37 Warning Signs Of Emotional Abuse In A Relationship

37 Warning Signs Of Emotional Abuse In A Relationship

Emotional abuse can be a sneaky killer of the spirit – and worse.

Why? Because, if you are like most people, you might be missing the red flags that you are in a relationship with an abuser.

Chances are that you don’t want to see these red flags because you so desperately want to believe that your abuser actually loves you, or cares about you – or wants the best for you.

And slowly, steadily and irreversibly, emotional abuse – especially from someone who is supposed to love you – will erode your joy, your sense of well-being and even your mental health, driving you into paralyzing self-doubt, shame and possibly suicide.

And the hard truth is that the fact that you are reading this indicates that part of you already knows that you are in an abusive relationship…

That despite the best face you are trying to put on things – and even despite the fact that your partner does do some good things for you – that you are profoundly unhappy. Even scared.

And that you know – deep inside – that you need to make a change in your life.

That change could be altering you or your partner’s behavior, getting professional help or an intervention – or leaving your abuser once and for all.

Take This Quiz And Find Out Right Now: Should You Break Up With Him?

Click here to take our quick (and shockingly accurate) “Should You Break Up With Him” Quiz right now and find out if you should break up with him…

Nobody deserves to be abused, physically or emotionally. And because it’s often so difficult to break away from an abusive relationship for all these reasons above, it’s essential that you take a cold, clear look at your situation.

Only then can you make a clear, informed decision, and live the life of self-worth and love that you deserve to live.

So take a moment and ask yourself if you recognize any of these behaviors in your partner or yourself.

The Biggest Signs Of Emotional Abuse In A Relationship

Abusers Consistently and Repeatedly Make Mean Jokes, and Criticize and Judge You Negatively

Abusers humiliate their partners. They insult and put you down both in private and in front of others as a method of eroding your self-esteem, which they hope will make you more dependent on them.

Then, if you or someone else protests, they will laugh it off and either claim that they are “just joking” and that you have no sense of humor or are just “too sensitive” (1).

In other words, they will hurt your feelings and make your hurt your fault.

Abused Partners Feel Shame or Guilt Most of the Time

Do you feel as if you’re doing something wrong and you deserve rebuke from your partner? Worse still, do you feel as if you don’t even know what you’ve done wrong?

Brene Brown, the great researcher and author, notes that there is a difference between guilt and shame.

You feel guilt when you’ve done something bad. You feel shame when you feel that you “are” bad.

An abusive partner will find multiple opportunities to point out what you are doing wrong – as a way to gain a sense of power over you (2).

Can you name 3 or 4 things your partner has rebuked you for over the last week? That would be a red flag.

Worse still is how an emotional abuser will create a sense of “shame” in you – that vague sense that you are not worthy, neither of respect nor love – nor them.

A screaming red flag is when they tell you that you are so “bad” that nobody else would take or love you. This is how an abuser creates the illusion that you are doomed to be trapped with them forever, because that’s the best you’ll ever get.

Abusers Refuse To Talk About Your Hurt

A healthy relationship is one in which you and your partner feel free to express what hurts, what scares you, what worries you – as well as your hopes and dreams.

An emotional abuser doesn’t want to hear about your pain, except to reinforce that you deserve whatever pain you feel. That you’ve brought it on yourself, or that it’s your deserved destiny to feel bad about yourself.

If your partner indicates they have no time to talk about what worries, scares or inspires you, notice if it’s part of a pattern.

If they want you to wallow in your pain, or feel as if you are chasing after them all the time in order to connect, they are manipulating your emotions to keep you subjugated or “beat down”.

If you constantly feel guilty in your relationship, but you don’t really know why, it might be because your partner is encouraging you to feel that way.

Does your partner always claim that everything’s your fault? Are they incapable of taking responsibility for their words and actions toward you and others? Do you feel bad when you spend time with your friends and family?

If you answered, “yes” to any one of these questions, then your partner is probably habitually guilt-tripping you. Don’t fall for it (3).

This is just one of the many ways emotionally abusive people will try to exert their dominance over you, and it’s not healthy at all.

Additionally, if they use the “silent treatment” to punish you after a fight, or for saying or doing something they don’t approve of, or for no apparent reason at all, then they’re being emotionally abusive.

Emotional Abusers Keep You on a Short Leash

One of the most confusing things about abusive partners is that while they shut you down in person and “don’t want to hear it”, they keep a close eye on you when you are apart.

Too often, emotionally abused partners mistake this behavior for “care”. But it’s not; it’s control.

Pay attention to that gap between how much they want to communicate when you are around and their texting, calling and checking up on you when you – or they – are away.

Similarly, beware of angry or emotional signs of “jealousy” when you talk to a person of the opposite sex or someone shows up on your Facebook page.

This is not jealousy driven by care, but jealousy driven by control. An emotional abuser will make you feel guilty or evil or shameful for simple, innocent interactions with others.

Along the same lines, they will try to control your spending as well as your social ties. This is how an abuser reduces an adult to the level of a child, cutting off their autonomy, begging for money for the simplest things.

If they do, then ask yourself this crucial question: does my partner treat me like a whole, autonomous human being – or rather only an extension of themselves?

If you feel as if they are putting you in this second category, it’s up to you to decide if that’s really how you want to continue to live your life.

They Threaten You In Subtle Ways

Most people can identify a physical abuser. It’s simple – they hit you.

But emotional abuse is far more subtle. Yes, it’s more obvious when an abuser insults you or threatens you. But because emotional abuse is a sub-category of control, they will often resort to other methods of threat.

Some will threaten to leave you – and blame that choice on you. Some will threaten to hurt or even kill themselves – and blame that choice on you.

These are classic behaviors of abusers because they exhibit different expressions of one of their core traits: taking no responsibility for their own choices while wholly putting the blame of their own pain or misfortune on the abused.

Abusers Keep You “Outside The Circle”

An emotional abuser will exclude you not only from their heart, from their good will and from their approval, they will also exclude you from their activities.

If you feel that your partner is making plans without you, if they are taking part in activities without you and if they are keeping secrets from you, disappearing and reappearing at will while refusing to explain their movements, you are likely in a relationship with someone who is abusing you in multiple ways.

Abusers Make You Doubt Yourself

Everybody feels self-doubt, sometimes, which makes this behavior so destructive and so effective.

Sometimes an emotional abuser will deliberately lie to you to confuse you and make you doubt your perceptions.

They will make you doubt their own observations, memory and sanity.

Sometimes they will argue and wear you down until you don’t trust what you know is true.

Sometimes they will straight out deny what you saw.

Sometimes they will attack your clarity, your ability to tell right from wrong, your intelligence and your good sense. They will remind you of mistaken perceptions you’ve had in the past or insist on how superior their own intelligence is.

Whatever the tactic, the goal is the same: to destabilize your sense of solidity, competence and self-worth…

… which serves their ultimate goal: control.

Abusers Will Throw You Crumbs

Emotional abuse is about control. And part of control is to keep you “off-center”. So most abusers offer crumbs of love or approval or compliments or buy you gifts in order to keep you in their circle of influence or under their thumb.

It is important not to mistake these crumbs that mimic affection for actual affection, which is evidenced by consistent behavior, not occasional blips or gifts.

Note: most emotional abusers will strategically create these momentary islands of feeling good to keep you hooked. They will surprise you with a meal or a piece of jewelry or a sudden compliment or getaway. They will overdo their apologies when they feel as if their mask will fall away and reveal the cruel abuser beneath.

This keeps the victim clutching onto the hope that “things will change” and the love they so dearly hope for will finally arrive and stay, once and for all.

Emotional Abusers Giveth Then Taketh Away

Someone who loves you will tell you “I love you”.

Someone who is trying to control you will make that offering of love conditional.

They will say, in one form or another, “I love you, but…”

This is not a mere innocent qualifier. It’s a cloaked criticism and, worse, a threat. It suggests that the abuser’s love might be yanked away at any moment.

It’s as if they are standing there with the rug on which you’re standing on in their hands – threatening to pull it out any moment. This is how controllers keep their victims off balance.

Abusers Make You Feel As If You’re Walking on Eggshells

When you are in a relationship with someone who cares about you, you wake up feeling supported, you feel supported during the day and you go to bed and night feeling the safe “nest” of being with someone who has your back.

By contrast, if you are in a relationship with an emotional abuser, you will awaken, live and go to bed in a state of anxiety. You will feel a consistent, irritating discomfort that you will unknowingly offend, insult, upset or provoke your partner into anger, disappointment or rage.

There is a very powerful saying that the first time you get abused you are a victim. But the second time, you are an accomplice.

Pay close attention to these 37 Red Flags above. As soon as you can call your partner on these hidden “control” tactics and ask them to consider changing their behavior, do so.

If they belittle you for feeling hurt, isolated or manipulated, let them know that this hurts you even more.

If they express concern, there is hope for your relationship. Let them know that there are behaviors that have to change for you to stay in the relationship.

If they are open to that, there is hope that change is possible.

If they are not open to change, not open to professional help to assist you in creating new habits, then chances are they never will. Not until you are prepared to leave.

And leaving, when it comes to dealing with an emotional abuser, may be your best choice and the beginning of your freedom, your joy and your true life as a whole, self-expressed adult.

Nothing less than your emotional health and happiness is at stake.

Want to find out if you should break up with him? Click here to take our quick (and shockingly accurate) “Should You Break Up With Him” Quiz right now and find out if you should break up with him..

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In summary…

These Are The Warning Signs Of Emotional Abuse In A Relationship

  • Abusers make mean jokes, and criticize and judge you negatively
  • Abusers humiliate their partners
  • Abused partners feel shame or guilt most of the time
  • An abusive partner will find multiple opportunities to point out what you are doing wrong
  • An emotional abuser will create a sense of “shame” in you
  • Abusers will tell you that you are so “bad” that nobody else would take or love you
  • Abusers refuse to talk about your hurt
  • An emotional abuser doesn’t want to hear about your pain, except to reinforce that you deserve whatever pain you feel
  • If your partner indicates they have no time to talk about what worries, scares or inspires you, notice if it’s part of a pattern
  • Abusers want you to wallow in your pain
  • Abusers use the “silent treatment” to punish you after a fight, or for saying or doing something they don’t approve of, or for no apparent reason at all
  • Emotional abusers keep you on a short leash
  • Abusers keep you “outside the circle”
  • Abusers make you doubt yourself
  • Abusers will throw you crumbs
  • Emotional abusers giveth then taketh away
  • Abusers make you feel as if you’re walking on eggshells

signs of emotional abuse in a relationship

84 comments… add one
  • Sheila Tremble October 1, 2019, 6:19 am

    I have just left my husband after being emotionally abused for the last seven years. The 2 weeks before I left were horrendous. He told me that he had rigged out his van to carry out his suicide and a letter listing all the things I had done to cause him to kill himself. He then took off for 3 hours in his van before making sure I saw him put a hosepipe in it. He screamed in my face that he hated my guts over and over again and listed all the mistakes I’ve ever made. He refuses to take any responsibility for the break up claiming he has never done anything wrong in out 36 year marriage. He is now telling people I am the cause of the breakup and that he is a nervous wreck because I came home from work in a bad mood. I worked full time while he didn’t work at all. Everyday I went home to find him in bed. He had done nothing in the house to help me. How can someone I loved turn into this evil person.

  • Sal July 10, 2018, 8:27 pm

    Eish I got tongue tied here.now i see what I got myself into. It’s always me, so of I’m the problem why is he not leaving? I actually hit him 4 times but there’s no change in him, and that’s pathetic for me to stoop to that level so he’s going bye bye

  • Susan June 16, 2018, 6:31 am

    I was told by friends and family that my husband was a “con-artist” After reading all your stories I have been up all night crying while reading cos I see me in every story. I have been a victim of manipulation, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, and despite being an RN am broke and unable to work. (I have no driver’s license due to inability to pay speeding tickets then got more tickets cos had no money to buy car insurance so it’s like a endless wheel. He talked me into spending my 401 K account from an old job, and any other retirement money that was not to be touched till like 30 more years. Yup, he talked me into taking out a mortgage only in my name but his name is on deed with me. Now we been in foreclosure x 4 years, last payment 4 years ago and my excellent credit went down to None. He doesnt pay any Bill’s until they get shut off. Once we went with using a generator for house for A WHOLE YEAR, because electric bill not paid so they shut us off , so we bought gasoline FOR A YEAR instead of get bill on a planned payment plan. We have a developmental disabled son who is 20 years old who has been destructive with TVs, kindles, walls, fence , etc. So my husband keeps spending money on him again and again. He actually spends my sons entire SSI check on junk. He has 10 of the same movie DVD , triple of toys etc all because my husband started this and just needs to spend money foolishly. I found out that 3 years ago with my old job he was taking money right from the visa card that my paycheck went into. (Cos we have no credit to get a normal checking account) i am a jerk thinking that because I physi CD ally had card on me he couldn’t use it to buy stuff on Ebay. Well $10,000 in 1 year he spent on Ebay buying and selling bicycles all over USA. I have to leave this marriage soon cos now my 3 kids all are getting affected by our fights. He curses constantly which I hate. My 16 year old refused school for 1 year and CPS had to be called and HE THOUGHT HE COULD FIGHT CITY HALL and keep her home due to her anxiety so he refused residential school that CPS and myself wanted and guess what? we got letter from CPS that case is indicated !! He doesnt care anymore about case cos school over, meanwhile she still refuses therapy. There’s so much stress here since I was so overwhelmed with first problem, then problems all different areas kept piling up and I became frozen. I am medically and physically falling apart due to RA and Osteoarthritis and had many joint replacements and spine fusions. He calls me a cripple lazy I walk funny he says( I do though)
    When we met i was a spinning instructor and now i look like an old woman. I need to get my butt in ge as r .I lost all my friends and my mom hates him for ruining my life. By the way, he got a new job in October and now he takes the van that MY MOM BOUGHT ME , to work and I’m home all day with no money . My son spilt milk down 2 cable boxes and just busted our bedroom flat screen. I’m mentally drained. I need to find a job , but now the CPS case will affect hiring. I am not the person I was 20 years ago. I am lost and have no hobbies or interests. It’s so weird feeling like this. I actually left my 1st husband , my high school sweetheart for him. That was when the manipulation started. The money problem is at its worst. our electric bill is actually $ 11,000 mortgage could of been paid up but he even talked me into refinancing and a 20,000 home equity loan that he needed to finish a job.( when he was a private contractor) we still haven’t paid either account. I know if I start divorce proceedings we will have to leave this house but I know the bank won’t let us stay here much longer anyway. He also talks about me to my kids. They all have no social contacts beside their so called online friends. We had to sell all jewelry in house . House falling apart cos any money from his job goes to stupid stuff not utility bills or maintenance for house. I dont want my kids growing up into relationships like this. The fighting is bad , he recently yelled in my face so close that he sprayed saliva at me and also shoved me last week. I am in process of getting organized and setting up separate account . This man needs to see what’s it’s like being without a mauudar. He also reads all my FB messages,emails, etc. I dont talk to anyone , literally have no more friends since I left job last May. I need the strength to leave but I’m scared .my life is a mess. I dont know where to begin. Also there’s more but I’m so tired. Thanks for your time if you read this and I hope we all get what we want. Bless you all.

  • Millicent April 6, 2018, 3:23 pm

    I just recently understood that I have been emotionally abused almost all my life. I’ve been in and out of depression. While trying to find ways to help myself, i discover that I emotionally abuse my abuser and others around me too when I’m still hurting.
    How do I heal from emotional abuse while being an abuser as well? How do I discuss with my abuser when I am also guilty too? This frightens me even more and I am scared I can’t be normal and my case is worse. I am scared to relate with people because I fear I may emotionally abuse them as well

  • Arnel March 25, 2018, 2:06 pm

    Looking forward to leaving my boyfriend. He is older than me. I’m 35, he’s 58. In the past year, he has battled health issues. I have been by his side, and he has taken me for granted. We also live together. I recently decided that I needed space and time apart from him. In the beginning of the relationship, everything was great. And now, it’s a mess. He used to buy me things (A sign of abuse), and now, he says, what about the things I bought you? I’m not for sale, and I never asked him to buy me anything. I also work full time, and I do buy my own things. It really hurts when you’re in a relationship with someone who has this power over you. My self esteem is not the same. I used to be bubbly and chipper, and now, my smile is gone. I need to move on, and not look back.

  • Julie February 26, 2018, 5:21 am

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for nearly 2 years, I don’t think if this is emotional abuse,whenever I have tried to talk to him about things he’s doing wrong and how he’s treating me lately it’s been driving me crazy on the inside because he’ll be rude and start degrading me and calling me mean names like a b***h even in front of friends, whenever I do bring it up he just says the same thing as always and just denies being rude, but he’ll get mad at me because I ‘carry it on’ but I feel like the only reason I do is because it’s not getting through to him because he knows it upsets me but still continues to do it, he doesn’t see what he does wrong, his excuses are for getting mad at me are that he’s had a long day at work and just needs to relax and doesn’t want to have any ‘drama’, lately if he does something to upset me I’ll try and approach him in a calm way because I really do consider his feelings and under stand he’s gunna be tired after work but even though I have bad anxiety I try so hard but he still gets angry and it’ll turn out to be my fault in the end but I just want him to consider my feelings it just seems like he doesn’t and doesn’t care I even say it to him he just says he does but his actions don’t add up, I don’t know what to do and I hope someone reads this and can help please

    • Tami February 28, 2018, 1:26 am

      Hi Julie, my name is Tami. I don’t believe in coincidences only synchronicity’s . I am currently working on safely getting out of an abusive relationship. I have been with the empty abusive narcissist for 12 years. There was always a gut feeling that something wasn’t right since day one but I was born into a family where abuse was present. Abuse is not ok but when you are born into it, it’s normal for you and you don’t know it by name… yet. If someone told me an hour before I had to face that I was being abused and had been not only my whole life but especially over the last 12 years I wouldn’t have believed them. We all have free will to come to our own conclusions about our life because it’s just that, your life. We have a right to say to ourselves when we’ve had enough and when we still want to see something through even if it is abuse, we get to decide when that’s right for us. Unfortunately abusive realationships are the root of all addictions because a cycle of abuse is an addiction and like all other addictions they need more and more to feel in control. A narcissistic abuser will only to 2 things as you chose to journey with them, progressively get worse when the usual tactics no longer work because you are still a strong woman and fight back out of defense not power like they do or when they realize they have abused everything out of that woman before she wakes up to what’s going on they will leave finding someone else to force their power on because they took it away without permission to the beautiful soul left behind who dared to love them. Physical abuse is quick, emotional and psychological abuse is far worse because they take over your mind and it’s a slow torturous process. When you feel ready the book “Why does he do it” by Lundy Bancroft gently explains why he is doing it. I didn’t stumble upon this book I had to find it when an innocent forced me to open eyes. Your comment spoke to me and the woman I was 10 years ago, I believe I saw this tonight to share with ok what I wish I could have shared with myself before now. This relationship will only get worse and you will lose so much of yourself to him that he will take without your permission. I have a lot more work to do now 12 years in to get out. If I left 2 years in 10 years ago I would be living my life now and not trying to get out. It felt important to share this with you if it can help another strong woman to not have to suffer for as long as I have. I have a long road ahead of me but at least now it’s my own and not under the control of an abuser. Sending positive thoughts to you, Tami

    • Joshua March 7, 2018, 11:27 pm

      Julie, from what I’ve learned by experiencing 3 years of emotional abuse from my ex-girlfriend is that abuse is all about power and control in the relationship. It makes the abuser feel better to hurt you – especially if they know you’re strong enough to stick around and take their abuse – and knowing you love them so much as to never entertain leaving them means they don’t need to change.

      You’re greatest power to change your situation is your ability to leave him so what you do is tell him you’re leaving him and mean it. Whether they’re willing to look at themselves and commit to making REAL change in themselves for you, OR whether they willingly let you leave, you’ll be better off. Because, trust me, you may fear leaving the person you’ve grown to love but loneliness and heartbreak are far better things to suffer with than ongoing mental and emotional trauma that WILL eventually causes damage to you. It will Julie. I’ve VERY, VERY strong mentally and yet after my experiences with my ex I’m not the same person.

      Smh, I’m still pretty young but I’ve started growing grey hairs. I feel like I’ve aged 15 years after all of this..

      If he seems genuine in wanting to change to improve the relationship then still agree to some time apart while you two are *still together* (no seeing other people) and keep in touch (make it like a long distance relationship without actually being long distance). Then eventually go on a few dates with each other again in a few months. If he truly loves you he’ll care about how you feel. Even if he doesn’t think he’s doing anything wrong, someone who truly cares about you will WANT to understand your feelings and what to understand their contribution to the problem.

      That’s the key.

      If they don’t care about your thoughts and feelings then they don’t care about you no matter how many times they say they love you, because our thoughts and feelings are what make us who we are.


      WARNING: As a woman dealing with an abusive male, always make sure you’re a safe distance away from him when you tell him you’re leaving, like at a *undisclosed* girlfriend’s or family member’s house, in case he’s one of those who may become physically abusive.

  • Julie February 25, 2018, 9:31 pm

    I’ve been dating my boyfriend for nearly 2 years in the beginning it was great he was loving kind he spoilt me took me to dinner let me go shopping, I never really took the red flags for what they were I was just always confused he would get mad at the smallest things like if I was upset and left where I was to see a friend and didn’t tell him he would go off but it would be completely fine for him to do whatever he wants, unfortunately I had a fall out with my mother so I’m now living with him, he will come back every day after work tired and worn down I completely understand that so I would make him something to eat and let him relax but this one time he was being rude and degrading me for the sandwich and how long it’s taking me to do it, he’s been rude and degraded me a lot before and I told him it wasn’t okay but this time I told him to stop being so rude he just flips out and me and says he’s not then he grabbed me wrists and held them tight being right up in my face telling me how he doesn’t have to talk and that he’s mad because he’s had a long day at work then I’ll say I know that just don’t take it out on me he’ll say it’s my fault because he doesn’t want to talk about the same bs but I only bring up when nessicary and it upsets me, he doesn’t seem to care when I try talk to him and tell him what he’s doing isn’t okay he just says it’s my fault still and I should of pushed him, I love him I’m just not too sure what I can do

  • Angela February 12, 2018, 10:43 am

    I don’t know if it’s emotional abuse or not but he seems not to listen when I try telling how I feel he says he does it will last a few days then he is back to the same thing

  • tracey February 10, 2018, 10:42 am

    I guess I’m writing this because I’d like a answer to what my relationship is. is it normal or is it something other. I’ve been with my partner for over 10 years. when it’s good it’s great. but their are more times where I find he’s constantly bringing up problems that I’ve done or I have to sort out or its not done how he wants it. he makes rude gestures at me like doing the sign of a nob head. he calls me names and puts me down. he tells me nobody else will have me and all my exes left me coz I’m not a nice person. but I was the one that broke up with my ex partners. he tells me I’m a bad mother. he can be smarmy towards me. he tells me I have no ambition. also he’s embarrassed to be seen with me. I used to feel like I’d be walking on eggshells around him. but now I answer back.

    • Sofia February 13, 2018, 10:42 am

      Hi, by the sounds of him his biggest fear is losing a good thing he will never find again
      You are not all of those things he says about you he is but is too weak of a person to see that he Sounds like a scared controlling freak that has to abuse you to scare you so you don’t leave him and then he has no one to abuse anymore . He has big problems that he will never see as it’s a sickness and a cruel one!!! Why should you live like that in this world today you should be loved and respected and most of all free!!! Don’t feel guilty anymore for his doings that he will never change it only gets worse stop living a bad sad life seriously… find a better life you will do this with out him dictating and what a beautiful life it will be .. remember abusers are more scared of the people they are abusing why…? Gutless…. they only abuse if you let them …

  • Candy January 24, 2018, 3:38 pm

    I think silent treatment has different situations. Like after I’ve been yelled at and aging I’m just drained and don’t want to say anything else wrong. Being quiet makes me feel safe. I’m not doing it as punishment.

    It’s also not always abusive to ask if someone’s cheating. If you feel there are signs I think it’s appropriate to ask in a respectful way. It’s not ok to constantly accuse and snoop.

    • Candy January 24, 2018, 3:39 pm

      *arguing not aging

  • Jensen January 15, 2018, 8:43 am

    My husband and I meet at a church building late 2015. Before I meet him I was a big time party gi.
    And did a lot of horrible things in my life and to my ex’s. Most of them if not all of them I cheated on when I got messed up and they were on jail.
    (I came from an abusive home and full of drugs I don’t know if that has something to do with it)
    I decided to get my life straight and find Jesus Christ. I started going to this church and he was a resident there. We hit it off from the get go. We had this journal and we would right notes back and forth to each other. I was on cloud 9. I thought he is the one. He ended up moving in with me and for a little bit it was nice. But then je just started having this anger about him. He was always mad and critised me.

    One day we decided to start drinking.. (Bad idea) We start drinking and I don’t really know wjat happened but I was so drunk and I started hiding from him (I think I was upset because he wouldn’t let me drink anymore and when I start drinking I can’t stop). Then I ran to a mans house I knew had beer and would drink with me. I remember when I got there he gave me a beer and we sat at the table just talking. And I seen a picture of a friend of mine and it said R.I.P on the picture. And i said omg he died and he said yeah he hung himself. And we started talking about him. (We was not sexual at all or even a little bit we were just hanging out and talking.) I needed to use the restroom and he didn’t have one in hos RV that was parked out back of his mothers house so I went in to use the rest room. When I came out and started going back to his RV i slipped and feel in mud. I asked him if he had some pajama pants or something I could use so he went and got me some. I think I’m starting to remember. After I grabbed the pants and put them on I took off out the back of the house and started walking down the alley back to my house and my husband and sister was driving down the road looking for me. Well he swears up and down i f***** him. He’s always yelling at me. Everytime we’ve gotten drunk I’ve tooken off with a different man. Let’s say roughly 5-7 times if that many. He’s always dogging me and I can’t seem to remember our exact fights and what he says to me. Now he just accuses me of f***** everyone and he doesnt believe anything I say ever. He watches porn and I catch him. Then when I get upset about it he doesn’t care he says that hes a man or that we’ve watched it together (but the only reason I’ve watched it with him is because we were about to have sex and he wanted to watch it. He’s got on pills multipile of time and spemt all our money. Id wake up to him jaking off watching porn and when I’d get hurt hed get mad at me and accuse me of something. He’s always telling me to get real and that my head is f******* up. Everytime I try to talk about whats bugging me or upsetting me he don’t ever want to talk about it and he says he doesnt want to deal with this emotional drama BS. But than he tells me everything I’ve done wrong. He’s himiliated me in two different churches we’ve been to. Because they help us with rent or something and then he just keeps asking and keeps asking for help. It makes me not even want to go to church. I’m embarrised. He’s always talking down on people. He talks amd talks and talks and I’ll interrupt him to agree or say something and he’ll swear up and down that I disrespected him how disrespectful I am. But than he interrupts me all the time. I’m really not that much of a sexual being I’ve just done stupid things in my past when I got drunk
    But if I don’t come on to him sexually than he says I’m not attractive to him and that if it was someone else I’d be all over them. He always wants to have kinky dirty sex. He always tells me that he’s a fool for being with me. Today we had an arguement at 4:00am because he woke up and has been trouble sleeping and he started saying he hates his life how miserble he is and how he wants to blow his head off and than he brought up my past saying I cheated on him and I kept telling him I never cheated on him. He said he don’t believe me than he said f*** you b****.
    Everytime we fight he can say whatever he want to me degrate me and make me feel less the. And he wants me to stand there and take it and make him feel better and if I don’t make him feel better or if I walk away he says thats typical of me and do what i do best. I just dont know what to do. When were good were great were lovey and giggly woth eachother. But when were bas things get crazy and I just don’t know how to deal woth it anymore Ive hurt him because I’ve hung out with other men and got f****** up with them. Some Ive drank with some I smoked meth with like twice that happenes. (No Im not a meth head I just get drunk and try stupid things) ive gotten drunk and told two of my exs I loved them. I know Ive hurt him and theres no excuse but he’s hurt me to and I just don’t know what to do anymore. When he said f*** you b**** I got so upset I slapped him. I didn’t mean to it just happened so quick. And than he started downing me for that.
    I don’t know if I should leave or what I should do.
    Please someone give me some advice.

    • Jensen January 15, 2018, 12:15 pm

      Maybe I just am the one to blame.

      • Kerry January 18, 2018, 4:37 pm

        The fact that you are writing this shows that you already think you’re in an abusing relationship. If I were you I would get out as it will only get
        Worse, trust me I’ve been there. You will be ok, I was! Just concentrate on yourself and sorting yourself out, you don’t need an abusing partner to drag you down. You say you were from an abusive home, work on making yourself better and happier and the rest
        Will come. Good luck!

  • Jas January 3, 2018, 2:29 am

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for 6 years now. In our relationship, there were ups and downs. The past events from Christmas till NY have been a good wake up call for me.

    First event:
    I’ve asked him to go to this Christmas place with me to be in the festive mood. I love Christmas and the festive feels. And, we’ve always been hanging at his house cos he’s always tired over the weekends due to work and traveling long distance to his workplace. And I’ve been wanting to visit this place for a long time, I’ve been asking him for the past few years and he said, it’s too packed and he’ll bring me maybe the next year. So we kept pushing back, and we decided to go today. I even asked him if he is really okay with going, he said yes.

    So we went, and everything was fine until people cut his queue, pushed and bumped into us. He went berserk after we collected our food. I thought okay, he needed a space to cool down. So we went to find a seat nearby and sat down to eat our food. Then I told him, cool down okay, control your anger. Then he took the food, shoved it into my mouth and said: ” Shut up, eat the ****ing chicken meatball.” I was shocked because he actually scolded me with vulgarities 2 months before, he said he won’t do it again. But he did it today. Then he went on a full rampage on how screwed up this event was.
    He was angry all the way back, and we sat down to have a talk. Long story short, he was angry with me. And that when we were waiting for his bus, I cried a little thinking about today’s events, then he pulled my ear and said why am I crying? When he saw that, he immediately turned around and said ” Let’s cancel the trip” (Which was 2 days later). I don’t know if this pulling my ear is consider an abuse, he just slightly pulled my ear. But I am very scared, what initially was just verbal and cursing at me, now is starting to become physical. I don’t know if you’d call this physical?

    Second event:
    He texted to meet me the next day. I went to his place to find him, and when he called I accidentally canceled his call cos I was typing to my friend. Then he said he boarded the train and went to another place. He texted “Meet me at XXX, if not let’s not meet.” Feeling anxious I went down to meet him, and when we met. He was angry and furious. So I asked him what’s wrong, he said “You mail your postage first before talking to me. I give you until 11am to do it, if not I’m out of here.” I was going to post an item before meeting him but since I was late, I thought I shall just carry it. So in the end, I hid the item in my bag, and he basically didn’t want to talk. So I got him out of the mall and talked to him, he said “I’ve tried calling you but it just kept didn’t get through”. So I told him that I didn’t receive the call. And he said he didn’t trust me anymore. Anyway this went on for a while, he walked away and I was following him and calming him down. He finally calmed down after a few hours, and he said to go ahead with the trip which is next day.

    Third event:
    On the day that we left for a short trip, he had an episode. It was all fine in the morning when we met. He suggested to grab something before we board the boat. So we went to this small eatery place. The person serving us was confused because there was a crowd and he directed us the wrong way, he gave me my food but then took it to give another person. My bf saw it and became very angry and we left the place immediately. We went to another eatery nearby and got food. As we sat down, I told him to cool down and not let the server spoiled our mood, we’re going for a vacation that we’ve been waiting for months.

    As I settled him down, he started making comments like “Whatever you plan doesn’t goes well” – meaning this and the christmas thingy. I told him “What you said really hurts me, do you know that?” He replied saying ” I don’t ****ing care anymore okay, whatever.” I kept cool and told him to be logical and calm down and why let someone ruined our day. He said “If I’d known that I’d be so unhappy, I’d rather not take the leave and spend the days in the office, I’d be happier anyway.” My heart sank, but I can’t show that I’m crying because he’ll get even angrier.

    Then before we got into the immigration, I asked if this is what he wanted, if not we can leave now, he said, “Just go, whatever”. He kept saying “whatever” to all my comments. So before we really board the ship, I asked again, are you sure?, he said “”Yes, whatever”. I told him I planned this trip with your birthday in mind, and I know you like beach and sea, so I chose this resort, he said, “Whatever, I’ll go see how great is this, if not I’m never coming back.”.

    Then when reached there, he seemed perfectly fine and apologized for what he did at night. He said he did all those things and said these things out of anger, on top of what he did to me on the christmas festival night.

    All these 3 events happened consecutively on 3 days. I’m not sure if I’m in an emotionally abusive relationship with physical and verbal abuse looming, please help :(

    • Amy January 5, 2018, 2:44 am


      Run!!!! Trust me, that is emotional abuse and those type of relationships CAN TURN INTO physical abuse.

      Would you say that what he did was acceptable if he were to have done it to someone else ? What if that person was simply trying to be kind to him?

      The answer is no. He is acting like a child. Throwing tantrums every time things don’t go exactly as he thought they should and it’s wrong. Someone so rigid is bound to become an abusive person and bitter.

      Is this what you want your life to be? Don’t waste your time, he clearly disregards your opinion /requests/ views /feelings etc and thus will not change.

      • Jas January 5, 2018, 3:04 am

        Hey Amy! Thanks for your help.

        I’ve sometimes had temper as well and when he tries to coax me, I’d ignore him because I know I’m angry and I didn’t want to talk. But him being like this makes me hurt and my heart aches as well. It’s like a sudden change in him :(

        I’m initiating the breakup tomorrow but I’m not ready for the heartache that comes after that. It’s been 6 years :(

        • AM June 8, 2018, 12:06 pm

          I know it seems like your 6 years has been wasted…but just imagine if you end up spending another 6 years or more. That would really be a waste!

  • Kitty December 30, 2017, 6:21 pm

    It took a long time to recognize my abuser for what he is. Before that, he had me convinced that I was mentally ill. But no matter how many doctors/therapists I went to, no one thought there was anything wrong with me. Finally, he took me to marriage therapy (this was a very creative way of controlling me and it almost worked) and we would spend week after week where he would charismatically tell the therapist how he is trying so hard, but I keep doing such horrible things to him. One day, out of the blue, our therapist decided to see us separately. That’s when I was first made aware that he was emotionally abusing me.
    It hasn’t been easy getting to a place where I could leave. We have a special needs child that it took a very long time to get the right diagnosis, and I’m still working on getting this child the help she needs. My abuser has done very dirty, manipulative things to make that process difficult for us. It is clear that the children are a means of control. He tells me that if I leave, he will ruin me and I will never see the kids again. I think it is very possible that could happen, because proving his abuse will be very hard. I also learned a while ago that he tells other people that he was forced into parenting and, this is so horrifying, now he is like a single parent because I am so lazy. This is completely false. In fact, he avoids us except to yell at the kids when they irritate him. He has everyone, including my family, fooled into thinking he’s extremely helpful. As a result, his parents have gone so far as to tell me to get mental health when I’ve asked for help with my special needs kid. They told me that there must be something wrong with me that I can’t handle this kid the little amount of time I’m with her. Except, I’m a stay at home mom doing everything almost entirely on my own, and have been for their whole lives.
    I am cut off from money. I am cut off from friends. Every time I’ve made an appointment with a lawyer to start that process, he has found out and then found a way to sabotage it. He has so many people convinced that he is a victim of me, and that I am a horrible person. I have lost friends because they believed him. Look out for that. Abusers will act like they are a victim. Mine goes so far as to ball up on to the floor in front of our kids if I say, in a calm, stern tone, that he is crossing my boundary and it is not ok. I hate that he does this in front of them, but they are not stupid. My youngest tells him to stop hurting me, that he is a mean daddy. I know that if I don’t get them out of there, one day my son will pay for saying things like this, and that scares me. My son wants nothing to do with his father and yells back at him when our abuser yells at him.
    Emotional abusers can be sly. Mine almost never raises his voice. He is cold and collected when he abuses me. He will treat me like I’m insane and it confused me about myself for the longest time. It took an outsider to make me realize what was happening to me. I don’t know that I would have ever seen it. So many years I read self help books trying to figure out how I could stop being such a bad person, but I never was one. The only upside is once I fully realized just how abusive he is, I started to realize how much better I am. Now I just have to figure out a way to get the kids and I out. I have every confidence that he will abuse our kids if he has any custody and is alone with them, and that scares me the most.

  • Willow December 5, 2017, 8:23 pm

    I’ve been married for over 3 years now. Got married when I was 20. My husband was a great guy when we were dating, but now I feel as though all he does is put me down and hold things over my head. He treats me like a child, explaining things as if I don’t know what they mean and then when I get offended he says that I’m too sensitive. He actually has made me think that I am crazy in the past. He’s very controlling of our money and hold over my head that he makes more than me therefore he can buy things and I can’t.

    He insults me and my mental health issues (PTSD) constantly. Saying to just get over it and then he tells me what he would have done in that situation. He tells me that I am weak and that I would never be able to live on my own or be able to take care of myself. He also used to make fun of any fat that I had on my body. I am not overweight either. He will poke at my belly and not say anything, but I know he’s basically calling me fat. He’s even taken food out of my hand and said that I didn’t need that. I don’t know what to do. And I can’t take this anymore.

    • N December 7, 2017, 10:50 am

      The first step is often the hardest – recognising what’s going on and understanding you that you need to do something about it. Everyone who’s posted on here should feel proud (and brave) for opening up. It can feel like a helpless time, caught in a cycle but you’ve done something for you and hey, that’s really cool, we all need to focus inwardly sometimes for our own sanity.

      There are different approaches you can take. Do you have a trusted friend or family member you can speak to? If you don’t or even just feel like it takes it a step too far out of your comfort zone for now, have a look at the charities specifically for domestic abuse (because let’s be honest, that’s what this is) – even if it’s not in your country, does it matter? Many have live chat options and are freephone. Worried about your browser history? Use an incognito tab (chrome browser has this function) or go to a library or somewhere with free wifi.
      If you feel that you can, set boundaries and take back some control – have a few back pocket phrases like “I don’t like you doing that and I want you to stop/I don’t like you speaking to me like that and I won’t tolerate it”, they may call your bluff with an “or what” but usually the simple answer is to walk away, leave the house. Have an idea what you’d do if they block your way but don’t engage them.
      Make sure you have some cash of some kind. Emergency credit card, secret savings etc. Don’t feel like you’re being untruthful – I know plenty of people in healthy relationships who have a rainy day fund that their other half doesn’t know about.
      Start thinking of a way out, this will be easier if you’re supported but somewhere to live, divorce etc.

      As a note, anxiety and stress hormones are all but the same as those when you’re excited. So next time you get anxious, put your hands on your hips, stick your chest out and chin up and say loudly, “I am excited”! Even this change of pose can help to give you a confidence boost to do what you need to and who cares if you look silly. Genuinely, who cares? It’s all about you.

      Remember that there was a life before your current partner and there can be one after, no matter what your age, gender or how many kids you do or don’t have. Life should be enriching, for you and those around you. You deserve an healthy relationship. You deserve a loving relationship. You deserve so much more than you currently have emotionally.

  • naledi November 26, 2017, 3:15 pm

    Girls I dnt even know where to start…cause abuse is a very pinfull thing any person could go through..whether it’s physical or emotional either way its painfull…ive bn in an abusive relationship for long now for 10yrs…in the biggining everything seems so fine..the love…the happiness…the connection..i actually got married at a young age blinded by love I was only 17 at that time when we had our first child everything seemed normall…i knew he was controlling he was dectaiting my every move…cheackn my phone when I am asleep…choosing my friends telling me what to do an what not…at first I thought it was kind of sweet for my man to be jealous by then I realised that this is more than sweet it’s actually an abuse he used to hit me so hard he ddint even care what he uses to hit me with…i would like down uncountious an he’ll just leave me there to die…sometimes he would come back late drunk an start a fight an chase me out of the house naked in the cold….the next morning he will apologise an just because I love him I will forgive him telling my self it will get better one day an that he’s the father of my children an emotionally he will say ther’s no other man who will love me with my 2 kids..an that is what I kept telling my self that no man will love me let me just endure everything…ther’s actually a lot to say but all I need is help on how to get out of this relationship…cause I ended up cheat on him an he found out an I thought he’s going to kill me but I made everything worse he said he’ll never forgive on this an I am also afraid to loose him though…iam confused please help me guys

  • Lisa October 13, 2017, 11:19 am

    I absolutely agree with you

  • Inigo Montoya October 7, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Ok, am I the abuser or am I the abused?

    I work a full time job, do the dishes, the laundry, clean when I can, auto repairs and yard work, and run my wife who doesn’t drive everywhere she wants to go. I am not expressive to her and I don’t really show that I care. I also don’t do anything for her because I didn’t take a day off to go to Ren Faire.

    Constantly I hear how I’m a horrible husband because I don’t please her sexually and that she’s looking for other men to have sex with. She’s admitted to screwing around with other guys before we “agreed” to an “open” relationship. I have stuck to my vows and not done anything outside the marriage she doesn’t know about (one time she got us into a group sex situation with someone whom she knows, I was not asked.) She’s constantly berating me for working overtime when a server goes down, constantly berating me for not doing the dishes daily (we don’t have kids and she makes most of the dishes.) She cooks about 30% of our meals, I cook about 15% (though according to her making hamburger helpers with a veg is not cooking) and we eat out the rest of the time.

    She occasionally checks my blood sugars at night and then complains about “being my nurse” and “I take care of you all the time.” While I hear daily how sick and in pain she is. We go to the doctors and they find nothing wrong.

    I managed the money as best I can, almost 1/6 of my income goes to her medical problems, however we can’t afford the medicines I need to stay alive. She has threatened to kill me for not getting all of her medical supplies, she’s kicked a hole in the wall, threatened to burn down the house, threatened to kick me, destroyed a laptop I gave her, thrown a boot at my head and put a dent in the wall, thrown books at the wall and destroyed an electrical faceplate.

    I can’t hang out with my friends because I came home late one night 9 years ago. I can’t go anywhere without having someone with me due to my medical condition, and Ren Faire is her vacation, yet I don’t get a vacation. I get to stay home and work on the house.

    At one point she decided she was in love with a dude online and berated me for not teaching her how to drive so she could get a job and leave, but strangely every time we agree to go driving she finds something minor to get enraged over so she can’t drive.

    It’s my fault her car is broken down, I’ve been working on her car (which she still can’t drive) rather than my truck which I drive to work daily. Somehow I’m also supposed to find a better paying job so “we’ll” have more money to spend. She has to have 200$ a month in spending money but if I eat out once a week I’m a horrible person.

    Am I perfect? By no means, and admit as much daily, but even when I validate something she is saying I get screamed at for “making her feel stupid.”

    • Lisa October 13, 2017, 11:07 am

      She sounds like an emotional vampire. First may I say that the sleeping around open relationship is destroying y’all and at this point I don’t see how on Earth you will be able to make it.

  • Jo September 29, 2017, 2:54 am

    So true. Women can be so very abusive too. I wish there was an article on this for children. This happens heartbreakingly often to foster and adopted children.

  • J September 18, 2017, 10:15 pm

    Psychological mistreatment is devastating. I’ve been dealing with this for almost 8 years now and it’s progressively getting worse. My spouse gets meaner and meaner as time goes on and the more I try to preserve my dignity the more he tries to pick me apart. It’s gotten to a point of him criticizing me for crying.
    It’s hard to believe that at the beginning of our relationship I was completely independent with a good job, raising 3 kids on my own. I don’t recognize myself anymore. My self esteem has eroded away to nothing.
    If you are reading this and it’s early on and there are red flags, run. People who love you don’t belittle you, humiliate you or try to control you. And you can’t change mean people. They will remain mean regardless of how much you love them.

    • Lisa October 13, 2017, 11:09 am

      I’ve lost myself too. My joy is gone and I’m severely depressed and in pain all over my body. I see no way I can ever be happy again

  • Rod September 15, 2017, 1:14 pm

    Hi, I’m in an abusive relationship now myself. I’ve been married for 12 years. I would’ve left her if I didn’t have two small sons, 11 and 6. Criticism, put-downs, humiliation is constant in my life. She blames me for everthing bad that happens to her, or the children. My life is a roller coaster right now. Sometimes I occasionally don’t feel that bad, and there are moments when I feel down, really down, most of the time maybe. She criticises my likes, my dislikes, my job, the music I listen to, the things I read. It’s as if I should regret having been born at all. I think now I’m not in love with her, it can’t be love. It is pure fear of her instead which keeps me paralysed. She criticises me out loud so that the children can hear her. I want to protect my sons. I don’t know how yet. I hope this ends well soon, for my children’s good.
    hope to keep posting with better news

    • Lisa October 13, 2017, 11:11 am

      I feel the same way about the criticism! Omg so on target! It’s killed all of who I was !

  • Jay August 19, 2017, 1:00 am

    Hi to everyone I just want to say that some women can also be abusive I was in a relationship long ago when I to was hurt emotionally and would be told that I wouldn’t add up to anything and would be talked down to I felt like I was a nobody and I even thought of ending my life but I didn’t
    My point is that we are not bad people

    I have been abused emotionally and verbally, and bullied

  • Turinia August 1, 2017, 8:44 pm

    This is exactly where I am at right now. Its sad when people take advantage of someone this way. Mainly by doing the little things they do to keep you thinking there is hope for change when really its only getting worse. Im so heart broken to realize just how mucb of this applies to my life right now. I knew but now I know. Time to wake up. I deserve better. We all do.

  • carrie July 12, 2017, 9:20 pm

    this is a good article, but it feels gender biased to me. my niece is, in fact, the abuser in the relationship with her boyfriend. she learned it from her mother who is a big time mental case psycho. my niece totally humiliates her bf in front of people by criticizing everything he does, she belittles him, she never offers compliments or gestures of affection to him and when she does offer something its always sarcastically and with conditions. she acts the victim over the smallest thing, she is never wrong, she never apologizes to him, she never admits when she is wrong……anytime he does the smallest thing he is the worst human being on earth. she is the mirror image of my psychotic sister and its very concerning. women can be so much more emotionally abusive than men, and i think its important to explore that as well.

  • zinhle wendy May 8, 2017, 12:05 pm

    I just need a cancelling in my relationship

  • Sherry April 6, 2017, 10:19 am

    I married my husband 8 months after we had met and we have been married 8 months now. He was my night in shining armour at first. Always being attentive, affectionate and loving. But as time went on our personalities started to clash because I’ve always been strong willed and independent. His opinion of himself is he is a man’s man and get doesn’t deal with bs very well from anybody. He has an ego the size of the state of Texas and is always bragging on himself. What a good guy he is and how smart he is, brags on his looks…..ect. he says he doesn’t have an ego that he is just confident in himself. Well I see him as being a narcasist and told him that once and he exploded in a fit of rage. He first started alienating me from my friends and family telling me they are no good. That my friends are pill heads and he don’t want me talking to them. He told me that my 3 grown children are ass holes because they don’t like him. None of my friends and family like him and don’t want nothing to do with him. He wouldn’t move into my house with me because he doesn’t like my 18 year old son because he is lazy. So I left my beautiful 4 bedroom home on 3 acres to my son and practically abandoned him to move in with my husband into a gas station that he had turned into a small studio apartment where there was no sink, stove and the bathroom was wide open which consists of a toilet and shower in which the hot water tank went out and he hasn’t replaced it. He runs a auto body shot out of this place in the back. I gave up everything I had for this? Oh yeah and the place doesn’t have windows so I felt like I was living in a dungeon with no where to put my things so I had to carry my clothes and necessities back and forth from my house that was 30 miles away and I done this every day just to make him happy. Every spare minute of my time was with him because he pretty much had me on a time schedule because I work every day. So I started bringing it to his attention that I felt like he was being controlling but of course he disagreed because the fact he let’s me work so therefore he must not be controlling. He went through my phone on several accasions reading my text from my kids and friends. Checking to see who called me and ect but yet he says he isn’t controlling. Yeah right. I bent over backwards to try and be a good wife and make him happy. He pressured me into start smoking pot with him along with getting drunk every night just so my true feelings would be numb so I would be blind to what was going on. So we got into an argument one night about how he didn’t want to admit he has problems and the next thing I know I was laying in bed and he comes over, gets on top of me and pins my arms down and starts choking me until I almost passed out then he slapped me hard in my face and started clawing my face and wouldn’t let go even tho I was begging him to. He then punched the wall and said he would knock my mf’n teeth out. I was all bruised up the next day but it was my grand daughters b-day so I went to her party but people noticed the bruises even tho I tried covering them with makeup. Everyone told me to leave him but I wouldn’t listen because I love this man so much. To me I kept trying to see all his good side and not the bad. He would still show me affection and cater to me, buy me things when I was at the apartment. Everything I’ve ever been missing in a man except the bad part. He manipulates me into believing all our problems are my fault and if I disagree with him or stand up to him than I’m being mean. Everything bad about him he says isn’t true and that I’m describing myself. He blames me for every argument we have and won’t take blame for nothing. I’m back at my house right now trying to get my life together enough to where I can permanently be done with him. He is the most abusive man I’ve ever know. Wish me luck and pray for me please. I have a long road ahead of me.

    • Lisa October 13, 2017, 11:25 am

      Omg my heart hurts for you. I really hope your doing better . Prayers to Jesus for you.

  • Robbin leasure March 28, 2017, 9:07 pm

    I have been mental abuse for 16 years please help for some advice thank you!!

  • SUZZY March 22, 2017, 9:24 am

    I really need to help my sister but I don’t know what advice to give her. She’s 25 and engaged to a guy that’s almost 15 years older than her. At first she was really happy and everything was fine even though our mother didn’t quite like he age gap myear sister was head over heels. They’ve been together for 4years and been engaged for a year now and they both moved over to start a life in Europe. They also have had a baby daughter. Things have taken a different turn in my sisters life. She’s lost all focus she’s constantly crying she complains of how this man calls her all sorts of names, compares her with his exes and makes her feel worthless she’s lost all confidence he stopped her from being on any social media platform out of his jealously. My sister who once had so many dreams and aspirations seem to be loosing it all. He doesn’t let her spend her own money and monitors everything she does. She yells at her and chastises her in front of his mum and many a time belittle her. He even ignores her emotional needs and if he does some high wrong and my sister were to find out and ask him about it he becomes angry and even ignores her or try to make her feel guilty. There are occasions when he has even physically attacked her and beaten her up. My sister ( karen) refuses to say his to anyone else but me because she’s afraid to do anything or embarrassed thst she was warned and bound didn’t listen. She complains that her partner even treats her like a nanny rather than the mother of their child. He shows affection to the child to spite and and makes her feel like she’s non existent he’s even threatened to take the child away from her. My sister has had suicidal thoughts and I am very afraid for her life because most times she’s alone with the baby and we don’t live in the same country she has no one around she can confide in but me.I have run out of ideas on what to say to courage her. She’s been put in a place that’s too tight for her shoes even ashamed to etc out of the house as she feels too low of herself. Yet still she’s refused to call the police when hints get physical because sometimes she says she doesn’t want to hurt him and that she’s worried hat people.will laugh at her thato she’s not being patient and that there are people.who have been married for decades and went through worse and coped with it so she doesn’t want to be an odd case that maybe things will get better. PLEASE HELP ME HELP HER.

  • NoLongerAbused March 17, 2017, 12:55 am

    If you are being abused (emotionally and/or physically) please get help, find a support system, confide in family and friends, and try to leave that relationship as soon as you can. Your abuser will never change, even if they promise to.

  • Unknown February 12, 2017, 1:39 am

    Wonderfully stated

  • Unknown February 12, 2017, 1:37 am

    It can be very hard when they tell you they love you, then deny ever even saying that, it’s herrendous

    • Michael March 20, 2017, 11:05 pm

      They tell you they love you but their actions speak louder than their useless prognostications. They love themselves and that is all, if they’re capable of loving anything which….? Who cares. It’s a hurt locker for you one way or the other.

  • Unknown February 12, 2017, 1:36 am

    I have been in this same exact situation for far too long, I do not know what to do, how to live, or who I am. I am constantly thrown a bone only to have it taken away and I am always the one to blame no matter what. I don’t know what to do or why another human being could be such a way to innocent loving eyes

  • Linda February 6, 2017, 9:36 pm

    I been with my husband for 25 years and married for 12 years. In the last 6 years he has been putting me down, gets mad when my family comes to visit. Yells and finds little stuff to argue about. Get angry when my dad calls to check on me. State he was not raised like me and when you get married, you shouldn’t need your family. I am at the point where I cannot take it no more. I am very unhappy and is at the point where I want to leave the marriage.

    • Jaana March 16, 2017, 11:30 pm

      What really made ME leave my abuser, was my longing to get ME back. I no longer recognized myself, dwelling in self-doubt, emotionally deprived, unable to parent myself or my children on a spiritual level. I lost my will, my energy, my spirit and my sense if joy. I watched it happen gradually as every time I expressed a concern or an emotion that did not FEED HIS ego I would be punished. Through withdrawl, isolation, silent treatment, belittlement and above all, through constant questioning of my integrity. The months before leaving were hell. I was under constant attack from the moment I woke up to the very second I closed my eyes. So I strongly suggest you make your break for freedom in secret. Secure your finances and then go absolute no-contact. If you cannot keep it secret, go “grey rock”. OMG didn’t that drive him bunkers as I stopped feeding his inner, enotional void. Good luck to you!

  • Sandy February 2, 2017, 5:28 pm

    Since my husband and I have been together 7 yrs now married 4 he has never changed his lifestyle I work full time he works for himself so he can work when he wants so while I’m working he’s hanging out with friends going to any and all functions going on I feel left out he says he can’t help it if I have to work I tell him I’m depressed and lonley unhappy he days I’m not responsible for your happiness if we get into an argument he shuts down and gives me the silent treatment for days sometimes weeks he tells me if I want to do counseling I need to set it up and he will come but then leaves for a week no calls no text he never cared if we have food on the house he eats out alot and when it comes to him pitching in for bills he always starts an argument he blames my kids for our problems and most of the time had nothing to do with the kids I feel insecure jealous and depressed I start thinking that I’m the one with something wrong I feel there’s no unity in our relationship is it me?

    • Shana February 7, 2017, 1:10 am

      No its not your fault my boyfriend do me the same exact way and it hurt so bad. It just them being a very selfish suppose to be a man nobody. I myself don’t no what to do except pray, and I sincerely hope the best for you too because I clearly understand.

      • M February 22, 2017, 11:35 pm

        Ladies you need to stop blaming yourselves and leave these men. Please read up on Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It’s a psychological disorder and they can only function by abusing a partner and getting their self esteem by pushing someone else down. They do all this to break you. In truth they never love anyone just themselves. Mayo clinic has a great article explaining the disorder. Please don’t think you can change or fix or rescue them. They will never admit what they’re doing but they often know that their behavior hurts and harms you.

  • jeff January 27, 2017, 8:49 pm

    I have been in abusive relationships where i have been physically attacked among other forms of abuse by the women I was with. I am not a perfect person, but I am not abusive or controlling. The assumption that only women can be victims is very wrong,
    hurtful, and counter-productive. The questionnaire on this page makes the assumption that it is men who are abusers by asking, ” is it time to leave him” ? this is wrong. other than that, I agree with the descriptions of abuse here.

  • Mira January 22, 2017, 1:49 am

    I had a partner who was so “in love with me” that he blackmailed me into entering a relationship with him. I was a teenager at the time and I knew if my parents had found out what he was keeping secret about me, I’d be screwed. I figured at the time that I could just get him to break up with him. I tried being distant but he just started threatening me with physical abuse. So I started manipulating and emotionally abusing him. I never put him down, I made sure not to break his spirit but I essentially made him a mental slave. He and I had been friends for years prior to this. He knows I have ASPD. Only an idiot tries to threaten a sociopath.

    • M February 23, 2017, 12:02 am

      I had an ex who tried to use all the ways possible to control and emotionally abuse me but I resisted. I triggered everything in him and made him so mad that all his issues came out and he even tried to manipulate me emotionally with hot and cold behavior. Thank god I did not marry him because I knew he was disturbed and he needed to change and his own bad habits had spoilt his health. I knew what abuse is and that I’m never gona take it. Facing bullies in childhood helped form that resolve. My ex tried to use my secrets to hurt me and threaten me. After we broke up I realised he was playing and trying to manipulate me and I got to know about narcissistic personality disorder. I rubbed that in his face and till today I give it to him now and then. He deserves it. A couple of months after we broke up he found a divorced female who apparently has two kids (this is yet to be confirmed as he’s not yet married her and is hiding all the details from his extended family and isolating the girl from everyone). So he tricked her by love bombing and now she’s engaged to him. He also claims that they have got registered already. I just pray that female wakes up and leaves him ASAP. And if need be gets an annulment. Divorce is always an option later. I just hope he doesn’t get her pregnant soon cz then she may be quite broken to leave him. I just pray she finds his behavior fishy and gets out. Good thing your story is also of the past!

      • M February 23, 2017, 12:05 am

        Thankfully our relationship was long distance so he wrote me several abusive and sick things with regards to me and my family. So I have all this proof showing what he is truly is to anyone interested and even shared some of the choice stuff with few of his distant family members. I have laughed at him and emotionally toyed with him in return for his disgusting behavior. Someone has to be the ass kicking of karma.

  • susan December 2, 2016, 12:49 pm

    Tried to take the quiz, it only aloud me to answer for questions. When it got to the question about the color of the relationship? It would not let me select. I repeated it but I just had to come out. The article was very enlightening. Oh yeas I saw the signs and I have moved on. Thank God for seeing, and having the courage to move on. I always say no on is going to still my joy. This was a 1 year “something ship”

  • k November 15, 2016, 10:49 pm

    you are amazing seriously thank you i was like lmao WTF so invalidating and blaming and shaming and terrible christ
    <3 <3 <3 to all isabelles of the world

  • Cie October 16, 2016, 5:50 am

    I’ve been In abusive relationship for 11 years my husband is the best manipulator there is . He has everyone fooled . Outside hes a upstanding gentlemen ready to lend a helping hand, you know the all american family man . But in actuality he’s a pill popping, flirtations, verbally abusive, bum. He come and go’s as he pleases comes home all hours of the night. He says that being at home with the kids and I is just boring Its my fault that he neglects us. while I raise my children alone he sits on his ass and dictates and criticizes everything I do whatever I do is not enough. He tells me I don’t know how to cook he’s been eating better else where. I cant drive, I’m not a good mother I have no common sense .He tells others I just want him with me all the times. He makes others think that I am incapable of doing anything right and makes me seem as if I am dumb. He says I deserve what I get he he doesn’t care about my feelings he has no empathy. I left my family for this man I have no friends because of this man. Please If your going through something similar to what I am please get out don’t lose 11 years like I did on someone who is incapable of loving you love shouldn’t be so hard it should feel light.

    • Unknown February 12, 2017, 2:09 am

      I understand, but why don’t you get out? I’ve been in the same boat, why do you stay??

    • Mrs. Over It October 17, 2018, 10:49 pm

      I’m going threw this right now. It’s sad when even his Aunt who’s a Pastors wife , live next door to us, (They just recently moved here from another state) don’t know a whole lot about what goes on behind our closed doors.. ( I was never the type to air my dirty laundry!) came over today to talk to me. She went straight to the point and told me how she knows he’s emotionally abusing and controlling me. She pointed out so much in such a short time. How he moved me to this state away from my family and friends and issalates me. Doesn’t want to fix me car , so he can have me trapped here where he can control everything I do! I’ve been depressed for the last 2 years and didn’t know what was wrong with me.. Until recently . He literally just told me I was crazy because I took MY Phone charger from him, and he threw a tantrum.. Which is the Norm. I have a lot to think about, I have 2 kids , no car , no job , no money ( cause of course he controls that as well) I have excellent credit though. I do feel if I decide to leave, I’d have togo without telling him. Last time he tried to choke me in front of my kids! I’m tired of his empty promises , and meaningless “apologies “.. And hollow I love you’s . He thinks I don’t know it’s him playing recordings during the day of him dogging me to his friends and everyone that will listen .. But I know it is. I just have to figure out where he has it. Wow.. This is me Fed Up!! Help! I’ve lost myself , my Joy/Happiness, my self worth. And my self astern.

  • Kay October 13, 2016, 3:13 pm

    I think im in an emotional abusive marriage. This is the first time I’ve said that out loud. I was reading this article & another one before it & I couldn’t get through either without crying. He was belittling me while I was reading it. The “walking on eggshells” really struck a chord with me. And the feelings of shame & guilt, everything is my fault. We’ve been together almost 17 years. Married almost 14. It has been drilled into my head for so many years how everything is my fault that I’ve certainly come to believe it. I no longer have friends. He has created such a huge wall between my family & myself that I don’t even know how to handle it anymore. He hates them all. He talks bad about them all the time. I know they’re not perfect but they’re still my parents, etc. I keep making excuses because his health is bad. Its just his high blood pressure talking or his diabetes. But its all becoming too much. I keep thinking that things will get better when our finances get better or whatever. But the reality of it is, I’m starting to think it will never get better. I take responsibility for everything ive ever done wrong & i know the list is long but i dont think I deserve the way he trwats me anymore. I dont know. Then again, maybe i do.

    • M February 22, 2017, 11:52 pm

      You should try to record his abusive talks and behavior for all the world to see. Show it to your family, his family, out him and restore your name. Show them any of his emails or text messages to you which are abusive and show people the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder (the mayo clinic website has it in good detail) there are many sites where you can get good references of the disorder. Restore your name and know that you are too empathetic and your only fault is being too empathetic with an evil person.

      Please get out and get help. If necessary please record and make your children record his bad behavior and threaten to expose him. This could help you secure your freedom.

      Or just stop caring about his ranting and raving, get a job and live your life. Stop being his slave. That’s another option.

  • Retha Griffin October 5, 2016, 3:34 pm

    I can relate to all of these people as well as feelings. I’ve been in it so long that I see no way out ,I don’t even want to talk with my husband about change anymore, I have left so many times that every where I went I never got any help from anyone, and that includes the women’s shelter ! I just thought I would share .I feel as if no one cares or even understands.,its as if they don’t believe me .

  • Rashelle September 21, 2016, 12:03 am

    I’ve been in denial, but I can’t anymore. It’s been 4 years with an emotional abuser. We have two children. I have nothing. No lisence, GED, job. I have no relationship with any of my family because of him. He has all of his though. I have no friends. I don’t even know how to get out. I tried once. He said if I left across the state (abou a mile at that!) to my moms he would have me charged for kidnapping. I have a car, but it’s in his name. I just don’t know what to do. He has 3 other children besides ours that live with us full time. He’s a good dad for the most part. So I don’t want to hit him with charges either. I just don’t know how to get out of it. Everything I do is controlled. The money, where I go. I can’t do anything right unless I’m slaving all day long (literally) I can’t take it anymore. He won’t even talk to me about it. He just gets mad at me and ask why I’m being mean. I’m not being mean. I’m literally over it all and putting my foot down. But obviously not good enough because he hasn’t changed one bit. Just yesterday he called me a phsyco because he said something that hurt my feelings and I started crying about it. I can’t even cry in front of him without being reprimanded. I’m so lost. Help me please on everything I am.

    • optimism December 10, 2016, 12:51 am


      You have to start from somewhere in order to det there. The more you waste time saying “I don’t know what to do, the more time passes that you could have done something. Open the four for yourself and get to know who you are and what you want first. Start taking dome online classes or go to the nearest social service office and get loads of information for women in your situation that want yo start over. Trust me, if you want yo get out, you will and the universe will follow the rest for you if you work at it, but do not expect the answer to just drop on your lap Hun.

      God bless,


      • Unknown February 12, 2017, 2:12 am

        I’m sorry but you don’t understand how trapped she is, she has to choose which hell..to live in, if she leaves , insecure afraid, she basically loses all she loves , she knows he will win, the kids, financially etc. I suggest a better plan, you obviously have never been in her shoes!

    • M February 22, 2017, 11:45 pm

      You need to get out. Your husband has the classic signs of narcissistic personality disorder. Please get help from a lawyer or women’s abuse help center/ line. You must move out with your kids but do it in a planned way. There’s a bright future beyond this dark moment. Your husband is unlikely to change unless he gets therapy. But the chances of that are very slim with these people. Please get out. Let him charge you for kidnapping. You’ll prove it wrong. Ask your family for help. Show them the information on narcissistic personality disorder (mayo clinic website has great info). Make them understand what you’re going through and get help and get out. You can do it.

      • M February 22, 2017, 11:52 pm

        You should try to record his abusive talks and behavior for all the world to see. Show it to your family, his family, out him and restore your name. Show them any of his emails or text messages to you which are abusive and show people the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder (the mayo clinic website has it in good detail) there are many sites where you can get good references of the disorder. Restore your name and know that you are too empathetic and your only fault is being too empathetic with an evil person.

        Please get out and get help. If necessary please record and make your children record his bad behavior and threaten to expose him. This could help you secure your freedom.

        Or just stop caring about his ranting and raving, get a job and live your life. Stop being his slave. That’s another option.

  • Margot June 1, 2016, 4:38 pm

    be very mindful how yur partner acts esp when issues arise

  • catriona May 31, 2016, 4:08 pm

    beware of too much jealousy from your partner..this is a huge sign!

  • avery May 26, 2016, 7:51 pm

    this is saddening but definitely true & happening around us ):

  • elise May 24, 2016, 3:20 pm

    showd this 2 my friend & she finally realizd how shes being abusd in her relationship

  • aubrey May 23, 2016, 5:24 pm

    i hav consistently &repeatedly made fun of, criticized & judgd negatively..i always thought i was the 1 w/ the problm..now i get it

  • lizzy May 18, 2016, 12:45 pm

    this is very informative yet sensitive to its readers gr8 job!

  • Vanessa May 13, 2016, 12:57 pm

    thnx 4 d very clear explanation, really an eye opener

  • Anita May 13, 2016, 2:31 am

    if sum1 luvs u, he wont make u feel less of a person at any cost
    instead, hell even make u feel complete

  • solen May 11, 2016, 11:55 pm

    i hav once been threatened by my bf that he’ll stab himself if i break up w/ him, soooo creepy!!

  • sofia May 6, 2016, 1:31 pm

    red flags can be so subtle, i swear u couldnt even tell ur dealing w/ 1 already.. beware

  • nina May 5, 2016, 6:26 am

    any signs of these on ur partner, walk away! no, u better ruuun!!

  • larissajordan May 2, 2016, 3:15 pm

    relationships are meant to be enjoyed, not endured.

  • vivian April 29, 2016, 8:34 pm

    i dnt ever date over-controlling men, scares the heck out of me

  • Mindy April 26, 2016, 12:41 pm

    i wont last long in a relationship where i am being criticized and judged too often, i just couldnt take that

  • lauren12 April 21, 2016, 8:15 pm

    never ever let any man abuse you in any way!

  • CarlaMD April 18, 2016, 4:02 pm

    I have been into an abusive relationship for the longest time and I’m just so happy that I am now finally free. It was tough as there seemed to be no end to it. This article basically says it all. Good read!

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