Subtle Signs Of Emotional Abuse

Lack of “emotional safety” is the number one indicator of a potentially dangerous relationship. It may seem subtle, yet it is ever so significant with respect to your well-being.

When you have emotional safety, it’s palatable. You can feel it in every fiber of your being. When it’s missing, you may feel its loss. Or, you may simply know of it not being there by the presence of these five glaring signs.

1) Not honoring your privacy

If something is in a drawer, it’s in a drawer out from public display. Someone having no business in that drawer may be drawn to explore its contents. And further, this uninvited explorer may take issue with what is discovered. Beware of these signs of emotional abuse.

2) Not respecting your boundaries

If you say “no,” will it be the end of a discussion or the beginning of a negotiation? When “no” means “maybe” and becomes a challenge to convert into a “yes,” beware of emotional abuse! You may be enticed to surrender your initial preferences simply to divert the consequences of your failure to comply.

3) Not appreciating your experience and/or your feelings

If your inner world is not noticed, or factored into decisions involving both of you, beware of this non-empathic partner. Your inner world may interest him or her when, and only when, it serves their needs. Having an interest in your experience merely because it’s an expression of you is not to be expected with an emotional abuser.

4) Not being willing to have mutual involvement in your interests

Mutual involvement doesn’t mean equal time doing your interests verses theirs. Rather, it is reciprocal “interest” (or acceptance) in that which interests you. The emotional abuser does not show an interest (or awareness or understanding or involvement) in your interests because these activities or things please you. Instead, he or she shows an interest only as it serves him/her.

5) Not honoring you for who and what you are

Intentionally seeking to alter who and what you are to suit one’s own preferences, rather than accepting you as you are, is the most glaring of these signs. (Be mindful of the distinction between someone’s efforts to alter you to suit their needs verses offering constructive criticism to contribute to your growth.) The emotional abuser will seek to mold you to become who and what they desire.

While each one of these undermines emotional safety, in combination they make it impossible. If you encounter this cluster of signs, you are probably looking at an emotionally abusive relationship. Seek to understand the constellation of symptoms defining intimate partner abuse before the emotional abuse spirals out of control. Source


79 Responses to “Subtle Signs Of Emotional Abuse”

  1. caroline wells Says:

    I was emotionally abused by my father and it continued long into adulthood. He would make fun and laugh at me in front of others. He would compare me in a negative light to other girls my age. He would completely invalidate my feelings by telling me, “you’re too sensitive” after he humiliated me and sent me upstairs crying hysterically. He would always remind me of how my boyfriends didn’t give a crap about me. He would blame things on me that were clearly not my fault and tell me that everyone else feels the same way about me that he does. He basically treated me like my feelings were so fucked up that they shouldn’t count for anything at all. He would refer to my sister as his daughter implying that I was a stranger or something. He would constantly tell me that I didn’t take criticism well. I could go on and on…. I hate the man!

  2. Jane Cera Says:

    I just got out of an abusive relationship. It’s amazing to me, after reading about emotionally abusive men, to see that my now ex-boyfriend is textbook. And it can happen to anyone – that is so true. I am well educated, emotionally intelligent, compassionate (which he knew exactly how to manipulate), rational woman. He is a highly intelligent, extremely knowledgeable, attractive, kind, generous man. Or so it would seem to everyone else. And of course, his being highly intelligent served him well in being able to disguise his true nature for the year we were together.

    I have never been with someone like that, so I didn’t take notice of the red flags. At least not consciously. Although, any time one flew up, I felt a strange uneasiness. But my girlfriend, who is a social worker, told me to watch out, and that my situation sounded like abuse. At first, I thought she was being over-protective. But now that I’ve read about it, I did feel all the things that they say victims of emotional abuse feel. I felt guilty all the time, and didn’t really know why. He was always projecting his issues onto me, which would get very confusing. He would say things like, “It’s all about you, isn’t it? You never even considered me when you… (fill in the blank).” And every time he would say things like that, I just felt sick inside, like I knew it was really the other way around, but there was no way of proving it. He was extremely possessive and jealous. He would make me feel like the devil if I so much as chatted innocently with another guy. And he took it to the extreme of getting upset if I talked to my girlfriend too much, and didn’t pay enough attention to him if we were out together. He would encourage me to have girls’ night, but then punish me the next day by being slightly cold and distant – but not really enough for me to call him on it. It’s like he would have preferred that I chose to stay with him instead, and that I failed the test of loyalty. I felt like he wanted me to live and breathe for only him. But if I ever said that to him, he would say I was crazy and that he really respected my independence. And then he would see me dressed up for girls’ night and tell me that I never dressed that nicely for him. That was ABSOLUTELY not true. But even if it was… so what?

    So when I would start to pull away from him (because I did have some self-esteem left and knew that what was happening wasn’t right), he would pull the guilt trip, and be so sweet and wonderful, that I would be lulled back into his arms. But it would just start all over again.

    Then I just started to feel like I was crazy. There was this emptiness I felt – like there was something wrong with me or with my life. I felt like there was something missing in my life that was just out of reach, but I couldn’t ever quite grab hold of it. And I thought that it was all me, all my problem; that there was something wrong with me that I had to seriously work on. It didn’t occur to me that it was him. It didn’t occur to me that what was missing was just my old self, the one with confidence and liveliness, and quirky spirit. And that he was the reason I lost it. He slowly but surely was breaking my spirit to feed his need for power and control.

    That’s what these guys do. They break you down so subtly that you don’t notice until it’s too late and you begin to question your own feelings and sense of reality, right and wrong, and up and down. And that’s when you’re vulnerable and need them to “help” you. Fuck that! It ain’t help, ladies.

    Oh yeah, he also had Road Rage.

    • Angie Says:

      I am so glad that I just read your story. This is happening to me and I am scared. I think I have now found the courage to get rid of him but as for my shattered self confidence I am not too sure. You have inspired me to remember that I am a beautiful person. Thank you.

    • Julie Says:

      I am soo glad that i just read your story. My relationship is identical to what you have been through! I have always been a fun loving person and my boyfriend was okay with it in the beginning and then he became threatened by it! He would insist that i spend all my time with him and not my friends. If i were to go out with “the girls” i paid dearly the next day! It’s been awful! He’s been thru my cell phone, checked my emails,,you name it. He runs down all my friends as if he’s perfect. He has constantly tried to make me a different type of him. If i so much as talk or smile at another out…the silent treatment! He’s what i call a “silent abuser”. He doesn’t let anyone else know that this is how he is. People would never guess that about him..ever!!!! He’s an all around nice,hard working guy that thinks his ways are the right way. I finally got the courage up to kick him out. I feel alive again, except for when he constantly tries to bring me down thru text messages and phone calls. He’s now going to a counselor, because he says he will do anything for us to work. Just yesterday he called to talk to my 20 y/o son about our relationship! Like he’s trying to get him to side with him or something. Now keep in mind..he never liked my son when we were together…hmmm….red flag there? I’m scared..i’m on an emotional roller coaster and i don’t know how to stay away from him..sounds wierd i know, but we were together 4 1/2 years and breaking completely free is awful, but i know i have to do it. My relationship with him was unhealthy and sick and i need to get better..thanks so much for your story!

      • rebecca Says:

        i think you should get an AVO he is Stalking and intimidating and harassing you!!!

    • Robin Says:

      Sounds like we knew the same guy.

    • Smilla Says:

      This has been happening to me. It’s really awful and also, we work together and at work he’s the boss so it’s even more confusing. I’m trying to get away. Have feelings of guilt and worthlessness. He was on chemotherapy (for hep c) when we met and I put his behaviour down to that. But he’s better now and has been off chemo for months and still this is happening.

    • emma Says:

      feels exactly like what am going through. thanks girl whwerever you may be

    • jessie Says:

      I have only just come to realize that my husband is emotionaly abusive. for that last 8 years he has destroyed my self_esteem and my self confidence. I don’t know who i am anymore. he constantly puts me down. Nothing i ever do is right no matter how hard i try. He accuses me of having affairs and threatens to go to work and beat up any guys i work with.He told me if he ever caught me with another man he would kill him and claim it was self defense. a few weeks later he bought a pistol. He remembers every wrong i’ve ever done, but can’t seem to remeber his own. He told me if i ever leave him he will turn my family and our church family against me and i will have no one. oh yeah my husband is a preacher. Everyone loves him he is the most loving caring and giving man with everyone but me. i feel stuck. like there is no way out. i don’t have the means to live on my own. he controls our finances and he told me if i left it would take my entire check just to pay for my half of the bills every the same time i love him. leaving hime would break my heart too. he is alway telling me i am an mental case. maybe he is right.

    • Jen Says:

      This sounds so much like what I went through. All the subtle stuff.

      I got the cold shoulder a lot. A polite “I’ll talk to you later” when he couldn’t handle or didn’t like what I said. Passive-aggressive behavior with “nevermind” or “You don’t want to do xyz, that’s fine” even though that isn’t what I said. Things blown out of proportion. Don’t ask questions I don’t want to know the answer to. And then of course, he would blame himself… at a point he just flat out admitted he was a selfish person and I could take it or leave it. Making himself a martyr or victim. Oh and yes, all his exes live in Texas- so to speak. A price each way. A power play. And yes, a year and a half into it I’ve finally started to move away.

      This isn’t to say I don’t have blame here, because I feel I do (besides the unneeded guilt I’d get), because I saw, I SAW what was happening and I have no idea why I let it go so far.

      Your saying what you said helps me a lot. I’m looking at the nice guy. I’m removing the bandage of the ex slowly (fml facebook) and moving on.

      It’s been a very powerful learning lesson in my life. I know that I have to I have to take my own responsibility, but without guilt.

      Thank you.

    • mpZ Says:

      Might have been the same individual with one difference, the ‘road rage’ manifest as ‘fattist rage’ where any time someone overweight was sighted, especially female overweight, he could not stop himself from saying something violent like ‘oh, yeah baby, that tatoo is really doing it for you’ – or ‘ how do you let yourself get that way?’ some statement to dehumanize and that was so violent it made me cringe.

    • Robin Says:

      This sounds really familiar. I broke up with him for six months, and he charmed his way back into my life. One month now, and I ended it. I feel like crap again. On the outside he is charming, funny, witty, courteous. His verbal abuse doesn’t start until I express a boundary. Then the shrapnel starts flying. Then he has it all figured out, sends me long letters about how badly he feels about the way he treated me. I respond with “forgive yourself and move on.” That just fuels another bout of anger from his part. “You are a poor excuse for a human being.”

      By the way we are in our early 50s, both divorced. I think he is bipolar with a little borderline personality disorder. I was married to one, but his was much more obvious. He was a psychologist, the perfect profession to hide his true self. He ended up taking his life a couple of years after our divorce because I wouldn’t take him back.

      You would think I would have recognized it early on. The problems we had in the beginning were his short temper, usually about something else and not me. “It’s not about you, why can’t you see that and get over it?” “Why is everything always about you?” My early years of low self esteem took over, it seemed logical to me. I had begun to believe in the LIE! In between the disagreements, he was charming, cleaned around the house, cooked sometimes, thoughtful things. That was very confusing. He also makes very good money but has nothing to show for it. I’m always pulling the load.

      Anyway, I am not falling for it again. I won’t respond to any message from him, good or bad. That’s just his way of worming his way back in. If you do have the courage to get out, DO NOT LET THEM BACK AGAIN. IT IS A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP AND WON’T WORK!

      Good luck and God Bless!

    • Anna Says:

      I am a little like you and am in one right now, he just uses every trick and you don’t realize it straight away because its something that concerns him. A problem he has or pain he is in.
      right now I feel so weary He has me hanging on like a puppet. He has been upset for a few days something his brother did hardly messaged or talked to me only to pull me back in and have me in that ‘she is still with me zone’.
      He spent it talking about his problems not before telling me how beautiful I was and if I was ok, when he got me he never stopped talking about himself.
      When we talk about these relationships it feels like we are moaning and complaining because it is just one thing after another. What seems little to someone is a draining miserable rollercoaster ride that little by little makes us feel confused, hurt, stupid, numb. Then we realize thankfully that we are none of those things.

  3. Jen Says:

    I know all too well what this feels like. I have lived with a person like this for 17 years. We have one child and he has slowly broken down my self-esteem. It was only recently in the last 3 years that i have really seen the signs. He has made me feel like i am crazy that everything is my fault. I have even found myself acting as he does- jealous and possessive with my moods swing on a dime. I for sooo long blamed myself. I could not and still have a hard time establishing boundaries. I encourage anyone who is going through this to GET OUT!! When you see the signs RUN!!!!! it does not get better it only gets worse.And if your like me in this situation its difficult to leave because of the paralyzing fear.

  4. rachel Says:

    I”m 21 and have been married for 2 1/2 years and have a 20 month old son my. My husband terrifies me. He has only ever hit me once ( Over not being able to buy ciggerates!) but I am afraid of him. He has terrible road rage, handles my son roughly. He Forbids me the car and makes me wait excessivly long at my work. He leaves me places stranded and spends money with an don his friends, but not with or on me. I haven’t had a birthday or mother’s day or valentine’s day since our first anniversary. He blames me when we dont have enough money and computes purchases into packs of cigarrettes. For instance, I buy a new paid of shoes, he says that I just stole 6 packs of smokes from him. He neglects his own hygeine so I am embarressed to be seen in public, and makes me late to work on purpose. He even says “ha ha, your late now”
    I am taking the means to divorce him,but am so afraid. We are already poor, as a divorced mother I will fall below the poverty line so fast. I married so young that I have no idea how to be single, I was a child and then I was a wife.

    My performance at work is suffering. I cry easy, drop things, and become sick to my stomach as time to go home approaches. I linger at work, even working off the clock to not go home.

    SInce he’d only hit me once, I didn’t think I was being abuse.d Then I saw a small circle burn on my son’s shoulder. He was putting is smoke out on my boy! That was the last straw.

  5. Mavis Says:

    Ladies, you are so correct of your understanding of emotional abuse. I finally got the guts to live 4 years after be married for 30 1/2 years. It was so subtle. At the end, he had the guts to say ” this is the best our marriage has ever been”. He had worn me down so bad that I had no self esteem. I felt I couldn’t survive without him. Well, I took the leap of faith, and felt that the unknown had to be better than the hell I was living. As I walked out the door, he said ” you will self-destruct”. Nope, that didn’t happen. I purchased my own home and have never been happier than I am today. During my marriage, he set up a voice activated recording system in our house so he could hear everything that was going on even when he wasn’t there. He did DNA testing of my clothes. I no longer have to live that life. My home has no recording system. It is my safe place. No one is swabing my clothes for DNA. Believe in yourself. You can choose this for your life, a better life. Remember, there is nothing he can give to you, that you can not give to yourself. My best wishes in your choice for a happy, healthier life.

  6. Isis Says:

    Jane and Mavis,

    I teared up when I read your stories because mine is all too like yours. I thought I had met the love of my life in September 2008 and we had a long distance relationship until June 2009 when he finally moved in with me. He seemingly had it all – looks, wardrobe, personality, intelligence, and had done literally the most romantic things anyone had ever done for me in my entire life, which included telling me that he knew he wanted to marry me and trying on rings within two months of seeing each other. However, there were little signs here and there about his emotionally abusive personality, including him wanting to know where I was at all times, getting overtly jealous when I would go out with friends and accusing me of cheating. Once he moved in with me, he pulled a complete 180 from the dream person I had known – knowing I was paying for almost everything, he never showed the drive required to get a job, belittled me constantly, withheld affection, grabbed me a bunch of times and publicly humiliated me. Whenever I would confront him about anything, he would twist everything I said always and also accuse me of being the abuser, when I was just trying to help him assimilate to life here. When I finally had enough and dumped him in November 2009, he confessed to me that he had felt weird about taking my advice all along because “I was a woman” and I also discovered a hidden camera in my living room – he said he had been videotaping the space with audio included to “monitor his belongings” in case anything happened to them, but I recall seeing it when we moved in and thinking nothing of it because he worked in IT – he obviously was monitoring me! Sorry for the ramble – but to everyone that’s stuck in a relationship that has a hint of any of these qualities, RUN!!!!!! It will NOT get better! To this day though, I am still grieving, it comes in waves of complete happiness and sadness, but the happiness definitely outweighs the sadness and I feel like I have my life back. To anyone who is recovering, what helps me recover most is thinking about this: if we would’ve gotten married, what would our kids have gone through?! Our kids would’ve definitely been exposed to a life of abuse and control of me and themselves, and that’s not good at all. Stay strong everyone!

  7. Eileen Says:

    I’ve just decided to divorce my emotionally & psychologically abusive husband as I can’t keep living like this. He flies into rages for reasons I often cannot even discern. He blames me for everything: he recently became enraged at me over the BP oil spill because these are, apparently, ‘my technologies’. I ma a woman with a disability & he is a successful man. We live in a very large home but it feels more like an asylum to me. Living with someone else’s explosive temper is a fate worse than death. There never is peace. He owns everything & controls every dime. If I were to complain about him to any ‘authorities’, nobody would believe me. How do you even begin to describe the turmoil & the trauma? Everything looks fine, he’s a big success, I haven’t a single scar or bruise to show anyone. I’d wind up looking like an hysterical woman.

    Right now, I have no idea what my rights are in this situation but I have appointments with resources that will inform me. I wish there were a way to prove what he is doing. Even there, I don’t know if the law here does very much to these men. The law seems to soft-pedal men who abuse- batterers, rapists & pedophiles seem to get off easily so this kind of abuse isn’t likely to be handled with any degree of seriousness.

    Anyhow, I’m glad I discovered this site & I thank all of you who shared your experiences & hope you are all able to build positive lives for yourselves. I’m trying to do the same thing myself but I don’t know what will happen as I begin a legal battle with this awful man.

  8. Angel 2010 Says:

    I am so grateful to have found this site. It has taken me a long time to realize I am in an abusive relationship. I finally decided to leave although I cry everyday because I am still in shock and the pain is deep.

    I met a “wonderful” man in 2008 with all of the qualities I thought I wanted in a man. He was intelligent, handsome, personable, and witty. We went on a couple of dates and everything seemed perfect. He even told me he knew he wanted to marry me at some point within the first few months of dating.

    There were a few things he told me that I found “odd”, so always believe what people tell you about themselves. He told me he had never been emotionally involved with anyone before, and that women usually leave him after a couple of months. He even told me he was “cold”. I didn’t take these things too seriously though because I hadnt seen any negative traits in him. I was there with him helping him look for a job for 6 months. It was tough during this time, but things got worse. SOmetimes I would ask him how he feels about certain things, and he would get upset. He “punished” me for a week by not kissing or touching me because he said I talked about my feelings too much. He even told me I had to “work my way” to get to the center of his heart. He would shop for hours on end online buying himself clothes, shoes, electronics. I got flowers one time in 2 years of being together, and there was no acknowledgement at all of my birthday or valentines day. The worst part was when I would invite him to go to events he would just say no. He had no other plans or anything. When I invited him to my parents house for thanksgiving day, he told me we had a time limit because he needed to go and watch the game at home. I’d ask him if he would take me to a festival, concert, etc., he would respond with “I’ll think about it”, as if I were a child. Often times he would promise to go places with me, and then right at the last minute, he would say, “I’m not going”, no matter if he promised or how important he knew it was to me. Sometimes I would cry when these things occurred, and he would just sit there while reading a book or typing on his laptop.

    I know this was long, but there were so many incidents and countless occurrences of emotional abuse. If anyone ever endures anything similar to any of these, please exit the relationship. Relationships are supposed to hell build you up, not tear you down. I hope this helps someone!

    • Laura Dodd Says:

      What you have said was not ‘long’ …enough. As I was reading your post along with all the others,it seemed there was one more thing with a common thread, apologies for being ‘long ‘ or lengthy,or rambling. You ladies need to understand that you are saving lives, and you can tell these guys really did a number on you. I am one of you as well, and I couldnt believe what I was reading, it applied to me-again. The love of my life and ‘all’ of that, I dont want this to ‘fit’ him, but there is just no way around it. No privacy, that applied,accounting for every call,text,etc.,not ‘rating’ in involving me in family,finances etc.,jokes about me,women,etc. on and on. So please keep talking-a long time. 😉

  9. lauren Says:

    At first I used to yell back or argue with my husband till I realized it just escalated his rants and rage… everyone else he is the most likeable, intelligent and funny man in the room…..but in private, with me he can turn into a monster….and it usually starts ‘over nothing’…..I go numb and shrink inside….cry and shake…I can’t respond because if I say anything it worsens…..
    I’ve lost so much confidence I forget things….forget that I used to be sassy, bold and brilliant….Away from him I relax and remember the ‘me’ that used to be….I try to hold onto the little pieces of that woman I once was… Spirit. Its been hard and a few times I’ve thought about taking my own life….but I know I can create something better in this lifetime….I just don’t know where to start….everything ‘we’ own is in ‘his’ name….all ‘our’ money is ‘his’ and I sometimes feel so fragmented and alone that I can barely speak…..where does this new and better journey begin…

  10. Nancie Says:

    Oh Lauren, you could be writing about my life. I have been so unhappy for so long that I have almost forgotton who I am….she comes out ocassionally, this witty, funny, likeable person, and he does NOT like her, preferring the isolated, cowed, hopeless, depressed person he has made me become, with no self esteem to boot….she is much easier to handle. What a waste my life has been.

  11. Abused Says:

    I have been in a relationship with an abuser for 9 years. We started dating when I was 16, too young and oblivious to recognize what I was getting in to. We broke up after almost 1 year, as a result of his attitude towards me. I began to see someone else, a friend who was supportive during that time, but I was made to feel guilty, and of course, went back to him. We moved in together after 5 years of dating, and it all really started to unwind then. I am “worthless”, “can’t do anything right”, all the usual things they say, I’m sure I don’t have to explain. He is controlling, jealous, insecure, a text-book abuser. As a result, I limit myself to spending time with family and friends. Now, I only spend time with him and his friends, who also have been known to “walk on eggshells” around him. When I have important events that a supportive spouse would attend, he doesn’t and I must always show up embarrassingly alone. My 26th birthday just passed, and I had to show up to dinner with my family, alone, as he sat home playing a computer game. He got in a very heated argument with my (ill tempered) father on my graduation day from college, giving me yet another awful memory of an important day. My extended family first met him after 8 years of being together. He hates my sister and nieces, hates to spend time with my parents, I could go on and on. I am an attractive, educated woman, and do not live to my full potential as a result of my relationship. He’s gotten physical with me a handful of times over the last 9 years. The physical abuse is always a result of my yelling back and “pushing his buttons.” I suppose I am expected to not stand up for myself, but I always do, no matter what the outcome. I’m a fighter, and am not afraid. But it never changes anything. He is always very apologetic and manipulates me to forgive and move on, but it’s just a sick cycle. He has had anger issues since childhood, and comes from a divorced family. His family knows exactly how he is, and has consulted me on how to leave if I ever needed to. I just haven’t, and I’m not sure why. They joke, “what are YOU doing with HIM?”, but behind every joke is some version of truth. I am not in denial, I recognize everything that is going on, and still I stay. I do not want to marry him, I do not want to have his children, I am just in limbo here. Today was a bad day with him, and I just needed to anonymously vent.

  12. Isis Says:

    Hi everyone,
    My last post was dated June 24, and I want to tell each and every one of you that my life has changed dramatically since then. I was hopeless, and each and every one of my friends and family members had been telling me as soon as I met a “normal” guy, then I would begin to really see how abnormal my previous relationship was. Well, have I ever! I met someone fantastic that loves me for who I am, my values and my interests, holds me in the highest regard and loves me to pieces – and I him. However, my point of sharing this is not to show-off, but to show that as impossible, heart-wrenching and difficult it might be to break things off, YOU CAN, and have a happy and healthy life, even when hope seems lost as I felt back then. I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same based on the emotional abuse I did go through, and I still find myself hesitating about little things I do with this new guy over and over because I anticipate an abusive reaction because that’s what I was used to. But you know what? I’ve embraced it as being a totally normal part of healing and it’s NOT going to happen because he’s not an abuser! Each and every one of us is a very special being that deserves to be showered with nothing but the best, not live the rest of our lives walking on eggshells with chills up our spines. Remember – emotional abusers are just so agitated and ashamed with who they are that they try and break you down so you get on their level. The more miserable and frantic you become, the more they feel normal and in control – when they’re the complete opposite! Stay strong everyone!!!!

    • Star Says:

      I read these stories and it is if I wrote them, some of the circumstances are different of course but all the signs of emotional abuse are there. It all started with a charming, handsome charismatic man, a wedding ring, then three days later a monster emerged, a nasty tempered jerk that turns into “the ice king” and ignores me for days on end after flipping out. I went from being an outgoing, spunky, somewhat sassy gal who loved to laugh to a recluse, removed from my family and friends completely isolated. The red flags were there but like most of us I thought I was loosing my mind because there were no marks from abuse. I started to research sites on emotional abuse and there it was-every warning sign, that I am living with a narcissistic evil person. He has taken my laptop away, taken my bank card many times, threatened to kick me out, leave me, give 30 days notice (all the same thing, but ya gotta hand it to him for his creativity), oh yes threaten with divorce which would be doing me a favor as I might be able to get help from the state (I am on disability). He has threatened to get rid of my dog (a pet therapy dog no less), and when he is like this he forbids his 7 yr. old son to talk to me which I consider abuse to the child also, it is so sad because I love that little guy and we are very close. Well, that is where it stands right now. I feel hopeless and helpless not knowing which step to take first. If I go to a shelter, what then? I have no friends in this little town we moved to this summer, but have decided to take a walk downtown and at least try to meet others. And in doing this I risk all hell breaking loose when I get home, it is worth the risk. A plan has to start somewhere. I just wanted to add that this site is a life saver for so many including myself, thank you and I will keep in touch (if my laptop doesn’t get taken that is). Blessings to all…..Star.

  13. nicole Says:

    I broke down when I read the last sentence in Nancie’s comment, ” What a waste my life has been”. I have been
    so low because of the abuse he levels at me that tonight I
    was going to just end it all. I feel so tired, hollowed out. I have
    no one left in the world even though I’ve lived in this town for 26 years. No job, no money, no car, no one to call, nowhere to
    go. I am 43 and am terminally ill. This he treats as if it’s an
    excuse to – get this – not have sex with him. He has punched,
    shoved, and thrown heavy objects at me. He has left me stranded, abandoned me, kicked me out. He says I am bumming him out if I ever try to express how I feel about
    dieing and would I please quit harping on the subject. He
    has turned me into someone else. Memories of who I used to be are like the shreds of a dream. There is no time left for me to make something else of my life. So to everyone who reads this, I was an attractive, healthy, outgoing, educated woman when I met him 10 years ago. I believe that his abuse is a large part of why I became ill. So even if he isn’t hitting you his abuse may one day cost you your
    life. Please leave your abuser before the only way out is death.

  14. Irene Says:

    I am going through this emotional roller coaster, I know everything he does is wrong but I somehow manage to blame myself for everything. I have gotten to the point where I no longer no who I am and to a point where I HATE MYSELF! I JUST DONT KNOW HOW TO GET OUT I NEVER THOUGHT THIS WOULD HAPPEN TO ME

  15. Star Says:

    Back again, little over a month since I’ve written. My abuser seems to have gone for a whole month this time, must have been really tough for him considering what a narcissistic monster he is! He informed me he is getting a divorce (again), reason being I was on my laptop while his son and him were playing video games. He comes in the room and says “What is so important on that computer that you aren’t spending family time with us?” (translation: boo-hoo, boo-hoo, why are you not sitting adoringly at my feet while I play)? So I asked him why he needed me there, to help hold the remote? Didn’t go over too well, but WTF, he isn’t my daddy. Let me take you back a little, I could tell those old demons of his were getting to him the night before (he demands attention and adoration and affirmation 24/7, seriously) when he doesn’t think I am filling these “needs” he either flips out, gives me the “silent treatment” or both. So before he tried to reduced me to a child by talking down to me (the computer thing), he hadn’t talked to me for a day. He was and always projects his crap onto me, he is angry and blames me for what he does he takes no accountability or responsibility for anything he does. So as it stands I guess I am out, where to and with what I haven’t a clue, oh yeah I am also disabled (fibromyalgia and a couple of other things). Abusers make their business to make sure we stay trapped so they can crawl into their web and suck the life out of us. Oh, he also justifies calling old girlfriends “because I don’t want to talk to him”, did I forget to mention we are married? It is not ok to call up old girlfriends with intentions, but looking on the brighter side maybe he will let me go without a horrible ordeal and his old girlfriend can become his new narcissistic supply. I had never met anyone like my abuser and thought I was going crazy (he still gets to me, just got done crying my eyes out) now I feel mostly desperate, I want out and I want out now, I am done! There is so much more, but I am so tired almost too tired to dig my way out. I had never experienced hate like this either, I am ashamed to say. I try to correct my thinking and say it is his actions I hate….I wonder.

  16. Mephy Says:

    My husband has confused me so much in the last year. I’m going to use 2011 to figure things out and decide what to do.

    I fell down the stairs around christmas 2009 at 8 months pregnant. This is what gave me that first spark of problems and the doubt with him- he didn’t help me. He just yelled at me to get up and go to work. I ended up at the er and couldn’t get ahold of him for 3 hours. When I finally came home he asked if the baby was ok.. I said yes, he said good-and that I’d just wasted money on being paranoid. I’d hurt myself a few other times after that-fell on ice, got no help up, burned myself, no responsw… But was always told not to say anything to anyone about it because they’d overreact. Even when my son hurt himself, I was told to keep quiet. I found out son had fallen down the stairs when I was at work and he never called me. My baby should have been at the HOSPITAL… Not watching him play video games.
    But the worst was february. I had my daughter. He dropped me off for my csection and barely made it back in time for the actual surgery. He came to see us maybe 3 hrs total in the 3 days. It wasn’t because he was with son. He was bacheloring it… Video games, sleeping in, drinking. Son was left at grammas the whole time. I came home to a trashed house and was asked what was for dinner. I was cleaning within 15min of getting home and ended up pulling my stitches.
    My car died about the same time I fell on the steps. Its still dead now. He says he’ll get to it. I have no money. I work 3 hours a week and rely on him to get me there. I won’t get a promotion because I’m always late. He calls my work a hobby and waste of time.
    He makes other comments as well-that I do nothing all day while he works, that I don’t look as nice as when he met me, that he wants a gf on the side. All of these are side under the guise of seeming compliments or idle talk. He yells at our son. He mocks the baby for crying. He pulls on my hair for kisses, grabs at me all the time. When I ask him to stop, he tells me I used to like that stuff.
    But then there’s days where he’s nice. Like today. Son is all over him. He helped clean (though reminded me continuously that he was helping me).
    He’s upset that we haven’t been intimate in a long while. Last time we were, it hurt insanely. I ended up crying into the pillows the whole time… He apologized halfheartedly after and told me that something had to have felt good at some point. He bought me lingerie for christmas and keeps insisting I need to wear it soon. I don’t want to.
    I’ve seen a counselor. I told him she deemed him abusive, that she didn’t like the way things sounded, especially the stairs thing. He said he didn’t know what I was talking about. I told him she wanted me to leave… But he didn’t react at all.
    He pretends everything is ok because we don’t talk about it anymore. That it doesn’t exist anymore. Just because its not spoken of, it doesn’t mean its gone. He tells me he loves me, tells me I love him. But I’m honestly not sure anymore. He looks like the guy I used to love. But I can’t get past what he’s done.

  17. maria Says:

    I a in a relationship just like many of these women and know i have to get out. I have a full time job and am almost finished a degree that will benefit me financially but I am so afraid. He always cries and it makes me feel so sorry for him that I come back. I have 2 teens. They are not his. I know it is not a healthy environment for them at times, but I’m afraid of losing my home and vehicle. They are both in his name. I’m afraid my children will resent losing these things and having to start over again. Sometimes I feel very alone and not like the person I used to be.

    • lin Says:

      You are on the right track finishing your degree, planning your “escape”. Complete your plan. You’re teens, although initially will be affected by the chance of losing their home and car, will learn not to stay in a bad relationship and take the abuse. That was the clincher for me, I didn’t want my daughter to think it was ok to be a “door mat” for some emotionally abusive guy (her father) to wipe his “feet” on and I didn’t want my sons to think that it was ok to “wipe their feet” on their loved ones. What they and you will walk away with is dignity and self-respect. You deserve to be respected. Good luck to you. You will never regret it!

  18. maria Says:

    My family has tried to step in many times and I just keep going back to him even though I know it is not healthy. I used to run my own business and had so many friends. I felt great about myself my whole life but slowly I am feeling lost and that noone can help. Only I can change things but I don’t feel like the strong woman I used to be.

    • Lavonne Says:

      Hey Maria,

      You don’t have to do it in your own strength, but do it, trust in God to give you the strength that you need.
      Read and meditate on Jeremiah 29:11-14

      “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity.”

      My prayers are with all you ladies, and thanks be to God for everyone saved from a destructive relationship. It is not His will for any of us to be trapped in something like that.
      God saved me too.

  19. Judy Says:

    Ladies I am with ya – I was so scared to leave my husband; I kept trying and trying to explain myself to him. He kept saying I was so hard to get along with, blaming me for his bad behavior – ‘well if you didn’t make me so mad I wouldn’t have called you names/swore at you/etc.’ I actually believed him. I was afraid that if I left him, I would be broke, alone, living on the street. When I finally built up the courage, it was hard, but it was the best thing I ever did! For my kids’ sake as well. There IS hope! You are NOT meant to put up with abuse! There IS something better out there! It’s better to be alone than to be a victim.
    The beginning of hope was when I decided not to take it anymore. He was yelling at me, and suddenly I said in a firm voice: “STOP IT! I WILL NOT LISTEN TO THIS!” And I walked out of the room. He was stunned, I will never forget the look on his face….
    Eventually I left him and it was hard but it was the beginning of a new life for me and the kids. My strength returned and I gained new confidence. Don’t lose hope!!
    Now I am remarried to a wonderful man who would NEVER say a bad word to me. He says he wants to always build me UP because he loves me. And to think I thought, all those years, it was ME, MY fault.
    My ex has changed a lot since we split up. It took a long time, but he seems resigned that I have a new life and he is grudgingly accepting. He is calmer and is very good to our kids.
    Never give up, I am praying for all of you!!!

    • Martha Says:

      Wow,, Judy so glad you got out,, I read your comment and feel so much better,, I have slowly been getting back the strength of the woman I use to be,, I have been with my husband so long and deep down he is a good man,, he just isnt good at expressing himself but I noticed it is only with me that it becomes always my fault and I am the problem,, I am working on getting out because I dont want my daughters to feel this is what a man is like,, My oldest is 11 and I hear her comments and just want to show her there is a different way to live. I know with God good grace I will be happier alone than in this relationship,, I never realized I was abused until a friend of mine told me to look it up now I am amazed at how many years I have been so foolish,,

  20. Nathan Says:

    I wanted to write about these posts although I dont want to admit it I am the only guy to respond but I am going through an identical relationship accept the women is the abuser. Almost all of these stories fit in one way or another to my own accept again it is the women that is the abuser. When I met this person I had a ton of self-confidence, I graduated from college have a strong career and am a successful single dad. I went to the gym on the regular and had a lot of friends and was more or less always happy. I met this girl and thought she was the greatest thing ever, attractive, funny, and most importantly good with my son. We moved to a different state and got engaged right away. Everything went downhill since the day we moved. Soon she started going through my phone and commenting on texts that were from long before I met her and accusing me of being a “player” which Im not. She used this as her foundation to constantly put me in the place of a player and that because of that she had trust issues with me. This gave her a “golden pass” to treat me in any way she pleased because it was “my fault” for her insecurities. Being a compassionate person I wanted to know about her past that made her feel so easily “hurt”. I feel she used that to further my commitment to her and the need for me to bear the weight of all her emotional trauma. These actions were very subtle at first but grew rapidly. Her actions made me want to cater to her to help her and show her that I was different, I thought “If I can be the guy to show her that not all guys are bad and that I truly love her she will have to love me back so strongly in her appreciation of a good guy” wow was I wrong! This behavior became a vacuum that only grew stronger the more I put into it. Soon she began to put me down as a man, wanting me to pay for everything since I moved her with me and when I tried to encourage her to get a job she only made excuses and then would tell me a “real” man takes care of his women meaning paying for everything, not that I wasnt already as she didnt work. She would make comments like I couldnt find anyone else and that no women wants a guy with a kid that I should be so lucky to find someone willing to do that. Soon her abuse grew to demanding my facebook password, checking through my phone nearly every night when I would come home from work and telling me to sleep on the couch for little to no reason. I felt like a prisoner in my own house! This girl would constantly remind me of how guys are always trying to “hit” on her and talk to her as if to say how valuable she was and how lucky I was. Soon her abuse turned physical as she came at me swinging one night after an argument over a twitter account and I decided to simply leave to calm the situation down, she refused to let me leave and would not stop pushing me at the same time eventually she started swinging on me. I sat down on the couch to avoid further conflict when she tried to choke me.. thank God my son was with family that night! As Ive researched the behaviors of a person with “covert aggression” and emotional abuse patterns it became clear to me that I wasnt the issue and that because I wasnt the issue how could I possibly be responsible for it or resolve it. It is very frustrating because again from what I read it is the people who are genuine, have a big heart, and are actually good natured people that tend to be the targets for people like this.. at least let them hook up with other people who enjoy hurting people for their own enjoyment so they can both get what they deserve. Anyways I wanted to post on her to let everyone know its not always the guys who are the aggressor. Regardless of male or female this behavior is wrong and sad because most of the time we do care or even love these people which is why we stay in these crazy relationships but the sad truth is as long as they act like this they will never find true happiness.

    • Natasha Says:

      Nathan, It is sad we allow ourselves to go through things,, I being a woman in a relationship with a guy who thinks he is great but is not,, still believe there are good men out there.. Keep your head up and things will turn out right,, My spouse tell sme all the time how he can cheat on me but doesnt because he is trying to show me he has changed and that use to affect me but now its like please move on then,, It took me a long time to realize enough was enough and the fact that we have children together is what made me try to make it work.. He tells me no other man will want me because we have 4 girls but I have realized I can be alone but there are men who dont care about how many children I have but about the heart I possess. I have built my self esteem back and before the things that made me cry he is starting to realize have no effect on me and he is trying new methods,, but my heart is not in it like it use to be so he efforts are pretty useless,, Dont let ur son see u be treated this way because then he will let women treat him this way,, Thats what is giving me strength,, its my obligation as a mother to show my girls what kind of woman they should be and they deserve to be happy and treated with respect.

  21. Amber Says:

    I come from a family with at least one emotionally abusive parent who i believe have the narcissistic personality disorder. I left home as soon as possible & later went into uni. Now I’m in a good marriage. I recently made up with family after many years, but it seems nothings changed. I know some of the signs of a general unhealthy relationships, & refuse to accept putting up with abusive behaviour if i don’t have to be in someone’s company, so I’ve decided to keep my contact with them to a minimum.


  22. Dolly Says:

    I am so glad to find this site and have been grateful to read everyone’s stories. I currently rent an office away from our home for two reasons a) my husband and I both work from home and it just became too intense/crowded for both b) he is an emotional abuser and frequently pushes things to the limits when I am trying to work, eat, or sleep. He has recently decided that, although I pay for it myself instead of paying off student loans, that my renting of an apartment is doing us in financially. (Before I had the office, those funds were going toward my student loans and I decided I needed peace and safety now and a little bit longer of a debt.) We split almost everything financially except now I am paying two rents. And he can’t stand that I have somewhere else to go even though, directly after I rented it, my mental stability improved vastly and there were fewer long fights, etc. If he refused to stop arguing with me (one of the most destructive things — he seems to have endless energy for blaming and arguing) — I could say, “well, I have to go to sleep or I have to work so if you can’t stop this, I’ll go to my office.” Everything was fairly peaceful that way (compared to how it used to be, when the harassment would continue for hours) and suddenly he’s decided that he’s going to try to harangue me into giving it up. I even said I would, but when my current job ends next month — the whole reason I feel like I need it is because I can’t work or sleep to prepare for work if I am being harassed all day and night. But that’s not good enough. So he has turned himself on to full harassment mode and I’ve had to flee. He’s misrepresenting the situation to our family members and acting as though he’s trying for peace and happiness while really he’s flinging accusations and hostility my way as often as possible. I’m afraid he’s trying to unhinge me mentally and I’m afraid of physical violence also, which has happened on occasion. This is really hard because I really love him and I miss the person he is when he’s not acting out against me with vengeance. When the switch is not flipped, he’s fun to be around, intelligent, sweet, etc. But, when the switch is flipped there’s no way for me to assert myself, improve the relationship, etc, because I’m getting yelled at and interrogated. whew. I hope the week improves. He goes away for business for a few days soon so at least I’ll be able to visit my cats and get more of my things, etc. so I can be more comfortable in my office.

  23. Natasha Says:

    I am amazed to read all your stories and feel sad all of us even have to go throught such a thing. I have been in a relationship for 13 years and have 4 children. I never noticed the signs until last year when he almost took things physical,, but did not. I always walked on eggshells for the first 11 years and barely hang around my friends because it is always an issue when I want to go out but he has company at our house almost every single day. I tell him the tings that bother me and it is always me,, When he gets upset over silly things I am always to blame because what I do or say causes his reactions,, He never causes mine though,, I started working 4 years ago and have been the sole provider for our family for about 3 years now,, My self esteem has come up and I dont allow his mood swings to bring me down,, In the past year I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and realized if I will be crippled when I am older I need a supportive partner now one only concerned with himself. We dont do anything with the ids together or do things I like to do,, I started doing things on my own. Little by little I feel the change in me but he still has a hold on me,, I still fear him because he has told me numerous times if I try to leave he will not allow me to take my girls,, Leaving to feel how far would he go? I am called inconsiderate, selfish and a crybaby,, I do cry easily in life but dont consider my self any of the above. I second guess every feeling I have wondering maybe it is me,, Since he drives me to work if he is annoyed he will take his time getting ready and driving me there making me late, at my last job I would walk into work crying,, because he would choose in the car to express how I am messing up. During the summer I expressed how he talks to me and it makes me feel,, now he claims to hold his temper and not talk to me lke that,, he chooses to tell me when he is upset for me to take public transportation to work n to get home,,, or he will play his xbox all night to ignore me but on days he is in a good mood I better now go chill in the room with our daughters because I am being rude. I wish I could just run away and if I didnt have children with him I would have already. Trying to free my self from him but dont get as aggressive as I shoud and really dont know how..

  24. Renei13 Says:

    Thank you all for sharing your stories!!!
    I was in a relationship for little over a year. We met in a social setting; I thought all right I’ll have a little fun. Before I realized it a month later, I had strong feelings for this man. He is attractive, fit, successful, and intelligent and in the beginning he was nurturing, romantic, and always said how beautiful I was. Two months later he moved in with me. He lived in the upstairs apartment from his parent’s and his brother moved in with him with his pregnant girlfriend and her daughter. He needed a place to live. Of course it was not said in that way. I spent majority of time crying, sad, hurt, not appreciated and taken for granted!! When he drank, it is his excuse to become verbally and physically aggressive. He has pushed me around and punched anything I stood next to. He would grab me so aggressively leaving small bruises on my arms, while falsely accusing me of flirting or seeking negative attention from men or women. Then he would be disrespectful and flirt with other women. It was always a double standard!!! One example, it was ok for him to have a boy’s night and come home at 4am or not at all, but questioned me why I was not home by 8pm, when I had a girl’s day. He never validated how he made me feel. “What’s your problem? Or See, nothing I do will make you happy, your acting like a child, you’re too sensitive, and you’re crazy.” He made me questioned myself constantly! He manipulated me, every time I tried to end the relationship he would ask “are you sure this is what you want?” He asked me to marry him on three different occasions; I said “yes” every time. We would get into a fight and he would call it off. Then I picked up on some of his aggressive behaviors, by punching the car door or steering wheel, repeatedly until I bruised my hand. He brought out a side of me that I never knew could even exist. I isolated myself from some of my dearest friends because I was so embarrassed for tolerating and forgiving everything he did, over, over, over and over again. This whole time I kept thinking he would change. I was desperately hoping for change. I wanted to be there for him, I tried to be patient because he had trust issues. I thought if I just hold on a little longer he would see that I truly love him and I would never betray his trust, I would never hurt him. I realized that it is not fair that because of someone else’s evil actions I had to suffer the consequences. I came to the conclusion that I could not help him. I love MYSELF more than I love him. GOD is wonderful; there were so many times that I ignored the signs. DON’T IGNORE THE SIGNS!!! Listen to your instincts. Love is not supposed to hurt.

  25. Jultay Says:

    Hi, I almost feel a fraud posting on here as i’m still not sure if I am in an emotionally abusive relationship or just with a partner who has a fiery temper! I want to do what is best for my 8 year old daughter and half of me thinks I should leave ( although I would have to walk away empty handed as everything is in his name) but the other half thinks that my daughter is happy at her school ( I would have to move nearer my parents for support if I left and it’s 7 hours drive away), she has lots of good friends and a daddy if I stay.
    My husband is the most handsome, intelligent, succesful man you could meet. He dresses impeccibly and is the live and soul of his side of the family. At home though within our family he often flies in a rage, shouting at me for leaving dishes in the sink, telling me I am not keeping on top of the housework, that I live like a herion addict when in fact our house is lovely and one of the reason I am finding it hard to leave! He quite often checks my e-mails and phone for messages, I am scared to tell him I am visiting friends as he makes me feel guilty and I should be putting my time to better use, like helping him earn money. He gets annoyed that he is the main earner ( I do his book keeping but he often points out what I am failing to do rather than any thing I have done well, making me feel inadequate).
    My parents live 400 miles away and are 65 years old but after a 7 hour drive they are only allowed to stay for 2 nights or he goes mad at me, despite them helping out when they are here. My dad is an electrician and quite often does the DIY but it is still not good enough and he tells me he can’t wait for them to leave. They love my daughter so much but if she shows them more affection than him ( despite not seeing them often) he gets upset and goes in a mood.
    A year ago, old friends ( who sadly I no longer see) went roller skating with us and my friend’s husband was brilliant on skates which apparently according to my husband I couldn’t stop raving about it (my husband always has to be ‘top dog’ and the best, so guess he felt put out). Anyway after we got home he tried to initiate sex but I was too tired, my husband took this as a real rejection and in the morning had a feel ‘go’ at me calling me a whore and a filthy prostitute for praising my friend’s husband and making myself look a tart. I went to have a bath as I was crying so much and told him I would leave him, he followed me up 10 mins after and knocked on the door to talk to me, I got out the bath and opened the door, he came in cuddled me and then stuck his fingers inside me and told me it would all be okay. I can still remember the feelings of disgust but was grateful that he forgave me.
    Here I am a year on, still grateful for the good days and walking on egg shells the rest of the time. I’ve evn got my daughter walking on egg shells ‘ so she doesn’t upset daddy’

    He can be really nice, I feel like I am going mad. Is he controlling me or am I going loopy. Everyone says I am different and no longer fun.

    Am I being abused? advice please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • karina Says:

      OMG….Are you living my life..???? Then I think that there are two too many off us and we should quit !!!! My partner of nearly ten years is exactly the same, but so more subtle. Reading what you wrote though has torn the blinkers off and just made me realise how manipulative and brain-washing these men can be. It’s as though they don’t see you as an actual person. They don’t see you as an equal / adult / grown-up / intelligent human being….they just see you as theirs. If anyone spoke to or behaved in the way C has done to me…. to my 7 yr old daughter… I would rip their head off…. spit down their neck and wipe up the mess with their left arm !!!!! But, I let C do it to me. This site has been wonderful, thought provoking, and a real eye opener, because while I am reading your stories and thinking – GET AWAY – I am also recognising ME !!!! I totally understand the part about feeling as though you are going mad….They are very very very good at that. Your fault..for everything. I wanted to walk infront of bus . Not to kill myself, but just to stop the hurt, confusion, madness. To have ‘time-out’. But now that I am at my parents house with my little girl (in the box-room, clothes everywhere, toy astround…but with a cup of tea and just love & respect, I am getting stronger and so so so so much more happier. I have no idea about the future, and yes, that scares me. But not as much as thinking that my beautiful daughter would ever feel that she wants to step in front of a bus !!! Go Home !!! I did (three weeks ago) and he still ‘pushes my buttons’, but myself and my girl deserve better. God be with you. Keep smiling ( if you do it often enough you WILL actually start to smile ….again). YOU ARE NOT GOING LOOPY…..NONE OF US ARE !!!!

      • Jultay Says:

        Hi Karina,
        I have only just read your post and it’s so nice to hear I am not going loopy! It’s also encouraging to hear you are living at your parents and you are happy!
        I am still digging deep to try to find the courage to go and think I am getting closer as I see no resolution to our problems. I want to spend time with my parents but him controlling how long I see them for is just crippling for me. My parents think I should leave and everytime I get close he seems to sense it and is nice again for a while. My parents came to look after our daughter during school holidays so I could work with my husband but they had to leave a day early as he said he couldn’t stand them being on top of him and he didn’t feel comfortable in his own house! My daughter was distraught and my folks upset too but he doesn’t care.
        His parents come whenever they want and he is a perfect host. I can’t say anything about the fact that his mother does nothing to help, as long as i’m attending to their every whim he is happy!
        I so wish I had a supportive husband! I have really tried everything to keep him happy but I never seem to quite make the grade!
        Good luck Karina, your courage is amazing, keep smiling x

      • Jultay Says:

        Hi Karina,
        Just wondered how you were getting on? I am still sperated from my husband but he is still pulling all the strings and won’t let me go, everytime he feels like his control of me slips he turns up on my door step trying to sway my mind into returning to him!
        He drives 7 hours just to try to get me back and everytime he has me in tears and on an emotional rollercoaster! Nigtmare!
        Hope you are doing better? x

  26. Renei13 Says:

    Dear Jultay, your not a fraud your a victim. GOD doesn’t hand us things we can’t handle. If you decided to leave, yes it will be difficult, but think about the happiness you will bring to your life and daughter’s. Staying in this abusive relationship is blocking all the blessings that should be coming your way.
    Good Luck to you!

  27. Elizabeth Says:

    It helps reading all of these. I have only been in a relationship for less than three months and see warning signs of emotional abuse. I never even knew what it was before. He is very supportive and loving but for me the first warning signs were being too romantic and asking inappropriate questions regarding sex the first time he texted me and trying to make an “instant relationship”. We hadn’t even met yet. He then proceeded to text me every day and wouldn’t listen when I wanted to be alone or was working or visiting with friends. He started saying he loved me and couldn’t be without me and wanted me to move because it’s long distance and marry him. It seemed most of the disagreements came about because I didn’t want to sext or have phone sex. I wanted to meet and get to know him first. He asked me to text him picture of me in t shirt and boxers I was wearing suggesting that I could protect my privacy by not showing face just my backside. I gave in but he then went on and one how disappointed he was and how I should take boxers off. I refused and he was angry for a day or two. I offered to take a picture in bikini next time as as compromise. I did and it’s the first time I saw verbal abuse because I was not responding to pressuring, guilt trips, and a threats to leave or silent treatment. He told me my backside looked fat and size and shape scared him and to send another. I laughed because I’m 5’4″ and 108 lbs and refused and told him I could never date a man who said such things. He asked me if we were through and I said I was afraid so and we parted well. He then over next few days texted me asking forgiveness. It took awhile but I gave in and opened up but after first week ended it again. He was asking for sex every day and after less than a week for pics of backside again. He threatened to leave and guilt trip me because I said no. He became depressed that evening because he was sad and couldn’t think about anything else and was shocked that I was wasn’t letting it bother me. He wouldn’t stop bothering me next day when I was trying to study for exams and was feeling stressed and overwhelmed kept asking for sex or pictures which I wouldn’t do. I told him I would only send him pictures of myself with clothes and only when I had time in next day or two to get to it. I sent those but he hasn’t spoken to me since. I think in some ways he was becoming obsessed or maybe just realized he couldn’t manipulate me.

    I know that there were many red flags and warning signs. He didn’t like opening up and talking about himself or asked me things like my last name or birthday. It’s shocking because he wanted me to move and marry him. I suppose if something is too good to be true it usually is. It would have most likely only gotten worse with time. It’s difficult not second guess myself and reach out to him. I always think if I had just explained myself better or been more compromising. I sometimes worry that I was too much of a prude because I wouldn’t take naked or suggestive pictures to someone I never met and wanted to get to know better before too much talk about sex. It’s all he wanted to talk about. It’s why I put off meeting him despite him offering trips abroad. It’s shocking because he’s so smart and has a very good job at firm. I’m a 4.0 GPA student in graduate school and know what was happening but sad and lonely all the same. I miss all the attention and compliments. I suppose better to get out now than years later. I hope I haven’t made a mistake. I think if he really loved me he would love me for how I am and not demand I change to accommodate him or nag, pressure, guilt trip, etc. He also tried to make me jealous which I didn’t fall for either. Any suggestion? Did I make right decision or should I keep trying to make excuses for him? Maybe it’s my fault?

  28. Jultay Says:

    Elizabeth you have totally done the right thing! PLEASE walk away now while you can! He sounds really manipulative and it would get worse, until he eroded all your self esteem!

  29. v Says:

    Not sure about all this – but I need to vent. I started reading up on abuse after my husband told me last night that he blamed me for all 3 of our children being conceived. I can’t stand to look at him. This is the second time he’s left me in a black hole. The first was when he was traveling for business about a week before my last due date. I spent months trying to convince him not to go & trying to get him to commit to a plan in case the inevitable happened. A few weeks after our daughter was born, he admitted that if I had gone in to labor he would not have attempted to come home. I forgave him because he was so ashamed of himself & cried – something I’d never really seen him do before.
    I truly want the world to stop so I can crawl into a black hole. I’m pregnant with our third & I feel like he is abandoning me & the baby yet again.

    I’ve never felt this much anger towards anyone in my life.

  30. Lili Says:

    I am 17 years old and have had an emotionally abusive stepfather for about 10 years. Recently I have wondered if what I went through was actually abuse. When I found this site I felt so comforted. This past year has been the hardest thing I have ever dealt with, and for the first time in 10 years I realized what he was doing this to my mom, brother, and me. Some of the things he would do:
    ~He would tell me that I was lazy, too sensitive, mean, and that I was getting heavier so I needed to workout
    ~He would tell my brother that he was a wimp; therefore someday he would become gay
    ~My mom has a home daycare: he would frighten the kids by yelling loudly and he thought it was funny when they cried
    ~If I tried to talk to him about anything he would lecture me
    ~He told me my friend looked like a slut
    ~He would exclude me out of conversations he had with my mom by using another language
    ~Just overall he made me emotionally drained every day by criticizing every little thing I did,I got to the point even if he wasn’t around I was thinking of ways of explaining what I was doing, like getting a glass of water
    ~I avoided him whenever he was home by going to my room
    A few months ago he verbally attacked about how I was a horrible person and I was selfish, so that’s why I had not friends, ect. I cried for days. I felt the so drained from crying that I fell asleep during work. But recently, just about a month ago, my mother separated from him. I finally convinced her that what was going on was not okay.
    ~Nowadays he comes over to guilt trip my mom about separating the family
    ~Tells me that I am the reason the family is not together anymore. And says mom agrees with him. I think now he just enjoys making me feel bad
    Anyway, since he has no one here in our town my mom is letting him spend Christmas with us this year. I’m thinking about writing a letter to him about everything he has ever done to me, because he doesn’t seem to think any of this is his fault. So after Christmas I plan to give it to him I just feel so desperate still, even when he doesn’t live with us. I feel myself when he’s not around, I can actually breathe. I just want him gone. It’s really hard being as young as I am because I have no control over getting him out of my life. It’s hard

  31. markthegodchaser Says:

    Thank you for writing this blog. I’ve grown up in an emotionally abusive environment. My dad made my mother, my brother and I feel like dirt every day of our lives. He put food on the table so we should be grateful he’d say. It’s been very confusing and I’m just now starting to realize the extent of the abuse. Points 3-5 seems to apply the most to him. On the outside people think, good man who provides for his family. He really hams it up to people telling them all the great things about his family, but at home it’s one subtle implication after the next, so that like most abuse victims we all believed the problem was us. If only we tried harder we could earn his approval and love. But no matter how hard we tried we’d be met with the same snide condescention (sorry i know i spelled that one wrong). Now my mother died last year and we were close, so now he’s playing the family card to me, because my brother turned out almost just like him and won’t have anything to do with him. But I’m tired of taking all of it. so tired. I just want a chance to be happy and not feel bad about existing.

  32. Jultay Says:

    Just wanted to update you all……………..I have left! It will be 2 weeks tomorrow! I am living in my parents house with my daughter, dog and a few of my belongings but I have done it!
    I escaped while my husband was playing football ( he is the team captain and lives for his football so I knew I had about 4 hours!) I loaded the car with as much as I could and escaped!

    I am scared and still questioning if i’ve done the right thing! I am sharing a bed with my daughter but I am no longer walking on egg shells and hopefully will find a place of our own! My daughter starts her new school on Weds and is scared but she tells me she is happy and looking forward to our new lives! It is still early days but with no one telling me that I am messy, shouting st me or whating my every move I already feel free Hopefully oneday the sick feeling in my stomach will go and I will be back to my normal, self confident, happy, cheerful old self! My self esteem has taken a real battering and I still cry at the drop of a hat but guess it’s early days! Avoiding the texts and calls from the ex is hard but I know if I talk to him he will try to convince me I am mad and that I should go back………….wish me luck………..think I may need a little luck but glad to be free!

    Good luck to everyone else, thinking of you all! Emotional abuse is the hardest thing I have ever had to endure x

    • markthegodchaser Says:

      I know I just started in on this blog post but congratulations Jultay 🙂 I’m in the middle of leaving an emotionally abusive relationship with my dad and I know what you mean by the “sick feeling in your gut” , I can’t wait for me battered nerves to heal up. But anyway what you did was brave and from what I hear questioning yourself is probably normal but don’t be afraid to have confidence. By being ruled over by an arrogant man I have been afraid to have any confidence in myself even believing that having confidence would maybe make me “arrogant” like him, but it feels good to be having some moments ( 🙂 ) of confidence again in my heart.

      • Jultay Says:

        Good luck Mark! Escaping the abuse is the hardest thing to do but the only thing to do. Staying isn’T an option as we will never be good enough for our abusers and we can’t try to make things better as we are not the ones with the problem, they are!
        I’m still getting phone calls, texts and e-mails from my ex, making me feel guilty for leaving him alone but I am so much stronger now and happier…………’s nice to be ME and not feel like I am not good enough!

        Good luck, you’ll get there!

  33. Kita Says:

    I appreciate reading your comments. But it always makes me wonder whether I am the nut case. My husband doesn’t do half the things some of yours have and it makes me feel so sad for all of you and yet doubtful that I am in a bad situation. Perhaps he really is right, I am a nut case. My husband is an attorney, he is smart and pleasant to almost everyone. His office staff thinks he is so laid back. And he can be. But there are times when it’s like an insane genie exploded inside of him. He has hit me but it was years ago and his version is no where near mine. He is very strong and is happy to intimidate with comments like, “I am going to kick your ass.” Or he’ll challenge me if I am angry with a, “What are you going to do about it?” We’ve been together for almost 22-years and have two children. About 10-years ago, we purchased a small business which I slowly ran into the ground. He was very critical of the way I handled it even before it was in trouble and I felt more like a parent/child relationship than business partners. He consistently spoke to me in a rude manner in front of people and if the bottomline didn’t to match up to what he thought it should be, even when it ws good, he would shut down and be cold and cruel. In fact, the only reason I voted to get the business was just to make him stop being so angry all the time as I thought he hated his job. I can actually remembering having to go to the bathroom in a cup because he was sleeping and the bathroom was by the bedroom and I didn’t want to wake him as he was always so angry and blamed it on no sleep. Fast forward 15 years. We’re bankrupt and it’s because I lied to him. Our business is gone. Because I lied to him. I cannot explain how bad I feel. I have tried to kill myself twice since it all happened but obviously didn’t try very hard. I’ve started to drink. Not a lot. But enough to stop hurting for a little bit. We are still married but he lives in one city and I live in another with our kids. I can’t blame him for hating me. But he won’t write up the divorce papers. He says he wants to but can’t until his dad, who likes me a lot, dies. He has called me more bad names than I can list. And said more shitty things than I care to remember. And everytime I turn around, I seem more like him. And yes, the poor kids who likely count the minutes until they get to leave home. Is it true that I deserve to be treated like this because of the horrible thing I did with our money? I can reason it out loud that I have become so afraid of his constant criticism that I covered it up with the lies for years because I was afraid I would lose him. But it was shitty. And it was wrong. And the whole time I died inside. And it has cost my family everything. I can’t fix it. But it was four years ago and still to this day, he calls me a thief. I’ve started to drink again. He found me drunk at home and we had the most tremendous fight. It is so completely white trash that I cannot believe this is my life. I guess what I am asking – it wasn’t a happy marraige before I ruined it financially. But I had decided to stick it out. Now it is nothing other than unbearable. But I think I deserve it. What is emotional and verbal abuse? Is being called a fucking bitch abuse when you take someone’s money? Is being constantly criticized, with everything from the kind of juice or canned vegetables I buy, to the way I fold socks abuse or is that just the way it is? He was always critical and always easy to anger. But shouldn’t I have known that anyway and didn’t I willingly accept it when I married him? He’s gotten so much worse. But then if I had me, I probably would too

    • Darmie Says:

      Kita, please I beg you in Gods name, please do not try to kill yourself again. You did wrong and your husband did wrong. You both made your mistakes and your still making them, you guys will just have to forgive each other. I know it is easier said than done, but you just have to. That is where the healing begins. There are many things I would like to say, but they would only make sense to you if you can trust me and this is to all everyone. I say these not because I am perfect, but God is, and I learning to be a better person.
      The bible makes it clear that we are solely responsible for our actions. It says Husbands love your wife, just like Christ loved the church and gave his life for her. He doesn’t give a condition for the husbands to love the wife, he never said, husbands love your wife if they love you and treat you well. He just said love them. God will judge the husband based on how well he loved his wife, he will never look at the woman’s actions. For the woman, he said be submissive. Being submissive doesn’t mean you are a slave to the man, it just means that you will let the man lead you. Truth be told, a man and his wife are a team, but in every team, there must be a team leader, a team leader who might be right or wrong sometimes, but it doesn’t matter really what choices are made, the woman should always be ready to follow. But before I continue, I would like to point out that, The man is suppose to be led by God, God is the master designer of every mans path and even though we have freewill, your logic can never take you to be place God has designed for you, with that said and cleared, if the man followed the directions of God, he would always lead the woman in the correct path. As a woman, your duty to God is to be submissive and be obedient to your husband. If we all, both men and women, lived like this, we would not have all these problems. Plus God helps us to forgive….a relationship will never thrive in unforgiveness. You need God Kita, you need to forgive yourself, and know you made a mistake. The mistake most married people make is that they think their spouse would be the last person to hurt them. The sad truth is that your spouse has the potential to hurt you the most, but you must still forgive, because God forgave us. At the beginning of the world, when he created us, we were originally is children, but the devil came deceived us and he adopted us. We became children of the devil, and the children of the Devil are enemies of God, but He loved us so much that he wanted to forgive us so bad that he sent his son to die for us so that we can be his children again. To you, it might sound like what the *&^(&) is this guy saying, but spiritually I just told you what love his about. We were Gods enemies, and he forgave us, You and your husband are not bigger than God. Your husband needs God, so that he can lead you and forgive you like God wants him to. I am a guy and I am saying this because I find myself in this situation and I learning to be a better person, We are all Human, so one is imperfect, but we can trust a perfect God. Kita, call God today, even if you dont hear him, call him, tell him to help, tell him you need him and trust him, you have nothing to loose by calling him.

  34. Lisa Gordon Says:

    Kita, No you don’t deserve ANY of what your husband is dishing out. You have put up w/ his crap for too long. Call your father in law & tell him you want your husband to sign divorce papers. Maybe your father in law can convince him. You need to get away from this guy ASAP, just have a plan, abusers can really snap when you leave them. God gave you a brain so you could have the sense to handle situations like this. You KNOW your husband is wrong & you don’t deserve to be treated like crap! I don’t care what you did in the past….this is NOT love! You’ll see this once you get out & away from the abuse, you’ll wonder why on Earth you put up w/ it for so long. Life is too short…get out & get happy. Be strong. You deserve better!

  35. Jultay Says:

    Hi all,
    I have just read Kita’s message, it is so sad that we blame ourselves for the abuse they hand out. The fact is Kita, that if he was caring husband you wouldn’t have had to lie about anything and you would have had each other to depend apon. When you live with an abuser you become a liar as you try to avoid confrontation and try to please them so you don’t tell them anything that will upset them for fear of the mental abuse that follows. Please believe it is NOT your fault!
    I though I was so self righteous writing on here about how I have escaped but I was just kidding myself. He is still controlling me and my emotions. He is still abusing me even though he is still trying to win me back, everytime I let him in, he starts trying to manipulate situations and making me feel like I am a totally un co-operative human being, when in fact he has me bending over backwards trying to please!
    He came to our new house to see our daughter and because he drove 350 miles to visit us he then demanded that I drop all my prior arrangements to see friends who had also driven miles to see us over the Easter holidays. I arranged a BBQ on the beach with these friends but in a temper he said he wouldn’t be joining us,pretending to play happy families for my sake and drove off with all the food in my car leaving me to tell my friends that we couldn’t have a BBQ as planned as we now had no food! He then manipulated things so here I am half way through my friends holiday, who drove 300 miles to see us back at his house 350 miles away because he made me feel so bloody guilty about the way I was behaving in wanting to spend time with my friends. He drove me 350 miles away from my home and my friends to his house *(our old home) WHAT AM I DOING????
    They are still in their holiday home, near to my house, spending days there without ever being invited to step over the threshold of my new home. They didn’t even get to come around to our new house for a coffee…………WHY??? because YET AGAIN I let him dictate EVERYTHING and he still had me feeling guilty for mistreating him by not putting him first!
    I know my friends understand but I bet they are wondering what the hell they are doing there, having spent so much money to come see us and he has whisked us away!
    Here I am back in my old marital home, him dictating what we will be doing over the next few days………………
    So much for me being strong and starting a new life………………… was going so well then he made a million promises……………..and here I am wondering what to do next!
    I am just looking forward to getting the train bcak to my seaside cottage and giving myself a bloody good talking too!

    Good luck Kita, please don’t punish yourself, these abusers are so clever, it is scary!

  36. ken wilde Says:

    My wife has played arround on me and we have kids and because I was upset at her playing arround,,used a loud voice as I was upset,,now she won’t let me touch her,,we don’t sleep togeather,,she has abused my kids. And my step kids mentally and sexually,,no rulles,, her dad is a pedifile and has committed every crime knowen for. Child abuse,,never chraged by police,,I was dieing and she took advantage of me being sick and her older daughter. And her had orgys at her. Daughters place,,my 2 kids have been brought up with honour and decency,,but are very hurt by all this and I’m scared for them if I leave,,I want to go but they keep planning things and plan for the future of the familly,,if my wife would change I could accept that but she doesn’t even try,,tons more write,,I’m getting mentally sick and scared,,and I’m alone,,falling slowly appart,,she likes this weakness I’m not an abuser,,I obey the 10 commandments of God,,bad times I’d read the bible to my kids ,,thanks for listening,,from. Ken

    • markthegodchaser Says:

      Ken if your wife is a pedaphile, you need to get your children far far away from her and quick. In my opinion there is no forgiveness in a relationship for a pedaphile. And call the law on her, her children don’t deserve to be sexually abused either. Children need someone to stand up for them and it looks like it’s got to be you. There is no excuse for her behavior. There are two rules that I’ve learned 1. No one deserves to be abused (physically, sexually, mentally, emotionally or spiritually). And 2. NO ONE has the right to abuse another human being.

  37. Alison Says:

    I just wanted to say to you all that it IS possible to get out of your violent and destructive relationships! You CAN do it! Sure, you’ll be financially worse off but I can’t tell you enough how much happier you’ll be! What’s more, if you can get yourself into therapy and spend time on yourself healing (don’t rush into another relationship too soon, chances are it’ll be as bad, if not worse, than the one you just left) you’ll soon develop a radar that’ll let you spot a potentially damaging person a mile off! This has just happened to me, 2 weeks in and he let his true self slip out in the most subtle of ways, but that’s enough to give me a big RED flag. I’m 4 years out of my Domestically Violent relationship and sure life is tough financially, but we’re all so much happier! My three older children have all finished school with awards of excellence, the younger ones are going the same way….and I am so proud 😀

  38. Sandra Says:

    It is a huge step to leave…I had been married for 27 years….in the early years there was some physical abuse that should have been red flags to run….but everything always seemed to be better the next day…so i stayed….he always drank but i was so busy with the 4 kids that I never had time to acknowledge just how bad it was getting…he hit me one night and I called 911 and he was removed from the home for 4 months….then I accepted him back under court conditions that he received anger management and stop drinking…that lasted for a year then he was back into drinking again slowly and sneakily….things just continued to get worse…it took 7years of enduring his painful mental and emotional abuse which sometimes got physical….i could never do anything good enough even putting dishes in the dishwasher…or cooking he began to takeover the cooking and buying groceries and made it a game that he was one up on me all the time and I could do nothing correctly……he ridiculed or accused me of things I did not do … as soon as I walked in the door after work day after day…..he stalked me and checked the mileage on the vehicle and then interogate me if there was more mileage or gas used than he thought should be.he would even check the grocery receipts to see the time that i left the store….I loved it when he wasn’t home even if he was at the lady neighbor friends drinking…..i could really care less….I started planning my escape little by little and eventually I left one day with only a note behind…
    there was no reason for me to stay and accept his abuse…the kids were grown and i had my own job.I begain thinking anything is better than this…. I never wanted to see him ever again He wants to be “friends” and he can’t understand why I would not want to…….we are in the divorce process right now settling property….it will be a rollercoaster ride I am sure…but looking back
    I should have left years before but was always scared of him…but then hate and disgust takes over. I have not seen him since November and I am so happy right now being by myself without having to put up with his abusive behaviour….he has been replaced with a cat….life is so much better now…. the freedom I have now in thinking my own thoughts and doing what I want when I want is worth the price. I am not sure how I will learn to trust again but I know I will never be in that kind of situation ever again….One raise of a voice and it will send me running in the other direction. I wonder why it is abusers can’t see that they are abusive? Someday I will forgive every rotten thing he has done or said to me…..but the anger is too much right now…..all I know is that I want to be away from him forever.

  39. Sadgirl121 Says:

    Hi all,

    I am going through a divroce after a 10 year relationship and 8 year marriage and only now do I believe that there was emotional abuse involved and my husband was a narcissist. I feel like my family is obviously biased towards me so I would like to ask u all if u feel that the below are examples of emotional abuse:

    – both of us worked, he only earnt slightly more than I did yet I had no financial say e,g. I would have to nag him for 4-5 months to even discuss going on a holiday. Everything was his and if I said I am taking my car to fill petrol hed say – ur car – everything is urs isn’t it

    – I did 95%-100% at home yet when he came home after me he would never see what was done and just criticise what wasn’t done

    – cooking is not something I am great at yet I tried but then on many occasions I’d have cooked something I knew he liked and he’d say oh no I feel like mcdonalds – and on other days he loved the same meal… So it was wasted effort on my side

    – surfing on the Internet whilst tv was on was fine for him but if did that I would get told I spoiled the movie for him

    – I have no friends of my own, he never wanted to meet anyone and then tells my I am socially reclusive as I don’t drive 2 hours to go hang out with his mother doing her hobbies ( all he ever did was come home, have a long shower and lie on the sofa)

    – he used to get angry if I stayed at my parents house too long – I was even scared if it had been 5min or so I’d be watching the clock

    – never had time to talk about things/ plans always postponed to tomorrow – next week – simple things like meeting up with ppl

    – would come back from work angry saying he hadn’t had lunch – as if that was my fault…he didn’t take responsibility of himself, he never has eaten a sandwhich !!

    – told me that because I argued once with him in front of his mother. 2 years ago he is divorcing me as he doesn’t want to die early 40s like his uncle did whose wife cheated on him whilst he worked as a stockbroker

    – I am scared of the simplest decisions as nothing is right

    – nobody, neighbours, my family etc are friendly with us as in His eyes they are all bad

    – he wouldn’t come and see my parents who lived 2min away as we didn’t often drive 4 hours to see his and  after our argument his mother ensured she spoke in a language I didn’t understand so I would be sitting there feeling very unwelcome

    – he has withheld affections, not been physical in 3 years, he blames it on me being fat ( he is fatter!!) and that was why we couldn’t have kids – now when my maternity policy is perfect he left me told me to move out so his parents can move into our home

    – in the last 2 years he has rekindled friendships with 2 ppl – 1 of his friends Has been talking to him daily telling him how he is scared to leave his wife as she could take her 3 kids, the other friend says he is not working and to preserve his face his wife has not told anyone he is taking a career break.  his wife goes to work comes back, gets insultated badly, knowS he has been having an affair for 10 years and my husband says apart from the affair that is the life he wants and I will blackmail him over kids if we had any

    – his father who is nice told me they only had him after 8 yrs to make their marriage work and it never did as his mother only ever loved e son not him so she has always been jealous if we went on holiday, I bought anything – she would go out and buy exactly e,g. The same dressing table and say see I got the same…she expected to spend her sons money on us – it was never my money

    I know I have rambled but I would really appreciate ur views on this – am I sane or am I wrong – is is emotional abuse or normal behaviour?

    My only flaw in life has been not to suck up to his mother, although I said I would give them enough. Money monthly to ensure they live their retirement in dignity. And second flaw is retaliating after years of this by shouting back when I was being ignored and sometimes bad language, … u have had a hard day at work and someone doesn’t hear ur question 5 times, and treats u like an idiot

  40. Ann Says:

    I’ve been mentally abused by my father. When I was younger he used to abuse my mother instead. She never wore the right clothes and she’d change them for him. But next time, although she was wearing what he had formerly suggested, her clothing was wrong again. If she reminded him, he’d say that nothing looked good on her. He’d look at the women living next door, saying why don’t you wear this and that. He frekvently called her an idiot, stupid, retard – such things. And yet in my life I’ve never met a kinder person than my mother. But she has no will of her own, she’ll agree with anyone these days. Some years ago, she was hospitalized from illness and about to die. Increadibly she made a full recovery. This changed my father, and he has been kinder to her since than ever before. He was so afraid of being left alone, he even cried and admitted this to me when she was sick. But after this, I have become his new letout of frustration. True, things were never rosy between us. I always fought back, swearing I’d never give in like my mom. But now I’m going through a tough time in my personal life and I don’t have as much strength and confidence as I used to. He’s taking every chance to come down on me, telling me I’m useless, telling me I’m just like his brother (who is mentally challanged, a drunkard and a nutcase and I daresay we have nothing in common!). I’ll buy and cook dinner for them, and an hour later he barks how I never help out or do anything for them. Nothing I do counts. I can do 99 things and he’ll still complain about that one last thing left undone. I’ve cleaned every spot where they live, including the toilet and tub, the stove, the sink, vaccumed, washed, cleaned the windows, made the garden look good. Still, I do nothing. I think I’m falling into a depression and I long to sleep everything away. I could really use support and encouragement from my family at this time, to take a leap I desperately need to take. But instead I feel my will ebbing away and I am falling into personal ruin. When I need wind beneath my wings, I get thrown to the ground by the one close to me. Somethimes when I talk about my plans and dreams, he will simply not answer but just start a new topic. Like he didn’t hear me. And then he’s not even in a bad mood. If he’s in a bad mood, he’ll say something sour or ridicule whatever I said. I don’t want things to be this way. It’s not normal, but he’s the only dad I have. I want my dad to support me, to be there for me, cheering me on. It feels like such a waste. I bet, someday when he’s gone, I’ll blame myself in the end, wiching I’d have been a better daughter. Somehow.

  41. Suzanne Says:

    I have read all these posts and sat here thinking to myself why am I still here. I have been married to this man for 30 years and for every year while there have been some good times, there have been more bad. I can honestly say I have went through all of this. I lied to myself for years saying I stayed for the kids only to find my kids who are now grown have asked me why? We feel as though we have been through so much together. We all have scars from his emotional and mental abuse. I am very angry with myself for torturing myself. I have tried to leave him twice. Each time he was so remorseful
    crying telling me he couldnt live with out me or the kids. How everything he does is for us. He has beeen a good provider
    and has always supported his family financially. But there is a secret to this, he does not want anyone to look at him in a bad light, so he continues to show his good works and his good side to world outside our front door. But on the other side of that
    door I have endured silent treatments that have lasted weeks, he has let me know I always fall short of being the wife I should be, or mother for that matter. I have walked on eggshells for all these years doing everything I can to keep things
    a certain way to keep him from getting mad or have something distrub him and cause him to go into one of his “spells” as we call them. Lately I find myself very angry and I have wondered why have i done this. I have no feelings it seems. When he says something to me so vile that any one else would have told him he was crazy and left I just have learned to ignore it
    and go on. I dont like this numbness and I dont think i even feel things any more. I married him at 22 and now am 52.
    I have given him my youth and its gone. I can never get it back. And I think bout the last 1/3 of my life, do I want to keep
    going and the answer is no. I want to be free from this. I deserve to be happy and free from his torment. Thank you for
    this site and from all you blessed ones who have told your story. it has given me hope and courage.

    • Susan Price Says:

      Stay strong and walk away. Its better to be alone with yourself than be lonely with someone who does not have your best interest at heart. God bless 🙂

  42. Dutchywoman Says:

    I have been reading alot of the post here and am replying because i was in a fight yesterday evening with my partner .
    I have been with this man voor 8 years known him for 10 and we had a break of 3 years, when we got back together i thought things would be different , they are but the type pf abuse has changed .
    the first 5 years were hell to me , he put me through so many things like i read here and never admitted he was the 1 causing it and i thought too it was all my fault , i couldn’t belief that was so nice on 1 hand and then so nasty on the other, i was just wrong and to sensitive, crying was forbitten because well he couldn,t handle that , i couldn’t graps that idea , so i went on , i left him a couple of times back then but always let him pull me back.
    After the break of 3 years i changed alot and had the idea i could fix us when needed this time but i have come to the conclution i can’t and that hurts and i feel am failing him , me and us..I don’t cry anymore it seems i got numb am just in a depressed and angry mood most of the time.
    Every time we argue its my fault and yes i fight back because am trying the keep us on the road and bit by bit since 2010 it gets worse and am to blame (according to him ), he doesn’t do anything , he is a nice man am the nutcase that always picking a fight and yell .
    He doesn’t seem to understand that when he does something , it has an affect on me.
    He can be very attentive but when it counts for me , he just forgets or does the opposite , its painful , its degrading and without respect , he wants me to be nice and when i am everything is honky dory but when i am want to talk about certain issues either he listen and then days after am getting the back lash or we end up fighting.
    He has an internet past ,looking at porn all sorts and i mean all sorts and that really did me in but he never at the time tried to stop or re asure me in anyway. Gladly he doesn’t do that anymore ,atleast am not aware of it and when he does well after all that time i can’t be bothered anymore to be honest,the way things are going now is he sees when i don’t feel well but never askes me why or give me feedback , he doesn’t seem to be interested what is going on with me, he has no intrest in my intrests , oh he listens when his , am in a good mood button is switched on but when its not and we do have an agruement he throws it at my face that what am doing is stupid , unwise and just don’t have a clue what am doing,he flips sides on me all the time and that is very confusing, i often feel that theres something up , but when i ask nothing is wrong but his behavious changes and that leaves me worried ,i have my issues too , last year he became different to wards me , less interested , also in sex , right after we decided to get married in 2012, that made me very worried that he didn’t show any intrest in the marriage to be , i started to question my own sanity why in the hell i wanted to marry this man.

    We had been there in 2003 aswell and we never did get married, so in 8 months i tried to talk about this (there wasn’t a date yet ) but he either avoided it or we argued about it.
    When we finaly did have a date , things got worse , the sex had been less and less and he didn’t really gave me an explaination on what was going on, he left me in the dark and that made me very frustrated , after a fight i decided to cancel the wedding ( it would have been a very small 1 so no real cost where made) ofcourse all hell broke loose and i was to blame ,not once he asked me why or can we talk about this .I did this because i wasn’t going to get married like that .
    I am living with a man who made the silence , the pulling back and the how can you do this am a nice man attitude his weapon of abuse and its so subtle that you need to be in a relationship like it to understand .

    It doesn’t help to talk because belief me i did and i mean talking not fighting and then it goes abit better but it always goes back to how it was.
    Am beginning to see a patern here , when i talked about things or what is bugging me ( not always us , but things that happen) he does something to upset me taking back the control of the situation, like last night , i had a long phone call with my sister and later that evening she smsd me with a , your importend to me …….resend , so i did and send it to him aswell , i wanted to suprize him so i didn’t say what it was when he asked me , he looked at me as if i told him i was having an afaire or something , the sms came in and he didn’t get up to get his phone , i had to give it to him , he read it and said nothing as if it didn’t matter at all , that hurt me but what bugged me more was his attitude , he was cold , so i called him on it and he said because i didn’t tell the min thety sms came in what it was he was anoyed !!!
    I was thrown of and got angry , he complily overlooked my gesture and threw it back in my face ,and it made me so angry because its how maniest time he did this to me, i think he is jelouse of my sister , they don’t talk because she knows how he is and she has an ex who is the same
    ,this is just a smale example of what has happened between us when things are going well for a bit he flips in his behaviour to me for no reason and i feel ashamed and still find it hard when i calmed down that its not all that bad and that is what i have been reading here aswelll .
    What i just wrote might sound minor to you but , i have been through all the other stuff aswell with him and i think because i had the hope it would really change , the things that keep happening make me remember all he did and that he still doesn’t want to look inside himself what he does , how he still hurts me with his behaviour and that am beginning to just give up on us .
    am irritable and frustrated and sometimes i just feel i can’t go on anymore , i can not leave at the moment and perhaps am still in the fighting mode , maybe its time to give up and start making plans for my self , but its hard to find the energy to go do that , situations like this paralyze you in a big way.

    • Shania Says:

      I think I understand. Maybe. It is a little different than all the other stories but I understand or know this better. Sounds like ignoring and withholding love. He probably only gives”love” when he needs it or when he wants to get physical.

      How is your life now?? Please tell

      Take care.

  43. Susan Price Says:

    I have been going through emotional abuse for 2 years now. I trusted and loved my wife , giving her everything she wanted and supported her when she was down and out. I helped her with finding a job and helped her with her debt by showing her how to file for a BK. She had been a truck driver when she lived in New York and wanted to get back into it. My job was starting to tank so I trusted her and dipped into my savings to pay for trucking school for the both of us. She went out on the road first then I followed. The plan was for her to train me while we were OTR and then be team drivers. 2 weeks into it she changed and abused the hell out of me emotionally for the whole year we were out there. Every time I tried to leave she would cry and say how sorry she was and get me to come back onto the truck and then start beating me up emotionally again. I came off the road with a bad case of post tramatic shock and had to take a 3 month medical leave from work. I also helped her to buy a new car after all the abuse she caused me and her car is still in my name. Since then the abuse has continued and the shame I feel for putting up with it kills me. I recently fell from my truck and crushed my T-8 vertabrae and I am on workmans comp for the next 2 months. Last night she told me she didnt love me anymore and wants to split up. She has always withheld love and intimacy from me and now says she has never loved me. I am devastated! But mostly I feel like such a fool for letting this person do this to me knowing well that I was a mark for her. I’m broke in money as well as spirit. If anyone out there is going through the same thing, run! and dont look back. A emotional abuser is a vampire and will suck you dry and does not care about the damage they inflict. My focus now is to try to keep my roof over my head, I have nowere else I can go at this time. Thanks for letting me vent.

  44. Penny Says:

    I think I might be in a abusive relationship. My father and I used to be really close, but as I got older, I felt that we drifted apart and he changed for the worse. Everyday he will make me feel inferior, and yell at me while I get ready for school. His words always make me feel hurt and uncomfortable. I find myself crying at night and not wanting to come home from school to see him. My mom and I get along, but she always defends him and yells at me when I call him out on his behavior. She is always on his side, and says that as a child I need to show respect. But I feel like he doesn’t respect me. And sometimes my dad and I can have really good moments. We both love football and writing, and we can laugh like nobody else can. He hugs me and if my mom asks him, he will reply that I am beautiful. He says that he loves me, but I feel like sometimes we both hate each other. People have told me that I’m triggering his hurtful actions, but I don’t know. We’ve been told that we’re so alike that it’s like fighting with yourself. He is always always making me fearful and upset, he blames me for things and criticizes me a LOT. He yells and screams, but has never hit me or sexually abused me. I am scared and stressed. I find that I eat more and I panic often at school. My dad is very protective, always saying that if I do some pretty common things, like crossing the street, I will die. He worries a lot and always has, and has been giving my little sister, who is six, nightmares about the dangers of the world, like strangers and kidnappers. He really scares her sometimes, but on the other hand, he always shows her affection, more times than he does to me. I also think I may be bisexual, and am ready to come out, but I am so scared that he will reject me and hate me. He has already rejected me for having an IEP in math, he will ignore me when I try to talk about it. I think we may need counseling. I really don’t know if this is emotional abuse, but I know that it hurts so much. Please help. It was a relief to be able to let all these feelings out. Am I in a abusive relationship?

    • Vivian Marquez Says:

      Yes, you most certainly are in an abusive relationship and one that is described as “FOG.” Fear, obligation, guilt. It is the same as when a person puts a roof over your head, buys you nice clothing, buys good food for you, protects you but then turns around and makes you feel unsure of yourself, makes you feel dumb and worthless, makes you feel everything is your fault. It is subtle and under the guise of “I love you,” when in reality your father is psychologically abusing you. And he’s good at it, really good. Blood is not thicker than water. Blood does not give a parent the right to abuse any child. You need to remove yourself from this relationship as fast as you can. He is making you so unsure of yourself that you will not be able to take care of yourself, find friends of your own, find a good job. He wants you to be dependent on him.

  45. Rach Says:

    I am reading these comments and i still wonder if I was in an abusive relationship and have made a mistake leaving my partner. My issues seem so minor compared to what other people have been through I feel a bit of a fraud – but I would love to hear what people think as I don’t know anyone who has been through this kind of thing. My ex is attractive, bright, emotionally open, driven, skilled and very sociable. The first few months were great, he was kind and caring, generous, fun and sociable. Then things began to creep in like him criticising the way I live (e.g. how tidy my home is, whether I greet him ‘properly’), shouting at me for small things like the way I cook or how I make coffee, correcting my speech, being suspicious of male friends, flying into rages over tiny things, never socialising with my friends, controlling what music we listen to, what films we see and how we spend our time generally, expecting me to adhere to his wishes while never doing the things I would like to do… I was very confident and now I take anti depressants and feel I have to justify my thoughts and feelings all the time in case they are ‘wrong’, because I was so often ‘not doing things’ the way he wanted. I described him as being a bit of a tosser once to a mutual friend because he was being arrogant and silly toward her, it got back to him and he didn’t speak to me for four days, sent me abusive e-mails and told me not to go near him for fear of my physical safety. He is 14 years older than me and he treated me like an angry, exasperated parent telling off an irritating child (I am in my 30s) a lot of the time. Now we have split up he is being lovely, caring and kind, contacting me every day to see how I am, like he used to do when we got together. This is confusing me and fogging my judgement. Any advice or opinion welcome 🙂

  46. Gosia Says:

    Just like a number of of the ladies above I am more and more convinced I am in a emotionally abusive marriage . I am an intelligent 41yr old woman with a masters degree .My husband of 3.5 years (been together for 10.5 years) is very charming, intelligent, generous ,kind…. All the good things, but underneath there is something else. From the very beginning he was very possessive jealous, I had to call and report myself a few times a day. I thought it was cute ,that he missed me… I called…. I know….. Then I moved in with him, then I quit my job to travel with him around the world. Then after about 4 years we settled in a city as his travels were closer to home – he would do Monday – Friday – and I was tired of living in hotels n serviced apartments so stayed behind and got another job. That almost broke us up. I was accused of having affairs with people at work, I was interrogated when he got back home. I was told he had private investigators to follow me to see if I was up to no good etc etc. I thought because we were not married and had no kids he was insecure n thought I was going to leave. There was always a problem when I had to see friends and I don’t have many of them either, I am rather an introvert. Well I refused to quit and continued working. Then things kinds of cooled off a bit with work , I thought he had calmed down, though whenever I met up with friends there was friction. Then we got married…… Then he got a job aboard, a contract for 8 years on another continent ( there was no discussion with me as to what I thought of a move) , after 2 years of both of us commuting up and down I finally moved to be with him. It’s been two years n I have not worked. He does not want or should I say allow me to work. He wants me to work where is works. I sit at home and really do nothing. I started Zumba fitness – not allowed to go to the gym- and this has brought about zumbagate! How dare I go out there and wriggle my waist ( the classes are at the local fitness center) and entice the men. I am embarrassing him, I am disrespecting him and if I continue with this insolence it will be the end or our marriage . He will not have a wife that will disrespect him ….. I have stopped going….he controls money, we don’t have a joint account. I get a weekly allowance that is put on my beside table. I am not responsible for any bills. Says he can’t give me access cos I will spend it on rubbish. (On the whole he does not stifle me with money .Yes I have a nice house n drive a nice car so every one thinks oh she has it all. When we travel I get a generous allowance for shopping … But no access freely ). He does not respect my privacy , he teases me and when I get upset says I’m sensitive , sees me as an extension of himself not as an individual , my options are hardly ever valid, I do not give him enough attention , I am not touchy feely enough, when I said I want to learn a new language he said what for? He has become very confrontational with others, I am mostly in the wrong, he is very patronising but he can very kind, attentive and loving too, I could go on and on and on. There has been a lot over the ten years. I am beginning to feel deflated. Is this an emotionally abuse marriage ?

    • mountcope Says:

      Absolutely! Absolutely this is an abusive marriage. And I believe you already know that it is. He does not love you. He is controlling you. He is breaking your spirit and self confidence day by day. Please get help. Phone your local woman’s shelter and ask to speak with a counselor. They will help you. Please, please call. You need to regain your life.

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