids from me. He likes to control and instill fear. I think of how stupid I was to marry him. I fear he would kidnap my kids if I left him regardless of any DVOs. I feel trapped and every day is a struggle for me. I hope one day I can be free of his abuse.

    • Thank you so much for this comment. You have no idea how much it helped. I’m trying to break free from an emotionally abusive relationship but my biggest fears have been around being alone after I’ve figured out a way to keep her out of my life. She has made me believe that our life together is the only way I will be happy, and that it’s “us against the world,” so to speak. My friends live very far away and most books and blogs on the subject of emotional abuse really stress the importance of a close support network which is just not a possibility for me right now. So seeing that there can be happiness after an emotionally abusive relationship, even if I’m alone for a long time afterwards, means the world to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I wish you all the happiness in the world.

    • Thank you for this. It has truly been a help and inspiration when I was feeling lost. I have been in an emotionally abusive relationship with a drug addict for almost a year. I thought if I did the right thing, said the right thing, acted the right way, was submissive enough, sexy enough, gave enough attention, gave enough money, did SOMETHING he would be happy. Sometimes he was, his attitude changing in seconds, and would praise me. He was “happiest” (I use the term loosely) when I was hell bent on pleasing him. BUT any time I’d take time for myself, receive a gift from someone else in front of him, was too emotional, or some other thing his attitude would return to the very scary dark place that I thought for so long was caused by our relationship. Our relationship, in truth, is just a distraction from both of our issues. Mine with insecurity, anxiety, a skin picking disorder, etc. and his with… well, a very difficult past a drug addiction that lead to very strong abusive patterns. Even when we’re “happy” together, it’s more of a patched up problem then something that feels really deeply good. When I have felt complete, it was on my own accord from doing things that I thought were right, not because he was EVER a good dominator. The last ditch effort I made was to include BDSM in our relationship as a means of fulfilling his need for control… but this has dissolved into a myriad of problems, the same problems, as have been present since I met him. Today I was almost free, I felt the lightness in my heart for the first time, but willed myself to “save” the relationship again. No more! I will be FREE. Even if I’m single forever, which won’t be the case because I have SO much love in my heart, I will be OKAY. As long as I’m not with him. I am NOT okay when I’m with him. He does not support my feelings, and when they aren’t recognized or even acknowledged it is SO hard to accept that they are just. But yours, (if you have them), and my bad feelings are LEGIT. Trust yourself, trust the goodness in you, and you will be free. Yesterday I discovered the beauty and magic of remembering there are larger GOOD feelings outside of the one you have right now. As soon as I encompass myself in that peace, I feel the sadness melt away, and the abuse no longer becomes relevant. With the abuse is the abuser, and they both dissolve. And I’m not sorry ;) Thank you for this. I have been in an emotionally abusive relationship with a drug addict for almost a year. I thought if I did the right thing, said the right thing, acted the right way, was submissive enough, sexy enough, gave enough attention, gave enough money, did SOMETHING he would be happy. Sometimes he was, his attitude changing in seconds, and would praise me. He was “happiest” (I use the term loosely) when I was hell bent on pleasing him. BUT any time I’d take time for myself, receive a gift from someone else in front of him, was too emotional, or some other thing his attitude would return to the very scary dark place that I thought for so long was caused by our relationship. Our relationship, in truth, is just a distraction from both of our issues. Mine with insecurity, anxiety, a skin picking disorder, etc. and his with… well, a very difficult past a drug addiction that lead to very strong abusive patterns. Even when we’re “happy” together, it’s more of a patched up problem then something that feels really deeply good. When I have felt complete, it was on my own accord from doing things that I thought were right, not because he was EVER a good dominator. The last ditch effort I made was to include BDSM in our relationship as a means of fulfilling his need for control… but this has dissolved into a myriad of problems, the same problems, as have been present since I met him. Today I was almost free, I felt the lightness in my heart for the first time, but willed myself to “save” the relationship again. No more! I will be FREE. Even if I’m single forever, which won’t be the case because I have SO much love in my heart, I will be OKAY. As long as I’m not with him. I am NOT okay when I’m with him. He does not support my feelings, and when they aren’t recognized or even acknowledged it is SO hard to accept that they are just. But yours, (if you have them), and my bad feelings are LEGIT. Trust yourself, trust the goodness in you, and you will be free. Yesterday I discovered the beauty and magic of remembering there are larger GOOD feelings outside of the one you have right now. As soon as I encompass myself in that peace, I feel the sadness melt away, and the abuse no longer becomes relevant. With the abuse is the abuser, and they both dissolve. And I’m not sorry ;)

  26. Hi My name is Julie. I have been divorced from my ex husband for 4 years this pass Sunday and the abuse still continues. During our 5 year marriage my ex husband physically abused me to the point where I felt hopeless. My injuries included a concussion, multiple bruises, a busted ankle, sprained wrist, being thrown into our Christmas tree twice in one year, slapped, choked while I was pregnant with our daughter, thrown out of our car, shelves thrown at me and much more. He constantly told me I was worthless, fat, retarded and how no one else would ever want me. He would throw hot food at me because he didn’t like what I made him for dinner or it wasn’t hot enough. In 2010 I made him a birthday cake, well needless to say he threw that at my head, missed me and it hit the new carpet. Anytime I would try to call for help he would break my cell phone and rip the home phone out of the wall. He had our daughter at the age of 2 calling me names and to telling me to quit my B****ing.Now that we are divorced my hell still continues. I am remarried and I love my husband very much, however me and my ex have shared parenting. Co- parenting with an abuser sucks beyond reason. He says the most horrible things to my daughter about me. He has many time provoked situations and has done horrible things to myself, my husband and our daughter and then blames me for them. He tells everyone I am the psycho, i am unstable, I am unbalanced. 4 years after divorce he still continues to abuse me mentally and emotionally and verbally. I don’t know how to do deal with, how can I. When does it end? I am miserable,afraid, scared. His mother has even physically assulted me and when my 7 year old little girl said grandma you must hit hard, my mom was crying, his mother laughed. Apparently that apple didn’t fall far from the tree. This my hell, I want to escape not sure I know how. It consumes me. I cringe knowing that my daughter goes to his house. I can’t sleep, I don’t have a healthy diet. To be honest I feel like I am gonna explode and I can’t do anything about it. Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

    • Julie
      One of the hardest aspects of old abusive relationships is joint custody. It keeps you tied to those who have mistreated you. First you want to minimize contact with him. You can set drop off points so that neither of you have to go over to the other persons house and you can have someone else, be it your current husband or parent to be the person actually picking up and dropping off the kids. You want to keep your distance as much as possible.
      You may need to talk to a lawyer in your state to see how the laws will support you.
      Also you want to make sure you get some therapy. You went through a lot with you ex and you want someone who can help you process these old painful events differently

  27. I am 42 years old, married to my husband for 10 years but living together as a monogamous couple for 20+ years. We have 2 children, age 7 and 9, who are so incredible that my heart explodes to think of them. :o)

    I’m a high-IQ overperformer and a pleaser – my happiness is primarily derived from being the source of others’ happiness. I’m attractive – a blessing and a curse. I enjoy the attention and then I dislike myself for enjoying it, and despise the vanity in finding myself attractive. I’m a fairly high-level executive and a male-dominated business world, I’m self-confident, and I’m one of those intra/extra (omni?)-verts. I am outgoing and enjoy people, believing that relationships are what make the world go ’round, but I am also a thinker and cherish quiet time to myself.

    My husband and I met at the end of college and have been together ever since. He told me he loved me after the very first time that we hung out together, and the rest has been history. He is an attractive man with boundless energy, preferring to be occupied with activity in every waking moment. In our very early days together, I sensed a coldness and general unkindness toward people at large, which I asked him about and was explained away as “shyness” and social awkwardness.

    The story of our relationship is much different than as I would have described it to you a year or two ago, but through therapy and a lot of reflection I have uncovered difficult truths that I am having a very hard time processing.

    The catalyst for the change was explosive and destructive: one year ago, during the early months of an impossibly stressful new job, with constant travel, exhaustion and in the midst of the daily crying fits accompanying a mental breakdown, I began to play along with the attentions of a co-worker who understood what I was going through and had expressed love, his desire to be with me, take care of me, and marry me. We had a brief affair, together sexually 3 times before my husband quickly uncovered the truth and our mutual nightmare seemed to begin.

    He was devastated by my betrayal, and I was beside myself with confusion (over how/why I had done this), grief, and a guilt so extreme that for several months I could not bear to eat, dress, speak, or contemplate living, spending several stints in the hospital due to the health effects of the collapse. I was so grateful when my husband agreed to marriage counseling, and I also began seeing my own therapist – both of whom would lead me to understanding the co-dependent and sado-masochistic nature of our relationship.

    Going back 20 years, I can see the transformation of our relationship from young and carefree to domineering and needy over time, but this is only now, in retrospect. At the time, I continued to (choose to?) see things as “normal”. I realized early on that my husband had extremely low self-esteem, but he also possessed an enviable work ethic and I imagined that my confidence would be enough for the both of us. In time, he began refusing to go out socially with any of my work friends and would pout with down moods when I would do so without him. Increased anxiety and panic attacks developed over the years, pulling us into an even more codepedent state. We were rarely separated at this point, both working from home, together, and after 10 years decided to get married when I realized that I wanted to have children.

    His panic attacks subsided and we began a fairly confident early married life. Both of us still held professional jobs with good incomes at this point. After the birth of our two children, the cracks began to widen and my husband’s cold-heartedness became a problem as I reached a point where I needed support and love in order to get through the struggles of newborns, toddlers, sleep deprivation, and work. For a few years we both continued to work and employed a full-time nanny to join us in our home during work hours, but when H began having conflicts at work, and our nanny became unreliable, he quit his job and we let our nanny go, with H saying it would be temporary while he looks for a new job and we find a new nanny.

    Those days became months and then years, with me as the sole breadwinner, in ever-escalating roles with higher and higher demands of time and energy, and the accompanying stress. I wanted to be the one at home with the children, but H held fast that I would always be able to do better than him at work and that I should continue to pursue more and more $$. In retrospect, things were already awful at this point, but I went with the flow rather than confront the option of separation and a broken family for my dear kids. During our many conflicts and H’s hostility and disregard for my sorrow, I would beg for marriage counseling, always met with the answer that he would never do that and that if I had a problem, I should just go fix myself.

    I gradually became the target of constant criticisms, ranging from methods of loading the dishwasher to failure to do enough house chores, to clumsily buying non-organic fruit. Every minute of every single day was open for criticism and anger… especially when it came to any time that would take me away from H, if even for a moment.

    - how long I would spend on an errand
    - chosen mode of transportation
    - work hours, locations
    - procrastination
    - chosen methods of transportation
    - laundry mistakes
    - too much time on phone or computer
    - eating fast food
    - untidy bedroom
    - spending too long tucking in the kids
    - sleep habits (my mind races and I have always had a very hard time falling asleep at night, feeling drowsy during the day)

    I would always end up paying, emotionally and psychologically, for time spent in any unapproved way. Without realizing it, I began spending my days, months, and years walking on eggshells, always in fear of anger and cold moods like a dog waiting to be hit.

    During the years, there also were several instances, sometimes subtle, of cutting me off from friends – anyone to whom I might have something negative to say about H. Early on, he began refusing to see anyone I knew from work, greatly reducing the time that I wound up spending with them. After reading through my messages to my closest friends, and not liking the sex jokes and girl talk about our husbands and lives, H banned me from speaking to them about him ever again. He never was OK with me spending any time communicating with or seeing those girls again. He also pulled us away from time with family due to neverending conflicts in which my kids and I were always the fallout. Holidays and vacations were ruined more often than not due to pouts, demands, and anger at some behavior or another than I exhibited or failed to exhibit to his liking. He seems unaware or just does not care at all about making entire groups/families uncomfortable and upset due to his self-centered behaviors. In 20 years, I have never given him a birthday or Christmas gift which was happily received – every one is criticized for insufficient thought, not knowing him well enough, and not paying enough attention to his wants and needs.

    Arguments became more frequent, and more nonsensical. H would make circular arguments, with no logic or actual events described, always repeating sets of sentences over and over and over as if that would make them true or logical. He also blames me always for behavior that is actually his – for example, being defensive, not being able to apologize, being passive aggressive, seeing angry behaviors where there are none, not listening,etc. He occupies 90% of the talking time during arguments. Meanwhile, he would hear not a word I said, and in fact has never even been able to look at me during any serious discussion or argument. Literally – he stares at a wall or nearby object rather than towards me while talking, despite my vocalizing how dehumanizing I have found it to me, for 20 years now, He has also never said ‘bless you’ although I have told him I would appreciate it, nor would he open a car door for me or walk by my side (he usually walks several paces ahead). Looking back at obvious signs like this, I am disgusted by myself and my weakness.

    No argument is ended until I sufficiently prostrate myself with apologies and initiated physical (sexual) activity. Grudges are held and hostility suffered until such time. The pattern became roughly ever week.

    Our sexual story is as uncomfortable for me to tell as it has been to live. Again, there is much that I see in retrospect, though during the years I sadly found it easier to go along with the path of least resistance at all times. H seems to view sex as the end-all be-all of human relationships with no other form of closeness shown. If I look back, I have never actually been touched by him in a caring manner (caress, warm hug, back rub, etc.) without sex being the end goal and result. Again, how and why I was OK with this I am having a hard time coming to grips with. Sex (intercourse, manual, or oral) once a day would be sufficient to ward off most moods. Days without sex would come with obvious mood problems and emotional costs. The longer, the worse. In addition, I was made to be the initiator, as he did not like the idea of trying and having me indicate negativity toward sexual attention, so I would need to make sure to keep him satisfied or pay the price emotionally. He also enjoyed fairly extreme acts, like circus acts, things either bordering on or actually causing pain (very deep throat, anal, etc.) and having sex in public – not for people to see, but where it would be possible for them to see. I was not comfortable with any of these and would protest repeatedly until always ending up worn down by H’s constant badgering and mental coercion (I’ll never do it again, just this once, etc.).

    I have been thoroughly spied on for 20 years now. My emails, text messages, browsing, internet searches, and even to-the-minute location have been under constant surveillance by my husband. 20 years ago, when we first moved in together, he found an overtly flirty and inappropriate email that I sent to a co-worker, which he claims to be sufficient reason for the continuing monitoring ever since. Now though, I feel extremely violated to think about it. I have not had an unjudged moment in 20 years. Even when I am away for business travel (always pay the price for this on the phone with him and upon return), I would suffer through nightly phone calls the sole purpose of which were to solicit phone sex, video sex, and/or pornographic pictures, all of which I continually protested as very uncomfortable to me.

    I now look back on the emotional abuse with disgust and nausea; it feels like being skinned alive, slowly, pulling away all dignity and humanity over the course of years and years. He never hit me, which I like to think would be something I would have taken seriously, so I never until now considered myself abused at all.

    And we are now back to present day, or at least about a year ago, after H convincing me to take on a job with a huge leap in responsibility and pay grade which facilitated his further ability to stay at home. We both get the kids off in the morning, both are with them from dinner through bedtime, and H spends his days on house projects while I work. The last job was terrible, with an overdemanding boss and unfathomable work hours and travel, which coupled with my home life and marriage stresses took far too great a toll and resulted in me making the decision that would change everything (sleeping with my coworker). It took 6-8 months of guilt and punishment before I began to actually hear what the therapists had been saying – internalizing words like ‘abuse’, ‘sado-masochism’ and their suggesstions to separate, which I still have not had the courage to do. Those first 6-8 months consisted of an extreme level of the types of behaviors already described, to a degree which I find too embarrassing to describe right now.

    I still don’t know how to get out of this, and even though H is finally in his own therapy, it has been several months and he still plays constant mind games, withholds love and caring until satisfied sexually, etc. There was a blissful 3 day period where H showed smiles, caring gestures, and humanly appropriate manner of discussion and listening throughout the days, but then fell right back into old habits. He still likes to get caught on my cheating and “being a slut” as the main infraction and problem with our marriage. And I still find it impossible to leave him, still trying to give hugs and kisses, suffering the cold shoulders, etc. until reaching a point of emotional collapse (like the one preceding me committing this novella to paper).

    • I also feel compelled to say that of course there are many good traits about H! He has boundless energy for the kids, so much more than I would ever have even if not dealing with my burdens. He doesn’t have my lazy/procrastination problems, so is a good contrast. However, I worry much more about the kids than I do myself, which is a large part of my immobility at the present time. I now for the first time ever realize the disservice that I have done myself by sticking with this relationship and allowing my humanity to be drained so immensely. I can live with that. I want what’s best for them and I know that they would hate to see us separated. What I don’t want though, is for two more human beings put into the world with no sense of human connection nor self-confidence to take care of themselves. Can they get this from me? I don’t feel that I have any energy these days – cannot even focus on work due to my head spinning with all of these revelations.

      I should also mention that H surfaced a deep childhood wound after the affair – something he had not told me or anyone else in his life. This and his own parents’ immaturity and selfishness are what has led him to thankfully seek his own therapy, for which I am extremely grateful as he is the father of my children no matter what, and because I wish him the best.

      Do I need a support group? Is there still hope for us to turn things around in this marriage? That is what I continue to hope for against hope. My ideal of a mature, renewed relationship which keeps my family intact.

      • W
        There are so many dynamics in your relationship to be addressed, but let me just focus on a few. In a relationship like this, where one person is controlling (and H is very controlling), living in fear, insecure and whatever else he exhibits, it erodes the ability to have a healthy relationship.
        You want your kids to come from a healthy home and that can only occur if there is a healthy relationship. H learned some of his traits and behaviors from his parents as you did from yours. Most of what we learn is done outside conscious awareness.
        So what do you think your kids are learning in this relationship. Mom has to do what she is told to do, men have the upper hand, women should work harder then men, that if you are pushed hard you have to give, I don’t know what the answer is because your kids are going to pick up traits from both of you. The core of this learning happend when children are young and then it reinforced.
        The most important thing any parent can teach their children is how to make self supportive choices, how to be empowered, how to get along with others without depleting yourself.
        You and your husband have been set in your patterns for 20 years. You are starting to get realizations and while a bit overwhelming (something you should be discussing with your therapist), your husband may or may not ever make changes. His life, while locked up in his own insecurities, has been pretty easy compared to all the suffering you have been through. He may not ever see how damaging his actions have been.
        You are a smart women, but you haven’t had a sense of yourself and your own ability to be self supportive. Can you keep this relationship together and it be better than it was, probably because anything would be better than it was. Will the two of you ever have a real workable and healthy relationship is the real question. From your descriptions it is hard to see how, but no one can tell you what choices to make. Right now your head is spinning, so this is not the time to make life altering decisions. Your therapist should be able to help you get into a frame of mind to help you process these things a bit more effectively. Support groups may also be helpful

    • Thank you so much for this very personal story. Your husbands behaviors very much show his weaknesses and your willingness to put up with these behaviors shows the vulnerabilities you have been willing to endure. Since it seems you are intent on making the relationship work, one discussion you should have with your husband is an outcome and reasonable timeframe for him to change. Your husband may be the type of person who will go to therapy (which I assume you are paying for, so no real commitment on his end) and still be able to get what he wants. You will need real outcomes, otherwise he may get stuck on the vague improvements he has made while still doing what he wants

  28. Hi, my name is Nat and I’m 25 years old.

    When I was 13 I entered a chat room and “met” a man who lied to me about his name, his age, where he came, basically everything. We started a relationship, and I was head over heels in love with him. He was manic-depressive, and I thought I could save him. I thought that I was his world, and I let him become mine. He would frequently blew up at me for no reason at all, he called me 7 times a day during the commercial breaks of his television shows.

    On the good days, he made me feel like I was greatest person in the world, and on the bad days he made me feel like I was making him more sick. He often made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. He accused me of being a terrible daughter, and made me feel like my straight A’s in school were still not good enough. He was broke, and I would save up my lunch money and send it to him every week.

    Three years later, I learned that he was 22 years older than me. That was only the first lie to uncover. At that point it was too late. I immediately forgave him because I loved him, and he was my everything. He was my biggest secret; no one knew he was the center of my universe.

    We finally met in person when I was 17. He was my first. He refused to wear protection, and I “agreed”. I never realized his power plays. I was blinded by my naivete, by what I thought was love, and my young age. It wasn’t until a year after that I learned his real name, and his real story. I still thought I could I save him.

    We broke up when I left for college, and we started talking less and less– and always on his terms. One day, out of the blue he called me to tell me that he had had a heart attack and now renal failure. The doctor’s told him he didn’t have much time left. I flew out to see him for a weekend, and he was emotionally cold and I got the sense that the relationship that he and I had with each other, he had with several others. I convinced myself that it wasn’t true. He didn’t die– and would email me one-line emails about his recent coma or dialysis treatments.

    Two years later, he called again– this time to tell me that he had a three four year old daughter. This announcement confirmed my suspicions about his infidelity. He asked me if I had a job– I think he wanted money. I heard from him a few times after that, but I stopped answering his emails and to this day, I don’t answer phone calls when I don’t know who they are from.

    At the age of 25, I’m now in a very loving relationship with someone I met in graduate school and is my age and my equal. He listens, never judges, never loses his temper, and treats me the way I never thought I could deserve. These last two perfect years with him has made me realize that love is respect and that the man from my previous life really did abuse me, and probably raped me. Coming to terms with abuse in my past has been an emotional roller coaster, and I blame myself–even though I know that it wasn’t my fault. I am a very smart woman, and I blame my younger self for putting me in that situation and not realizing that I was getting hurt in ways that would affect the rest of my life.

    I’m not sure why I’m writing this out, maybe it’s the first step in thinking of myself as a survivor of emotional abuse.

    • Thanks for sharing. Hopefully your story will help others

    • I am so sorry that you went through this and glad you are opening up. The situation was terribly abusive. You were certainly sexually abused as well; this man is a pedophile and may be doing this serially with other 13 year olds, which is extremely young.. Please consider contacting authorities ASAP.

  29. I’ve been dealing with it for 17 years from my dad. My brother and my mom understand because they know how our dad is but they don’t fully understand how it is for me. My dad started when my mom divorced him, so whenever they fight he brings it up when he starts an argument then blames the entire argument on me saying I like to start things with him. Which isn’t true because he gets mad over everything. He says its me who starts it or I’m showing attitude all the time or that I think I’m better than him. I’m just quiet and don’t like being in the same room with him because I know how its going to turn out. He always makes himself the victim and my mother and I the bad guys. He tries to guilt me but it doesn’t work it just makes me so angry. I have contemplated suicide before realizing that I’m too scared to and it still wont matter. I had four panic attacks last year and I’m not sure why it began last year. I just know that sometimes after he screams or yells at me that I go to my room and can’t breathe. It hurts to move. I will be leaving to college next year but I’m afraid for my brother. I don’t want him alone with our dad. I don’t want him to go through this. My brother is like my father but has anger issues and solves them through fighting. I don’t know what will happen when I leave for college.

    • Miranda
      This is always a tough situation and there are no easy answers. Your dad is extremely sensitive to pain and does not know how to process it. He feels his only option is to blame others. He is miserable and he makes others feel the same. This is difficult for any adult to handle, much less a teenager.
      I understand you don’t want to leave, but you have to. Talk to your school counselor and see if there are any options they can point you towards.
      You can’t say anything to your dad about how he is, he will just turn it against you. So you don’t have a lot of choice in your home, thus you should avoid being in this toxic environment as much as possible. Hopefully you are allowed to join in school activities and if you are you and your brother should hang out there as much as possible so you both can find some places you can be yourself.
      Until you get out of your home and away from dad, it will be difficult to deal with the panic attacks. They may just go away on their own when you leave

  30. My husband has mentally abused me for 6 years and even started it on my 5 year old daughter I have left him before but always gone back this time ive left him but dont want to go back but feel like I owe it to my children to try again. When I am with him I just sit there staring into space he threatens me a lot and has punched me a few times before but that has all stopped I am terrified of him but he begs me not to leave him and that hes sorry and it will never happen again I want to believe this so much as deep down I do love him but when im around him I feel alone he stopped me talking to my family and made me lose all the friends I did have. I now have my family back but im scared he will findbus and take my children from me. My son was born 4 weeks ago and h hasnt met his dad but I just feel like I dont want him to see him so he can pass all hiss hurtfulness on to hin as well as my 2 girls what do I do please help I feel lost and alone and scared all in one am I not worthy enough of someone else do I just deserve to be with him cos no other man will want ne.

    • When things don’t turn out how we expect ot understand, it can be very confusing, but we still have to make decisions and take action. You finally took an action that was supportive of you and your children, you left.
      He is not going to change. He will continue to abuse you and make you feel small and unimportant. No one deserves that. You wonder if you are deserving to be with another man, well you will never find it within yourself if you stay in an abusive environment.
      What you as a mother owe your children is a supportive environment to grow up in so they have a chance to develop into the best people they can be. You know that can never be with him. Certainly having two parents is better than one, only though if both parents are supportive. You man is not, He will teach them how to feel worthless and useless. He does not know how to relate to people close to him, so why subject your kids to this torture.
      Since you have only recently left him, the experience seems raw and confusing. You don’t have to figure your life out right now or who will be your next partner, you just need to distance yourself from him. It is the first step. Let the rest unfold in time.
      If you can get some support from friends and family. If you need, find some support groups. There are plenty, you just have to look. Also make sure your kids know you will not go back to him. Your little girls want to feel safe, they don’t want the ups and downs of this relationship.
      If you are Christian, find a church in your area for guidance. If you can afford it, get some counseling. You can do this, but it will take work, lots of it and you may doubt yourself at time. That is why you want to have people who will support you

  31. Well t start out, I used to be a bad kid, but that was only until about seventh grade. Recently I’ve turned over a new leaf and I constantly try my best to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, but sometimes I just can’t. My problem is with my father, mother, and step-father. In the beginning before my brother was born and I was about 5 years old my parents would fight. Hit each other, spit on each other, choke, throw each other, cuss, lock each other out of the house, steal phones and hack them, steal keys, throw pots and pans and other things. Once when I was 7 my dad locked my mom out of the house and she was begging me to let her in while he was saying I’d better not and I didn’t know what to do. Another time before school they started up and it ended with my mom being naked on the couch in the den cussing at my father which was when I left for the bus. Even when my mom was pregnant with my brother my father treated her badly and she did the same to him. Most fights ended with my mom running away or her sleeping in my room. And the fighting just got worse. Once my dad broke down a door to take my mom’s phone and smash it, which he did a lot. Once one of their fights ended with my mom getting crutches. Another time I saw him choking her against the wall in the laundry room. Once the police were even called by either my mom or one of our neighbors. Sometimes my mom would make me pack up and runaway with her to hotels. Other times I run next door to my uncles. They’d cuss and fight outside, it was just horrible. They’d even have cussing bouts on the phone. They’d pull knives out, but don’t think they ever stabbed each other they just threatened each other. My Grandma would tell me that they were just acting, but I knew better. IT emotionally tore me apart. My mother constantly yelled and said inappropriate things. She threw a lot of things as well. I went through hell. They’d tell me that it wasn’t their fault and that they still loved each other but it was complete crap. This is what led to me getting in trouble at school a lot and having bouts of crying. I told my teachers and counselors that my behavior was due to my parents fighting, and that led to DHR regularly checking up on us. This led to my parents developing a hate on for me. They started yelling at me a lot and saying that I was full of crap and that their fighting was just natural and no one else’ business. They would call me a wuss and a wimp and say that I was just making up excuses so that I wouldn’t get in trouble. They started to despise me. They’d give me looks and their nostrils would flare up, then they’d say how DHR knows I’m a liar. IN 2012, after years of marriage and almost as many years of fighting they divorced. I knew it was for the best and I thought that everything would be ok, but things just got worse. There was an increase in phone cursing bouts( as a matter of fact my dad curses his current girlfriend on the phone late a night for hours and then he’ll be moody and grouchy), then when they were done yelling and cursing at each other, they’d turn to my brother and I and do the same. My mom smokes and drinks and it gets to the point where she’ll just yell and cuss me out, then she’d go on about how she pays for all this stuff for me and calls me an ungrateful spoiled brat. She’ll make me stay in my room for long periods of time as she walks around they house yelling and cursing and drinking. Then she’ll call up family members and bad mouth me and it really makes me angry. About a year ago she got mad at me because I accidently knocked her phone out of her hand. I thought she was trying to snap a photo of me and I put my hands up defensively around my face, accidently knocking the phone from her grasp. She grabbed my arm and repeatedly jerked me around and demanding that I go to my room, but never letting go. I told her to let me go because he fingernails were digging into my skin, she replies, “Digging in your skin?, I’m not digging in your skin.” Then she digs harder and goes, “Now I’m digging in your skin.” I tell her she’s acting like a psycho and then she lunges at me, pinning against the wall. This is the part where my STEPFATHER finally decides to step in. He separates us. She walks into my room and throws all my stuff out onto the floor exclaiming that I need to leave now. She keeps saying how she’s going to make me regret messing with her if I don’t so I take my things and walk outside. She follows and tells me to go far away from her house. MY STEPFATHER does nothing. I plead with her that we can talk things out, but she keeps saying it and starts walking towards a saw that’s on a wooden board that has a sunny D bottle full of cigarettes on it. Now at the point I didn’t know whether she picked it up or not, but I started walking at a brisk pace up the driveway and down Bromley Road. I was scared, it was about 10:00 at night. I talked to God a little and asked for safety because I was genuinely scared. About 6 cars passed by me, and each time one did I would get scared that a rapist would snatch me up. I kind of hoped that a good-natured person would pick me up and take me to the police. My stupid STEPFATHER didn’t come pick me up till about a mile later. I saw the Yellow Mustang with Black stripes coming and I almost ran for the woods. I couldn’t believe that he would let such a thing happen to me with little interference and then let me be kicked out like that. He takes me to the TOM THUMB and gives a speech on how I should respect my mother and stuff, and I just stared in disbelief. He let all of that happen to me? I just wished that he would die, and my mom too. I’m not exaggerating a bit of this either. After that I struggled with my emotions. I was dying on the inside because I needed a mom that would protect me not put me in danger. Even to this day she gets drunk on Barefoot Moscato and smokes about 5 cigarettes and she’ll yell and cuss. It got to the point where I even ran away once, and I almost made it to TOM THUMB where I was going to call someone for help, but she caught me. Finally one day when I couldn’t take it any more, I told her that I wished she would die of cancer from smoking cigarettes and she kicked me out. I stayed with my dad for about 2 and a half months straight. Let me take this opportunity to say that reading has been a large part of my life. When my parents would fight, or whenever they were mean to me I would read. Books from Cassandre Clare or Rick Riordan or Christopher Paolini or Clive Cussler. It would take me away form all my stress and pain. Nowadays that method hardly works. Anyway the time I stayed at my dad’s and even the times before that he was just as bad. As a matter of fact whenever he got mad at me he’d cuss me out wherever we were, even while we were at Disney world at Hollywood Studios waiting in line for the AreoSmith roller coaster. He’d tell me that I only weigh 25 pounds and that I’m old enough where he just punch me in the face and it wouldn’t be a problem. He tells me that I never stop running my mouth and that I’m just a cry for attention. He’ll mix up things I said to him and repeat them to me. Then I’ll try to say that I didn’t say that and he’ll yell and say to stop cutting him off. I try to apologize and say Yes Sir, but he’ll just say that I’m being a Smartass. He picks me up by my shirt and pokes his finger at my chest hard. When he used to cut my hair while he was mad, he’d cut my ear( Which I think was on purpose because it was always when he was mad and was always the same ear). As a matter of fact, once when I go in trouble at school in 5th grade he taped my mouth shut and paddled me in the bathroom. Then he cut my hair, and ear, and made me write 1000 3 line sentences. After that I had to rake the yard and clear all of the grass from the front yard. He yells at me about how I have every electronic that a kid could want. I try to tell him that I would sacrifice all of that for a father who deeply loves and cares about me, one that I could go fishing and play catch with. He just curses and yells that I see that BS in movies and repeat it and that I should shut my mouth. He will yell at me for anything. Peanut butter being in the fridge instead of the pantry( That happened today August 6 2014), and it escalated to him saying that whatever he says goes and that I’m just a scrawny nobody who won’t talk back to him in his house. He says did I hit my head on a pole outside because he’s a grown man and nobody tells him what to do. He’ll yell at me for using too much toilet paper, for eating and watching Anger Management(Charlie Sheen Show) on my laptop, for not hanging out with my cousins because I was trying to sleep, ect. I have to watch his son, my brother who is 5 going on 6, all day 5 days a week, and ocansionally his girlfriends’ two kids some weekends. I see him starting at about 7:00 when he gets home from the Whaleness or Wellness Center gym. About a year or so ago he started drinking protein powder and working out and I’v read how some protein powders have harmful effects or ingredients in them and that would explain why he’s been worse lately. He’s started physically pushing me sometimes when he’s mad. He and my mom constantly belittle me, curse me, then when I try to defend myself they say I think I know everything and that I can never stop running my mouth and how they won’t let me be put up for adoption just because I’m an idiot. They’ll say your teachers my think your smart but we think your stupid. They say they don’t like me but they love me. Sometimes at my mom’s(I’ve recently apologized to her and started rotating back and forth from there again) She and my stepfather and brother go out to eat without me, and at my dad’s he’ll pick up stuff for everyone but me. The rest of my family is no help either.My mom’s mom cursed me once when I visited her in louisiana during the Christmas of 2012. MY dad’s family is the worst though. My older cousins who are 16-19 laugh at me and talk about me behind my back. My youngers 11-13 spread rumors about me and lie to my adult family members about me. Once they told my Grandad that I was saying all these things about him,(Two of them told me a week later), He later called me down there to “GIVE” him a USB cord, which was a trick, and then he went on about how I’m disrespectful and he whooped me. I ran downstairs crying and my older cousins were all in the study laughing at me. The next day they told everyone what happened. Anyway after I ran downstairs and outside crying my grandmother came outside and said that I don’t care about anyone but myself. That stung. Actually it cut me deep. I dried my tears and shakily walked backed to my house and into my room. My Dad doesn’t appreciate me at all. I’m 14 right now and am going to the 9th grade. I’m turning 15 in October. Recently when I was in 8th grade I took the STAR Reading Test and scored on a 12th grade level with other good statistics as well. He didn’t even bat an eyelash. Days later when I made a 79 on a test because studied the wrong chapter, I get grounded and yelled at. Then more days later when I get my SAT scores back form my 7th grade year, I had all 4′s which is the highest score, and he just goes, “You can do better”. Honestly I’m tired of spending my nights crying, and my days hurting. I’m fed up with my family and I’d love to be emancipated, but I know that that is a dream deferred. In the past I thought about suicide but I am a Christian and I don’t want to disrespect the lord by taking away the life that he gave me. I try to forgive them but I just can’t. As I said before reading used to be my escape, nowadays though,I write, which is evidenced by this HUGE comment. Anyway I write stories to let out steam and a lot of teachers and students say that my stories are amazing and really good. It’s funny because just last year I used to suck at writing, anyway I write and I also rap a bit. I figure that I should write full stories, get a job and earn enough to publish and distribute them and maybe one day I can become famous or well known. If that day comes I’m going tell the entire world about this, maybe write a book about it. I’d finally be free from the people who haunt my dreams and I could expose them. Everyone believes that the Boykin’s are so honorable and respectable, and maybe that’s why no one’s ever really helped me. But I do have some audio and video recordings that will prove my stories correct. Honestly I just want to be free. I want to find people who love and respect me for who I am and despite my flaws, but I’m digressing greatly. I am really distressed and I need help, so please give me the best advice you have. I’m a good person at heart. My family and my intermediate school think I’m insane because of the trouble I used to get in, as a matter of fact that school sent my parents a pamphlet for an insane institution for kids. I was in the pantry when I came across it. I cried a lot that night. The pamphlet had a sticky note attached to it that read, “Maybe this might be a good idea.” Thankfully they didn’t send me, so maybe they might not be complete monsters. I’ve never really shared all of this information with any one person. Now it’s on the internet so I hope I made the right decision. Lately I’ve been really depressed and even angry. I have considered running away permanently this time, but I don’t really have a plan and that wouldn’t help my case. Anyway I hope you can help.

    • There are many dynamics occurring here and I want you to have the best chance you can have to make your life something special and meaningful. First you need some allies on your side. Most schools these days are open to assisting those who come from troubled or abusive families. Talk to a counselor there. They may not directly be able to help you, but they should be able to guide you in a direction that will be supportive for you and your situation.
      You are a christian and there are Christian counselors who will work with you for free. They too may be able to guide you to people in your area that will be more able to help you.
      Being in a crappy place with unsupportive people is a reflection of those people, not you. Keep writing and keep finding a way to express yourself and I promise you these things will all pay off in the long run. But you have to take action now and find help in your area

  32. I think something is missing in all these discussions and that is, some of the subtler forms that abuse can take, such as constant non-verbal messages that one is not worth s**t never WILL be worth S**t, a pattern of instances where the victim has *less* worthy achievements remembered and best works forgotten, Examples: being reminded of a race where I came in 8th, and races where I came in 1st-4th, FORGOTTEN, and having a school activity where my assigned partner and I came in first, FORGOTTEN, while a science fair where I came in at Honerable Mention being remembered,and various other achievements, like being one of the ONLY two to complete an essay and winning a Patch for it, a write up in the local news paper for being their BEST carrier EVER—and being one day told (many years later, “You have NEVER done a SINGLE thing to make us proud”….and having the ENTIRE UNabridged Litany of past sins—as updated with each “offence/failure” being recited along with punishment for the newest, and things like being flat on my back, having a fist aimed at my face while being told “DON’T YOU EVER SHOW ANGER TO US AGAIN” (THIS WAS ALL BY ADOPTIVE PARENTS, the fist was my father’s I was a 15 year old girl at the time)
    Also unmentioned is the proven known fact that abuse victims tend to SEEK relationships later in life, that are or become, mirrors of their younger lives

    • All valid points. Relationship issues can always be covered from many angles. There are many ways to be supportive or unsupportive. Thanks for your perspectives

  33. I’m 20. a med student. I’ve been with a guy for more than 4 years. He’s my first love. in the beginning everything was so sunny. It was divine. I used to have prophetic dreams about him. We were besties. all the “signs” were great. The thing is he came into my life when i was just 16. so he’s the only guy i’ve ever seen. I’ve turned down a lot of other guys because of him. The more other guys approached me, the more insecure he got. I did everything i could to assure him. stayed up nights just to beg him to see sense. I quit a lot of friends and made many important life choices just to be with him. I went over board in trying to get his trust. Now i feel emotionally abused. He suddenly stopped caring at all about me. He wants to avoid me all the time. And when i ask why that is. He says i’m over reacting and nothings wrong. He is using passive agressive techniques as he knows what will hurt me most. Every time i try to talk, he says i need a shrink and makes me feel like some psycho obsessed person. Which i’m not. I have pets and friends and i get good grades, help out in house chores, have awesome relations with my siblings. He makes it sound like nothing’s wrong and i’m some masochist who’s creating a situation for attention. Its not true. i was raised to believe in “first love” “only love” and “sincerity”. He used to BEG me and assure me all the time that he wants forever after. Now he says “it will be a mistake to marry you”. He says he’s grown up. and keeps telling me to grow up too. I need some guidance beacause i keep texting him trying to make things ok But his response is always hurting me. He says i repulse him with that. i have tried leaving him alone, begging, being logical, crying, trying to make him SEE. HELP.!

    • People change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. I can’t tell you what is going on with your boyfriend other than he doesn’t love you. Relationships always happen in real time and you have to pay attention to what is going on today and not how things were years ago. Both of you are young and your boyfriend is insecure and while it doesn’t seem like it right now, you will do yourself a world good by dumping him and seeing how other guys can treat you.
      His decisions are his, they are about his own abilities and inabilities to process this relationship and his emotions. His decisions are not about you, only how he percieves you and his perceptions are skewed.
      Leaving someone you have feelings for is never easy, but staying with someone who doesn’t want or appreciate you is painful. You need to accept where his mind and heart are currently at, which is not with you. I know that sucks, but that seems to be the reality of it. You don’t change others, you change yourself by accepting what is happening and making adjustments. You want him to change back to how he was. That isn’t going to happen. He is showing you the path he is headed on and you need to let him go
      Yes this will hurt, but not as much as a life time of someone treating you poorly

  34. Hi my name is Michele and I have suffered abuse for a long time. It all started when my mom left me when I was about 8 years old. My dad did come and get us and integrated us within his new family. But when they left, he turned into an obsessive and abusive man. We lived as if we were prisoners in our own house. We had to ask for everything, and he measured the Kool-Aid and counted the cookies, etc…..Our cleaning had to be immaculate (which I appreciate) and there was a rule for everything, I couldn’t really enjoy my childhood. I ran away at age 15 and moved in with a family where their mother let them do anything from smoking marijuana to drinking and having sex. My life was going downhill and I left to connect with my half siblings where I was molested and mistreated. I started going to church and witness spiritual manipulation and others being emotionally raped by those in positions of authority. Needless to say, I’ve spent my life looking for love to fill up that emptiness deep within in that everyone want to have. But I opened my heart to the wrong people. I was attracted to people who dominated and controlled me. I thank God that I turned out to be a wonderful individual with Godly principles and compassion for other people who are hurting. I’m currently by myself. I want to learn self-love and I want to stop meditating and thinking on all of those hurtful events that I feel is preventing me from moving forward and being able to enjoy a healthy relationship.

    • Life can be an interesting and challenging journey to navigate, especially when authority figures and family members create extreme environments. These situations make it difficult to find oneself, to create effective ways of connecting with others. What all of want is to feel whole and complete. It is within all of us, yet if our emotions, our thoughts, our relationships and capabilities are fragmented from each other, having a helathy relationship with oneself is challenging. It sounds as if you have been through quite a bit and there are things that you want to sort out and at times it gets complicated.
      The easiest way to make changes in yourself is to find a qualified professional, one you feel comfortable with who can help you navigate the emotional set backs and discomforts you have been through and one who will help you create more resourceful ways of dealing with difficulties.

  35. I think its important to start off with saying that my last 2 major relationships were w/ men that cheated, lied and would control me. They were both physically, mentally and emotionally abusive so to find my self in another emotional abuse situation shouldn’t shock me,but it has. I married my 2nd husband 2 years ago. I knew that he had some issues but thought, don’t we all? I was a mom with 3 children & he was willing to take us on so I should just be grateful someone wanted me, right? I honestly think that’s what he thinks now and am unsure at this point what can be done to change his opinion/ behavior.. I thought it was strange that we when we were dating how critical he was of me. I hadn’t experienced that type of criticism and was confused.I was uneasy with this as I felt as if I wasn’t good enough. I started to “try” to get his approval and it hasn’t stopped. I am believing now, it is unattainable. The more he criticized, the harder I try. After dates with other couples, he would ask why I said this or that or make a comment about my clothes as if I was embarrassing him. His friends would comment on how “hot” I was and he wouldn’t say a word. I did tell him how this would hurt me, asking why he wouldn’t complement me and he would just act like I didn’t deserve one. He also would tell me to be quiet while in the company of others. He is extremely concerned what others think of him and this causes him to become angry. I have been in the company of billionaires before that were nothing but charmed with me, so I am confused why he cares what city workers think of me. He is critical of my children as well.I suppose I thought he needed love in his life and we could change him. My children were raised to be respectful, honest and gracious. They have nothing yet will give anyone the shirt off of their backs yet he has every and any complaint of them. The ironic thing is his son (from a previous relationship) is rude, disrespectful, spoiled and refuses after 5 years to even look at me. He is not expected to talk to me, answer me or thank me.When I ask my husband why he wont discipline him or talk to him, he gets angry and makes excuses. But my kids and I have “did wrong” lists coming from my husband. He inst usually violent so it doesn’t appear as abuse but this just seems wrong to me. I feel that he doesn’t respect me, honor my needs or opinions expecting me to do everything he says. I am not allowed to ask to do anything or I’m selfish. He will not put me on his bank account and went over the edge when I used his credit card to go to a woman’s christian conference ( 2 days, 30 minutes from our house. The total was 79.00 yet his son can buy 150.00 sneakers, no questions asked. He has forced me to go to college fulltime, although I know its good for my future job. it s his choice,not mine. The last straw was about a month ago when we had a graduation party for his son. I worked for 4 days cleaning the house, redecorating the breakfast nook and preparing the food. The morning of, he started to be mean to me. I continued to try to make it easy for him but no matter what I did, it was wrong. I bought the wrong everything..After his family arrived he became worse. He started to verbally attack me in front of them. Was grabbing things out of my hand, slamming things around me and humiliated me in front of his brother. He then told me for the next 4 days of the things I did wrong. I am not allowed to say no to anything his family asks of us, no matter my schedule, I must put up with his son’s rudeness, not asking for anything for myself or my children. He refused to listen to me when I asked to leave a party last night because my son had to work in the morning. I was belittled and told now he has to worry every time we go to his families that I’m gonna want to leave and I had no right for wanting to leave or be upset he ignored me. He NEVER says ok honey or what would you like to do.
    I just need to know that this isn’t ok and I’m not going crazy!

    • Ophelia
      You are not going crazy, but you are crazy if you think he is ever going to change. He has issues, double standards and is a control freak. You will never please or satisfy him enough for him to treat you or your kids with any amount of respect.
      I understand the desire to feel safe and to be provided for, but this is not living and your kids will suffer. What kind of message are they getting how women are to be treated?
      There is nothing confusing about this situation. He doesn’t value you and you need to find a way to value yourself enough to put yourself and your kids first.
      You can not find value in an environment that robs all value from you. Your kids will not find value in a place that is depleted of love and respect

  36. Hello there,

    I don’t know how to make this proper. But I am an abuser and I have a history of being abused.

    Let me start with myself.

    For years that I can remember, my father has this tendency to lie to me every now and then. But most of the time he this when he is upset with me that he slams every object that he comes across and the door slamming was always iconic, when I explained myself he would slap a rolled newspaper at my mouth, sometimes berate me even in public. And he always had a way of insinuating an issue back at me.

    As I grew, I find myself becoming more like him. But I was never a physical abuser. Sometimes I would like to my fiancee about an issue that I did not want her to know about. And when I was upset I had this outburst that are hysterical. And I never forgave her for some small things that she did, but I always asked her to forget all the major mistakes that I made. She would always forgave me back then.

    My girlfriend left me, 2 months ago, she said that I was acting alot like my father, she could not understand me anymore. It was my 1st time to actually see myself in her point of view because I always tried not be like my father but I ended up being one.

    If you have advices, I do need them.
    If you don’t that is OK. Nobody really does.

    My message is all those guys with a daddy issues. Learn from my mistake. And make sure you don’t push away the only person who would have understood you no matter how imperfect you are.

    • Alex
      First, congratulation on begining to have some insights on yourself, not always an easy perspective to get. We tend to follow the patterns we are immersed in, even the ones we don’t like. Your dad was a role model. Unfortunately he only knew how react to situations he did not like in an immature fashion.
      Advice is the last thing you need, other than find someone to work with who can help you change some of these undesirable patterns. Advice will feed your mental processes and I don’t think you getting smarter is going to help you. What you need is to change how your emotions act up when things don’t go your way, when you don’t have control, when people are different from how you expect. You don’t know how to accept certain types of differences. Your nervous system doesn’t have alternative ways to process your emotions.
      Find someone in your area and if you don’t have luck there, we offer phone consultations.

    • Alex,

      I want to say thank you for your post. I can’t imagine how much courage it took to tell your story on a site where most of the viewers are or were on the receiving end of abuse. I also want to tell you that your going to be okay and that the fact that you are deciding to own your past and take responsibility for your previous actions is the first step in bettering your life.

      I am a 24 woman, who found herself in an extremely physically, emotionally, and mentally abusive relationship that lasted about 2 years. He too had issues with his father but unlike you, he has never been able to let his guard down and ask for help. I truly believe that you are going to be able to have a healthy relationship in the future because it is evident that you are sorry for your actions and want learn how to have a healthier relationship. Every one has emotional baggage, and you know what, I think that it is a good thing. Dont be afraid to share your past with those who are in your present because how those individuals treat your honesty shows whether or not that deserve to be in your future. your past only become “baggage” if you allow it to weigh you down, so instead carry it proudly. Every experience that challenges you to take a deeper look at yourself is a blessing, even your relationship with your father.

      I recently read a book called “why you do the things you do- the secret to healthy relationships” and it has been a huge blessing for me. After, i broke free from my abusive relationship I met the man that I am suppose to marry, but my past relationship had such a hold over me that I actually scared him away. I am ashamed, but I would sometimes throw things and push at him, almost testing the waters to make sure that he will never do what my ex did to me. I didn’t realize that the abuse I had gone through was making me abusive. We were apart for two months and in that time I took a deep look at who I had become and believe me it wasn’t easy. I had to reface all the old abuse, but it was worth it. Him and I are back together and now engaged.

      Your past does not decide your future. I think that you need to speak with your father about your relationship with him and tell him that you love him and forgive him. I think that the book that I recommended will really help you to find a common ground with him, and will provide you with non-threatening ways to approach him. It helped me talk to my mom, and for the first time she was able to be receptive to what i said, and make a positive change. It also allowed me to get to the root of my own personal pain. It helped me to forgive those who have hurt me in the past and it gave me the confidence that things would be different in the future.

      good luck Alex, everything is going to be okay for your. Your not an abuser, you are just having a hard time forgiving those in your past, so that you can trust people in your present. Keep working hard and remember everything happens for a reason, don’t lose faith.

  37. Hi, I am married since 5 years and mother of a sweet little daughter.. My husband is short tempered by nature. but this has never scared me like others around him. I have always stood for my self. One night last week we had a real good argument for no big reason and it got stretched upto literal level of fight and we both insulted each other.hurt each other physically and emotionally.we did not converse since then.Just for daughter’s sake we act normally but we do not have any emotional or physical connection since a week. This sometimes disturbs me and I feel like running away. Such a fight was not the first one for us but Everytime I would become submissive. irrespective of being anyone’s fault I would be sorry and try to make hime normal with love and care. but this time things are different.I am badly hurt. physically and emotionally and this man has no guts to show any care or concern. we are living in the same home but far far from eachother.. and it is very tough situation for me . because of this fight my 1 yr old daughter’s sole responsibility has become mine and i am stressed. please guide what is the right way to control him.

    • Purvi
      Since you have had multiple fights and disagreements over the years and just had a really big one, your reaction of pulling away is to be expected. The two of you do not know how to communicate to each other differently and the patterns of communication the two of you have been using is not working. Both of you push each other to minimize your own discomfort.
      It’s great that you stand up for yourself, but neither of you are standing up for the relationship, for how the two of you can relate to each other effectively. You are two individuals in the same environment and have not figured out a way to work through your differences. If you can’t do that, nothing will change.
      Now whether or not this relationship is worth saving is something the two of you will need to figure out. If it is, seek some professional help. Your husband may also need additional help so that he can stop reacting to his emotions and start responding.
      You are never going to control your husband and more than he is going to control you. When you are both ready, you need to sit down with your husband discuss how the two of you want to move forward. Don’t settle for vague or idle promises of things being better, that isn’t going to work for you. Work with someone, get some help, otherwise you will both go down a pathway of destruction

  38. I met A at university, he was the kindest man and very charming too. He seemed very devoted to his religion which I knew nothing about, but it seemed so pure that it completely fascinated me. He would talk to me about the future and how much he wanted it to work between us despite our completely different backgrounds. I felt as if he could understand me like no one ever did before. A year after being with A, I found out he cheated on me. It was painful but I thought leaving him would be more painful so I forgave him. This time I was less naive and would pick up any sign of betrayal. Every single day after he cheated I could find a reason to leave him but I quickly change my mind when I had this thoughts because I didn’t feel ready to loose him. We got married, just the two of us, he told me his family did not accepted me. 1 month later I was pregnant and ready to forget all the past and start new. Pregnancy was the start of my way to hell, got beaten, cheated on and was constantly emotionally abused. He verbally abused members of my family and friends. My son is one year, he is still around and abusing me emotionally. He stop hitting me when I called the police, 8 months ago. One of my friends told me he might be bipolar, I did some research and convinced him to seek help. He says he is going to therapy this week, don’t know if it’s true as he lied many times about it and about everything really.

    Today I decided to let go, he is not at home, our last fight destroyed me and he agreed to leave. Bipolar or not I am tired to try to help him, I spend 4 years living for him and what I have today are horrible feelings of sadness, hurt, shame and fear. I believe there was never a good A, that he is lost and never learned to live or respect someone.

    Reading all this comments make me understand the only help we can give to our abuser is to stop helping him.
    Be strong all of you.

  39. Hi,
    My fiancé and I have been together for four years. At first things were really good, but he started lying about a lot of stuff. I guess omitting the truth is a more accurate term. But occasionally I would confront him and he would say “no” when I knew the answer was “yes.” But when he got caught in a lie, he would cry and beg for forgiveness and beg that I give him another chance. Obviously I forgave him.

    Well, the past year, ever since we had our twin girls, when I find out he’s been hiding something from me, he completely turns it around on me. Sincere apologies are replaced with “I’m sorry I lied, but you would have flipped out” and tears are replaced with insults. He tells me I’m being stupid, he tells me I’m being retarded. I’m the one who was lied to, but at the end of the debate I become the bad guy and he becomes the victim. He becomes overly angry when I confront him about something he has done and tries to stir me up and avert the attention away from himself. He says mean and hurtful things so he can make me emotional and angry, so that he can win the argument. He uses fear to try winning, but threatening to not come home from work. He says if I don’t cut it out he won’t come home. He has issues with me being assertive and defending myself. He will say a mean and hurtful thing and then when I go to defend myself he silences me and won’t let me speak. He will say we are done talking but continues to go on and on and on even though I’m not allowed to. He lies and hurt me and somehow at the end of the day I am the bad guy. His logic is basically that he can still do things that aren’t okay and would upset me, as long as he lies about it. What do I do? He won’t see a counselor.

    • Those who do not know how to deal with their own flaws and insecurities find all sorts of ways to avoid those places of discomfort within. Those who don’t want to change, don’t know how to change or are afraid of change are weak minded, and the hide their weakness behind tough actions and flawed logic. Your man has all of this.
      The reason your relationship started out well, was you didn’t know the extent he would go to protect his insecurities. Most people would never see his flaws. He spent a life time of telling lies where ever he his dual standards of “I want to do things my way but no one else is entitled to treat me like this” would come up. With you he can’t do this anymore, you have uncovered how he is unable to deal with his own weaknesses. He now feels trapped, you have found out what a fraud he is.
      This is how he is going to be from here on in. He won’t get help because that would be admitting he has faults, problems and issues and he has spent his entire life running and avoiding these attributes. He has to avoid the lie he has been living in because there is no way out of this for him without feeling a discomfort he doesn’t understand or know how to handle.
      So he has to blame you, he has to stop you from pointing out how weak he is. But this is not about you, it is about him, a man who is emotionally underdeveloped.
      Hopefully you can follow all this, because is where you are at. The two of you do not know how to communicate differences effectively with each other and he doesn’t want to learn how. You are at an impasse. You can’t change someone who doesn’t want to change. He is stuck in his own fears and if you don’t change your perspectives about this relationship, you will feel stuck also.
      I would ask him if he feels this relationship is worth his time and effort. His answer will probably be “yes, as long as you stop being stupid” or something like that. Calmly state that you are not asking what needs to change, just is the relationship worth his time effort. If he can’t answer yes without any strings attached, then just say, “So your answer is no’ If he goes down his usually rant of how stupid you are, say “I though you said this relationship was worth saving, why are you tearing it apart?”
      If he can’t tell you he wants to work on this relationship, then he just wants to control you. You have a choice to make, become Those who do not know how to deal with their own flaws and insecurities find all sorts of ways to avoid those places of discomfort within. Those who don’t want to change, don’t know how to change or are afraod of change are weakminded, and the hide their weakness behind tough actions and flawed logic. Your man has all of this.
      The reason your relationship started out well, was you didn’t know the extent he would go to protect his insecurities. Most people would never see his flaws. He spent a life time of telling lies where ever he his dual standards of “I want to do things my way but noone else is entitled to treat me like this” would come up. With you he can’t do this anymore, you have uncovered how he is unable to deal with his own weaknesses. He now feels trapped, you have found out what a fraud he is.
      This is how he is going to be from here on in. He won’t get help because that would be admitting he has faults, problems and issues and he has spent his entire life running and avoiding these attributes. He has to avoid the lie he has been living in because there is no way out of this for him without feeling a discomfort he doesn’t understand or know how to handle.
      So he has to blame you, he has to stop you from pointing out how weak he is. But this is not about you, it is about him, a man who is emotionally underdeveloped.
      Hopefully you can follow all this, because is where you are at. The two of you do not know how to communicate differences effectively with each other and he doesn’t want to learn how. You are at an impasse. You can’t change someone who doesn’t want to change. He is stuck in his own fears and if you don’t change your perspectives about this relationship, you will feel stuck also.
      I would ask him if he feels this relationship is worth his time and effort. His answer will probably be “yes, as long as you stop being stupid” or something like that. Calmly state that you are not asking what needs to change, just is the relationship worth his time effort. If he can’t answer yes without any strings attached, then just say, “So your answer is no’ If he goes down his usually rant of how stupid you are, say “I though you said this relationship was worth saving, why are you tearing it apart?”
      If he can’t tell you he wants to work on this relationship, then he just wants to control you. You have a choice to make, become subservient or start your exit plans. Counseling would be an option, but he has already ruled it out
      Good luck

  40. The last time that D spoke to me in a disrespectful and contemptuous way I told him that I would not accept it. And that if necessary our relationship would be over. Since then things improved but he has carried on correcting a lot of my pronunciation (I’m learning German which he speaks fluently). This wouldn’t be a problem but with one word he will correct me over 10 times and is never satisfied. He stops and says ‘I think you have to have a gift to be good at languages’ (he is fluent in three). He has asked me to stop wearing make up because it makes me seem as stupid as those other women. French, German and Dutch women apparently look beautiful without it. He does not have a good word to say about the British (my nationality) and constantly criticizes everything about the UK. I love literature and reading which he has told me is worthless and reading books is easy, all I’m doing is filling my mind with junk. He feels the same way about faith of any kind and takes the attitude that he is right all of the time, about everything. I’m finding myself not doing stuff that I used to love, hiding things and not telling him things because I’m so sick of being judged.
    Last night we were chatting in a friendly way about tennis (I’m a big fan). I made a comment and he looked at me with sheer contempt on his face and said ‘Just shut up’ in a very cold voice before carrying on with what he was doing. I left the house and spent an hour walking the streets crying. When I got home he completely ignored me and when I tried to talk about told me that I was irrational and we would not talk about it.
    Earlier in the day we had talked about my struggle at the moment with major depressive disorder and current suicidal thoughts which he also suffers from. I’m signed of work and seeing the crisis team. Despite knowing this, during our discussion last night he told me that he does think that I am stupid sometimes and that’s when he tell me to shut up. I told him that sometimes he is stupid too but I would never speak to him that way that he does to me at which he shrugged his
    D. has Asperger’s syndrome. Is this man incapable of caring for me for the way that I care for him? Am I in an abusive relationship?

    • Those with Asperger’s most certainly can lack social skills and they do see the world differently. However the real issue hear is you are not happy. D is opinionated and controlling. you are already holding back from speaking to him in a way you would speak to others because you don’t want to be criticized. If you stay with him, this is the life you will have and it is not likely to get better.
      Those who are unwilling to listen are unable to change. D does not think his perspectives of you or life are wrong. If you watch how he treats other people, he will probably treat them the same way.
      Relationships are never about someone being right, they are about acceptance and relating. D is not accepting you (I am sure he does in his own way, but it is falling short of what you deserve and desire) and he does not relate with you, he just forces his opinion on you.
      The question you want to ponder, is this the life you want to have. No one can answer this for you

  41. I was with my boyfriend for nearly 5 years.
    He had cheated previously early on in our relationship but I thought he was truly sorry.
    We broke up a few times and got back together.
    We moved in together and soon after his father passed away unexpectedly. My boyfriend had always had a problem with anger but nothing I couldn’t handle.
    Not long after his dad died he started becoming abusive. He’d get mad at small things easily. It started with a hard prod to my chest during arguments. Then a push. Then kicking and breaking some of my belongings. Until it escalated to him tearing down a wardrobe with my stuff in, tearing off my top, hitting me in the face with his hat and spitting at me. Ever episode of this was partnered with abusive language. Calling me horrible names.
    He would after feel extremely guilty and apologise and I would always forgive.
    Soon after this I took a job that took me abroad for 6 months. We were still together but I just couldn’t stay.
    I came back and he wanted to love together again. I had hoped all of this was a result of grief and that he was in a better mind set. But before long the verbal abuse had started and so had the prodding and pushing.
    He never physically lashed out on me as much but the state of our apartment was awful from things he had broken in rage.
    I took another job abroad and so has he doing something he loves. I thought that this time when we both returned he would be happier and the relationship could finally be great. Unfortunately, I had been damaged during all of this time and become emotionally and sexually distant.
    He’s now left me for a girl he’s met working near him.
    I feel devastated. After everything I had gone through. After forgiving him countless times.
    He just got rid of me. I know I should be grateful to be out of such a destructive relationship. But I feel it has completely lowered my self esteem.
    I don’t know if I can ever be with someone else.
    Trust someone else.
    And stupidly I just want him back.
    I don’t even know what I’m thinking..

    • Sam
      Relationships can be difficult. They can pit what we know, our boundaries, our beliefs and emotions against each other. We try to hold space for the other person while at the same time maintaining who we are.
      That being said, your boyfriend has serious issues. He has shown you he does not have the capacity to effectively communicate or express differences. He does not know how to process things he can’t control.
      Even though you know he is wrong, your emotions got wrapped up in him and what you are feeling is the initial sting of the seperation.
      You never really had him and while the two of you may have had special moments, he never really knew how to completely relate to you or you him. You can’t relate to his abusive side and why should you. But it is part of who he is. It will always be there unless he gets help
      What you want to working on is trusting you will get out of any future relationships where someone does not hold you as a person of value. If you won’t do this for you, then you are not holding yourself as a person of value and you should be the most important person your life. After all you will be the only person who will be there for every experience you have in this life.
      After any break up, some reflection time, some time for yourself is always recommended. You don’t need to figure it all out, you just need some place to regroup.

    • Hi,

      I understand what you are saying soo well! I wanted to believe each time would be different, that losing the relationship would create a sense of loss and wanting back that love. But it doesn’t. Like you, he just up and went for the next female to come his way literally days after a separation. He doesn’t love you, he loves himself and not wanting to be alone. I finally accepted the truth that I could be anyone to him as long as he had someone who adored him. You and I both deserve so much better than that. We really do. Instead of looking at this as a personal failure, understand tha tthis is your chance to be free and really find a man who will love you for you. And more importantly, learn how to love yourself more. I realized that the reason he had control over me was because deep inside i didnt believe I was worth more, that I deserved better. Everyone in the world can tell you that but you have to honestly feel it inside. I have made a commitment to be frank and not ashamed by what has happened. you shouldnt feel bad for loving him and for mourning the loss of the relationship; he should feel bad for being an abuser and taking something that is so pure and destroying it for his own selfish wants. I wish you the best of luck and stay strong, get counsleing if you need it and reach out to family and friends. People who love you will NOT judge you and will VALIDATE you. I am a stranger on here but I DO VALIDATE you and I SUPPORT you.

  42. Why is leaving always the only answer? It is not that easy I know I will never be able to leave my emotionally abusive husband. I have no other relatives that would ever help me since because I was sexually abused growing up by more than one relative and everyone believes them over me. I have been with my husband since I ran away at 18 and although he is very emotionally abusive this is the best that I will ever have in life and I need to accept it. I have tried leaving but there is no where to go and being homeless would be worse.
    Can’t someone just help me with my biggest problem; my husband makes my life miserable if I talk to any other men, he also expects me to work. He belittles me for not working and does not give me any money. I have gotten to the point where I am not even looking for a job I have been fired from my lat two jobs one because of my severe anxiety and one because my husband caused a problem. Other places I have worked have been more understanding and just let me work even when he came in and yelled to everyone in my office calling me a whore.
    I just need a job.
    I pray every day for guidance from God.

    • Leaving is not the only answer, but it is an answer for someone who doesn’t want to be kicked down or abused. It is an answer for those who don’t want to continue to feel trapped or hopeless. It is an answer for those who are in a relationship with someone who can’t or won’t relate. It is an answer for those who are tired of being violated and have tried to talk to their significant other and who are ignored.
      Relationships are about relating. They are not stagnant set in stone rules that need to be adhered to. One should always try to make things work with those who add value to your life. For those who rob value, why would one stay. If you are willing to put up with being treated poorly, then you can’t expect anything to change. If you are feeling anxious, your nervous system is trying to tell you something, it does not feel safe in your current set up.
      It takes courage to leave a relationship. You don’t just need a job, that isn’t going to change how the two of you relate to each other one iota. If you want change, then you have to change

  43. I have been with my boyfriend just over 1 year and 5 months, through out this time he has told me that my past makes him sick and that the amount of makeup I have worn is disgusting. he’s never told me who I can and cant be friends with however has got me only being friends with females on facebook. im not allowed to smile at men or look at them incase he gets angry. he’s stopped me seeing my friends and sister as they are ‘bad influences’ he doesn’t mind dropping me off at my mothers in the countryside (near nobody) as he knows I cant cheat on him there. he wanted to know why id been given a better job at work (who had I slept with to get my position?!?)
    hes told me he does not trust me and that he trusts no one!
    yet I let him see his friends whenever he wants to and I love him so much! hes not always negative but recently hes been negative a lot..hes tried to leave me several times and hes told me if I left he wouldn’t chase after me. I live with him and his family and even his mother has told me she wouldn’t put up with the way im being treated!

    I don’t want to leave him but I feel like hes pushing me away with all the accusations and insecurities. I cant tell him as he just turns it around to my fault. what do I do?!?

    • There is a big difference between love and attachment. Attachment comes out of fear and love is manifested by the complete acceptence of someone. You can’t possible accept someone who treats you like crap and tries to control you unless you don’t feel good about yourself. He can’t possible accept you and treat you the way he does. He does not love you and no matter what you feel for him. You are the one who has to decide if you want to stay in a relationship with someone who disrespects you. How can you ever expect to be happy with someone who can’t control his own emotions? He wants you to be his doormat so he doesn’t have to deal with his own insecurities.
      You should start making your exist plans. You can’t save something that you don’t have and you don’t have a real relationship with him because he can’t relate to you.
      Now I know this is harsh, but you want to fix something that you don’t own. You have given your heart to someone who can’t accept it and that is a losing proposition for you to stay. It may hurt to leave, but it will eventually be devistatingly painful to stay.

    • I’ve lived and worked through being married to a woman who is a typical passive aggressive for 31 years. I’ve suffered debilitating physical and mental agony over long periods of time and I am left with a disability. I’m very intelligent, very talented, very resourceful and extremely well rounded and my focus during 25 yeas of personal hell was towards our two children, both girls, who are now fine young women. Soon after our first wonderful daughter was born she essentially stopped anything that we had done together before (6 years marriage, 5 years dating) saying “I have a family now, I’ll have you back when they’re older”. I did not leave because I could not bare to think that I would never know my daughter… I knew how things would pan out and I also thought things would change. I have the wisdom of 20-20 hindsight now – it does not change with someone like that. During the following years she has avoided any responsibility she does not want to consider and, although she has held a small part time job which she buys food from (very sparingly!) I have paid the mortgage, all the bills and anything I could to help my daughters (driving lessons, musical instruments… my eldest daughter is now a professional musician). She has cited divorce on several occasions but has never instigated it (various manipulations in pushing, pushing, pushing so that someone else does your “dirty work”) and, having achieved my objectives of giving my children the best I could – financially, emotionally, intellectually and in terms of character building – and having also self studied for a degree and qualified as a teacher and recovered enough health to be able to work part time while I lived in 4.5 square meters of the 5 bedroom house I paid and still pay for while she has avoided working beyond a few hours a week or training to advance her potential and what she could bring to the family, I have recently considered divorce. I have no advice to give anyone… I was wet behind the ears and I actually did love her, but I have now learnt that for all my endeavour, honesty, care and attention that the courts would look at my wife and say “she gave up work to have a family and it’s a long marriage” (she told me… we might as well get a divorce if we don’t have a family) and they are likely to rule that I pay her maintenance because – amazingly, I have a bigger income! I receive an ill health pension and some earning from part time teaching. I have had periods where I was unable to work due to my disability. In these “enlightened” times I think it is worth pointing out that removing yourself from an abusive relationship is far more difficult for a man… after all, there seems to be a general view that women are “the abused” and men are “the abusers”… a perception which my “wife” was keen to exploit on many occasions when she did everything in her power to demonize me, including false accusations, spinning stories and creating situations just so I would react and aimed at either getting me into a “mental hospital” or prison. Those antics were especially during a time after I had collapsed and was virtually bedridden and, following an overdose at one stage, it is a miracle I am alive. Her response was “I thought twice about calling an ambulance” (she only did so because how bad would it look on her if she didn’t?”, “you don’t know how many times I wish you were dead” and “I wouldn’t have got the insurance money”. I don’t want sympathy but hope that my story is useful to others as well as facts and dependable advice on how to remove myself from this “relationship” so as I can finally have my own life without having to also bare the consequences of a judicial system which is likely to honour my abuser’s behaviour rather than my suffering and commitment to my daughters (I’m told that the courts will say “it was your choice to stay (so tough shit))” PS… for those who may have some good information, legal or otherwise, I live in the UK. Thanks, in anticipation.

      • Paul
        Thanks for sharing. Abuse is not limited to just women, it happens to men also.

      • Dear Paul,
        I’m so sorry – I live virtually an exact mirror image of your story with my husband. I’ve been married a longer time and my health has gone looking after him – he’s in life long poor health – and don’t I know it (bitter, bitter laugh, it’s what kept me here; that and my misplaced loyalty and belief in his words). If I do go, I’m scared he’ll latch onto our grown up son and drain him.

        You’re right, financially I’d suffer too in leaving so like you, I stay and prepare to live as cooperative a life you can with someone who in effect doesn’t know what compassionate love is. Our son was a hindrance to him till he got old enough to leave home but I shielded him from his dad’s behaviour and as far as possible he doesn’t know and I don’t want him to.

        Can’t you leave though – if you have the physical ability to – you may be poorer but lots happier than having acid eat your soul and heart daily?

        Meantime, live as independent and fulfilled honorable life in the home, respecting her but respecting yourself too? I’m trying to do this, but am scared. He’s very controlling and manpulative, I daren’t give my email or name.

    • Memory please consider leaving him. Any effort to suppress your freedom or with whom you socialize is unhealthy for you and will likely escalate. I was in an emotionally abusive marriage for many years. No matter what I tried it continued and became worse. No one who is abusive is all bad and they were likely the victims of horrible abuse or neglect themselves. So it can be hard to leave…but in the end it is not healthy and you deserve to be in a healthy relationship.

      I have gotten several years of counseling on and off, read many books, and have been alone for quite a while. I would like to be able to date and attract a healthy man, but I am having a hard time trusting people. When men are nice I imagine that they are just trying to get me to drop my guard. I would like to trust again and love someone, but am not sure how to approach it. Any one with suggestions I would appreciate it.

  44. The father of my two teenage children left a year and a half ago, telling me that I was impossible to live with and that all his depression and double slipped disc problems were down to me. He used to take out his anger on our daughter who became trauamtised last year and started self harming.

    I was shocked to learn of this and between myself and her brother did everything possible to get help for her. I contacted school, counsellors, GP asking them to refer her to CHAMBS as soon as possible for fear of taking the self harming further. This was a very emotional time for us.

    After sessions with the counsellor, social services were involved because of some of the things my ex did to our daughter. Shouting, screaming, spitting at her, pulling her hair, pushing her etc therefore he was deemed as abusive.

    I used to step in when one of his moods would unravel which meant that I took alot of emotional abuse. It was never physical abuse but beleieve me the emotional scars imprinted in my mind I think will last me fora long time.

    I feel humiliated, belittled, weak, defenceless, ugly, a nervous wreck and a complete looser when it comes to my children. All three of us have been through a lot in theses past 18 months and although I try very hard to keep myself together infront of my children, I am finding it very difficult being a good mum.

    When my ex and I were together he used to get jelouse of my male friends and friends in general to the extent that I ended up loosing my friends. I suppose you could say he was working my mind bit by bit telling me that I could go out with them , that it would do me good but always making his disapproval felt. He started ignoring me, not wanting to go out and do the things that I liked or if we went out as a family he wouldn’t pay saying that he hadn’t eaten so that I would end up paying for the children and me. I would try to start up conversations and he would just tell me that he as not interested. He would say that he was his own person and that he didn’t want to be manipulated or moulded by me. He stopoped sleeping in the same bed as me and yet I would be awoken during the night hearing him in the same room whisperring that I was a “bitch”. He would see me cry and walk away with a smirk on his face and so many other things that happened. To me this period of time (7 years) was non ending.

    Then after what I feel was very careful planning he announced that he was leaving, not just out of the area but to another country. He ccouldn’t cope living in the same house, area as me and that he couldn’t cope with the children. He loved the children but that he had to go and “find” himself.

    The children thought that this was just for a short while but my son asked me if dad leaving was a permanant thing and that could we please all live together again like we used to. He blamed me for making his father leave and his sister for provoking him so as to want to leave. This truly broke my heart because he couldn’t see the damage that his father was reeking or didn’t want to see and it was just easier to take it out on me.

    So my children suffered at school, suffered at home and as a parent I was always and still am here for them. We’ve had tantrums, strong arguments, fights all the anger that teenage children harbour when their worlds are suddenly turned upside down.

    My ex accused our daughter of being ,the reason why he left. How immature is this???????

    I am coping as best as I can with everyday life for the sake of my children trying to make each day a little better for them but I am exhausted and I am so busy trying to make things alright for them that I forget about me. All I know is that I don’t trust pople for fear of entering into an abusive relationship/friendship, I am always on edge, I think I am someone whom no one is interested in, I consider myself boring and unable to hold people’s interest, I cry a lot, my self esteem is way beneath the floor I walk on, I am exceptionally lonely and I cannot talk to people for fear that they will walk away or won’t want to know me because I come across as such a needy person. Herein lies the problem because I feel so guilty at needing love when my children have gone through so much. I need to put things right for them, they are my number one priority, my needs come second because that was a choice I made when I decided to have a family.

    I just feel numb inconspicuous and socially inept.

    • Relationships can be a real issue when one or both parties have difficulty processing emotional differences. You ex fits the bill. But that is all behind you now. The real question is “how do you move forward?” While you are willing to sacrify yourself so your children can get through this, you are doing them a real disservice. Your children need a mom who is emotional together, one who can adapt and process unexpected and undesired life experiences. They will pick up that you are numb, that you feel socially uncomfortable. It will impact your relationship with them
      The best thing you can do is find a therapist, a counselor who can assist you process the actions of your ex, emotionally get resolution and help you get centered so your life can get on track. What you
      have been through is not an easy things for anyone to experience. But it does not need to wreck your life. Get some help

  45. I’ve been married 19 years and i don’t know if i’m making it all up or it’s real. If it’s real, it’s very subtile! My husband never yelled at me and never called me names. But i feel very uneasy. He will critisize me very easily, if i don’t do things his way he will get angry, sometimes if i disagree about something he will say that i’m stubborn and get angry. If i make a mistake he will laugh and say that i’m so clumsy. He never apologizes when he did something wrong, somehow it ends up being my fault. If he teases me and i tell him that it was hurtful for me, he says that i’m too sensitive and it was just a joke. Lately, when we are with friends, he started to turns the attention toward me and make our friends laugh at me for some things i do or say (nothing very degrading but i still feel like i want to hide because i don’t like to be in the center of attention in a group). When i try to talk to him about things that hurts me, he always find a way to say something that will make me stop talking, something to make me feel guilty.What i describe doesn’t happens everyday, but often enough that i don’t know who i am anymore, i’m lost. 3 weeks ago, i started antidepressant because i’m at the end of my rope. I have a feeling that i should leave, but somehow i love him and i don’t have the courage and the strenght to face his anger if i leave. Most of the time he is loving, so that’s why i don’t know if i am the one who is weak, crazy and can’t put boundaries and it’s all my fault or something is really not right!

    • Valerie
      Not all abusive relationships are violent or full of constant criticism. What you know is something doesn’t feel right, that you as a person feels uncomfortable at times with how you are treated and that at other times these things don’t exist. A relationship is never built on just the good or bad times, it is the entire experience. Your husband good qualities are not enough to off set the negative or unsopportive ones.
      This is always a tough situation to figure out; things are not cut and dry, but you know you have to do something. Clearly trying to talk about things in the way you have with your husband has not been working. His way of joking around doesn’t match with yours.
      At the bare minimum there is clearly a communication issue going on here. He is not listening to you and feels his perspectives do not need to be justified or questioned.
      I would ask him if the relationship is important to him. He will say yes. Ask him if he would be willing to give up this relationship. Hopefully he says no. Then ask him if it is important enough for him to consider making changes his actions with things you feel uncomfortable about. Now here he may get into his approach of you have the problems.
      See if someone only loves you if you have to make all the effort, you have to make all the changes, if you are the one who has all the issues and they are perfect, you do not have love. You can be honest and tell you are overwhelmed, that you are not changing on your own and the relationship is a two way give and take experience.
      See he wants to be in charge of what he gives and takes. That is really easy to do because then you control the environment. I am giving you this so I can take way that. But that is not how relationships work, not effectively. If you can’t talk about where things are important to you, about considerations you would like to have to make the relationship work, then you have real problems, which you do.
      If he wants to stay in his ivory tower of ideas, then you have some real choices to make about how to move forward. One may keep your marriage together, but the other will keep your sanity

  46. About two years ago I met this beautiful amazing boy, upfront he was so kind and sweet to me and made me feel so happy. I will never forget when I first realized something was wrong and I felt scared and upset which was when we went to get some take out, he ordered for himself and didnt order for me or wait for me to order I thought that was strange and kind of selfish because he was paying for me I said something like “why don’t you ask me what I want so we can order at the same time,” after we got out to the car I mentioned it again and he started screaming at me as loud as he could.

    That’s the first sign of abuse but I didn’t act on it because I guess I was startled and scared. Last night I finally couldnt take it after a fight we had and he made me feel victimised and threw things around and blamed me for everything – emotional abuse – I called my friend when he left and I said what he was doing what the argument was about she said that from last time she had been staying with me and my boyfriend that she thinks he is crazy selfish and rude and abusive as last time i was with her getting food my boyfriend showed up belittled me in public and was grabbing me and demanding me to go home.

    I called my mum and told her to come get me because I was scared, I’m at my parents now (they are also a kind of domestic house hold) my boyfriend/ or now ex called me all night threatening if I didnt answer he was going to throw all my clothes off the balcony and took photos of it threatened to break all my electronics pretended my pet cat was having terrible asthma reactions just to talk to me and smashed everything, oh and said he would barracate the door so noone could get in and put the cats in danger.

    he kept swaying from I love you im so sad I need you to your going to pay im going to destroy everything if you want to mess with me ill mess with you, then threatened to commit suicide.

    today im going with people to collect my belongings if he causes any issues I will go to the police, I cant take this behavior for when its good its good but when its bad its really bad.

    • This guy is emotionally unstable. Get out of the relationship because unless he gets some help, nothing is going to change

  47. Hi,

    My dad is in a very emotionally abusive relationship, with this evil gold digging woman. She cheats on him continuously, berates him relentlessly, constantly ridicules him and manipulates his every move. She has cut all his ties to his old friends and controls when and where he goes. She has admitted to cheating, but only the ones he found out about, which was a lot. And I know there have been many more. But she blames him for her cheating. She says things like, if you stayed in shape I wouldn’t have cheated. She does not care about my sister or myself, and treats us with utter disdain. I do not live at home and neither does my sister. But the woman convinced my dad to have a reverse vasectomy and they have a child together, who is now 6. I believe she did this to make it harder for him to leave. He has tried many times, but always goes back because she says she will change and that he needs to worker harder. She yells at him for not working hard enough, not staying in shape, not spending enough time with his daughter and not spending enough time with her. I mean there’s only so many hours in the day. She goes on vacation after vacation by herself, because she needs her alone time (ironic after yelling at him) and leaves her kid for their nanny and him to take care of. I no longer talk to her because she didn’t care that I was suicidal (I suffer from sever chronic pain due to brain injury from an athletic accident) and told me everyone has pain, so get over it. I do have professional help from people about that. I know she doesn’t care about my dad either, but he has convinced himself she does. This last time we thought he was finally going to get away and he moved into my sisters house. He completely shut down as the woman slept with his boss and blamed my dad for doing so. Even after all this she still convinced him she will change. But when he’s with her, he suffers from severe health issues because of all the stress. Everyone is trying to help him get away, but he keeps going back. I don’t know what to do. I desperately need help, because I can’t see him go through this again. I’m afraid for his life if he stays, because I think he will have a heart attack.

    • Riley

      I know you care about your dad and it is hard to see him be treated like this. Unfortunately people have to make their own decisions. I would suggest therapy if you can convince your dad to go and it might help but it also sounds as if emotionally he is willing to put up with this treatment. When people don’t listen or have their mind made up, it can be difficult to dislodge their perspective

  48. I have a complex relationship with one of my relatives. He was several years older than me, already married and has a daughter. I don’t have any specific feeling with him other than he is my relative, and that he’s somewhat a close one because we have similar interests. I didn’t see anything wrong at first. He was nice. I may say, really nice. He often text me and seems to know many details of me that I consider unimportant. He seems very care about me. Everything he did might seem really sweet for other people, until I noticed something wrong.

    No, he didn’t beat me up or verbally abuse me. But he would be jealous when I told him about the attractive guy I met at school—something I never thought he would be jealous of, since he’s already married—. He always wanted to know nearly everything about me. He added all my friends on facebook, even though he didn’t know them in person. He would suddenly engage in conversation between me and my friend that has nothing to do with him. He is like, everywhere. I told him to stop this behavior because it’s annoying and I felt like he had invaded my privacy. He eventually stopped it. But then, over the time, he would talk to me about his past, how he was unhappy all this time, that no one could understand him including his wife, that everyone is being fake, that I am the only one can understand him, etc. He successfully gained my sympathy. He still cares about me. Actually, so much that I feel like being watched all the time. He kind of got obsessed with me. I did aware that something was wrong. Every time he shows his kindness, I started to feel very uneasy, like I want to run away from him. I started to doubt his stories about his past, whether it’s real or not. He said sorry very often, even to the things that didn’t bother me.

    Despite so many things that annoys me, and despite my awareness that he had crossed my boundary, for some reason I always ended up feeling bad for him. I can be angry and leave him, only to regret it. I felt like I have been doing something bad as a human by getting angry at him and leaving him like that. Then, I would decide to forgive him and give him another chance. After I gave him chance, he would start texting me every day and if I didn’t answer him, he would try to find out why. Then I started to regret my decision to give him another chance. That cycle went several times. Later on, I do aware that whenever I was around him, I can be really vulnerable and unintentionally cross my own boundary.

    He often blames himself for making me feel bad. He even said he KNOWS that everything he did had made me feel bad. The last time he said it, he showed me a picture of his bloody hand as the result of cutting. He said, he had to do it to make him stop thinking about me. I don’t know if he really means it or not, since I now have doubt of everything he said.. or if it’s only to gain my sympathy. It was really disturbing, and I felt so much worse that I want to stay away from this guy forever. I also found out that he has been watching my every move. He would know If I’ve seen his message and didn’t reply it, and he would ask me why. It’s very creepy, and I’m scared.

    Finally, I trust my gut to completely leave this person. Even now, I still feel the doubt. I don’t know if he could be considered as emotionally abusive or not because the sign was very subtle. But the way he made me feel guilty, used my sympathy for his own sake, and affect my view about many things pretty much assured me that he is someone I have to avoid. I also have watched his behavior and his words for some time, and I often find inconsistencies. What makes it harder is that he is one of my relatives and we started off well. I am quite a private person tbh, and at first I thought trusting my relatives would be much better than trusting stranger. But I was wrong. Even your relatives can be someone who break your trust.

    • What if someone is just in a bad mood all the time and are treatin you bad because of it. Is that abuse? My husband used to not be in a bad mood all the time and we got along fine. But for the past 5 years is not happy with no one. I know he is a good man, we had many happy years together but he is not ina good mood. What can I do?

      • First there is no set definition on abuse and your write up does not give enough of an overview to get a clear picture of your situation. If you feel abused, then the other persons actions are abusive to you. It doesn’t mean others will agree with your interpretation, but you still get to make your own choices on how you see things.
        Some people become unhappy, are in pain or become sensitive to certain situations and it puts a damper on their ability to relate and interact with others. If this becomes a long term way of being, the person should seek some professional assistence. Hopefully they have at least been checked out by their family doctor to rule out any physical abnormalities.
        Ultimately if someones actions and behaviors are making it difficult for you to enjoy your own life, you have some choices to make. Make the best of it or you have to make some changes, either in yourself or in the actions you will take. These are choices no one can make for you. If this seems difficult or you are uncertain, working with a professional may help sort out your decision making process.

  49. This month will make a year since me and my boyfriend has been together. I’ve known him for over 5 years and has always been friends with him. Im 19 and he just turned 21 in parol. I’ve always known that he was emotional and his past relationship and his problems. When we started taking our relationship to the next step he did not show many signs of insecurity and anxiety. It wasn’t until four months in that i witnessed his panic attacks/ anxiety attacks. He explained to me he gets them a lot due to his insecurities and him over thinking situations. Every so often we get into a little argument over something and he would start breaking down on me and I would help him ease off, because i can’t stand to watch him like that. Being someone who loves her boyfriend can’t help but stay beside and help him go through it and help him relax. He’s always been insecure because of his childhood (he used to be overweight) but, now he is fit and goes to the gym daily and is more confident about himself but still deals with emotional/mental issues and refuses to get help.

    Through out our relationship, its been harder for me to have a social life with my friends without him making feel bad, claiming that I never include him in but the fact of the matter is, i spend every single weekend with him after I’m done with work. I give him all my free time and never spent a weekend without him. He doesn’t seem to understand that there are times where i just need to be with my friends and not with him, and he doesn’t accept that. The only time I see my friends is only at work.

    Not only is my social life non-existent, but he is extremely jealous. If i mention about some male co-workers he always has to say a negative comment like “i don’t like him” or “i would like to speak with him” which are clear signs of his insecurity and jealousy showing. Heres the thing, last night he took my phone and saw that i posted a picture on my twitter of Colton Haynes, when he saw that he immediately reacted negatively and deleted my tweet and said how it was inappropriate of me to tweet about a A&F model with an “emoji heart” and how disappointed he was with me. He was over reacting and i tried to tell him to calm down and that he should not be upset over something so stupid, i told him to go home and to think about his actions.
    He was having a breakdown last night and had panic attacks and this whole situation just affected us and probably scarred me. I told him that he has to talk to him mom and get help and he texted me saying that he will and that he realizes how these past few months he’s been acting like a child and that he wants to help fix this relationship but I am so torn over what happened last night and i am uncertain if i can emotionally go through all this pain. I don’t want to end up being like him – emotionally unstable.
    He is one of the best boyfriends that you would ever know. He always picks me up and brings me home and opens my door and is so affectionate and he encourages me to stay fit and we go to the gym every weekend together and we go out to dinner or movies all the time. We’ve known each other for so long that we understand one another, we’ve always listened to each others problems and support each other. I know he is over emotional and i know exactly what triggers him and I constantly try my best to work things out together but i feel like i focus more on his wants and needs and he refuses to work with my own wants and needs, and that is whats hurting us the most. This whole thing is complicated and I try my best to keep calm and be rational over everything but i don’t know how long i can take until i start breaking down.

    • Gabriella
      The more sensitivities someone has, the more baggage a person carries, the more insecurities someone has, the more likely their partners will get burdened. Most everyone has good qualities, but that does not mean everyone is good for you. Most everyone has redeming traits, but that does not mean they will be good for you.
      You have to see the entire picture, your boyfriend, regardless of how sweet he is has issues he needs to address and until he does he is going to place emotional and mental pressure on you because he can’t be different until he changes.
      He is eroding your love for him and you need to continue letting him know his current behaviors will destroy whatever good this relationship brings. If you are feed up, leave. If you are willing to give him another chance, set some strong boundaries he has to adhere to. Or you can wait until he so pushes you that you feel you have no other choice but to leave

  50. being married to someone that is very controlling and manipulating- keeps you isolated. you will find that your life revolves mainly around him and your children. He will get jealous of your friends/family and do everything he can to keep you from them.
    They love to feel superior and love that you are dependent on them- you need them for everything at this point because he made you so weak. you fear to even drive your car by yourself, go to the store by yourself, or just leave the house. he has done this to you and yet, in arguments- he will blame it on “your condition” – the very condition that he helped birth! so, how do you get out of a situation where you feel isolated, trapped, no where to go?
    first things first- get independent. that makes you strong and gives him less power over you. you find yourself again. You force yourself to go out and meet with your friends/family. don’t shut them out, as much as they want to be there for you, they honestly dont know how to help you- other than telling you to leave, but you can’t. trust me, I understand. if nothing else, they are there to just listen to you while you make up your mind and heart on what you need to do next. no one can tell you what to do but you! some stay because there are children involved. controlling men will use the children in many arguments. they threaten and scare the wife so much that she fears leaving as much as she fears staying. Is there life out there? will you ever be happy again? if you leave him, will you find love again? can you trust again? will ever be brave enough to do this or that???? yes!!! yes !!! yes!!!! find your inner strength. you have it within you …

  51. I have been in a relationship for 2 years. My mum, family and colleagues have all told me my partner is controlling and emotionally abusing me. I am 18 years old and he is the same age. We used to play fight and I’d end up in bruises from where he would punch me or grab my arm. I would cry because it hurt but just thought it was rough play fighting. I soon stopped contact with my friends. At his work meal he said he was going to buy me a new dress because I will look like a tramp if I wear any of the things I had. I started self harming and I showed him my arms and tummy, he told me if I really wanted to hurt myself I would of done it elsewhere. He called me a nutter said I’m f****d I’m the head , the nicest word for me is an idiot. He would wind me up constantly then when I cry he would say I’m too sensitive or blame me for his behavior. I have recently explained to him I cannot be in a relationship anymore because I’m so mentally ill. I’ve got severe depression and high anxiety. Every day I question myself thinking things are my fault. He’s now sent me flowers, told me he wants to down his alcohol. Is this trying to guilt trip me or has he now realised how he has treated me is wrong? He would buy me clothes, take me out for meals which I’m grateful for. I had to tickle him to sleep every night and if I didn’t he would manipulate me by saying ‘I always but you things you never do anything for me’
    I am so emotionally weak due to no fault of my own, and it really has affected my life already. I find myself always apologising , because if I accidentally knocked him then he would shout and say I’m so f*****g clumsy. I feel so silly because I have never realised what was happening, but now I know I can get my life back on track

    • Poppy
      Let’s get something straight here. You will never find happiness with someone whose nicest compliment to you is you are an idiot. Your cutting and depression are signals some part of you is unable to process or cope with the relationship.
      One thing to keep in mind in any relationship, is that if you pull away from the other person and that is the only time they start treating you nice, that they start making promises about how they are going to change, you have a person who is motivated by the avoidance of pain. The problem is that as soon that pain disappears (in this case, as soon as you return to him) and he feels you are going to stay, he will return to being the insecure, emotionally imbalanced control freak you have come to know. This is not intentional manipulation, it is just how he is.
      You are young, so you have your whole life ahead of you, but you are also being run by your emotions, meaning no one can tell you what to do. Just keep in mind your friends and family are not idiots, they aren’t emotionally attached to this guy and are just seeing things as they are.
      Relationships are never perfect, but they do need healthy doses of understanding, acceptance and support, things this guy will never give, not in any meaningful amount
      Stay out of this relationship. If it is difficult, get some professional help, someone who can help you build your self esteem and self worth, because you should not be willing to let anyone treat you this way

  52. I know I am in an emotionally abusive realatioship. My question is how do I get out? My husband has tried to keep me from my family and does not want me to have any friends unless they are my step daughter, which she is my best friend. I am not allowed to even look at my step son, if I do my husband think I want to have sex with my step son. My husband has bipolar but wont get help for it.. I do not know hos to get out. I am disabled and can not afford to move on my own. The place we live in I can afford on my own, but my husbands name is on the lease first so I cant make him leave.. Can someone please help me?

    • One of the great challenges for those being abused is the abuser needs to make the person completely dependent on them. The irony of this is it only makes the abuser see the person they are abusing as being pathetic and useless, so they abuse them even more.
      This is one of the big challenges for those being abused and there are no easy answers. But there are some things you can do. Each state is different, so you need to find out what laws will benefit your situation and which will work against you. Find a lawyer in your area who specializes in seperations. There may be things you can do before you leave that will help your cause.
      Next check locally for services your county provides for those abused. Typically the help is minimal unless there is physical abuse, but they should be able to provide you additional direction.
      Also begin reestablishing old relationships in whatever way you can. The journey ahead will take effort on your part, but one well worth going after

  53. Hi Michael

    Last year I broke up with my abusive partner and after he made my life a living hell.With the help of the legal system he backed off.Ever since I have been suffering from a serious memory loss.Could it be the results of the abuse I experienced and how can I get help because I have been to counselling during that time.

    • Can memory loss come from intense stress or abuse? Absolutely. You will of course want to rule out any other medical possibilities by consulting with your family physician.
      That you have been to counseling is great, but there are many forms of counseling and within each of those forms many approaches. I have no idea what you have worked or the specifics of your situation, so it is difficult to give any advice that may be of value.
      You call the office here and I will glady speak with you 866-718-9995

  54. Hi, I just recently ended a 2 year long distance relationship. The first year was great. We traveled back and forth having a great time. He is at least 11 years older than I am (I’m 34) and we a re both previously divorced. I haven’t seen him in over a year and something always seems to come up when we made plans. At first we made plans of me relocating to be with him until the last year. He said he was afraid to commit to me and kids. Yet every time I tried to break up, he would make promises. He would try to make me jealous by pretending he text me in error. He did many little things to make me feel very insecure. I’m a very attractive woman, but after the breakup I felt unworthy. Especially since the breakup. After the breakup he kept texting me how much he loves me, how he would change, and that I’m the best he’s ever had. Yet I felt like I was being mislead again so I just started Ignoring him. It’s been over five weeks since I’ve heard from him, and being the sensitive person that I am, I feel like he never loved me. I thought he would of fought harder and I refuse to boost his ego. Not sure if all of this was emotionally abusive but I do feel that way. I feel depressed, unhappy, rejected and sad about all the relocation plans and excitement I had was all a dream.

    • Trisha
      Long distance relationships are always tricky because they are somewhat disconnected from everyday relationship interactions. They usually contain some levels of fantasy about how things would be when the people fianlly live together and these ideas seldom play out.
      What you know is this guy had some fears and it created a push pull reaction. He would pull you in if you were too distant or disconnected from him, which what he did everytime you tried to breakup. All of a sudden you were important, he could not be without you, so he made promises. But he could not see his promises to fulfillment because the idea of an actual relationship overwhelmed him, so he would push by hesitating and resisting the steps needed to actually try to have a relationship.
      If you don’t understand this when its happening, it can of course feel very personal, like you are doing something wrong, because you never really know where you stand with the person. Since you just ended the relationship, give it a little time. It still smarts and you still need to process the whole ordeal. Don’t initiate contact or reply to his messages, because it will take you down the same path again.
      This is always a tough space to be in, because there is a transition of letting go of all the ideas you though the future may hold with this guy and now having a future that doesn’t have anything in it. That adds to the discomfort. If your emotional state doesn’t improve or gets worse, then seek some professional help

      • I grew up in a very abusive household, I am 1 of 3 kids, middle child, and only girl. Me and my older brother have the same dad, and my little brothers dad was who raised us. Although I didn’t learn he was not my dad until I was about 4. I didn’t know this then, but he was a huge drug dealer in those days. Treated me like his daughter. He beat my mother many times, sliced her face in front if me, and always for some reason came to cry to me in the side if my bed. Now I’m in an extremely emotional abuse relationship. I’m pretty strong and was married 10 yes to the father of my kids who didn’t abuse me but after 10 years we seperated. Now I get cunt bitch, hore daily by my boyfriend of 4 yrs. I was the first graduate in my family and did pretty well, the life happened after my divorce. We all have our down time. For if we did not know misery how could we know happiness? I had nothing when we started dating. I’ve gained a lot back but because he met me when I was down for 1 little year out of 34, he constantly uses that to attack me. He has my phone tapped, my dam who I don’t see come from drugs so he tells everyone ima crackhead, which I’ve never even seen. Anyway long story short. I never dreamed Imy stubborn ass would be in this predicament when I promise urself I wouldn’t. He tracks my phone, has spyware, calls anyone I’ve ever known and threaten them. Breaks everything, called Dcf, wrote bitch on my wall with marker and on and on. My dad, stepdad is now I’m jail murdering the girlfriend after my mom after 16 yrs. long story short. fuck him. He locked me out again from “his” house and I’m not going back, cuz I don’t need counseling but I’m tired of bullies and I don’t deserve this shit. But maybe this happened cuz I never understood why my mom put up with. She turned alcoholic for 10 years and now has list it, thinks people follow her, also calls me bitch but I still take care of her. Why cuz it reminds me that I will not let some fucker do to me what he did for her. I pray for him, but tonight, I’m gone and not turning back.

        • Leticia
          You are a strong women, but you are also stubborn. You don’t know why you have put up with the abuse and you know you deserve better but you put up with stuff no one should ever put with.
          Unfortunately your posting is a little difficult to understand as to who is doing what when. So whatever is actually going on, remember staying around toxic people will never promote healing. It may make you tough and that’s great if you need to be a fighter, but that is not the same as being healthy. Good luck on your journey

    • My name is Terry. After 10years of marriage, my husband finally left me and now I am alone with our 4 kids. I am devistated, he deserted me and i haven’t heard from him in over a week. What am I too do? It is not a surprise and yet it is. I never felt he really loved me, just that I was in love with him, always trying to make it right, to fix our marriage and myself so I could be more loveable to him. He ignored me, yelled at me, drank too much. The threatened to hit me but never did. He threatened to talk the kids if I didn’t become the good wife I was supposed to be. He put me down in front of our friends, though I suppose I deserved that. But he also had another side and we had good times and he said nice things, but most of that was earlier in the marriage, but these are the things that always gave me hope that we could be more, that we would make this work, that he loved me. Now it is gone
      Please help

      • I feel for you that you are going through tough times and how much this is weighing on you. Relationships are never broken, they aren’t fixed, even though many look at relationships this way.
        Workable relationships require effective communications, which means there are reasonable expectations, there is respect for the other person to hear their side, even if it is different than what one wants. Relationships require acceptance, the acceptance to see people for how they are and not how you want them to be. Without these things and more, you are not really relating to the other person.
        Now I don’t know much about what lead up to your current situation other than neither of you were happy together. Take out the random moments of bliss earlier in the relationship and you have been uneasy with how you fit in to his expectations. You have been trying to be a different person than you are trying gain acceptance from him instead of accepting aspects of yourself
        This man has not accepted you for a while, so it is unlikely he will change. He is abusive and that is not likely to change. His way of dealin with things is to avoid them, to shut them down, to try and control them. He does not know how to relate to those things he can’t control or understand, so while the pain is overwhelming right now, in the long run this is better for you and much better for the kids, because you don’t want to expose them to the continued abuse
        Right now there are no easy answers. This is a big change and there is a lot of readjustment. You may want to work with a therapist to help you work through what you are feeling. This is not over yet, he has not filed for divorce (at least you did not mention it) so you will hear from him again and you will have to deal with his stuff. You need to figure out where you stand on this. He cannot respect you if you come across needy for his attention or love.
        Best wishes through your transition

  55. I just got out of an abusive relationship. Today is my first day of freedom in about a year. Me met through music (we are both musicians) and eventually created a duo together. We sang about positive things, uplifting things to encourage our listeners… but real life was totally different. He grabbed me early on in our relationship and threatened to hit me. I told a former bandmate who told my former band and they showed up at our next gig in full force ready to beat him into the hospital. I begged and pleaded for them to not harm him. 6 months later he hit me while holding his 1 year old daughter in his arms. My jaw was swollen and clicking and my lip was bleeding and puffy. He proceeded to put the baby down and tackled me. I fought back… I think he was shocked at my strength and my anger. He has a scar on his forehead from where I bit him… I’m not proud of it at all, but he was hitting me. I left him for a split second and somehow he was able to convince me that he was sorry, that he loved me and that I was all he needed. I am very attached to his family ( his sisters brothers and 2 little nieces and a little nephew) as well being a virtual second mother to his daughter ( who he would sometimes give and take like a doll in his manipulation of me) I STILL went back to his crap. All along he was controlling. I couldn’t hang out with my friends at all. He was with me 24/7 because we are musicians full time. He checked my phone, my Facebook, my email if i ever left those things unlocked. He flew into rage over messages from relationships years before I ever even knew he existed. I basically had to stand trial for relationships past. He controlled who I could make music with, where I went, how I dressed ( by pouting and fussing or giving me the silent treatment if I didn’t wear what he liked). He was so angry that I was talking to one of my old band mates who came to fight him when they heard that he has grabbed me, that he snatched my phone out of my hands as I was mid sentence and threw it against the wall. He called me names like “ungrateful bastard” and told me to shut up regularly. He blamed me for all of our fights, saying that i was hard headed and needed to learn how to submit. He had his phone and Facebook on lockdown. he was always chatting with people on Facebook and really used that to make me insecure about his faithfulness. He would come and look at my computer screen when ever he heard me typing to see who I as chatting with ( usually I was just typing in a query or a search but he is paranoid). He would guilt me about the great relationship I have with the father of my sons even though I always encouraged him to have a strong relationship with the mother of his daughter.His WHOLE family knows he is angry and abusive. 2 women have aborted their babies when pregnant by him and left with out a trace, one of them with the help of her brother. He has broken my things, he took whatever he wanted from me, with out telling me most times. He even would wear some of my clothing. He took a ring that he knew was very important to me. He rearranged my room and took things, as well as snooped through my things. he would yell at me in public at times… like i was his small child. he cheated on me by bringing woman to my home while I was away dealing with a very serious and emotional family crisis. I gave him my key because he is being evicted and i didn’t want he and the baby out in the street. He called me selfish, he would remind me of how tough times were to manipulate me into feeling sorry for him and not leaving him. I could go on and on and on. What is hard for me, as I sit here tying on the computer that he tried to snap in half yesterday when i told him i was leaving ( its barely hanging on by a thread), is how I allowed myself to even get to this point. My father use to be physically abusive to my sister and I when we were teenagers. I never saw him hit my mom, butI grew up hearing the way he talks to her. My father is very emotionally abusive to my mother. I swore I would NEVER choose that for myself, and yet here I sit, writing this comment on a post about emotional abuse. He abused me more than emotionally. it was spiritual, mental, physical. Even sexual. I remember having sex because i didn’t want him to get angry… he even knew that I didn’t want to have sex but would take it even when he knew I was doing it reluctantly. He even yelled at me for using a word he didn’t know the meaning to. I am more educated than he is and that was a SERIOUS issue at times. Sometimes he was proud of my mind, other times it threatened him. I gave ALL my power away for a whole year. I feel angry with my self. I feel angry with myself because i really do love him, because I became a part of his family, because i love his child. I feel angry with him because he knew how to make me feel special too, he knew how to say all the right words, and do all the right things. I hate him because he wrote songs for me and then had another woman in my home, even as I was trying to help protect him from the harshness of an eviction. Im angry because there are so many memories that I ave to try to forget both good and bad… so many things that he has ruined for me. I turned down record deals and other offers because they wanted me and not him (they saw an arrogance in him him that they didn’t like)… his control over me was so great that i didn’t want to make HIM feel badly by taking the opportunities that came. Now, I am here, reeling from the gravity of it all. I hate him because I love him, and I want him to call me, or text me, or Facebook me. He is angry because I shut everything down for our band, the youtube channel, the email, the web page, the Facebook fan page, so that I could be free of him. He is angry because I left him after meeting and talking to the woman that he had in my home… she is actually a nice woman. They never did have sex because he seemed fishy to her. When she met me she was shocked because she listens to my music and likes my work a lot. He told her I was just his friend and bandmate. OUCH. She told me everything, showed me all contact that they have had ( it was a fairly new connection between them) And BEGGED me to leave him. I was finally angry enough. He had brought another woman into my home and somehow that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I wish I had left when he first made me feel uncomfortable. I want to be free of him. I don’t want to love him any more. I don’t want to want him to call me… I want to remember what he has done if it means that I will stay away from him. I feel like an addict who is struggling to stay drug free. I know that I will not go back to him, I have two sons that I love more than anything…. but I do want to stop wanting to go back to him. He hasn’t said anything directly to me since we broke up. He just posted a message on Facebook about hypocrites because he believes that I cheated on him early on in our relationship… he doesn’t get that he is abusive. He blames it all on me. I feel like he knows the truth though. He knows because I told him before about how he made me feel. I told him that he was making me “loose my bloom”. He couldn’t ever stand it when i cried. It caused him great distress… or so i thought, because he would always “fix it” after tears. when we first were in danger of breaking up after he hit me, he did EVERYTHING he could to get me back. Now he is just silent. I know I shouldn’t care but I do. He is being evicted, he has no money, he is an undocumented immigrant. He asked me to marry him… I found clever ways to keep him at bay. THANK GOD. We were together 24/7… I was his trusty sidekick. The only woman he has ever been with that did everything he did. He loves sports, I have been an athlete my whole life. He plays guitar, I play guitar. He sings and writes his music, so do I . He learned from me. I taught him about music, about literature, about different types of food. I helped him with his daughter because he doesn’t know the first thing about children. I encouraged him to strengthen his relationship with the mother of his child, to spend more time with his child… to spend time with his mother. I improved his style, his vocals, his writing. I organized the ins and outs of our band. I cook. I let him stay with me. I gave him money if he didn’t have it. I was there whenever he got into trouble. I am who he sleeps next to every night… the one he could watch the game with, drink a beer with, laugh and joke with. He always told me that I was his best friend. On the surface people thought we were the perfect couple. I am angry that he could do these things to me… after all of that. I never once put restrictions on him. I encouraged and supported him. I can’t believe that this became my life. I hate that I love him. Thank you for this space to share. I know my thoughts and spelling are all over the place… but that is just REAL. I feel all over the place right now, like a shaky junkie waiting for a fix. How is this my life? I’ve been a confident woman/girl my whole life. I don’t have a problem getting men, I am educated, I am well travelled and well read. I have options… why why why why why did I sit in this? I’m happy that I am out, it took serious strength. For a while I didn’t know if I could do it. But I did… and here I am, hating that I love him.——————

    It took me 2 days to post this… I since have had contact with him. He calls and texts. I miss him so I answer. Please help me… I love him, and he knows it. There is so much in me that feels like I “KNOW” he loves me too. There are things he does and says ways he takes care of me that makes me feel like he loves me. His mom tells me how depressed he is, that he just sits around listening to our music quietly. It breaks my heart He is still not being totally forth rite about what he has done. I love him… I don’t want to be weak… please help me.

    • Dani

      You are an intelligent women and have lots going for you, but that doesn’t mean you have it all together, right? He has some good attributes, but that doesn’t mean he is a quality person. That someone loves you does not mean they can relate to you or that they have positive attributes worth pursuing.

      I think both of you have a misguided idea of what love of is. What you have is attachment, You are emotionally attached to him and he to you. Having strong feelings is not love. Love requires acceptance and that is severely missing in this relationship. He does not accept how you are or that you are smarter (the once in a while that he has a brain fart and likes your intelligence only comes when it is convenient for his needs). He does not accept or respect your opinions. He does not accept what you have to offer unless it is what he wants to recieve.

      Relationships require the ability to relate to each other, especially in places there are differences. This man does not accept differences, not with you or probably anyone else. He is emotionally immature and if you feel comfortable or drawn to such a person, you already know you have familiarity with this in your own upbringing. Get out, do not pass go, do not collect anything but you wits and self survival because this has nothing but trouble written on it.

      You cannot trust yourself around him because emotional attachments are not the same as emotional connections and the two of you seldom connect. You also know in your gut he is trouble. It is unfortunate that you may need to cut the ties with his family if you cut the ties with him, but you are not having an intimate relationship with them.

      Help comes when you start supporting yourself and not this dysfunctional existence with this guy. Commonalities are nice, but they are not going to make you relate to him better on a personal level. You playing the teacher and he the student only worked for so long and he hates that role. He wants to be in charge and if you let him, you will be less than the person you can be.

      Now giving advice about love has a big down side, which is people emotions override logic, so you are only going to listen in as much as you can get the bigger picture of your non relationship to this guy. The good news is eventually you will no longer be able to take his crap. The bad news is, it might be a very harsh and painful journey

      Get help if you can’t do this on your own, it will be worth it

  56. My fiance and I keep on getting into fights. He says I am too senstive and I think he is just being a jerk. He walks away from me when things get heated and sometimes leaves for the evening. When he comes home is all moody and shit. Even if I apolgize he saps at me. This man is supposed to be my soulamte and that is not how people are supposed to be. Is this abuse or what?

    • I don’t know if you are too sensitive or if he is your soulmate or even if you are his. If there are constant arguements, there are some issues that need to be worked on before you
      move on to the next step. It is not going to get better because the two of you say “I do” to each other. Fighting takes two people and from your description this sounds less like
      abuse and more about two people with some differences they do not know how to work through. Before you get married, see a counselor or things will only get worse

  57. I have recently left my husband of 3 years because of abuse. There are a lot of things i feel i should have done and maybe things wouldn’t have gotten so bad or maybe if i had noticed the signs earlier or even knew what was OK in a relationship and what wasn’t. i honestly didn’t know what was OK and what wasn’t OK in a relationship but when i eventually found out i started standing up for myself more and it got worse. The yelling and the name calling and the comparing me to his brothers wives he restricted my use of the car and wanted to know where i was and who i was with he would always say that people are putting things/words in my head. He worked 23 hours a week for the whole of our marriage which was extremely hard, we relied mostly on my parenting income from centrelink to get by and then even then i stressed about all the bills he thinks i have left him because he won’t get a full time job to support his family even though i constantly tell him its also about the way he treats me.
    I left twice before with my son and went back because i believed his empty promises and he would use our son to guilt me back.
    I left for good this time because I realised that it wasn’t going to get better he humiliated me in front of his family at Christmas and used my 8 year old nephew against me (which he’s never done before it’s always been when no one else is around)cause he didn’t want to spend Christmas morning with my family he wanted to spend the whole day with his family even though most of them were staying at our house and we where going to have a big Christmas dinner with them. the final straw though was when our 2 year old son started to call me the names he used to call me and yell at me more, and then he wouldn’t let me leave the house to help my sister, And he picked my sister up and threw her onto the lawn because she was helping me pack and he wanted to talk to me alone.
    I am still in contact with him due to our son and I am trying to do the right thing by him so that when this goes to court it will show but I’m tired of the guilt he still continues to put me through the text messages and everything he says over the phone he still thinks that people are putting things in my head and that its those people who are tearing us apart, he says he can’t remember most of the stuff he’s said and done to me it driving me crazy. He’s all apologetic and says i love you but they are just words to me now he’s said I’m sorry a million times over I don’t believe him anymore.
    Because of my living arrangements i cant get to a psychologist at the moment but working on moving closer so i don’t have to spend 2hours on public transport both ways with a 2 year old.
    I have now realised all the things things he wouldn’t let me do, and i now feel free to go to Uni and make new friends. Anyway i could go on and on all day it just honestly feels good to be able to get this off my chest and to be able to talk about it all

    • Thanks for sharing. Coming to the realization it is time to end a relationship is never comfortable. Actually taking the steps to end it is even harder. Once the court case is done and all the dust
      has settled, hopefully you will find time to work on yourself and get yourself to be more supportive of you so that in your next relationship you find yourself on better footing. No one does
      relationships right. We all do the best we can and that means all of us have room for constant improvement. I am glad you found the strength to let go of this leech. Good luck on the next leg of your journey

  58. I am searching for answers! I am a middle child of 7 and my older sister and I are having a lot of problems dealing with severe mental, emotional and psychological abuse we all suffer during our entire childhood!!! We are all in our late 50′s and mid sixties now, and why is it haunting us so much now at this stage of our life? Why now at this particular time and age? I know we all need help dealing with it! That is obvious! I would very much appreciate an answer?

    • There are many answers you could get for a question like this. This is a general question and I don’t know all the circumstances surrounding the life of your family, so I’ll give you some thoughts to ponder.
      We all learn to deal with things in the best way we can. We all have our own sensitivities and areas we do and don’t effectively deal with issues and life experiences. When things don’t make sense, when they are overwhelming, when we have no way of effectively coping with emotional discomfort, the subconscious mind steps in so we can survive the events. These coping mechanisms sometimes cause us to repress memories, go into denial, to forget experiences, create distractions or have us looking for things to distract us. Some will become obsessive, others will form addictions. Some will focus all their energies outwardly, others retreat within.
      Memories and experiences don’t go away, but they are not always accessable, yet they always help shape us, for better or worse. So why are these coming up now for you and your sister?
      Maybe some life experiences have occurred to jar your memories, maybe some part of your subconscious now needs to release these pent up emotional experiences, maybe there are other changes happening in your life that are effecting how you have held yourself together, maybe you have been under the right type of stress that is forcing these memories out. And maybe it is something else.
      If you get therapy, you may find more specific answers and you may never out. The human mind and nervous system is complex. The reason why is less important than you finding a way to resolve these past memories
      Hope this helps and best wishes

  59. Hi, I think I am this person. The abusive person that is. I recognise at least six of these behaviours in myself. I am wondering if you think there is any way I can change it and heal my marriage?
    My wife has said that she feels alone, desolate and depressed after our arguments. She also says she feels trapped. I want to a: change my behaviour, and b: address her feelings so we can be happy again.
    Should I see a councellor alone? Should I see one with her? Should I tell her I’m working on these things, or just fix them? I’m worried that if I tell her I’ve identified this, and that I’m working on it, then I’m doing that classic abuser thing where they twist it so the sympathy/empathy/compassion all flows to them – not where it should be going. I hope somebody can respond.

    • Justin
      That you are recognizing you have issues in yourself that can be improved is a big plus. Trying to create meaningful change on your own can be difficult, so working with a counselor will be the most beneficial approach.
      Whatever symptoms you noticed in yourself, think of them as relationships you are having with yourself, parts of you that don’t know how to effectively handle insecurities of certain situations. Whether you inappropriately react to things you don’t like or tend to twist the truth so you can get your way, these processes can change. Yes it will take time and effort
      It is probably safe to say the communications between you and your wife aren’t effectively supporting the relationship, at least in some areas. You do want to let her know you are making an attempt to change, that you recognize you can make improvements. You don’t have to go into the details with her, just that you aren’t happy with the way you are dealing with certain things.
      Now many people expect change to happen quickly and sometimes it can, but if you want to change, make a commitment to yourself that you will stick with it. Going for a handful of session is not really much of a commitment. People tend to be abusive because of their own insecuriries and sensitivies. These are not always easy areas for people to address, so it may take some time to adequately surface.
      Find someone you feel understands you and someone who can give you insights into yourself. If you don’t feel you are making progress, don’t give up, just find someone else
      Good luck

  60. My mother was emotionally abusive, almost all the symptoms mentioned in the article during my childhood and later on.
    I left home, but in the last few years, due to some circumstances, I came back home living with her for some time, also with the hope to fix things up between us. Unfortunately it was a huge mistake, she found a vulnerability of mine, and kept pushing it (cause she was “worried about this issue”), I tried to rationally explain that I am not neglecting it and did the research, talked to doctors, and taken care of it requires patient and more than just “take care of it” blind statement, but she kept nagging and nagging and nagging, and made me feel like this minor issue fills my all soul, as if there is nothing else. since I knew my mother I had some defense systems in line so her nagging made me feel really bad, but it didn’t influence my final rational decisions of how to handle this issue. I decided to draw a line and assertively demanded she will stop talking to me about it. I came with a lot of strength and energy and it felt like this would be enough, and it seemed to be enough. unfortunately, she felt she lost power so she decided to involve my big sister, which then also started to talk to me about my issue with the blindly irrational “just take care of it” attitude. unfortunately, I haven’t had my defense mechanisms set in front of my sister, and though I rationally explained the reasoning of why its better not to touch that issue, she kind of insisted, leaving me speechless and helpless. Eventually, this energy of frustration and inner pressure exploded, and brought me to the point where I started to “take care of it” in the wrong way (kind of according to my mother suggestions), and against my and my doctors reasoning. and soon after things got much more worse. so a minor problem become 100 times larger, and including emotional implications since I was emotionally raped, which is the worst part ! I am full of anger, lost all respect to my mother and much of my respect to my sister, I feel I am paying for their stupid mistakes, and even when I am replaying the past, I have this strong feeling of helplessness, as if there was nothing I could do to stop my mother, and stop this from happening (well probably there are things that I could do, but they are quite extreme, and were out of the question at the time). Today, my mother doesn’t seem to realize her responsibility for the damage she caused, and if it wasn’t to my anger bursts she wouldn’t probably care at all, my anger burst just annoys her. Bottom line… Don’t do my mistake ! stay far far away from abusive people, there is no point in trying to solve things with them, and it just not worth the risk. if I could turn back time, I would never go back home, and would rather never talk to my mom again, than having this adulthood emotionally rape experience.

    • Dan
      This is always a tough situation. One of the big challenges in families is the expectation others in the family should change. These expectations come from those who are unwilling or helpless to change their own relationship with themselves, their faults and preconcieved notions about how things should be. First congrates on being able to set boundaries with your mom, that was you making a change from how things used to be. Unfortunately, you expected things to be different from a women who has never shown you or ever made an agreement with you that she would be different, not in the way you wanted.
      Your mom and sister also had expections, that you would do things their way, that they know more about you than you know about yourself, that you should listen to them, etc. Whatever the issue was your mom wanted to change, it was because she didn’t know how to change her perspective on this. This is emotionally driven, which is why you rational discussion had little impact. Your mom is trying to satisfy her helplessness by controlling you, rather than making changes in herself. It is a trap many fall into, “you change so I can feel better and this way I can still hold on to my limited way of processing the world and stay the same.” When people are in this mind set they cannot see other options, they do not see their actions as part of the problem.

  61. I am still unsure whether my relationship was truly emotionslly abusive but on reading these comments it does seem so. My ex partner and I broke up a month ago due to his rages over very small things. He would become angry if I did not pour a beer right, use the wrong pan for cooking, leave a plate out, not reply to a text, cut beans wrong etc. He also flew into rages with me about my male friends, e.g. giving one a lift home from work, hanging out with another friend because it was his birthday etc. On my 30th brithday he ignored me in the resteraunt because I apparently had been disrespectful and facetious because I had disagreed with him about something. He often treated me like a silly child under the premise of ‘teaching me’ the ‘right way’ to do things. If I did things my way he would become huffy and quiet. He often witheld contact deliberately to make me worry. I began taking anti depressants and at the end of the relationship I was frightened of what mood he would be in and didn’t want to go round and see him.

    I met someone new last week and, unlike my usual, confident, happy self I am really paranoid about how I came across, whether he wants to see me again, if I did something wrong. That is not normally how I react. My friends and family have been great but for some reason I stil feel alone. I see a therapist as well so I have a lot of support in place. I just can;t get my head around this relationship and its consequences, i feel like I am really struggling.

    • Rach

      For better or worse, we tend to be creatures of habit. Since you recently got out of an abusive relationship, you are carrying some or all of the stigmas from your past relationship over to this new person. This is not unexpected. Your mind and emotions have not have had time yet to reset or stabilze.

      There are a few things you can do to help yourself. First, put off the urge to immediately get into another relationship. You need some time to find your old self again. This is a classic rebound relationship and those seldom work. Since you are already feeling paranoid, you can’t really feel trust with someone new and that will strain any relationship.

      Hopefully your therapy is helping you resolve the emotional and mental set backs. Try not to think of this of this as fixing yourself, rather as reestablising a relationship with yourself. Right now you don’t have a sense of of where you stand with others because you no longer know where you stand with yourself, not on the emotional level

      Go back and find something you useds to love to do and see if you can rekindle that passion.

      Good luck

  62. I just got out of a 3 year emotionally abusive relationship. I’ve been feeling depressed and broken, and not because I am no longer with HIM. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Until recently. I think maybe all the emotional and even verbal abuse is catching up to me….I feel sadness and anger. I feel dumb for continuing to be with him. I’m supposed to be smarter than that. He made it seem like it was always my fault and that he “was just being honest” and that “that’s just the way he was” and that I should accept him for who he was if I loved him. I feel ashamed and broken. I know I will be ok, I’m healing from the relationship. At least now I realize that the relationship was toxic and that it was not my fault.

    • I jut read your comment Brenda and I have just got out of an emotionally abusive relationship too. I am a smart and confident person and now I too feel stupid and lacking in self-esteem. He used to say he was only being honest as well when he talked about his emotions, and when he got angry and shouted he used to say “So, it’s ok for you to get upset but not ok for me to get angry as usual! I am just being honest!” I feel like I should have seen the signs too but I think it is always easy to say that in hindsight – we work with the informstion we have at the time and make decisions based on that. Now we are out of the relationships we can see how bad they were. Hope you continue to heal and you’re not alone :) x

  63. My dad has me always extremely stressed and feeling down. He is my coach and coaches me for a competitive sport for juniors, and he used to hit me a lot when I lost because there were certain things I messed up after tournaments, apparently, and so that was why I lost. He always tells me I shouldn’t feel confident because there are plenty of people that are better than I am. It’s a constant struggle because he claims he is the best coach I can have. We’ve had other coaches in the past for me and if he saw me lose, he would blame everything on the coach and convinces me he knows more than the pro coach themself. I’m confused. I am putting in all the effort I can and I rarely get praise, just negative feedback.. My mom and my dad also always point out bad things about me and when I say I don’t like it, they respond “I was just telling you, oh my god.” They pointed out I had broken out a couple pimples and my mom said to my dad, “she’s growing acne.” When I was in the 7th grade, I still was losing my baby fat, and my dad saw me wear a tight shirt and said I was getting fat and needed to lose weight and I wasn’t training hard enough. Recently, months ago, I (regretfully) commented on a girl gaining weight, and he saw me a couple days later and laughed at me for criticizing her, because I was “more fat tan she was.” Honestly, judgement to others makes is the only thing that him laugh, so that was why I did that. I stopped because I knew it was wrong. I practice 4 hours a day and my dad gets so disappointed and yells at me for not improving enough. “How much more practice do you need?” I tried to comment on him hurting my mental skills for the sport, and he totally ignored what I had said and continued to say raunchy things to me. “You’ll never get good” “no that was bad. You played terrible.” I’m stuck. I don’t want to feel this way anymore. What can I do?

    • There may not be much you can do with your Dad’s outlook on his own importance and worth or on how little he appreciates you. Seems like he is a know it all and these types of people seldom listen to anything and nothing will ever be good enough for him, even if you win every event.
      I wonder if you see some of the holes in his logic. He is critical of other coaches blaming your loses on them and then dismissing his own role in coaching your loses and a blaming you. He holds no responsibility for his actions. He has control issues (and low self esteem that he projects on you).
      He says you will never be good enough. Well if that’s the case, why don’t you ask him “why you should even try if it is certain you are going to be a failure?”
      You are trying to please a man who cannot be pleased. That is a no win scenario for you. He is not allowing you to try things your own way or even other people’s way, yet doing it his way is damaging and not getting results. If he was such a good coach he would be able to point out what you need to change in your practice sessions to improve. You most certainly should be able to ask “what specifically could you do differently?” in your practive routine. If he can’t give you anything other than criticism or vague answers like “try harder or practice more” then he has no clue as to what to do.
      By the way, people who are confident always succeed further than those who aren’t confident. Your dad is confusing arrogance (which most certainly has enough of) and confidence. Confidence is believing in yourself, not comparing yourself to others. Arrogance is the process of inflating your own worth in attempt to cover up insecurities. Those who are arrogant need to tell others how good they are. Those who are confident only need to feel it within themselves.
      You are in a tough situation, since you are still living at home and in a non-supportive environment, yet your parents get to call the shots. You are not likely to change your parents, they seem pretty set in their way and they aren’t going to listen to anyone. I would go to your school counselor and see what options they can generate. You deserve the opportunity to do well and feel good about yourself. Your dad is not creating an environment for you to succeed. Stop trying to please him, since in his eyes you will never be good enough. Focus on you, on being as good as you can and do it for yourself. Do the best you can in not taking the things your dad says personally. He is aiming his insecurities at you, thus they are not really about you, since your dad is reflecting his own internally crap at you. He doesn’t know where else to aim it. so unfortunately you are getting the short end of the stick. That is a tough place to be
      Good luck

  64. I don’t know if my husband is abusive. We have been married for 8 years and everything was always perfect for the first couple of years, everything I ever wanted. First he started to complain about how I do things and that is alright because I am not perfect and sometimes i do stupid things. Then he started ignoring me and more and more he wanted me less and less. Now he yells alot at me. He never hits me but he can get scary by how he gets in my face. I am not happy and i feel it is my fault this perfect marriage is not working. Is it me? Reading your list it seems like you are saying he could be abusive, but I don’t know. I don’t want to make rash decisions on relationship. There are times he is still nice and I know he loves me. Please help

    • Betty
      It is amazing how many people believe if someone loves them, then their relationship is must be workable. Loving someone does not mean good communications, the ability to resolve differences, the ability to control ones emotions (inluding violent, unwarrented or harsh reactions). I have no doubt your husband loves you, but it is on his terms, when he is in the right emotional state or frame of mind. Your husband does not know how to accept things or people when they are outside his his comfort zone. He does not know how to work through differences.
      You say your marriage used to be perfect and then go on saying you are not. Well no one is perfect and not marriage is either. Personal relationships take work and that means all parties have to be willing to be able to work on them, not just have good times when it is easy or convenient.
      If you can’t get your husband to talk about the areas he is scaring you, about the places he gets emotionally unreasonable, about the things you are unhappy about, then you don’t have a healthy relationship. Relationships are not about doing things right. So let’s look at the facts
      1) You are not happy – sure there may be times you are, but there are some real issues in your relationship that are bringing you down
      2) He is not changing, not for the better – he is not willing to communicate to you in a way that the two of you can work things out
      3) This relationship is all about him. He is unwilling to be different in certain places and in those places you cave into his ideas and blame yourself for not being perfect.
      4) Relationships are only as good as they are at the time being. Memories of how things were have long pasted. They are not coming back, times are different and so is he. So you need to get into real time, right now and change with them also

      Since you want this to work, talk to your husband about how you feel. If he won’t listen or gets upset, suggest the two of you go to a marriage counselor. He will probably say there is nothing wrong with him and that you go on your own. Ask him if the relationship is worth saving, if he wants to be in it, because if he does, he will go
      Ultimately you have to check your own happiness. Don’t worry about whether or not you can label him as abusive, focus on your own emotional wellbeing

    • You wont want to read what I have to say … but I am going to say it anyhow- It sounds to me as though he is having an affair. the first signs is they find fault with you, then they ignore you, they dont want to touch you because they are getting it elsewhere and could very well be ashamed to even look at you. Just a thought- has his character changed? putting more cologne on more than usual, prepping for work more? wanting to change his clothes a lot? there will be signs of a cheater, they always leave clues. and yes, if he is getting in your face- that is abuse!

  65. Hi Michael,
    Interesting article! I have had two serious long term relationships in my life, and I loved both men, but I also have realised, with a bit of a shock, that both relationships were kind of abusive. The second one spanned 15 years and had left me in a traumatised state the last few years.
    The question that haunts me that I would be interested to know your take on is – does intimacy breed abuse?
    It seems to me that the closer I’ve gotten to a person, and the less boundaries there are between us, the more likely there is to be some kind of abuse – like taking licences with someone, taking someone for granted, letting them see your real self, your real feelings – all that kind of thing.
    I find it really confusing!!
    I grew up in a family that had little to no boundaries. My mother was a generous woman to all and sundry, but she failed to protect her children – not out of meanness, but in her anxiety to please and be kind to everyone who came her way. I think that rubbed off on me, but not any more! Since I have been so badly hurt I am a bit of a hermit.
    It has been 4 1/2 years now where I have lived in this way. I have come a long way from where I was 4 1/2 years ago, but I wonder if the day will ever come that I will allow another soul to come close to me again. Even friendships I hold at a distance.
    I am afraid of being close to anyone because it does seem to me that it’s intimacy that creates abuse.
    What do you think about this?

    • Intimacy in and of itself does not creat abuse. However, the closer we get to someone, the more we are letting them into our core ways of being. This can become problematic because on our own or with people we don’t get close to, we are still in charge of this core essense of self. We can be ourselves and if others do things we don’t much care for it does not touch these areas, thus it is less personal.
      Those things (beliefs, emotional processes, values, ideas, etc) we hold closest are often the things we don’t want to change. We don’t want people interfering with these areas. We often believe these things define us or it is who we are. So when we get close to someone (or they get close to us), their actions and mannerisms are more apt to wreak havoc in our personal space if we are not prepared to make room for them, if we are not willing or able to adapt or if we think our core way of being is right. Where we are most sensitive is where we will have the greatest amount of challenges and those things we hold closest are always going to be more sensitive than things we do not.
      It is here people become overwhelmed, hurt, confused, because we expect things to be different. Relationships can be confusing, thus we don’t always understand how the other person effects our innerself. We know something doesn’t feel right. The other person is going through the same thing.
      If communications are self esteem are low for either party, things start to escalate and this can lead to abuse. I hope this helps

  66. Michael,

    Reading all these letters it seems that all these women need self worth. I believe that all of these women have had some kind of emotional abuse from their fathers. Tell me if that be the case. I know I have had emotional and physical abuse from my father. That’s why I am looking for it in a man. I see the dependency of psychological manipulation or what it is we are looking for self worth and love that our father’s weretn’t able to give.I know I need help when it comes to believing that I am worth it. What I mean by worth is when someone treats us nice etc. I know I need to believe that I am worth it. And because I was tramatized as a child it’s very confusing to know what to believe. As we all blame our selves for what we knew was missing in our lives like emotional support and communication. My family did not talk. My brother was physically and mentally abused a a child. My father took his own anger and frustration out on my brother. He is now incapacitated, lives in a home with other mentally challenged men. So I blamed myself for not talking as a child, I thought something was wrong with me because my brother didn’t talk at 7 years old. He was suppose to be taken to the doctor but my father would not allow it. I suppose because he was guilty of physically abusing him. So everything in our family was a secret. I ran away at 3 years old for that I felt that there was something wrong with me because I didn’t talk. Well nobody talked to me. So what was I to say. I felt guilty for my father’s anger. I think all women feel some sort of guilt of not being able to please a man because of not being special in our father’s eyes. We all think we are not good enough. But truly it’s a lie we have been telling ourselves because we didn’t get our father’s attention and love and approval. It’s a BIG LIE we have telling ourselves and we need to get over it or through it. Please HELP. You have so much wisdom and insight and compassion. You need to help us women find ourselves. And to stop blaming ourselves for not being good enough.

    Thank you.

    • Dalia
      In some way we are all inadequate, it just depends on what. However, we are all worthy enough to be ourselves, to make a go at life, to contribute to mankind and reach out and recieve others. Since there is no one way or right way, how we contribute and connect is up to us.
      One of the great challenges most will encounter in life is how to effectively communicate, especially with who behave different than our expectations, those who oppose us, those who do things we don’t understand or are uncomfortable with. This is magnified when it happens to people we hold close, such as family. Those things we hold close most certainly influence us.
      Adequate self worth, to have value for self is a problem many men and women experience. Some people say they have the magic formula to fix this, but there is no right way to do it, That’s why there are so many self help books, because there are no simple answers that can easily be implemented..
      Faulty father daughter relationships can be the source for self worth issues, but it’s not the sole reason for low self esteem and value. The dynamics of people and relationships, including the one you have with yourself is not that cut and dry.
      We believe our emotions are indications of who we are, but really they subconscious signals or patterns primarily based on what we percieve as pleasure and pain. This is why people in deep emotional states have difficulty responding to logic. They can understand it, but it does not connect with the persons emotional center
      Emotional abuse and self worth issues most certainly walk hand in hand, but again there are so many other components. It is a complex issue, relationships usually area and self worth is about the relationship you have with ourself, with your emotions, with how you see yourself moving ahead.
      I hope this helps

  67. I´m thinking of divorcing my husband but at the same time I´m afraid of him what he might do, especially that we hace two small children no older than three. He threatens me constantly, he calls me names and it seems he is very close to his mother specially now that he become American Citenship and he wants to bring his parent to live with us and my conclusion he only married with me so he can get what he want and that´s what he is doing, he is a good boy in front of my family and his parents but in close doors he does air punch at me pretending his punches me and he watches a lot of hardcore porns and saying mean thing like ¨putting his finger up her ass including his boss and he always blames me for everything and threating me taking away my children and that I´m crazy.My family are convinced that he is a good husband and he loves me but he says mena things to me and if I don´t have sex with me that he is going to rape me or somebody to have sex for a night stand, he critizeing me that I´m fat. He also accuseing me of having affair and take my children away from me. I don´t want to be with him anymore but I don´t have any money and I´m afraid that he´s going to take my children away from me which I love them very dearly, also that now he is Resident wants to bring his family which I told him is not a good idea. I try to divorce him before but he threat me and my family are with him. I need help.

    • It is tough when we fear violence will be the outcome for our choices. Yet this man is not emotionally stable and staying with him means a high probablity violence will eventually be used against you, so staying is not a real option. First things first, you need to be very familiar with the laws of your state, as to what your rights are and what the law constitutes as abuse. It varies from state to state. Then you need to make an exit plan. Since you do not have money, hopefully you have some support system, such as friends and family. If not, check with social services. Do not give up if they turn you down, you may have to really put in some effort to get help. That may not sound fair, but you really want to get your kids out of this messed up and abusive situation, otherwise he is training your kids how men can treat women and how women should behave in abusive environments.
      There are not always easy answers, but you already know what you need to do – GET OUT. get away and again, know what the law will and will not do to protect you. By staying, you are already hurting yourself, he is already punishing you. Talk to a lawyer as to what it will take to speed up the transition out of the house. Maybe you need video proof of how he treats you. Even if you are short on funds, there are places you can get free or inexpensive legal advice
      This may take months or longer, so don’t delay, take action ASAP

  68. This article has helped me see that I was in an emotionally abusive relationship & that his silencing me is still a form of abuse. I just got out of a 4 month relationship. That does not seem too long, but we moved fast & I grew attached. He was very hot & cold. Could be super affectionate, and 5 mins later I would be getting yelled at for not following a story he was telling me. There were times he was drunk and called me things such as a “worthless piece of sh*t”, I was called a “retard” to my face regularly. One time he said “If you knew who you were, you would hate yourself.” Those are just a few examples. I will admit I reacted & fought back a lot, which sometimes makes me think some things that happened truly are my fault, but I try to remind I am a good person and I was dealing with someone very difficult.

    The last night we were out together in Manhattan, sitting in a bar (he was also an alcoholic I believe), I was actually having a good night with him & enjoying myself, all of a sudden he is yelling & cursing at me for “staring” at him all night. He said I was staring because I thought he was being weird. I got upset and he stormed out of the bar leaving me to pay. He ran 10 blocks ahead of me, while I was begging him to stop and talk. I began to cry uncontrollably as I had to chase him down the busy streets of the city. As he was screaming at me a car drove by and yelled out the window “good job dude, keep screaming at her!” he turned to me and said “i look like the bad guy, no one sees what you f*cking do to me!” We went back to his house (my car was there- I live 20 mins away & we had both drank so I could not drive). He shut the lights to sleep, I put them on because I wanted to talk about things. He grabbed my stuff threw it outside, pushed me out and told me to get the f*ck out. After begging him to let me back in for 20 mins and banging on his door, (he kept yelling trhough the door to leave), he threatened to call his landlord to get me out & I left.

    It is now 3 weeks later & he has cut me off. No closure- nothing. I left that night and that was it. I am pretty sure HE blocked ME whcih is mind boggling to me. I am the type of person, who needs to talk about things & needs to feel like I am being heard. I do not understand how he can believe I am at fault and cut me off without talking about things. I think that he truly believes I am a terrible person & does not see that I actually cared. It upsets me terribly that this is the way things were left off & that we will likely never speak again.

    • Amanda

      Thanks for sharing. It’s always tough to get emotionally attached to someone who for their own reasons and issues cannot give back. While it would be nice to get closure and talk about things, this guy is not in touch with his emotions, so the answer you would be getting would probably be full of BS. What you need to know is he is not good for you, the two of you are different enough (thank goodness) and some part of you was paying attention more to what you like about him then how he was neglecting you.

      He started treating you poorly right from the get go and you should have gotten out ASAP. Whatever positive qualities you saw in him or felt about him should have been negated by his actions right then and there. While the experience has been painful, he did you a favor by kicking you out and not dragging this on for years on end

      I think you deserve better than these. If you still feel the need to get an explanation, you may want to find a therapist who can work with you and help you through this

  69. I have been reading everyone’s stories, thank you for sharing.

    I was in an on/off long distance relationship for 2.5 years but I spent 3 months with him this summer. It is over now, there are many similar details to many of the other stories – cycles, unpredictable anger, physical threats, name calling.

    Now I am safely away but he keeps mailing me. He has been in a program for emotional abuse for a month and has apologised but we still end up arguing – I feel he is deliberately trying to get a reaction from me. He owes me money and told me he wouldn’t pay it – said just when you can because I need it but he replied that he doesn’t have it and doesn’t really care about me. What is very confusing is he keeps sending seemingly encouraging messages like “I hope you can heal soon” but they make me angry. His implication is that he is now suddenly fine and the fact that I’m processing my grief over the abuse and its taking time is “sad”. He insulted me many times in the past saying I was “crazy”. He told me about a girl he met – that she was very calm and hat with therapy, support and a calm girl he will be fine. I am concerned for any girl he gets so quickly involved with- I sent her an email outlining what he had done to me – if she doesn’t believe me it’s her choice but I wouldn’t want anyone else to experience what I did. Some of the things he had told me about her were lies. When I confronted him he told me I am a crazy (again) and that he told people I contacted her and they agreed. What he told people I am sure is a lie or a half truth but I so wanted to think he could change because he admitted abusing me. I was hoping we could have calm contact but now I feel very angry and manipulated. I have PTSD symptoms from this relationship and need to return to a councillor I was seeing last year.

    My question is – how to untangle the mental scars that are left. I used to end up apologising for everything just to avoid confrontation – now he is seemingly nice and I am getting angry, I feel goaded and he tells me that my anger is “only hurting yourself” that I “blame” him and that my hurt is me “playing the victim” that my communication of emotions (when asked) is me not choosing to deal with my emotions and take responsibility. Because some of what he says confuses me and now he is using therapy language ( he told me the fact that I had put up articles on twitter about abuse was to get his attention according to his therapist :s) . I feel gaslighted and angry . I blocked all social media and have finally changed my email but I’m also very sad and confused that the pattern continues and the implication is still – you have problems. I never denied that but it’s so ugly to share intimate sensitive things with someone only to have them be used against you later and be disappointed every time you think things will be different.

    Thanks for listening

    • Joy
      This is a tangled mess. You are first going to have to decide what is important to you, your sanity, contact with this person or your money. Unless it is a large sum of money, I would go for your sanity and you will not find that with this person. You know he flips things around, that he lies, that he has issues and yet you still put importance on what he says, which is why you are confused. You are listening to him as if he still hold some value. This man should hold no value with you, because he does not value himself and he does not really value you.
      Who knows what twisted ideas are going through his head?
      Who knows what emotionally scars he carries?
      What you know is he cannot be trusted, therefor you should break all contact with him. If you have to talk to him, only talk business, like “when is the money coming?” No personal info, no how are you, no here is what I am thinking. Everything you share with him is something he can use against you
      You therapist can help, but not if you keep getting poisoned by this guys thoughts

  70. I have been married for six years, we have two children together, have been through so many hardships together and now I feel like I am just giving up if I leave. He lies all of the time, he will go over to a friends house to drink and tell me he is on his way home. Hours will go by, I will call, and he is really on his way this time. I have to literally scream and freak out to get him to come back. I will tell him I am going to the movies with my mom and he needs to watch the kids, he does it, but complains about it the whole time. He will make me feel so guilty for going that I can’t enjoy the movie and just want to get back home. He claims the weekends should be for him to do what he wants because he works 58 hours a week. I don’t work, I am going to school online and taking care of our children. He doesn’t want me to work because he claims our son is too young (2 years old) for daycare. I think he just wants to keep me at home. When I start to make new friends he finds ways to shut them out of my life. He badmouths my parents, my sisters, etc, because they do things that he wouldn’t do or doesn’t agree with. He says are children are spoiled and brats and that is all my fault and the fault of my family and if he had his way they would know how to act. When he gets mad he will continually bring up how he pays for everything, I own nothing, and I have nothing. I want to leave, I really do, but it is harder than you think. I have nothing, I have two children to support and send to school, I am slightly fearful that he will hurt me severely if I try to leave. He has never been physical with me before, but he is emotionally abusive to the point where if I push him that far he might become physical. I don’t know what to do. I am not happy, I am miserable. I have no life, I don’t go anywhere, we never go out together. When I suggest leaving the kids with my parents so we can go out he doesn’t want to, he wants to take them along. I am just tired of all of it. I sit here and clean the house, wash clothes,prepare meals, take care of the kids, and that is it. I have no life outside of that. How do you leave someone if you know they are going to come after you? The law is no good, what are they gonna do, lock him up for thinking about coming after me? No, and after he already has it’s too late…..

    • Linda

      You seem conflicted on your reasons for staying. On one hand you don’t want to give up on your current situtation because of past hardships. If that is the case consider this, relationships are about relating and right now you don’t have any relating going on between the two of you. What you have is a passive agressive control freak who is driving you crazy. Whatever you had in the past, whatever you’ve gone through is done with. What you have is right now and right now he is not considering the past when he lies and mistreats you
      On the other hand you feel he is going to come after you, so you must feel he is capable of physical abuse, otherwise this would not be an issue. BTW, if he does ever hit you, the laws start swinging over to your side.
      Control freaks maintain control by isolating people, from work, from friends, from outside connections. They are keeping you hostage emotionally. If you listen to him, he controls you and he will still treat you like crap. If you don’t listen, he will still yell, but you make your own choice.
      Control freaks do not respect others because they don’t respect themselves and if you can make your own choices, he may begin respecting you and if not, at least you will hold more respect for yourself.
      Crappy relationships typically don’t have simple answers. If you don’t start making connections with the world outside, you are prisoner to his will. You may not be able to leave today, but if you get a job, get some friends, make some contacts, you may be able to find a way out in the future.
      If you won’t do it for yourself, at least do it for your 2 year old, who deserves a better environment to grow up in

  71. i have a bestfriend from school thats like 7years. we connect on lots of level but we are opposite personalities he is rebel and im more patient. he always ends up indulging in verbal fights. where as i dont loose temper untill its needed.i took time to open up to him because of his uncertain behaviour but when i did i would speak my mind to him trusting that she would not judge but to my surprise i notice quiet few times when i share something he would turn into a ugly argument where she would abuse that i wasnt fit for his friendship n im just disgust to him. i took his tantrums and discarded them on heave of friendship and would try to fix things. he assume that now that i have been busy on projects with other friends he thinks im getting infulence and not giving time he needs..which i explained him its not but he is not willing to listen as he started ill treating me n started judging my feeling. i didnot like it but didnot bring to his notice.i was polite n still iam as i never belief in judging people or typecasting them on there feeling or life moments that they share. this time i simply couldnt take it so i said him enough you dont like me you can walk away. he took it offensive n is taking out his frustation on social network site. im confuse whether what i did was right or i was wrong ? because this friend of mine is like family i had all trust on her . i feel he just have different way of expressing his anger n insecurties and belief there is love hidden in it but what i didnot like im not a subsive or week to hear your this n that you cant do anything as i never made him feel bad about himself or the friendship.. so i just took hard step now by just saying walk away..as i want him realise what he has done..i hope im justifed and not over reacting ? please help

    • None of us are in charge of the sensitivies and emotional reactions of others. It is not up to you to worry about a person who does not seem to be able to control their own emotions. Friendships can only last if all parties are willing to grow, change, make amends, and be open to differences. When someone ;lashes out at you (in person, on a social network, where ever) because they are not getting things the way they want, you have someone who is very immature. Their actions are hurtful and trying to hold them close as a friend will only create more pain.
      You did the right thing. You need to put space between the two of you. If your friend grows up a bit and sincerely apologizes for his mistakes, great you can cautiously let him back into your life. If not, you have not lost a real friend, you have only lost what you thought was a friend. Then you can focus on what is really important, the things that make you happy, that are within your control, which is being with those who support you and being able to leave those who bring you down

  72. This is the letter I wrote (but never sent) to the person who abused me emotionally. I’m putting it up here in the hope that it can help other people who are/were in a similar situation. (Note: the person who abused me was traumatized as a child; the letter refers to that implicitly.)

    X,

    This letter is to say goodbye, to you and to everything you represent in my life

    I feel you haven’t treated me with much respect during our relationship, or showed much empathy; let alone that you acted in a loving and caring way, even if you said you loved me. On a number of occasions, you invalidated or denied my feelings, ignored my needs and wants, manipulated me, gave me no real say in matters that concerned me, punished me by withholding, and lied to me. I don’t want to revisit these events here, I’ve been going over them in my head too many times, and I want to leave it all behind me.

    You’ve harmed me a great deal by treating me the way you did, but, in the end, I mostly feel sorry for you. You are the one who has to live with the fact that he harmed another person, to protect himself, completely unnecessarily, whether you acknowledge that or not. Most likely, you couldn’t even help acting the way you did, and cannot even learn from it now. Is there anything sadder than that? It wasn’t even a choice, it isn’t even a choice — in your world, meanness is normal.

    I think of you as a old dog who has been beaten too many times when he was younger. When a puppy gets beaten, he will howl, not just because of the pain, but also from the sheer surprise that there is someone, something, that wants to harm him. Some, perhaps, will learn to accept that the world is evil, and will no longer feel the pain of the betrayal by what they thought was a just world. They turn into mean old dogs that do not trust anyone, that bite before someone can stroke them. Perhaps that lessens the pain, as it resolves the dissonance between the inner and outer world. If you do not trust, there is no betrayal.

    Perhaps this is what happened to you. I don’t blame you for that, perhaps you had no other choice than to protect yourself this way growing up. But, how grateful I am that I never stopped feeling the pain of betrayal. How much is lost when one can no longer believe that the world is, at its core, good and that others can be trusted. I have no words for it, it goes beyond my imagination. I am sorry for you.

    • Amazing letter that you wrote. Every line resonated with me. I never new there was such a thing as emotional abuse until one day I woke up with all of the effects of this type of relationship. I now see things so clear and part of that is seeing the world as a place where there are some very bad and mean people. I feel sad at times that someone has taken the innocence away from me… that the world is a good place filled with people who will be nice and good to you if you are the same to them. However, I do look around me now and see that there are amazing people that have stood by me throughout my journey and provided me with unwaivering support and guidance. So there is a lot of good out there but you just need to be careful and make sure it’s the real thing. I’m trying not to become bitter, just better for it and realize that this was part of a journey that needed to happen. Wishing peace to all the survivors :)

    • that is almost what i have said straight to him after 13 years it started coming out that i know what he is doing to me and he needs to stop , but it just gives him ammo to continue, to ignore me completely for even bringing it up and tell me its my fault somehow, its more power to know it bothers me and i cant make him care. i am stuck forever. i will die having been told everyday i do not matter by his mere existence. i feel very sorry for him, and for the sad days to come.

      • We always have choice. When we stop ourselves from making choices, it keeps us stuck. Sometimes all choices hold levels of discomfort. If you feel you have tried everything and the other person is in a position of trying to force you to make all the changes, you always have the choice to leave or defeind yourself in anyway needed. If you already know the rest of your days will be nothing but disappointment and pain, you owe it to yourself, to you having respect for yourself, enough of an ability to give yourself a chance at finding some level of happiness again, to get out of this situation. If you can’t respect yourself enough to do this, to value yourself enough to take supportive action for yourself, you are giving more respect to the other persons perspecitve. In that case you can’t expect others to support or respect you because you are not being supportive to yourself
        People give all the reasons and excuses for staying in disfunctional relationships and some more valid than others, but to not choose change when there is impending doom means none of the reasons are valid. You cannot help him, that is his journey to take, but you can help yourself and no one will think the worse of you for standing up for yourself

        • If only it were as easy as u make it sound, i myself used to think those same thoughts, how in the world or why in the world would someone stick around if unhappy let alone to be abused. Now i am one of those who one day before i knew it was in so deep i had already lost so absolutely much, that i went into downward spiral as i saw it confirmed that emotional and social abuse was happening, its so hard to believe and there was so much that become a spin of lies to my whole relationship and life .by the time i could realize i needed to leave i was unable to financially support myself( i have spinal disease), had no real friend, & had lost my best friend in a situation he stirred i never realized and blamed myself for and her though i am now thankful cause she got clear from it retouching her life( all this being part of his social control). So tell me how does one with nothing just leave with nothing , no roof over head, no money for a divorce, no food on the table, or means of medical care i have to maintain. It is possible i know and one day i will find a way, but its not a nod out the door and the pain regrets and emotional and phhysical affects of stress will be be forever. but i thank u for ur reply and confidence in me to do get out. but please do not dare to tell someone its there fault for not leaving when things got hard or uncomfortable or they finally put it together they had sacrificed a decade of their life to an abuser who will not nor can ever change! thats emotional abuse in itself! It is not my fault and will never be my fault i was made a victim. I did not ask for it and still dont understand it as i could never be this type of person. No one asks to be in the same room with a liar , cheater, abuser, killer, and no way is it our fault for having been there and met the wrong person who took advantage of us. As i said above i am not afraid to tell him i know what he is and does. It jus doesnt mean he will stop just as u dont have to retreat ur very concerning comment to people on a site like this looking for helpful words of motivation and to maybe find social companion from others going thru it. NOt be told its our fault for staying as if we knew before we met them , after that everyday was “staying”.

          • Please reread the reply to your original post. There is no place where you are being blamed or fault is being projected on you. There is a matter of what needs to happen, which is you have to some how get out of the hole of discomfort and helplessness you find yourself in. You are in a tough spot, one many women find themselves in. There is no easy road to take to get out. It is painful to stay and painful to leave and within that pain, change must be found, choices must be made and actions taken, otherwise you stay where you are at. The choices and actions you take will fly right against your comfort and you have to find it within yourself to take one step at a time, because you deserve it
            So many abusers isolate their spouses or the spouses end up feeling like they need to place all their attention on the abuser, hoping it will keep the relationship in tack. One of the first steps you must take is to begin reaching out, to anyone anywhere, especailly in your local area. You will need support and unless there is physical abuse, local agencies typically do not offer much. But you must see what is available, you must find what legal options your local government will back you in and where they will not. These are the choices you have to make to move forward and again, the road will not be easy.
            If friends and family are sparse, finding a support group anywhere close will be of benefit to you. You have to find something to look forward to, sometimes just the little steps so you feel you are doing something supportive for yourself.
            You may not have anything and maybe you have nothing, but you as a person are something. This is not how you thought things would turn out, but this is where you find yourself and it is from here a new journey begins. You are in a terrible situation and the pill for change will probably be bitter, but staying more definitely be worse

  73. Good Morning,

    Thank you so very much for the material up above. I feel so relieved in knowing that who I am is not wrapped up in his self-esteem and self-hate issues. Im still a little shocked at the outcome. He walked out of my life about 1 month ago. “Things were going so good”, something he always said to me if I “reacted” to something he did. When I say reacted, I mean asked a question or challenged his thought process for some type of strange behavior he presented to me. He has 2 failed marriages and 6 grown children that want nothing really to do with him. If he didn’t make the effort to be in their lives, they would go months without talking. He was pretty convincing when blaming his ex wife for the failed relationships, to the point that I actually felt sorry for his “misfortune.” He evidentally bought their love, this being the reason he was “always so broke.” He complained about this being a frustrating thing and would verbalize desire to change this routine. I would “coach” him on boundaries because afterall, Im Ms. Boundary of Amercia. He would make me believe he was “changing” these behaviors but nothing ever felt completely right. He would complain that his ex-wives were contacting him throughout the years but taking no responsiblity for his part, he “finally” seen the light. Supposedly he set a boundary with them one day. To this day I doubt that really happened, Ill never know. I loved the feeling like I needed to race home if I were later than I had anticipated. I felt like I was going to get in trouble but the problem is, he never said things like “where were you or how come your so late” etc. He did this so quietly, what felt like a punishment. When I would “pull away and not engage in this childish behavior, he would follow these things up in later conversations about how grateful he is that I am so independent.” 90 % of the time I would engage by “kissing his butt” so to speak. I was always feeling pressure to clean the house, no matter if I worked all day or not. I was always feeling like I needed to make sure “dinner” was on the table, no matter if I worked a full day, cleaned the house and had an event going on in the evening. This while the man, having 2+ days off in the week sat around doing nothing all day. He did not do one load of laundry while we were together. I am the one who set the stage for that, so really my part in that is I did the laundry all the time. I truly love doing tose things for people but when your doing it all and getting nothing in return, it will keep you off balance. Talk about insanity, this entire relationship was a mess but so covert that you could never put your finger on it, ever! If I had to describe this entire relationship in one word it would be OFF BALANCE. He would never “compliment” me when it was appropriate. I was getting ready for a big event, had a beautiful gown on and running around the house trying to get it together. NOT once did he say that I was beautiful or what can I do to help, not once. He sat there stone cold. After I was gone I confronted him by saying “I really wished you could have supported me, I felt like you were not interested in assisting me etc…” He went off inappropriately and stayed “mad” at me for days. I really am not quit sure that I can tell the difference between emotional abuse versus someone who is just messed up from his “childhood.” There were more good times than bad but thats when I was “behaving on his terms.” I will not sacrifice sanity to “just have someone” in my life. Im sad today because I this false self and future plans he presented were a lie. I was so looking forward to future plans, etc. I consider myself a pretty healthy intuitive person and am shocked at the outcome as well as how quickly I lost myself. This is a hard one to get over and Im looking foward to the day I can not feel so intensely about what has gone on. Im trying to really take in what you are all writing up above. I don’t want to feel this stuck feeling any longer. I am pretty logical on what this is and know this has NOTHING to do with me or my self-worth. He is very sick and Im not convinced that he is capable of getting better. I have never encouraged women to date right after a long-term relationship but for the first time in 38 years, Im going right back out there. I will not lay around sad, eating chocolate and crying in my pillow over a fantasy, why put myself through that. I like who I am and since the “break up”, I realize I don’t need to change a thing about me, who I am, how I deal with issues, nothing. I know that any healthy man that God puts in my life will be blessed to have me! I encourage all women/men who are in a situation like this to rely heavily on friends or even a counselor. You need to be able to put it out there about how this has affected you and if you need to talk about it for a month straight and that is what helps you, do it. I took my power back and so can you! Thanks everyone for being you!

    • Stella,
      I was floored when I read this. It is my story too….so familiar as if I wrote it. The hardest to get over is forgiving me for allowing someone like that even to be involved in my life….much less live with me and have me believing dreams or even wanting to. An anxiety attack “woke me” up. I guess my subconscious knew all along. In my case, I was able to kick him out as it was my house. Knowing I still had some control over my own situation helped… but what a ride through hell! Even knowing it wasn’t me or my fault…even knowing it was a losing situation and he was broken somehow….even knowing he was causing me mental anguish didn’t stop the hurt. I never believed with as kind and thoughtful as I am that I would be subjected to such quiet, vicious cruelty.
      Lies, cheating, misdirection, promises never kept, evasion, lack of emotional or financial investment, playing the victim, making me feel guilt, words without action…it was all an OFF BALANCE mess. I always felt uncertain and like I wasn’t quite sure of anything. Then he would swoop in and “clear it up”. It is done so sneaky with the” I love you” and “what would I do without you” line that you don’t realize any of it. He would complement me almost like he was angry at me sometimes. Like me being pretty made him upset. He made snarky comments and would then laugh about how he was joking. I am a beautiful woman and have always had confidence and knew my worth. In his case, he was not always attractive and never had a solid sense of self-worth. This is another way he drew me in. Two and a half years with this man turned me into a wreck. My friends and family were concerned, but he was so nice and of course I was always ready with an excuse. I just didn’t understand then I should never have needed one in a healthy relationship.
      I applaud you and every other person who can identify that it is not you. Mine went so far as to even tell me that. He knew enough to even say he needed help, but he can do that on someone else’s time. I still find myself in weak moments letting those old moments sneak in and steal my joy, tear up for weird reasons or even miss him. Everything takes time. Forgive a snake for being a snake; you don’t want to carry that hate around. At the same time, you need to forgive yourself for trusting the snake.
      Best wishes and ((hugs)) to all!

  74. Ok I just got married not even seven months ago and since we gotarried he been askin me all these questions everday like I’m on a court room I can’t even be myself cause to him that’s suspicious. Then when I say something it’s my fault if I get mad at the questions he ask its my fault oh and cheating I can’t take a shower do my hair or look pretty cause I’m cheating he is overly insecure and when we argue it’s all my fault when I try to tell him what he is doing he always turns it back on me and its really wearing on me mental and emotionally please hepl…..

    • Jenny
      Your husband has some insecurity issues and maybe more. If he doesn’t trust you, then you can’t really have a healthy relationship. Ask him if he would be willing to go to counseling. He doesn’t know how to feel safe without all bases covered and that has little to do with you and more with whatever life experience and sensitivities he holds.
      If he doesn’t want help, he doesn’t really want to work on the relationship, he will just want you to be contained in a very small realm of reality he can control

  75. i have currently been married for 3 years and been with my partner for 4.im 21 and hes 31, I met him through an x, at the time i was going out with a gentleman and his best friend was going out with my husband. my husband and his friend broke up and i helped him out with issue with her, i then broke up with my boyfriend due to issues. At the time he told me he wanted kids, a house, to get married and all the good stuff. I thought i had found my soul mate. 3 months into our relationship he asked me to marry him and i said yes. we were engaged for 9months and in that nine months i got called a lier, sworn at, told to pack my bags and leave but just thought it might of been stress. When we got married it got a little worse on our honey moon being told i never help with decisions and some other hurtful things. It got severely bad after that and i was made to feel mentally ill, useless, and like all the nasty stuff he said was in my head. My mother has problems with depression and my husband would constantly yell at me “your F******* in the head like your mother” i soon left him for a week and he wrote me a letter saying everything he did wrong and i went back to him on the conditions that i would be going back to study, and i wanted to hang out with friends more as he had limited me from seeing family/friends. he agreed. i went back to study and i constantly got told that i don’t appreciate what he does for me, i get called dumb about money and traveling subjects, and im getting told off for going out with my mother and sister inlaw, when i do he ignores me for a day..he has also become increasinly more angry again and for example, a household appliance wasnt working so he punched it.. its been on and off like this since we got engaged some weeks hes nice and then i feel guilty for even complaning .im so lost… you love someone and marry them and state through thick and thin, but is this one of those situations, or is this a leave situation? im currently not studying anymore to become independent on myself again, and to also save myself money for incase it is needed.

    • Jemma
      Getting married is easy. Being in a relationship take work. Being in love is only a small part of being in a good relationship. Understand that many people only put their best foot forward when they first meet someone, when they are in trouble or when they don’t see any other options. The rest of the time, these people can be anything but loving.
      Your husband obviously does not know how to work through things that are not going according to how he wants it. It is called “emotional immaturity” and these people can be wonderful except when things get personal or when they don’t get their way. That also means, the closer he gets to you, the more personal things can become.
      Next time you decide you have had enough and he comes begging to get you back and he admits to you what a schmuck he can be, have him make a commitment to get some counseling and that the two of you get to work on how you can better communicate with each other.. I doubt he will admit there is anything wrong with him until you put him in his place by threatening to leave.
      Does that sound immature to have to play games like this? Well that is the situation you are in
      Hope that helps

  76. I have been with my now husband for seven years and married for four years. We have a 2 yr old daughter. At the beginning the signs were there but because I was so in love and we had great chemistry I just thought it was because I was overreacting. Now I just feel like he really is just verbally abusive. He makes comments all the time that are condescending and inappropriate. I have serious anxiety and I am always stressed out. I feel alone even though we sleep in the same bed. When everything is okay I am so in love with him, but days like today when he just fights with me about really dumb things I don’t even want to look at him. I have kicked him out of the house once for a weekend and then took him back because he did the whole song and dance of how he could not live without me. We have been to counseling and stopped going because he said it was too expensive. the counselor says I should get out. It is so easy to say that as opposed to actually packing up and going. I truly married him thinking we would be together forever but now I just want out. He is very selfish. This past birthday he did not even get me a card. He does not make me feel special. He is constantly criticizing me. He contradicts himself all the time. Whenever we fight whatever I say is “an excuse”. He is always the victim and I am the bad guy. He fights with me in front of our child and that makes me so sad. I don’t want her to grow up and think it is okay for someone to treat her that way. I really want to make it work but what is the point of chasing an illusion if the only one trying to make things better is me? I have given up hope. I am just praying I will have the courage to leave him one day.

    • If you stay in the relationship it will hurt. If you leave it will hurt. That is what makes it hard, is there is no easy or painless way to move forward. But when in doubt, moving on in pain is better than staying put in pain. You know if you stay, nothing will change. You will continue getting the same old song and dance. You will be doing your husband a great service, because can’t be happy with where he is at in life either. He fears change, but is unhappy,
      The environment is toxic and it is no place to raise a child. If you fall for his song and dance again when you kick him out, make sure that he makes you a list of promises of how he is going to change and what penalties does he feel are fair for the abuses he creates.
      Your therapist was probably right, that you should get out. But matters of the heart are always complicated, yet that is not a reason to not do something

  77. I have been in a relationship for 2.5 years with a man who I thought was my soul mate. he was absolutely amazing in every way when I first met him… for some reason, at the time, my head kept telling me to stay away from him. my heart and our chemistry told me to stay with him. from our very first argument, he made it about me and that I didn’t handle it right, should have tried harder to get him to talk, etc, etc. at this point, I was 32 years old and had been in several really good relationships that just didn’t work out. so I was confused: was I really that bad of a communicator? maybe I had something to learn. since I respected his opinion so much, I decided that I would work on myself…

    meanwhile, he grew more and more frustrated with my friendship with an ex. that ex and I dated for 7 years and had ended things amicably, resulting in him driving me across country to move! but I understood how it could affect my new bf, so I stopped talking to to the ex and started seeing a spiritual adviser. the problem was, it was never enough. there was always something else that bothered him, something else I should change and if I didn’t, he would leave me. there was always that threat… and about a year in we had our second biggest fight and he did. I had a random urge to check his email, which was something I’d never done in any relationship prior, and found out he’d been talking to his ex since our first fight!!! wow. I was blindsided, but believed him when he finally reappeared days later, apologized and said it wouldn’t happen again. well, it did happen again. I would get these crazy feelings and check his email or web history and there would be emails between them. and then came porn. I just didn’t get it; I always blamed myself and thought I wasn’t doing enough, wasn’t being enough. several months shy of 2 years, he blew up when I used the words emotional cheating and wouldn’t talk to me for 9 days. in that time, I moved out, got a job in a city 2 hours away and began a new life, only to have him return, begging and pleading. and I took him back with hardly a second thought, much to the chagrin of family and friends… ultimately, that was another reason that I stopped communicating with many of them; I was too embarrassed to talk about it, so I did the worst thing possible and simply avoided it. the next few months were too difficult to explain, but ultimately he came between another friend and me, then took her side and even spent time with her. I found texts that were borderline flirtatious and I lost it. seriously. and still he made it my fault. I don’t think anything happened, but the fact that it’s questionable should have been enough for me. then I went to a course that I had worked 6 months to save for and although he was super supportive of it when I left, he was anything but supportive while I was away; in fact, he *accidentally* killed one of our dogs and then the remainder of my trip was ruined. when I got back, it was all about him since he became the victim and told me I could never talk about the dog again. about two months later, I blew up at him for a series of frustrations that I hadn’t shared for fear of making him angry. meanwhile, my blowing up does include raising my voice, but I was neither mean nor disrespectful. I was actually upset because I felt that the frustrations I was expressing would help him see that he was being disrespectful. not so much: he didn’t talk to me for 4 days. in that time, I took a backpacking trip by myself and came back ready to take on the world. we made up when I got back, as he once again explained a tick list that I would have to change asap. I tried to be as calm and receptive as I could and was pathetic enough to tell him that I would do anything for him and our relationship. I started online classes and was actually set up with a job offer immediately following the course, but I felt immobilized, trapped even. and I was never able to finish my course…

    two weeks later, we got in an argument that resulted in him breaking up with me. I had been upset about a series of rude behavior from him (I had hurt my foot and he laughed when I fell and re-injured it, then that same night he kicked it, by accident, but expressed zero remorse) and when I explained that to him, he refused to talk to me and I stayed in my room for the entire day. we were at his parents’ house and when we left the next day, I had a weird feeling. he broke up with me in the car on the way home, telling me “at this point, no one thinks we should be together” and that I had “nothing going in my life” even though he had “accomplished everything.” he was right–he had just started a business. what he failed to mention is that I had helped, financially and, I thought, emotionally. he also called me “repulsive,” which was the hardest one to admit to my family and friends because he still had me under his thumb: I thought he was right.

    we lived together, which was awkward at best. he paid the rent, even though I paid for everything else, and told me I had a month to get out. it just so happened that in the two weeks prior to our split, during breaks in my online course, I would stalk minimalist blogs. I had decided that I could actually do it and had already started paring down my belongings. so in a matter of 3.5 weeks, I sold and donated most of my possessions and packed up my little car with my favorite things and my pets and moved to another state. I left behind all of those broken dreams and false promises. (the day before we broke up, we were talking about marriage, how he was saving for a ring!)

    I don’t understand how someone can treat another in such a controlling and ultimately artificial way. he called me his best friend: no way. friends don’t treat each other that way. I spent that first week wondering how he could do this, how he could end such an amazing connection so quickly and cold. but then it hit me: it’s because he didn’t have the same kind of connection to me. it wasn’t really love; it was addiction.

    emotional abusers need their fix and they read people in order to find their best targets. they can get to know others without others truly knowing them. now most of my friends and family are admitting that they couldn’t really figure him out. awesome. so was I just naive? weak? he was good at telling me the most amazing things I’d ever heard. but that was balanced by also telling me the worst. my biggest lesson here is to listen to your gut. it always knows best. if I’d left at the first sign that something was amiss, I would have avoided a lot of pain and frustration, not to mention the emotional damage that I now have to heal. I have done a lot of research, but still feel the effects of the abuse. namely sadness, anger, hurt and rejection. I would appreciate any advice on how to reclaim my true self after emotional abuse! thank you.

    • Jae
      It is always difficult to wrap our head around those who think and act outside of what we find acceptable. The closer we hold people with these differences, the harder it is to see with clarity and the more our emotions get kicked into overdrive. What you thought you knew about your self and people gets jumbled up, so we begin to doubt outselves.
      Everyone suffers abuse differently and every interprets their abuse in their own way, so you may want to work with a therapist who can help give you an outside perspective and guide you back to who you know you can be.
      First thing is not to bury the pain you experienced. You don’t to forget it, you don’t want to dwell on it, but you do want to learn from it, especially at the emotional level. So many people cover their pain with logic and then think everything is OK. That is one way of doing it, but usually not the most effective.
      Part of learning is to find what you contributed to the relationship that allowed the abuse to continue, You are open to improving yourself, so you already have a head start. Learning is not about blaming yourself, it is about accepting aspects of yourself and changing what will support you. You can’t trust your emotions if they put you in harms way. Emotions are just signals. They are neither wrong or right and they can be interpreted in many ways. You got lost in your emotions, you held the person on a pedistal and he had not yet earned your trust. Yes you gave him your trust, but he had not earned it
      Relationships are about relating, which is more than just following something that feels good or right. Emotions are what make relationships feel worthwhile, but on their own, if you are going to blindly follow them, you had better have an incredible relationship with yourself, your integrity had better be able to fully support you and you had better be able have a workable means of being able to adapt.
      Meeting someone who activates certain feelings makes us feel alive and special. For someone to really be your soul mate, means the two of you also have the ability to work through differences. It doesn’t mean that will be easy or should always be nice, but it does need to be workable. Soul mates should help you grow and growth is not always comfortable..
      For you to find your soul mate, you have to listen to your gut feelings. That is the integrity you hold for yourself. You didn’t listen because there were mixed signals. With mixed signals you need to be able to keep yourself in check, to support your entire self and not just let your emotions run rampant.
      You got through this. You will move one and you will better yourself.
      Hope this helps

  78. I need support. I see a therapist and have been. I have been involved with a guy for three years on and off. I broke up with him initially after a year and a half of dating. He started getting these thoughts in his head that I was cheating when I wasn’t. I work with all men and for my father. We also split around christmas time 2011. My parents were going through a divorce afer 45 years of marriage. First year mom was alone all I wanted was a couple days to be with her. I have colitis. He said me going there will aggrivate it. He pushed and pulled between cheating thing to mom I finally said I need time.
    A few months later we talked but I wasn’t ready to be with him, he got pissed.
    A year later we wound up talking and remininsing and getting back together. Christmas time we had an argument an he tends to say f this i’m done and walk out. I cried and cried. My friend saw him on POF (he never met her) and started conversating with him. He started talking crap. SOmehow she got him to realize he made a bad choice. All was good for six months. Everytime he gets into a heated argument because he is actually wrong about something. SOmetimes Ikeep my mouth shut sometimes when I kniow I’m right i speak. He basically put my education down. Then he started playing blame games.
    He’d say that I’m the only one and no one would want him. I’d give him compliments but never get in return. We broke up in June well he said I’m done and walked away. Met up with an ex. Got really messed up and came back. I didn’t know all this right away. So I sat and cried and he apologized and then I found out (don’t worry I took care of that and was checked). THen he started shifting blame unto me. YOu name it it was my fault. I couldn’t tell him my feelings it was pushed to the side. He started not wanting to hear it. He threatens to leave and I finally said one day I’ll let you go and it won’t be because I don’t care… but because its not fair to me. And he said if I go I’ll write you off so fing fast you won’t know what fing hit you.
    Throughout the relationship its been his way or the hightway. We had good times. We had. The fisrt year no arguments. Then when my parents divorced (i’m 28) it seemed like arguments happened. Or it was coincidental. Maybe I blame myself. Yes, there were times I nitpicked but got to my point apologized and we moved on.
    When we fnally ended it he shoved me out of his way and said if you don’t get out of my way i’ll hit you. Now that fear is instilled. Everyone said he wouldn’t. He realized what happened, teared up said I love you I got to go. I gave him a few mins to calm down at car, came down and hugged him. He said I can’t i’m sorry I can’t. ANd started naming reasons from the past that the supposed cheating and while we weren’t together I was with someone for a short time and it shouldn’t matter. He was with people too and I don’t care. He is younger.
    Then said when I got the apartment he was made when we got back together because I wouldn’t let him move in. It was my first real apartment to myself
    We set rules for that, he visited on weekned and mid week. I said to keep a job for x amount of time and he needs to show responsibility by getting own place, once the lease was up or soon we’d chat. But he had to keep job for at least 2 years. His mouth gets him in trouble. He agreed, but he really didn’t.We did look at apartments but noone could agree so he was at a month to month place me I had to reup my lease. He works 90 miles away and whines about the drive. I get that.
    So, he threw it back that I wasn’t trying.
    It’s so immature. He has his own problems, but this all hits home.

    • It’s always problematic when we fall in love with someone who is challenged with the notion of relationships. These people do not have a healthy relationship with themselves and they don’t trust their own ability to cope with stress. Thus everyone else becomes the problem.
      Your man has his “My Way or the Highway” rules to protect his insecure, turbulant and emotionally fragile ability to deal with differences, especially with those he lets into his inner sanctum.
      With your therapist, when you feel you have successfully released any emotional residue from this relationship, make sure you spend some time rebuilding yourself, becuase some part of you hung on to a poison apple far too long. Also see if your therapist can assist you to find some alternatives to your way of communicating and taking action when you get emotionally attached to some one, so you can more effectively draw the line with what is acceptable for your well being.
      You knew you needed to get away, but you couldn’t fully support yourself in sticking to your guns and holding your own integrity. It’s not always esay to do and most of us will find places in life where we are torn between our logic and feelings, what we want and what we know we should do.
      You’ve known what you needed to do.

  79. I dont really know if what I have been going through is abuse. I just know I am tired. I love my husband very much. He goes through these explosive anger episodes when I say things he really does not like. Also he turns whatever I am upset about back to me to make it all my fault. We always make up . He has never ever hurt me physically. I guess I just wonder why he can get upset but if I am and it is about something that he did or did not do then I am stupid and there is no reasoning with me. And what I may be upset about is of little importance. He has some great qualities and that is what attracted me to him but this one issue has been nagging over the years. We are 32 years married. Wish I knew what to do. I am certainly not without faults and perhaps have not chosen the best way to approach some things either but still….

    • Regardless of how you label aspects of your relationship, you know you don’t like how you are being treated and it has bothered you for quite some time. You have committed yourself to a man who has traits you do not understand or want.
      First realize your husband has sensitivities, things he does not know how to process or handle. He takes things personal and the way he has learned to deal with some of his sensitivities is to flip them back on those he feels are responsible for his discomfort.
      He can see your faults, but because of his sensitivities, his own faults are to painful to deal with, so he won’t acknowledge them. He of course would deny this, so it is not likely he would see a counselor.
      Unfortunately, the two of you have not found an effective way to communicate your differences. So you keep doing the same thing over and over again and it slowly erodes at your emotional well being and the relationship between the two of you.
      Relationships take work and when someone resorts to continually making their partner wrong, putting them in their place, pointing out their mistakes, they are no longer focused on the relatioship, they are focused on trying to force change in their partner through subversion and submissiveness. That is called a dictatorship, even if it only comes up in disagreement.
      Now your husband may never change, so you would do yourself a favor by expanding your communication abilities, so that you have some options to take different approaches. I suggest you work with someone who can help you change your approaches and attitudes. I know you love your husband and are not ready to give up, so doing something different will be helpful.

  80. The good news, I’m getting better. I have picked emotionally abusive partners in the past. I stayed in the relationships way too long. I just ended a relationship with the most controlling, angry, damaged emotional abuser. She knew she was hurting me. It seemed she had an awareness of her own destructive behaviors, but couldn’t resist operating in such an emotionally abusive way. Bless her, but she had every characteristic on the list. I see her as a very damaged person. She also has been struggling with addiction and blames everything on grief. Here is my problem. I broke it off with her, but I hurt. I should be happy to be away from her, but I’m sad. She also was very good at flipping things around and making me feel off, questioning myself, walking on eggshells etc. etc. etc. She also would say very complimentary things and could be very sweet. No contact is the best rule. I need to move on and should be happy. Instead, I wish I could share so much with her, but I know what would happen…not healthy enough to hear. I now am just sad and hurt because I invested my time, fell in love with her potential. That is what I do, fall in love with a persons potential. I have a counselor, I know it is normal to be sad and healthy to leave someone that is ‘out of control.’ Will the questioning and self doubt; the replaying of certain scenarios leave? How can I hold space for her that she will grow and be OK when I wonder if she will just continue to be hurt and ultimately bad mouth me and blame it all on me. I will print the list of what Abusers Tend To Do and carry that with me so when I miss the kind and loving person I KNOW SHE COULD BE, I will remember what pain she brought me. More pain than love. This relationship only lasted almost a year. Time to build self esteem and find my own activities so when a healthier person comes along, I can be strong and will know it is perfectly healthy to say no early on. I can be alone. I just have a longing for the child within me to find a partner. Hoping the heartbreak won’t last as long this time…

    • You already overcame the biggest obstacle, making the choice to leave and following through with it. Relationships are not easy, even when you find someone whose life is less challenging. . You have a counselor, so hopefully you will address many of the things you have brought up in your email.

      Your partner like so many abusive people, had her good and negative sides, but they were not integrated. When that happens, you get this charming person when she is in a charming mood and the abusive person when her insecurities come up, when she feels hurt or doesn’t know how to cope. Since these sides are not integrated, she can see her abusive self, but her positive traits cannot influence her other sides, so you get this very unbalanced and unpredictable person to be with.
      You are also remembering her this way and her positive qualities can come up seperate from the trash she pulled you through. It will important for you to see the full picture, the complete her as you move on to a life without her.
      It is not for you to wonder how she will do or how she will manage. You hold space for her by giving her and yourself space. That means being completely seperate. The two of you cannot be a couple and you need to make a clean break. That can be a hard thing to do and you are not punishing her or being cruel in anyway by moving on. The cruelity starts when you get close enough for her to attack.
      Heartaches release quicker when you let someone go, when you give them and yourself the space to move on.
      One last thing, when you have let her go and you are ready for a new relationship, I hope you are not just trying to find love for your inner child, but for the adult in you also

  81. We live on a small island and my 18 year old son for 3 years on a daily basis verbally abuses me and has managed to turn my husband of 27 years against me. My husband actually says he believes my son over me. My son has a drug problem that my husband overlooks and he stands next to my son saying nothing while my son calls his mother words I cannot repeat. When one attacks me the other aids him and they gang up on me. My other two children do not know what to do and hide in their rooms. I am trapped because my money goes toward household bills and I have been unable to save for an apartment to move into. I see a psychologist and psychiatrist but no one seems to care including my husband of 27 years who has never been supportive. I feel they will eventually kill me and move onto my daughter.

    • I doubt you should expect your unsupportive husband to care, since obviously he doesn’t. It seems you are in quite a bind, but you know if you don’t do something, things will only continue to get worse. Since you have to make your own decisions, you have to find a way to shift priorities to get out this toxic environment. I can’t tell you how to do that, since there is no way I can know all the details of your situation.
      What I would suggest is you find a lawyer who can explain to you the local laws and what legal support and options you have. If you feel your psychologist and psychiatrist don’t care, then you should either find someone else to work with or save the money you spend on them and use it to find a new place.
      Remember, there are always options, but it doesn’t mean you will like the options avaliable to you. Change is not supposed to be easy. but it is neccessary

  82. Ihave been married for almost 14 years. And have been mentally abused all those years. I have finally had enough of the abuse and left. Hardest step to take. The problem is that no one has ever witnessed any of the abuse and my husband swears he never did anything wrong. He says he can’t remember saying anything bad tome. He thinks that I am giving up. I feel that I have tried. This is the second time I left him. I feel that these last 8 years that I have beenback with him I have tried repeatedly and failed. I still think that I am the reason why our marriage didn’t work and feel very guilty because he says he is in so much pain now. He wants me to come back but I do not want to because I know that no matter how many times he says that he will change he won’t. I want to be happy for the first time in my life.

    • Christy
      I don’t know whether your husband just sees the world differently than you are whether is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Either way, at some point you have to listen to your own inner voices and they are screaming to you – THIS IS NOT THE PLACE FOR YOU.
      One thing for sure is the two of you communicate differently and don’t undetrstand each other. You cannot blame yourself for something that involves 2 people. It sounds like you have already made up your mind as to what you want to do. If the guilt continues, see a counselor to help work through these emotions.
      If you are contemplating a return to your husband, something has to change and you need to get recognition from him that the two of you do not understand each other. If he is only interested in blaming you, that you are the one not understanding, you will have little hope of any happiness with this man. The two of you need help communicatng and need to see a counselor. I doubt he will agree to this, thus he only wants you back on his terms, which is a losing set up for you. If he agrees to go, set some outcomes that must be achieved, that the two of you work on. Relationships are not fixed, they are a work in progress from all parties involved, including your husband

    • Get the hell out I lived with the same kind of man. Then he started raping me said he didn’t remember.Actualy there is a disease that I looked up. I looked up can a person rape you when you are sleeping. they did studies in Europe it’s a disease called sexonmnia. now that I have talked to doctors here in the us. he does not fit the criteria. then he started selling me.Things were so gradual I just did what I did to keep my family together. I lost my kids in the end because I am bipolar, but control rolled by meds also I raised n autistic highly autistic son by my self, and my middle son until they were both 18 without him around. he has skewed up my youngest son.GET OUT!!

  83. My parents have now been together for almost ten years. while my dad is my biological father my mother died from cancer when i was three and he married my step mom when i was 8. i still live with them and it doesn’t feel like a family at all. they recently had twin boys which seems to make the stress worse. one of my brothers has resulted to smoking and i feared worse but he seems to be a bit better while my eldest brother tried to commit suicide in the past. none of my brothers are blood related and none of us are considerably close. however i do care about them all and we have been through many ups and downs i feel my parents who, i cant help but say, don’t love each other just get worse. if it wasn’t for the twins and the issue of money they would probably be divorced. seeing as this is not an option and fearing for their future i was wondering if there’s anything that can be done. they fight a lot and there’s a great deal of favoritism going on with my mom favoring my brothers who used to look down on my sister and i but now mostly stay out of our lives. my dad always watches the twins while my mom goes out and both feel overwhelmed and unappreciated and are blaming the other.Despite having some biter feelings towards my mom who bluntly favored my brothers over my sister and i and kept yelling at my sister and my dad and i, making us feel like we were worthless and couldn’t do nothing right, i still try to view the situation fairly. and while i don’t think this is a case of abuse between them it may end up that way because my father though i don’t want to go into details is so done with this situation. im still a teenager and i have a couple years before college. my mom tells me my dad has shoved her and has referred to him being abusive while my dad and i can attest to says its never enough for my mother and even though he doesn’t say it he’s completely given up on a lot of things which scares me. this in itself causes problems because for whatever reason my mom seems to be getting help now; and while I’m having a very hard time trusting her seeing as she’s done this before and then yells at me for something simple as not being able to find the right soup can and returns to refusing to listen to me or taking any interest in any of my achievements unless it’s something bad or would ruin her reputation, of course I’m a teenager and am probably exaggerating this but it certainly feels that way to say the least,my dad seems to think little of it and while i haven’t heard his side he didn’t listen to the therapist they go to and is very grumpy and lazy. even though they argue less now it feels worse and i can feel the tension and the negative feelings they have as for whatever reason they always complain to me about each other. i don’t know what to do and who to trust. Is there anything i can do still being under my parents wings? or is all i can really do wait until i can move out?

    • It is never comfortable growing up in a dysfunctional family. It is a tough environment to be in. While you want things to change, you are clearly not the person who can change things in this household. Your parents have attempted (at least to some degree) to seek help, but there are serious communication and acceptance issues here. Unless mom and dad feel the marriage is worth saving and adds real benefit to their lives, no one is likely to change.
      Don’t take your moms favoritism personally. She probably sees some of your dad in you and she isn’t real comfortable with him
      From you description, my suggestion is you keep yourself busy with as many productive outside activities as possible, hopefully ones your school provides. You need to find places you can fit in, people to talk to, things you can accomplish.
      Everyone wants a family, but not all families are healthy and you need to make sure you give yourself as many healthy environments as possible in life to succeed. Hopefully you can also find a counselor at school to talk to. They may have additional suggestions for you

  84. I am pretty easy to get along with, but have anger issues. I know there are certainthings I don’t deal with really well and I yell at my wife. I haven’t hit her or anything, but sometimes me wants to. She doesn’t listen and she gets mad at me if I critic her. So I get mad. What I am supposed to do when she acts all bitchy and shit. Sometimes I love her, but i feel more and more anger at her. She be good to me and stuff, but that won;’t be enough. I got have my say in the house, it’s what makes a man a man. So she say I am abusive when I get this way. I think I am holding my ground. What you got to say about that?

    • Thanks for writing. We all have places we get set in our way, including how we deal with issues, how well we listen, how easily we let go of hurt, how accepting we are of certain differences. Couple of things I will say about your situation. One is you know she is not a bad person, but at times she does not act the way you want or expect her to act. She also sounds like she is set in her ways, at least in some areas. The two of you are in a relationship, that means the two of you need to relate to each. Digging in and holding on to how you want things to be is not what makes a relationship healthy. You know this, since your emotions are getting all worked up.
      The two of you have not learned to effectively communicate your differences. Sit down with her when the two of you are calm and ask her how she would like you to address her when something is bothering you and should also be able to express you feelings to her (without getting all worked up). You can have your say in the house if the two of you learn to talk to each other in this area. If you don’t, the relationship will have a hard time surviving and the anger may escalate.
      BTW, having a say in the house is only part of what will make you feel good about yourself. It won’t make you a man though

  85. I been with my boyfriend two years. everything was perfect in the begining. we started as friends. I knew from the start that I loved him but have had really bad relationship history and at that. particular time in my life decided to only have friends. he went above and beyond to win me over and after two months he won.I could not deny it if I wanted to. we moved to a hotel to be together and really life could not have been better. we hardly argued he was my prince charming. I thought finally God had given me what I always dreamed of. things soon changed. his grown son would need to move here to find work. do we got an apartment and everything changed. he started lying to me. started accusing me of cheating /flirting which I didnt. the respect vanished slowly and his son and I didn’t get along. I seen right away his son only came here to run from his own obligations. soon 98% of arguments came because of his son. his son soon started disrespecting me yelling charging me up like he going to hit me. never once did he get onto his son. instead he only made excuses for him but yet I was to be the one to be there to support a grown 24 year old, clean behind him and feed him.I think at that moment I lost a lot of respect for my boyfriend ..I felt used and mistreated. I think his true character came out. I myself always feel like I am in defense mode. I let our apartment go to move into my parents house. seemed like only way for his son to move back home. I had to go away for business . .itwas then I was informed of how he was at my sister n laws house and had other women in my home and truck but he denied it. do did my sister n law but I know its the truth. also he can never admit he is wrong never apologize. everything revolves around him and what makes him happy. even if I am in the right he sides against me. he now flirts with everyone woman he can despite I am right there. half women are his ex’s and he throws my past. in my face. sometimes I think he trys yo hurt me out of spite. I already know I should end this. I am in love with him but lately I feel myself falling back. regretting everything and I don’t want that. I think this man is great I just want us back the way we was. how can I get it there? how can I forgive and forget all the pain cuz I want to. I find it hard yo picture myself without him. please help me with advice on how to save this relationship or is. it even worth saving? thanks, Andrea. p.s. his son did move back.and we are back yo bring alone but we are still distant.

    • Andrea
      You already know you should leave and yet you want someone to help you save a failing relationship. How can you trust yourself when you dismiss your gut reactions.
      Being friends and then being in a relationship and living together are two different things. People like your boyfriend, who don’t adapt well to change can always be problematic. He is not your savior or your gift from God and while he may have some good qualities, lying, unfounded accusations, and letting his son walk all over you shows signs of someone who both lacks social morals and is emotionally incompetent to deal with things he doesn’t like.
      Andrea, even if I could help you save this sinking boat, I would not, because I would be doing you a disservice.
      Since you have a history of negative relationships, after you get out of this one, you may want to see a therapist and find out what you can change in yourself so that the pattern stops

  86. The article, “Signs of Emotional Abuse” was extremely helpful. I have a better understanding of what has been going on in my home. thank you

    Ilene

  87. I’ve Been in a relationship for two years with my boyfriend with have an 11 month old son and our daughter is 1 week old… when we first met .. it was love at first sight and we were always together nd 4 months into the relationship… I found out I was pregnant a week after I found out he had been cheating… this devasted me so bad … I forgave him and gave him a chance . Afterwards he started being very abusive towards me… physically.. verbally.. emotionally … it hurted me so bad cus I was so in love with him.. he talks bad about me to all his friends and other females .. he’s constantly blaming me for everything. He refuses to let me have any kind of relationshipwith my sister . He tells me nobody wants me. Calls me fat and ugly and nobody likes me … I just had our daughter and I always find myself crying hurt ..feel very lonely.. we live together nd I’m always asking him for live or affection… its so depressing .. feeling so alone in this relationship .. I feel like drinking my self to death to get rid of all the pain… I even started to go see a therapist for my depression… what can I do ?. I love him with all my heart..ot because of our kids . Sometimes I miss the way he use to be with me… I keep thinking maybe this is just a phase …. but the pain never ends

    • You may love this guy but you obviously don’t love yourself because you allow your partner to treat you like a lowlife valueless scum. Love at first sight is just an emotional response and it most certainly is not a relationship. The two of you do not have a workable relationship and you probably never will. He does not love you, not in the way you want and it is not likely he ever will, since none of his action are loving.
      You should feel hurt because he is hurting you. When someone hurts you, you don’t just stand there and take it. Since he is not going to change, you have to take action and while leaving may seem painful to you, it will be the best thing for you.
      You will continue to have depression as long as you stay in a depressing situation. Get on board with what is happening right now. How he used to be was a guy who was just enjoying physical interactions. The problem is he does not know how to have a relationship other than him getting things the way he wants and this is not likely to change.
      The pain will never end as long as the two of you are together. Get a good lawyer and start a new

  88. I am 22 years old and I have been emotionally and physically abused by my mother for as long as I can remember. It is so bad I have no happy memories of my childhood with her present, I barely have any memories at all.

    My younger sisters took after her and followed her lead, continuing to abuse me emotionally and physically.

    My brother knows the truth because he was just as abused(if not more) but refuses to do anything, not wanting any part in it.

    **My brother and I are both adopted from different families, the two sisters are biological to our adoptive mother.

    I have tried telling my dad, my friends, my family members about this and demanded something be done. Many years have been spent going from therapist to therapist, with no avail. With no end in sight and no effort made on their part to repair the relationship and end the strife, I moved out.

    I tried to reach out to my family when I was 18, but that was undermined when my mother went about telling everyone I have Borderline Personality Disorder(which is a lie, NONE of my therapists have EVER diagnosed me with that and I am being treated for anxiety/depression). No one would help me because she ruined my reputation by saying I was ‘unstable’ and ‘crazy’ and ‘needed to be medicated’.

    However as an undergrad, with no steady job, I am alone and scared. I am currently living a few blocks away with my friends parents, two very highly respected Drs. and no problems. A lot of sentimental stuff is still at home and because I don’t have a perm. address yet my mail still gets delivered there(which my mom opens and goes through). I’m also aware they have a life insurance policy out for me, that they took out when I was over 18, without my consent. What can I do to get my things, stop my mail from going there, and possibly sue for emotional distress? Thanks.

    • Your situation is most certainly troubling. You questions however are probably best answered by someone in the legal profession
      Hopefully by now you have realized the personal interactions of your family situation are not likely to change….ever. While it may not seem fair, the only thing that can really change in your family, that you have any real say in is how you choose to move forward. One would hope the other females in your family choose to get some professional assistance in the future, but they probably don’t think they have a problem.
      Good luck

    • File a change of address with the post office. If you have a credit card, you can do it online for $1.00 (only go through usps.com). Or you can go into the office and request a change of address form from a clerk at the window. You are an adult, she has no right to open your mail. If it a serious problem, tell someone at the post office. They will do what they can to help, up to having the postal inspectors pay her a visit.
      Unfortunately, you seem to have been dealt a bad family hand. Find a good therapist and cut ties with the family. Do not allow yourself to be abused by her any more. Its hard and it hurts, but you need to take care of yourself.
      Good luck and have faith in yourself.

  89. I won’t get into the long story of my 14 year marriage, but after years of gaslighting, Blameshifting, manipulation, etc. I see my spouses behavior for what it is – abusive. It really is sickening to think I put up with such behavior and allowed myself to be treated that way. How does one get over the shame of allowing themselves to be abused? I have learned knowledge is power and knowing the signs of abuse is my first step at self-protection, but does life ever stop revolving around being on high alert and can you ever let your guard down enough to trust people again? I have learned to self-validate, but the second guessing always seems to creep in. Does that ever go away? I realize I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life through justification. These self-reflections of many many years ago made me despise it when people can’t see their own hypocrisy. I sometimes feel that this is what allowed me to let myself be abused. I was so concerned with being a good person to others that I missed the signs that abuse was happening to me. I realize that my lack of self doubt as a teen allowed me to be a person who justified bad behavior and that’s why I always question my own behavior. So when my spouse would shift the blame I was ready to pile it all on my own shoulders, thinking it must be me. Just recently when my spouse cheated, I see my own hypocrisy. I despise that he used the excuse “I made him do it, I’ve made him miserable for years, etc.” which I know isn’t true. I believe we are each responsible for how we choose to respond to our own feelings, yet I want to blame him for how I’m feeling after his affair. Is he the one who made me feel this way, or am I the one who creates those feelings? The never ending self-questioning is exausting. I do understand how he wants to blame me for his feelings, because I want to blame him for mine. The difference is, I didn’t do anything to create his feelings, like lie, cheat or blame. Am I just justifying my blame? As you can see, I am creating my own crazy! I want to take responsibility for what’s mine, but it’s really hard when I want to blame my spouse, just like he’s blamed me. It makes me no better than he is. When someone mistreats you, you choose how you respond, but are you choosing how that even makes you FEEL? I really struggle with this. Infidelity reduces your self-esteem to 0. Did I ALLOW it to reduce my self-esteem or did his actions create that? Like I said, does the self-questioning ever go away?

    • One of the biggest challenges after one finally wakes up and sees the abuse they’ve been living under is “How can I process through all this mess? How can I emotionally and mentally find my way back to some sort of stability?”
      If one does not find a way to come to terms with this, there is an element of self trust that is never quite regained. There are those who will just need some time in order to sort things out and regain their footing. But after long term abuse, this is not typically the case. You have enough insights into your situation to see both of you played a role in this dysfunctional relationship. That on its own will probably not allow you to find the peice of mind you are seeking.
      But do not fear, you are not doomed to a life time of self loathing. You were hurt and betrayed by a man who was important to you, some one you tried to hold close while he was being selfish with his own needs. Even if you mentally understood what he was doing was wrong, you were emotionally attached and this conflict created all sorts of unwanted neurological responses. You want to work with someone who will be able to help you process through the emotion aspects of the abuse and your need to be overly attached to someone who really didn’t love you, not in a way you understand love.
      Trying to do this on your own is difficult. Negative emotions don’t respond to logic, they respond by resolution. If the emotional aspects are not effectively dealt with, there will be a part of you holding on to the past. Talk therapy helps someone what, but emotional therapy helps release pent up energy and that is what you want, to let go of the hurt, the shame, the discomfort
      If you can’t find someone locally, Designed Thinking offers phone consultations.

  90. i feel like this has been a losing battle. I can’t make a 23 year marriage work. my husband wont talk to me eccept when he wants something and if i can’t get it for him he tells it like it is and lets me know how worthless i am. I used to be pretty but after 3 kids i let myself go. I didn’t mean to, i didnt’ plan it but i should have tried harder. I dont even know if this is abuse or just a marriage thats lost its juice. I wont leave him and i know he loves me, atleast in his own way
    So what can i do. I do try to talk to him and tell him how much i love him. He is all i’ve got, but damn i am so tired of having nothing i can look forward too. I know we can turn it around. What advice can you give

    • I know this is hard and after all these years of things slowly going down hill, one day you realize the life your living is not the one you had planned on. It sounds as if your self-esteem has taken a serious blow and you are conflicted on where you stand with your man. You aren’t willing to leave him, he is your everything but he doesn’t give you anything to look forward too. Doesn’t sound as if he is giving you much other than grief and stubborness. Sounds like you are holding on to a sinking ship.
      It is hard to think highly of those who don’t think highly of themselves. You know telling him you love isn’t doing anything and if you tell him another thousand times, nothing will change. I think you are attached to him and the idea of marriage, but that’s not love, that is a fear of change.
      I know he won’t see a counselor, so the ownership of change falls on you and you only have a few options. One seek help with someone who will help you figure out where you stand with yourself and your own self image. If you won’t do this or can’t afford it, then you have to change and mix things up. Stop telling him you love him ( I know this is counter intuitive, but you are wasting your energy) and start standing up for yourself and what you want. This will show him you have some self respect, that you hold value you for yourself and that you can set boundaries. While there may be other issues in the marriage, at least you will be able to feel good about yourself

  91. i just want my husband to stop putting me down as a parent when he wants to make apoint. it is hurtful and he refuses to see why. how do i get help when we cannot afford a third party. he doesn’t like to talk to anyone about his problems and only relies on me, and i am very stressed, i cannot listen to him any more especially when he starts getting loud. when i tell him he needs to calm his tone because our toddler is in the room, he gets mad that i don’t care about him enough to listen to him. i just want it to stop. if it doesn’t stop, i want to leave him but i just can’t afford it right now. i don’t know what to do.

    • One of the primary challenges many relationships face is the inability to effectively communicate differences and disagreements. It is where our sensitivities are most likely to be uncovered.
      When people don’t feel like they are being heard, when they can’t make sense of the of the other persons perspective, they try to protect their sensitivities. Some do this by blaming, others by explaning, while some just shut down and go into avoidance mood.
      You have been at a crossroads for quite some time and because your options have been limited, nothing has really changed. No matter what you do, your husband may not be responsive to your attempts to make changes and it is difficult to condense hours of help into a few sentences.
      Relationships are not easy and unraveling years of dysfunction takes work. Your husband has closed down to hearing any ideas that require him to make changes.
      Does he like how the two of you relate to each other? Does he see the relationship has problems? Does he see he is letting you control his emotions (that is why he talks to you the way he does because he doesn’t know how to process things differently than what he is used to)? Is he open to talking about the two of you relating differently or does he just want to be right and remain miserable? Have you really asked him these questions?
      It is hard to do this on your own, but you may as well try, because you are running out of options

  92. My relatives all the time say that I am wasting my time trying to get help. I guess they don’t believe I can change, maybe theyre right, maybe I’m hopeless. Thats how it feels after 20 some years of my husband putting me down. It wasnt always that way and he is still a really nice guy. he used to tell me how pretty i was and make me feel good. He cheated on me a couple of times and I know its normal when your not attracted to someone but he used to. They say women dont age well and men need to feelgood gettin attention. But I want it to sometimes and not be told im worthless, ugly and lazy. He dont hit me,so maybe this isnt really abuse. I try to make myself look presentable to him. I try to agree with him but never feel good enough any way
    What else can i do to make this marriage work, to make him find me more attractive

    • Elida
      Even though I think you would deny it, I get the feeling you have not gotten much support in your life from your family. You have beliefs supporting the insecurities of others that makes it OK for them to exhibit dysfuntional behaviors. You think this is normal, meaning you lack self supportive beliefs allowing you to do what you must to be the person of value you deserve to be. Instead of trying to change yourself to meet the vague standards you think will please your husband, you need to work on yourself with ways to support your own needs and ideas.
      I realize this will seem unfamiliar to you and you will have numerous objections. But keep in mind a marriage is a union of 2 people, not one person trying to please someone else. Your husband is abusive and he doesn’t really respect you. Frankly he will never will unless you find it in yourself first. He will not find you attractive unless you really (not somewhat) find yourself attractive. the problem is you are waiting for him to tell you before you believe it. That Catch-22 cycle will only change if you want to be different and the first thing to being different is for you to begin doing things for yourself.
      This man has cheated on you, meaning he is not committed to this union. He puts you down because he doesn’t know how to accept you and without acceptance there is no love.
      Find someone to work with or start going to seminars on bettering yourself. He won’t like it, but he isn’t committed to supporting you are the marriage. That he sometimes does nice things doesn’t change this

  93. My boyfriend dumped me after his sister told him that she saw me kissing a guy at a local mall.Their father has been abusing their mother all their lives to this day and his sister hates my guts.In the turn years we have been together,he would belittle me,constantly blame me and accuse me of cheating.I would always be wrong.When I was pregnant he proposed and then when ever we would argue he wil ask for the ring until one day I got fedup and gave it to him 4 years ago.Loving him I tolarated his abusive behaviour.Then he would threaten to leave me and my son.He would always insult my private parts,tell me how bad my hair is and would always look for faults.He isolated me and blamed me when ever I went out even to the shops.He would insult with my family and my friends.Nothing I did was good enough.One day it got physical and I saw a different person.He would apologise and when we fight he would tell me that its the reason he will be physical.At times he will mourn the entire night and I would only sleep for an hour before I go to work.When he is with other people he is so different,he is well spoken,reserved and smartly dressed.But when he was with me he would be so nice then turn to be so evil.Whenever we would go out he would accuse me of flirting with man.I lost my self confidence and began to be suicidal.I was always in denial of the abuse cos I was madly in love with him but scared of him at the same time.He controlled my mind and I would always cry like a child.I was not as strong as I was before and we would fight in front of the child and he would be saying all the nasty words with no regrets.And I would tell him how much I hated him.When we broke up,him and his family through my things outside and I had to get the police to help me.As if that was not enough,he would text,email and call me and call me names.I even went to get a restraining order and they said we should talk first.He would tell people our bedroom problems.Now he calls and says he wants to talk about our child and constantly yelling at me and every I do is wrong.I still love him and get affected by the things he does.Its worse because his entire family is like him and my son goes there every weekend.His father was abusing the mother while I was there.Psychologically I’m not okay,this has greatly affected me and how can I move on,is my son safe there,will he turn out like his father.Will I ever trust anyone.I’m fearful of him,I feel lyk he is out to destroy me.

    • It is always difficult to make sense of unwanted behaviors, especially for those we hold closest. You know your ex will not change. He has shown you what he is capable of.
      Don’t confuse how he treats other people with how he treats you. He is not in a relationship with those people. You know he grew up in an abusive environment, so his ability to relate to people he holds close is already challenged. With other people he has no emotional investment, but anyone who enters his personal domain will see how conflicted he is. The craziness he exhibits to you is a reflection of how poorly he sees himself. He has issues and it is not likely he will get help because he blames ofhers for his emotional negativity. Hopefully you’ve learned this much about.
      You stuck with him for quite sometime through an aweful lot of abuse. Because the two of you have a child, there will be some interactions you will have to endure, but those should be sorted out by your lawyer.
      What you want to focus on is your ability to trust yourself. Emotionally you are still attached. Part of you knows being attached to someone who will hurt you can only create pain. Really what you want to be able to find trust in is your ability to let go of emotional attachment when things are no longer workable. If you can’t do this, you risk repeating the process. When you know and accept this relationship is over, get some help, someone who can help you re-center yourself and help find a way to keep a sense of yourself in future relationships

      • Thanks Michael,at some point I have to face the future.The hardest part was dealing with the lies his sister told about me and I was so angry and wanted revenge and justice.I then realised that she is also in the circle of abuse and unfortunately I was her victim and have chosen to forgive her.In-laws can also be evil,even women,the ones you expect the hardships,even christian mother-in-laws.For ten years I stood by and didn’t leave even when the signs were there but I kept blaming myself and believing he will change.The site has been an eye opener.I love the fact that I can think for myself,I can interact with others.I wish other women can read and find a way out before its too late.

  94. I don’t know how this happened. The man I once thought was my soulmate, my savior, my hope and inspiration, has over time turned into a condenscending, shut-off and despiteful man. When we first started dating, he always had kind words, always listened. We were so happy together, it was like a dream come true. I never understood why my family didn’t like him. they said something is not right with him, that he would be trouble. Seems they were right
    He has never hit me or anything, though sometimes he grabs me a bit harder than I like when we disagree on things or when I don’t give into what he wants. I still love him. I can’t leave him, but I don’t feel I can stay.
    I do everything around the house. I bring him coffee every morning. I smile and say pleasant things, am always nice to him. I cook, I clean, i really try to be someone he could want. But he is just sour, doesn’t say much. We seldom are intimate anymore. At those times he tells me he loves me and he is sorry for how he is, but then he goes right back
    Is this abuse? I don’t know what to think

  95. This is a great site. Thanks to all those you have taken the time to share their experiences here.
    I am thinking I am being emotionally/verbally abused by husband, but I am finding it almost unreal to consider that the loving, caring, wonderful man I met and married has changed so drastically that I am now in this position of thinking it’s time to leave.

    We have been living together for 11 years, married for 7, business partners for 6 and Parents to a wonderful little boy for 3 years, and are expecting a baby in 6 months.

    We met when I was 28 he was 29, lived and learned enough to think we knew exactly what we were looking for in a life mate. Knew early in our relationship we had found it! Life was good, we had our ups and downs, but we loved each other and got through the bumps in the roads. One major bump I should never (I know now) have overlooked or accepted was the lack of sex drive my (at the time) boyfriend had. I knew he was sexually abused as a young boy, and was trying to persuade him to get counselling for this, he always assured me he would,I believed him, and we did have sex but he insisted his sex drive just wasn’t as high as mine. He told he felt if we were married it would change as he was (as am I) a Christian and he felt wrong about us living in sin. We did get married and the situation got worse not better. I lived in a sex free marriage for almost 2 years, we had sex once and I got pregnant..we didn’t have sex again for 3 more years!
    This has not been easy for me to accept and I am sure has contributed to alot of the failings in our marriage and our feeling towards each other. My husband still has not gone to counselling for this.
    This though is not the abuse this is our history, the abuse has started since the birth of my son 3 years ago. My husband became very heavily involved in reading and studying the bible once our son was born and continues almost obsessively to spending all his free time doing this.
    The abuse (what I think is abuse) only happens when we argue, and most of the fights start because I “feel” something, for instance if he is being rude to me and I ask him not to speak to me in such a way, or I question him after finding out almost a year after he started sending money to a religious organization I knew nothing about. He says I am angry when I talk to him and it gets him going, I don’t feel anger or rage when I bring them up but he says he senses the tension. Sometimes I am angry but I have tried to bring up the issues once I have calmed down a bit so not to cause these outbursts he has.
    We went to marriage counselling for a little while, it was a Christian counsellor because I knew there was no way he would go to a secular counsellor who agreed with gays, or divorce or whatever other things he felt aren’t biblical. But the counselling made things worse he really got mad at me once after counselling and screamed at me the whole way home because I was making him look bad to the counsellor by the things I had to say about him. So after that I felt limited by what I could even talk about so that we wouldn’t fight and it just became pointless to go. I will admit I shold have let it go when he got mad in the car but I wanted him to understand why I needed to talk to the counsellor honestly about my feelings, and explain that I never said he was terrible only that I feel certain things when he acts certain ways.
    After the counselling ended we lived in a state of blandness for a couple of months, no love no gfights just going through our days.
    That has stopped again, and now when he blows up he intimidates me by towering over me (I am 5′ 1″ is 6’3″) and screaming rapid repetitive insults at me in front our young son. Things like “you are a *&%#ing B*&ch you are a *&%#ing B*&ch you are a *&%#ing B*&ch you are a *&%#ing B*&ch” or the last one was ” your dumb your dumb you are FuC*&^ng dumb” or telling me I am going to ruin our son because of my ungodly ways, calling me a hypocrite a liar, when my son asks why mommy is crying and why is fighting with me, he calmly said because your mommy is blind to the truth. He is deliberately trying to turn my son against me.
    I do have a bit of a short fuse and really am an emotionally person, I cry easily I laugh easily I get worked up easily and I calm down quickly. I am usually the person bringing up a topic that will be fought about. So I am always blamed for his angry outburst from him. this last fight I refused to fight or yell back (he seems to get a lot of pleasure out of me getting upset during a fight and will smugly tell me I am crazy if I have heard too much and retaliate, because of our son I don’t often engage him anymore) anyway he was livid even though I was not arguing with him, I wasn’t not responding to his insults. I stayed upstairs and was downstairs yelling at me about how terrible and blind and dumb I am and he threw his water bottle through the window shattering the glass. When I spoke to him two days later about how this is affecting our son,( I received a report from daycare that he was hitting other kids and throwing sand at them and he has never done this before) he said he knows but that I need to acknowledge that I started it and if I were more submissive in my question to him he never would have gotten so upset.
    This has been going on for about 2 years, it is getting worse. I am starting to get scared of him, I told him this and his response was that if I was scared of him than I wouldn’t incite him the way I do. I don’t feel that I pick on him, I give him all the free reign he wants, I have a very stressful job running a mental health group home, My husband was supposed to run it after the birth of our son, but kept complaining that he couldn’t do it, in anger he threatened to me one day that he would burn it down, I believed this was an idle threat but I was frustrated and felt bad and guilty for the way he felt going in all the time after 2 months of him getting upset and complaining I decided I would have to go back to work, we didn’t have the money for daycare so my husband stayed home for the next two years, I have never been happy about this, and I am sure I have been resentful about this, again this is my part in our troubles. I don’t feel supported by him, the business became too much for me to run on my own I was desperate for him to assist me. Just in January of this year finally we put our son in daycare, I thought things were better and as I am getting older 39, felt if we were going to have children we should do it. We did have sex twice, I got pregnant that month. There was a happy month, now things have been turbulent again. I am happy I am pregnant, I wanted my son to have a sibling, I want things to be better, but I don’t want to have to guard every word I say in case it triggers his anger, I don’t want my child(ren) a witness to such anger.
    I just want the man I met back. I loved him so much that I hold on to the hope he will reappear, that I can make my husband see how he has changed. That somehow we can work this out without comprising who we are as individuals in this relationship, I am not willing to allow my husband to control me, I think this is what he is pushing for with all his talk about me being submissive, and some of the other comments he makes.
    I cannot look after my son and our business alone, if I leave the business will fall apart, we will lose everything, It’s not so easy to just leave. I know my husband will fight for custody after the second last fight we had I noticed he was talking differently to me on the phone almost like he was trying to set me up and piss me off, when I checked his cell phone I found he had been recording all of our conversations. I know if I walk out with me son it will look bad on my in court, I don’t have anywhere to go, we live 600km from our closest friend or family. I could never leave my son with him, and I sorry for having to even share custody if we split, my husband undermines everything I do or am with our son. We had a disagreement about celebrating Christmas, my husband didn’t want to (even though we always had) he didn’t want our son believing in Santa Claus because he said he never wants to lie or deceive his son into believing something that wasn’t true. We had agree to celebrate it although I know my husband was making a big compromise here, I was glad for our son he could have the magic and memories of it. But now when my son asks about Santa my husband tells him Santa bought the gifts at walmart, after I had told our son about the elves.

    I am confused and hurt; I am not sure how I can do things differently how I can make things work. But I can’t live like this, I cry all the time and am now reliving the fights over and over in my head. I just can’t let it go. He gets upset after his outburst and says what can’t you forgive you don’t have it in you to forgive. I do, I do forgive and try to forget but then we argue and his anger goes over the top again, and it all comes back to me. We always fought, since day one, but never like this, never did his anger become name calling, pushing, cornering, throwing things. I feel like this is getting worse and really am afraid that it will become violent soon. But it hasn’t (once he did throw me down and bruise my arm but in honesty that was the one time I really lost it on him as he had me cornered and I felt threatened and started to hit his chest to get him away from me when he grabbed at my arms I spit in his face and it was pretty ugly, thankfully my son was asleep during this exchange). I need to make a plan if it does because I seem to be in an impossible situation.
    We have agreed to go back to counsellor individually as I don’t feel I can be open or honest with him in the room and I feel I need some support as I am feeling post traumatic stress reliving our past fights in my head. And I am hoping with him having individual counselling some of his other issues will come out. I don’t think it’s our marriage that is as much the problem as all of his triggers from childhood.
    Sorry for such a long post, this just isn’t something I can share with anyone, anyone who knows him thinks he’s such a saint that I must be the problem if he is so upset…so frustrating!

    • Samantha
      This man has issues, has always had issues and he is not going to change. He thinks he is right and uses his warped sense of God and Christianity to justify how right he is. The problem with being around someone who is right, is that someone else has to be wrong. You are always going to be on the short end of the stick while he is immersed in his own rightness. While he has agreed to counseling, he will not stay with it very long. After all he is right, why should he change.
      I cannot tell you what you should do, but you have some tough decisions to make. Your marriage will probably continue to get worse because there is no real communication, just levels of disagreement, blame and other forms of hostility. You can be as nice as you can and make as many concessions as you want. but that is still not going to change him.
      You need to step back out of your excuses as what is and isn’t possible and why things shouldn’t change, because where things are headed is one day you will wake-up and things will be so bad, you will be forced to make the decision to leave or you will completely cave in from the pressure.
      Talk to a lawyer, not to file for divorce, but to find out how to protect yourself. If your husband is gathering evidence to make you look incompetent, you need to arm yourself so you don’t get completely stepped on should a divorce ever happen.
      And you are right in observing that your children will pick up the conflict, blame and violent actions of your husband, how he treats you and how the two of you try to resolve things. The likelihood of your children growing up to be like your husband are high if nothing changes.

    • I have been mental abuse by my wife for 20 + years and I know how you all feel like. I am not ready to post my own story but I will. Very sorry for all of us it not right for a person like this to be around

  96. The thing about emotional abuse is for me after 21 years (just in last 5 yrs have I figured out what’s going on) that I’ve taken a stand against my abusive husband and I act just like he does and he hates it!!!! just this morning I was looking over old cell phone bills and noticed I can see call origination. I pointed out to my husband that he is in woodland hills but his job (which he can come and go as he please) is in van nuys. So when I hear someone creeping around my house at 10:30 am and it makes me feel very uneasy. I ask him about it and he says he never creeps around the house. But the phone bill says he very well could be or else he is off doing something else in oxnard he isn’t admitting to. He turns off his latitude on his phone which I think he does either to stress me out or hide something. My husband had an emotional affair with my also married cousin 2 years ago which lasted a year and a half. I found their detailed dirty chats in face book and she never has talked to me only make rude comments to other family members on face book about me. I found emails where she actually thought her and him were going to run off together. He says that was never his idea and he was sorry. He swears that he hasn’t talked to her since that morning I posted the chats between them on her face book page (she refused to talk to me so I posted to her page) and learned that day too what subscribers were. I guess the chats were then posted for everyone to see even my husband and his friends and my family. THe messed up thing is my own sister won’t talk to me now. And I’m the one who was with her through two bad marriages where both her husbands cheated onher. You’d think she would have some empathy. But some how my cousin managed to lie and make my sister think the chats weren’t her. My husband never has spoken to my sister or her husband since. My grown children still go to my sisters house for holidays because she does everything up so pretty and buys them all kinds of stuff. No loyalty’s. I just don’t get it. I do know my husband was visiting with my sister & her husband at times I wasn’t aware of prior. My husband is a 40 year career salesman in the car business. I think he was undermining me all that time hoping no one found out what he was doing, yet preparing for if someone did find out. The whole thing is crazy making. And that’s the way he wants it to be.

    So how do I get out? I don’t know. My parents both aren’t living and obviously my sister is out of the helping me with a place to go for awhile. My best friend my husband and her got into it. She’s outta my life. My grown kids both have kids of their own and don’t need me hanging around going through the with drawls of 21 years of abusive manipulating. Any suggestions?

    My point is you’ll have to survive some how and if not careful you’ll be acting like they do. One of my husbands best tricks years ago was to wait until I was in the car or in an airplane or hotel room 2000 miles from home and start screaming at me. It doesn’t happen that often now. When it does I just start screaming louder than he does and I don’t hold my tongue either. I say mean ugly things back to him (at least mine are true) but it will usually stop him. We sleep in different bedrooms and when I do make new friends I won’t let them meet him. My husband goes to mexico, takes trips to vegas and Alaska without me. I take off for three days just to get away from him and I come home and he tells me he is now due a three day weekend with the boys! Good, when is that gonna be? LOL

    • Kim
      It is never an easy situation when your cash flow is controlled by the person your are having issues with.
      While you will need some sort of support system, check with a lawyer in your area. Stories about what he did, said and implied hold little weight in a court of law; it becomes your word against his and what can be proved. So you want to find out what you need from a legal perspective to support your claims, what type of proof will be acceptable to support your experiences. This may force him to financially support you

  97. I have been told my husband is a narcissist. He has been difficult to live with for 15 years. I thought if I was the “PERFECT” wife he would start being nice to me. Stop screaming and stop blaming me for so many things. That never happened. I always tried to work at counseling and “improving myself.” They say you can win a husband over if you are the best and nicest you can be.

    It is weird because sometimes he says ” I am sorry I am so mean.” Then he turns around in the same conversation and tells me it is all in my head, that he is really not so bad.

    My friends have told me I have been an above and beyond what I need to be. However being Christians they all tell me I have to stay….because he is not sleeping around and he is not hitting me.

    1. Can a narcissist really change?
    2. How do I know it is not ME that is crazy?
    3. Is it too late for my child who I see showing the tendencies of his
    father? He is now treating me like that.
    4. Is there special therapists trained to work with victims of a
    narcissist spouse.

    Everything has always been about him and what he wants and yet he says “the world revolves around ME.” I think, ok we all have to keep from making you angry. You buy a car for cash but we are not worth buying an ice cream cone because it is “Too expensive.” Everything for him is worth it, vacations etc. if it is something HE wants or HE is involved with.

    I have a special ring for his phone and RUN to it. My friends even know the ring and that I run. He on the other hand says “I don’t even know WHY I pay for a phone for you. You NEVER answer it.” I have to explain anytime I miss it….like I was mowing the lawn and could not hear…I was in the bathroom.

    He says I am a cold fish. I think ok…you yell at me and then 2 minutes later want sex…..what the heck…no wonder I am not in the mood. I was told to do it as much as I could and he would be happier. I was doing it up to 5 times a week (even though I did not want to but as nice as I could I was the one who initiated it.) and he STILL would tell people we NEVER did it and he never gets sex. ARGHHHHHHH.

    If anything gets broken of his it is screaming and yelling, but if it is ours he says oh its ok don’t worry about it. One time he screamed so long I hid in the other room with the kids and it was not even something I broke!!! It was an electronic that broke on its own.

    I spent a week getting our house in order after a move ….never said a word just SCREAMED at me when he could not find something after the move…..it was right where I told him it was.

    He has always tried to blame me and my “emotions and hormones.”

    he has always treated my family horrible to where they no longer even visit me. EVERYTHING revolves around him. I am allowed to make basic purchases like food, clothes, etc. So I feel as if I have some control.

    It has basically been me and the kids. He rejected the new baby and I because he no longer had me to cater to him. I could not figure out what was wrong, I thought it was me. When I had surgery I made the doctor let me out two days early because I could not take the phone calls about how
    everything was going with the kids at the house.

    I know I am rambling. I wish I could write and get out all the crazy things he said and did. I just want to know if it will ever change.

    I have finally moved out, but now he says that he finally gets it because I moved. That HE is changed and God has changed him and I need to move back so he can “prove and show” that he has changed or I will never know.

    My question is…I am finally out and I NUTS to go back? Is it better for the kids to be with their dad if he has? Will this be held over me FOREVER that I left. If he has not xhanged and I go back…will he make it impossible for me to EVER LEAVE AGAIN.

    When I was packing the suitcases he said to me “Hmmm did you know you cant take bullets on a plane” I said “No why ar you planning on killing us all?” He said “No I don’t have any bullets.” Then a few days later when I confronted him he acted like…I was just kidding cant you take a joke. You know I would never hurt any of you.

    He was all talking suicide when he realized I was really leaving and this was really IT.

    Well. Thank you…more babbling I know.

    • Gloria

      I am sorry you have been operating on some misconceptions of life. First no one is perfect, so trying to be perfect immediately makes you a failure. Second, I have never heard that you can win someone over by being your best and nicest. That only works if the other person is receptive to it and as you have found out, your husband is not that type of person.

      Now to answer your questions. 1) Can a narcissist change. Anyone can change if they feel they have problems and they want to change. Your husband partially acknowledges he has a problem once in a while and he doesn’t want to change. He would rather blame others for his discomfort. Narcissists don’t see themselves at the issue, so it is not likely he will change

      2. How do I know it is not ME that is crazy? Well we are all a bit crazy, it just depends on whose standards we are looking from. If you stay in an environment that is unhealthy, that will probably increase the likelihood of being crazy. What you know is he is not right and if you stay in that situation, you can’t be healthy

      3. Is it too late for my child who I see showing the tendencies of his father? He is now treating me like that. I don’t know how old your child is, but he probably has learned from his dad and need therapy. IThe longer he stays in the environment with dad, the more dad influences him

      4. Is there special therapists trained to work with victims of a narcissist spouse. What you are dealing with here is abuse that can be akin to brain washing. You have bought into his world and you need to get out of that craziness. You want to work with a therapist who understands how the subconscious operates and how to deprogram and reprogram your mental and emotional states.

      Also keep in mind, there can be forms of abuse that are far worse than physical abuse. Bruised flesh and broken bones tend to mend much more efficiently that a shattered soul, low self esteem and having ones own self worth torn apart. Luckily you can change, but you can’t in this environment.

  98. Hi,
    I just found your website. Very interesting information. How many of these behaviours would you say are red flags to get out of the relationship? I definitely have experienced these :

    Accuse and blame to divert attention away from themselves

    Slight or take digs in a non-aggressive or joking manner, allowing the abuser to say he was just kidding while still being abusive

    Ask inappropriate questions or make insinuating comments to evoke emotional responses

    Many thanks

    • Keep in mind that the abuse someone gives out is a reflection of their own inability to relate to themselves. They don’t know how to process their own emotional garbage, so they toss it out to those closest to them, those people they have allowed into their world.

      There is not a set number of traits to watch for. Instead pay attention to the intensity / frequency of these occurances. For instance, if you are constantly being accused of wrongful actions and being blamed for things, that alone should be enough of a red flag to get out. The two of you are no longer relating to each other in a useful or supportive manner. That is a main reason we get into relationships, is to find and give more support to each other as a team then we can do on our own. Unfortunately, many people have limited abilities to effectively support themselves and these limitations eventually surface in close relationships.
      Those with low self esteem, don’t think very highly of themselves, regardless of how much of a front they put up. The slight digs they dish out and insinuating comments they make are at least in part a reflection of their own inner distain.
      Hope this helps

  99. Hi,im a 13 year old girl and my dad has always been mean to me.Awhile back he choked my brother for not doing homework.When i told my step grandpa that ill do my chores after homework he slapped me.I never told anyone this.Today i worked on homework for 18 hours!I went to take a minute break and my dad yelled at me.He said that if i wasnt on homework i should be cleaning up his mess.He scares me all the time.I dont want to live with my grandparents because my step grandpa is the same!I dont know who to turn to!My dad says if i dont do homework,or clean up his mess he’ll make me sleep on the floor.He hasnt hit me since i was 9,but i always shrink away from him.Im terrified to go near him.Sometimes he’ll say i was a mistake or that im useless and selfish.He’ll say i need to clean up my act or he’ll take my bed,pillows,lights,and blankets away from me.He then started to threaten my brother,saying hes going to kick him out of the house and he can be a bum on the street.Everyday and night my parents fight.My mum got tired of it so now shes on his side.I dont know who to talk to.Please help!

    • This info was sent by a reader. The info is excellent, but unfortunately there was a glitch in the system to credit her
      This website and phone-line can help you..
      http://www.childhelp.org/pages/hotline-home.
      18004224453
      Please find the courage to make the call, they can definitely help you by giving you support & information to deal with what’s happening at home. Your father’s treatment towards you & your brother is wrong, completely unacceptable & actually criminal. NOBODY has the right to perpetrate violence against another human being, emotionally, verbally or physically. You have the right to feel safe in your own home.
      Here’s what Child Help say on their homepage about what to expect when you call -

      The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. Serving the United States, its territories, and Canada, the Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in 170 languages. The Hotline offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous and confidential.

      The Hotline has received more than 2 million calls since it began in 1982. These calls come from children at risk for abuse, distressed parents seeking crisis intervention and concerned individuals who suspect that child abuse may be occurring. The Hotline is also a valuable resource for those who are mandated by law to report suspected abuse, such as school personnel, medical and mental health professionals and police and fire investigators.

      What to expect when calling the Hotline
      When calling 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453), a qualified crisis counselor will answer and assist you, if you:

      Need help and want to talk to a counselor.
      Are in physical or emotional crisis and need support and encouragement
      Connect you to the best possible resources in your area.
      Have questions about the signs of child abuse.
      Need to find out how to report known or suspected abuse.
      Have questions about the reporting process and what you might expect through the process.
      Want to learn about Childhelp programs that will address you or your child’s needs.
      Want to learn about resources available to parents, grandparents & caregivers.
      Need emotional support as survivor of abuse.
      Want a referral to an agency, counseling or other services near where you live.
      Want literature mailed to you.(Allow two weeks for delivery via the U.S. Postal Service.)
      Want information on how to make a donation to Childhelp.
      Childhelp crisis counselors cannot come to the home where the abuse is happening and take away the child or teen who is in danger of being hurt and put them in a new home.

      The Childhelp Hotline crisis counselors can’t make the child abuse report for you, but we are here to help you through it.

      Thank you for finding the courage to reach out here, & good luck with finding all the help, understanding & support you may need in the future.

  100. Oh God..after reading this, or rather, while reading this made me emotional. I had a boyfriend for 6 years, and we just recently call it quits. Actually, we should have broken up many times before if it wasn’t just for me. I could say, I made the relationship last till every effort I could. He always wanted to leave me each and every time we fight, but I just keep begging for him to come back ’cause I cannot live without him. We’ve had our off and on relationship, but keeps coming back together due to my effort. Well, he became like that when he found out that I was still seeing my ex-boyfriend during our first months together, which was, yeah, cheating (but I swear we never slept, though he is my first). But as soon as I made my mind, I left my ex-boyfriend and chose to be with him. He also found out that I was close and confiding my feelings to his guy friend (which happens to be my friend also) every time we have an argument. But all those were just things of the past. After all of those incidents, he said he had forgiven me, and we should forget everything that happened. And I showed him that I am really not like that. That it was just all a mistake a human could make, and would never dare to do that again. He confides that during those trying times, he have also cheated on me, slept with other girls and stuffs. But I said, I forgive him and I don’t care. But every time we fight, he always brings back the past, insults me from head to toe. He would shout at me, say vulgar words, and even hit me at various parts. He said I couldn’t do anything to change him because he will forever remember it, as a stigma. So it will be better for me to leave him. But I always make peace and we get better again, and he would promise me everything, give me everything I want,(tells me he wants to marry me, have children with me, take me to his place, somewhere in North America since he migrated) but when we fight hard again, he just comes back to being abusive. Compares me to other girls (which made me so insecure of myself, feels so unpretty),he even insulted my genital parts, as if it’s the worst thing on earth. Wants me to do stuffs to gain his trust back. But I told him, have I not done enough after all these years of being together, enduring every single thing he said, his anger, his insults, yet I still stay and love him. He even told me that he wouldn’t marry me, because he don’t want to end up killing me when the time comes that he couldn’t bear the pain anymore. He said he’s been having nightmares as well continuously that I am cheating on him and always gets angry at me why he’s having such dreams. But I swear to God, never have I dare to repeat what I have done 6 years ago…Few days ago, I just blocked him out of my account, maybe I was just so fed up and hurt which made me turn my back, though reluctantly. But he tried to access my account too for days, but I changed everything so I guess he cannot access my account anymore…Well, the thing is, I think I have called it quits, finally gave him the freedom he’s asking, but I am now having urges again to bow my head and go back to him beg for him to take me back cause he is my world. But I don’t think he will just let it easily, I think he will reject me again, and I think it is the best way also, cause I would just be prolonging my pain but I just can’t resist and stop myself from contacting him again. I just love him so much that I want to be with him forever. I feel so hopeless and worthless.

    • Nina
      If your emotions control you and they don’t support you to make good decisions, then how can you do anything but feel hopeless and worthless? Going back to someone who will surely beat the crap out of you at some point in the future is truly being non supportive of your own well being. You think you are in love with him when in actuality your are attached to him and you most certainly have little love for yourself if you are willing to let yourself get kicked around.
      You need to get help so you can get out of this dead end cycle. He needs to get help too, but that is not your problem, you need to focus on yourself. The problem is you forget the abuse when you feel lonely or loving towards him, meaning you are compartmentalizing your emotions, you are not acting like a whole person. Emotions are a powerful motivator, but they are not telling you the truth if you are not listening to all of them

  101. tooI have ben in a relationship with my boyfriend for 4 1/2 years now and for the past year in a half the relationship has ben getting worse & worse.in the beginning things were great my boyfriend was very compasionate loving careing affectionate giving & went out of his way too make me feel good.around Christmas of 2011 he had purchased an engagement ring that i saw on his phone.it was supposed too be a surprise for christmas.i was suffering from depression since the beginning of our relationship due too a abusive relationship before i met my boyfriend & working nights in a club atmosphere drinking at work.i asked my family if they knew of the purposal & got conformation he was planning on purposing
    we wound up getting in a fight after i returned home from work drunk & told him too return the ring. Wich he then did.after that things only got worse i left too visit my family who i hadent seen more then 3 times in 3 years for a week & when i returned me & my boyfriend decided too try & start fresh in a new apartment. Since at the time we were living with his parents because my apartment was evacuated due too a flood 6 months earlier. After we moved into the new apartment things seemed too be going good again & i felt good & wanted too gove him the love & respect he had givin too me & time too heal from the pain i caised him by running the purposal. But he seemed too become less & less loving careing affectionate giving etc as i became more depressed guilty & drinkingmore at work.we wound up fighting so badly that we broke things & hebroke up with me i saw that he had added girls to his facebook & was hiding his phone so i looked for a apt & moved out the emotional abise started right before i left he would call me names & trrst me like he didnt want anything too do with me & i was worthless.after i left i felt better i was healing from the breakup & missed the way things used too be bit because of the side i saw in him accepted it was best too move on.he then text me askimg how i was & o casialy repliad the apartment i had rented about a month later was evacuated due too management issies.i had no whare too go because i had no freinds or family so i called him in a panik & told him what had happened he told me too come back & i could find another place.when i came back he wanted too date & try agaimn he said he hadent moved on & missed me very much. And because i loved him i decided too try again.after that things got very bad he was verbaly abussive manipulative & resentful wich caused me too drink more & become severly depressed
    i saught out counsiling for anxiety & depression but never accepted treatment due too my alcohol consumption. We then were evicted for fighting & had moved too another very small efficiency this past june.since then we got in such a huge arguments that when i returned home from work drunk one morning i woke up & all my things were in my car je told me to leave or hed call the police i was so stressed i had nowhere too go & it was all last minute i had my cat as well i was able to get my exes number & go to his apt.wich only made things worse ibecame so depressed i couldnt eat work or leave the hose i begged my ex too let me back because the living co.ditions wete so bad i wound up getting robbed.so he agreed to let me stsy for a week to make arrangements too move in with family out of state i felt so consumed at this point with stress & pain all i did was cry he reluctantly said you can stay .i knew things were never going too be the same bit still hoped there was a small chance he continued to verbaly abuse me & started getting phisical after that he eventually hit me so hard in the face he broke my nose at that point i became i felt hopless i called my family too make arangments too come back but they were unable to help.me i.couldnt move myself because of my nose being broke & i had no $ to go anywhare but a shelter & call the police.wich i decided not too do because i was tierd of being homeless felt alone had no $ or help from family & i became severly depressed my nose healed bit i didnt return too work because of my depression being so bad my boyfriend showed no remorse he ignored me & thteatend to kivk me out while i was revovering & trying too figure out how too get help & leave without going too a shelter die too limited or no help i was so depressed i couldnt work he started too act careing & told me he would have my nose fixed wich he did 6 months later.m in recovery now & things have gotten so bad i had a nervous breakdown & im being physically & emotionally abbused daily. Im so confused hurt & feel like a shell of the person i used too be

    • Ashley
      You have dug yourself right into a corner and that is a tough place to be. First things first, you have to get yourself in a workable living condition. Don’t move in with another guy or start another relationship. You have had back to back abusive relationships, so the changes of you going right into another one are pretty high.
      Next, let’s be honest here, you are abusive to yourself – you have a drinking problem. You don’t know how to cope with stress or differences and until you do, you will ruin any relationship you get into and no one should have to put up with that kind of behavior. So you need to make changes in yourself. I know this is a bit of a catch-22, because it’s not like you have lots of money and good help will cost you. But you can start with AA or other groups. Check with you local government and see what they may have to offer. You will have to look beyond the surface BS answers you get to find real help. Spend a good amount of time working on yourself. This won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. You have to make changes in you, or nothing else will change

  102. Wow, reading all this really hit home for me. My husband and I dated for 2 years before we got married. During that time he was amazing, so generous and loving and fun, he was great to my family. After we got married he totally changed. We moved far away from where I lived and it was obvious he wanted to isolate me from my family. I could tell he was jealous because I had a very close relationship w/my family and he didn’t with his. He came up with the most ridiculous excuses to get out of visiting my parents and he picked a fight with my mother on Thanksgiving. He’d get nasty and sarcastic with me, then insist he was kidding. He’d twist things around and put blame on me to get out of acknowledging his own abusive behavior. He’d put me down, criticize my cleaning. I went to counseling to learn how to cope. He refused because he didn’t think there was a problem until I made him go a couple times (he was on his best behavior of course). It was like a never-ending cycle: huge blowout, then he’d make nice and it’d start all over again. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop and was so tense. And he would hardly ever apologize for anything. He’d been married previously and didn’t tell me much about why it ended, but I found out he’d been the same way to his first wife…wish I’d found that out before I married him. After 7 months of this abuse I left him. Our divorce just became final and I’m feeling better. I still feel the effects of his abusive somewhat, but I’m a lot calmer than I was when I was with him. I wonder how long it will take to heal completely, but I’m trying.

    • Thanks for sharing. There is no standard time for overcoming abuse. Much of it will come from your ability to let go of past events, the relaitonship you have with yourself and how much you trust you can support yourself. You let someone into your own inner sanctum who had no business being there and he tore your world apart. If the effects of this abuse continue, find a therapist who can help you rebuild your relationship with yourself and your ability to trust in who you can be again.

  103. For the past 6 years I have been involved with a man who had childhood issues to deal with. We got married cos at first he seemed like everything i wanted in a husband until 3 months into the relationship, i got pregnant, he never help while i was sick instead called me names such a lazy pig and that being sick while pregnant wasnt a good enough excuse why i couldnt do much around the house. Things got worse and he always used he was having a hard time mentally with things he thought he dealt with why he was treating me badly and also one night i asked him why he treated me so badly for he said cos you’re happy and i’m miserable and i want to see you miserable, he also said on occcasions that he wanted to see fear in me and though he was diagnosed with OCD sexual obsessions he would make it his mission to tell me every sick thought he ever had and when i would respond to him he would just start yelling at me calling me things that are far from my character or he would start smashing things in the house if most of the time he would say something then when i questioned him about the incident and the way i saw it he would go off in angry tantrums. I always felt he lied a lot yet when i called him on it he would be so verbally cruel to me. Ive never had the chance to say what i think or feel and if i do he only undermines my opinions and feelings and sometimes leaves me feeling so neglected. I feel he played on this OCD thing cos I spoke to his Psych and she explained some of the conditions with me, i have a friend who is a DR in psychology and he told me to google it up and read on it. SOme of the behaviours he shows does match to OCD but alot them don’t. I feel he uses this a shield to mentally abuse me like he will say such things as Oh Im having a dumb though like my mind tells me i think you’re ugly but thats not what I think and when i ask him well what do you think he says its just dumb thoughts…He also uses this when he checks out other women and says Im sitting here comparing you to them and you’re ugly or fat or all other kinds of put downs I dont wish to repeat but when I ask him and he can see it upsets me he says thats not what i think they are just dumb thoughts. I’ve asked him repeatedly to not tell me any of his thoughts, he doesnt get any help anymore he only went a few times and have said if its not that much of a problem that you dont need professional help then please dont tell me. He also tried to get involved with another woman but i feel lied about it saying he wasnt interested in her in that way but when he first met her he trying to convince her to leave her boyfriend and then encouraged her to cheat on him while in his mind he’s hoping that she would with him, but told me he never was interested in her in anyway. That really hurt me a lot plus with all the other behaviour i tell him all the time how his actions upset me or hurt me but he only tells me to shut up or stop nagging him or going on and on about stuff. So now he says things like im having a dumb thought that Rose is better than you and look at what im stuck with and other crap, he rings me everyday without fail to tell me he was thinking of her in some way though I have asked him not to cos everytime he mentions her I have to relive all the pain he put me through with her. He says he tells me because he feels guilty he is having some dumb thought about another woman yet he has never felt guilty for the pain he has caused me or care about what that oes to me inside.He keeps saying he is going to change and stop but he never has, he tells me he loves me and would give me anything i wanted but he tells me he knows he doesnt respect and that he could do more to treat me better but doesnt, Everything he does is my fault, he blames me for everything and takes no responsibility for his actions at all. He barely shows any emotion except for anger or some things which he finds funny which is usually violence and fighting stuff like that which I wouldnt think was funny at all. Everytime I try and build my boundaries he kicks them down and I’m sick of it…I want to walk I would just like some insight on him cos he lies and twists and changes things so much it’s like I’ve spent years with this man yet I don’t even know him…. He can change to fit in with anyone, it’s like he has no core beliefs about himself. He’s forever changing his opinions on life and this doesnt happen over a few months this type of stuff can happen over night. What he says in his head even though its not true or real well thats how it is and then uses mental violence and manipulation to try and make me believe thats how it is so we are always on conflict. I know I am not perfect and have had disagreements with him about things which I would find to be normal in a relationship and I am not one who likes constant conflict. Yet somehow everyday without fail I find myself in some type of arguement with him over stupid stuff or it could even be the way I respond to him over the phone like I didnt answer the way he wanted me to or something the way he wanted me to… I asked him aswell why he treats me like this and he answered me again with no emotion or like it wasnt a big thing to him… Cos I just wanted to control you… He understands his actions but doesnt care about the destruction it brings onto me and his children. What type of person is he? When I try and reach out for help alot of people dont believe me cos he is so charming to other people and puts them on a pedestal… yet me and his children well we get the crap end!!! But then would take me anywhere in the world and give me anything tangible…. Too confusing for me… I wouldnt spend the money he does on someone I hated… or someone I just wanted to abuse? But then I’m not him and thank goodness for that!

    • I am not going to diagnosis your husband, you already know has problems. What I will tell you is many people are charming to strangers or those they don’t know really well. They have a high need to be accepted by others and they have no real relationship with these people and because of that, they can maintain their charm. But because these people have a crappy relationship with themselves, any real relationship becomes a potential disaster, because anyone they let into their inner sanctum are subjected to the same crappy rules of their own low self image and esteem. You are not going to change this, not now, not yesterday, not tomorrow.
      The good news is you have choice. You are expecting your husband to be different, if he would only change, you can have the marriage you think you can have. The choice you have is to stay or leave, to put up with his crap or to respect your life (and your kids) and get to a more supportive environment. If you are not willing to make this choice, then you are asking him to change because you are not willing to.
      If you walk into a mine field and a few bombs go off, you get out. You don’t sit there and try to understand it. You dont’ try to change it. Mine fields are what they are. Anyone refusing to get help is stuck in who they are. Anyone who is trying to make you suffer for any reason is not listening, because all they know is they are in pain and they have to blame it on someone. People who blame don’t want to change, meaning they have told you to make a choice. Put up with the crap or get out.

  104. Hi. I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years now.. And have been living together for 2 years. We met through a mutual friend and had a amazing first 6 months together. Before we met he had already planned to go overseas for 6 months and I said that I didn’t want to hold him back… He came back home after 5 months and we moved straight in with each other… I later found out that while he was away he had slept with other girls and lied to me directly about it..
    Over the past 6-12 months our relationship has started to die.. I am having to ask my boyfriebd if he loves me or me tell him that I love him just to get him to say it back to me. I am a very affectionate person and love kisses and cuddles and always have to beg him for these. Or he just stands or lies there when I cuddle him and when I ask why he isn’t cuddling me back he says that we are having cuddles. Another thing is that he constantly points out and tells me all of my floors and never gives me any compliments anymore to make me feel good about myself. I asked him if every now and again he could say something nice to me and he told me that he didn’t want to give me a big head. If I ever say or do something that he doesn’t like he punishes me by not talking to me and pretending that I don’t exist for anywhere up to a week at a time.
    I have sacrificed a lot for this relationship with not going out as much or not talking on the phone when I am at home because he doesn’t like this. I feel like we are fighting more and more often.. He also constantly does stuff and touches me when I don’t like it… I tell him this and he tells me to just have a laugh and it’s only because I bite do hard. Something playful will often get quite aggressive and I will tell him that he hurt me and he will just look at me and say nothing not even sorry!
    I feel really stuck right now with what to do. I try to talk to him and we end up just fighting with him yelling at me and then ignoring me. If you could give me any suggestions or help with what I should do that would be great.

    • Hi
      After reading your story, I am wondering why you are expecting him to change and be different if you are not willing to change and leave.
      Many people are under the illusion that if they try harder by being nicer, the other person will eventually give in to how they want them to be. This would be great if we lived in a world where everyone responds soley to kindness, but it is not where everyone is comfortable.
      You say you have given up a lot for him. I assure you that you did not ask him first if it was OK to give up what you did so that he would be different. You have a binding contract only with yourself here. Relationships are not built in 6 months and while a small percentage of relationships fall into a sustainable “I knew he was mister right”, most of us have to work at finding out who the other person really is and how we can relate to them.
      Now he has shown you a few traits that are not likely to change. First, when he feels trapped or uncomfortable, he will lie to you. Second, he is not willing to talk about things he feels are personal to him and that he doesn’t have a concrete answer for. This means, you are not really ever going to get to know him, so my advice is to get out ASAP
      Now you also have traits that will get you into potential hot water in future relationships. Not everyone is touchy feely, not everyone likes to snuggle and not everyone freely gives verbal complements. If you think this is how people in love are, you are right, some people are, but not everyone. In the beginning of relationships these gestures are given more freely by some people because the relationship is not settled yet, everything is new.
      If you have to nag and complain to get someone to be more loving (sounds ironic doesn’t it), it is always prudent to take a look at your expectations about relationshipe. If this is really important to you and you feel this is how everyone should be, then you had better have a good talk to future boyfriends, so they can have the option of getting out early so no one gets too tangled into each others expectations that won’t be carried out

  105. History : (He was locked up for 10 years for armed robbery from the age of 16 to his current age 27.) Our relationship started while he was in there and only lasted for 1 month before things got sour and ended. I knew of him from childhood. we went to elementary and middle school together.

    My boyfriend (now ex) and I were together for a year and 5 months. Everything was great up until about 3 weeks ago when his attitude changed toward me. We got into an argument at the movie theater because he blew me off when I tried to talk to him and everything went down hill from there. His calls and texts stopped coming as much. The sweet language almost completely stooped, and he stopped making time to spend with me. His tone and language in how he talks to me got very disrespectful to the point that he would get irritated every time I would try and talk to him. I could ask him “do you miss me”? And he would blow up and get angry and respond by yelling ” why you ask a stupid *** question!? I couldn’t believe it. I told him not to ever talk to me like that I asked him if he wanted me to stop calling and leave him alone and he told me to shut up and if I ever said anything like that again, to dead myself and move on with life because the relationship will be over with. Those words hurt like hell and the conversation ended with him hanging up on me. The following day he ignored all my calls and texts and for the next 4 days after that I didn’t hear from him. The fifth day I couldn’t take it anymore so I went over to his house and he was just purely cold. Every time I tried to touch him, he would tell me to get off of him, he didn’t want me to touch him, kiss him, nothing, he even told me to fix my dress when I sat down because he didn’t want to see that! All of this was shocking and hurtful. He told me that he wasn’t going to call me and that he is acting like this because he doesn’t want to talk to me and needs space away from me because he said that I ask him too many questions and argue with him too much. I asked him how he felt about me and he said ” I care about you” I asked him if he loved me and he said ” I’m not gonna answer that because I don’t have to” in the end, he said “let’s just be friends” I asked him if he doesn’t want to be with me and he said no. he said I deserve better and he has some ****** up ways and he doesn’t want to end up hurting me.

    I just don’t understand how his feelings could go from loving me to death to hating me in just 3 weeks. If I didn’t go over there, he would still be ignoring and not calling me. He couldn’t even confront me about all this, I had to make him.

    Being away from me and not hearing from me doesn’t seem to bother him not one bit! Ever since the day he told me wanted to be friends, I haven’t heard from him. No hi, how are you, nothing. He told a friend of his that we were ok and he just needed his space because he felt like he was still locked up. He said I was still his lady and he still loved me and wanted to marry me. On the other hand, he told his sister that he just wants us to be friends until he gets himself together, and then he told another friend that he just wants to be friends because I am acting childish. Isn’t this confusing….

    Part 2

    Family got involved in our relationship, he told me that he needed space but then decided in the same day that we should just be friends and that he didn’t want to be with me b/c I deserve better (BS) I was devastated. I told him I couldn’t be his friend and did NC for about 3 weeks. Then I received a text from his number telling me that he never cared.etc. Of course that hurt so when my mom found out about it, she gave him a piece of her mind and spoke to his father about the vindictive things he was doing. It was revealed that he didn’t send that message which meant that someone was playing with his or my phone. After that, he told family members to ignore and stop talking to “that girl” another insult that tore at my heart b/c I went from “wife”, to “that girl”

    I left him alone for about a month. I spoke to a friend of mine and she insisted that I follow my heart and call him. I called and he sent my call to voice mail. I was so hurt because even after 4 weeks he still would not talk to me. It ate me up so bad that the next day I called again, private because I felt that if he heard my voice maybe it would be different. He answered and asked who it was, once he heard it was me, he hung up again. I am trying everything to get myself through this situation but I feel like I am going in circles. I wrote a heartfelt text to his sister asking her to give me advice as if I was her sister or daughter and she completely ignored me which made me feel worse. He obviously hates me by the way he is acting and I just don’t understand why his sister would treat me like that especially when we used to be so close. I looked at her as my own sister, even helped her find a job when she got laid off and she just ignored me when I just asked her for advice.

    A former inmate of his that was locked up with him heard about what he had did to me and called to talk to me. He told me that I am a beautiful, educated woman and can have any man I want. He said that he is stupid because anyone in their right mind wouldn’t let someone like me go or do wrong to the one and only person that was there at the lowest point of his life when no one else was. He says that he speaks to him all the time and he asked him about why he didn’t want to be with me and said that he couldn’t even give a reason. He said that my ex is having a hard time adjusting and wants the finer things too fast and he is moving too fast and sounds like he is losing his mind. He told me that I am a good girl and I don’t deserve that treatment and to not chase the rabbit.

    Later on, he told me that my ex feels that he can do better than me.

    I’m not going to keep going about what he said but I really think he hates me. Why else would someone act like that? Being with him while he was locked up wasn’t easy at all and was very stressful at times but I never gave up on him. Now that he got out, it was so easy for him to let me go and give up on us just because of arguments and me asking him questions. I just hate it b/c he doesn’t want anything to do with me and I still don’t know what I did that was wrong. I am tired of making a fool of myself and I don’t know what to do. Why is this so hard?

    It has been 4 months since he broke my heart and left me.

    I am not doing well at all. One minute I can be fine and the next minute my heart is killing me. I am hurting so bad because I keep remembering how sweet he was and how he was always about me when he was in prison and even for a month after he got out. He always told me that he will always be in love with me and promised to never hurt me or leave me. Then he changed after a huge argument and I am left with the guilt that if I didn’t have that argument, everything would still be the way it was. I start thinking that maybe I shouldn’t have argued with him, or maybe I should have given him space to hang out. But my friends and family said that it isn’t me and if he really loved me he wouldn’t have treated me like he did.

    I keep hearing things that he is doing from people that see him and come back to me. Hearing that he is going on in life seemingly happy while I am in pain hurts me even more because I don’t know what I did for him to hate me and sever all ties with me. I don’t understand how he could do this to me and that’s the thought that cross my mind every day. I replay the pain he has caused me over and over in my head and no matter what I do it doesn’t help me and I am still stuck in the pain. Sometimes my mind makes me believe that I am the only one he treats this way and will only treat me this way and that when he moves on, she will get what I used to have. That thought kills me because I don’t know what happened…What am I not seeing? Yes people said he didn’t want the relationship but just because you don’t want a relationship, you don’t have to treat someone like he did or display such hatred. It has been confirmed that there isn’t another woman. Where did it come from? Is he a sociopath. What am I not seeing?

    • Ruby
      You gave your heart to someone who is troubled. Being in jail for 10 years is no place to learn how to deal with relationships and work through personal issues. Prison is not a healthy environment to nurture and grow and he went in pretty young. I can’t tell you why he has done what he has done, but I can tell you the only thing you did wrong was picking the wrong guy and try to keep forcing closeness when he was pushing you away. I kind of suspect you are a bit needy in your relationships and you may want to see a counselor to help you work through your black and white perspectives of how relationships are supposed to work and how people are supposed to be.

      You will never get a real reason from him because he is not in touch with his own emotions, so all you will get is some half baked reason, because he really doesn’t know. Not everyone who gets in a relationship falls head over heals in love. Some people can turn it on and off, others are confused and have mixed feelings. I do suspect he had some feelings for you, but having feelings is not typically enough to sustain a healthy relationship. Both people need to be in a somewhat healthy frame of mind, be open to communication and not just when things are good. Stress comes in many formats and people feel it in many ways. Your ex had his own stresses and unresolved issues. That is his journey to travel and he is not going to do it with you
      I doubt he hates you, he just doesn’t feel he can relate to you from the frame of mind he is in. That has less to do with you and more to do with his own stuff. He has his charming sides, but that isn’t what sustains relationships. Relationships are complex, they tend to bring up things about ourselves that we don’t normally focus on because we are letting someone else into our lives and often it overwhelms someone.
      If you really have difficulty letting go of him, if you are attached to the idea you messed up or that you need a real explanation before you will let go, get some professional help.

  106. Please help me. I don’t know what to do or who to turn to, I have nothing and nobody. My boyfriend abused me for six years, physically and emotionally, and then went to prison for a year (for a dime bag of weed, long story) and came back and dumped me six months after getting out. He has ruined my whole life and I still want to be with him and I can’t fix him and he just gets worse and worse and more and more inhuman. He stopped beating me like 4 years ago but the abuse seems so much worse now that he isn’t hitting me. He at least used to feel bad about it afterwards, my tears used to mean something to him. Now he’s grown into a completely irrational, cold, unfeeling person and I truly think he is mentally in need of some serious help. He disregards every nice thing I do for him, I’ve given him my life savings, I’ve gone broke and had to move back into my parents house, I bought him a car, helped him get his GED, wrote him several resumes over the years, helped him get every job he’s ever had, dealt with all his legal stuff, visited him in jail, gave him money in jail, and he still emotionally abuses me for days if I even say something as small as “whatever” to him. When I bring those things up, he tells me I didn’t have to do them for him and that it means nothing. Every time we’ve ever argued since the 2nd year of our relationship, when he gets mad, he runs away and ignores me for as long as he can, until I finally give in and call him. He always plays the victim and always behaves like he expects me to come crawling back to him. If I don’t do it, he will just forget I exist forever. He used to at least understand when he was wrong, but as time goes on, he knowingly and willingly and specifically blocks out those kind of emotions where he starts to feel guilty or remorse for what he’s done. There’s just too much to type it all out. We’re not even together any more technically but we still act like it in a lot of ways, so there’s no just “leaving him.” The only way I’d be able to do that anyway is if I was highly sedated and on some seriously strong medication. I need help, he needs help, I just am so sad and miserable. Also he has this big lump on his head that’s been growing and growing since we met, it started off small… now it’s big, and sometimes I think that it might be altering his mind-state… but he’s always had an issue with anger, even as a child, so I don’t know. I’m too scared to commit suicide or I would have done it by now. I’m not religious but I’ve heard about Hell and it’s not a place I want to risk going to, plus, I couldn’t kill myself knowing that he’d go on to be happy later in life. But I do think about it a lot, because I’m so miserable and I can’t make him be a real person again or have real emotions again or care about me. My whole life, my dad was always busy working, 12+ hours a day, every day, to support our family. He loves me as much as a father can love a daughter, but he always expressed it by buying me things and giving me money (even though we never had a lot). My “ex” boyfriend buys me stuff and gives me money too (never anything expensive and never anything that really helps me) and then acts like I should be grateful for that and ignore my own emotional needs. I would rather be the poor person starving to death in an undeveloped country and have him by my side, than to be the richest woman in the world with him treating me badly. I’m from a lower middle class family, we’re broke, but we get by. He’s straight from the most poverty stricken ghetto and has never had anything in life until he met me… and so he uses that as a reason to degrade me and tell me that I don’t understand why he puts money before me. He says he will starve if he doesn’t put money before me. But, the entire time, I’ve supported him financially. Now that he lives back with his mom again, who doesn’t supply food or money for him obviously, he acts like I don’t understand his struggle to pay his bills. He drives with just a permit, no license, and gets mad at me when I forget that he’s doing it – last night he cussed me out badly and stormed out on me (again) because I forgot he doesn’t have a license. Instead of taking steps to GET a license, which he could have had years ago, he does nothing, then gets mad at me for it. He calls me an idiot and stupid and a bitch and a liar for the slightest word I speak, but acts like he doesn’t realize that what he’s doing is much worse. He calls me names then tells me he doesn’t want to know me or ever talk to me again if I get mad and call him a bitch or say I hate him. One time, like 5 yrs ago, he threw gasoline all over my body and threatened to light a match. Not long after that, he pointed a sawed off shotgun in my face and threatened to murder me. Not long after that, he cheated on me in my own bed and made me lay in it with him that same night. He’s thrown me down a flight of stairs and got mad when I bled on the carpet. I’m not making this stuff up. All of that stuff was years ago and he doesn’t do that kind of stuff any more, but somehow I feel like he loved me more then than he does now. Sometimes when he gets mad, he racially degrades me because he’s black and I’m middle eastern and he tells me I need to be with a middle eastern man and that I’m too soft and weak and girly for a black man… but I am a girl. What else should I be? I offered therapy for couples, anger management, marriage counseling, medication, anything – and he says those are for white people and that I need to stop trying to be white. Now he thinks he’s a rapper, the ultimate sign of a loser, and he says nasty things in his songs and when I call him out for it, he calls me the worst names he can think of. I would literally lay down and die for this man but he puts all his loser friends before me. He used to get mad at his friends for doing “guy talk” around me, and he would tell them to show me respect. Now that those friends have grown up and gotten married and moved on, he has new YOUNGER friends who are 18 and stupid, and he follows them like they know everything, then when I say something about it, he tells me I’m just jealous and I don’t know what I’m talking about. I don’t really know what I’m talking about, I just know what it seems like. He is always with them and he is never with me. He comes to my house once or twice a week, and all he does is have me cook his dinner, give him sex (of course sex where he doesn’t bother trying to pleasure me) and let him sleep in my nice comfortable bed instead of his dirty nasty mattress. If we fight, he cusses me out and won’t call to apologize, then when I call and say, “What the hell?” he gets mad and plays the victim, like I just called to hassle him. What? Today this happened, and he told me to “stop fucking texting” him, like I’m just some loser nuisance pest. I told him what effect this had on my self esteem and he said I was “crazy” and he didn’t mean it in a good or funny way. He belittles me so much. And all of what I told you, is not even 1/3 of what is going on. OBVIOUSLY he has some amazing qualities or I wouldn’t be so hung up on him. He USED to care about me, he used to show me love and tenderness and he used to not think everything was just “corny”… it’s like he’s reverted back to an 18 year old and he wasn’t even this mature when he was 18. What can I do? When I am this miserable and depressed, I don’t eat for days… I’m sitting here starving, and crying my eyes out, and feeling so sad without him and all I want is for him to comfort me, but I can’t even ask for that without getting called crazy and him saying I’m too old to cry over this… what can I do…

    • I understand your discomfort and I know you want things to be different, so I am not going to sugarcoat this
      The first thing you need to do is get help for yourself. You want him to change and give you love, acknowledgment, and respect; while at the same time you completely ignore the signals he sends you. Thus you disrespect yourself and your own self worth. You have made him more important to you and your life than your own well being. Obviously you don’t think much about yourself

      I don’t know what prompted the turn of events for this guy. Was it prison, is it the lump on this head, is he incapable of having a real long term relationship, whatever. The reasons are irrelavant. What you are overlooking is the blatant messages he is sending you: HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU, he will not love you, he doesn’t know how or does not want a relationship with you.
      Obviously he is willing to let you die in his place too. He has blatantly threatened you. Pouring gasoline on someone is no idle threat. Putting a gun to your head is not an idle threat and everytime he does this, the chances of him following through with the threat increases.
      You can’t possibly really have love for him because you don’t have a real love for yourself and you should be the most important person in the world to you. What you do have is fear. Fear of being alone, of being rejected, fear of your own emotional discomforts.
      You have been taught that giving gifts equates to love, so you have invested your time and money on this guy instead of giving love to yourself and investing in yourself. You can show you love yourself by investing in yourself and finding a good therapist. Instead of willing to die for this guy, why aren’t you willing to live for yourself, to support yourself and give to yourself, because you should be worth it. That is why you want to work with someone, because they can help you find a way to find out how magnificent of a person you can be if you give yourself half a chance.
      You can’t find the road to happiness on a dead end street and this guy is a dead end. You can’t give yourself happiness if you are expecting a deadend street to turn into something else. You have to turn around. I know this is not the direction you want to go in and maybe you never learned how to turn yourself around. That is why you want to work with someone who can help you

      Good luck, focus on you and trust there is more than have recognized so far.

  107. Hi my situation seems a lot different. I live with my husband of 5 almost 6 years. Everything was going very well until i got a call from my daughter at the time she was 22. She has become pregnant and gotten herself into some problems. So of course parents always want to do for their children exspecially when they feel they had failed them when they were young. So i got her down to where we lived unbenownced to me her boyfriend tagged along my husband said no he was not staying with us and that is where it all started. My daughter went to my sister in law and told her that her boyfriend was sleeping in the woods with nothing to eat and no blankets this was after we got him set up with salvation army they had a cufew but ofcourse he missed it so they denied him help. My opinion his own fault anyways my sister in law took him in behind my husbands back. Well then of course he ended up living with us. Needless to say my daughter manipul ated everything to get what she wanted. Now she is 25 and has a beautiful son my grandson. I am at my wits end im not in good health physically im 45. She at first claimed to be so scared and cared so much for what was happening with me then that all turned around. Not only for me but her boyfriend and her child. She has held 4 jobs in 3 yrs and has found away to cheat on him at every job claiming he doesnt pay enough attention to her. Then she is able to get up early mornings for work or her side boyfriends but not for her son and when i try to get her up she screams at me and tells me things like he’ll just have to learn to adjust to her she will not change for him. For 2 years i have come to his rescue in the morning because he would be left to just do whatever unless i saw him then she would say yeah heres meme again to save you from me. Things a 2yr old should not have to here well i ended up falling into her trap of retaliation i would get verbally abusive back until one morning my grandson repeated what i said i started crying and calmly took him out of her room. I explained to him that meme was a bad girl for saying those things to his mom and that he should never say them. Then it continued on her part im told daily how lazy i am and that she thinks im lying about my condition just to get attention. she demeans her son all of the time cant ever just talk to or play with him but everything is screaming so i quietly go in and get him. I know we should leave but unfortunately i live in a state where they dont have grandparent rights and i have had the state involved once for her to manipulate them and tell them i was just distrot because i didnt like her boyfriend so they dropped the case. I am so affraid that this will end up like another casey anthony and i feel my hands are tied. I live on disability and have no way of leaving. My husband is at wits end but knows if we kick her out our grandson will be in danger. please i need some help or answers

    • Your daughter wants to call the shots. She justifies her actions because she feels things are unfair and she is not mature enough to be different. This is a difficult situation because no matter what happens, the child will suffer. Your daughter will not change unless all her options are taken from her, so you have some tough decisions to make. None of them will be perfect or even optimal. With your finances being tight, there may not be much you can do.
      What you do know is your daughter will not put her son first, she goes after what pleasures her. This is because she can’t handle the stresses of her own consequences and she needs to blame others for her discomfort. You are not really saving your grandson by staying and your daughters abuse will only increase as time goes on as she becomes more and more unhappy with her life. She will make everyone in the family miserable. Do not support her. make her pay substantial rent or make her move out. When your hands are tied, you have to find a way to cut the rope, even if you risk getting cut.
      I know this is not what you want to hear and I doubt you will heed the advice, but no one said change was going to be easy

  108. Hello,
    I think I am being subjected to emotional abuse by my husband of 17 years, but I am not sure. What he is doing is bothering me, I feel distress and don’t know if I am just overreacting. We have been separated for the last 2 years, we got back together since October last year.
    He is slapping me quite hard on the bum when I am around at home. It becoming more and more frequent for no reason and when I told him to stop because it hurts, he told me I am overreacting, he’s just being playful because he loves me. When I sat down next to him, watching tv, he hold my hand and press really hard on each on my fingers until you can hear a cracking sound, my right hand is now constantly hurting and he is not stopping when I told him to do so. I love him very much and I don’t want to make a fuss and confront him. Yesterday he playfully block my hands behind my back, but one of his hand hit me quite sharply on my breast and I cried a lot because it was so painful. Then last night he told me if I want to make love and i said no. I feel very reluctant to be close to him because i feel resentful of the pain he caused me by his behaviour. I love him and don’t want to rock the boat, specially as we have just made up. This is bothering me, I am not sure what to do, can you please advise?

    • Hello
      How can you trust or feel close to someone who creates pain for you. I don’t know whether your husband is enjoying your torment or is just not choosing to be aware of your discomfort. Either way, this can’t continue.You can’t play “I don’t want to rock the boat” when he is already rocking the boat. Your resentment is part of you asking that you do something. If you don’t, it is not likely your husband will change.
      Firmly (not nicely or passively) ask your husband for a time the two of you could talk. With that same firmness, tell him you are no longer willing to put up with his inconsiderate behaviors. If he can’t respect what you ask of him, then he isn’t respecting you and if that is the case, you have a very dysfunctional relationship. Ask him if he wants to continue being married? If he does, then tell him your word needs to matter, that you have a say in this relationship. If he doesn’t, well you have other issues to deal with

  109. I have been married to my husband for 12 years this past November. Together 15. He & I have 2 girls 11& 3 in April. I have 3 older from 22,23,24 from previous marriage. He has 2 older 18, 21 from previous marriage. My kids have lived with us when they were younger, & we started having problems when his son at the time a freshman moved in with us. The one thats 21 now. He moved out w/ friends after he graduated in June. We had just had the new baby girl in April. When he moved with us. My husband made sure all the rules that were in force for all other kids didn’t apply to him. He never did anything I asked always talked back, I could never discipline him. His dad would always take his side & allow him to talk back, call me names, & be disrespectful. He would tell me both him & his son deserve respect & I will respect them. This went on for 4 years. I was desperate, tried everything. He would take my daughter the now 11 year old, & leave & go to his moms, & not come back sometimes for days. This he did off & on until i gave birth to our 2nd daughter. She wouldnt go with him then. Went to counseling. He refused to go. So I eventually stopped. Well after his son moved out things were still bad alot of resentment, hurt… He finally agreed to go with me to counseling in feb 2011. We went for 3 months & that was it he decided we were fine & wanted to stop. So I did. Things did improve but we were just getting started on the fact that he doesn’t have a relationship with his dad, & poof he’s done with counseling. So things were better for a while until October when he wanted his son to work for us so he is now. We run a Hvac company. Well he basically gets in his truck with him joy rides, they take long lunches… Let me add my oldest son, daughter, & son in law work for us also. So it frustrates me because this is business not father son time. While my kids are working hard & very committed to the Business. So he avoids my calls while he’s with his son. Talks to my lime dirt. Will answer my call only to answer & listen to his son while I’m being interrupted. Tells me to get over my self when I question his behavior. When I question him about not answering my phone calls he says he doesn’t need a momma, & he doesn’t have to answer my calls ever if he doesn’t feel like it. Then when I question his behavior for not answering he says he doesn’t want to talk about it he’s tired, he’s stressed from work, blah blah blah… So I just wan answers without insults & he can’t do that. He tells me I’m nuts, I track him all day long, I’m jealous of his son, the reason he says I track him is we have gps on all trucks. Ok so this is just what happened from Friday night. Just a touch if I had to tell everything I would be writing a huge novel. So to sum up jut Friday it escalated & he kept telling me he did nothing wrong, that he knew I new where he was & I was calling to raise hell he says. Well I called him to see if he was picking our daughter up because our little one was sick & napping. So he thinks I saw him stopped off at te lake & was going to rib him. But this s the way he thinks. He always thinks the worst of me. So he was drinking all of my wine & I wanted a glass maybe later, & he had already drank half the other one so when I confronted him to not drink it all he poured him a big glass & poured the rest in the sink & said here’s your wine. I had a new coverlet that I had just washed & dried it was on the bed just yet of the drier about to put it on our bed when he takes it. I sad don’t ale that I just washed t it’s new I’m abut to put it on our bed. He said no in sleeping with it upstairs. I tugged at it he pulled hard back & I was just so frustrated. he said when I said something I got spit in his face. He deliberately spit in my face for that not one but 2 more times. I just lost it. I was so upset I cried out to him I can’t stand you, you are always letting me down, never doing the right thing for our relationship to get better. Then he mocked me crying. He was calling me a weirdo, psycho, crazy, nuts, you name it. This was infront of the girls. I have been putting up with this for so long. I’m the only one going to counseling, I feel so defeated. I almost filed fr divorce but didn’t do it. I always have faith, hope, get right back up to forgive & try again but t always ends up like this. I’m so drained. He just goes whistling like nothing has happened like its all ok. It’s always my fault, I’m the drama mama as he calls it. Oh & I guess you figured out his son & I do not get along. He is manipulative, and I don’t trust someone that hates me to my face & then is so nice to me infront of others. Desperate, lost, confused, sad, hurt, angry!

    • Danna
      So why are you staying in this marriage? Faith requires trust. Trust requires healthy communications. Healthy communications require a willingness to listen. Hope is wonderful, but you can only hope for the things you control and you don’t control your husband or his son. Forgive yes, but don’t forget how things are.
      Your husband doesn’t want to change and you have a better shot at winning a mega jackpot lotto then him turning his life around. Look at the trend of where things have been going, especially when his son is around.
      I suggest you first try talking to him about how you can approach him and talk to him when things are bothering you. If he doesn’t seem to be willing to have this conversation, then he just doesn’t care about you. You can also asks you husband if he still wants to be married? If so, is he willing to work on it or does he just want to blame you for his discomfort?
      There are no easy solutions for a situations like yours, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make changes. It is not just the relation you have with your husband that would change, your kids lives will be disrupted, your business will probably have to under go changes. That is a lot of change, but desperate times may call for desperate action.
      If you are contemplating divorce, always see a lawyer first so you understand what your rights are and what you can expect.
      When we intertwine our lives together with someone else, there is always some push and pull, give and take. That can be difficult. If no give and take is happening, it is painful and you have to protect yourself or you will be hurt.

      • So, I ask him this morning, how would you like to talk about the things that bother me, & the verbal & emotional abuse that I endure from you? He replies “abuse I’m the one abused”. I asked him how he thinks I’m supposed to just allow him to spit in my face, & call me names. Why he can’t answer normal questions & talk about concerns that I have without threatening to cover his ears, or threatening to leave if I continue to ask. He replies” I asked you not to talk about anything. I told you I couldn’t handle it”. My reply to him was ” you can never handle it. Just normal conversation about things that bother me. It’s the same things we continue to argue about, the same behavior from you. It’s never a good time either, it’s either you’re to tired, to stresses, right after work, bed time, to early in the morning, or that you’re at work. Pretty much covers all day. So there is never a good time” he replies ” I will do just what I want, I don’t have to answer to anyone, and you’ll just have to deal with it”. I said then I have my answer. You aren’t willing to change or do you have the want to. That has been proven time & time again. I feel as though I am having a conversation with a 8-13 year old. I know what I need to do. It’s just I have tried so hard & it’s so sad because of our girls. I’m 43 & the thought of starting a new life just stinks. I know I’ll be a lot more sound. I am constantly confused as to what has happened. I will remember bits & pieces like days later. I get nothing accomplished I feel I constantly am spinning my wheels. Like I have become this major procrastinator. The counselor that we were going to diagnosed his behavior as passive aggressive, & narcissistic. When we went to her she had him work on not putting us in a triangle. He constantly puts us in a triangle with his son. He has tried with our oldest daughter. And his mom. His dad lives 32 miles from here & he hasn’t seen him in 8 years. He has good qualities obviously or I wouldn’t be with him. It’s like my good friend said that knows him, ” he knows how to act its just a matter of whether he feels like it or not. One day he left his phone on as we were hanging up, he was getting in the truck at work with his son, & I over heard them talking about me. His son says ” what was that, my husband replies you know Danna” my step son says she can never just be reasonable, there is never any logic or rationalization to her behavior. My husband says would you expect it any other way, would you? His son says ” I know, I know, it just pisses me off though.” There was more said but just to hear a little bit of such inappropriate conversation between them just really opened my eyes in a different direction. I knew it went on that they devalue me & talk about what happens in our private marriage, because he is the only one that my husband talks to. He grew up here but doesn’t have anyone he ever hangs out with. The only friends I have made here is the ones I’ve made where I spend alot of my time. Which is my hair salon. But I never do anything with them. He would never allow it. I could ramble for days. I guess I just need to get justification, clarification, idk. This is the first time I have written on a forum. Thanks for the advice.

  110. Hi there,

    I’m not sure what is happening to me but in the last year I have slowly become sad. I can’t identify whether it is my relationship or my relationship is being affected by something else. I am newly married and am really lucky to be with such an amazing man. He allows me to be me and we have healthy relationships with friends etc.
    Recently however I had lost motivation to contribute to the household as I’ve been building anger and resentment. I had been the one to do the household chores while he could do his own thing such as running or watching tv. I built up resentment instead of properly addressing it as he requires a half hour of relaxing after work. This ended up being difficult for me as he gets home from a 10-12 hour day at work including exercise and I’m left to do the cooking etc. I approached a different way by cooking meals in advance and freezing them but my resentment stayed. Now I have thrown in the towel and asked him to do the cooking as I work full time as well and found I was not getting any rest coming home and cooking or cleaning.
    Essentially I have bad communication skills and when I try to express my feelings we end up fighting. He is not abusive but I feel really sad and stuck. We both don’t listen to each other. I may have a good day but quickly I lose my excitement coming home. It is however impacting on my stress levels at work as well, in which work is quite slow at the moment. Essentially I am not sure why I feel upset, angry, frustrated and not happy doing the things I used to. My husband agrees that he is feeling the same way. Since about three weeks of telling my husband to take over as I’d had enough he has cooked twice. We have had frozen meals or I have ended up cooking. I need to find a way to get over myself and enjoy doing this for my husband. It is not fair on him to expect him to do this when I don’t want to. Also dinner is served later around 8-8:30 if he cooks due to his long hours and exercising.

    Things I am resentful that I have tried to address in an unhealthy way is
    - our reduction in doing sports together as his goals are too big he can’t run at my level with me. Quality time is important to me.
    - our savings account for a house, we both want to save more but we are both resentful at each others wishes such as also me wanting to savefor a holiday and he wanting more spend for himself when we place equal parts to those areas.
    - our time for children, luckily only a year apart but I feel unheard around my concerns as I have possible endometriosis
    - I cant have further tests for endometriosis yet as its too invasive and doc wont allow it unless im trying for a baby. i have many positive symptoms and i definitely feel i have this disease. i am being teated with the pill to help this at the moment. – - Yes that’s been very hard for me and I haven’t got support to discuss this and feel alone in this
    - my husband rejects my affection by making negative faces or asking me to move as he’s uncomfortable. I have mentioned how that makes me feel and he knows that affection is very important to me. He continues to be affectionate but I feel it’s unnecessary to pull faces or tell me to move an arm, leg etc. he’s trying to teach me not to hug him and its working but in a negative way. I.e I don’t feel like my needs are being met.
    - He does not like my friends who are genuinely great people, smart, reliable, caring, positive role models… He openly tells me he doesn’t like them and makes it hard on me when we see them. He acts very uninterested and doesn’t talk to people and acknowledges this, and I would like to share my friends with him. I get along with his friends well. His reason he doesn’t like them is that they drink and stay up late. That is quite black and white thinking.
    - when we fight I’m not sure whether its me or him being unreasonable. I often think we aren’t hearing each other out but I don’t know how to break this within me.
    - Due to this we aren’t really affectionate in bed. I have restless sleep now and often go to bed feeling crappy. And wake up feeling like this and spend my day thinking about how I will feel when I get home. I dream of being able to do things for myself but my low feelings have impacted on this. I know it’s up to me to improve my life, my communication, and it’s up to me to show my love to my husband if I want anything to change. I also have to not be so sensitive to how I react to things he says or does. I can understand this but I am finding it difficult to break this crappy cycle.
    Do you have any insight, suggestions? I feel like I want to speak to someone but I can’t pin point what my issue is.

    • Hi and thank you for sharing your situation

      From your write up I don’t get that either of you are being abusive to each other, but there is a lot of communication issues. You are also conflicted, since you start out stating he is an amazing man and then spend the rest of write up bringing up differences you don’t know how to deal with. These conflicts are created by both of you.

      Let’s look at the facts.

      Both of you are unhappy or feeling stress in the relationship.
      You know your communication skills are lacking and you do not know how to adequately express what is important to you.
      Your husband has different tastes than you do in people (he doesn’t like your great friends)
      His people skills are lacking (he ignores those he does not understand or like)
      The two of you prioritize what is important to each of you differently (you have some differing values)
      Both of you resist the ideas of the other person (you most certainly aren’t listening or accepting what the other person has to say)

      While there may be many areas the two of you agree on, some of these are core aspects for a healthy relationship. Go over these facts (without judgment) with your husband and see if he agrees. If he doesn’t, then you already know there is a stumbling block that needs to be addressed. Ask him how he wants to deal with things. Most likely the two of you would benefit from some counselling

      If you do nothing, nothing will change. If your husband resists counselling, ask him if this relationship is important to him? If he feels the stress created between the two of you, what does he think should happen to resolve this?
      Hope that helps

  111. I am confused! Am I victim or abuser? I think of myself as just a normal woman – law-abiding, with a mortgage, pets, friends, a job – stability. He and I reconnected online last January after graduating from high school about 25 years ago. He lived 1,200 miles away, our emotional connection was fast-and-furious, and communication was nonstop.

    As he began to feel more and more comfortable with me – once I was emotionally invested – he spilled the whole story. His background includes hard drug abuse, promiscuity, violence (tied to the drugs), homelessness, and many stints in jail. He is a felon. He had a warrant out for his arrest in our home state from 10 years ago; police found brass knuckles on him during a routine traffic stop.

    But this was the past – for the first 6 months of our relationship, he was tied to the state of his residence – as mandated by drug court; he claimed he was determined to mend his ways, said he didn’t even smoke cigarettes anymore – wanted roots: a partner (me!), a relationship with his family, a home, and to start his own business (he is a talented carpenter). He didn’t have two cents to rub together – hadn’t filed taxes in years, doesn’t own a credit card or have a bank account. He suggested moving in with me when he fulfilled his obligations with drug court. I resisted at first, but relented after five months. We were building a life together, after all. Because he wouldn’t be able to carry his weight financially at first, we agreed that he would help with repairs around the house.

    He AND his pack-a-day cigarette habit (so much for smoking cessation) moved in with me. As we adjusted to the rhythm of living together, I noticed that his habits were congruent with one raised in a barn – I couldn’t believe the slovenliness – I found cigarette butts in my furniture, he would drop his clothes on the floor, not pitch his trash, etc. Here’s the thing: when I wanted to see change, I asked him politely – and it never happened! So I resorted to nagging (I loathed sinking to that point – I consider nagging a form of abuse).

    After only about 10 days’ living together, we went out on a Friday night, but he split with his mates and I went to see a band with a friend as prearranged. I checked in with him when I got home at 2am, and he was on his way to his friends’ to go swimming. Said he’d take a cab home. Didn’t get home til 1pm, when his friends dropped him off! At that point, I told him if he plans to treat me like a flophouse wench and our home as a flop, he’ll be treated like a tenant and can sleep in the spare bedroom where I placed his things. We made nice, and he was back in our bedroom that night.

    At this point, he started in with the daily drinking at home, and his social activities revolved around boozing it up with friends as well. His mates were the same ones he mooched around with when he was at his worst, drug-wise. He discouraged me from spending time with them; most of our socializing together involved spending time with my friends. But we did spend time with his folks quite a lot.

    He had been working for a shop, but put in his two weeks because he had a carpentry job coming up. He decided to just not show up after the first week of notice passed, instead staying in to watch porn all day while I was working (browser history does not lie). I didn’t make an issue of it.
    Fast-forward a couple months. From the get-go, we were each privy to the other’s social media and email passwords (his idea – he said couples having nothing to hide should share!). I peeked at his email, and holy Mother, did I get an eyeful: hookup site membership confirmations (of the No-Strings-Attached-Sex variety) AND correspondence with a woman from Craigslist sex encounters. Awesome. He came home, I confronted him, he denied things, I showed him the evidence, he said he did it out of boredom and doesn’t actually have membership because they require credit (although his profile included his email address). He made NO MOVE to make amends with me – to comfort me or make me feel safe. He was very angry – not that I’d checked his email but because I couldn’t accept that he’s on hookup sites! He told me to “get over it.” I asked him to delete the profile; he said he didn’t know how. I did it in about 2 minutes. I asked if there are others out there; he said no. I said that this would be a deal-breaker for me if it happened again.

    He changed his passwords so I wouldn’t drive myself crazy! Really.

    This fed the fire, and set me on the path of reviewing phone records, under the radar. I found a daylong exchange (105 sms and images!) from Labor Day weekend a couple weeks prior – on a day we had plans for which he blew me off, pleading he wanted to just chill. Conveniently, the exchange stopped when I left for our engagement. And, when I came home – he was gone!

    (I need to mention that I eventually asked him if he’d consider counseling, as I wasn’t feeling especially trusting. He declined saying WE didn’t have a problem; rather the problem is that I’m too controlling and need to just calm down.)

    The day arrived when he was nabbed for the outstanding warrant (he was at a different jurisdiction handling yet another outstanding matter when it happened). I took that opportunity to REALLY review phone records and googled a strange number. Lo and behold: up pops a Craigslist ad featuring my grandmother’s silverware I’d stored in the basement; the number I’d googled was aligned with the seller. When Boyfriend called upon his release, I all but accused him of involvement in the burglary (“Drip drip drip! Are you bleeding me dry here or what?”), and he reacted with over-the-top bellowing, accusing me of creating drama. In fact, the number belonged to a guy he’d met who’d come by the house to give a tree-trimming estimate. He had open sores on his face and drug convictions, we learned, and he knew no one would be home during the estimate. In retrospect, I remember noticing a windowscreen was lifted ever-so-slightly from the frame on the day Treetrimmer-Man paid the call. So, it’s possible that the guy really did crawl in through a window during broad daylight and find the goods in the basement.

    As a downside, I was forced to admit how I made my discovery: googling strange numbers from our phone bill.

    Halloween rolls around. We were invited to a party at his friends’ place about an hour from home. The day prior to the party, he asked if I wouldn’t mind it being a guys’ night, as his friends’ significant others were staying home. I told him to enjoy himself and be safe, but to please call if he’d be staying overnight as I’m a worrywart. I ended up calling HIM at 3:30am, no answer. He finally called back, saying he’d left phone in car and was on his way to crash with the pal he’d driven down with. I then noticed . . . he’d texted the number that he’d had exchanges with on Labor Day weekend; just one outgoing text. The number, it bore out much later, belongs to a 25-year-old woman (he was 41) who lives in the same town as the Halloween party. (I also discovered – on my own – she was about to give birth, so it’s unlikely they met.) I gave him heck for not calling. I told him I was okay before he moved in with me, but I wasn’t okay at that moment. And that if our relationship should end, I’d be okay again. Abusive on my part?

    Fast-forward to November. He’s interested in building his business. A networking event was taking place on his birthday; he wanted to go. I bought tickets. Leading up to the hour, he bowed out saying he wanted to get some work done instead. (He was working on his friend’s basement – about 15 minutes from home. I have no doubt they were celebrating his birthday. What friend would let another work through his birthday?) I played it cool, and sobbed on the way home from work. At 7:30, I texted him; he said he’d be on his way home “soon.” At 8:30, he texted that he was warming up his truck. At 10, a lightbulb went off: I checked the cookies on my hard drive and found another hookup site. I found his profile. He had accessed it the day prior. He came home at 11:30pm. I calmly told him the relationship wasn’t working for me and asked him to find another place to live within a week.

    (Ultimately, it took another month to finish that basement.)

    Tough love here: was I controlling and neurotic (I think I was situationally neurotic) and therefore, abusive; or was he abusive due to his deceit, potential cheating and gaslighting? Or both?

    Another thing: he kept claiming that I create drama. Huh?!?

    • Thanks for sharing your story. It is great that you are willing to accept that you may have contributed to the abuse, since many abusive relationships are not completely one sided. But I don’t think you overstepped your boundaries with this guy
      First, you gave him your trust with out him earning it. This is quite common in relationships that start out hot and heavy, where passion and interest is confused as relating. Also this was a long distance relationship, which is something of a controlled environment, since the two of you are primarily interacting over the phone. Notice how quickly things changed once he moved in.
      It is also nice that you were willing to consider that his past was his past and now is now. That can be true, but there has to be a considerable time frame between the past and current time in order for changes to occur. That was not the case with him. He was still bound to court restrictions, meaning he could not violate certain rules or he would end up serving time – that can be a good motivator for temporary change, but that is it. There is nothing in his past that says he was responsible or could handle pressures of life. His addictions tell you he runs from problems – being homeless means he doesn’t know how to sustain himself – being a felon means he doesn’t think rules apply to him, violence means he can’t control his emotions. There were a lot of red flags and he had not received counseling, so what would have changed.
      That he immediately began hanging out with his old friends who where there when he did all the things he did, reinforces the idea he did not really changed.
      He wasn’t honest with you, he was still checking out other women, so if you got upset, were nagging him or sneaking into his records with all these signs occurring, it was you trying to protect yourself. Was it the best way or the only way of doing it, probably not, but at least you stood up for yourself.
      It probably felt neurotic at the time, but you were in an extreme situation. Learn from this. With future relationships, let the relationship develop before you commit. While long distance relationships can work out, they are tough. You don’t have to not trust someone, but you do have to pay attention to the signs they exhibit. Lastly, communications have to remain open. The communications in this relationship shut down soon after he moved in with you. I am sure he wanted to be open with you, but he also didn’t know how to be different, so he had to protect the behaviors he was accustom to. Maybe you were a nag, but he was also blaming you to make you feel bad so you would not snoop into his personal affairs and those affairs were not respecting the relationship you want to have.

  112. Hi, my names Kelly. I’m 21, have been in a emotional and sexually abusive relationship when I was 16 which lasted a year and now i’m really struggling.

    I’ve been with my current boyfriend for 3 years, who I class as my savour and helped me through the hardest part of my life. I have been going for counseling for the past 8 months which is helping a great deal, but still can’t seem to move on completely.

    My boyfriend is in the army and is posted away currently. I hate it when I see him again as I dread the moment he has to leave. It’s honestly tearing me up inside every time he has to go back to camp. I feel like I have my heart ripped out and torn into thousands of tiny pieces. I’m not coping well but don’t know how to tell him- i’m scared of losing him. I moved up the country to be with him and get our own house but he’s now been posted 7 hours away and I rarely see him every month. He did promise to come back every weekend but that hasn’t happened. I don’t have my own set of ”proper” friends up here. More acquaintances which is what i’m struggling with the most. I feel lonely and isolated. My boyfriend can’t understand why I don’t go out and socialize when he’s not here. I find it so hard to trust new people and go out to pubs and bars where I don’t feel safe.

    It’s impossible to explain to someone who hasn’t been through the abuse that you have and to help them realize why I act the way I do, and why I don’t enjoy going out. I just don’t have the confidence or self esteem to go out. I’m terrified i’m going to lose him because of me always being miserable. But I can’t help feeling so depressed when i’m left for months on end.

    Can someone please give me a few ideas to help me.

    I honestly feel like i’m pushing him away and i’m terrified we’re starting to drift apart.

    • Kelly

      I hope these are things you are bringing up with your therapist. A good counselor should be able to help you release the fears associated with abusive memories and give you resources to feel good about yourself again. .

      Healing from abuse can take time. There are many adjustments and issues of trusting ones own judgments and interpretations and what one feels capable of that may need to be addressed. This can make it very difficult to trust other people. Since these fears seem pretty intense, any techniques or suggestions on how to cope with your situation will be swallowed up by your fears.

      If you don’t feel you are making progress from your current therapist, it is OK to try someone else who may help you more effectively

      Keep in mind that getting other people to understand your fears will not help you deal with your fears better.

      That you classify your current boyfriend as your “savor”, concerns me. He has a become a crutch, someone you have become overly emotionally dependent on to the point of not being able to feel comfort when he takes off for a few days. This will not help you heal any quicker

  113. Relationships.
    I was recently in a relationship with a man from the Middle East. I live in Canada and he lives here as well, but he is from the Middle East. At first meeting him, he was amazingly friendly! I couldn’t believe how nice, supportive, fun, understanding and awesome he was! I couldn’t get enough of him! He was a shiaa Muslim and very religious. And I did my best to accept that. We were together for about five months. Our first month together was great. I fell fast because he just seemed so great. He invited me to his home where he cooked for me and his friends. He bought me small gifts. He was incredibly nice to my family. And I felt so happy when i was with him.
    The first two months were great.
    Then, things started to change.
    I noticed how he never said things like, “Your beautiful.” “I love …. about you.” “I love doing ….. with you.” Basically, he never complimented me. I am an honest person and when it comes to relationships I like to speak my mind rather than hold something inside. So, I found myself telling him what I didn’t like and asking why. I asked why he wouldn’t say nice things to me and he just said, “I do not know.”
    At the time, I accepted “I do not know.” However, it made me feel as if he did not think I was pretty, beautiful, attractive. The only thing he said to me was, “You have a nice smile.”
    Nothing more. Ever.

    That was when it all started.

    I looked at my ability to say how I feel as a strength. I think he saw it as a weakness.

    Shortly after that, I saw on my Facebook that he wrote, “Jenny. Wow. Looking Gorgeous as always!!.” My name is not Jenny.
    This made me feel terrible.
    I asked him about it and he said, “It’s not a big deal. It means nothing. She’s just my friend.”

    I think that is when the self-esteem burning started.

    I remember he once told me he talked to his ex girlfriend on Skype. I said that’s great and I respected him for telling me the truth.
    He then went on to say the words she spoke, “I miss you. I think about you all of the time. I always dream about you.”

    This hurt my feelings even more.
    I mean, I have encounters with my ex boyfriends but they mean nothing and I never bring it into the relationship because I thought it was unimportant.

    Another time we were in my bedroom and I was showing him a popular Korean song, “Gangnam Style”
    He said about a woman in the video, “Wow. She is beautiful.”
    — So. Let me get this straight. You say this infront of me to someone else, but you don’t say this to my face?

    There was another incident when we were sitting on his bed. There was a small white teddy bear on his dresser and he said to me, “Do you know where I got that?”
    Obviously I didn’t. So, I replied with, “no.”

    He looked at the teddy bear and said, “I got it from my first girlfriend in Canada. :)

    That’s sweet.

    I asked, “That’s nice. Why did you tell me that?”

    His reply, “Well, whenever I see the teddy, i think of her. I can’t help it. I really miss her.”
    Honest. But equally just as painful and unnecessary.

    I once gave him a rock necklace I got in Mexico. He never wore it. Not once. I asked why. He said, “Oh don’t worry about it. I have it. ”

    After I came back from a trip, I gave him a nice wallet I picked up for him and I never seen him use it.
    I asked one of his friends what that means when someone doesn’t wear something you bought for them. He said it probably means they don’t care about you that much.

    I think all of these things were red flags. Serious red flags. But, I kept putting them out of my mind because i was trying to be culturally sensitive and accepting.

    My accepting personality only led me to be walked on. When I type it all down, I can see how much these things hurt me. They didn’t hurt me for a day. I NEVER forgot the things he said and I especially never forgot how they made me feel.

    I think the motive behind the emotional abuse was to break me down. If he broke me down to think I wasn’t beautiful, then I might just believe it. Right?

    I wasn’t perfect in the relationship but I didn’t deserve any form of emotional abuse.

    I’m piecing my self esteem back together after this very terrible moment of judgement. It was only 5 months that we were together, but it feels like its been a year, including the healing process.

    Does this sound like emotional abuse to you?

    • Relationships are not always easy and often they create pain. That it feels hurtful, uncaring or unfair does not make it abusive.

      Now your relationship with this man may have had elements of abuse. From your writing I get this man was conflicted in what he wanted from you, that maybe at some point he no longer felt a deeper attraction. He was not comfortable being honest with his feelings or was out of touch with them. Many men and even women are not receptive to sharing emotions, taking gifts, giving compliments Part of any healthy relationship is paying attention to how someone treats you and how they change. Love often blinds us from accepting changes. That he was more stimulated by other women is a good indication something had changed in him after the initial courtship. Sure there will be some changes once the relationship settles in, but he was sending you some pretty loud messages.

      It is prudent to pay attention to how people treat you. Remember, actions speak louder than words, so that he told you that he loved you and yet treated you like he didn’t, should tell you something

  114. After reading this I understand now why my two siblings and nephew who live together bully three of us, it’s sad that we are in our 40′s and since our dad’s passing it has gotten worse.. my nephew stopped me at the gas station One day and yelled out loud in front of everyone there at me he said he will kick my husband’s ass if I go to anyone else for help..he almost killed him barging into our home one day. My brother keeps calling and texting me telling me I’m a loser, and I live a poor life and will never amount to anything, and there is my sister who talks and tells outrageous lies to friends and family about us, they even tried making my older sister sign off her rights to our dad’s estate , when she didn’t they made her sleep outside put her clothes in a trash bag and threw them outside with her! She is safe now, but all of this shows signs of them being bullys, severely !!! Her own son my nephew acts every bit like them two the way he treated his mother my sister was just appalling to watch, I was so disgusted that I’m amazed that I can still stand here and type all this in I’m just greatfull I seen this and know that I really do hope that god can forgive them..

  115. from reading these I realise my situation is not half as severe however I feel there is some form of emotional abuse in my relationship with my boyfriend, and I really need some advice/confirmation;

    I had a very traumatised childhood and have never really come to terms with it, only that I’m often very resentful/wary of humans and my ability to deal with stress is essentially non-existent.

    I met my boyfriend a year ago and we were housemates, although we now have jobs in separate areas so currently live apart but visit each other usually once a week. He is very quiet, shy but would always make me laugh and we spoke to each other about anything. He grew up with critical parents although he adored his father who died two years ago from which my boyfriend sunk into a deeper depression to point of suicide until we met and started going out.

    However I fear his bad relationship with his mother is reflecting his treatment of me; there are times when he will jokingly call me an idiot or a bitch and most recently cunt, to which I find irritating especially when it grates at me for a while. Near the beginning of our relationship he kept calling me an idiot for so long that i broke down crying and then he would keep saying sorry and we would hug and he would say he would never do it again which he hasn’t so intensely done again, however he will still call me these names just to get a reaction.

    Another thing I can’t stand is when he lightly slaps me on the cheek and i’ve told him hundred of times i don’t like but he still does it to see my reaction and then he calls me a ‘prideful’ because i don’t like it. Several times he has accused me of never wanting sex because i’m exhausted from work and has called me frigid on several occasions which hurts me because he is the only guy i’ve ever slept with so i’m inexperienced but i try my best and it feels like he’s putting me down.

    But the thing that really cut deep was last week; we were driving into supermarket and he scraped the car which made him really angry. When we went in the shop i tried to reassure him taht these things happen then he got really angry at me and told me to shut the fuck up. I had never been spoken to like that for a long time and it brought back a lot of bad memories.

    He apologised a bit later but when he went back home i called him and told him how much it hurt, but i don’t think he realises this, he just kept saying sorry a hundred times. I also pointed out he would never say something like that to his friends to which he at least agreed on, so i think it has to do with me being a woman that he feels he can talk to me this way.

    I asked him if he could guarantee he would never lose it with me like that again but he couldn’t though he said he would try. I should be happy that he’s at least trying to change but i get this sinking feeling this is only the beginning and i still can’t get over how hurtful it was, which is exacerbated by childhood memories, and how difficult it was to open up to anyone and its just thrown back in my face. i should just let it go and forget but its been making me depressed. If I left him I fear he might try and kill himself as he’s mentioned he would if I did

    • Cassie
      Your boyfriend does not know how to have relationships. You have two choices, get out or train him to be different. How we respond to people is how they expect us to be. If you keep accepting his apologies and he continues to be a jerk, then he has no real reason to be different. Since he can’t promise you he will be different, it means he does not know how to control his emotions, which means he is not very mature.

      If you are intent on staying with him, have the following conversation and only have it while he is not wound up or acting out. Ask him how he thinks you should should respond to his abuse. Assuming he gives you some workable options, ask him how the feels he should make this up to you. Apologies are cheap, especially if nothing changes, so that isn’t going to cut the grade.You are being insulted and minimized, so he had better come up with something pretty spectacular. If he offers to take you out, it should be a really nice place. If he hesitates, ask if he thinks putting you down and calling you names is something he should be able to do? Ask if he feels you are important? If yes, then he should not be putting you down and he should be showing you how much he appreciates you. Tell him his apologies, while a nice start are fairly worthless. This action should sting his pocket book. If he does not follow through, then you know he will continue to walk all over you and you should immediately walk away. If you don’t walk away, you are showing him your word doesn’t hold a lot of weight.
      Now you dont’ want to make your self worth equate to what he can afford, so if he violates your self esteem, make some other demands. So if he take you out, after dinner (or what ever the two of you agreed to), after, tell him you will no longer be willing to put up with this type of behavior. If he is going to be a jerk to you, why should you? You do believe you deserve more, right? Since he has repeatedly treated you in hurtful ways, ask how would he like to make up to the next abusive situation if he hasn’t learned from this one. If he offers another dinner, say “no”, I want you to prove to me that you can respect me as a human being. How are you going to do that?

      You have to be able to walk from this relationship, otherwise he will know you don’t respect yourself enough to keep the promises you make.
      It is sad that is has to come to this, but he has some issues and his issues will be your issues if you don’t stand up for yourself

  116. am sitting in a situation where the person who is in question is my ex-fiancee. We have known each other for 7 years, since deciding on a showt time appart have started dating, and 2 weeks later got engaged to a lady about 23years old (alomost 12 years younger). That alone is quite strange behaviour for him. yet withing the last year things have been strange between our group of friends, but thought it was due to out breaking up. yet things have gotton quite out of control the last wile and on paying closer attention to happenings – got us quite concerned. Earlier after they met he had contact with me and most friends – as we both still considered reconciling – and assumed it was her age and insecurities that might have caused temper tantrums when we were communicating. After a while though she started becoming verbally abusive as well as insulting, insisting he was sleeping around with every female he spoke to. It got to a point where he was afraid of speaking to his own boss, and later to windows being tinted so no-one from the roads side being able to see into his workplace. She started verbally abusing him whenever he did not answe a phone or contact her disregarding the fact that he was at work performing duties. Her insecurities and verbal abuse has become serious issues – he has gotten to a point of no longer communicating with anyone he know and becomes extremely anxious when he has to talk to mostly anyone on us. He started screaming and behaving rudely, so keeping people away and making sure no-one is wanting to contact him. He has always been sensitive about being able to provide for a partner and his children. She seems to have used his inability at times to provide for his children with his ex-wife to push him towards writing them of, and no longer contacting them or his family. She seems to have played on his guilt and his emotional state of mind after we broke up, with alot of issues most of us have of at that stage, making him into a failure, and unable to survive withour her. She has played on his fear of being alone and insecure, and I am pretty sure as used every possible insecurity due to his sensitive nature, to her advantage. She has played on that, having become more anxious, depressed and in denial towards the fact that he has become extremely anti-social terribly against his nature. Recently he has resigned giving fake references towards where he is going – and subsequently have not been found working anywhere. He has little transport so is dependent mostly on her for major travel. Apart from all this his number has changed unknown to anyone. So in attempting to contact him, his friends as well as me have been forced to phone her, at which he has not ever responded. We assume he does not receive messages we leave with her, as for me I am getting insulting crazy messages that he will never be in contact with me, how amazing their sexlife is etc. – insulting everything possible seemingly hoping I would act out, knowing I have no way of contacting him or making sure he is ok. It is fair logic to for me to realise that her acting out is a method of controlling him, and having me acting out towards her, would isloate him even more as it would put him in a position of compromise. I am sure she is aware I am a mayor source of emotional support, and this makes it even worse. It is impossible to try to go by his house as if she is there, he would carry the brunt of me trying to contact him. I know him extremely well, and know he is severely depressed, anxious and isolated from all of us. He has within a year lived in denial about the fact that he has become more depressed, stressed out and lonely, his self-esteem seemingly none. Any idea how we can help him, especially since we are unable to contact him whatsoever. Our biggest fear is that his depression will eventually take a mayor toll on him and push him to a limit that he would be unable to cope any longer> How do I help him??

    • You can’t help someone you can’t find. From what I understand, these days you can do an oneline search for almost anyone for just a few bucks.
      But you find him, them what? Will he listen to what you have to say? Maybe, maybe not. One of the signs of abuse is to isolate an individual and it seems she has done a great job at this. If you do get a hold of him, don’t immediately dig in and tell him what you feel. Ask him if there is anyway the two of you could meet, somewhere away from her domain or when will he be able to communicate in private. If not, your communications will probably go on deaf years.
      Since she is insecure and controlling. He somehow resonates to her neediness, but it has gotten out of control. It is a fragile and dicey situation and you will have to approach it with the greatest amount of tact.

  117. I need to know if the emotional abuser will only do it to certain people he resents. I have been in a relationship for 2.5 yrs.. not married or kids… but serious.. I really love him and I know he loved me. He’s an alcoholic and I have the hoarding affliction. It’s invisible.. I’m young.. 46, but he was not allowed by me to come over. I always worked on it.. but yes.. it’s ridiculous.. he waited for me and in this time I did not get my place in shape. Just now I have hit rock bottom and am getting a cousellor. I had counsellors before just lightly helping me.. but I’m very very determined now to get better. Mine is an addiction.. I have ADD also . His resentment towards me not providing a homelife for him was absolutely crushing. Emotional abuse began. Told me to shut up.. called me a bitch.. after drinking too much of course. He lived in a bedsit.. could not provide for himself so he really needs a woman with a homelife. He dumped me just now and immediately started dating someone else who is very interested in him. She has a lovely homelife , of course. So I”m wondering.. is he just gonna be abusive to me and my situation.. or later on do you think an emotional abuser will always have that pattern in relationships. I wanted to have hope if I fix my situation that later on if he was free again.. I could make a homelife for him. I truly loved him and I know he loved me. He lost patience and hope for me. Knowing this.. if it’s just me or he’s never gonna change.. might help me move on better. Thanks for this support site. I’m in pain and loss and healing.

    • The problem with abuse people is they will keep coming up with one excuse, reason or justification after another. As soon as you make a change or improvement, it will be something else. This relationship (or any other your friend may be in) is he has a crappy relationship with himself and he doesn’t know how to deal with things being different than how he wants them. It is a bottomless pit that will not be satisfied by you are anyone else. It is why he drinks and until he decides he is worth changing and makes a real long term commitment and effort to change himself, your chances of having a functional relationship with him will be minimal.
      Fix your situation with yourself because you deserve to better yourself, your life and your relationship with you, not someone who has problems coping with life and pain. Get therapy because you want to change yourself. While you may have difficulty emotionally letting go, sooner or later he is going to place that will force you to let him go or you will resent yourself for allowing yourself to have gotten so low.
      It seems like the easiest thing right now is to follow your heart and try and get him back, but it will be the worst choice you can make.

    • Kelly,
      First of all, good for you for seeking help on your hoarding and ADD. Second of all, YES, he will be emotionally abusive to the next, and yet next person. Be thankful, and time will heal. I am in the process of divorcing my husband of three years. I love him immensely, and asking him to leave has been the hardest thing I have ever done – I am also in my 40′s – I figure it is about time to start living “mentally healthy!”

  118. After reading this I think that I’m being emotionally abused, and maybe have been my entire life. What shocked me most to read is that the abused will not remember events and i only remember bits and pieces of my childhood, my entire life really. My grandfather physically and sexually abused my mother and she does a lot of the things that its listed that abusers do. Living with her has always been turbulent but its only now, at age 22, that I’m starting to worry about myself and how I’m handling things. I find myself feeling that there’s no point to anything and imagining different ways to harm myself sometimes. Lately I can’t go a month without breaking down and crying for hours and just wanting to lie down before eventually picking myself up and keeping on going. I don’t really have any friends and I feel alone. After reading the advice other people have gotten on here I realise that I should probably move out but I just can’t find it in my heart to leave her. She gets mad and so mean about little things everyday and I feel so terrible about myself, or sometimes furious at her and then bad about me for having such negative feelings, but she also seems so vulnerable and sad and if I left she really would have no one left in the world but my sister. I hate being in my head most of the time but I don’t know how to fix this situation. Any help would be much appreciated.

    • You are going to have to make a choice as to what is important to you. Right now you are torn between your own sanity and well being or your mom’s. It doesn’t sound as if either you or your mom are doing all the well with you being there, One thing you can do is try to have a heart to heart conversation with your mom on what she wants, but that may not be possible.
      Initially any choice you make may be painful, including the choice not to do anything and hope things will work themselves out. That will just keep you where you are at. While you love your mom, you can not be codependant on her emotional well being and think you are doing anyone a favor by staying. It doesn’t sound as if anyone in the house is happy, so why not give happiness a chance and try a change. I know it is a big step and if you are really challenged by it, you may want to work with a counselor to help you make the right decisions for you

  119. I had just ended an emotionally and physically abusive relationship that had lasted 1.5 years.

    I met my ex-boyfriend when I had almost turned 19, he was wonderful to me and charming. We started to see other quite often and we started dating shortly afterwards. Unfortunately in our early stages of dating, he was sick in the hospital quite often and it was hard seeing him but I had later found out in relationship that he was in the hospital simply due to the fact that he was drinking excessively and abusing steroids during the past month before I had started seeing him. Shortly after he had got well, we started to have talks of about moving in with each other because he couldn’t live at his parents house no more because he had problems with his father.

    We moved in together just merely around 4 months of seeing/dating each other and things had went great except we would have some small arguments about finances and etc. But after 5 months of living with each other, he had gotten physical with me, one night because we had got into an argument and I had refused to sleep on the bed. He poured water over my head and told me that I should “wake up” from acting so stupidly and then he proceeded to restrain me while I was trying to leave the house. He ended up sitting on my back and biting me so that I would not leave and that I would stay quiet. The next day, he had apologized for getting physical with me and had said that I was the first girl that he got physical with so essentially blaming me for my actions.

    Unfortunately the abuse did not stop and yet escalated, he was smirking at a girl in the supermarket one day and he asked me if I wanted to hear a story about her..I asked him, why did you sleep with her? He had automatically just lost it after that comment and started calling me stupid, dumb, cunt and that I should watch my mouth, loudly in the supermarket. When we got back to the car, I questioned why he had to act out in rage and he proceeded to strike me in the face multiple times and told me to get the fuck out of the car even though it was late at night. I was sobbing my face off car and my mouth was swollen/bloody. I asked why he had hit me and he claims that I was acting out of line. This is where I should’ve left and moved out…but I didn’t.

    I didn’t leave because I loved and cared about the side of him that was kind, sweet and caring but unfortunately I needed to realized that both the sides are him not just one person. The third time he had physically hurt me was a night after going out, he had too much to drink and thought that I was walking away from him so he got in my face and had slapped me because once again I was out of line. After that incident, things at home were getting worse, he was getting tight on money and he would fight with me at any given chance if I didn’t agree with him or hand him over money/treat him to going out for dinner.

    Later that year, things got bad to the point that the neighbors had called the cops and he was charged with assault so I had finally moved out. Moving out was the hardest thing to do because I still had feelings and I was so confused/hurt to what he had did to me. During his court process, he was super manipulative to me telling me that I had snitched him out to the cops and that it was solely my fault for him getting physically with me. One day he would tell me that he loved me and wanted to make things work but the next day he would blame all his problems on me and demand that I should pay for his legal fees. While he was still harrassing me playing Jekyll and Hyde, he had started seeing other women and sleeping with them, while maintaining to me that he was still loved me.

    Through this whole process, I had realized that an abusive man will never change his ways despite what he tells you and claims. He will pull on your heart strings for his benefit and manipulative..look for the red flags when you meet someone new and if red flags pop up…low and behold, leave them. I didn’t have the courage to leave my ex for the longest time but looking back now, I’ve learned a valuable lesson in life and once you break the attachment, you will become a much stronger person. My courage, self-esteem, self-love and self-worth are finally being built back again after he had destroyed it in that 1.5 year relationship.

  120. My story is so long that I don’t even know where to begin. I’m trying to figure out how to begin healing after managing to get away from my husband of over three decades. He’s one of those people who everyone thinks of as a “really great guy”, but he hasn’t been so great to me over all of those years. It seems like people like him always start out the same way. They are charming and treat you wonderfully when they are trying to reel you in. Then once they feel secure in your relationship, the abuse begins. I’ve begun to think of it as trolling for a victim.

    In my case, he was more logical than I was so he “should” make the decisions about money. If he wanted to spend money on something, we spent the money. if we agreed that we wanted to spend money on something, we spent the money. If it was important to ME to spend money on something and he didn’t agree – no way. He decided very early on that he wanted to retire early (I agreed with this, didn’t I?). He was the one who was working, so there was nothing I could do to prevent him from putting a huge portion of his salary into “his” retirement fund. So much that we barely had enough to live on. He had a career to build, so he needed good quality clothing. So he bought himself really (I mean REALLY) nice suits, shirts, silk ties, $100 shoes (this was in the ’70′s and early ’80′s. I was afraid to spend money on new underwear for myself and shopped for the kids and me at Kmart. I remember the first vacation that we went on, I bought myself a 6-pack of white socks and I was so excited to have them. That’s just pathetic.

    Nothing I did was ever even close to good enough for him. If I cooked something, it wasn’t quite right. (I wasn’t as good a cook as his mom – oh, and I really needed to learn to clean up as I went along.) If I cleaned, I didn’t do a good enough job (his mom had cleaned the edges of the kitchen floor with a toothbrush. In fact, she scrubbed it on her hands and knees with a scrub brush.) If I wanted to spend some money to paint a room, I couldn’t choose a color because I didn’t have very good decorating sense. (His mom’s house looked like something from a magazine, so I should leave those decisions up to him. In reality, he just didn’t care for my mom’s decorating style and didn’t trust me, even though I don’t really like her style either.) In fact, he about blew a gasket if I spent more than $15 or $20 without clearing it with him first, and this was all the way up until the time that I left him.

    His family was “normal” and mine had “issues” (i.e. they were crazy), so we spent a LOT more time with his family than we did with mine. We lived on the east coast and everyone else in the Midwest, so we’d go and visit at least once a year. When we’d visit at his parents’ house, he and his brothers would get together, monopolize the TV, talk loudly together and completely ignore everyone else, except their dad. When our children were small, we “women-folk” were left to care for the children as if that was our jobs and the men didn’t even have kids at all. We might as well have not existed. Every once in a while, one of the women would attempt to join in one of their conversations, and she’d almost immediately be put into her place through humiliation, ridicule, etc. One time I tried to see if I could watch something that everyone might be interested in seeing on the TV and my husband actually physically pulled me away from the TV. He and his brothers got a really good laugh about that one.

    I’d see their mom, who they all would exclaim many many times how much they loved and admired, give an opinion about a political or social issue they were discussing. They’d attack her like a pack of dogs, ridiculing her about how she didn’t have any idea what she was talking about until she’d retreat into the kitchen. It was just horrible to watch. They would tell you that it was “all in fun” or they were “just joking around”. I know what joking around looks like and this was no joke. They admired her as long as she was cooking and decorating the house. Heaven forbid she should have an opinion about something important that required a higher level of thinking. They didn’t see her standing in the kitchen dabbing at her eyes, but I did.

    And don’t even get me started about my driving. Holy cow.

    I worry now that my two boys who are both in their 20′s have picked up some of their dad’s behaviors from seeing this their entire lives. I also worry, particularly with my older son, about my relationship with them. I waited until the last minute before leaving my husband to let him know I was leaving. I honestly didn’t know how he was going to react. When my former sister-in-law had left his youngest brother, he had hit her. I knew that in this kind of relationship they can lead to physical violence one the controlling person learns that one who’s being controlled really is actually leaving. Neither of my kids really seemed to understand how I could treat their dad like I did, even though they had lived with some of his behaviors too. They didn’t see a lot of the things that he did to me over the years so of course they didn’t understand.

    And before I left, partly to protect myself, I got rid of some really, really old records that, to me didn’t really matter any more. Things like old pay stubs from the 1970′s through the 1990′s – things that most people would have thrown away years ago. My husband accused me of getting rid of “valuable documents” that he needed for the divorce, because I was trying to hide retirement assets from him. For crying out loud, HE was completely in charge of all of our finances our entire marriage. There wasn’t anything to hide and I sure couldn’t have hidden anything from him even if I’d wanted to. But the kids believed him and now our oldest son acts really distant towards me. I can’t seem to convince him that his dad isn’t who he thinks he is and he made a big deal out of nothing.

    Healing is very, very slow. I think I have PTSD from living with him for so long.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. Healing may take some time. Three plus decades of emotional and mental memories are not likely to just go away.

      Your ex came from a family that had beliefs women are not equals, that men are in control and women should be in the background. It’s sad to see beliefs like this persist, but they do in many parts of the country.

      Getting out of the relationship was one step of your journey to recovery. If you can, work with a professional who can help you release some of the emotional ties you are still holding. Most certainly forgive yourself for enduring this crap. The rest of your life depends on it

  121. I noticed that most of these were about a significant other, and I’m glad that all have shared their side of the abuse. Mine has to do with about 9 years of constant abuse from my mother. My parents divorced when I was 9, and one of the earliest moments I could remember is my mom telling me to tell the friend of the court “that I would kill myself if they let my father have custody,” in which I did. My mother was extremely controlling, put me down a lot, sometimes hit me when I would prove myself right and take away things I loved in return for obedience. Neither of my parents were there for me growing up, but since I lived with my mother until I was 18, I remember most of my memories with her. After reading this page, I realized that I had unintentionally blocked off and hid many of the things that had happened in those 9 years. When I was 18 I had been with a boyfriend (now an ex) and on my 18th birthday ran away to texas together with a friend. I now realize what a stupid mistake that was, but understand that I did it for the main reason of being away from my abusive and highly controlling mother. She used to tell me (at 17) that my curfew was 7pm or before she got home from work. Sometimes if I lied to her (I felt like I had to disobey her rules to have a bit of freedom) I would get punished, and these punishments had no time, only whenever she “felt” like she could trust me again, would she give back my 7pm curfew, with extremely, unattainable restrictions and guidlines. But while on punishment, I would have to come straight home from high school and sit by the home telephone for her call, so she could control that I was home the whole time, if for some reason the phone was busy, she would call the neighbors and send them to the house to tell me to get off the phone because my mother was trying to reach me. I didn’t realize how messed up this all was until I initially moved out of her house on my 21st, well, she “kicked me out.” Because she had said so much to break my heart as a child, she said something, that typically would be disregarded, but “I wish I never had you,” was my tipping point, and being with my boyfriend now, of almost 3 years, we left and never looked back. It’s been almost 1 year that I’ve been out of her house, her rules, and her poison, I’m finally able to see the truths of the crap lies that she fed me for years on end. This site helped me a lot considering there were so many questions in my head that I couldn’t understand or answer.

    I’ve been ready to cut her off, as much as it hurts because as a child, I yearn for a love that was never given to me.

  122. Well my relatiinship was perfect in the beginning. I love him with all my heart. I thought for sure id finally found my soul mate. Then I got pregnant with a precious baby that I wouldnt trade the world for. Then after a couple months pregnany he started follwing me to the bathroom and accusing me of guys. I was always faithful. He disrepected my family. Nothing was ever his fault. We was always doing wrong. One night he got angry and pinned my arms down and he said a lot of mean stuff to me and was in my face. Then I remember being in the hospital crying when my son was born because he had to stay for a while and I remember him telling me to grow up and wuit being a baby. Then he expected me to give up friends stay in the house and only if he was around I could do anything. Then we got our own apartment. He always brought me down emotionally. Telling me I was a crappy mom and I never did anything. He would nag me for hours telling me what he wanting me to do. Then he would hang out with friends and I wasnt aloud to do stuff like that. Then one night he pushed me down on the couch and i had a huge bruise on my arm. Then it cintinusally got worse with the insults and the the verbal things. Then one night I finally had the last straw he got mad because our son woke up and he said some words and of course by this time im fed up with it. I cant take anymore. He jumps on the bed. And he strangles me and I beg him to quit. Then I noticed in your article that abusive relationships cause ocd, panic attacks and such. Well during this stress I formed ocd. (intrusive scary thoughts about other people) thought he fianlly drove me insane. And I have panic attacks some mornings. Im glad to say ive got out of the relationship. But could that set off my ocd (horrible intrusive thoughts) from all the stress.

    • OCD is a complex challenge. Most certainly the abuse or the stress from abuse can come into play. I am glad you stood of for yourself and finally moved on, but it left some emotional scars. You will probably want to work with a professional to help you release some of these aweful things you’ve been through and to lift your self esteem up

  123. Hello,
    I’m not real sure if I actually have a problem… But I just really need some help. I feel that my fiance is emotionally abusive but I just feel really hesitate about it all. So I’ll just explain my story and maybe I can get a little help as what to do next.

    We have been together for almost 3 years, and we have a 4 month old son. We have had our fights, like everyone else, but they have recently started to hurt me. He gets really angry over the littlest things, like we played a game together and we needed to exit because we lost connection. I told him to hold on a minute I had to click something before I could get out, and he lost it. I don’t think I said it in a rude way or anything like that but it hardly seemed like a reason to get that angry. This happened one more time before he blew up later that night. We couldn’t find a remote and while I was looking he started messing with the baby who was about to fall asleep again, which irritates me because I stay up with the baby because I am a stay at home mom at the moment. I told him not to because it will make it harder for me to get him to sleep and I would hardly get any sleep. Then he blew up and started going on and on about how I need to treat him better and how I avoid doing anything with him. Which I don’t find to be true, I try to talk to him but I don’t leave the house so my subjects for conversation are rather limited. There are sometimes I’m not always real happy but I am constantly put down and pretty much told I’m stupid whenever I speak or try to joke. I get stressed to and when I tried to talk to him all he did was take it back to me fucking everything up. I honestly can’t tell if it’s me or if there is a problem.
    Pretty much all the fights we have go like the last one. Every mistake I make gets thrown back in my face. I don’t always do the most I can around the house and everything but there are days I just want a break too.
    I just feel like I am stuck with him, with every fight he tells me he is going to leave with my son and I’ll never see him again and it’s killing me. He tells me that I am a terrible mother and I do everything I can for my son. I have gotten to the point I just comply with whatever he says because every time I try to voice my feelings he just gets worse. I feel I have no power to say anything and I just want to know if maybe I am just messing up or if it’s not me and I need to leave. I love him but I can’t take feeling like this.
    So I just really need some help… I don’t want my son to see the way he yells at me and if I need to leave or if the problems me just fix myself I would really appreciate it.
    Thanks for reading, I hope everything gets better.

    • Ashlee
      It is always unfortunate when there are children involved, because while it is painful for adults to be in abusive relationship, for children, it is overwhelming.

      First things first. Since your finance reverts to threats about taking your child, you need to get an understanding of the law of your state. See a lawyer who deals in child custody issues and get clarity on what your finace can and can’t do and what recourse you have if he pulls any of the crap he threatens to do.
      Next, to be in a relationship, people have to relate and that is not happening in your situation. I would recommend seeing a professional to help the two of you work things out, but it is unlikely your fiance would go. Since it is not likely you are ready to leave this craziness yet, you need some action to take and if that doesn’t work, you need to decide this thing isn’t going to work.
      Blame is the back-up plan for the weak-minded. So don’t take the blame from your finance and don’t give it to yourself. That doesn’t mean you need to be confrontational either, as that will only make things worse. See if you can sit down with your finance when he is a bit more level headed and only if he is calm. Bring up that you would like to talk to him about the two of you and how we might improve our relationship. Ask him if he would like that – no point going any further if he doesn’t want to be with you. If he goes into blaming you for everything, just say you understand he sees things that way and that is why you want to talk. The conversation has to be about the two of you and how the two of you relate to each others. You want to see how he wants you to treat him (again he has to be a calmer frame of mind, otherwise this is a waste of time) and you want to be able to convey to him how you want to be treated (you also need to stay in an open mind set)
      Most couples never talk of these things. Some couples don’t have to do so because they have elevated their communication skills, but you two need this conversation. My guess is his ideas about how you should treat him will be one sided or unrealistic. Remember this is supposed to be a relationship, so if either one of you isn’t relating, then what do you have? Not much and most certainly not a healthy relationship
      Hope this helps

    • This is in reply to Nicole.

      Get out! Take your son and get out! Find a womens shelter / center for some advice talk to them, they have resources, maybe even tape your fiance when he is on a rant to help you out when it might end up in court, hide it under the couch.

      Don’t worry about your things, unless you have friends that can come over when he goes to work to help you carry, the women’s center will help you get your stuff later, as long as you and your child are safe.

      I have been in a abusive relationship, pretty much exactly has you have described for 19 years. With two children, the hell that I have to deal with – in trying for me to simple be a person again, no self esteem, no self confidence, ptsd, ocd, anxiety is only the tip of the ice burg, then you have your beautiful children, they have now learned to be abusive as well, abusive to me, so how am I going to help them have healthy relationships? Even simpler then that, how am I going to have a healthy relationship with them, when they have learned to abuse me? There is were I am at now.

      I wish I could go back the 22 years I had known him and left after the children had been born, it would have been hard, but I wouldn’t have had to face the yelling and felling like my life is waste because he told me so ever day, along with all the yelling and teaching and verbal abuse.

    • Nicole, I was in a very dangerous relasionthip years ago. I read your story and the word, “stupid” stuck out so big. You are , in my opion, being verbally and physically abused. I still see a professional counsler and he taught me, it was not me.It’s not you Nicole, it is him. Your seem like a new fresh soft petal rose and he is slowly wrinkling and removing each bud. And you are right about you not wanting you son to hear him yell. In my opinion, only because I lived it and MORE, if you don’t get out now, your son may grow up nervouse and afraid in maybe be in a relashionship where he will put up with abuse because he seen his mom stay in one. Just my thoughts for I’m 48 years old and have been through it all, i mean all abuse from past realashionships. please don’t take years of this abuse, please,for you can’t turn back time.Your in my prayers. Don’t wait. And remember this……It’s not you! :}

  124. Hello I’m Brandon and I’m 32 years old. I have been in a relationship with my wife for 10 years and married for 4. I have lately been trying to fix the mess of my marriage which keeps falling apart. In the past 10 years my wife has cheated on me 4 times. In June of 2011 my wife took a vacation to visit her mother and I was unable to go. After a few weeks of being there I notice changes in the way she talked to me. And her general demeaner. I asked if she was cheating and she denied it. She continued this for 2 months making excuses why she couldn’t come home. I found out everything through friends and family there. And then she confessed.she came back and we tried to once again repair our marriage. I have been hurt by her so many times I have serious trust and insecurity issues. I gave her my old cell phone when I received a new one. My old cell was key logged and the phone logs and texts would go straight to my email. In September she started a friendship with a lesbian women. After a few months they were constantly texting and video calling eachother. And they would hang out more and more often. I would try and talk to her about feeling like she never had time for me. That I did not trust her friend because I felt the women had feelings for her which she turned around and told me I needed to just trust her because I was being insecure. Finally Dec 15 I told her if she did not come clean I would go to the women’s house and call her out on. her behavior. She told me they flirted, kissed a few times and she had feelings for her but just wanted to be friends. I told her I could not live like that and she would need to decide her or I and she said she would not let her friend go. She told me I always tried to make her give up her friends. I’ve only ever made her choice between one other women who she had been sexual with behind my back. Then she blamed me saying I was the cause of the arguments and she was tired of fight and I told her I’ve been trying to talk to you and you fight and we can’t seem to talk about it. And she told me it was because I could not trust her and I had to spy on her. The entire thing caused me so much stress and I told her to keep her friend because I felt like it would be the only thing to get her to leave me. She was happy and I was miserable. Now the girl has been acting strange with her since my wife hasn’t been near as talkative with her. And it has changed her attitude to very sweet and loving towards me. But she has still tried to keep contact with her. I feel as though I will never be able to move on with the stress and drama caused by her and this women and I will just continue to be hurt by her . Help me please!

    • Hello Brandon
      Obviously you want this relationship to work and you have have your emotions wrapped up in your wife. Your wife though has some issues and unless she gets help (not likely since she blames you for her discomfort), nothing is going to change. Your wife will tell you she loves you when she needs you, but as soon as she finds someone else to fulfill her needs, she will treat you poorly. I doubt she wants to be that way, but that is the way she is. Your wife also does not want to take responsibility for her actions; she wants to follow her emotional whims. Her impulses feel good, but will wreak any relationship she is in. Her emotions control her, so she is weak in that way and loving her more will not change this.
      No one should have to put up with this type of behavior. I know you would say you love her, but letting someone push you around, beat you down and consistantly lie to you is not love, it is dependency. You have made her more important to you than you are to yourself.

      What should you do? First don’t listen to those emotions that weaken you or hold you to her. They are as much of a liar as she is. Stand up for yourself. If you can’t dpo this on your own, find a therapist who will help you find your own inner strength. You are still young and this very confused women is robbing you of your values and self esteem. Holding on to a cheat and liar is like holding on to nothing. Yes she has good qualities, we all do, but don’t fall for her sweet deceptions, for they will only be good until the next fling she finds
      Good luck

  125. I know there’s a lot of long comments here, and I actually didn’t plan on leaving one myself, but I feel like I have no one to talk to about this. My husband and I have been together ten years (married for only one), and have always had difficulties. My family and friends have never liked him, mostly because he has tended to be distant, rude, and dismissive with them. He comes from another country so I think cultural differences are partly to blame, but his family is mostly wonderful so I don’t think it’s really the reason why he does what he does.
    On one hand, we can be best friends and our physical intimacy has never really waned. But he has always had a terrible temper (screams at me, throws things, hits our pet, fights with strangers, etc.). I moved to his country to be with him (left my job, and I don’t speak the language here, and the culture and climate are very different), but somehow this has worsened things between us. His angry outbursts are happening more and more often. He now breaks a lot of objects around the house. He has shoved me roughly a couple of times, and then today he got so mad about something that he threw my purse at me and it hit my hand and leg very hard – I have marks. I was so shocked and hurt… I started to cry and curl into a ball in the corner of the room, shaking. He said right away that he didn’t mean to do it, and told me to stop creating drama. But I couldn’t stop crying, and I was so afraid, and this made him more and more angry. His face looked so insane, I was afraid to look at him and kept crying. Then he said, “That’s it, I’ve had enough of you! Pack your bags, you’re leaving! Do you understand? I don’t want you here! You are nothing but problematic in my life! Stop acting like a victim, you disgust me!” But I’m too ashamed to leave; I feel like my family and everyone around me will just say, “We told you so,” plus we’ve only been officially married for a year now… I take my marriage vow very seriously, and don’t want to break my promises. Plus, I came here to live one time before and the same thing happened (before we got married), and we broke up (very briefly), and I had to get on a plane and fly halfway around the world home, and try to rebuild my life. It was truly, truly hell. Shortly after I got back to my country, we started talking about how it was a mistake, and how we wanted to change things for the better. Things mostly did get better, and we decided to get married, but it’s been a steady slope downward again since I returned to his country.
    But if he’s saying he wants me to go again, do I have to go? Sometimes he says these terrible things and then later says, “You know I didn’t mean it, I love you so much – We are going to have a beautiful future together.” (Sometimes he doesn’t say that though – I know he means what he says a lot of the time.) I keep trying and trying to be a better person, to not be weak, to not make him angry, but somehow I still do. All the time, I just make him so angry. I forget things… I forget to be silent when he’s working in his office, or I say something that irritates him, or I leave a light on, or something… and I know I should remember those things; I just forget and then he freaks out. I’m so, so ashamed to be in this situation. I know it’s my fault for staying with him so long, and coming back here, and marrying him… I don’t know how I can possibly face anyone if I actually do get on a plane and go back to my country again. I don’t know how I can go through that again… I just can’t fathom it. I know this post was incredibly long, but like I said… I feel so alone and don’t know what to do. Thank you all for being willing to share your stories.

    • A vow is an agreement, a promise between two people that says both party play a role in the partnership. When you sign a contract, it requires both parties to fulfill their end of the obligation or the contract can be terminated.
      In order for your husband to be a husband, he has to act like one and not just part of the time. I assume you are religious and you know the saying, “God takes care of those who take care of themselves’, meaning you have to make choices supporting you

      Let’s be honest, your husband is abusive and it is getting worse. He is immature and can;t control his emotions. He inflicts emotional, mental and physical pain. Any shame you feel from possible family or friends should feel like a holiday compared to your current situation. I don’t think any of them want you to suffer. If any of them are critical or condensending (like their life is so perfect), do you want to condem your life to a career of suffering to avoid their opinions.
      I know it won’t be easy, but you have to fend for yourself. Marriage is a complete package. You can’t just remember the good times and pretend to ignore the abuse. I promise you, it will only continue to get worse. How bad does it have to get before you know it is time to leave? Does he have to punch you in the face?
      I know it is not easy, but you have to think for your own well being, Your husband can only support you when he feels good and it sounds that he is having issues with this and believe it or not, this has nothing to do with you.

      Best wishes
      Michael Arndt
      Designed Thinking

  126. Hello.
    I am a married woman of 33. I love my husband very much, however I am contemplating separation. I just don’t know where to begin.
    He has systematically throughout the last twelve years, pulled me apart from just about everything I love. When I met him, I had a job, was planning to start school and had a lot of life ahead of me. Now I have no job,no money, no transportation, and no way out. I did it to myself, this I know. I can’t punish myself with the past forever though.
    My husband has nothing nice to say about any of my friends, and he is so awful to me when they come around, that well, they just don’t come around anymore. Isolating me further. He talks about me like I’m not here to our friends and relatives we see. “Tracy’s the type of person who doesn’t like a clean home” or he’ll say “the house is filthy! Can’t you help out around here?” I may not be perfect at chores, but where’s the incentive? No matter how clean the house appears, he’ll always find something for which to reprimand me.
    Every conversation I try to have regarding my feelings whether it be an event, or something said, is met with belittle meant and invalidation. He discounts my emotions. He’s very good at turning things around on me. We very rarely (if ever) have conversations about how his behavior affects me, because when I try, I am confronted with “well YOU’RE the one who….”
    He is also very good at dragging out dead horses. Or the “list” as I like to call it. Events which happened years ago can be relived at any moment with him. Events that made his night or week or whatever completely miserable. He seems to have absolutely no accountability for his emotions. The tiniest thing will set him off. He could school me about not putting tools back where I found them when he can’t locate something (immediately placing blame on me). This chaos he causes escalates until he has found said object. I can objectively say that 99% of the time he has misplaced his tool himself…I’ve become quite skilled at taking note of these adventures. Never will he apologize for yelling, name calling or take back any blame. He is too proud I guess.
    It is very clear to just about everyone in his life that my husband has serious issues with denial. His berating me only causes people to view him as insecure. I have gotten caught up emotionally in this toxic marriage in the past and have done my best to take nothing personally. These are his problems, his words, his negativity. He owns it, and I’m refusing it. . It’s just so sad to me that in the twelve years I’ve tried to help him see himself and how the world see him, his myopia has won him over. His pride is too strong to let in any self truths. He is truly a spectacular human being, and he has shown me so many wonderful things,…it’s just this one thing. This wall, I can’t get through. I love him so much, but I have to save myself from this madness! I’m really exhausted from the name calling, the guilt and the imprisonment.
    I have rheumatoid arthritis and employment isn’t easy under these conditions.
    My name is on no accounts, he refuses, claiming that he’s afraid I’ll spend all the money. He had me quit claim the deed to our house saying that it was a “condition of the loan” maybe so, but six months after we bought this house, and my name has still not been reinstated. I told him “what would I do if something happened to you? I couldn’t access your accounts, I couldn’t even go to the hospital if there was an emergency because I don’t have transportation”. He tries to convince me that I could still access his accounts which I know is untrue. The Credit Union won’t even deposit a check into his account if it includes my name! And he thinks I could access his accounts if something happened where he was unable.
    These are all snipits of things my husband does. I have gotten tired of people telling me in private how badly he treats me in front of them, when no one is willing to say it to him. Do they not know that it’s obvious to me, living with him, how he treats me? Maybe it’s worse than what I am able to see. I too undoubtedly suffer from some myopia myself. How can one not be blinded by such madness, in order to keep ones own sanity.
    I guess my question is, where do I start? How do I start. I’m so accustomed to having him in my life, I’m terrified to start over. I love him and despite my explanation of bad behavior, he is also has equally as many good attributes, which I owe a mention; He’s charming, kind, extremely active, and creative, giving – almost to a fault. It’s these random acts of kindness, these moments I see him for who he is, without all that insecurity that has caused me to stay for so long.

    • Tracy
      You are in a tough situation, but one millions have faced before you.
      A relationship is never just about the good or bad sides of a person. When you are in a relationship, you get the whole package and nothing less. That should be your starting point, to asl yourself, “Overall is this relationship bad for me?” For you that answer sounds like a definitive “YES” . If that is the case, no more contemplating is needed, just what steps to take.
      First I would check with a lawyer in your area to see what you need to do to get your name on the paperwork for all items you have entitlement to.
      Check with your local social services and government agencies to see what services they can provide you
      Having a support group is also helpful.
      As in situations like yours, self esteem often gets battered down. Take an inventory of your skills and qualities. If you have dificulty with this, ask friends to help see sides of yourself that have been buried under years of a less than optimal relationship.
      This will take some effort on your part to get going, but the options for not getting started is that nothing with change

  127. Hi,
    As I was reading this, I was thinking of my husband..then came “The signs of emotional Abuse” and I realized all of them are present in our marriage.. It was hard for me to realize that, probably because he always tells me am “too emotional” .. He does whatever he wants,and I mean whatever.. He talks to girls online, he goes out with his friends to drink, smoke weed, comes home 4am, he watches all those nasty sex videos.. But then he never admits anything, he tells me am paranoid and he doesn’t want to fight with me.. He will even turn things around and make me look like am the one to blame.. I tried to ask him to stop hanging out with these men, they are bad influence for him, and he tells me he know what he’s doing and I shouldn’t treat him like a child.. Am I wrong? He has cheated on me with a call girl in Vegas..he accidntly sent me photos of him and her in jacuzzi.. That was 4 yrs ago, even now when I think about it, it hurts.. Ofcourse he denied they ever had any sexual relations that night, and promised me he will never do anything to hurt me again, he begged me to stay.. So I did, my mistake.. Since that time he’s betrayed me many times, and now that he knows he can sweet talk me into staying, he’s using it regularly..
    If he’s not in a good mood, if someone at work or outside made him upset, he will get it out on me.. Will tell me to leave him alone, am bothering him, he will hang up on me, cuss me out turn his phone off… And so I end up crying all day and night.. He doesn’t care if I cry, he will fall asleep or tell me I look disgusting..
    Many many things I can say, but I think the more I remember, the more am angry.. I am so hurt, hurt to the point where I don’t feel pain, it’s like part of me… I want to leave, but am scared to go on, am scared to think about it, I know I need to do it…it feels like, “what am I gonna do without him”? Maybe he’s right when he tells me all men are like this, nobody will treat me better.. Maybe that, or maybe I have really gone insane…

    • Jansel hi
      First, not all men are like your husband, but most people will find it difficult to be around someone who doesn’t respects themselves, who won’t stand up for themselves and value themselves. You may feel you are standing up to your husband by asking him not to do hurtful things or go out with the guys, but you are not willing to do anything about it and your husband knows you won’t put your money where your mouth is. You can call it fear of the unknown, but you don’t respect yourself enough to leave this unhealthy and hurtful environments and your husband knows it. If you don’t respect yourself, why should anyone else.
      You should be angry and that anger is asking for you to take some action. Action to do the right thing for you. This relationship is a no win scenario for you. Your husband won’t change because he doesn’t respect himself either. So he will continue to make empty promises and degrade the relationship until you hold him accountable to his actions or get out.
      Since you are having difficulty doing this on your own, find some help locally to help you make your choices. Look for a support group to move on with your life.
      By the way, sending you pictures from Vegas was not accidental
      You have it in you to take action and find a better life for yourself

  128. I need some advice. In the past my boyfriend would ignore me when I slept at his house and have of of is friends round smoking with them. He called me names that I have deleted from my mind but along the lines of pathetic fucking child. Insinuated that I was desperate, clingy, too much hardwork. I wasn’t work , he made no effort. At the time (this was my first relationship) I had fallen hard for him. He was my complete world I would have died for him. I did become desperate for I got no attention from him, I was nothing special. But he made me feel lucky to have him. Though once I suprised him with a visit. He gave me his keys and asked why the fuck did I come stupid bitch told me to wait in his house he was going to his friends. I waited till 3am. Walked to his friends, he’d been smoking and didn’t speak to me. He told me to sleep in the other room. I couldnt I stood outside his door and asked please lets forget it. I thought it would be a wasted night if I didnt get a cuddle. He dragged me out of the house. Put me in the street told me to walk home. I started, crying. He told me to come back, shouted me back. Then laughed and told me to fuck off once I walked back. He asked me to come back, this illustrates my desperate nature at the time, I said no your joking, he said he wasnt and did let me back in. This night he told me he’d been cheating on me constantlyy with 7 different girls. In the morninghe denied it. He would talk to me like I was shit infront of his friends.calling my family was the worst he could do.. I thought he was my angel, my god send, I loved him madly, how stupidly. I know. That this was abusive, I wish i’d realised then. He would lie a lot. So much lieing. Lieing to make him sound better. I didnt realise till now. He had no respect for me. I must have lost respect for me too, what was I without him afterall, a lonley girl with noone I could truelly be myself around but him. He became addicted to a drug behind my back and let me down by not showing up. Nights would go by where I wouldnt hear from him where i’d cry myself to sleep. One time that sticks out is him failing to meet me,me ringing and ringing, he finally answered , was out with his mates, agreed to meet me the next day. The next day comes I ring, he says no hes not meeting me, he was high and would so anything so I wouldnt bother him, his words. He said he would fuck a girl and ring me while he was doing it as a threat, he took that back. He has been much better recently. It is like I am the dominant one but in a nice way as I just nag about the mess and try and keep him on the right track. But he pushed me into a bush and then cried and got all upset. It was horrific. This was the first proper ‘violent’ inccodent. Next was worse. Dont even know what over but he told me to get out his house I wasnt ready or anything, asked to just have time to get ready, he picked me up and swung me round trying to get me out. When downstairs I saw a knife and silly worrier me thros it down off the table away as to keep it out of site. He pins me down and says wheres that knife im going vto murder you now in this room.wheres that knife. I grappel to get away and reach front door he jumps onto me from behind and slams it nearly jamming my fingers. Then crys and sorryas from everywhere begging not to go, needs me, I am everything. Now since then theres nothing I could complain about. He is completley lovely and is trying to chhange.he seems like a different person and I am the one getting annoyed with mess and effort, it is like I have a new standard but still writing this I dont know. I dont know if I can forgive for hese past things,the two violent incodents where this year, not 2months long. We have been together 3 years. What should I do? I really want to see a counciller but how silly would I feel. I probably dont need one. People go through worse everyday. But I am miserable. My thoughts are positive then drown back to negative, something has chnaged in me, I know I desreve to feel happy. Any , any, advice a all would help me so much.

    • You need help and your boyfriend (if we can call him that) needs help and you both need help separately. You are feeling miserable because you are in denial of seeing what is going on and at least part of you is not willing to put up with the crap this relationship offers. Before you get help, get out of the relationship.
      I know this sounds harsh, but stop lying to yourself that this is somehow normal or that others have gone through worse. Yes they have, only because they have stuck around in dysfunctional relationships longer than you have. While your boyfriend may be off drugs right now, the chances he will go back are high. He can’t control or effectively process his emotions and next time he gets stressed, he will jump back into drugs. Unless he gets help (his journey to make, not yours) you have seen about all he can offer you. At this point his coping skills to deal with life stresses are under developed and either is will be controlling, addicted or running. None of those will create a happy life for you.
      You need help to get your self esteem and self worth up, so you are more important to yourself than someone who treats you like a dirt bag. That you put up with all this for as long as you have, shows you do not value yourself in any supportive manner. This is your journey in life, to make yourself the best person you can be, to be able to support yourself and to love yourself enough to make good decisions for yourself. I am sure you are a wonderful person and it can be hard to see what we have to offer and believe in ourselves, but you can be certain not to find it if you have troubled souls wrapped around your heart. While part of you identifies with aspects of this guy, those same parts of you need to wake up and identify with where you can grow.

  129. Last week I ended a new relationship – we were still in the “dating” phase. There were small occurrences which would trigger me. He would often “break-up” with me or stop talking to me if he did not get his way.

    In the time we were together, I only had one orgasm. He paid very little attention to me in bed. I made excuses for him. I believed him to be a good man who – like all of us – was not perfect. I accepted this because I accepted him.

    He would say kind things to me – call me sweet nicknames. However, he would also want to “fix” me, say things to me “I know this may bother you but …..”, cancel plans often, and other minor occurrences.

    Last weekend, in the morning, we were feeling frisky. He asked me if I wanted to have sex. I replied, yes if you use a condom and warm me up first. We continued for a couple of minutes, then he went to put his penis in me without a condom and my body wasn’t ready yet. I pointed this out. He jumped up, told me to shut the fuck up, to do it myself, how was he suppose to know what to do, that I was demanding, stubborn, and then he got up and blatantly masturbated in the shower about 15ft from where I sat.

    Yes, compared to longer and more involved relationships this is a minor incident. However, I am very clear that his behaviour and words are completely unacceptable and mean. I handled it well because I understood at the time it was his “shit”. I have not spoken to him since and I have completely deleted him from my life. I know I deserve to be treated far greater than this.

    However and unfortunately, his words towards me during the time we were together have stuck in my head. I began believing his negative perception of me. Right now I feel very sad and very critical of myself – almost depressed. I feel like I am not living my life the “right” way, or, that a man does not want to be with me because I am “Demanding”.

    I really feel for individuals who are much more involved with someone. It must be challenging to leave when your self esteem is so beat up and brutalize. I really give all my love and wish you all the courage and strength you need in order to make a major move towards happiness and health. You are worth it! You are an amazing person who is lovable and loving. Make the choice to change your life.

  130. Compared to everyone else, my story may not be that bad; I’m only eighteen, and I’ve never been in a relationship with this person.
    I feel like I am (or was) on a track to end up in an emotionally abusive relationship. I met a guy not so long ago. He started out very sweet and talkative, and acted as though he had interest in me. I found out he has depression and a terrible past, and it made me want to be there for him. We hung out every other day, just talking and cuddling. Unfortunately, I started to develop feelings for him.

    Everything changed after a few months. The guy slowly started to ignore me. When I talked to him about it, he said I was imagining things. Soon though, he started to ignore me entirely. No eye contact, no conversations, nothing. During this time I panicked because I thought I lost him for good, and I missed his existance.

    He came back after a while as if nothing had happened. But nothing was the same. He became extremely controlling and demanding (he was a little before, but not as bad). He constantly called me names, told me no one loves me… After he said these mean things, he would always say “I’m just kidding” and give me a tight, comforting hug. He never looked me in the eye when he said this – just hug.
    He even forced me to change how I dress. For example, I have a jacket that I absolutely love. The guy did not like the jacket, so he told me: “If you wear that one more time, I’ll never ever talk to you again.” Of course, since losing him became my biggest fear, I obeyed him.
    Even though he talks to me when no one else is around, he treats me poorly or ignores me when we are around people. He flirts and communicates wirh other girls to make me jealous. Sadly this trick works every time.
    Sometimes I felt him touch me in inappropriate places on “accident”. I literally had to take his hand and move them away several times.

    I started having anxiety issues and developped self harming habits. The first scar on my arm was a little deeper than I intended. The scar wouldn’t go away, but I managed to keep it hidden. Soon, the guy found the scar, and instantly started to blame himself. I kept denying it, but he wouldn’t listen. Three days later when I saw him in class, I realized he was scratching at his arm a lot. I felt extremely scared. I forced him to show me his arm, and sure enough, there was a self harm scar. Same place as mine. I asked him why he did it, and he blamed me. I felt terrified. I wanted to make him better, not add another scar to his body. Now every time I look at the scar, I remember that he has a scar in the exact same place.

    Of course he has times when he is the sweetest guy on earth. I’ve been away from him for a while now, but even after all of this, I miss his existance. Seeing him talking to other girls kills me. This website made me realize how I need to get over him. I don’t know what to do, but I’ll try. Thank you so much.

    • One of the most beautiful things about being human is our our ability to feel so many emotions. Unfortunately it is also our weakness and our relationship to these emotions is one of the most misunderstood aspects of being human.

      You are in a relationship with this person. You may not be intimate or have labeled yourself boyfriend / girlfriend, but you are in a relationship, since you are desperately trying to relate to him. You have emotionally attached yourself to someone incapable of returning to you what you want to get from him. Your emotions are not letting go off him. You can’t relate to certain behaviors he has, but you are relating to his vulnerabilities, his soft side, his humor, etc. Unfortunately you overlook the negative consequences of his sensitive areas and how destructive they are, not only him, but to all relationships he has with others.

      Emotions are never right unless we have learned to trust them and right now your emotions are holding on to someone you know can hurt you. That means you cannot trust your emotions, they are not supporting you in making useful choices for you. I know they feel right, but feelings are interpretations some part of you is making and interpretations are never right, but they always have consequences. Letting go is not always easy, especially for those who charming traits, but you have to look at the whole package and you do the best you can.

      Good luck

  131. Background- I have been with my boyfriend for more than three years.  My boyfriend is 24 and I am 25 and we just started to work together and work in law enforcement.  Our relationship moved very quickly.  I moved in with my boyfriend only a month into our relationship (my mistake, it was too soon).  I am concerned that he might not be right for me and I am trying to decide whether to stay. I love my boyfriend, I share with him everything and he is my support and I thought I loved him very much.  He is always there when I need him, always picking up the phone and spending time with me.  We have our inside jokes and laugh a lot together.  He gets me what I need right away and he will even do the house work, driving and take care of me because he says he doesn’t want to bother me since I’m very busy.  My friends think he babies me alittle but think its cute and nice. I almost feel dependent on him because he takes over everything but I think it is a good thing that he is so good to me. When we have my friends or family over he makes sure they are taken care off too and plans everything.  He always says “what would you do without me and see I am good to you” and he is right.  I am busy all of the time because I am in a full time doctorate program and I work full time.  He says he takes care of everything because he wants things done a certain way and I might mess things up or not do it right.  In the beginning he was into me, the way he looked at me was like I was his everything.  He even stood up to his mom for me because she was cursing me out because she was jealous I was taking her sons time.  He is really respectful at work (doesn’t flirt) like most, he doesn’t talk much and has very few friends.  He has always shown how he is so scared to lose me and I make him whole and he needs me.  I think that made me want to stay even more but made me feel uncomfortable at times because I want him to be strong on his own too.  I don’t think someone should make someone else whole.  Maybe I am wrong and many people see it that way?  He says I am his only goal and so is family, he just works and is not that passionate to move up in his carrier (wish he was) he will for me though.  He says his main goal in life is for me to trust him because if he can do that he can do anything.  He says, since I am so hard to be in relationship with and complicated it is a real challenge but likes the challenge.  I don’t nag barely at all only tell him before he eats every once in awhile to remember to eat good.  He says he likes me because im not materialistic and very honest.

    My main concern:  Anger outbursts- The problem I have is my boyfriend gets very angry sometimes.  He used to break things but more in the beginning of our relationship.  He has broken many things such as a chair, a computer monitor, a fence outside, and left indents on doors from punching it.  When we get in fights he says he loses control. He says he would never lay a hand on me and never has hit me or came close.  I see how his anger escalates and it appears he does not know how to calm himself.  When I see this I tell him to stop, he doesn’t, I tell him he should walk away in the moment he is getting angry, he doesn’t listen.  He will get angry when I leave or when something does not go his way.  For instance, the computer screen not working he brakes it.  He has improved and hasn’t broken anything in along time.  Although, other behaviors appear and are getting worse. Ever so often he reference that he will kill himself when we get in fight.  For instance, when we get in fight because of something I got upset about (just to mention, I am a soft spoken person, I don’t use name calling or very rarely say things I regret in anger), he will go in the corner in the room and just barely move or talk.  I try to talk to him and ask what is wrong and to tell him just stop this and be normal so we can talk maturely about this but he doesn’t.  He will crawl on the floor like he has trouble moving for hours and just cry.  He gets so upset for what it seems for no reason.

    On my most recent vacation I was very embarrassed, he felt I was mad but not telling him why. He was holding a bunch of tennis rackets and he threw them on the ground in front of everyone and they weren’t even his.  He never apologized but blamed me. I let it go and continued with our relationship.  Once he went to the corner, sat down and put a gun to his head after we fight with it pointing the opposite direction for long periods of time.  He claimed after he was trying to put it away but was too weak to put it in his drawer.  Once he used a knife when we was mad and stab trees while he was walking.  When we got in a small fight he took a knife out implied he was going to hurt himself because “I don’t care about him”.  I cried and he told me he would never do anything like that again.  I told him to stop he threw the knife into a bush.  Later regretted and looked for it.  When we had a very small argument he would climb the edge of this wall that inclined and went really high.  This was in Tennessee and a forest was on the other side with black bears all around.  He wouldn’t come down I was crying for him stop and freaking out because he could fall.  I knew it was wrong what he it I talked to him after and all he said was he didn’t think I cared about him and that’s why he did that.  When I get angry I walk away and then come back when I feel better. He gets afraid I wont come back and holds me down, I scream for him to let go and cry and freak out.  He doesn’t let go.  I want to call the police at those moments, but wonder am I over reacting because of my bad childhood?  He has became sexual and starts to kiss me in areas when he is angry.  I don’t understand how he can be angry and be sexual I think it’s away to punish me.  he stops when I tell him to do a minute later.  He never sees anything really wrong with it.  He did this about three times he stops pretty quickly and never had forced sex.  After I would run to my car and lock the door.  My boyfriend has always resent me for walking away and says I need to be adult and talk to him because what would I do if I got mad at the children.  I told him I never would do that with children. I think it’s a healthy way to deal with anger.  I walk away to think and then I come back when I have gathered my thoughts.  It gets so overwhelming. My boyfriends makes fun of how I feel sometimes, he never says it but makes it seem I need to toughen up  (that is how his parents treat him).

     I was embarrassed because when I was with my friends on night on his birthday, he wouldn’t talk to anyone he just sat there when a mad and sad look.  I told him what’s wrong, he wouldn’t say a word, even when I talked to him.  I left early that day and I was so embarrassed.  He said if he drives on his motorcycle he might get in accident and kill himself.  He makes me feels safe sometimes because I know he will stand up to people and he’s not soft like me but at those moments I do not.

    The most recent incident-  This was almost a deal breaker.  We got in a fight because I saw he good searched “fuckbuddies”.  I told  him what is this, he said he didn’t know and changed the subject.  I asked him again an hour later he told me he was looking at porn and thought that fuckbuddies was a porn site. I told him if I find anything that seems like he knew it wasn’t a porn site then we are done, and I will find someone else.  He punched the car roof while driving and started to talk real loud, he said with what I perceive, hatred in his voice, Im going to blow my brains out and make you watch.  I am going to do it right next to you.  He told me bad things like I am a bitch. He got out of his car and went to the back (where his gun is).  He said my gun isn’t there “your lucky”. I told him to stop, I was so scared.  I was at work and he works with me.  We went inside, I told him please tell me you don’t mean it.  He said his mind was up, hours passed and I was freaking out, I kept calling him because he works in a different area then me.  He said “fine I wont kill myself in front of you I will wait for you to leave, no one cares about me anyway”  He was in tears when he said that.  I told him I do care, mind you, I NEVER said I didn’t care about him in this whole relationship.  Hours later, he continued to say he was going to kill himself, his mind is made up but wont do it when im around”.  I told him I might have to call someone, he said go ahead and try to stop me, you are not strong enough, you will just be embarrassed.  I called my mom when I was at work, telling her this she said call 911, my boyfriend and I work in law enforcement, he would lose his job if I baker acted him.  I called his parents, they ask me if he hit me, I told him no, Im just scared he going to hurt himself, I was scared for my safety too alittle.  His parents said please don’t call 911, we will get all the guns in the house and have a family meeting.  I was worried because of the knives.  His dad was there at the house when we arrived.  My boyfriend wasn’t driving right, he was swerving on the way home.  He started to reflect on his life and said that this is all a big joke, and that life is a big joke.   He said when he was 16yrs old he was never normal he always wanted a girlfriend, and always thought he would spend the rest of his life with his past girlfriends when he was young. All he wanted was love and never got it even from his mom. His dad was at the house and talked to him when he got there, I left to give him alone time with his dad. His dad said he knows when he (my boyfriend) says hes going to do something, he does it and my boyfriend smirked.  My boyfriend later says he didn’t know what his dad was talking about. I left the house and was scared to be in house with him when his dad left.  My boyfriend would call me tell me to come inside, I don’t him Im scared I don’t want to and to come outside and see a psychologist with me (I set a appointment).  He told me, “im not coming outside, you scared of me?? FINE” and hung up the phone on me, I texted him, please come out, he wouldn’t for awhile.   He eventually came outside and acted like nothing happened he acted affectionate with me. He claimed he wrote about his feelings and that helped and he feels better now.  What about how I feel?  Now I can’t get over what happened this is not the person I thought I was with. Am I overreacting? If he is great most of the time but has very bad moments is that a reason to leave? I know I am not perfect, I have trust issues.
    Now, he says it was wrong of him but he is tired of my jealousy and he says, “your not worth killing myself over”.  He says he doesn’t love me anymore because every time we have a fight I lose love in my eyes.  I feel he is right. He says this but then says he loves me and he will change.  He says he learned it is just not worth it and he wants me to give him another chance. I feel if I don’t I might regret it or go back to him but it comes at a price of getting more hurt or possible denial.  He said I need to let go of what happened and move on but I don’t feel like even kissing him anymore.  Its getting harder to have alone time and he is pulling me closer and i want to pull away.  He says his feelings have changed about me and said he sees things differently.  It seems he is hot and cold with me.  I have never seen him act so cold with me, he now tells me “there is the door, you can leave” but when I tell him I want to he tells me to please don’t.  Is he confused about his feelings about me? I feel he is flip flopping and I cant have a normal conversation about what happened he says im too sensitive and “I know you, you cant let shit go”.  I tell him im thinking of leaving and the reasons why (so he can fix it and understand where I am coming from).  I would feel mean if I just left without a warning or to try to make this work. He says its getting annoying already and if I want to leave just leave (he said it so cold).  I know if i did leave he probably would try to stop me. He then tells me hes going to change and I need to believe him because I should see the change (its only been a week since the incident).  Since then, we got in a small fight, I walked away he took a paper napkin and balled up and threw it my head real hard when he was angry.  It didn’t hurt, just a little. He claims it was a joke and stop being sensitive.  He says I am a “psycho, stupid and so fucked up and too emotional that I cant see past this” . I tell him Im trying but I cant feel the same way.  He says “You can but You won’t”.  He says if I leave, he knows I will be hurt and he doesn’t want to see me make a mistake.  He says he knows “Im great guy and know what Im worth, if I leave then obviously You didn’t care about me.”  I told him according to research he probably wont change but he said im so fucked up that I don’t believe in miracles.  He then, give me massages after and is working out everyday (I had/have a issue with his health/ weight).  He then tries to dance with me in the parking lot and takes me out to eat. He says he loves me and im his “princess”.  He tells me things but then denies he said it, my friend caught him do this he just smirked and said “ok I did say it”.  When I went to the psychologist for couples counseling, she acted like it was ok to threaten suicide and said she has done it to get attention because it’s a learned behavior.  He said that what he was probably doing, he then smirked.
    He has been making more sexist jokes lately, but he always has.  I use to not mind it because I saw it as a joke.  I don’t know if they are jokes anymore because it has increased, “he says, you do whatever I say” ,and he is going to splatter blood all of my blood over the wall, with a smile (when we weren’t fighting).  He is playful but slaps me so hard it leaves a mark for days on my butt (I think its playful but I don’t like it, I don’t think he knows his strength).  He knows I don’t like it but puts his hand at my throat because he knows I have a issue with that from childhood.  He does it to see if I flinch and if I don’t I trust him.  We joke around a lot and I tease him and I am playful, but I don’t do it when I am angry or fighting, he does.  I know I am as smart as anyone else and a logical person, but at this moment I am so confused about what to do.  I’m usually the one who helps people with problems.  He has said that he treats me too great and that is the problem.  He tells me all the time his dad knew I would be the death of him.

    Rude to other people: My boyfriend gets mad easily with people in customer service, once a lady said, “if you don’t like it, then go someone else” because he caught a attitude with her.  Even if he had a right to be upset, he had no right to call her a “stupid cunt”.  He said this and hung up the phone with her.  He gets mad for stupid reasons and gets very aggressive in his words to others.  He said he would never do that to me and they deserve it.  Someone at Wal-Mart told him he was penny short.  My boyfriend got mad and said well its just a penny, he got loud with the guy and wouldn’t stop arguing for awhile.  My boyfriend had the penny in the car and on top of that I was with friends on vacation.  These are just a few examples. He tricked my grandma out of money once, so she had to pay into our meals.  I didn’t know till after.  My boyfriend always says when the world goes to shit he is going to kill everyone that was rude to him (when its the end of the world). I don’t like that at all. Hes said he liked it back in the days when they didn’t have those laws.

    I could be over-reacting and I don’t want to lose a potentially good guy.  I am very jealous and sensitive and that’s my main flaws, i find it hard to trust people and that seems to set him off more. He seems to have only eyes for me, (most guys cheat but not him) but i always doubt it. Is this relationship more problems than it is worth? Are these normal problems?  I have been through really bad events in my life so I don’t know what is normal and not in a relationship.  Keep in mind, he is great the large majority of the time (maybe 90 percent of the time). He is not picky with what I do wrong and easy going besides those moments.  He is fun, loving and funny most of the time.  He doesn’t constantly put me down only when hes really mad.  Otherwise, he treats me great.  I like to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe the man I love is just having trouble handling his emotions.  Everyone sees him as a nice guy. My boyfriend witnessed his dad beat his mom and he threaten to kill them but his dad stopped abusing and is very much in my boyfriends life now. My boyfriend never dealt with the abuse.

    Does he just have a anger problem or is this abuse? Can I help him?

    • Kristin

      Have you really read your write up? This guy is a walking time bomb. He has serious issues. Sure he has some good qualities, but you are not just having a relationship with the good parts of him. His tone has already changed from the beginning of the relationship and it will continue to get worse.

      You don’t have a relationship, you have a codependent relationship, which is any relationship where one or both parties rely on the other person to create their happiness. These can be very dramatic, as no one is ever actually in charge of another persons feelings. Codependent relationships are chalked full of blame, hurt and resentment, which never adds up to a health relationship.

      Your boyfriend is overly sensitive and does not know how to deal with things different from how he wants them to be. He has to blame you since emotionally he has the maturity of a child. While we can feel sorry for those who are damaged goods, your boyfriend needs help. His self esteem is negative and I doubt he would pass the emotional standards of any major law enforcement agency.

      You say he hasn’t hit you, yet he leaves marks on you that last for days. You are making excuses not to leave. Trust me, it is only a matter of time before he will physically harm you in some serious way.

      You cannot help him. Before you leave, protect yourself and at least let your superiors know you have concerns over his emotional capabilities. When you leave, do it swiftly and get help, since his actions are unpredictable.

      You should be helping yourself. Once you get out of this relationship, get help to raise your self esteem (since you seem to ignore serious signs of abuse) and your jealousy issues. If you truly believe people should make themselves whole, work on bettering yourself

      • Kristen,
        Please get out as soon as you can, your BF is a misogynist (hates women), narcissist and an abuser. I have been in your shoes. My ex talked me into moving in with him after 3 months. He ‘was’ my knight in shining armor. Would cook for me bring me coffee in bed, go grocery shopping with me. After I moved in with him, I saw his angry outbursts and they scared me. He did many of the manipulative things your BF has done to you. After a year of the verbal and emotional ABUSE (and that is exactly what you are dealing with) it turned into physical abuse. I left with a broken right arm and bite mark on my left arm…while he screamed that he loved me.

        Please make a plan of escape carefully and under the radar. Your boyfriend will not just let you leave. You will need to make plans and not tell him or you will indeed encounter wrath that you have yet to see. Tuck away money, get your important papers (SS card, car registration, passport etc) together and hide them; make a ‘go-bag’ that you can use for in an emergency to leave when he’s not there. Then you will have to file a restraining order against him when you are safe.

        Please be careful. You are in my prayers. Thank you for reaching out and blessings to you…you deserve to be treated with respect.

    • Please get out of this relationship! He will never change. I felt like I was reading an excerpt from my life when I read this. I experienced the same angry outbursts followed by “I love you’s and tight hugs”…it just happens over and over…some of us women think that we can rescue these men from their past and make them as happy as we are. For me, it took the neighbors calling 911 from my screams when he held me down for me to finally leave and say “I can’t do this anymore”…

  132. Hi
    Reading each persons experience has given me the courage to post- thank you. I am certain that I am in an emotionally abusive relationship and feel so ashamed and stupid that I am in this situation.
    My husband is suffering with “low mood” and has been for the last 3 years. I am quite a laidback person and initially I believed him to be…He has a strained relationship with his mother as he finds her controlling and “evil”( his words).
    He expects to be the centre of everyone’s universe and gets annoyed when he isn’t. He has also worked in the mental Heath field for quite some time. When our daughter was born the birth as quite difficult and resulted in an emergency. Looking back it took me a while to recover from this fact and also adjusting to becoming a new mum foe the first time. I believe that when he seen my vulnerability at this time , this is when things intensified. You see although I am laid back I have always worked, had my own home from a young age and been very capable. He had never moved from home until we met and had been sacked from every job he had ( I didn’t know these facts until recently – I was told a different story). After our daughter was born he was accused on bullying at work . He was eventually found not guilty but he says that the impact of this has effected his life and he has lost all trust in people especially women. Since then it has been awful, he has called me horrendous names, ignores me on a regular basis, tells me to f off, makes sacrcastic comments, blames me for literally everything that is wrong in his life, tells me that maybe I am not well, I’m not a good mum, I make him unwell etc… All this desire the fact that he hasn’t worked for 2 years. I work full time and look after the family. He complains when there is no food shopping done. He does nothing in the house at all. Very recently we had an argument when I told him he was like an adolescent , he told me to f @@@ myself and that he doesnot want to be with me as I am evil, make him unwell and probably not well myself.
    I am lucky that I have a supportive group of friends and family who reassure me daily that he is not right and I am not them things he says. Just writing this summary is exhausting ! Forgot to mention we went to marriage counselling – the first session he said I could go by myself as it might help me, the 2nd he didn’t speak and the third when his behaviour was challenged he told me I was wrong and tried to argue with the counsellor and refused to go back as he said she was unprofessional.
    I think he is going to leave me soon but I think I should be stronger and make the decision rather then him?

    • Looby
      Thank you for finding the courage to share your story.
      It sounds as if your husband needs some help and at the same time is in denial. Not a great combination for improving oneself.
      Since your husband has nothing, no income, no place to call home, no support, don’t be so sure he will be leaving in a hurry. His mom may take him back, but he doesn’t really want to go there. So while he may complain, it doesn’t sound like he really has a lot of choices if he leaves, so he may drag this our for as long as he can.
      Since you are the only person acting like an adult in your house hold, you have to make choices, ones that support you and your daughter. All support starts with self support, meaning you have to put your best interests first and foremost when aspects of your life and well being are compromised. No one can feel good in this type of environment..
      Before you do anything, you may want to talk to a lawyer as to your rights in respect to local laws. Since you have been supporting him, there may be some procedures you need to follow to start the process.
      Your well being is on the line here and I wouldn’t delay this process any. After you get him out, you may want to work with a therapist if needed. Best of luck

  133. I don’t know if what I’m going through is an emotional abuse or whether I’m the abuser myself.
    But there are signs on the list that really match with what I’m experiencing.I’m currently in a relationship with a guy for 23 months. I’m 26 years old now. Recently, he talked about us getting engaged. And parents from both sides have agreed. So we are about less than 2 months away from the engagement. However , I’m not as happy as people might think I am.
    There’s a lilttle history about us. We were once in a 6 years relationship but he cheated on me. We broke up. I went through a terrible time as a result. I went into depression but eventually healed. I stayed single for 3 years. I did befriend guys who were interested in me during which but I wasn’t ready to trust anyone or love anymore. During the 3years,there would be times where he would try to find me via text messages with friendly messages. I figured he’s just trying to clear the air between us. But we have both moved on with our own lives.
    So last year, after much attempts and the sincere apologies from him , I finally accepted him back into my life. I had much reservation initially but I figured that since its been 3 years since the breakup , I should just welcome him back. Especially since I do love him still. I noticed the changes in him and all. No doubt I was happy. However , of late after the announcement of him wanting us to get engaged, I can’t help but notice an apparent not so positive signs. He is working on a 24hour standby and I totally understand that. (We are not staying together.both of us are still staying with our family)
    Already he spent very little time with me ,his calls lessen. His text messages reduced to a one line texts. And when he makes promises, very seldom would he keep it. His words and actions don’t tally. I ever asked him and he said he was just tired. These triggered those bad memories I’ve had with him in the past. But I tried to stay positive and went on to just go on as it is. I hadnt complain much about how he hasn’t given me much attention. And I think it worsen. He wouldn’t even put in much effort to make me feel loved or needed. I wasn’t given time to have a nice chat with him on the phone. Very often , it ended up with him rushing to hang up cos he need to sleep to go to work. I never complained . Outings grew lesser. And I ended up being the one who initiate the outings. There were a few occasions where i had Nicely requested his companion to go buy food with me but he refused to and insisted that he would just wait at the carpark. and if i insisted, he’d make remarks like,” cant you just go by yourself?” . of course i can but sometimes i just needed his company. being independent doesnt equate to accepting bad treatments readily . also , whenever we are out, he always makes remarks like he hates the place and all. he did thank me at the end but it hurt my feelings cos i know i tried to keep the fun in it.No matter how nice or pretty I look or dress, he never bother giving a compliment much less a smile. He volunteerarily vowed to quit smoking but didnt keep his promise.And when he has a free time, he’d rather spend it with his friends for some fishing trips. I felt suppressed and denied of any emotional connection or a proper communication with him. Just few days ago, I’ve decided to just give him the silent or cold treatment. I haven’t been talking to him like how I would . Cos I’m getting sick of being “pushed away” or denied of getting proper 2way communication. I thought he would start questioning me why but he only assumed that I must be unwell hence needed to rest.how can he expect full understanding from me but he never understand me ? How can he even think of the engagement if he can’t seem to show more empathy or to want to learn to communicate better with me?
    How can he be so dumb not to know I’m upset with his attitude. I

    I really don’t know how else to handle this. Advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • I can’t really tell from your write up that your boyfriend is abusing you. He seems neglectful and maybe more interested in other things in life, but I don’t see definitive signs of abuse.

      There are however troubling signs in the relationship, for both of you and you may want to really consider where you want to go with this. I can’t really address his work situation and how tired he is because there is not enough data. However, one of the things dictating the quality of a person is how they hold their word. If you say it, you have made promise. If he makes promises, I would question him and ask “Are you just saying that or are you good to your word?” If he says yes, then tell him you are counting on him fulfilling his promise. If you don’t get a solid yes from him, you have nothing from him.

      Relationships are about relating and that isn’t going on right now. The primary form of how we relate to each other is communication and that is lacking between the two of you. You should sit down with him and have a serious talk about his intention in this relationship and what he wants. Don’t give him the cold shoulder and expect he will come running. You want a serious relationship, treat it seriously and speak what is on your mind. You are not happy about his priorities. If he is not willing to talk about this now, how do you think it will be when you are living together.

      Whatever the outcome of this relationship, you may want to take some communication courses to improve your ability to express what you feel. If you feel uncomfortable in expressing yourself, you may want to work with a therapist to help you work through your fears

      Best of luck

  134. I have been in a relationship for the past 3 years with a man and am unsure if he has been emotionally abusive. when we first met he was perfect and treated me wonderfully and like a princess. he was understanding and chivalrous and i was really happy. as time went on, he took a job abroad and became very stressed and i became emotional from missing him. he started getting very angry when we spoke and would have outbursts where he swore at me, called me names and shouted before hanging up the phone. initially, he was always extremely apologetic and would tell me he knew he had a problem and loved me, so i didn’t think much of it, attributing his anger to the stress of his job. sometimes he would tell me he ‘needed to take a break’ from us because i was getting too much for him…in these times i was out of my mind, begging him not to do it because of how stressed it made me (my first boyfriend cheated and it has left me with insecurities) but he would jsut ignore me for several days, with me not knowing if we were breaking up or not..then he would come back with flowers and apologies and treat me so well, almost making me wish these ‘breaks’ would happen more often because the rewards were worth the few days of uncertainty, insecurity and pain. as time went on he stopped apologising for his anger and would limit the amount of time we spent on the phone and prevent me from talking about certain things when he didn’t feel like it. he shouted more and more and called me awful names and swore at me a lot and didn’t apologise, instead telling me i had ‘pushed his buttons’ by calling him on the phone and pressuring him to speak to me. he stopped coming to visit me and my friends and family, instead making me always visit him. he ‘forgot’ his promises to help with travel expenses so i was always reduced to asking him again and again for money. when i cried and told him how i felt he would say i wasn’t ‘earning his affections’ and was trying to manipulate him by crying. if i ever asked him for anything..more time for example or for him to give something up so we could see each other, he said i was trying to control him and was too needy and dependent and needed to get my own life…even though we were long distance so i clearly had my own things going on. i had to take medication for anxiety and felt exceptionally depressed, constantly questioning my own behaviour and feeling like if i was just better then he would love me more and give me affection. he always told me he loved me, i was his priority and he cared about me but his actions just did not match this at all, which made me feel like i was going crazy. i felt between a rock and a hard place..miserable in my relationship but terrified of losing him and being alone. i felt so needy of him and became overly emotional with him and ended up bickering with him about everything because he didn’t give me anything to hold on to.
    he eventually left me saying he couldn’t try anymore, we weren’t good for each other and he didn’t like the person our relationship had made him become. i can’t help but blame myself. everyone else loves him and thinks he is great (except my own family) and i can’t help but feel that if i had just done more, been more understanding or sorted out my own insecurity issues then i could have made the relationship work. i can’t tell if he was abusive or just reacting to my own needy and emotional behaviour. i keep feeling like i was the emotional abuser because i got to a point where i was always arguing with him and he would often tell me he thought i must enjoy arguing…but it was only because i was so unhappy. sorry this is so long i am just confused and trying to make sense of things.

    • Tasha
      Regardless of whether or not your boyfriend was abusive, he did have problems. In a mature relationship people talk things out (or at least attempt to). They don’t get angry, go into isolation for a few days and then come back with flowers. He has some personal issues and is emotionally unstable. That should have been the sign for you to leave. That he didn’t keep his promises to you was a sign he was not trust worthy – you should have left, especially when these things keep repeating themselves, No one is perfect, but you have to pay attention to the patterns people present to you, especially in a relationship.
      Now the real issue is that your emotions so clouded your judgment that you did not have the clarity to so what was going on. Even now, you are beating yourself up and blaming yourself. Relationships are a 2 party interaction. While some people make it difficult for themselves to be in a relationship, it is still a 2 person affair, not one.
      Tasha I suggest you work with some one to help you 1) work through the trust issues you have with the boyfriend that cheated on you, 2) build up your own self esteem and value 3) learn to let relationships build into something productive (very difficult to do in long distance relationships) instead of quickly attaching yourself to them and 4) become more effective at processing your emotions.
      Remember, the charm and initial attraction to any person is only a small aspect of their overall make up. Relationships must develop.
      Right now you don’t trust yourself. Your current focus is demeaning to you and you are not giving yourself a chance to heal. We all have room to grow, we can all change and while I know this situation has thrown your world upside down, there is light at the end of the tunnel and you will get there quicker by finding some qualified help

  135. As hard as it is for me to say, even in an on line forum, I am the victim of abuse. A middle-aged professional guy. And I can attest that emotional abuse will continually escalate in one’s attempt to rule over the other. Whimpy, small, demure acting I am not. But somehow the abuse started. Somehow it continued. Somehow it escalated. We didn’t even live together. But the emotional comments were still designed to isolate, demean, and control. All of the warning signs were there. The jokes concerning violence became threats to my life. Country drives when he was under the wheel became sharp jerks of the car toward the water’s edge…my greatest fear is driving into water- and I had shared that at one point. One day in an unexplained rage, he unexpectedly placed his hands on me in anger by shoving me abruptly from behind. The hands that had gently caressed my face, cowardly struck me from behind- not once, but twice. It was then that i fully understood the threat of physical harm was a reality. I was able to end the relationship a few months ago. I am working on rebuilding what was damaged over the years we were involved. My doors remain double locked, and I have refused to see him since the breakup. I look over my shoulder when I am out and about- but I am free. Yes, I am free. My heart and spirit are wounded, but they will heal. It’s just that sometimes I can’t place one foot in front of the other. There is a silent shame that I carry because I let this happen. Yes, a silent shame. The question I keep running through my head is, ” How did I let this happen to me? How?”

    • Relationships are never easy. We are melding different personalities, belief systems, emotional sensitivities, attachments and upbringings together to become and build something more than we are on our own. The integration of these differences can create a journey of possibilities that runs the gamut of everything that makes people wonderful and everything that has us questioning the value of mankind.
      You ask “How did I let this happen to me?” Well you got involved and it showed you where you are vulnerable and where and when your strengths are willing to come and support you. While painful, if you learn from the experience, if you choose to begin changing your outlook in a way you can empower yourself, then the journey held some value for you. If you only learn to beat yourself up, to see the negativity of others, to build up mistrust or to feel bad, you will probably want to seek some help, especially of this lingers for a long time

  136. I have been married for 14 years. My husband is an extreamly successful man and grew up in a family he deems perfect. I on the other hand had an abusive childhood from 2 to 5 at which time I was placed in foster care. My husband has been diagnosed as a sex addict. I can point to almost every single behavior on this list and honestly say this is how I’ve been treated. For years I tried to get him to acknowledge his addiction, I even had an intervention. The blame for his behavior always fell back to my childhood (I was the one who was screwed up). Living with the lies and manipulation for 14 years had me beleiving I was crazy. I started having panic attacks and went to see a therapist. I was diagnosed as having PTSD. My husbands reaction to this was to go out and have an affair with a stripper half his age, and then of course blame me for the affair. We have been in individual and couples counceling for over a year now. I did file for divorce, but have put it on hold. I know noone can tell me what I should do, but I have so many questions that I just can’t answer. Was all this abuse intentional or was it the result of his addiction. Everyone else seems to love my spouse and thinks he is a great guy. Is it me who is really the problem? After reflecting on our marriage I see all the things he did that were covertly abusive but appeared as caring. For example: he used to tell me to go out and meet other moms, but he would never be willing to watch the kids, it was always my job to find child care. My role in life became to support his career and take care of our children, home and all of his “things”.
    Just last weekend we were out with friends to dinner. My friend said, “hey why don’t you ride with me to the next location.” I did and when we got there we sat in the car for a while and talked. My husband came storming out and said, “I’m not sitting around waiting for you, I’m leaving!” Of course I jumped at his cue, just as he intended. I am starting to see all of his control tatics for what they are. I have changed alot over this past year and see how the last 14 years beat me down to a shell of a woman. His abuse is covert, masked in a guise of “I care about you”. Is this intentional or is it a symptom of his own problems? I don’t deny I have my own issues. I feel like most things I read talk about understanding your spouse and being empathetic. The problem is, I don’t understand him at all.
    My first instinct when I found out about the affair was to cut my losses and divorce. It seems like the universal message is about how working out your problems and not running will make you a stronger person. His affair was the straw that broke the camels back. It took something out of my soul. I am so untrusting and have started exhibiting some of my own controlling behaviors on the above list. This has turned me into a person I never wanted to be, but I can’t stand knowing I have no control over this person who has repeated lied and manipulated me. I feel like I’m being told, “hey, if you want to make your marriage work you just have to continue to be a doormat and hope that he chooses not to wipe his feet all over you.” How does one do that?
    Our therapist says look for tangible changes. The thing is, my spouse has been a master of making things appear different than they really are. How do you know the changes are real? It sucks not to be able to trust your own intuition. I just don’t know what to do here. It seems that there are so many different opinions as to what one should do in this type of situation. It is all so confusing.

    • There are many dynamics playing out here, so there is no way they can all be addressed
      First, any relationship is a two way street. Both parties have to want to make it work. You can’t truly care for someone and constantly put them down. Those are conflicting principles many are trapped in. Regardless of how screwed up you believe your past to have been, it in no way makes it OK for someone else to treat you poorly. Your husband is emotional immature and he reacts in blaming you because he can’t handle his own emotions when things don’t go his way. He just wants things to be right, but that only means he wants it his way
      You want to understand things, but understand this, all the understanding in the world is not going to change your situation, change your husband or make him stop blaming you. He is who is his.
      Is he doing this intentionally? Probably not; most people don’t. But they don’t know how to be different, so their behaviors can seem intentional. His sex addictions are symptoms of other issues he is dealing with
      Can he change? Sure, if he really wants to and really puts in the effort and finds the right therapist to work with. While you may love him, his changing is not your problem or concern. You need to focus on yourself and stop accepting the dysfunctional behaviors and ideas of someone who can’t cope with certain stresses.
      While your husband puts on a good mask for others, that too in not your concern, because you know you can’t coexist with this person. It is dysfunctional thinking to believe a marriage or any relationship has to work. Your husband is committed to his own needs first, meaning his relationship to you comes second. You have little to do with his sexual addiction and abuse, but if you stay in this relationship, you are condoning the abuse because you aren’t doing anything about it and you will never be able to feel good about yourself. That is the choice you get to make for yourself, what actions am I willing to take
      Once you are out of the relationship, find someone to work with who can really help you find more supportive beliefs for yourself, so you can let your emotions clear and move on with your life. I know these are hard choices to make, but the alternative of staying will do nothing but bring you down.
      I hope this is helpful

  137. After reading this I have confirmed that I what i have been feeling in my relationship is true….he is emotionally abusive. I knew this, but never had it put in my face crystal clear until now. I have been in a relationship over a year. I hurt him by cheating in the beginning and ever since then he has done almost everything on this list. He himself retaliated with many different means to hurt me, except physically hurting me. When I read that list I thought I was reading his biography. For over year I have been doing everything to try to prove I’m worthy of his love and that the cheating was a mistake (which it was and happened a month into us dating). I felt like the relationship was failure b/c I ruined it from the start. I felt his verbal abuse was a result of my actions and I deserved it. But I did all that one should do when in the wrong and none of it ever made a difference and now I know it never will. I have to let go. I walked away recently, but my emotions are actually wanting me to ask for him back. I know I shouldn’t and that nothing will change, but for some reason I have a hope it will. I will do my best to continue to cut him off, but I am emotionally weak right now. How do I ensure I don’t go back and waste any more of my life on him?

    • Thank you for sharing your situation and I am glad this site helped you come to some realizations. Relationships don’t change until one or more people in the relationship begin to change. We can’t expect your ex to change and whether it is fair or not, the act of changing falls on you. Your question and concern is how do you change your relationship to yourself, to your needs and desires so they support you as an individual.

      Currently you know you’ve been holding on too tightly to the relationship you’ve had with him. There is a need that has you wanting him in your life more so than wanting to be independent. This is not a conscious decision, it is an emotional one and the part of you holding on is holding on to what you fear you will be losing in yourself if you let go.

      The million dollar question is how does your unconscious create this need. It is not a chemical imbalance, it is not because you are weak, it is not because you are undeserving. But your relationship to yourself will need to become more self supportive.

      The immediate emphasis needs to focus you first deciding he is really not good for you and while he may have positive qualities when he is in a good mood or when his life is working for him, he can’t support himself in stress, thus he must constantly create stress for you. Making a decision like this can be difficult, because relationships are seldom cut and dry. So while this may bring up conflicts, you have to make a choice and no one else can make this for you.

      If you need help to sort all this out, find a counselor in your area to work with or give us a call at 866-718-9995
      Once you sort this out, then you want to work on changing yourself and here a counselor will definitely be to your advantage. Look for someone who can help you uncover the deeper emotional connection you want to change/ that need to be released and strengthened so you can find other ways of processing relationships.
      Hope this helps

  138. My situation was alot more complex. I had a step father growing up. Im in college and currently still living with him and the rest of my family. I’ve been holding this grudge against him because of the uncertain feeling about whether i’ve had a Real father daughter reationship growing up or not. Although, he was supportive financially, there are numerous events i remember as a child that din’t add up. Me and my brther were givin harsh whoopins by him sometimes for deserving reasons, but for the Most part, unexplainable ones. For example: I had one for flipping the channel without permission (not an initiated rule, no warning) My brother had harsh whoppins from age 4-11 for just about any reason. My dad didn’t know how to communicate well so anything he misinterpreted or didn’t understand got us cursed/yelled at. Our intelligence was sometimes belittled(not directly but through insinuating questions). The reason why i have been so uncertain is because im not sure whether all this was intentional or not. I’ve tried to talk to my mother about it but that never turned out well. For some reason i feel like i can never approach him about it. He was addressed one time about an incident but it was quickly denied as a misunderstanding. I’ve had 1 recent incident with him when he yelled at me for not standing outside when being picked up & when i obeyed the next week i was yelled at again for not been seen outside as soon as he pulled up.

  139. I am hurt, sad, and frustrated by the actions of my coworker who I believe after doing some reflecting on the past year is passive aggressive. He started pursuing a friendship with me over a year ago. At that time, red flags went up in my mind but I pushed them aside. Over the last year, I feel like I’ve been on a rollercoaster but did not know why I felt like that way. He’d say nice things one minute and then undercut the next. He talked about how rough his life has been and how he believed his wife cheated on him. Somehow even after the initial red flags, I let myself fall for him and get too attached to his friendship. We talked all the time. I even let him say inappropriate things and would just laugh it off. I’m wondering if he really ever cared or if it was all a game to him. I’m married myself and yet he still didn’t let that stop him. In fact, he’d say how he could tell how unhappy I was in my marriage. Needless to say, his wife did not know we were “good friends”. She intercepted a text I sent him saying I missed him. He know blamed me for everything. He says I’ve ruined his marriage when all along he’s told me how much he wanted out of his marriage. I feel like a fool for letting myself get used and fall for him. I was happy in my marriage until he “convinenced” me otherwise. He now won’t talk to me or really even look at me at work. Why am I the one left feeling guilty and feel like I’m to blame. Trying to work through my feelings, but I keep looking back and get upset. I’m hoping by rereading this article, it will help.

    • Elaine
      When we become emotionally attached to someone, our perceptions tend to become distorted. It is why it so important to pay attention to those red flags and explore them and if uncertainty exists, keep your distance. Of course that is sometimes easier said than done. Your friend seems conflicted. He feels his wife has cheated on him, yet he blames you for the destruction of his marriage. Conflicted people say conflicting messages, so anything he has told you is probably a half truth
      Vulnerability can be a strong aphrodisiac. For those who want to comfort or help others, it is an open door to get close to others.
      As you work through your emotions, don’t focus on the interactions the two you had, focus on your participation in it, since it is the only part you have a say in. If the hurt persists, find someone to work with who can help you work through your thoughts and emotions and get you back to a productive mindset

  140. Thank you for your website. I too am divorcing my abusive husband. It is very difficult because no one sees the person you are dealing with. My husband is very successful, wealthy VP in a large company in Atlanta. He is very charming and looks non-threatening but he actually has gotten more controlling and financially abusive as our divorce has dragged on for 3 years. I have no family here and my extended family of the past 15 years know nothing of the abuse, just his view of what is going on. (My daughter still has contact with her grown half siblings but it is only through my to be ex-husband), I have tried to reach out to them but as expected they don’t want to be involved-no response, or want to believe their father. Which I guess is normal, since no child (grown adult or otherwise) want to believe their father can be such a monster. Not one word from any of them. The court system ordered him from the home but outside of that, with his financial means (he controlled everything), he can continue to drag this out forever. Even though, he is not under the same roof, the control he has over my ability to move forward is immense. I believe he is a sex addict and his secret life will be fully revealed. My concern is for my 13 yr old daughter who may become the victim of his emotional abuse because I am no longer as accessible. Transference. Even though we have a Guardian ad Litem, the courts really don’t see the potential harm. The courts are overwhelmed by cases of sexual abuse, drugs, etc that our cases really don’t get any empathy. I tried to get a restraining order on my husband but they said unless you have a black eye or broken limb the judge will just laugh at it and throw it out. Anyway, thanks for your blog, it helps to be reminded that you aren’t crazy and that there may be a future for you after all this. Thanks for your blog.

  141. I recently left my son’s father. We’d lived together for about 3 years. I left him strong and confident, and within 2 months he had completely shifted and manipulated me into a pathetic and depressed mess. I begged for him back, I cried for days, didn’t eat for days, and didn’t sleep more than a few hours each night. He is with another woman, calling me to talk then saying he’s gotta go because he’s on his way to see her- and I still wanted him back! I was almost stupid enough to take my child back to this abuser… sad.
    I have just barely come to my senses this past day and realized that NO I don’t want him back. NO it was not my fault that our relationship failed. NO it is not me who made him drink. NO I did not change and ruin our relationship, our relationship changed and ruined me. I was abused. And he is not sorry.
    Even now part of me is still trying to sympathize with him because he was abused as a child and that’s why he is the way that he is. But ya know what- I CAN’T FIX HIM. IT’S NOT MY FAULT. What happened to him was terrible, but it gives him no right to make me feel lower than dirt. While I was with him I completely changed. I had been happy, generous, care-free, and I loved life. With him I was ugly, depressed, selfish, miserable, and had no fun in life. I went from being very beautiful and taking care of myself and wearing cute clothes- to gaining nearly 100 pounds, never wearing makeup or doing my hair, and wore sweat pants and tee shirts every day. He broke me. And now I’m fixing myself and WILL NEVER LET ANOTHER MAN HURT ME OR MY BABY.
    Now I have to worry about a custody battle possibly taking place. I pray that he doesn’t try to file for custody just to hurt me. He drained me and left me poor, I can’t afford an attorney. My 9 month old son and I are living with family members. I was emotionally abused and he never “beat” me to where I have pictures or proof of his crimes for court. He has lots of emotional messages that I was stupid enough to send him that make me look like a crazy and unstable madwoman when I’m not. I pray that he will NEVER get his hands on MY child.
    Ladies if you’re reading this and are in a similar situation- GET OUT. Plan ahead, document everything he does, and GET HELP. And do not listen to anything that he says- HE IS LYING TO YOU! GET HELP.