You’re Not the Problem—He Is | Signs of Emotional Abuse

Emotional Abuse

For one friend it looked like her boyfriend loved her so much he wanted to know where she was at all times. For another, a kind man who just wanted to take stress off his girlfriend (asking her to quit her job & stay home). For yet another friend, her relationship seemed to change her personality—she didn’t like to dance or enjoy time with friends anymore. These relationships all turned out to be characterized by emotional abuse.

If the statistics are true, 35% of women have been in emotionally abusive relationships —but it’s generally quite difficult to pinpoint because the abusers are good manipulators (i.e. they tend to smooth over their bad behavior and make you believe it’s your fault).   I want us to talk about emotional abuse—define it and look at some warning signs—in hopes that you will be able to stand strong and not suffer through one of these volatile relationships.

Emotional Abuse is defined as behavior and language designed to degrade or humiliate someone by attacking their self-value or personality. “Emotional abuse is a form of abuse where a person treats another in a psychologically harmful way. It is a silencing attack on the self-esteem of a human being: in the end the victim feels so small that there is no talk-back possible.” (Emotional Abuse, The Silencing Enemy). Several studies have found that up to 35 percent of women have been in romantic relationships that were emotionally abusive, and that such abuse was the greatest risk factor for and predictor of physical abuse (Women’s Health).

Signs you are in an emotionally abusive relationship:

  1.  Makes you feel nervous or like you’re “walking on eggshells.”
  2.  Asks you to change jobs or careers, or even quit a job, because he wants you home (i.e. to control you)
  3.  Is extremely jealous and accuses you of flirting with other men and lashes out when you have a simple conversation.
  4.  Constantly needs to know where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing (i.e. even time with girlfriends is monitored closely as if you are a his child)
  5. Puts you down, calls you names or criticizes you.
  6. Makes you feel like you can’t do anything right or blames me for problems.
  7. Makes you feel like no one else would want you.
  8. Threatens to hurt you, your friends or family—but then says he was just ‘overreacting’.
  9. He checks your cell phone or email without permission.
  10. You have changed your lifestyle, personality, hobbies and/or job because he asked you to.

What emotional abuse sounds like:

“You shouldn’t spend so much on clothes, you don’t have a good figure anyways.”
 “Why are you always disrespecting me in public and flirting with other men.” ”Don’t complain about how bad you have it, do you think any one else could date you?” “One of these days you’ll wake up, and I’ll be gone.”
 ”You don’t know the first thing about finances.” “You are such a b%&*—it’s a wonder I put up with you.” “I want you to stay home, so I can keep an eye on you.”

Arguably, the most detrimental aspect of emotional abuse is women who are being emotionally abused feel trapped, and they tend to internalize their partners abuse. They believe if they change how they behave, speak, dress, socialize, and work, then their partner will stop criticizing them or flying into rages. As a result, women in these types of relationships gradually lose their identities. (Women’s Health).

If you find yourself walking on eggshells, constantly thinking about how to avoid upsetting your significant other and believing it’s all your fault—I encourage you to take the steps to talk to trusted friend or counselor about abuse. He wants you to think that you are the problem—but I hope you find an ounce of courage to talk to someone today. You deserve more, so much more, and I pray you know how deeply you are loved. I can’t say much about my history with this subject, but I understand what you are going through and I promise it won’t be easy to cut ties, but I also promise you’ll never regret it.

Have you been in an emotionally abusive relationship? How did you get out? How would you advise someone going through emotional abuse?

{Disclaimer: women can be emotional abusers just as easily as men, but since most of my readers are women, I decided to focus on just one aspect of abuse.}

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48 Responses to “You’re Not the Problem—He Is | Signs of Emotional Abuse”
  1. jimmie lee says:

    I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for 4 years from ages 15-19. I became pregnant before I knew how bad it was, obviously i didn’t know the signs at that age {neither did my mom, she never experienced it} I stayed in it because we had a baby but through God’s calling and strength, Christina Aguilera’s Stripped CD and some strategically placed people in my life, I was able realize I was worth more and I gained the courage to break it off. It was hard and for about 6 months he didn’t want to accept it and tried to make my life a living hell. I didn’t let him. He hasn’t changed. He’s not around and its better that way.
    I want to write my story on my blog but I just can’t get it done, for some reason i’m a little scared. But i just shared part of my story here, so maybe this is a step in the process.

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Oh Jimmie, I can’t imagine all that you’ve gone through. You are truly courageous for sharing your story with us. Praying God’s peace and strength over you…

    • Jessica says:

      I too have tried to blog about my experiences or even write it all down but I can’t seem to put it all down. Something always stops me. But yes replying to post like this is a step forward!!!

  2. Maggie says:

    When I was 14-18 I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. (And I have one with my mother but that’s a different story). I dated basically the first guy that showed any interest in me in high school and stayed with him. At the time I truly thought all the things that went wrong were my fault. He raped me because I said no and he wanted to, he was mean to me when I was trying to be funny and I hurt his feelings (unknowingly until the sudden rage), he caused strife between me and my mother because I was spending too much time with him, I alienated myself from my friends to be around him. I did a lot of things that I am not proud of because of that relationship.

    I should have ended things the summer between sophomore and junior year of high school because that’s when I found out he was cybering with another girl that we had become friends with through an anime website. He told me that I was being irrational and that he wasn’t cheating, yet arranging for her to come to California to see him. The day that I found out that he was encouraging her crush, I was at his house with his family and his relatives from Idaho. He showed me a song on his phone that I liked and after he went to play a game with his cousin I went to his phone to find the song. I tried to boot out of the inbox before going to the music but the phone didn’t have an exit option. And I saw texts with my name, with messages that I didn’t say saying I love you, I miss you, and a couple other things that was totally inappropriate of me.

    Should I have ended it there? Yes. Did I? No. I foolishly thought for the next 2 years that if I change and keep asking him to not cyber (not stop talking to her) things would be okay. Even after I broke it off with him we had a class together (I started community college) and every time I saw him he’d try and rub it in my face about how hot girls were and the such.

    If God didn’t let me get out of that relationship when I did I never would have met my current boyfriend who brought me to Christ. Things aren’t perfect, but he treats me the way I should and I’m very grateful for that.

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Maggie–oh. my. goodness. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s beautiful how God can bring beauty from ashes, isn’t it? Everything you’ve gone through is absolutely devastating. Thankful to be able to call you sister. He’s a good Dad, isn’t He?

  3. Jessica says:

    I have been through two but the each were so different I didn’t notice until late into the relationships. My first was a four year relationship tht started my Senior year in college. The first year was actually really great so I thought, there was drinking but he wa 23 and I jut alloyed it to be 20 something and partying, but he would cry himself to sleep most nights over hurts from his child hood, I learned he had been suicidal before we met by everyone telling me how great I was for him. After that first year he would get mad if I was late because of being out with a friend, I was too fat. If I brought up his drinking he would bring up my love of potatoes. Silly as that may sound it always turne into a fight, but we were at “his house” so we had to fight by “his rules” I tried breaking it off several times but to no success I was afraid HE would break, why if I caused him to go over that edge. In the end of our third year he grabbed the back of my shirt to pull me back in the room we were fighting in, we were both shocked by the aggression and broke up with him a month or so later to which his response was ” we need to keep fighting to get along” , what it took to break it up was seeing my best friend being treated similarly by her boyfriend. My co workers had been praying for an end to our relationship.

    2 weeks after we broke up I met the man I almost married. He was nicer then the first guy, he wasn’t a mean drunk an didn’t make me fill bad. He told me how amazing I was in so many way an he told other people too… But he didn’t call me his girlfriend for 6 months. We moved in together at about 9 months. I would log on to the computer only to fin him checking out single sites. I would call him on it only for him to turn it around on me that “it’s always the person doing the accusing that is doing something wrong” or ” I was looking for a girl for so and so” this progressed over te years. We split after 3 years, 2 months before our wedding. Thank God!

    I went through counseling and fell in love with God and have over the last few years started being more aware of what is happening around me. It’s hard to her other women’s say “I would need stay I. A relationship like that” but until you have been there you can’t know what you will do. I hope that by reading your blog post anyone in this place will find the strength to leave!!!

    • Jessica says:

      Ps I typed this on my phone so please excuse errora

    • Jessica says:

      Should say senior year off highschool, really was typing away really fast on my break. Sorry.

    • Ruthie Dean says:


      Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. It’s truly heartbreaking to hear stories like yours–and I honestly can’t imagine what you’ve gone through. It is interesting that you went through two abusive relationships that were very different from each other–so you “didn’t notice until late in the relationships” that they were abusive. I think that is the hardest part about abusive relationships is that every single one looks different–and most people on the exterior have no idea the abuse is even happening.

      I LOVE that you said you “fell in love with God”–what was that like? How did it happen?

      • Jessica says:

        “How did it happen?” It was a long road. Even as a child I was seeking God. My parents were not Christians but would let me go to church with friends. In Jr. High my parents even sent me to several youth camps! But I fell away in high school. So the second relationship liste above ended like I said two months before our wedding. We were casually going to a local church with good friends of ours. When my heart broke I started going to church regularly. The people in my church picked me up. They hugged me and loved me when I showed up on their door steps crying. They prayed for me. They talked about God’s purpose for me. It still took some time. My heart was mending and my life was liking fuller than ever. There were a few changes happening at work and one day at a church prayer meeting. I walked out to a text with answer I was praying for! Huge step! Almost a year after my world came crashing down on Easter Sunday 2010. This is the short version, maybe someday I will put it all down.

        Ruthie, thank you for this blog and your heart that you share with all of us!

        • Jessica says:

          I deleted a sentence. I was baptized on Easter Sunday!

        • Ruthie Dean says:

          What a beautiful story, Jessica! Praise God for capturing your heart. You are HIS, dear sister! Thank you so much for sharing. I love when people share on the blog, because I want us all to learn from each other.

  4. Ana says:

    Thank you for this post. Please pray for my mom who is still in an abusive relationship.
    Thank you.

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Oh Ana. Of course I will. Thanks for sharing. Anyone else witness a loved one stuck in an abusive relationship?

  5. Lily says:

    I was also in an emotionally abusive relationship for about four months and three weeks… Strange how the number 4 appears quite a bit in everyone’s story.

    My ex was also a great man at the begining, called me beautiful all the time, told me how much he loved me everyday and although he didnt have much he would cook for me, want to spend time with me and etc. I thought I must have been the luckiest gal in the world… What favor God has had on me. Withing a month he was talking marraige and meeting my family (yes, I quickly got overwhelmed).

    Anyhow I just thought this is it, as a Christian I always thought I would date for a year or less, get engaged and withing two years max I would be married to whomever it is that would date.

    But as the weeks pilled on, he slowly started changing, very gradually… I did not realise unti I was actually annoyed with his attitude. My ex boyfriend would quote scripture about how we are weak and God understands, he actually almost led me to sexual sin. He would also pass comments like I am stupid, I dont listen, I am bossy. I actually started believing him.

    I think the second time he called me stupid, I looked him straight in the eye and said, “you do not ever call me stupid, what the heck is wrong with you?”. He changed the subject and made a comment about how that was not what he meant. Then the demands to know where I was, when I was coming to see him (he barely came to visit me) and how as a girlfriend i should do this and that.

    When I read Maggie’s comments I thought of a time where he “force-kissed” me. I had had it with the excuse of “What I want to do I do not do, and what I do not want to do I do” so I said that kissing needs to be off the table for us because it leads us to want to do me that just kiss. He clearly was not impressed with that. But that day when he force kissed me because he wanted to kiss me and he missed me (forget your convictions young lady, we ae doing what I want to do), I realised that if I married this man he would rape me too… If for whatever reason he want to have sex and I either couldnt (period) or whatever, there is a high chance that I would be forced to have sex because he wnats to… it was all about him. My body was his property, he would touch me inappropriately and when I voiced my concerns, he would play innocent and make it seem like I was over reacting, I let him treat me like a piece of meat sometimes.

    Dont get me wrong, being led does not exempt me from the choices I made to follow and I am equally to blame for the choices I made in the relationship as much as he is responsible for his actions.

    I was convinced, lol, convinced maybe I was actually over reacting.

    But the Spirit in me would not rest. I got to a point where everytime I thought of him, I would get upset and repulsed… :O (this is actually the first time I admit that). I got mad, I was a daughter of the Most High and I “deserve” to be treated like one.

    So after 3 attempts at breaking up with him to no success (its not over until he says its over), I sucked up the courage and told him to his face that I am not happy and I am walking out of the relationship, with or without his consent.

    That my fellow survivors was the most liberating day for me in just over 3 months. I broke all ties with him and knew that I deserve better.

    My road to recovery has not been smooth though, I find myself looking back and wondering “why?”, I have also found myself looking for love in the wrong places, attention, affirmation, something. Its a constant war not to choose wrong, because he, if the guy in the church treated me worse than the guys in the world, what guarantee do I have. I have to keep fighting to believe rhat my Prince is coming and as I wait on God, I will be preparing myself to be the Queen he has been looking for.

    As for now, I am still a working progress, I have fallen a few times and dusting myself up and waking again has not been easy, and I have felt far from God and wondered if I have treated Him with the most profanity that I have become unforgiveable… But “today, as I hear His voice, may I not harden my heart”.


    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Oh Lily. Thank you for sharing your story with me and with my readers. I’m saddened by all that you’ve endured and want to give this man a piece of my mind–disgusting! Please cling to this sentence you wrote: “was a daughter of the Most High and I “deserve” to be treated like one.” It’s beautiful and full of truth. How easily we believe the lie that we are only worth the number of men pursuing us or telling us we’re beautiful. Praise God you found the courage to walk away! What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone in a similar situation?

    • Maggie says:

      Reading your response to reading my comment made me think of times where my ex would treat me like meat. And at the time when it was happening there would be times where I went along with it and liked it, but a lot of times I didn’t like it and felt the same. That I was a piece of meat…It really is hard thinking of those times especially now that I have been a believer for a while now. It makes me wish that I never said yes to him on that day back in 2006.

      • Ruthie Dean says:

        Oh dear. I hate hearing that. But don’t forget who you are–a daughter of the Most High King–and no man can take that away.

  6. Lily says:

    I meant do more than just kiss in the 6th paragraph.

    I few mistakes here and there. I apologise for that.

  7. Amanda says:

    (My apologies for the book below, haha)

    I too have been in this situation – 4 years too long… and he still has a hold on me! :(

    I was 16 and he was 16 years my senior. He should have known better; but instead he prayed on my weakened spirit and low self-esteem. I too turned my back on all my friends to devote my time and heart to this man. He showed me attention I so craved and didn’t get at home. He whispered sweet nothings in my ear but in the quite of the night threatened to harm me if I ever left, saying “If I can’t have you, no one can!” He beat me down with his words until I felt like I was worthless and when I fought back with my words, he fought back with is fists (or elbow, or whatever was easiest). For so long I never thought of leaving, never felt as though I deserved more or better.

    That changed with the birth of our first daughter. I wanted something better for her. I didn’t want her to grow up and think that THIS was how she was supposed to be treated. I tried a few times over the next two years to leave; running out of places to hide I felt stuck. Finally after our second daughter was born I left one morning while he was at work; I moved in with my sister who lived an 1 1/2 away and he didn’t know where… so we were gone.

    Over the next few years he came to visit the girls here and there and when he wasn’t visiting them he was stalking me at night, sometimes breaking in during the day and hiding in my closet at night while I slept (the girls confirmed this years later… he told them). The girls got to an age where I was comfortable (or as comfortable as I’d ever be) to send them to him for the weekend and that went on (on and off) over the next 8 years or so. He had his moments where he chose to be difficult (i.e. making false report to children & youth service, accusing me of not being a good mom, etc.) but overall things went well.

    Two years ago, he landed himself in prison (once again) and was there for the last two years. I took the girls to see him when we could, even when he was released to a half-way house back in May or June. Over the two month period in which I took the girls up twice to see him, he had the audacity to think we could get back together (ugh… the thought makes me nauseous). I clearly, and as politely as a I could, informed him that it would NEVER happen, EVER. Since then he refuses to speak to me at all. Friending his children on FB was his go-to way of communicating with them. My youngest declined to accept, as she’s never really been that close to him; however my oldest (always a daddy’s girl) accepted quickly.

    He took this opportunity to bad mouth me, saying he was going to take me to court, and he tried to sway her into thinking she should come live with him. She began to avoid responding, not knowing what to say and fearing his reaction. Over a week’s period with no response from her, he was angry. Speaking to her degradingly and saying he was going to start a new family if that’s what she wanted…thus saying Good-bye… he Unfriended and Blocked her on FB. That was about two months ago now and he just a few days ago he tried to “re-Friend” both girls (his birthday was the next day). Niether girl has accepted and aren’t sure if they want to see him again.

    I’m not even sure if I can legally keep them from him at this point (we have no court-ordered agreement) but I refuse to make them if they don’t want to. I’m terrified as to what he may do in his rage induced state. I can’t sleep at night, I worry all day long; I’m scared, angry, and confused. I love God and pray often, but am hurt and frustrated that he allows the situation to continue. I don’t know what to do or where to go. I feel very broken and alone. I pray my girls remain strong through this, and should something happen to me that they be well cared for in my absence.

    Prayers of support are appreciated.

    And PLEASE if you are in a similar situation, RUN before it is too late!! Many prayers and blessings to all of you!

  8. Lou says:

    One of my friends recently went through this situation. I want to add in – “threatens to cut/hurt/kill himself depending on your actions” which is another form of maniuplation that is becoming more and more common.

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      so glad you added this one, Lou. Definitely not ok if someone you are dating is manipulating your actions with threats to hurt himself.

  9. Janedoe88 says:

    I have a huge concern. I have been serpated from my husband now for almost 2 months now. We seperated beacuse of his contant mood swings and anger at God and others and myself. We have been to marriage counseling several time and talked with pastors from many churches, his parents, etc. We have been a part of small groups and prayer meetings, but nothing seem to ever change anything. I am concerned because I have been to a professional counselor and I asked her if she would be able to tell if I had been in an emotinally abusive marriage or not. She DIDN”T RESPOND! haha. I was so surprised!! She never really ever answered that question at all! So i don’t know where to go to find out if have in fact been emotionally abused or not by this man…especially since my counselor, who is a ‘professional’ can’t tell me :(. Here are a few examples of things I have experienced with him:

    -Saying ‘well maybe I will just leave you. You’ll just wake up one morning and I’ll be gone”
    -He has suicidal thoughts
    -Acts one way in front of others and another when we are alone at home
    -Says “it’s our relationship…our relationship is no body elses buisiness…it’s our marriage don’t your agree?”
    -Makes my sister put a t-shirt on over her swimming suit when we go swimming with my family, because of ‘her swimming suit’. Makes me ask her to put one on.
    -Not being able to talk on the phone at home to friends, because he is always listening in on my conversations
    -Is jealous of me even when I talk with my old friends who are girls, or with friends in church who are older men and women.
    -He has even been jealous of my pet cat at my moms house
    -He has to make all of major decisions.
    -Not allowed to say any encouraging things to guys at all
    -He would claim that I was sinning against God if I didn’t have sex with him.
    -Tells me he has been hurting for years. Then when I say how sorry i am that he has been hurting for so long (in a later conversation) he says ‘what do you mean I have been hurting for a long time?” … …
    -I feel like I am walking on eggshells.
    -He has mood swings from being calm, simple, to crying frantically, confussed about life, and yelling at God and me.
    -He seems to be depressed, but after he has going to a counselor, he is still not diagnosed with anything! He went to a psychiatrist and was given a perscription for depression and anxiety, but the guy spent 10 min. with him and never told my husband what he was diagnost with…(sigh)

    When I finally seperated from him; I had tension head aches. Mini nightmares before being able to fall asleep, was shaky, and had trouble sleeping altogether

    Any insight would be helpful…If you have any suggestions on where to really find out if I have been emotionally abused and can be helped through this, please share. ..

    Thank you for your time,

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am currently in a relationship which I suspect is emotionally abusive. I need help because I’ve been researching this topic lately and certain aspects apply to my relationship, but others don’t and I just don’t know what to do. Here it goes…

    We have been together for almost 3 years. After less than a year he convinced me to move in with him. I did not want to at the time, but thought it would be good to get the experience of living out of my parents home. At first everything was good and it wasn’t really until this last year or so that I’ve been noticing red flags. One of my good friends does not like him because she said he is too controlling. Since they do not get along I have not talked to her for a long time. At the time he would talk negatively about her and say she was a bad friend for this reason or that. My sister does not like him either saying he is childish and annoying with a bad attitude. I would never choose him over my sister. I love my sister more than anyone in the whole world.

    I feel like everything I’m saying points to the obvious that this relationship isn’t good, but I feel stuck because if we break up then he will have no where to live and I still really care about him. The past few months we have been happy with little to no arguments.

    Here is more info on his behavior. He calls me when on break at work and expects me to do the same. He gives me a few tasks to do while he is at work and if they aren’t done he isn’t happy. But sometimes he is actually okay with it. I never know what kind of reaction to get. I speak my mind and try to stand up for myself. Since I am able to do this with no negative consequences it lead me to believe that maybe the ‘emotional abuse’ is minimal and not done purposely but because I do not always speak my mind.

    Big things he has done which disturb me. Threw my cat hard because he was angry at it, dumped cold water on me while I was in the shower, repeatedly flushed the toilet while I was in the shower making the water scalding hot, multiple times he got out of the car while we were arguing and refused to get back in the car. This isn’t everyday occurrences, but the fact that they happened at all bothers me. No one knows about that stuff happening.

    My feelings about the relationship- We talked about breaking up. I went into it believing that breaking up was the best thing to do for myself and my future, but as we were talking I felt guilty because I don’t want to hurt him or leave him with no place for him to go. I tried thinking only of myself, but I just can’t do that.

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Oh I hate hearing this. GET OUT! Seriously. He is abusive and it will only get worse. He isn’t your responsibility, but your heart is. Please get out of this relationship, dear sister.

      This hurts my heart to hear…just prayed for you.

  11. Peanut01 says:

    I am 23 years old and 12 weeks pregnant. We dated for 9 months, and he always made me feel like I was walking on eggshells. I had thought he was just paranoid at first due to an ex “supposedly (I say this because after all Ive been through, I realize he may have been exaggerating or lying) and figured once he realized that I wasnt going to cheat on him he would be more trusting. Well how he felt would constantly changing and he made me feel guilty, as if everything was my fault. He would not let me have a facebook (thought Id talk to other guys), If I made plans he would find a way to sabotage them (make me feel bad or like I seemed like it was to meet up w another guy), he would randomly call and expect me to be ready within the time he said and if not then he would not see me that night (15-20mins usually), hung up on me, I wouldnt tell him what I bought for Christmas and he said if I didnt he was ending things and wanted me to leave, broke things off atleast 1-2 times per month, called me horrible names, told me to quite jobs, wouldnt let me shop while on a business trip for a wk, wouldnt let me do things w friends, one week he would want to hangout alot then the next he would ignore me or even ignored me for days when he would feel like it and went through my phone. I tried to talk to him about it and he seemed to get better for a few wks but then we found out that I was pregnant. At first he was really happy, then told me if I did not get an abortion he wanted out and ended up packing up his things. Well he came back but wanted me to tell 90% of my friends that we couldnt be friends anymore and I had to call them in front of him or he was leaving me and the child. I also had to delete my facebook or he would not see or talk to me until I did so. Then he started calling me horrible names and I decided to end things. He has called me several times crying saying that he will do anything and wont ever do these things again that he wants us to be a family and he realizes what hes done is wrong and will talk to someone etc… But he has said very similar things before and always goes back to his ways, the only thing he was better about was the name calling/comments but the controlling/manipulation and selfishness always finds its way out. I dont think I can nor should ever get back together with him.. Even if part of me cares and we will have a child together. Just wanted to share my story.

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    Hi,I just wanted to tell you that I loved this post. It was helpful. Keep on writing of informative post.

  13. tish says:

    Hi all,its the first time I’m able to speak about my stor but the truth is I’m looking for someone to say I am making the right decision,I have decided to leave my marrige to a man I know for ten years and married to for 3years which I have a son with,from the time I have been with him,its been back and forth,he used to pyhsically abuse me at first but hen its 9years of long hard cruel heartless words I have put up with,from name calling to degrading,to accusationss contiously over and aover,I have reached the point where I can’t take it anymore and just want out and peace,he has promised that hed changed but within me I know its not the truth and he will always find somtinnew to accuse me of,I’ve actually become the one that physically hits him because I can’t stand what he says to me,he njoys seeing me going into a rage and having a fit about what he says to me,I can’t sit and be quiet it will be I’m thinking of another man,I can’t say I’m tired or want to go to bed it means I don’t want to be intimate with him,when he is intimate with me he has said many times it does not feel right I was with another ma,he slps with me like I’m a hoe and just does anything with thinking how it makes me feel,he wants to know where I am all the time,checks my phone and even wants me to leave work, besides all that he makes up his own scenarios to say I’ve been doing things while he is away at work on the weekends, he also has accuse me timelously ofhaving his friends,my own friens,his cousins,my own cousis boyfriends,he has aways found something new or someone new to pick on,now that I have had enough he doesn’t want to let me out of this,cause he feels I have stuck it out so long what’s so hard for me to forgive him now,says it can’t be cos of all the things he has done there must be somr other reason behind it,what hurts me the most is that we never looked at what we were putting my little boy through all this time,I’m living with my mum currently and need to make a decison about whow to move forward,we have seeked professional help for him which he has been to twice and doesn’t want to go back,I can’t do this anymore yet I still fell bad and guitly for wanting out….

  14. Kindhearts says:

    I was with an emotionally abusive man for two years- he was very heavy into drug use and alcohol, and no matter how many times I’ve tried to help him, it failed. It makes me laugh now that I thought my love and support would be enough…nope!

    I was accused of multiple affairs (and on a monthly basis- sometimes weekly. He would accuse me of wearing more makeup for somebody else, going over to another man’s house when I went over to my parents house) I was called very nasty names, he threatened to hurt/kill himself if I left, he also threatened ME that he was going to tell the police that I assaulted him if I ever called them (something that isn’t true- I have never struck him even though he has done it to me) One time I tried to leave him, he walked (no car) to the nearest store and called me on a payphone telling me to “stop trying to act tough and come pick me up, you [insert bad name here]”

    Sometimes he would get angry at me when he was driving and purposely speed up and act like he was going to crash the car (going 100km in a 60km zone) and when I begged and cried for him to slow down, he would say things like “I’m the f**king man in this relationship, you don’t tell me what to do”. So many more things I could say he did to me, but it makes me very upset to think about…in fact, nobody REALLY knows how badly he has hurt me. I haven’t admitted everything he has done yet, I’m planning on seeing a counselor soon so I can talk about this. I’m not sure what I’m feeling. Depression? Anger? Trauma?

    I look back on it now and realize how damaged I am from that…nobody and I mean NOBODY ever deserves to be treated this way. I used to be one of those girls that think this will never happen to me! Wrong. It can happen to anybody! I realize how fragile I am and how easily I let him come into my life and basically control it for two years and I am sure he wasn’t sober half our relationship anyway. It’s a sick feeling.

    How I got out? Well, after having to move back home (because I had no where to go), I ignored every single phone call he made. He eventually gave up calling me after I gave him no intention of ever speaking to him again. Boy that was hard, it took almost a month to get him to stop.

  15. Anika says:

    Hi I’m 20 and after I got pregant I felt like my life was over because im in a emotional abusive relationship with a guy I real love and it’s our first BBY I’m due aug 20 2013 I jus hope he changes sumtimes ion b knowing Wat to do when he gets emotional abusive wit me I b scared sum times but I pray and pray

  16. Distraught Mom says:

    I believe my married daughter is in an Emotionally Abusive relationship. He is a manipulator and controller. He has moved her far away from all of us in her family. He undermines everything she was taught and valued growing up – is superior to what her “ignorant parents” taught her. And the worst thing is watching her NOT see it yet. She thinks his intense attention is love and affection, not obsessive control.
    I feel so helpless. And I fear I am watching her drift further and further away.
    I am committing it to prayer, and asking the Lord to work miracles. But I must admit it overwhelms me some days beyond belief. The tears just flow.
    Thank you for this source of comfort and encouragement. And thank you for the example of all who have gone before and been brave enough to share.

  17. Emily says:

    Thank you for this post. I was also in a relationship like this….like so many girls, unfortunately. The first night I hung out with him we kissed and he said I don’t kiss a girl unless I think I’ll marry her….the first night! Talk about thinking you’re serious when you aren’t. He started talking about engagement and marriage 5 months after knowing each other, but not 5 months of dating. We met in October 2010 but started dating in February and he said he was saving up for an engagement ring. I later learned he probably said that to make me think we were more serious than we actually were and to keep me in the relationship.

    We broke up 7 times in a year and a half…he used scripture to persuade me to get involved in sexual sin…he said I see us as married in my eyes so it’s ok for us to do this. Like this post says, I constantly felt like I was walking on egg shells and that anything I said or did would make him mad. He was constantly jealous and getting mad over everything. It was so emotionally exhausting. BUT…God used that relationship to bring me home to Himself….He saved me through that relationship. That guy invited me to church with him and I learned about Jesus and God’s love for us and made the decision in July 2011 to stop living for myself and start living for God. That relationship was one of the hardest things I ever went through but God used it for the greatest thing ever….to bring me to Jesus! That guy and I broke up March 2012 and I haven’t dated anyone since…not because I won’t ever date anyone. I can’t wait to date and marry a strong godly man one day, but I’ve just been using this time to grow in my walk with God. He truly does use bad things and turns them into wonderful things. Part of me is thankful I did experience so I hopefully never will again, having learned what that relationship is like. And I am so thankful God pulled me from that relationship and closed the door on it. :)

  18. Christina says:

    Sadly but true.. I’am going through one abusive relationship currently and I don’t know how to break it off. I really really loved this man like I loved no other man, but whenever he is mad he says bad things about me, my friends even my PARENTS !! I’m emotionally exhausted now, he tells me to fuck off, bitch, whore, slut any abusive thing that comes to his mouth when he is angry. I’ve told him a zillion times to not say me things or call names when he is mad. He makes issues out of every minor thing that I do even the way I talk, walk, sleep.. every single thing. When it comes to him he gets totally defensive and starts blaming me for my wrong doings instead of looking on to his own mistakes.. I tried breaking up several times but my guilt takes me back to him thinking that I misbehaved with him and did wrong :(

    • Jessica says:

      Christina ,

      I wish I could send you the strength to get out. I will pray you find it. I was there as you can read. At the top of the post. The first abusive relationship I was in (I know scary to say it wasn’t the only one) . He called me horrible names when fighting and. Said hurtful things about my family and friends. They are the kings of guilt. When I finally had enough and broke up with him I will admit I had to do it over the phone at a friends house and I stayed the night with her and drew my strength from not being alone. I should have also turned my phone off. He tried the next day to convince me I was wrong but thankfully I had had it. When you find your strength I really recommend spend ing atleast 6 months to a year alone with yourself and God! It is the only thing that will heal you. I few commend reading “captivating” by Stacci Eldridge along with ” Praying for your future husband” and. Of course “”Real Men Don’t Text” ! After my second. Abusive relationship I dated off and on and almost settled for ok relationships with nice guys but not the right guys. For a year or two but the third year God kept me single and wow did I grow so much. I found this blog, I spent time finding out who I was on my own and when I met my husband. I was actually shocked that a guy could be so kind and loving and. How I would feel being second to God! I promise it is so worth the pain of ripping off that bandaid. God loves you and he has so much more for yor life than you know.. Again I pray you find yor strength and that you see the open door and walk through it into your future , it won’t be easy like so much in life the best things take time and sometimes hurt.

      • Jessica says:

        I can’t remember who wrote “praying for your future husband”. And I am sorry again I am typing on my phone and it auto correct and adds punctuation when I type to fast.

  19. kim says:

    First of all i want to thank kristina for the post she made on how dr khakani helped her in bringing back her lover before christmas.At first when i saw the posting i was so happy and in the other hand so scared,That this might not be real, Then i decided to give it a try in which i contacted dr khakani and told him how my lover left me for another lady for the past 3years and i have been lonely and depressed without him,So i told him if he has helped anyone called kristina and he said yes, that was the lady he helped in bringing back her lover before christmas.i said good and i told him that if he can help me in bringing back my own lover,He laughed and said once i have contacted him that my problem will be solved.He said that my lover will be back to me within 24hours and do an unexpected thing for me. i said really, Truly when the 24hours was completed i got a text from someone saying am sorry then i decided to call the number i saw it was my lover Steve voice.i was so happy he was begging me on phone, That he is ready to do anything that will make me happy in life,So i told him to come over which he did,As he was coming he came with a brand new Car as gift i was so happy and made me had access to his account to prove to me that he is not going to leave me for another lady,Am so happy today and am also thanking kristina for posting this early.Dr khakani you are truly a man of your word. He can also solve any kind of problems in this world. Friends you can contact dr khakani on his private Email khakanibestsolutioncentre12@gmail . com or cell phone (+)2348062216903

  20. Sam G says:

    I just stumbled upon this site, and I wanted to share my story. I am so sorry to read what other people have shared, I really am. You are all brave and courageous, I know I am not.
    I was in a friendship with someone for over 8 years or so from University. For many years, I have suffered from Anorexia Nervosa – and hit rock bottom, self harmed, and have had a slow recovery. Anyway, I am rambling, so sorry. Um, I thought this guy, this friend really cared about me, but he always made negative comments, and really made me hate myself. He moved away, but we kept in contact via email. He said he was falling in love with him, and I believed him. It was stupid. Nothing ever happened. He kept telling me he loved me, but he was seeing other women, and was having relationships with them. Even when he was with them, he said he wanted me, even though he was always rude to me. I stopped contacting him.
    A few months later, he contacted me saying he dumped her and was alone, and heartbroken. He acted all nice, then a few weeks found another girl. He tried to sweet talk me and I said no. However I was stupid to fall in love with him. I mean, it is stupid, and yet I could not stop feeling this way.
    A few years ago, he found this girl and his behaviour changed for the worse. He became more aggressive to me, bullying me and making me cry and hate myself. I could not tell anyone, I felt so ashamed. I felt so alone.
    He told me to “have a nice life” and never talk to him. I left it for about 5 months, but I missed him. I think it was because I convinced myself he loved me – stupid right?
    We got in contact again. He told me he wanted me to be happy, and was forcing me to meet people and have sex. I am a virgin and have never had a boyfriend or relationship ever. He was trying to force me into being a lesbian. No matter how many times I said no he would never listen. Anyway, I told him to stop his aggressiveness and to just respect my wishes. He said he would.
    However, he put my details on a dating website, and a picture of me when I was anorexic. We would walk when I was anorexic, and would take pictures of ourselves. He used these pictures and set up this profile. I never even knew about it, until people started ringing my house, knocking at the door, and sending texts etc – it was scary. Men and women contacted me and were very rude, saying hurtful comments from “You are ugly” to “You are fat”.
    From having anorexia, I convinced myself this was true, and they were right, I am fat, ugly, repulsive and unattractive.
    I found out where they all came from, from this particular dating site, and I stumbled upon my details and pictures being used by this guy. I contacted him, and he said I am repulsive.
    Hearing that really hurt me, and I cried myself to sleep for many nights. I could not tell my family – I am so ashamed of myself. I have been stupid, and yet I don’t know why I still have feelings for him. I feel so weak, and I know I am.
    Do you know what the worse thing is? I really want to contact him even now. Even though he has hurt me, why do I still want him in my life? I hate myself.
    I have not self harmed, even though I have wanted to, and I know this is not the same as what many people have written, and I am sorry if you hate me, or think I am weak and useless, and have not suffered the same as you – but I feel so hurt, alone and isolated. I don’t know what to do.
    For anyone reading this, thank you for taking the time to read this – I know its drivel, but I feel so ashamed. I did not deserve to be treated this way, and I am embarrassed with my feelings.

    • Amanda says:

      Oh Sam!! I am so sorry that you feel so unworthy. I too have struggled with self-love. It is this lack of love for yourself that allows you to fool yourself into accepting this kind of treatment. You DO deserve so much better. Whatever it is that you have been through or wrongs you may have done, God loves you SO much. He truly wants you to me happy & treated kindly. The fight with self-loathing is a daily battle, I know I’ve been there and sometimes I still visit this very dark room in my mind. You can overcome it and you DO deserve better.

      Please email me anytime if you’d like to talk ever. ( God bless you sweetie!

  21. Steph says:

    I have been in two abusive situations which still haunt me.
    My very first ‘love’ (dated for just over a year) had another girlfriend at the end of our relationship. He emotionally, physically and sexually abused me. He then began to stalk me and torment me for the next four years, and also tried to kidnap me. I contacted the police when I gained courage and was told that there was not enough evidence and nothing came of it.

    I then had a friend who was so kind to me for a few years. He was so so over the top nice to me. He also always said how much he hated my ‘first love’ for all he had put me through, and he wanted to see justice done. But the constantly tried to control me as a friend and we would fight all the time. He then started emotionally abusing me, constantly putting me down, lying to me, pointing out all my flaws, that I am NOT a strong person, that I’m this and that. Then apologising profusely.

    I have escaped both situations, and I have an amazing boyfriend now. But why do I still want these two men to know how ‘happy’ I am? Why do I feel like I wasn’t good enough for these two – they’re both ‘happy’ in relationships. What was wrong with me that I copped abuse but these girls seem over the top happy with these men? I am happy in my relationship and I love my boyfriend, but these two have ruined my self esteem. The memories haunt me.

  22. first I would like to send prayer out to all the ladies that endured such horrible things by these SO CALLED MEN! God loves us and has a plan for each and everyone of us.

    well, i don tknow if im in an abusive relationship or not, i have been with this man for 10 years we have 2 kids and have been married for 3 years now. In the beginnning we fell in love. with in the first 2 years he was physically abusive. we both were. then we found god and began changing. we ended up getting married after 5 years and had another child. it was going good but now instead of physically abusing me he does it verbally and emotionally. he doesnt call me names but he would always blame everything on me! every argument it was my fault, he never apologized for anything he does, maybe once every few nonths. I am the one always apologizing and trying to win him back. i have changed i am a sweet woman and i dont do the things i used to do. but he makes me feel horrible. like i cant do anything right, everything i say to him he persives it as disrepectful. he throws scripture at me but doent follow through himself. I dont kjnow what to do anymore. I belive we can fix this but maybe im blind. maybe he doesnt even love me and is just using my weakness as a ride through life.. because I TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING! so how does a woman that has made changes, has an education, alsways kept a job and provides for her family and loves god with all her heart, still get treated like dirt?? we cant even have a conversation anymore. he says things like i hope my kids dont pick a woman like you. (i have 2 sons with him) he wants me to do all the changing, which i have for the better. he just downs me in every way. saying all what I DONT DO! WHEN I DO EVERYTHING! i cant believe this. I am so stressed out now because of everything, im trying not to break down and believe him. I am a strong woman and a good woman, i don t underatand why he is acting like this and thinks its okay?? when he loves god too? someone please help me with advise, i am so confused and we tried consouling before and the pastor even told him a few times what he does isnt right, but he always turns it around on me… I cant take it anymore.
    God bless you all.

  23. Becca says:

    Martinez- it’s not you! Physical and emotional, both are abusive traits. You have been the stronger person, by changing the way you think and control your life! It is not your responsibility to change him! He is weak and feeds off your strength and be careful because he will strip you down emotionally and you will be left with low self esteem. With no disrespect to you, sometimes people that are in an abusive relationships stay and continue thinking that some day they will Change…. Or that we can help, (co-dependent) The odds of that happening is close to null. It’s easier said than done, but you need to walk away….it’s a toxic relationship, and it will trickle down to your children. The cycle of abuise will continue through your children, They will also be in abusive relationships or be the abuser. Don’t try to understand it, by doing that, you will continue to endure it. My best advise to you, is to break the silence…..once you do that, you’re one step closer in building the courage to leave. And as clear as it is day and night when your ready, you will know when it’s time to leave. Prayers to you and your children. And prayers for your husband, as the lesson he will learn will be devastating. But rest assure, once he know he can’t continue to abuse you, he will find ,someone else’ to do continue the cycle with.

    Respectfully – ‘someone else’

  24. AMaria says:

    Ex- Boyfriend dumped me 2 months ago after I caught him having an affair with my best friend and i insulted him then we broke up. I want him back in my life but he refuse to have any contact with me. I was so confused and didn’t know what to do, so I visited the INTERNET for help and I saw a testimony of how a Love Psychic help them to get their ex back so I contacted the Love Psychic and explain my problems to him….. He cast a spell for me and assure me that after one week that my ex will return to me and to my greatest surprise after 5days my Pedro Alejandro came knocking on my door and begging for forgiveness. I am so happy that my love is back again and not only that, we are about to get married. Once again thank you Dr. John, you are truly talented and gifted. He is the only answer to any relationship problem. He can be of great help to you and I will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man contact him through his
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  25. Marian says:

    My life is back!!! After 8 years of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our three kids. I felt like my life was about to end, and was falling apart. I contacted Dr. OKORO LOVE SPELL and after I explained my problem, In just 3 days my husband came back to us and show me and my kids much love and apologize for all the pain he have bring to the family. We solved our issues, and we are even happier more than ever before Dr. OKORO you are the best spell caster. I really appreciate the love spell you cast for me to get the man back to my life i will keep sharing more testimonies to people about your good work. Thank you once again Dr. OKORO. You can also contact Dr. OKORO via email address: dr.okorospelltemple01@gmail. com in case you are in any problem you can contact this man for help he is always there in his temple to help you solve your problem Contact Email is: dr.okorospelltemple01@gmail. com CONTACT HIM TODAY VIA THIS EMAIL ADDRESS: dr.okorospelltemple01@gmail. com AS HIS POWERS ARE SO STRONG AND VERY EFFECTIVE AND HAS NO BAD EFFECT INSTEAD IT HAVE A VERY GOOD RESULT AFTER CASTING THE SPELL.

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