How to Stop Emotional Abuse

Emotional Abuse Tips

Emotional abuse is the most difficult kind abuse to recognize, both for the abused person and that person’s friends and family. Often, this behavior is one-on-one behind closed doors. So friends are not there to see it happen. But it is often difficult for the person being abused to recognize the abuse.

This is because emotional abuse is a form of brainwashing. It tends to reinforce negative emotions and self-perceptions that may have already existed within us. When our own irrational thoughts are reinforced, it turns the world on its ear. Up is down and right is wrong, so that we come to believe what our loved one is confronting us with every day.

“Loved one” is a dicey term, of course. What makes emotional abuse so insidious is that it comes from the person we invest the bulk of our emotional energy into. We love this person, but he seems to find us lacking in every way possible. If you naturally have self-esteem issues, then the natural reaction is to fight to be “worthy” of your partner’s love.

This is exactly what the abuser wants. The emotionally abusive partner wants control over the relationship. This person tends to be narcissistic and controlling. Once again, “narcissistic” is an important word. This means the person is thinking more about his or her needs than your needs, or the needs of the relationship. The abusive person is disinterested in whatever needs you bring to the relationship, and wants to control your life in order to fulfill his or her needs alone.

E-book: Recovering from Emotional Abuse

Spotting Emotional Abuse

Recognizing abuse is a huge part of stopping abuse. When you are able to tell yourself, “He’s wrong” or “This isn’t right” you are half the way to saying “Stop this behavior”. So a good part of this article is going to be about spotting abuse. Afterwards, I will discuss about ending the abuse itself.

Types of Emotional Abuse

1. Verbal Threats

If your loved one is prone to threats, this is a form of emotional abuse. Your partner might threaten you with leaving the relationship, leaving the house or staying gone all night. This is a bluff meant to keep you in constant dread of what personal disaster might happen next.

Note that threats tend to get worse over time. Verbal threats might eventually turn into physical threats, as your abuser gets a better feel of what you will accept. This won’t get better of its own accord.

2. Fits of Anger

The abuser is prone to fits of anger. This is a means of cowering one’s partner, to make the person feel they have committed some grave error or lapse of judgment. Once again, this is an attempt to control the other person.

You have to realize that this is actually childish behavior, no matter how threatening it is. Your partner is throwing a tantrum, the way a child might. You also need to understand there is never justification for this, that nothing you may have done justifies your partner’s anger.

3. Constant Criticism

If your partner finds fault with everything you do, this is a form of emotional abuse. An abuser wants to ruin a person’s self-image. By constantly criticizing a loved one’s characteristics and actions, one can begin to restrict and control their actions out of a desire to avoid displeasing this person.

Criticism might center on the clothes you wear, the food you cook, the television shows you watch, the friends you keep, the opinions or beliefs you hold, the job you work, the hobbies you enjoy, or almost any other thing which defines you.

Soon enough, you’ll begin to believe this nonsense.

It would be irrational for your loved one to stay in the relationship, if he or she really believed all of this. It’s an attempt to make you believe he or she is doing you a favor just staying around. Once again, this is an attempt to control every aspect of your life.

4. Making You the Butt of the Joke

This goes hand in hand with the above. This is an attempt to trivialize your life. He wants to diminish what it is you do, making you nothing more than an object of derision.

When confronted about this, the standard reaction of the abuser is that you are too sensitive and can’t take a joke. Once again, this is an attempt to control your behavior, so you feel guilty even taking up for yourself.

See that there’s a pattern forming. The pattern is that you are not worthy of love and should therefore be happy with whatever he says or does.

5. Name Calling

This one is simple. If your love one has a habit of calling you names, you are being emotionally abused. This is a direct attempt to undermine your self-esteem. There’s no justification for this.

Once again, name calling is childish. If your child called you a name, you wouldn’t stand for it. There is no reason to stand for it when your partner does it.

6. Whatever You Say Is Wrong

If your loved one counters everything you say, this is an attempt to blunt your every initiative. I’ve heard of men who ask where a woman wants to eat, then refuses to go eat there because it’s a bad idea. This might happen, even if this is normally the man’s favorite restaurant.

Countering is a common form of emotional abuse. This might be something more than simply eating habits, but can include any idea, emotion or opinion you have. If your partner seems to disagree with any opinion you hold, this is a form of emotional abuse.

This is a systematic attempt to wear down your sense of self-worth. No opinion you hold is correct, so how can you be qualified to make any decision in our relationship?

7. Stop Consulting You on Decisions

This last behavior will eventually lead to life decisions being made without your consent. Emotional abuse is meant to gain control of a relationship, so the end result will be to take all decision making out of your hands.

If your loved one does this once or twice and you let them get away with it, then it opens the gate for more of this behavior. An abuser is like a child testing the bounds of the relationship. This person is a bully. If you let a bully get away with it, the bully is encouraged to do it again.

8. The Silent Treatment

If your partner stops talking to you as a punishment for something you supposedly did, this is a form of emotional abuse.

Once again, this is a way to modify your behavior. This is the flip side of the verbal threat; it is the non-verbal threat. It is meant to imply the same idea. It is telling you to stop doing whatever it is you’re doing, or else I will withdraw from the relationship altogether.

9. Discounting and Denial

Does your loved one discount or deny any of the actions above?

This, too, is a part of the emotional abuse. Your partner is prone to lie, so why should he or she fess up to their actions?

When you begin to recognize emotional abuse and want to end it, you have two choices. One, you get out of the relationship. Two, you stay in the relationship and try to end the abuse.

In the latter case, you will have to confront your abuser. You will have to say that you recognize what’s happening and you aren’t going to take it anymore. Invariably, your abuser will deny what’s going on.

It’s the case of “believing me or believing your lying eyes”. Trust yourself. If several of the behaviors listed above are going on, then you are being emotionally abused. If that’s the case, it needs to stop. Otherwise, you will never be in the relationship you want and deserve.

How To Stop the Abuse

Once you have spotted emotional abuse, it is time to face up to it and stop it. In most cases, I would suggest that the abusive person is not going to change, so it’s better to get out of the relationship. If you decide to remain in the relationship, then several things are going to have to change.

Confront Your Abuser

Whenever abuse happens, you need to confront your abuser. You have to say, “This is abusive behavior”. The abuser will deny it, of course. But you can’t be convinced you are being sensitive and humorless and making things up.

Stand your ground and let your partner know that know better. This brings the relationship back into the real world, instead of the world of lies your partner is trying to construct.

Set Boundaries

You have to let your abuser know you will not be emotionally abused. You have to be adamant about this. If his terms for continuing the relationship is to control and dominate it, then you aren’t going to stay.

It is not too much to ask that our partner respect us. Respect is the foundation of a healthy relationship. Respect is an essential component of “true love”. No person is going to agree with every opinion or action you take; but respecting your actions and opinions is essential.

Just remember; the natural order of things is that our loved ones respect us. Any deviation from this order is your abuser’s fault.

Build Your Self-Esteem

If you have been in a relationship where everything you’ve done is wrong, then your self-esteem can’t be high. You have to keep telling yourself that the world doesn’t work that way.

We’re all flawed human beings. Not everything we do is rational and wise. On the other hand, not everything we do is irrational and wrong.

You’re going to make mistakes. Join the club. That doesn’t mean you are unworthy of love and respect.

If he or she doesn’t like the music you like, the t.v. shows and movies you watch, the friends you keep, this is no reason for your loved one to constantly berate you about it. Life is too short to overanalyze trivial stuff. Unless these are somehow harmful to you, it’s a matter of personal taste and preference. If something which does us no harm brings us enjoyment, it can’t be all that bad.

If any person’s life is held up to a magnifying glass, we could be made to look the fool. So don’t internalize every little criticism. It’s easy to focus on the negatives. Focus on the positives, too.

Talk to a Friend About This

If you think you are being emotionally abused, talk to a friend or family member about it. An abusive relationship distorts your perspective. It’s good to get an outside perspective, to know if you’re imagining things.

Besides, it helps to talk about these things.

Take Responsibility For Your Life

Finally, if you recognize that you are being emotionally abused, make certain to change this. You deserve better, no matter what your abuser is telling you. Don’t linger in an abusive relationship. Don’t be a victim.

If you try to end the abuse and it doesn’t change, then you must get out of the relationship. Behavior might change for a few days, but you need to make certain your abuser understands the bounds. If in a month or two the abuse continues, you must leave the relationship.

We get into relationships to satisfy our need for companionship, to find someone who will support us and fill our many needs. If your companion is incapable of doing that, it is time to find one who can.

Comments

  1. I’m in a abusive relationship right now and find it odd how this article focuses on the male as the bad guy. I have yet to try out techniques yet since I am getting a severe silent treatment as she ran off camping for a week after a day of fighting. I have no idea how to react when she gets back because I do love her more than anything. But I fear that I am the one who let’s this control and neglect happen. Almost accepted the abusiveness as part of her I love…

  2. thank you for your article, you really made me think in a different way. i have a couple of questions though. Does an emotional abuser have that kind of attitude on purpose? i mean, does s/he tell that : ok, now i’m gonna make her feel bad for herself, so she won’t leave the relationship? And the other thing is, do these people love their partner? do they really care for them, only they do it in a wrong way? or not?

  3. I liked the article because of some refressing point of views. I think that when you spouse crtisizes you the best way is to say” Thank you for your opinion”. It is dot defensive, but it will close the argument in a way that abuser cannot add much into it. I am not sure that the abuser is full aware of his/her goalsin the way that the article kind of lets you understand. However, the similar pattern seem to be constat for these type of people who attempt to control others (men and women). I think it is very difficult to recover and gain your power back. Some kind of systematic mentoringover long perioid of time, in order to regain your self esteem is essential, either is through the therapy of something else.

  4. Dear sammy, answer to your question, do they love me? I have finally left my partner, after 4 years of him controling me, we have a daughter and he made me feel guilty to leave him because of this. 3 Years on and he still thinks he can dictate that if i date anyone else, he should be informed and be the first too know. I think it is more a power thing than love, and that they are so involved with the way they want the relationship to be, that your happiness does not come into it.No i do not think its love, its finding people who, not realising, will put up with this behaviour.!

  5. I am in an emotional abusive marriage for the last 27 years. Nothing I have ever accomplished or tried to accomplish in my life has ever been good enough for my husband. I have no formal qualifications, but I have never been a stay at home wife. For the first 7 years of marriage I worked from home, selling clothes, make up and gave private swimming lessons. When my children got bigger I got a position at a guest farm. My children would after school stay with me on the farm until I had to go home. After that I became an agent for a removal company, and could work from my home office as to not be away from my kids. My husband got a promotion after that and we had to move province. We lived in the city for 4years. During this time I set up a studio at home and started painting again.

    I have been degraded and belittled for so long, I constantly have to hear that I am worthless, and how stupid he was to marry me in the first place, and that I should be grateful that he took me in. The last couple of weeks the abuse has become violent. He constantly confronts me with my past boyfriends before we got married. I do not feel like getting up in the morning anymore or doing anything, I do not know why he is doing this I am so desperate, can someone please give me advice

  6. Michelle says:

    hi there anita
    i am 22 yrs old and in an emotionally abusive relationship…
    i have had insight into this for months and i have seen a counsller about this on several occassions and they can’t believe how much i understand the absuve and how i recognise it’s not me but him..i am going back this week and we are setting up a six week plan to leave the relationship….
    we are not married nor do we have any children, however…we do live together and have only been together for just over a year…the signs of ur abusive marriage at the moment are the signs that set in very early in my relationship, bringing up past boyfriends and past loves…everything i do is wrong, i now have no friends left in my life, when i once had a very sociable life, lots of friends and was always out doing something…now my life consists of making sure all of his wasing is done, the house is spotless, dinner is cooked, lunch is made for him to take to work, i rush home from work ( i work full time) to make sure his dinner is cooked, i literally have no life…and i have lost everyone….at the start i was like u lisa, i didnt get out of my bed, i couldnt eat or sleep…there is also physical violence aswell….this only started recently….i have bruises all over my body, he hasnt punched me, but thrown me all the over place…and makes threats to ‘bash the shit out of me’ or ‘rip my head off’ i used to beg him for love and go into a crying rage begging for him to explain his behaviours…but now i am well and truly past that point….i find him disgusting, repolisive and i hate him…and hopefully this is what will allow me to finally leave..

  7. Hi everyone,
    I read this article and recognised some characteristics of myself! Me and my partner were both emotional abusers. I realised he wanted to control the relationship and made me feel worthless. I tried to be as nice as I could, tried to make no mistakes, be the best girlfriend I could, so that he would love me. But at the same time, I tried to control the relationships as well. I thought I could bring the balance back. I confronted him, said he was mean to me, that he made me feel like I was a bad girlfriend, threatened him to leave and find someone better than him. Obviously I couldn’t, I loved him too much. I think I made the relationship worse on purpose (I did not realize that then) so that he would eventually leave me, because I could not make the decision.
    @ Sammy:
    People who emotionally abuse eachother, sometimes realize that their behavior is not normal, that they are hurting their partner. Because they can’t deal with the feeling that he/she did some bad things to someone they love, they try to blame the other, in their eyes the partner deserved it. Most of the time they have an ideal image of how the relationship is supposed to be. If their partner does not live up to those irrealistic standards, they try, by all means, to control the other’s behaviour and model the relationship untill it’s perfect in their eyes. My boyfriend loved me and I loved him, but it was a sick, jealous love.

    @ Anita:
    If you find the courage to get out of the relationship, please do.
    By what you accomplished in your life, you showed others and yourself that you have some great competencys and qualities. The fact that your husband confronts you with your past boyfriends shows he is a somewhat jealous type. I think he sees you more as his possesion than as an equal partner. He sais he was stupid to marry you in the first place, which means that he wouldn’t care if you’d leave. But I bet that when you’d say you are planning to leave, he will start to panic. He sees you as his treasure, as an object, not as the wonderful person that you are. I think he is only holding you back. I don’t know how old your children are. If you are afraid to leave him because of the children, don’t be. I bet they rather have a happy, stable mother than to life in a family with tensions and abuse.
    @ Everyone:
    If you decide to leave, be carefull! It is not always a good idea to tell your partner you’re planning to leave when you are not strong enough. Your partner may react violently, because he loses every control over you when you make your own decisions. He is powerless when you decide to leave, and he or she hates that. Best is to tell him/her at the last moment. Bring someone with you that can help you pack your stuff if you are scared that your partner will react with violence (police, friends, parents,…) The most important thing to work on is your self-esteem, the thing your partner is trying to take from you. Consulting a therapist is a good idea, he can help you place everything in the right perspective. Letting gi is hard. I didn’t dare to leave my partner, I thought I would never love again, that I would never find someone else as “good” as him. I was wrong. Love came again. I have a new boyfriend who respects me. I talked a lot about my previous relationship and the emotional abuse. If I react in a wrong, controlling way, he confronts me with my behaviour and shows me that it is wrong and unnecessary. He gives the good example and I learn to love in a non-abusive way.
    Good luck to everyone and remember: it is never to late to take a new start and to try to find a partner who will respect you.

  8. Middle Child says:

    I have been in a relationship for 10 years, married for 7 of them with 2 kids 4 and 5. The most recent episode happened Sunday morning at 3:56 AM – I received a call on my phone from a restricted number. It woke my husband up. He gave me the phone and I turned the ringer down as to not wake my youngest who was alseep in our bed. I didn’t hear the next 2 phone calls (one at 4:09am and the next at 6am) He believes that I know who was calling me and that I turned the phone down as to avoid answering it. (Not Ture) He also says he wouldn’t put it past me that I got myself into a situation be it a co-worker or someone else in which I either gave out my cell number or someone is interested in me and somehow got my number. All of which are not true. He told me that it was disrespectful to use the phone he pays for to talk with guys and that if he ever finds proof that I’m lying, he will rip both my arms off. Lovely! This has been going on for years. He always threatens to divorce me or tells me to “hit the road” then comes back later and says he loves me and doesn’t want a divorce. Right now though I’m getting the silent treatment. He’s great with the kids – smiles at them, hugs them etc. but with me I barely get a hello. There are so many stories and so many times I’ve been called names and threatened (but he has never hit me)however the emotional stuff really hurts. I wish I knew some way to get through to him. I’m thinking he’s the way he is because his mom died when he was 7 and his dad is pretty grough. (sp?) anyway – just wanted to – in a way say it out loud. Any thoughts or comments?

  9. A very sad poem, but truth for some unfortunate women (and men)

    J’ai reçu des fleurs aujourd’hui…
    Ce n’était pas mon anniversaire ni un autre jour spécial.
    Nous avons eu notre première dispute hier dans la nuit et il m’a dit beaucoup de choses cruelles qui m’ont vraiment blessées.
    Je sais qu’il est désolé et qu’il n’a pas voulu dire les choses qu’il a dites parce qu’il m’a envoyé des fleurs aujourd’hui.

    J’ai reçu des fleurs aujourd’hui.
    Ce n’était pas notre anniversaire ni un autre jour spécial.
    Hier, dans la nuit, il m’a poussé contre un mur et a commencé à m’étrangler.
    Ça ressemblait à un cauchemar, je ne pouvais croire que c’était réel.
    Je me suis réveillée ce matin le corps douloureux et meurtri.
    Je sais qu’il doit être désolé parce qu’il m’a envoyé des fleurs aujourd’hui.

    J’ai reçu des fleurs aujourd’hui.
    Et ce n’était pas la fête des mères ni un autre jour spécial.
    Hier, dans la nuit, il m’a de nouveau battu, c’était beaucoup plus violent que les autres fois.
    Si je le quitte, que deviendrais-je ? Comment prendre soin de mes enfants ?
    Et les problèmes financiers? J’ai peur de lui mais je suis effrayée de partir.
    Mais je sais qu’il doit être désolé parce qu’il m’a envoyé des fleurs aujourd’hui.

    J’ai reçu des fleurs aujourd’hui.
    Aujourd’hui c’était un jour très spécial, c’était le jour de mes funérailles.
    Hier dans la nuit, il m’a finalement tué. Il m’a battu à mort.
    Si seulement j’avais trouvé assez de courage pour le quitter,
    je n’aurais pas reçu de fleurs aujourd’hui…

    @Middle child:
    Yes, your husband has had a troublesome childhood which has contributed to the way he acts in the present. But that does not give him the right to treat you unrespectfully. He needs to understand that his problems cause him to hurt you. If he get’s insight in his behaviour, maybe there is hope for change. You could tell him in a calm way that the things he does are not fair, and that you do not deserve such kind of treatment. Tell him you understand that his childhood was not easy and some things in life can be frustrating (like being called in the middle of the night, not knowing who the caller is) but that he cannot work off that frustration on you. Tell him the way you feel when he blames you or yells at you. Maybe suggest that he, or the both of you could seek help to get your relationship back on track. If he denies that he has a problem and does not want to visit a psychologist, maybe you can consider to seek help for yourself. Therapy can help you stand up to the wrong behavior of your husband and you will feel less alone in the situation. You have to ask yourself if you love him enough to stay with him. A good partner is a friend, a teammate, someone who makes you stronger, supports you to reach your goals in life. Your life should be better and you should be happier with him than alone. If not, you know what to decide,…. I hope I helped a little.

  10. Hello guys and girls,
    A guys perspective. I feel I am in an abusive relationship. I have been with my girlfriend for 3 yrs.
    My girlfriend started this by telling me constantly that I was ‘lucky’ to have a hot young 21 yr old girlfriend, and if I don’t tow the line she will “just find someone else”. Next to come was her attempting to know where I was every minute, I work away so I just thought that this was just a little insecurity, and allowed her to get away with it. She would get me to account for every minute and any little discrepancy she would say that I’m acting ‘suspicious’ or I must have been flirting or doing things I shouldn’t have been. So she would say if I went out on a Friday night, I had to give her a full plan of where I would be and when. Nights out rarely go to a plan and I told her that this was ridiculous. The big next one guys was when she started saying, ” you make me be mean to you” and it started always being my fault for everything. She also said that guys and girls can’t just be friends so I wasn’t allowed to speak to any of my friend girls, or she would get angry with me.
    Now guys I am an extremely confident person and I just thought that she was just being a typical insecure girl ( sorry I know it sounds sexist), but it was when she started discounting or disagreeing with everything that I said I knew there was a problem.
    I could talk all night on this, but mainly for the guys reading this, if you are in this same situation then I have some advice, ‘grow a set’ and stand your ground and do not tolerate or accept this behaviour and confront her when she attempts this. I really could talk for much longer on this but I have started with one of my girlfriends abusive ways and spoken to her about it. She said she has changed but time will tell. Thanks for reading hope it helps a little.

  11. I have been in a emotional abusive verbal abusive relationship with husband for over 20 years. I honestly do not know why I stayed in this so long. He does not fit every catagory of an abuser, but seems to excel in the yelling,screaming, swearing going beserk part. Then after he is done I get the silent treatment for weeks, then he is extremly nice and does whatever he can think of to help me. this has been the cycle for as long as I have known him. The difference, is that I have complete control of the finances, he never insults my looks, not tries to keep me isolated. So I found that confusing, however my couselor explained to me that because he feels so inadequate, he leaves all the decisions and household matters and children to me because he is afraid of failure, If something goes wrong, he can blame me. I know he is very insecure and constantly tells people how wonderful he is. I am getting ready to ask for a divorce, I could see his behavior affected our children and I am most guilty about allowing this to occur. If anyone reading this can see these type of behaviors, I think you should get out immediately, I wish I did, and even now, I am not sure how to go about it.

  12. What is the best thing to do when one has an emotionally abusive parent? I am, in part, financially dependent on my parents. I worked in my dad’s office for the summer and sometimes, if I am a little tired or do not understand a task completely, he freaks out and tells me that there is something wrong with me, that I can’t behave like that at work. And then when I try to defend myself he says “you aren’t supposed to talk back to your boss when you have a job. That could get you fired in the real world.” I know I was a little tired and out of it today, but he got mad at me because I was asking “obvious questions.” I could understand that he wouldn’t want me to waste his time, but he wasted even more of his own time just by yelling and arguing with me. He contradicts himself, he gives directions that are unclear and is not understanding at all. I pointed this out to him, but he was so angry, it didn’t help. I am thinking of quitting my job and just making money by other means. I only have two weeks left of summer vacation until I move back to school and I don’t have to see him. But I still have painful memories of getting in trouble with my dad when I was younger, and I always think about how awful my father is. I don’t know what to do.

  13. This article literally describes my ex partner, who still after a year and a half of being broken up, tortures me with his endless abuse. After a relationship lasting about 4 months I finally found the strength to end it at the start of 2010 but over a year has passed and I am still taking it. And yet I can’t seem to figure out why. Someone gets abused, they leave their partner. It should be that simple but it really isn’t. And the most frustrating thing about it all is that no one else understands or seems to see how bad it actually is. There have countless times where I have sat alone crying and trying not to hurt myself listening to his nasty comments, his name calling and shouting at me down the phone. I can’t bring myself to tell my friends or family anymore because they hate him, know he is bad for me but can’t sympathise because I am in love with him, haven’t blocked his number and haven’t even told them the extent of what has gone on. My love for him is blinding me and I know the real me, the me before I met him and let him break me down to this empty shell of a person, would not have tolerated this behaviour. I don’t know what to do to get out of it. He will go for weeks at a time being perfect and caring and making me feel special, then something will annoy him. The way I dress, a male friend leaving comments for me on Facebook, anything! And he snaps. He turns it around to make it look like my fault and I always believe that it is in the end and I end up apologising to him. Writing it all down now, it seems obvious that it is emotional abuse yet whenever I explain this to him he turns it around AGAIN to make it one of my mistakes or faults. I kissed one guy a month after me and my ex broke up. Ever since he has held it against me and told me that I am ‘lucky to have him after everything I’ve done to him.’ And I sit and agree with him. He tells me I am selfish and ungrateful even though I have devoted my life to making him happy. When we were in the relationship I even dressed how he wanted me to dress. Even after counselling I can’t seem to believe that it is him and his own problems, not me. I pretend to people that things are fine, that we rarely still talk but I depend on his good moods and nice words to keep me happy. I take the view that without him I would be miserable and would rather keep him in my life when he’s horrible, which is ridiculous. I am only 21, I feel like I’ve wasted 2 years of what should have been the best years of my life. I don’t feel like I will ever recover from this :( I can’t get over him, counselling doesn’t help and I constantly hate myself reminding myself about things he’s done and said. One time he told me he wanted to kill me and he pushed me against a wall on the street because I told him a guy tried it on with me and I turned him down. He called me a lying, attention seeking, slag and made it clear how worthless he thinks I am. That’s the only time he has ever come close to physically hurting me but in a way I think I’d have preferred it. Sometimes I wish he would have just killed me. I have no self esteem left and I feel that nothing good will happen in my life again. I just can’t cope and don’t know what to do to stop this. Even if I cut him out I will still never forget things he has said to me which is the worst part.

  14. in response to ELLA:
    I can honestly and sincerely tell you from the bottom of my heart that I know what you are going thru;Listen I am a 45 year old young at heart man who was in a relationship like you;I was never good enough,when i would be right about something she would turn it on me making me feel guilty;
    I always took blame for everything that happenned to her;I was there for her divorce proceedings;3 days at the courthouse for support;I am the one who gave her the funds for the retainer for her lawer,when she got her divorce and lost everything;she still owed a balance of $7500 and I went to see him and he agreed to write off the debt,however 10 days later she got me arrested because I had caught her in one of her many lies,but this time I came forward,confronted her with it and she turned around,called the cops and made up a story that i followed her,and threatened her life;I was arrested and still today I can tell you that I still have feelings for her,however I have conditions to respect and therefore cannot communicate with her in any way……….My advice to you,if you love yourself,you will leave him,cause he will destroy any self-esteem you have left!!!! You are 1/2 my age sweetie,so age has nothing to do with the abuse a person goes thru;I loved and still do love her even though she got me arrested however I have to face the fact that our story is over for my own well being……This 45 yr old woman was the woman of my life but in a years time she has destroyed me,financially,emotionnally,physically and mentally drained me! I am an empty soul day in and day out;PLEASE DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!!!!!

  15. @ Ella

    Thank you for your post. I find it very honest and relatable. I have been with my boyfriend for almost a year and a half, and I have reached my breaking point. After some heavy reading, talking with friends, family, and counselors, and also my boyfriend, my denial is broken. I have been taking his emotional bulls*** for a loooong time, and I have just begun to recognize it. And you know what? My self esteem is on the rise. I now know that his inability to stop his abusive behavior has nothing to do with me. He is reacting out of past hurt and past relationships. His mother left him when he was still a kid, and he refers to her as a “no good slut.” Similarly, he speaks about his exes in a very disgusting light. It’s clear to me that this guy is severely mysoginistic and believes (mostly) that women are all no-good sluts. Including me.

    I was shocked when I began to awaken. How could I have put up with this emotional abuse for so long and not even have realized it? Not only does emotional abuse manifest emotionally and mentally, it is physical too. Even though my boyfriend (we’ll call him Evan) has never laid a finger on me in violence, the emotional abuse has left me with headaches, body aches, back aches, and horrible digestive problems. I have been to a doctor, and they confirmed that there was no physical explanation for this.

    When I spoke with Evan about all of this, he will either a) deny it, calling me “too sensitive” or “humorless” when I refuse to laugh at a cruel joke at my expense or b) break down and cry and tell me how much he hates himself for what he does to me and promises never again. Both of these reactions, I now realize, are unacceptable. The second one especially, because it’s clear to me that he is not apologizing for what he said or did and my emotional hurt over it. He is apologizing because he KNOWS his behavior is unacceptable and he wants to wash away his guilt by having me sweep it under the carpet and minimize the behavior as per usual.

    Ella, I’m not taking this anymore. We live together still, and I have begun to separate from him, mentally, physically, and emotionally. My friends and family can’t stand the guy and have tried to be nice, but they are VERY concerned for my health and well-being, as am I.

    Today, I’m choosing to take my life, my mind, and my heart back from this abusive person. None of us deserves this abuse. And that’s the tricky part, right?! The abuser finds ways to manipulate you into believing that YOU are the problem, that YOU need help, that YOU are too needy, etc…and it levels our self-esteem. But really, emotional abusers are scared and stuck in the past, and the reason they do what they do is that (for some) they are terrified of being abandoned. Honestly, I won’t lose much by cutting my boyfriend loose. I’ll lose his “love” (really more of a pattern of egoic wanting and needing than love) but I’ll gain my self-respect.

    Some behaviors I have put up with that fit the profile of emotional abuse:

    1. Stonewalling, refusing to acknowledge my feelings when I’m hurt, or refusing to acknowledge me altogether.

    2. Bringing up the past. (This is a BIG one gals) He brings up past relationships of mine and finds fault with every single one. He even spat upon a past relationship of mine that I remembered with fondness.

    3. Isolating you from friends and family. For me, this happened quickly. He would constantly tell me “true” stories about how my friends and family were badmouthing me, didn’t love or respect me, etc. I lost a lot of friends this way because I believed these lies.

    4. Belittling my sexuality. In addition to bringing up past relationships, he’ll bring up my sexual history a LOT. If I tell him “stop it. this is unfair and unreasonable” he will find some other way to vent, be it through facebook or talking to my friends.

    5. Empty promises. He promises to clean his mess, pay a bill, get a bigger tv, wake up and take me to work, etc. After so many empty promises, the natural reaction is to think “yeah, right…” Also, he expects recognition for these promises and gets angry when I don’t jump up and down and get excited when he “promises” to take me to a movie or buy us a puppy.

    These are just some of the things I’ve noticed. There are undoubtedly more. Wish me luck as I cut Evan out of my life, and I wish all of you nothing but love and strength as you take your lives back.

  16. I am in a verbally abusive relationship. Its really hard to admit….I’m a 30 yr old Mexican/American who nhas owned 2 of her own buisness and travel around the world alone and on my own dime. Hes a 33 yr old Anglo American with a great career, but you wouldn’t know it to hear him complain. We’ve been to gether for a little over 2 years. I get the sighlent treatment almost daily. its like living alone, but worse. Hes nicer to the dogs than he is to me. I love my dogs i do, but sometimes I resent them because they get all the love and understanding that i don’t. At first it was a huge jelously issue, never having lived with a man i thought this was normal- a little jelousy. but he constantly checks my cell phone, text messages, facebook and email- he spys on me. Why? I dont know I’ve been faithful to him from the day we met. I don’t have a social life anymore. All my friends & family are in the neighboring state. I work full time and go to school full time- which has been my escape from constant critisim, however now i’m subject to the deathing silent treatment. I’m to the point i want to leave, but schools in session and i have no means of trasportation, he told me i couldn’t afford my car and suggested i return it- my 1st mistake, 2nd was to let him offer to pay for my cell phone bill, 3rd mistake was to quit several jobs everytime he said to do so. How did i get here. I know i’m not all the names he calls me, i know I’m not lazy or ignorant. Sometimes I think the fact that I speak 3 other languages bothers him he always has a neg. comment about hispanics and all races to be honest . He was so caring and charming and protective at first and now hes mean dismissive and pulls away when i want a hug or kiss let alone anything more. he does provide a roof and a vehicle for me to get to work but i feel i have fallen out of love, now i’m just scared to leave.

  17. Hello,

    My fiance is a good guy. He encourages me, he does everything he can to help me and we have so much in common…. up until very recently I have been noticing some major red flags. I did notice it before, but now it is affecting my daily activities. How does someone who makes me so happy, make me so sad at the same time? He has displayed some of the emotionally abusive traits, but not too severely. Maybe it will start getting worst with time.

    1- He has problems with my sisters , and has put my entire family in the same boat. He is making it very difficult for me to spend time with them. The only thing is the problems he has are pretty justified( I have a dysfunctional family). I am only allowed to spend time with anyone if I run it past him first and we reach a mutual decision ( he makes it seem like it is mutual, but it isn’t, it’s usually me agreeing with him). My sisters and him do not get along. Mainly a clash of personalities(I personally can’t stand them either SOMETIMES)but I am no longer allowed to spend time with them or be in the same room as them.

    2- He is very jealous. he gets mad if I associate with any men. I had to get rid of all my male friends on facebook because he said so. I actually deacivated my account because I was communicating with his brother and just making innocent jokes( his gay brother)… he got so mad he flew off the handle.

    3- I suggested that we go to a counseler. He refuses to see that he has a problem. We had a huge fight because I wanted to attend my cousin’s wedding ( my sisters were going to be there). He did not want to go, so I was going to attend without him. He was so mad that he threatened to break up with me if I went ( this is usually what he does when he doesnt get his way). We fought until 4 am in the morning and we finally came to the decision( “we” meaning I was tired of fighting and he made the decision), would go to just the ceremony. We showed up and quickly left after. My entire family is mad that least I didnt go to the reception. I called him controlling. He doesn’t think he is.

    4- Everything that I do that he isnt happy with usually leads to a conversation about him being so unhappy about it that he will leave me. He leaves the house whenever we get into any huge fight. I stay up worried about him and thats what he wants.

    As I mentioned earlier he is a wonderful guy with the best of intentions. The abusive traits are light, but getting worst with each situation and each fight. We rarely fight mostly because I avoid situations that would cause one to occur. I have been researching the warning signs and I am from an abusive house hold. I am confused because he does not physically abuse me nor does he put me down. It seems that most of the behaviour is centered around his own poor self esteem and wanting to keep me from leaving him by limiting my access to other people. How do I convince him to seek counseling? His lack of self esteem is making me want to leave. I do believe that he is the love of my life. He lifts me and supports me and does all the things that a loving spouse should, but then there’s the dark side. Anyone can offer advice?

  18. I have been married for over twenty years. It’s only been the last few years that I have begun to recognize his anger and rants as the abuse that it is. Partly because I had already had no self esteem to begin with from a childhood of abuse. But partly because it has gotten worse, These last months have gotten much worse and unless there is a big change in him I won’t be staying to find out how bad it will get. So far it hasn’t been physical, and I never been fearful of him hurting me (physically anyway, emotionally he has broken me many times over). He seems more out of control than before, though. His anger seems to come from nowhere and he delights in making me cry. Does he ever apologize? Of course not..because I am the one that was wrong. And then as if someone flipped a switch and he’s back to charming self. Leaving me reeling and questioning whether what just happened really happened. I have been working on myself and now I feel like I have come out from under his spell of believing his criticism and belittling and name calling. His family, friends, and coworkers would never believe this of him as he has a great personality except for these times of rage. He saves that for me, I guess.

  19. I have been in a relationship for 3 years and my boyfriend is just mean he always makes comments about my hair, how I look, about how I smoke, my believes, and how he doesnt think I love him, how he thinks I’m cheating on him. I don’t know what to do. I tell him that he isent beening nice and all he does is get mad and tell me that I need to learn to take a joke. Am I beening a drama queen or am I’m beening Emotional Abused? Please help me out.

  20. If you see the signs are that of an “emotional abuser”, it is time to move on. Unless and Until the “abuser” acknowledge his/her disease, then there is no other relief but to MOVE ON!. I was in an “emotional, physically and spiritual” abusive relationshp for 9 years. In the last 3 months, he sent me an email (coward way of ending a relationship) to tell me “he wanted to do something different and it didn’t involve me”, and that hurt. I sent him an email, no response. I sent him a voice mail and still no response. It was at that time, i sought professional advice, only to find that I was in an abusive relationship. It have taken me 3 months to get over this. I don’t hate him, but I do feel sorry for him and pray for him. Because it is one thing I know to be a fact, unless his/her behavior change or they seek professional help, they will always reap the same harvest. But for me, I have healed and now have an internal joy, that no person can give. So I say to all of you, you have to decide what is more important, staying or pursuing a relationship that never got start, or leaving and finding one that will start right. An emotional abuser DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO LOVE, because they don’t know what LOVE is. To them, LOVE is control and NOBODY have the right or authority to control another person’s life but your creator GOD himself.

    Be Safe and be blessed, but most of all be FREE

  21. I’ve read through all of the comments, but instead of adding my own story of my miserable life with an emotional abuser, I’m wondering if someone can point me in the right direction on how to get out? I am a stay-at-home mom of an 18 year old son (he’s a senior in high school), a 2 year old daughter, and a 7 month old daughter. My husband refuses to provide any financial assistance (ex. child care expenses) in order for me to get a job outside of the home. All of my family and friends live in another state, and besides that, my family will NOT help me. Does anyone know how I can get my children and myself out, besides just telling me to leave? I need help!

  22. @ Nate

    There is no question that women can be emotionally abusive. I think the English language needs a gender-neutral personal pronoun. :)

    @ ReAnne

    Using finances as a means of control is another aspect of emotional abuse. You may want to look into hotlines for domestic abuse and women’s shelters. Things like that are set up to help people escape from an abusive relationship and get back on their own two feet. Seeing a counselor is also a good idea. If you can’t for some reason, stop by the office and just take a look at the brochures. Every counseling center I’ve ever been to has a bunch. That will probably give a better idea of what’s available locally.

    If your son is interested in college, have him start applying for scholarships now. With luck, he could be financially independent or close to it. Even if not, every little bit helps.

    Be extremely cautious of scams. They often target people in your situation.

    I wish you luck with all my heart.

  23. Every single thing mentioned here is right about the abusive person I’m with, but I’ve got more forms of abuse, he meet girls and have trillion girls numbers and when I told him why? he said they are better than me and I’m a cheap hoe. he made me believe that I’m the worst person on earth, he talked to girls right infront of me and came back blaming me for his actions, ya, another form of the abuse is doubting you and accusing you of being unfaithful , eating you alive, not allowing you to mingle with people, trap you in a prison, excessive sexual intercourse 3 times a day for a week, then nothing.. it’s hell…Its the worse thing ever happened to me. I’m not happy, I can’t get out..I hate my life, I thought of committing suicide many times..

  24. I’m really sad reading this because this is my life–but I have 3 children who I strongly desire to raise them in a home where their parents stuck it out through thick and thin…but I also have bipolar, and his abuse has thrown me into suicidal episodes 2 times just in the last month. I’m very discouraged and don’t know where to turn. I feel trapped.

  25. I am 56 yrs old, married for 32 yrs, I love my husband. All through our marriage life, I never had to ask for money, he always gave me his earnings. He normally was a very loving and responsible man. My husband visited prositutes before. And I had not trust him since so I checked. I move to Perth 2005 for my youngest son education, during this time he started changing. I started checking on him after I found out he made many trips to china and I found that he hide telephone numbers of china girls. He also started drinking and gambling 6 yrs ago. Run into debits for 3 yrs. He paid them all this yr. He started treathening me for divorce since he lost alot of money becoz I tried to control his gambling. The treathening got worst, he resented my calling him and would not answer my call. When he does answer, he would endlessly treathen me for divorce. He would not talked to me. I spend most time in Perth while he spend in Malaysia as he is a businessman there. When I visit him he would spend time with friends instead of me.
    He would sware at me when I say wrong things and tells me I am stupid and childish. A month ago, he treathen for divorce bcoz I told him, he has been drinking over the phone. We stop talking for a wk and he flu to Macau to gamble, I manage to find out and left a note in his hotel room.
    I inform his relatives about his treathening and gambling, and told them he should see a lawyer if he really want to divorce me. His sister called him and he went to see the laywer in the afternoon. He told his son he is going for divorce bcoz he cannot lie to me and that he cannot change his gambling habit and drinking.
    After 2 wks of so call filing for divorce, he started going home early nstead of the usual 2am in the morning for drinking. I got someone to check on him, as I am in Perth, I know his every move. We have not spoken to each other for a month.
    The last time he said he wanted to divorce me and I have no choice, that even if I do not agree it will still be over after a yr. My mentor advice me to pray which I had been doing for a. wk now. But as I said, he seemed to behave well after seeing the laywer 3 wks ago. and had tried to contact my son who is 31 yrs old
    He also started to send money to me. I want to know if you think this time my husband is serious to divorce me. Does a man be a good boy going home early even though he is alone at home back by himself in malaysia if he is serious for the divorce.
    Shouldn’t be he spending his time outside to merry, that he is going to divorce his wife? Please I am confused, I want him but at the same time, If he go ahead with the divorce I want to be prepared. Help me.

  26. I once was in an abusive relationship. I am now a hypnotherapist that helps people out of abuse. To all of you who feel stuck, it’s a pretty common feeling. The abuse has made you feel that way. Find your way to a therapist who specializes in abuse issues. If it’s escaliting into physical abuse get out immediately. You may have to go to a women’s shelter if you are a woman. I don’t think there are any male shelters but tell your doctor he/she may come up with something. Maybe you have a friend that would help you. You can tell your spouse/partner you need to see a therapist for another issue. If he/she thinks it’s because of him he/she may want to control you and not let you go. Come up with a different reason that you want to go. If you have a HMO they usually have therapist on board. If not find yourself a private therapist. It will not get any better, the older they get the more it escalates. You really do deserve better.

  27. heartbroken2 says:

    Everything above for me is true only it is my adult son (T) and his wife(S) doing this to me. My husband and I have both asked them “what did we ever do to you?” but we can’t get a straight answer. Yesterday was the worst when a fist fight broke out between my two sons at my grand-daughter’ birthday party.
    My son and his wife have been stealing from my other son (C) at our house. (T) knows we know but we have never said it to his face, well yesterday my oldest son (C) was accused of taking the memory card out of my son (T)& his wifes (S) camera, even though he didn’t then the flood gates opened. Punches flew, words were exchanged, police were called though I asked my son not to have him arrested because of my grand-daughter. So later on in the evening (T) & (S) decided to joke about it on Facebook and this morning this was left on my Facebook page from my daughter in law “Just because I’m nice doesn’t mean I like you. One day your mouth will run and I’ll shove my fist down it… you better watch what you say from this point on!” and while I am writing this, she also posted ” Its a shame some people are such control freaks and cant let their ADULT children live their OWN life because they are so miserable with theirs!” They live an hour away, I don’t call them, we never go over unannouced and rarely are invited over. And when we do, our visit is less than 2 hours because that is as much as we can take of them when we are there. And I know that after yesterday they will make sure that we have no visitation with our grand-daughter. They both have violent tempers and the walls and doors in their house tell the story. I pray my beautiful grand-daughter NEVER is in the midst of their rage.

    ..
    .

  28. How do you prove that you’re being emotionally abused when you have Bipolar Disorder? Its too much! It’s like he’s the advocate and all I want is for him to confide in me, and he’s not! He’s just cold. I don’t think there was anything wrong with me as a young child, but I can see how all this emotional abuse has happened over time, with my parents, and eventually my spouse. How do I stop it, and say enough is enough!? I’m a homemaker and have NO MONEY for an attorney. I have no means of proving it’s happening, but the medication I’m taking and the distance of having my children taken away because the emotions are being thrown out… I’m dying!

  29. Oh boy, I feel like a empty soul right now.
    23 years of marriage, the past 5-6 fighting over his drinking.
    In 2005 his drug/alcohol abuse cost us our business, home, credit, reputation, I was put through hell emotionally, I mean devastated.
    He wanted to stay together, and promised the moon.
    The problem, he thinks its ok to drink here and there, I DONT, yes 95% sober, the other 5% to me is a kick in the behind, like who cares the hell I put you through.
    He left a week ago after a augment over him having a few drinks after work and allowing his mother to be verbally abusive to me for years.
    I get a call today, and he just tells me he loves me but, he cant live with me.
    He went on to basically have me apologizing and feeling bad for fighting him over substance abuse?
    He told me to move on with my life and he will to.
    He said mater of factly I’ve started talking to another woman and its nice to not be criticized.
    He said he wanted me to just meet someone else and be happy.
    I hung up never feeling so dead, just numb, couldn’t believe his words, so hurt.
    I have put up with years of his selfish, destructive, screaming, yelling, garbage and it all comes down to a single call, stated so matter of factly and cold?

  30. After 2 years and repeated episodes of emotional abuse; temper fits, silent treatment, criticism, etc., and the last one included a physical threat, I am out. It has been 5 days and I already feel the freedom of not having to worry when the next one will come. Yet, I am very hurt and heartbroken and am grieving the loss. I know how everyone who has posted feels. It feels horrible to have to leave, but how can I stay? Leaving is exactly what we have to do. I am praying the “ugly” feelings will heal soon for all of us.

  31. I want to thank you for posting this. I’ve been in a 20 year relationship. It’s been emotionally abusive but other people don’t see it. Five years ago, he started making big decisions without me and it is not the point now where it has destroyed my financial security, so I’m filing for a divorce.

    I felt guilty until I saw your article because I wondered what I did wrong to make him stop talking to me. Now, I know it was part of the pattern.

    You made a difference in my outlook.

    Thank you.

  32. Heyy im a 22 year old ive been with my partner for 6 years… The first 2 years i though this was all normal till i one day looked in the mirror i couldnt stop staring at myself i was so fat before we got together i was doing modelling and that day i was 96 kilos… when i first got with my boyfriend him and his mum kept saying in this family u eat when your told to eat my mum kicked me out of home and he pounced on the opportunity for me to live with him i was 15 i wanted to go back to my mums but he kept making me feel guilty…
    eventually i was sucked in we live with his mum and older brother and my duty from 15 years old has been Cook, Clean, mow lawns, wash their cars, clean their rooms, wash and fold their clothes and when he gets home from work dinner better be ready to serve…
    i have to pretty much weight on him hand and foot he says coffee i have to make it i have to get his clothes ready for work if we r going out its make sure he looks good and stuff wat i look like…
    it wasnt until that day i looked in the mirror that it all jus came crashing down on me i tried to commit suicide 3 times he laughed about it..
    I met a guy who ended up being like my best mate i told him everything that was going on and eventually we got feelings for each other was bound to happen one day i have my boyfriend saying im fat worthless ugly better off dead the next i have this amazing guy telling me im beautiful and perfect…
    so my boyfriend went through my phone and found a few pics was really nothing that bad me in a bikini top and well it is bad but really if i was at the beach plenty of people would see me in it anyways since that day it seems to have gotten worse… he wil say you lied to me and hurt me and this is all your fault im like this have you told anyone beacause im so ashamed i cant even speak about it.. in actual fact he thought he could confide in my hairdresser and he told her everything i did wrong what he doesnt know is that my hairdresser then called me and said get the hell out… still till this day he claims to not have told anyone… i was seeing a councillor and as soon as he seen i was starting to get back up on my feet BAM u cant see her she isnt doing her job and then asked if id spoken about him and i said yes and then he totally lost it and starting yelling at me saying they wil take my side and blame him when its not his fault… im no longer allowed out of the house without him if i leave his mum will call him straight away…
    how can i build the strength to leave i fear i wont b alive much longer if i dont…

  33. What happens when you are the abuser, well i think i am and i feel really bad about it sometimes.
    The thing is i am with a man that has a child to another woman. wich is fine i new that when i met him and wasen’t a problem. The problem is that his ex still has him wrapped around his little finger because of the child. When we first started dating it was close to christmas and he bought his ex a present and then went down to his parants with her, it was the only way that he could take his son apparantly.
    We were pretty new then so i didn’t want to start laying down rules. But thingsv like this kept happening through out the 3 years we have been together. He went camping with them one weekend while i was at work and didn’t tell me about it until it happened to pop up when i met her because she insisted on meeting me to make sure i was good for her son to be around.
    She didn’t have a dryer so she would send clothes home with my partnier for him to dry them and sometimes she would even come around and use the dryer her self. We went away camping one weekend came back and found her in the house because she still had a house key and she had some lame excuse then dumped his son with us and took off and my partner said nothing. It also wasen’t until i fell pregnant with him wich was planned about a year ago that he took his ex of his health insurance. The list just goes on and on so anyway. After all of this she is trying to move away with his son and his taking her to court to stop her, wich is very stressful at the moment because it’s always about that and i get a little bit cranky sometimes. I now find my self bringing up the past of all these things because i’m so angry about whats happening now. My partner works at sea so the other day when his was at work the ex came by the house to get something of her sons wich wasent hers we had bought it for him. I was nice didn’t say much i didn’t want to course any more problems for my partner for when it goes to court. But i was not happy she was rocking up at my house. When things likr this keep popping up thats when i bring up the past and get really mad, i start saying why did you do this and that wich was years ago. And why is she doing this now, i sometimes threaten him that i need a break or i can’t do it anymore, but i love him so much i just want him to show me that he cares. Im sick of being the one that has to tell him shes doing something wrong to him and me and to do something about it i want him to do it on his own accord. I eventually got him to tell her not to come around to the house unless it is prearranged and it is to drop or pick up her son. But everytime a new thing pops up now i abuse him about everything i even say that if it was any other girl they would have left him the day he bought his ex a christmaas present and had christmas with her. I think that i threaten a lot. Is this wrong of me?? I always feel really bad after i say the things i say and he always gets really sad so i end up apolagizing and felling bad until the next thing that comes a long. Am i the abuser here and if i am what should i do??

  34. BlueBabe says:

    I have been with my husband for 16 years of which we are married for 14. We have 2 beautiful daughters. When we went on our first date, he put me on a pedastal, showering me with flowers and jewelry and insisting that he would take care of me; that if I ever needed anything, he would provide. I was so inlove at the time I did not realise that his controlling had already started. He had an affair just before we got married, but we married anyway because we were determined to make it work. He started bad-mouthing my best friends saying that they were stuck up and judgemental. I believed him and cut all ties with them and other friends. Over the years we had major arguments, mostly because of trust and jealousy, but one night we had such a bad argument with him calling me a hypocrit and a liar, I was close to a nervous breakdown. After this he re-assured me that he would never leave even though he said harsh things to me. We work for the same company so I was exposed to his friendliness to female staff why he never laughed with me and continuously ignored me. This was painful and I kept telling him this but he called me insecure with no confidence. I wanted to find other work, he stopped me and said I would start flirting with the men at the new company and that the new company wouldnt pay me the same or better salary. I even applied for other vacancies internally but he would always find “valid” reasons why I shouldnt take the job. I believed everything he said. I wanted to start studying part-time, he would say that it inconvience our routine as we only had one vehicle, and this was the other issue. He never wanted me to buy my own car as he said it wasnt “pragmatic”. Was I ever so stupid. I was a puppet on strings and he was controlling my life. I could never make my own decisions, even financially. He even gave joint debit card access to his bank account so that I can depend on him should run short. I’ve been to a Psychologist and she hit me with the truth – my husband is an emotional abuser. I shouldve seen this but I was so blinded by his manipulations and ways of pointing the blame at me and making me feel inferior that I believed I wasnt capable of anything. The arguments has gotten so bad now that my children are suffering and are always upset. I fear my eldest would run away as she tried to before and when I told him he said she was just looking for attention. He tells them to shut up at times, when he’s angry he speaks to me as if I’m a child. I don’t deserve this kind of treatment and I am definitely planning on leaving him. Living with this type of abuse is unacceptable and I intend to teach my girls this.

  35. suzie belmont says:

    And what if someone is under forced guardianship? what of that? and even when that individual is very competent and very inntelligent and the only reason for this insidious petition is only to maintain total control over me and the one who has done this is my own father, and the toll that its taking is at times sometimes too much to bear but i will not allow any one to break me. It is a crime for one or more persons acting under the color of law willfully to deprive or conspire to deprive another person of any right protected by the constitution or laws of the united states. and just because it was using the color of law doesn’t make it right or legal.. but as I was saying even under guardianship when its forced and when its guardianship abuse I believe that a person whose suffering emotional trauma due to excessive psychological abuse I believe that that individual needs to get out of that situation asap and to fight like heck not in a violent way no ,thats not what I’m saying but more like a fight for their survival, as I’ve read just a few on here and I can sense your deep deep pain , my advice to those who want to prove that what their going through is real so they can prove that whatever the abuse that their abuser is doing to them , my advice is to start writing it down in detail when the abuse starts and whats said and how it makes the one being abused feel, because theres no excuse for abuse and another good idea is looking for a pro bono lawyer and work out something with that low cost lawyer because I like you we all are intitled to respect and no one deserves to be abused whatsoever. and me? All that i want but need I need my freedom asap I love you all and my heart aches for all of you so much. none of us deserve to be abused all forms of abuse are unacceptable and should never ever ever be tolerated.

  36. I am in an emotional abuse situation except not only is the female the culprit, but she also has only one conviction. That conviction is that i love her even though i never did and dont. How exactly do i defend against that? I cant prove i dont short of talking down to her and meaning it, and she wont listen to anyone else, not even her closest friends.

  37. Miranda says:

    I am 28 years old and i have been with my boyfriend for 7 years and reading the above information has made me realise i am in an emotionally abusive relationship. Everything was great until he left his job and moved out. I noticed a change in his behaviour when he started to contact me less and less and always broke promises. This started gradually and was very out of the blue as our relationship was very balanced – we had always communicated well and very always fond of each other, yet maintained our independence. He always called me more than I him, and not in a possessive way, it worked for us. I was also very giving and nurturing. Infact many of our friends would jokingly comment “you are so lucky to have this girl”. During his time living out of home and the above behaviour, it got so worse that i could not contact him and he would fail to pick up my phone calls. Also due to him being out of work, I was helping him out with finances, however he abused the fact that i was so easy going, that large amonts of money started to go out from my account. Whenever he was confronted he would become so angry and defensive, and swear at me. He also broke my trust and was lying to me all the time. He also began to drink more and more, during the week also. And whenever we had something to discuss he would run away from the problem and not face it. It terrified me. This went on for 3 months, and I would try everything, to leave him alone, to be understanding, to seeing a counsellor together and separately, nothing worked. Crunch time came when he broke a huge promise to me and i lost it. In addition to this, i had other friends of his and mine commenting on his terrible behaviour. Everything came to a blow up and I had has enough. I was crying all the time, leaving work and feeling very depressed. However this was our first ever “rough patch”, and when you are in a relationship you try and make it work. We both decided to stay together and work hard at being together, i did let him know there were certain behaviours i would not tolerate anymore – i told him that i expected the bare minimum – communication, honesty, trust and respect. And there were things i had to work on too, like not getting angry about everything (a reaction from the ongoing previous behaviour) and to give it time. The first week of working things out was tough, i was harboring alot of anger and we were arguing, i did gently tell him this and i just needed time. Recently things were going pretty much back to normal, things were better and he was making a big effort, however, there are still elements now in his behaviour that he continues to do – saying he will call me back (but doesnt), going out and drinking hevaily. I have tried to talk to him gently and say that what is required is consistency, and he argued that i am getting touchy about everything and he is sick of it. My rationale is that i dont want him to think just because he is good for one month doesnt mean he can slack off. I also recently found out some information that he lied to me about, i rang him so much and he did not pick up (strange for me at this time as our communication was going well) He finally rang back and i questioned why he had not called, as i had something i wanted to discuss and i was giving the chance for gim to explain. He got a little angry saying that i was blowing up at everything this week, and getting angry about the littlest things (i did do that to a fault). I said that this was important, and half explained to him what i found out, he told me i had nothing to worry about, and would ring me the next day to talk. He did not ring me for two days or text, i have no idea what is going on, and am so stressed and emotioanlly drained from this happening again. I told him before he is never allowed to make me feel this way. It is day three and i still have not heard from him. I am so upset and have no idea what to do. Please help.

  38. ImToBlame says:

    I started my issues. She has physically abused me twice (once was “above and beyond” what is necessary – I think – though some may say I deserve it) as well as checks all the boxes above and then some. I cannot hit her back – I will not even though I could if I wanted to. Trouble is, it’s all my fault. I’m the one who cheated on her. The emotional abuse happened before I cheated, but not to a great extent. We have 3 young kids and fortunatly they are not seeing any of this but she does make snide comments in front of them. When she is not emotional, she is a beautiful, loving caring woman – she is also a great mom. I know the sane among you will tell me to get the hell out and file for sole custody (I could right now but that window will pass) but it’s not as simple as that – not when you truely love that person. Another perspective is that she is testing me and if I deal with it for a while then she will get over the cheating and we will be even. There’s more to this story – a lot more – but not that I can share right now. I just need to type and see if there are any sane responses.

  39. I have been with my partner for 3 years he was married for 20 years previosly and she was very controlling and abused himfrom what i can see he has 2 sons age 16 and 18. his ex wife is always on his case telling him he is a bad father and putting him down making him feel guilty all the time and she also makes comments constantly about me which sets seeds in his head. We met when he moved opposite me it has been quite a volitile relationship from the beginning as he had a drug problem one minute he wanted to be with me then he didnt then he would have nothing to do with me for a couple of weeks and then he would want me back. We moved in together in December and he was so excited saying to everyone new start and couldnt wait. It has been great until last month he has now started again saying he doesnt love me i dont do it for him comments about my apperance my hair and clothes i wear saying i need to excercise more and just pulling down my i feel worthless. when we go out he plays up thinking blokes are looking at me. This circle goes happens about even 3-4 months then he is ok to me again. how can he tell me one day he looves me and im a sexy lady then the next day he doesnt love me i dont do it for him and he wants me out of the house. He snarles at me when i try to speak to him and says he doesnt want to talk. Previously when we have split up he goes on dating sites and then tells me when we get back together that thats not for him. i know if i leave he will want me back and i cant just up and go i have nowhere to go i feel that he is testing me to see if i will leave him.

  40. Valerie Sherlock says:

    I need some advice on some matters on this and some answers not for me but my Daughter. Her husband left her saying that he loves her but not in love with her, in that he left and is now harrassing her for the car but there are two cars and she drives one for her and the children, to sell the house even though both of them pay the morgage, they have two lovely children 10 years and 4 years of age. She has been through a lot she was at all time low when this started, bearing in mind she has a solicitor appointment next week but he and his family are constantly on her case. Is there anyone that can help as I can see my daughter going down futher down hill and I am so worried she made do something to harm herself, now on top of this his brother in law is now harrassing her banging at the door and watching her from his car. I cannot understand why he would allow this to be happening, as both children are very upset and he seems to be turning everything round saying it was her fault yet he left her. Please help as I am frantic with worry about my Daughter and Grandchildren in this bad time. She is a good mother she works part time and make sure she is there for the children when they are home I am very proud of her and what she has achieved a nice home for everyone and now her world has started to fall apart and I do not know how to get the right help for her and the children. Please help me to give her the right help and advice as I am very worried for my family.

  41. I have been in a emotional abusive marriage for 24 years . Im 49 years old no job because he would not let me work he wanted me to be a stay at home mom . We had a agreement that i would stay at home till the kids went to school full time .After the kids were in school he would not let me work if i mentioned going and getting a job he said i had enough to do at home and what if the kids get sick who would go get them .He opened his own heating business 20 years ago and i do the book work and the load calculations and the job bids and proposal . He acts like i don’t do anything . I always was very good at paying bills on time till he would go into his moods then he would not work and bills would pile up and he would blame me it was all my fault because of the money i spent . I got the kids what t hey needed and things the wanted at times as for buying things for my self i wear shirts and pants that’s 10 years old .I would tell him i would go to work to get spending money he would fight with me every day for months if i brought up work . Anytime i dint agree with something he said he would belittle me call me names and make my life hell that i hated seeing the kids go through it so i would just drop it . He told me what cloths i can wear ,it i wore a v neck shirt he called me a slut cause it was a slut shirt so im in mostly sweat shirts and t shirts and jeans just so i don’t get fought with . I cant wear make up cause i want to impress someone , I cant listen to the music i want cause it brings back memory’s from when i was single ,i cant have friends cause they will talk me into something that he don’t want me to do . He has accused me of having affairs with guys young enough to be my kid to old enough to be my dad .I walk on egg shells everyday of my life no knowing what mood he gonna be in. We had so many fights about our sex life that i don’t even want it no more I dint give him enough sex when he was having it 2 to 3 times a day i dint do to him what he wanted i would not watch porn enough the list goes on . I hate complaining i know what i should do but i don’t have the resources to do it and im scared to death .I have never met such a mean man . If he gets mad at one of the kids it somehow ends up my fault and he will rage and give me the silent treatment . No one does anything better than him if you do something he will take the credit . The kids are into racing go karts which is expensive he was all for it as they got older if the had ideas on what to do with the go-karts to make them faster he would argue and get mad at them just to get his way which always worked and to this day he gets mad and yells at them that its to the point they don’t wanna race anymore .If he gets real mad he will go to bank and take my name off account so i don’t have any money and then he gives me a little allowance that is to take care of everything we need in house as far as grocery’s .There isn’t a thing i can do when he gets into these fits which is quite often every 2 to 3 months to bring him out of it . Its like he starts the fight and he will say when it ends . I tried moving out a couple years ago i had things set up to get a apartment and he suckered me back . Told me he would change i told him he had to go to Dr and see whats wrong that could be causing him to act this way and to get some anger management classes he went to anger classes 2 times said the therapist said there nothing wrong with him that it was me he dint go back .I just wish there was a easy way to get him to stop being like this cause i really did love him and take are vows seriously i just don’t know what to do from here .

  42. It’s worth mentioning that men can also be the victims of emotional abuse.

    I’ve been in a difficult situation for many years with a family member who degrades me and ridicules me whenever I feel ill or cold or have a difference of opinion. Her spiteful remarks are cutting and I feel so ill and depressed whenever I am around her that I could almost be sick.

    I am reminded that I am pathetic and stupid and that I am not a man whenever I feel unhappy or ill, and then get told that I am horrible because I don’t like being around this person who has just belittled me. She then tells others I am horrible as if she is the victim. It’s a no-win situation.

    The only way I can get out of this situation is to leave, though the poor state of my health makes it difficult to earn enough money to find my own place to live. Fortunately, I recently discovered the cause of my physical health problems and hope that I will soon be strong enough, both physically and emotionally, to leave for good and never come back.

  43. I think the article makes a lot of good points, but I feel there are a lot of concrete judgments in it that just aren’t always the case. For instance, the statement that says a verbal threat to leave is a bluff meant to keep the partner in state of dread as to what might happen next. I know from my own experience with a very unique man that I eventually resorted to a threat to divorce on several occasions. It was not a bluff at all but a “wake-up call” of sorts, made with the hope that he would finally understand how serious I was about the problems and see that the problems were that serious. Additionally, it was part of my own fears that this was the direction in which he secretly wanted the relationship to go and my bringing it up was sort of a way to see his reaction to it.

    The comment about fits of anger is also not entirely correct in my opinion and experience. Rages are sometimes a result of a defect or even an illness in the raging person, and they are often brought on by abuses TO the one raging. It probably is a lack of coping skills, and so in that sense it could be considered the “fault” of the raging person, but it certainly isn’t always out of a need to control of the partner – unless one wants to include the need of the person raging to stop, or control, the partner from abusing them and further.

    Under the heading for consultation over decisions, the judgment, “If your loved one does this once or twice and you let them get away with it, then it opens the gate for more of this behavior. An abuser is like a child testing the bounds of the relationship. This person is a bully. If you let a bully get away with it, the bully is encouraged to do it again,” is in error as well. I think this could be a number of other things. It could be disrespect, absentmindedness, or maybe even self-centered behavior, especially if it is done infrequently. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be addressed, but implying that it is absolutely a bullying type of emotional abuse is just wrong.

    About the silent treatment. I know for certain that often times when women in particular become silent, it is because they have been hurt by the partner so deeply that she cannot speak. We are also taught that if we cannot speak nicely, we should not speak at all. It is entirely possible that a person could be so angry at something that was done or said that they dare not speak for fear of saying something horrible that they will regret. Perhaps the person tried to have a discussion and found that “everything” they said was misunderstood or attacked or insulted and so that person chose not to speak any further. There are probably many more reasons, but the point I am trying to make is that this is not necessarily an emotional abuse.

    Under Discounting and Denial, the comment, “Your partner is prone to lie, so why should she/he fess up to their actions?” Where on earth did this come from? This sounds like a personal stab at the writer’s partner instead of a fair assessment of abusive behavior in general. My own husband was sometimes very cruel with his words and sometimes emotionally abusive and/or emotionally neglectful but he was not a liar, per se. Many of the things he said were untrue, but not because he was outright lying. It was because he actually believed that what he was saying or thinking was accurate.

    The same is true for the statement discussing respect, “Any deviation from this order is your abuser’s fault.” It sounds as if the writer is creating the very monster she is speaking out against. “Any” deviation from this? Maybe there is an underlying reason the partner is having difficulty respecting the other partner. It is rarely the case that a problem is entirely the “fault” of one person, and thinking this way only opens the door for the reader to become the controlling and dominant one. This statement just seems to come out of nowhere and seems personal to me.

    In Building Your Self Esteem, you give the alleged “abused” plenty of room to make mistakes stating that not all the things they do will be correct or wise, but you don’t seem to give this same room to the alleged “abuser.”

    I know I’ve listed a lot of examples here, and I don’t mean to imply that the article is a bad article, because I do not think that. In fact, I think there is a lot of useful information here. I just also think there is a little too much blame on one partner, and I agree with the other contributor that it seems to be slanted against males. Making the statement that the alleged “abused” should not let the partner “get away with it” sounds a little controlling and abusive in itself, and the article seems to imply that any behavior that strays from “perfect” human behavior equals emotional abuse, and I do not agree with that. There are so many things that influence a person’s behavior from day to day that it is wrong to blanket them all under “emotional abuse.”

    Thanks for listening…or reading. :)

  44. I am a concerned daughter of an elderly man with parkinsons disease, i can see that he is being and now i believe has been, emotionally abused by my mother for many years, he attempted suicide several years ago and i can see him shutting down, my mother is blaming his parkinsons or some other degenerative disease (not the opinion of the medical profession) but i dont agree, i think he has experienced much of the behaviour you describe for many years, but will always defend her, the difficulty i have is that i am not her natural daughter and netheir is one of my brothers, who is rather bright and has been able to see what has been going on, he tried to fight for my father but has ended up out of the family, i feel i have to walk on egg shells, otherwise the same will happen to me and i need to keep an eye on my father, there are 6 children, 3 want nothing to do with the family and the other remaining brothers are burying their heads i feel, i have told them what i have seen. My mother is highly charming to all she comes into contact with and then behind closed doors she is very nasty to my father, she manages to get everyone running around for her, feeling sorry for her, she will not allow my father to relax or sit down, he becomes quite exhausted, i am considering speaking to his doctor to enlighten him as to the environment my father is living in but am not sure about the confidentiality aspect, i cannot risk exposure if i am to keep an eye on things, my take on my father’s “victim” mentality is that his mother was “cruel” , his first wife, my natural mother, died very young, something about which he will not discuss, ever, and i am now in my 50s, because, i believe, he is afraid to say anything. He is a quiet, intelligent. He was not the perfect father and exacted some of his mothers cruelty onto his children, i think this is why other sibblings are burying their heads, they cannot get past the way they were treated, i can at least understand it so am more able to rise above such behaviour and at the end of the day i see a vulnerable, elderly man possibly being driven to attempted suicide again, scary. at the stage of being anxious but not sure of best approach, any suggestions would be helpful. thx.

  45. I have to say that I’ve read many online articles on abusive relationships, and this one by far exceeds any other in terms of its precision. I was married for 16 yrs and together with the same woman for 20yrs. She was everything I expected when we first met. Eventually we married and had 2 beautiful boys together. I noticed a big change with her the last few years. I can go on forever with the emotional abusive issues, but let’s just say it got to a point where I would ask for her opinion on something and I knew that whatever she said, I would think the opposite was true. After getting professional help, I came to the conclusion that I was married to someone who had narcissistic traits. I recommend that anyone who feels they are with someone who has these traits do as I did. GET OUT!!! 2 yrs later, and I have re-discovered myself. Got my self-esteem back, and my friends and family all have noticed the big difference in my persona. More importantly, my boys have my 100% attention when they’re with me every 2 weeks. I am living proof that you’ll be so much better off on your own than with someone like that.

  46. I have been with my bf for 5 years this June. It was wonderful for the first 4 months then I saw signs of a meaner side. He started to do little things that were diesprectful- even after I told him I didnt like it, he still did it. It started with 1 or two things and now its a huge list of things. Hes also an alcoholic and him mother just died. His father cant cope either and they live together now. He was seperated when we met (since 1998) and him and his ex have regular contact which really upsets and worries me. My ex called once and it was almost a war and he was threatened! He told me he would divorce and its now 5 years and not a thing has been done. I dont understand why she wont divorce since she has a livein for 5 years. He is very controlling. He calls me slut and other not nice words. He trie to make me have another man for sex many times. He used to control what I wore. We had to change what time we ate (he always ate at 500 pm). He changed my whole lifestyle. I used to sleep at 1030 pm but with him since hes an alcoholic he sleeps on and off and goes to bed by 830 pm. His job is not that solid and his pay has gone down. I myself have had little work in the past few years and when I work he treats me great, but when Im out of work he treats me horribly and its not even my fault its the recession. He has taken money from my wallet and lied about it. He cheated on me once and left me for a woman- she eventually dumped him and he came back. He never apologized for that and says it wasnt cheating. His parents had a bad relationship and I feel this is why he is who he is. He has a sister just like him whose an alcoholic and she uses alot of people for personal gain. She is presently in a rehab for alcohol and drugs. She is the most selfish person I ever met. He is quite selfish too. It seems they dont know real love even for his own kids, he has 3 sons- hes very distant with them. Im moving the end of the month and once settled Im going to break it off with him. He was suppose to pay me back at xmas money he borrowed for booze and instead he gave the mo ney to his dad and I didnt get a cent- so I had to get my family to pay my rent for xmas as the government did not send my EI monies from work layoff for 9 weeks I was without money. To date its now april 19th and hes only given me 50 dollars, he takes the money or his dad does-cause his mom died and the inco me dropped but his dad has alot more money than I do and an monthly income. It will take quite awhile to rebuild my self esteem and I feel its affecting my whole life i ncluding meeting fr iends and for work. Im really alone in this city as Im not from here Im from another province………

  47. denise marr says:

    I am seeing a man who was diagnosed with ptsd after a car accident. We are in out 50′s. He lost his job 5 yrs ago and every time we meet there is a fight about nothing. I crave his love and need to feel he adores me like he used to. He says he can’t feel these things so it ends up he just doesnt reply or respond to my calls. I have helped emotionally and financially to ease his worries, hoping he would see how ‘wonderful’ l am but l don’t think he cares if lm around or not. I took him twice on holiday, but when we got back, he stopped speaking to me. Is this part of depression and ptsd or is he just abusive?? Please help .. he says l cause the fights, but l just need his love. He makes excuses to not go to bed with me. How lonely it all is.

  48. Jan-OMG! Your post hit home!

    My “bf” right now wants me to be with other guys. I thought it might be a fetish thing with love for me/my pleasure being attached but after reading your post I am thinking it is NOT that. He was a dream for about a month (the mask came off that quick) and then he abruptly broke up with me saying that I was right about not being good enough! A month later he came back proclaiming his love. I broke up with the guy I had just started talking to to be with him….MISTAKE. Within a few weeks, he was back to the same old deamnding, unpredictable guy. I kept breaking up with him but would take him back after he eventually came back. I did it because I loved him. If I am being honest I still do, despite everything. We did the off/on thing for about a year (more off than on lol). Then I found him still trolling the site we met on and I lost it. I sent him a slamming email calling him narcissistic (which I believe he has definite tendencies), and just pouring out all that I had been trying to bring up to him but never could for various reasons. He would usually not respond to my break-up emails but this time he said I went too far and we were done. I was like, “wth? I just broke up with YOU?!”

    We did not speak for five months. I broke down and contacted him. I actually apologized. I was sorry for HOW I said those things not actually saying them. It took him 10 days but he did respond. We had about 8 hrs of conversation over two days then VANISH. He stood me up one night, later said he was still there but “sick” and loved me…..blah, blah, blah. But after that he just vanished. No call, email, plane over my house, NOTHING. Even after I told him that I worried about him when he did not contact me. He didn’t care. That right there told me that he did not care, not like he should. He said he missed me while we had NC for 5 months but he slept with many, many other women so who knows……

    He re-appeared a month to the day after last contacting me and asked why I had never responded to his email. He NEVER sent the email. So then he demanded a favor from me. I countered with a favor of my own. He had the selfish nerve to say that if I did his favor first he would do mine and CALL. After a month of the silent treatment (for no reason) I forgave him and asked for him just to call. That was the worst silent treatment of all: SILENCE/PUNISHMENT for no reason. I truly believe he had no concern for my feelings.I was working on doing his favor and was silent (not intentionally) for a week. He contacted me and assumed I was ignoring him. I was like seriously?! I am silent for a week when HE wants to talk but he can go 30 days?! In the end, I did the favor and he has yet to call FOUR days later. I feel deep down that I need to leave him for good but I don’t wanna say he has these personality defects without proof or a professional diagnosis. Plus, (1) I want to see if he is the same in person and (2) I don’t want the past 1 and 1/2 to be a waste…Maybe the distance of thousands of miles is the reason for his actions?? Low self-esteem/wishful thinking, yes. BUT my self-esteem is NOT so low as to think that I do not deserve better or that his actions are ok…. I am going to start seeking some professional help and encourage those who are unsure of their SO’s behavior to seek some too.

    This type of behavior from someone u love is soo confusing!! I must say that many of these emotional abusers probably have narcissistic tendencies as well. I am convinced the two are linked.

    Good luck to all! I KNOW it is HARD but if ur abuser shows no sign of consistent, legitimate change then GET OUT!! I

  49. ANONYMOUS says:

    I am not sure where to go with this, but stumbled upon on here and just felt like writing out my thoughts. I think I have been in an abusive relationship for the last 7 years, but I am not really sure. I know my partner says mean things and acts out against me on a regular basis, but part of me cannot help but think I instigate it somehow.
    Even from the beginning we had our fights. Marathon matches that would go for hours on end. They were always caused by a myriad of different things, but I never can seem to remember specifics. Things I do know, my partner like to call me names like asshole and jerk and such, I have asked them to stop but they never do, this has been going on for seven years. Lately when I call them on it they say things like “No I didn’t call you an asshole, I just was saying your acting like one” I’ve stated many times that profanity is not acceptable, but I guess after 7 years it just is now. They also like to say how much the hate me, and that they don’t love me, and that they wished none of this ever happened. This does not happen as much anymore, but was very frequent in the beginning. My partner also use to threaten to take the kids away from me (we now have 3 kids together…) saying things like I’ll never see them again while packing up their stuff to leave. To this point they never actually have left. Constantly in fights my partner threatens to leave, but never does. They also yell at me to leave and when I do they get even more violent, sometimes physical (grabbing, pushing, throwing things at me…)
    Why am I writing this is because of our latest fight. I was asleep on the couch with our 5 month old son asleep next to me (not on the couch). He was sick the night before. I have been sleeping downstairs with him on the couch for the last three months or so because we have twins and sleeping together means no one gets any sleep. She came downstairs around 6:30 AM with our daughter and was upset because she wanted to sleep in. I was half awake, saw she was there and upset and did nothing. Now I certainly could have lept up and helped her, but honestly didn’t think to do so. The next thing I know she is screaming at me and telling me to “take my mothers day present and shove it up my ass as I ruined her ONE DAY of the year.” She went on to state that I never show her any appreciation. She then goes up stairs and goes to lay down, maybe to sleep? Not sure she told me she did not want to see anyone that day (her parents were coming by at like 3:00 PM to visit the kids, something neither of us really wanted but they were doing anyways…) So after all this I figure well maybe she just needs to get some sleep and everything will be OK. I go about cleaning the kitchen and trying to tidy up the house (not one of my strong suits…) Anyway, she comes down and it’s obvious she is not going to let up. She continues to talk about how this is the worst mothers day ever and no one appreciates her (makes no comment on any of the cleaning I have done, nor to the fact that I have been up since 6;30 with BOTH kids, one sick, trying to get the house ready for her parents at 3). I just lose it. I start fighting back, and saying things like what is your problem, why are you so pissed off? I am helping now” but she wants none of it. Things escalate. She continues to make me feel like I am the worst husband, and then asks me to leave. I say fine, go to do so and she pushes me from behind then rips my shirt , takes the keys and runs away with them. I ask her for my keys she screams at me “No, you can’t leave me hear alone with them” to which I reply that I can do whatever I want to do and she can’t stop me. I put on my shoes, walk around the block and come back. She still goes after me. Fighting continues and her parents show up. Everything is fine when they are there. She tells me I can leave after they are gone. They leave, but the babies and the rest of the family need my help so I stay. Our two other kids are definitely being affected by this and I just want to know what to do make it stop without leaving my family.

  50. I am in a very emotional abusive relationship with a women and I’ll tell ya it’s seems to be a little harder for a man for to stop the abuse. Almost everything covered in what I read she does.My self esteem is very low and to be honest I really don’t know what to do.

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