The One Who Will Be Abused After You

September 27, 2012 Kellie Jo Holly

Abusers must find new victims - not new loves, new victims. It hurts to imagine they can love someone when they couldn't love you, but the error is thinking it is love.

Violet is ready to leave her abusive husband - almost. She struggles with what-ifs, but I sense she has one foot out the door already. She asked in her comment,

"I think about him meeting someone else; what if he is good to her? Does that make her better than me? I know someone else addressed this, but it is a real fear of mine. Am I making him act this way?"

Am I Making Him Act This Way?

Fifteen days after leaving my husband, Will, I came to a powerful realization. I wrote on my blog and this is what I said:

You see, once upon a time, I believed Will when he said that I made him angry. I made him yell. I made him go into a$$hole mode. I made him want to hit me. I made him cut me down. I made him use physical force to subdue me. I must have thought I thought I was pretty damn powerful, being able to spin that man around in such a tizzy that he would justify his own behavior by blaming me for it.

There is a flip side of being so omnipotent and powerful. I could make him mean, hateful, vengeful even…but I couldn’t make him love me, I couldn’t make him respect me or be nice to me. What’s the point of being “omnipotent” when your “powers” only work against you?

Fact is, I tried to make him love me for me, and when that didn’t work, I thought he’d love me as his baby’s mother. When that didn’t work, I morphed into the house frau he said he wanted me to be. Along the way, I’ve tried to be his mother, his MawMaw, his aunt; I even tried to be “more like” other people he’d point out to me. I tried to make him love me, and I couldn’t do it.

So why did I buy into the idea that I could make him angry?

I think that believing I could make him feel something was better than acknowledging he would never feel love for me. I thought there was something broken inside me, something that I could fix. I forced myself into fits of depression thinking that there, at the bottom of the pit, I would find the thing that made me so unlovable. Once I found it, I thought I could pluck it out and dispose of it, then rise to the surface of myself to find that he was able to love me.

I do not wonder why I spent so long looking for something that was broken [inside of me]…I know that I wanted a happy marriage, a loving husband, a close family. I wanted what I wanted when I married Will – to be a part of his life, to share myself and my gifts with him believing that we complemented one another and together, we were unstoppable. I wanted this so badly that I stuck around for almost 18 years trying to create it.

Underneath it all, we want to know we're lovable. Abuse convinces us that we are not lovable, not even likable. Abuse convinces us we're sub-human and everyone else in the world can see it. Abuse shames us, it shames and dims the light God meant for us to shine bright for all the world to see.

Our abusers circled our light in the beginning like a moth to the flame. Our abuser wanted us, just as we were, because they thought we could share our light with them, and "make" them better for it. The abuse begins when the abuser realizes that no one, specifically not their victim, can cast a light so bright that it illuminates their own darkness. And trust me on this one, abusive people live in a very dark place.

What If He Is Good To Her? Does That Make Her Better Than Me?

Your abusive mate will find another light shining brightly from another person that beckons them like a moth to a flame. After you are gone, your abuser can no longer believe that verbally, emotionally, or physically beating your light out of you will work. Your abuser may wonder what they ever saw in you, seeing that your light faded so drastically. Your abuser will not comprehend that the effects of the abuse caused your light to fade, and they certainly will not wait around in their darkness to see if your light reignites.

Your abuser will find another person who shines brightly. Your abuser will wow his New Light with loving actions, sweet words; your abuser will seem to the New Light like a gift from heaven. The New Light will probably be a lot like you.

The New Light is no better than you. Sure, you may feel defeated right now, but your light is on the mend. You are coming back into who you are and always were. But your abuser's New Light is on the way to darkness. You probably won't see it happen because, if you remember, the Abuse is kept a secret. You are no longer allowed to see your ex-abuser's inner world because you've been cast out.

But you KNOW.

Please remember that despite your ex-abuser's opinion of you, Abuse is always wrong in its judgments. Abuse seeks to kill what lives when Love seeks to nurture what lives. Loving yourself in the absence of abuse nurtures you. It guides you to new insights. You realize that no one is better than or less than, we're all simply trying to shine our lights. You heal. You believe your Self again, and any pain caused by seeing your abuser with a new victim subsides into the light of truth.

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2012, September 27). The One Who Will Be Abused After You, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

July, 29 2023 at 7:24 pm

This was a powerful read, especially reading it as a survivor myself of physical harm for years by my former husband. Parts of this blog post spoke right to my soul, especially the part about your light being extinguished. I thank you for telling your story to try to reach out to other survivors. I am a shell of the vibrant person I used to be, but look the same on the outside. I do not believe in things I used to and am frightened of most people now. I never feel safe, even years later. My pets and I still flinch when sudden movements occur around us, or if we are in a space that can be blocked and cornered. No woman deserves to go through any physical intimidation or harm, ever. The abuser does or did this to you as a desperate attempt for the power they struggle with within themselves. Essentially, it has everything to do with them and nothing to do with the victim/survivor, but our bodies are traumatized forever. I wish they could experience the indescribable fear of having someone repeatedly remind you they can unalive you in a moment if they so wish. It changes a person, forever.

Hurt girl
October, 18 2021 at 9:34 am

I was with my abuser for 9 years..up until 4 weeks ago..precisely 3days before my birthday. Thing is..I had no idea I was being abused until that moment..3days before my birthday he hurt my feelings and I told him to leave..he stated he slept at train station that night when he rang me when I was parked out side the chipper.he says hungry..and I was cold answering him like yes and he got very icy and said..oh forget it and hung up.i rang the following day and he said his phone was off because he was in the pub..of course I got upset because I spent hours looking for him in case something was of my birthday I called up to his parents house and he ran me from the door..told me he hated me and being with me for 9years was hell and that to move on because he was going to get with someone else soon as he told me..I can't be on my own..that's who I am. So he did just someone else and I seen them in his car driving around town. It did hurt me.last few days I started to remember when it first began..the grooming.he said I can get a women as I'm gorgeous..any women..s9 he takes out his phone and shows me a video of an women doing the deed and she had a beautiful body.flat tummy etc..and it looked like his hands in the I got a bit paranoid..skip on that night or a few nights later..I was looking for my pjs in the closer and I was bent rolls and all wouldve been on display but I didn't think he would of been watching me..I got back to bed and he looked like he was sleeping and there was my phone with a picture of me from the closet on my side of the bed..I asked why are you pretending to be asleep and take this photo but I can't remember what he said..I only remember the shame of how I looked(compared to the video)few nights later we were playing strip poker in the sitting room in front of fire.his idea..and then when it reached to where I was in my underwear..he got so icy and said..cover yourself up..this also got to my self esteem..when another time I did something sexual to him..he said to me days later..oh you did that to many other guys did you do that to..also getting to my self esteem. I moved out of my house then to another as he said there was so no privacy there(I regret so bad)I gained nearly 3 stone in a matter of months and was very depressed..but never linked it to the arguments always being my fault...he also knew ant my ex who physically beat me and I told him in confidence to which one day he through it back at wonder he hit you or did he even and your lying..self esteem..pain despair can imagine how my brain jump in the morning because I was walking on eggshells all the time.i was getting very sick..ibs and sore throat..allergy reactions ...everything..but because he said he was innocent and it was all me.i believed it..soon before the break up..I started to pull back a little.. stopped making dinners for him because he never pulled his weight..stopped letting him use my bank account because he had his own..I am mentally drained with my own mind each day..having intrusive ocd and anxiety.and I also have an autistic child which is a lot for me to cope with at times along with trying to make him matter how I tried it was never good enough..never pleased..even at the very end..I meant nothing to him...if I didn't feel like in the mood to go upstairs to do things after having a hard day..I would get asked repeatedly.what are you good for..over and's just so sad to me to think that someone who I trusted went out of their way to hurt me...I got bullied also in my past and I am very to find out it all wasn't real and just a perception.that be afraid to leave on the immersion because of esb bill..or jump when he yelled over something silly and never wanted to speak to me about anything only about himself..

September, 3 2022 at 2:30 am

August 6th 2021 was the day the abuse was finally put to rest however , it didn’t end well because he was 2 steps ahead of me it felt like & I ended up being charged with aggravated assault- irregardless of the fact that he beat me so bad and even had a gun involved . It’s a year later and I’m still dealing with the “consequences “ for self defense - but one thing I do have and I’m grateful for is the ability to never go through that again and seeing the red flags before it’s too late. He pressed charges on me, took out a restraining order on me and made me out to be the perpetrator- however no one knows that behind closed doors he mentally, emotionally and eventually physically abused me consistently. He threatened my life with his gun, with inanimate objects & consistently tore parts of my self esteem down with his false accusations. The beginning was so sweet… (the grooming stage)- I felt like I met my soulmate the way he was so sweet to me. But then he started to get jealous over small things- my bubbly personality that he liked so much became “too friendly” for him, the way I dressed went from sexy to “repulsive”, the way I pleased him was questioned - “who else you did this for ?!”… Everything I did became a problem. I was too sensitive… I was too emotional… I was too depressed… And eventually every day became a roller coaster of emotions. He started pulling away from me, my intuition told me he was cheating simply because of the amount of times he accused me of cheating on him… Even though I wasn’t nor did he have any real reason to believe so because I literally catered my entire life towards him. And when it was all said and done he trapped me in his home, beat me into a concussion and then played the victim. To this day I always wonder if he would ever take accountability for what he’s done, but I know that men like him don’t believe in accountability. I know he’s moved on with someone else… Or he’s been dating and it’s so tempting to reach out and tell them about the monster that he really is… Especially since he comes across so cool calm and collective . His manipulation tactics scare me until this day . i’m healing though. I’m finally finding that light inside of me and it may not be right now… Or a few weeks from now… Or even a year from now that I feel 100% OK again but I will eventually. My light is going to come back.

September, 12 2022 at 4:36 pm

Hello Yoko, I am Cheryl Wozny, current author of the Verbal Abuse in Relationships blog. Thank you for opening up and sharing your story. It takes courage to speak the truth about your situation. I am glad to hear that you have begun your healing journey. Taking the proper steps to find peace is essential for creating a healthy life. Please feel free to visit our resources page… for more information on helpful hotlines and referral resources.

October, 15 2019 at 4:07 pm

Wow, this is a very interesting article. I was with my ex for a little over a year. We started out long distance but he convinced me to move to his city with promises of marriage. I moved in with him and the "abusive" behavior started. It was never physical but always verbal. Things like "you need to lose weight" (I was 125 lbs), "eat less", and "look nice" became commonplace. Every time I would push back on him, he'd say he's saying all this because he loves me and is looking after me. I continued to fall for it, never doubting his intentions for even a second. During this time, he asked me to marry him several times. I always kept saying "Let's give it at least a year before taking the leap." He seemed to agree.
The emotional abuse continued - "why are you so sensitive?" "why do you always pick a fight?" "you are so negative all the time" "stop whining". I tend to be very emotional and start crying when things seem out of control, while he had a very cool and collected demeanor. Every fight/argument ended with me feeling bad as being the perpetrator of it all. I was desperate to change myself and make things better. When I discovered that he was still active on dating profiles (after being together for 1 year), instead of confronting him, I decided to blame myself and try to love him even more. I wanted to show him that I could change and be a better partner.
When he was done with me, he ghosted me out of the blue - yes, ghosted me. Refused to answer my phone or respond to my messages. I felt like a terrible human being and wanted him back at any cost. I forced him to meet me one last time as a means of getting "closure." We met and he said "he's busy with work and doesn't have time for a relationship any more". I was completely heart-broken. I had invested so much in this relationship and he didn't even blink before kicking me to the curb. At the time of that breakup, I accepted his decision and started to work on myself. All this time, hoping if I'd become a better person, he'd come back. We continued texting for a few months after the break up and then I stopped responding to him. Fast forward a few months later, I discovered that he had gotten engaged to someone else within 2 months of breaking up with me!!!!!!! This is while we were still texting each other, he was getting engaged. He refused to mention the presence of another woman in his life. I was devastated at the news of this "sudden" engagement. It was unclear whether he met her after we broke up or if there was overlap between us.
I decided to do two things:
(i) confront him about this sudden turn of events - he had the audacity to call me but didn't answer any questions about when he met this new woman or why he failed to disclose that he was involved with someone else. Talking to him made me realize he didn't think there was anything wrong with his behavior (in the way he treated me or his failure to let me know about his engagement). I don't know if it's possible that the abuser is unaware of the impact of their actions.
(ii) Inform his wife-to-be about the timing and intensity of our relationship. She never responded to me (I am well aware that he might have covered his "traps" by making me look like the crazy disgruntled ex). In fact, the wife had a friend message me to tell me that they are both very happy together and I should leave them alone.
This all happened a few weeks ago. I am still processing what happened - how can someone go from proposing to you non-stop (when you are living together) to getting engaged to someone else (they are now married). I failed to see his abusive nature until now. When I reflect upon his behavior, I cringe. After seeing their wedding pictures, I almost felt a sense of relief that it wasn't me. If I had to spend the rest of my life with him, it was nothing less than a life sentence.
I am starting my road to recovery now. I have no respect for this man, and no empathy for his wife. I just hope he treats his wife right, and sincerely wish that I was his last victim.

May, 1 2021 at 7:57 pm

The SAME EXACT scenario happened to me! However we were together 7 years. I spent all of that time hoping he would see my worth and committ fully to me. He left me about a year ago but has still been in contact with me and coming in and out of my life once every couple of months. He would claim he wants to come home and finally give me his all only to disappear and go back to the new woman the following day. Of course when I went to his instagram page I find out he proposed to her not even a week later. Idk how some men can give another woman in such a short time all of the things I was begging him for, for all of those years. Its like a slap in the face that he enjoyed💔

August, 6 2021 at 12:42 am

I hope they get what they deserve in time. I was with my ex for over 5 years, “engaged” for over 3years and he constantly promised me marriage and babies. I finally left because of the cheating. He’s now getting married with a baby on the way and it’s only been weeks since we were together :( I know I’m better off because he was extremely abusive but it’s hard to not think she was somehow better… she’s younger and thinner than me and somehow she gets everything I was promised for years. I was with him when he had NOTHING and after he took everything and is only now making decent money he gives her everything. He’s even buying a house. I do hope there is justice because it’s so unfair.

October, 9 2019 at 9:25 pm

Can someone PLEASE give me some insight-
I was abused mentally, emotionally and physically by my ex abuser. The most concerning part, was that i was pregnant with our child. The abuse started in the very begining and escalated with physical violence and forceful confinement in my house, as my pregnancy progressed.
I escaped after my daughter was 3 months old.
My abuser got in another relationship directly after i left. I naively thought if I warned her about his patterned abuse-i could spare her the fate she ultimately had.
The woman ofcourse didnt beleive me and even called me names. But 1.5 years later, she emails me stating, "he repeatedly beat me, punched me in the stomach, and now i am in therapy for PTSD. I believe he can repent to god though." But after i responded (i suggeated she go "no contact" for her safety) she ended up forwarding my emails to my ex abuser and told me to never email her again? She also stated she was trying to work things out with him?
I found out that they got back together recently. I know- when a domestic violence victim RETURNS to the abuser, the abuse gets worse, so i worry for her life (he has threatened to kill me before). Another part of this is- she will not help me by providing his location. I havent been able to file for custody or financial assistance because my abuser is transient. Ive asked her to give me his location, so i can protect myself and my daughter. She refuses.
My main questions are:
1. At what point is a woman COMPLACENT to the abuse (shes seen the abusive/scary threats he constantly sends me, and has admitted her own experiences abuse to me) she DOES NOT deserve this. But she has enough knowledge and experience of his abuse towards her, me and my daughter, that how can she continue to support him?
2. How can i turn a blind eye, KNOWING what is happening to her....and not try to do something? I cant control anyone but myself--but i can barely sleep knowing all of this.

October, 12 2019 at 11:15 am

Hi love. I'm really sorry that you've experienced all of this, that's a really hard thing to go through. I'm glad that you are no longer in an abusive relationship yourself and that you were able to find your way out. I think that, while this is devastating for you to see another person go through, it can be important to remember that not everyone sees the harm in what they're going through until they've had the chance to leave, and maybe she hasn't had that moment yet. I'm proud of you for trying to help someone that is in a position you know very well. It can be frustrating, but one important lesson I've learned is that no one can be helped until they realize they want to help themselves. I know that this is a scary situation to follow this advice in, and I hope that she knows that she can count on you if she one day decides she wants to leave. This is very common for people to experience in abusive relationships because there is a lot of manipulation involved from the abuser that makes it very difficult. You've made yourself available to her, and I hope that that alone can give you some peace. Love and light, Katlyn.

January, 15 2019 at 1:11 am

I was in a unhappy marriage of 20 years when “he” the abuser, swept me off my feet.. my husband threw me out of our marital home once I told him that we was over and I wanted a divorce. I had asked for a divorce months previously to meeting the abuser. I moved straight in with the abuser. He had just spilt with his previous partner. He Told me she was abusive to him. I believed everything he said. He Told me he didn’t do affairs and that if we was to continue with our relationship, then I should end my marriage. Which I did. For the first few weeks/ maybe 2 months we lived in a bubble of happiness. I then started to see an angry side to him. How quick he could turn. Then His anger turned towards me. He didn’t trust me. He went on to abuse me mentally, physically and also financially. Insisting I pay for most things. My light dimmed. I couldn’t bear to look at myself in the mirror, during the last few weeks that we was together. My inner voice was screaming for it all to stop, and when I looked in the mirror, I knew I was lying to the person staring back at me. I discovered in the end he had contacted his ex previous to me and wanted to see her again. I left. I waked out one Day in November, as I knew if I didn’t walk I would of been pushed. I moved away from my children and friends 10 weeks ago. Me and the abuser still had contact throughout these weeks. He confessed that during our 6 months together he still loved her. He came to see me at my new town for one night. Told me he still wanted me but also her as well..I ended the mind F@ck just over 2 weeks ago, by telling him no more and have now gone no contact. I am returning back home this weekend, to my old marital home, to start again. My husband doesn’t live there anymore, I feel I have done a complete circle.. but my light is starting to get brighter again and I can now look myself in the eye.

November, 7 2020 at 8:50 am

Thank you for sharing your story! I know how an abuser can take our light and it’s a long process to get our light back. I’m 18 months out of a physically and mentally abusive relationship of 3 years - wishing I’d left the first time he grabbed my neck and chin because the abuse got worse and he kept saying he loved me so much and he will get help. His “help appointments” didn’t exist as towards the end of our relationship - a woman contacted me via FB message stating she had been seeing him for 4 months and I’m old news. Meanwhile, I had just gone out with him and slept with him. So bad.

December, 30 2018 at 10:56 am

Closure with an abuser is dumping him. The other woman is wasting her life. I feel sorry for them, I was once her. Only someone with no critical thinking skills would do his dirty work. It’s very sad to watch. I know the future of everyone in involved with him. I know they will all be duped. I know his family, most of them don’t know anything truthful about him. Or they conveniently ignore the truth looking them in the eye.

December, 4 2018 at 3:49 pm

My story starts out like many other abusive relationships. He was genuinely interested in getting to know me. We spent hours talking on the phone before our first date. When we kissed for the first time that was it, I was hooked. We spent an entire week with each other and he never initiated sex. I thought to myself every relationship should start out like this. He called his mother and friends to tell them early on that he'd found the woman meant to be his wife. He is fiercely loyal and cheating was never a concern which drew me in further. I have issues with trust due to my own transgression in a previous relationship. Early on there were signs. He made me cry after saying some very hurtful things and he wasn't apologetic. It started to decline rapidly to include drunken belligerent texts followed by an apology the next day and to tell me how much he loved me. Almost two years later and we are no longer together. It took leaving 5 times to see I deserve better and it wasn't all my fault. It went from verbal abuse to physical abuse followed by the honeymoon phase. It's a repetitive and vicious cycle. I believed in this man and there were good times. The problem is he never believed in me. I pray for healing and strength to all those who are suffering from abuse.

August, 5 2018 at 9:28 pm

Wow this is a pinpoint of my life right now. I'm 30 years old. My husband is 32. He has been physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive. We've been married for a year and a half but together just shy of 6 years. I had two step children who I nearly raised and we had one child together. I got pregnant a month after the wedding and it was planned. We haven't gone to court yet but I've filed for divorce and court date is set. He left me for a 19 year old girl who we know and is friends with our mutual friends daughter. And no word is they've been doing it for a long time, even before we were matried, and she was underage. I left the house with the baby and moved in with my parents. He left the house that was his before the marriage. He moved in with the 19 year old. Things are messy. His ex filed an order of protection. He hasn't seen any of his kids in nearly 45 days and hasn't asked really about any of them. I'm scared and I'm getting help from an abuse couselor. I just feel like I need a support system.

August, 5 2018 at 8:57 pm

I was with my bf for a year, he showed me who he was the first couple of months in but I ignored it. We didn’t live together but he wanted me at his house at all times. If I wanted to go home to my house 45 minutes away he would accuse me of living a double life and my “other” bf must be wanting me home. The vicious circle of love bombing, tension build up and then explosion of rage over and over again had me so confused. He would call me horrible names, while building himself up. All of these stories are similar and although I left and came home 2 days ago I have a lot of anxiety. I have him blocked on my phone but every few hours I check my “blocked” msgs to see if he left one. I even unblocked his number for a couple of minutes but it made me physically sick so I blocked him again. My mind is racing and I keep reminding myself of all of the bad, how unhappy I was, how badly he treated me at will so why am I putting myself through this? I have been reading literally all day, haven’t showered or bothered to change out of my pajamas. I have read about narcissism, abuse, finding strength after abuse etc and it helps for the moment but how am I to do this everyday? I’m not saying I can’t do it I am genuinely asking how? Pushing myself to exercise or binge watch tv isn’t helping, all I keep thinking is that he is with a “her”. I know she’s going to get everything I got, the sweet and loving gestures, all of it but it doesn’t help me. I feel like to a certain extent I am brainwashed so how do you un*uck yourself? His last rage, he punched my car window because I wouldn’t open the door, he tried ripping off the door handle, when I was able to drive away I went and hid on a side street just in case he followed me. When I felt it was safe I went to the gas station and there he was coming straight at me and tried blocking me between his car and the wall. I was able to get past him and into the street where he again tried blocking me up against the center median. When the light changed I drove, he then started trying to run me off the road before damaging his car and having to pull over. Believe it or not I went back after a few days, he was coming to my house, texting or calling my adult kids and I went back to stop the madness. Funny how that didn’t make me leave but him speaking to me foul the other day did. I know it was all a build up and I needed to be mentally ready and I am because the thought of unblocking him made my stomach sick, so how do I get out of my own way? Ya I guess I want over night results but knowing this time I am not going back, him completely ignoring me, it’s a mind f*ck. Of course all of this, everything is my fault, I wouldn’t get treated like this if I “wouldn’t push his buttons” or “run my mouth”, if I cry I am whining. Just writing this is making me sick that I even got myself into this situation at 48 yrs old. Any help/advice would be welcomed. To all of you out there that have succeeded at moving on I applaud your strength and keep writing because there are a lot of us that need you.

December, 4 2018 at 4:11 pm

I hope you are doing well and have freed yourself from his abuse. It's the hardest thing you'll ever do but so important that you do.

August, 3 2018 at 8:53 am

My abusive husband of two years, went for take out for me and the kids and decided to not come back. He then sent a text that he wants to try something new. This is all overwhelming for me, because I was blindsided. How dare he just bail? And although I know this is best for me and the children, I do hurt knowing that he may have some one else. I am depressed, he looks at that as a way to make fun of me. I have been through hell, why do I want him to want me. I will be scheduling counseling today for myself and children, we have been terrorized for a while now. Also, I want to say that I know I am better off without him, but I wish he wanted to stay.

July, 15 2018 at 12:31 am

I am only 19 years old and have faced hurtful emotional abuse by my ex also my age for nearly 3 years . He was controlling me , assuming i was talking to other guys when i was loyal. We started of good and as soon as he asked me to be his girlfriend he started little things to control me where he wanted me off social media, wanted me to show him what i was wearing to college etc. little signs were gradually growing and at first i thought this was normal , i thought he cares for me and loves me that’s why he wants me to himself. he isolated me from friends and would always bad name them just because they used to tell me to go out with them. Long story short he kept using foul language towards me had no respect towards me whatsoever but yet claimed to love me and care for me and would cry if i said anything hurtful back ! I am loosing sleep , constantly going off task thinking about how i let my young self go through this, now i left him i feel lonely and down and i don’t know why! We had a close bond but i wasn’t happy ! there was more bad days then god. How do i get over him so i can find my happiness again?

ceren Roberts
May, 25 2019 at 8:53 pm

Hi Becky well I can tell you the way you heal from such severity of abbuse .you don't think you get out .im telling you iv been in blows with my psycho partner .he calls thick stupid .hes trying to get you hey stupid look how I'm treating you .zero emotion that's how their incapable of feeling .honestly 10 years iv been with him 2 beautifull babies .when he said to me love u I laughed in his face called him a pathetic individual .you cant heal them .when he kicked my son my 13 year old .i knew he wasn't just calling names .we were actually under the same roof with a psychotic bully .but you know what when you start prioritising you make your plan .Go don't think do it .right now tonight I said to him I promise you you will never hurt me again .after this afternoon he said what choice do you have .stand there let me just batter you until you bleed continuously .i don't think my son could see the danger we were in .never again I will see him and now because I have backup a phone call to him from a man telling him to fuck off keep away .if he wants to keep his life .dont be stupid leave .calling me a milf this morning stemed my anger .i made him understand what he was doing to me .their ill damaged impaired distorted .my new guy has some one watching the house now .because he now knows I don't want him so the danger he has nothing else to loose .do you honestly believe that their human .clearly not .i said to myself I had to put a stop to this .so now who's laughing .hes going to get what's coming to him .hell be so scared .good he needs to be feeling scared

May, 16 2018 at 2:17 pm

I am the one that got abused after the first wife. He had a stroke in 2010, they divorced in 2011. At his urging, we married in 2016. Within 10 days of the wedding, the abuse started. I left him 16 months later. I had left multiple times before, once for 4 weeks and believed his promises for change. He would cuss, call me names, threaten, tell me to get the "F" out of his house, etc., then the next morning was surprised that I was angry or act like and claim it all didn't happen. I recorded one event during the marriage, and several phone calls after separation. I have filed for divorce. In my state, emotional and verbal abuse is grounds for divorce, as well as fraudulent inducement to marry. With the recordings I have, we (attorney and I) are planning to amend our petition to include causes of action for fraud in the inducement and damages . I cannot wait to play the recording of his cussing me out to our female judge and jury. Ladies, ask your lawyer about separate causes of action for damages from fraud -- especially if they have abused before and conned you with their innocence. I have a great paper trail of evidence showing how he took of advantage of me financially and then threatened me if I didn't write him an "f-ing" check on the recording.

May, 15 2018 at 10:13 am

What happens when kids and custody battles are a part of the equation? There is a great fear that the abuse that I experienced and my child witnessed will be relived again with the new partner. What are your thoughts?

April, 12 2024 at 6:09 am

I am afraid of this now. Do the courts still grant them custody? How can it be stopped?

May, 13 2018 at 7:29 am

3 weeks ago the father of my son left me and moved on with someone else. I was with him for 2 years and our relationship was toxic. He would hit me and blame me for everything. He bkamed me for his anger, and emotionally abused me as well. After my son was born our stress levels were at an all time high so I get why he was constantly on edge but I keep telling myself that I never deserved to be hit by a man. He has had no contact with me or my 9 month old son since the split and it leaves me wondering if I really am the reason why he was so miserable. In a way seeing him move on hurts so bad but then I think that he will never change. When I think of our relationship, change was only temporary as I left him numerous times. A person that loves you would never want to harm you. They would make sure your safe and I realize that but im left with a feeling of emptyness now. While I am a single mother who does anything for her child hes in the arms of another woman as if I meant absolutely nothing to him. What truly kills me is that he could care less about his son and how this will affect him in the long run.

June, 23 2018 at 8:09 pm

Mine officially left me yesterday for the second time with for the same woman as the first time. We have been together for 8 years now. He didn't physically abuse me until this last year although there was emotional and verbal abuse prior. I'm learning he is narcissistic and I co-dependent. He wanted to move to another state and i foolish did so with the grand idea that our lives would get better. And they did for a while. I got a great job and we were doing well financially. Thats when he begun the affair. This has lasted a year off and on back and forth between us. She is a very sick and mean girl her self. We do share a child and his dad is his best friend. I lost my job due to him making me late to often with all the chaos and drama. He took all our money literally which was from a title loan and ran off with her and didnt say a word. The only words I got yesterday were "the money is gone leave me alone." He does abuse her and has from the start. They both munipulate the situation and i am the one that gets dragged through there fights because thats when he comes home. As wrong as this is and believe me when i say I know it is, I feel devestated, alone and in somewhat of a panic. The worst part is I still love his despite it all because there is something psychologically wrong with me to justify this and want him home. I know that i am better off with out him in all ways and i dont feel that I am afraid to be alone because the majority of the time he isn't around any way. But I do find my self wondering what makes her better or why i am not good enough? And all the rest of the feelings and patterns of the abuse, narcissism and co-dependancy. I know very well that i am going through the process of all the feelings and the desperate feeling of needing him home and he is out enjoying life with out a worry having a great time like we do not exist. He isn't allowed to take my son with her because their relationship is more toxic then our and she is a time bomb her self. Once the desperate and loniless subsides I start self care and healing and thats when is waltz through the door or as soon as their next argument. All the work and emotions and everything else i did just to be somewhat ok, as in able to get out of bed and face the world again goes right out the window. I am the moth to his flame and become powerless over my own self. I fear the day he knocks on that door because I know my self enough to know that I melt and completely fall apart. He either gradually wheins his way back or just all at once convincing me that he loves me knowing that I truly do love him unconditionally. Despite being intelligent enough to know the signs and patterns here I am back to the begining of the hell i have allowed my self to live through for the last year wondering why and all the rest. I even convince my self that this is really it this time he doesnt want me and left me for good and feel devastated even knowing the pattern. I lay here wondering how i can be so smart yet so stupid at once? In addition to having no self-worth at all and that comes way before him.....

August, 3 2018 at 2:17 pm

I began no contact!!! I have been through the ringer with all types of abuse, this time was it! I changed my number, blocked all emails and am focusing on no contact. Yes, a part of me makes me feel that I want him back, but I know that he hurts me much worse than what I feel now. Also, I know that this will be temporary. I called a local hotline in my city and will begin counseling for myself and children that he has terrorized. I wish you the best!

August, 3 2018 at 2:09 pm

Anna, I am dealing with something similar, but I made the decision to abort the child I carried, too afraid of the commitment to him. It was so hard for me to do it, but being abused while pregnant pushed me there. I am now alone, and I should've been left. I am sorry that you and your child has to go through this. I really felt you when you said that feeling of emptiness. My God, it sure keeps me up at night. I remind myself often that I don't deserve this, and you don't either.

November, 12 2017 at 5:40 am

I was with an abusive boyfriend for five years. I broke up with him and we were separated for 7 months. He had a 3/4 month relationship in that time span; he got with her after I got out of the hospital for trying to kill myself, right after pretending he cared I tried. I’m back with him now. He told me he never laid a hand on her and I believe it. I would be able to tell if he was lying about that. Well, the other night he pushed me. And then the next day pushed me again. All because I was reopening wounds. Wounds from him in the past and wounds from the relationship he was in. She had two kids and he never touched them either. He went around playing baby daddy. I’m trying to let these wounds heal. To let go of the past that I cannot control as to not ruin my present and future that I can control. But every time I tell myself to let go, there’s nothing I can do, I still think about: why me and not her? I’ve read that it could be because she was stronger and he thought she wouldn’t put up with it. So does he see me as weak? I just don’t know why it’s me and not her. I thought it was me and not her because I thought he stopped the abuse completely, but I can see that’s not true. I know that I am doing better for myself than her. She’s an alcoholic at 18 and has two kids whom share a tiny bed and live in a trailer with 6 other people. So why am I getting hung up that she’s stronger? I’ve made it out of everything that’s hurt me so far and I’m doing really well at college and in my job. So why me and not her? Does he think she’s stronger, even if he says he hates her and never wants to see her again? Does he resent me for not being strong and that’s why I’m blamed? I’m sorry if these turned into rambling or didn’t make much sense. I’m just very confused right now

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 14 2017 at 9:18 pm

Abbie, you've had a 5 year + relationship with this person. He dated the other woman for only a matter of months. His abusive nature is not saved for you because of some character flaw in you, he just didn't get to that point with the other woman yet because their relationship was new. (If that was even true, he may have hurt her and lied to you because he knew it would have an effect on you.) I know any relationship I've ever been in, the first few months, everyone is on their best behavior, it's the honeymoon stage, when we're all false advertising. I really think that he either lied to hurt you because he knew it would, or he would have absolutely become abusive toward the other woman as well, he just hadn't YET. I really hope you are able to get yourself into a better situation, you deserve a better life, to be treated with love and respect. Hang in there girl, please reach out any time. -Emily

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 24 2018 at 8:18 am

Have you asked her direct if he does hurt her though.. can guarantee after my experiences.. he is.. or shes not hooked enough yet. You need to remember youre a powerful woman. Its his loss not yours.

November, 5 2017 at 5:34 pm

Kelly, I really enjoyed this article! Very relate-able and thought-provoking, great insights... Thanks so much for the great read. -Emily

November, 13 2017 at 8:07 am

Agreed, Kelly. This article was so personal and poignant and it really struck a chord with me -- so much so that it brought tears to my eyes. You're such an inspiration. x

May, 8 2017 at 11:00 am

So I left my ex partner last year after being in an incredibly toxic relationship for four years. She brought nothing but debt and emotional baggage to the relationship. I was a happy, care free 34 year old when I first met her. The warning signs were there incredibly early on and I should have listened to my gut. Even before I met her if I didn't text her good morning she'd sulk. Anyway fast forward. We now have a four year old son together, who I adore. He's my whole world and everyone tells me I'm a great dad, which I think I am. In a nutshell my ex partner who I'll call Judith, she refuses to let me move on with my life. If I try and break free from her she uses my son to get back at me and threatens to stop repaying the money back she owes me, which she has stopped all together now. She hacks into my personal email account and social media profiles, which she deems acceptable. On the surface she puts on this front of being a hardworking mum of two, who's struggling against the odds, when in reality all she does is take take take. She's taken nearly 12Thousand pounds off me even though she's been earning nearly 15 thousand pounds more than me for the last few years. Her ex partner left her with a mountain of debt and even though I helped her clear most of it she's happy to leave me in debt for thousands of pounds, while she walks away Scot free. I think her problems stemmed from the fact she was emotionally abused by her parents when she was younger, and she now cant form an opinion of her own or do anything without the approval of her parents even though she's 41. She has two children to two different men and has been largely criticized and judged by her family, which only adds to her emotional baggage. All her siblings and cousins are happily married, with good jobs and homes they own, whereas Judith struggles with money and scours internet dating sites like tinder and plenty of fish, trying to find her next 'saviour'. Her first borns father is actually gay now (I promise I'm not making this up lol). He was forced out of the relationship and actually walked away from dating women forever, largely down to her behaviour which is incredibly embarrassing for her. Knowing people are sniggering at her behind her back must only add to her torment. I walked away from the relationship last September when she assaulted me in front of our young son. She's always played on being the victim so to see her act this way was truly shocking. However her default setting is to lie about what happened and twist it so she looks like the victim, due to the fact she doesn't want people to know what she's really like. In recent weeks she's driven me to breaking point, but with the support of my family and friends I'm getting myself back on track. She puts on the front she's been there for me, but even when I was in my hospital bed she was provoking me and trying to cause rows. Seeing how popular I am and how many friends I have brings her so much jealousy and only highlights how miserable she is inside. However, I'm having no contact with her whatsoever, which has felt like a huge weight lifted off my shoulder. Her greatest fear is that I'll move on from her and find happiness, which is exactly what I'll do, I know I will. Her boys will grow up and lead their own lives and I'll have a relationship with my son without needing to see her anymore, and she'll grow old and lonely and bitter and angry at the world all on her own, and it'll be spectacular!! I'm a big believer in karma, and the fact she's so angry with the world and blaming everyone else for the way her life's turned out is so amusing. She's manipulative, controlling and bitter and with such ugly qualities I can only see a dark and unhappy future ahead of her. No doubt I'll get the blame for her misery lol. Things are looking very optimistic for me on several different levels. The futures bright and I'm feeling happier than I ever have been.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 5 2017 at 4:08 pm

Simon - she did not drive her previous husband to
becoming “gay”.. he is gay. [moderated]

December, 4 2015 at 8:54 am

So i left my ex a few months ago and was with him only a year. We went through a lot in that year, i miscarried, i thought i really loved him he seemed so perfect. I loved the feeling of being loved and wanted the way he made me feel...but his true colours started to show and he would not stop disrespecting me, accusing me of things, going through MY phone yet i was 100% open and honest and loyal and never got the opportunity to go through HIS phone...i am always told how beautiful i am, i am a GOOD woman, even when i was miserable i was still loyal to him...i could never understand why he treated me how he did...or how it was my fault...soon after i left him i found out he was already seeing another i know looks aren't everything but when i saw her i could he trade a woman who looks like me and was loyal to him and honest with him from get go for THAT...why did he not chase me or change or try to make it work...then i realised i really did make the right choice...i have no problem with the new girl because she is not the problem...HE is. I did attempt to hack his social media account although i am glad that failed...i just needed some form of closure i what it confusing is that i have met someone i really connect with but because of all i have gone through i am struggling to fully let them in...i doubt i have used the right words here and most likely have not explained it all properly but yeah.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 15 2018 at 11:01 am

Oh girl, I can surely relate! Unfortunately! My husband was very secretive with his phone too. I was with him for almost a decade and never cheated on him either and when I left I found out he had several other girls. When I first met his new girl I laughed also - God forgive me - but I thought, "How do you leave JLo for CardiB?" (I'm a big JLo fan!) I however, have a lot of issues with his new disrespectful girlfriend. My husband did, however, try to make it work but I had already come to the realization that I didn't know that man and chose to love myself so the abuse became more blatant with threats. Us girls always need closure and sometimes we don't get it and it's tough. The best thing I can say to that is - the best way to get away from a snake is to rise above - be the best version of you that you can be and love yourself, putting God first of course. I'm in the same situation with my new boyfriend - struggling to fully let him in. He is such an angel though and is so patient and caring with me. My biggest concern now is that his love and patience doesn't have an expiration date since I can't determine when I will be healed, if ever. I know that random things my trigger certain emotions even later on and I hope he can be patient with me.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 17 2018 at 5:53 pm

How long were you with him if I may ask? Before he started to change?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 24 2018 at 8:12 am

I am in the same position. I resonate with your story. He has done it to me twice with SEVERE down grades. Its hard not to feel defeated after they attack youre appearance, your personality, told me my womb was probably rotten anyway for children and was going to find a younger woman. Im not old. Tried to warn her but the sass that came back let me know he hooked her. Told me she was a fat nothing and then told her he only said that to calm me because i obviously thought she was a threat. How a woman can allow a man to put her down to save another womans feelings and still be in to him is beyond me. We have to remember we did not lose them. We got rid of them. He started a relationship with her publicly before ending anything with me and was still asking why i couldnt love him a week after getting in a relationship. Only came on fb to make it public with her which is exactly what he did a year ago with another woman. Now he just looks crazy. Ran in to him in person and begged me to talk even though every text is "i dont want to talk to you ever again" He is her problem now. It will hurt from day to day but eventually he will tell her what he told me "im sorry,i tried to hide it as long as i could". And i will feel no sympathy for her.

May, 24 2018 at 8:14 am

Adding to that.. the suicide threats. I felt so isolated and he played on my fears as my cousin had killee herself. Spoke to some other exs and even though he told me only i drove him to that.. turns out he did it with all of us. One even only after 2 months. Just massive mental issues.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Fake name
January, 14 2019 at 3:47 pm

Let me start off and say I thought I find my best friend my husband a man my kids could look up too we spent every day together woke up and went to bed prayed together went to church to gather to a man that started changing quickly 9months together tell him my kids father miss treated me to him punching me in my chest choking ms to I can't breathe suppose ro take me work and drive straight pass it we ended at lake big one without any one being around he pick me up slammed me on glass table took me to his best friends house so she could fight me tell him taken me were it was nothing but abandoned houses he lock the door and get on top and started punching me in my face till I jump out and ran he jump.on top and started pulling my hair. And pushing my face in the dirty at first I did not see thos and it's funny cause his BMI tried to warn me hit I thought it was her being jealous no je was still having sex with him but he broke her ribs and nose like this man is the devil his mother told me I can't help you and you no je sick and men like him dont change but the grace of God I ran and ran after he hack my fb stolen my phone I lost my job cause of him but I have not look back

August, 25 2014 at 3:48 am

Be glad you got rid of him. A man who claims he is immediately in love with you and wants to marry you. Later in the relationship, shows all the signs and cycle of abuse making you feel like someone no one would marry and still telling you or even your mother that he stll loves you and wants to marry you because he can cure you even though you have learned to become terrified of him is aoley wanting to make you into his victim because he is an abuser and batterer which is a criminal offence. He even wanted to have me bend over a balcony railing to have sex with me from behind. He belittled and breated me without cause or reason that happened out of the blue. He threatened to hurt or kill my dog.
Now, if a man comes on too strongly at first or degrades me or makes accusations that aren't truthful to try to trick or hurt me, I'm not going to say anything back and run the other way never looking back.

August, 25 2014 at 3:07 am

Read most of the comments section. Gynger's comment on her relationship two years ago was interesting to me because the truth is these types of men aren't as particular as they try to sound to be since they are the ones who degrade and verbally assault their partners all the time. I didn't marry my abuser, either. He did come to live with me and my mom. He threatened to hurt my dog and constantly berated me by putting me down, acting much different ly in front of my mom. She was totally charmed by him. I was in graduate school and he kept telling me I wasn't cut out for the profession. He also criticized me about my current abilities as a teacher which he knew nothing about. He would wake me up or not let me sleep because he wanted sec or he would deny sex as if he was trying to avoid me. If I cut him off or better? break off with him; which I did many times, he'd come on gradually with showing affection and once again asking me to marry him even after he had called the police on me trying to get back at him for breaking up with him as well as making false claims against me. I finally kicked him out and made sure he had a place to stay as my mother helped out financially to get him back on his feet since he came to live with us because he had been laid off from his job because the business folded. However, get this, he blamed me for losing his job because I called his workplace just because he had texted me he and other employees were told in a meeting that they all were being laid off. He has a defibrillator in his heart, and I was worried he'd have a stroke! That's why I called him at work because he didn't respond back after I asked him to tell me ifhe was aalright! He actually did get a job that week. He was offered two jobs; one from his former boss. He lied all the time. He manipulatated me in every capacity to find a way to entrap me into a more committed relationship with him so he could do further harm to me. Whatever it takes to get you hooked; marriage or live in relationship, they'll do it before you really see the darkest side of them. This guy is very well educated and extremely organized person and smart. He has a business degree in finance and has been in management jobs for years. He even ran for President one time, but didn't make in to the final primaries. He also had been in Special Forces in the army. He became an Ordained minister which he had received his doctorate in divinity. All these things are true about him. I did a pretty through check on his background. However, he's had numerous duis and several arrests for domestic violence. Now you tell me something? You think that this man would have changed by now knowing he has been counseled, an official Secretary for AA meetings; an Ordained minister which specialized in marriage and family counseling learn Not to be an abuser and who should have resolved his substance abuse issues along with his past of being abused by his father and abandoned by his mother once when he was 3 years old because she was abandoned by his birth father and had to split her 5 children up to live with her relatives temporarily until she was able to get them back and a home where they all could be together again?
My mom gave him money and took care of his expenses which he stated he would pay her back. I gave him money even though I wasn't financially able to support or help him fully as my mother which only put more shame and guilt since my poor mother got involved in all this mess. When he stated he finally got a job, he promised to call my mom and would pay her back. He hasn't and I begged and warned her to not call him anymore. Let him call her, but it's also warned her he would not do it. NOW. ..she's hurt..feels used and disappointed in him. Yep...go figure. I'm sure he quickly moved on to another victim and found out that he left for the job he wanted in another state. Good. I did what my friends and family told me to do which was to go to the sheriff's department to report his abusive treatment and prevent him from further abuse by following up with a possible restraint order on him. The last thing he said to my mom was he loved me and wanted to marry me because he could cure me snd straighten more out. He did everything he could to destroy me as a person and make me out to be what he was and convince my mom that I had lost my mind and that he of all people could heal me.
They charm you with making you feel like you're the most important and wonderful person. He too claimed he loved me right from the start and wanted to immediately marry me. He made himself sound like and even had things we shared in common that made us seem like a good match as a couple which was all true. The trouble was that he's a criminal ..a criminal of being an abuser and batterer of more than one time even. He is a sick man, but he darned well knows what is morally right from wrong. He is most aware of his abusive ways, but refuses to take account of his abuse or anything else he is responsible for oe can show the character and strength it takes to cope or handle life's stressors without having a woman to beat down.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 17 2017 at 11:42 am

Beautiful words perfectly put

September, 16 2013 at 3:47 pm

wow so needed to read this, THANK YOU!

February, 27 2013 at 2:37 am

I love this! It's something to think about...why is it I can 'cause' his bad behaviour, but I can't 'cause' him to love me and be nice to me...definately something to restructure in my mind

January, 26 2013 at 5:23 am

The luring and honeymoon phase are the most dangerous of the relationship. It is at the highest level of deceit and manipulation. Manipulation IS abuse however early on we see this as "being swept off our feet." This fast moving charmer wants us bonded to him/her as soon as possible before we see who he/she really is. This is why survivors have an incredibly difficult time getting out. They remember that phase and they remember the sweet cycles and they remember the promises to change that lasted a couple of months at best. An abuser who wants to change needs therapy and a hell of a long time to work through his crap. Abusers enjoy their abuse, it is rewarding to them. Psychopathic and narcissist abusers are rewarded by the harm they cause.
We stay because we want to believe the initial presentation, while losing years and being abused more. We are projecting our empathy onto someone who does not possess this.
The pity play, lack of empathy. Lack of empathy is the number one sign of abusers. Lack of remorse, lack of guilt. If you ask someone to stop hurting you in whatever way,and they continue to hurt you, you are most assuredly in the presence of a pathological disorder. You cannot change it, but you can allow it to empower change in you. Don't give anymore of your light to that which is darkness, without conscience...

November, 8 2012 at 7:46 am

My little update...
We had a huge sit down about a month and a half ago. I know it's too soon to tell but my partner sees how much I was hurting in the relationship and I have seen tremendous changes in him and in myself. We both try and do more for the other person, which means there is more compromise. I am going out more and doing my own thing and we have begun to rebuild our relationship, this time on a foundation made from respect. I hope things continue this way and am hopeful for the future. I see now there were things I may have done to perpetuate situations. Not making excuses, just realizing I have many of my own faults. Since I am choosing to stay I am going to give it 100% and as long as my partner does the same, all I can do is hope :-)

October, 9 2012 at 1:26 am

I knew my X, the Charmer, would find someone right away after I left, move on and forget about me and that was scary enough I still thought I needed him. I also thought he could move on but he'd never love someone like me. I was his soul mate and we belonged together. I still felt like I was the best woman for him. But what if (?!) he found someone else and she made him happy and he didn't abuse her? What if all this really was my fault and I had been fooling myself. After all - he did tell me I was worthless and a burden everyday.
When he did move on so quickly and then married her just as quickly I was heartbroken (because he had asked me to marry him too but never followed through) and I was shocked at the type of person she was...(and yes, I know, I am labeling right now) drug addict, alcoholic, pill-poppin, gutter rat, false teeth wearing wearing trailer-trash slut. (That was my messed up way of thinking at the time)
I did find out through mutual acquaintances that he was abusing her too but she did something I never did....she put put his lousy abusive butt in jail! And I realized that even though she didn't lead a life that I would have chosen she had something I didn't have and that was the strength to take a stand and fight back. She made sure he wasn't going to abuse her again and because of that I am so grateful to her!

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