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emotional abuse?


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How to leave an abusive relationshi...
How to leave an abusive relationship and why it's so hard

I can share my story. My ex was emotionally and sometimes physically abusive. He was jealous and controlling...I saw it as 'caring' He was abusive and remorseful so i forgave him. I wanted him to want me and love me and I'd have done anything to have that.

 

I should have drawn the line on one of our first dates when he shouted at me.

 

so no, I think peoples self esteem gets battered, rational thinking becomes dented and it becomes very hard to look objectivley at the relationship.

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The truth is that you draw your own line when you feel the relationship is not healthy or rewarding/nourishing to you....whether he's emotionally abusive, physically abusive, or plain old makes you uncomfortable and uneasy ...or even if he's just not your type.

Your line is your line.

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Control is a big one... I have a friend (female) who was in a relationship for five years with this guy who never hurt her physically, but she was never allowed to go anywhere, never allowed to talk to anyone... She had a job, but he worked different hours so he could hang out at her work for her whole shift just to keep an eye on her. He wouldn't let her listen to certain music or wear certain clothes. That's a pretty good example of emotional abuse.

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my ex shouts at me and calls me names. every disagreement we have, he raises his voice, calls me a name, then tells me i shouldn't react... is this emotional abuse?

 

Yes, I would consider that emotional abuse.

 

Emotional abuse can be scarier than physical abuse because there is no line. Physicaly abuse starts when someone harms you. Emotionaly abuse? Where is the line.

 

However, name calling (on a regular basis) and, more importantly, being made to feel inferior or useless IS emotional abuse.

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Yes. I was put through the same. He used to shout in my face and spit at the same time. Not nice.

 

If hes your ex, why are you still arguing?

 

he makes me feel like i failed us, like i'm the reason we didn't work out. that's why we were talking, but good catch... we shouldn't be.

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he makes me feel like i failed us, like i'm the reason we didn't work out.

Next time he contacts you, try something like, "Listen, we were both unhappy regardless of whose *fault* it was. I hope you'll be happier in your next relationship. Please stop contacting me."

It sounds like you're already sick of this behavior....GOOD FOR YOU!! It also sounds like it's early enough to rid yourself of a guy that could potentially get dangerous. Wise choice!!

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Yes, I would consider that emotional abuse.

 

Emotional abuse can be scarier than physical abuse because there is no line. Physicaly abuse starts when someone harms you. Emotionaly abuse? Where is the line.

 

However, name calling (on a regular basis) and, more importantly, being made to feel inferior or useless IS emotional abuse.

 

if there is no real line, is he right that i am just overreacting and that all couples fight? am i labeling this something it isn't?

 

he just makes me feel so small. it feels like he takes the complaints i have about his behavior, then he twists them and makes stuff up about how i cause him to feel that way. sometimes i feel like i'm going crazy... is that in line with emotional abuse, or does this just happen when couples fight?

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he just makes me feel so small

This does not have to happen when couples fight. You have higher standards than that and your internal "red flag alert" is trying to tell you something.

I don't know enough about your guy or abuse to diagnose him, but why would that make it the deal-breaker or be the justifcation for you?? Can you just accept that you don't like the way you feel with this guy? To me that's reason enough to call it a day.

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he just makes me feel so small

This does not have to happen when couples fight. You have higher standards than that and your internal "red flag alert" is trying to tell you something.

I don't know enough about your guy or abuse to diagnose him, but why would that make it the deal-breaker or be the justifcation for you?? Can you just accept that you don't like the way you feel with this guy? To me that's reason enough to call it a day.

 

i just keep trying to ignore how he makes me feel... and i keep trying to make it work. he won't change, he gets worse and worse about respecting me, and i just end up sobbing or not speaking so i don't get yelled at.

 

yes, i know that means something is wrong... i just keep wondering if it really is me.

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The problem is that this kind of guy will count on you questioning yourself and up his game (as in it will get worse)...the harder you try to please him, the more he knows he's in charge. Not speaking so you don't get yelled at is not a sign of a healthy relationship. You are trying to make it work to prove to him that you are worthy...and *that*, yes, makes you part of the problem. But who cares if it's you or him?? What difference does that really make? If everyone responds to you, "I think it's you with the problem...you provoke him"....will that make you happier in the relationship? Will that make you stay or leave either way? Will it make you understand better why he's such a jerk?? You need to decide that you respect *yourself* more than he does and this is not suitable for *you*....not caring what other people, including him, think is a hard thing to do but the first step towards reclaiming yourself and your self-respect. Sobbing and keeping quiet to avoid more yelling and name-calling is going to send you deeper into the doubt, sadness, confusion and "non-worthiness" you already feel.

Get out now.

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I don't care what your ex says-it CAN'T just be you.

 

Let me ask you this. Is any of your behavior towards him disrespectful? Have you ever cheated? lied? mistreated him?

 

Or is he taking normal behavior and twisting it around to make it look malicious?

 

My ex-ex was emotionally abusive and it took me a long time to realize it. He did so many things that hurt me--he bullied me, he shouted at me for basically, nothing, he treated me like a servant, he criticized my clothes and made me change my entire image for him, he tries to make me feel bad about my body, by constantly harping on my breasts as "too small", he would blow up at me for things like leaving his kitchen cabinets open, or bringing plastic bags home instead of paper (and I was buying all the groceries for him!! JERK!!!)

 

This kind of stuff can drive you crazy. I would recommend getting in therapy. A good therapist can make you see that YOU are not the one with the problem here! That's what it took for me to get out of that crap--because he had me so twisted around, thinking everything was my fault.

 

And that's exactly what abusive people WANT-is for you to think YOURE the problem, so a) they can feel superior and b)so you won't leave.

 

i just keep trying to ignore how he makes me feel... and i keep trying to make it work. he won't change, he gets worse and worse about respecting me, and i just end up sobbing or not speaking so i don't get yelled at.

 

yes, i know that means something is wrong... i just keep wondering if it really is me.

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thanks for your post.

 

>>Let me ask you this. Is any of your behavior towards him disrespectful? Have you ever cheated? lied? mistreated him?

 

no, i have not cheated, lied, or mistreated him. he has lied to me - he might have cheated on me, but talking about exactly what happened is a landmine because we are supposed to "leave the past in the past", according to him. that's code for we don't speak about things he can't twist around to make me look like the bad guy.

 

>>Or is he taking normal behavior and twisting it around to make it look malicious?

 

for example, we broke up when he stopped talking to me and ignored my birthday. made me feel like i was nothing. it was horrible, all the worse because i suspected him of cheating on me. when he came crawling back, he said he did this to me because i had done this to him three years before, when we broke up for a year... except i was up front with him that i wasn't ready to be in a serious relationship, i broke up with him (i didn't leave him hanging), and i never ignored his birthday... i broke up with him two months before his birthday.

 

for the two years we got back together for, he claimed he was a * * * * to me because since i broke up with him one time before, he could never trust me... so i made it so he could never be thankful for what i put into him/us, and it made him want to make me unhappy... and that made him push boundaries with this other girl, and it made him cold to me...

 

>>-he bullied me, he shouted at me for basically, nothing, he treated me like a servant, he criticized my clothes and made me change my entire image for him, he tries to make me feel bad about my body,

 

i identify with a lot of this. he is a slob and sometimes he makes his apt gross seemingly so i will have to clean it up. if i bring up the wrong thing, he goes off on me. the relationship he has with the woman i thought he cheated on me with is bizarre... i am not allowed to say her name, or else he just goes off. he says he loves me, but he calls me names more frequently than he expresses his love for me.

 

>>This kind of stuff can drive you crazy. I would recommend getting in therapy. A good therapist can make you see that YOU are not the one with the problem here! That's what it took for me to get out of that crap--because he had me so twisted around, thinking everything was my fault.

 

sometimes i feel like he is manipulative and he wants to do this to me, but sometimes it feels like maybe this could be all my fault... sometimes i am hellbent on staying away, but then i worry, what if he is right? what if it is me, and no one else will ever love me? no one else will understand or put up with me? i've been through hell with this guy... he is an addict who i cleaned up, i've basically moved him twice accross the country... he's just lying when he says i've never done anything to prove that i love him... i've done everything for him!

 

>>And that's exactly what abusive people WANT-is for you to think YOURE the problem, so a) they can feel superior and b)so you won't leave.

 

it just seems like it would be a lot easier to have a healthy relationship.... i just feel like we spend all of our time fighting and i spend a lot of time crying, even when i am not with him. he acts like this is all me. i just don't think it is possible that this is all me.

 

thanks for everyone's posts... i guess i have something to talk about with a therapist.

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Hey homeagain,

 

Like blueafterglow08 said I realised my ex was abusive on our first day together when he took away my lunch because 'I was fat enough already' and we didn't eat all day because it was 'for the best'. That night in the hotel he went to sleep early, no intimacy whatsoever. I had invested months of friendship and talking before this date because I wanted a wholeome proper relationship. At this point it was long distance so after 8 months of just talking we had this weekend away together. It was not fantastic- it was boring, he insulted me and I shoud have run then. I had just invested so much time and hopes in this man I thought I was being over sensitive.

 

Oversensitive became my reasoning for everything. I excused everything. DOnt find yourself doing this and don't let this continue any longer. Whether it is technically abuse or not this guy is making you feel terrible. He is putting you down and you deserve better. Please don't wait for this to escalate because to me it sounds like the beggining of abuse and like someone else on here said- it only gets worse, it only intensifies.

 

My life is in pieces and everyday I have to struggle to hold it together. I didn't even realise the extent of what was going on or that it was abuse, emotionally and somewhat physically until I saw a therapist and came on here. Please don't get to that point. Get help now and get out.

 

Sandrawg helped me so much through my experience and her best advice was never speak to this man again. I found it so hard at first and broke NC a couple of times. Each time I did the abuse escalated to massive degrees. I guess that was him trying to damage me as amuch as possible so he knew I would always be there if he needed me. I will be honest its going to be hard. Very hard. I have now changed all my phone numbers, blocked my e-mails etc.

 

Not a day goes by when I don't replay all the cruel words he said and believe they were true. I am still convinced he dumped me because I was too fat and that if I had of just lost weight he would have loved me. Its hard to tell yourself that these men have serious issues.

 

It really is going to be hard but at the end of it we get to come back to life with fresh self esteem and hope for the future. Those thoughts of feeling ok about myself again are the only things that get me through the day. There is hope, it just takes strength and a stomach for pain.

 

We are all here for you xx

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I understand your confusion about what is emotional abuse as I am going through that myself. When you read web pages on the subject you see that your SO typically doesn't fit all of the criteria ... which makes it even more confusing.

 

In my opinion, if you look at the intensions of abusive actions they tend to be all about control.

 

In actions (as with the arguments you describe) if the arguments are meant to hurt and demean, rather than find a constructive solution then it is abuse.

 

A quick thought experiment using my girlfriends criticism from last night as an example.

Constructive argument:

The amount of time you work makes me feel like you care more about your career than about our relationship.

 

Abusive argument:

You are a workaholic. Do the world a favor and don't get in anymore serious relationships, it would make the world a better place.

 

If he could have said the same thing without making you feel like a piece of crap, then it is emotional abuse in my book.

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>>If he could have said the same thing without making you feel like a piece of crap, then it is emotional abuse in my book.

 

this is probably a good standard to use.

 

can people reform a relationship that includes one person who is emotionally abusive?

 

i find when i point out behavior that is hurtful, my ex is quick to run off a non-responsive laundry list of my behaviors that he doesn't like. does that mean things are hopeless?

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I really don't know. My girlfriend runs off the laundry-list of things I have done wrong whenever she realizes she was mean (which makes it really hard because then we feel bad like we contributed to it). My girlfriend also does this to her sister, which is what made me realize that it isn't all my fault.

 

To give you more information on the ability to change:

I broke up with my gf mid november and got back with her the next day when she promised to go to therapy.

Since then she has been a little better in that she hasn't become angry over the little things. However, she is still criticizing me for everything and feel it is OK as long as she doesn't yell. But then again her therapy only started a few weeks ago.

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I really don't know. My girlfriend runs off the laundry-list of things I have done wrong whenever she realizes she was mean (which makes it really hard because then we feel bad like we contributed to it). My girlfriend also does this to her sister, which is what made me realize that it isn't all my fault.

 

To give you more information on the ability to change:

I broke up with my gf mid november and got back with her the next day when she promised to go to therapy.

Since then she has been a little better in that she hasn't become angry over the little things. However, she is still criticizing me for everything and feel it is OK as long as she doesn't yell. But then again her therapy only started a few weeks ago.

 

are you sure you want her to be your gf if your user name is "i hate my gf"??

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I really don't know. I am trying to build back the relationship because she is trying to get help, but the abuse lasted for 2.5 years of a 5 year relationship and she abuses everyone in her family (except her father who treats her like crap) so it is really difficult to believe that it will ever get better.

 

That being said, I signed up with that screenname when I had finally had enough and was pretty much done.

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I really don't know. I am trying to build back the relationship because she is trying to get help, but the abuse lasted for 2.5 years of a 5 year relationship and she abuses everyone in her family (except her father who treats her like crap) so it is really difficult to believe that it will ever get better.

 

That being said, I signed up with that screenname when I had finally had enough and was pretty much done.

 

i hope the therapy starts to help, i really do. do you think you can ever trust or love her now given your history? this is something i struggle with, too, with my ex.

 

other people have started calling his behavior abusive - i guess i have even used the term once or twice, but i always thought it was something i had to endure... something i had to persist through. i guess i felt like it was my problem, not his in a lot of ways.

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I really don't know if I can trust her again or how long it will take. I know that she can change her behavior and I can change my behavior, but regaining the trust is a different thing entirely.

 

Over the past 2.5 years she has displayed to me that she has no respect for me, my opinions, her family members, or anyone else. She has also destroyed my trust that she will be there when I need her, that I can tell her something without being criticized, and that she will at least think of what I want in any aspect of our relationship.

 

That is what actually makes it so hard. Not to get too scientific, but if you ring a bell and then feed a dog, eventually the dog will salivate when you ring the bell without feeding him. Same thing, even though I know that the possibility of me being treated like crap has minimized, my gut reaction is still that I will get hurt.

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