Examples of Verbal Abuse Early In A Relationship

September 4, 2011 Kellie Jo Holly


Many examples of verbal abuse aren’t easy to pinpoint, especially in the beginning of a relationship. Most verbally abusive statements are camouflaged by tone of voice, choice of words, body language, the abuser insisting "it's for your own good" and other such verbal decoys. Even so, examples of verbal abuse are easy to pick out once you have the ear for them.

Examples of Verbal Abuse: You Misunderstood Me!

Verbal abuse underlies all other forms of abuse because words and tone can be easily manipulated to mean something other than what is said. "You misunderstood me!" is an easy way out of taking responsibility for intentionally wounding someone. Early in relationships, it is very possible that we could misunderstand a person's intention. We think "my bad" and move along.

For example, early in my marriage, when my husband said something that hurt my feelings, I told him so. His response? "I didn't mean it that way, Kellie." Then he would give me a hug. He said that even his sergeants told him he needed to work on his tact. Following the excuse was, "What I really meant to say was..."

But what he really meant to say was so much different than what had come out of his mouth that I had a difficult time twisting his first statement to mean the second.

But, because he hugged me and spoke in a tone that helped me feel secure and loved, I went along with the lie. I didn't know at the time that my willingness to believe and forgive the man I loved would lead to despair.

Examples of Verbal Abuse: Word Play and Denial

Word play and denial of wrong-doing are two sides of the same coin. It doesn't matter how the coin-toss lands because both sides result in confusion for the victim of verbal abuse.

I consider word play to happen when the language used could mean two different things. For example, saying "You're such a wonderful wife!" with a smile and a hug means that you are a wonderful wife. But rolling eyes while saying the same thing means something completely different. It means, "I will tolerate you because we're married."

Denial comes into play when you question the abuser's eye rolling. You may say, "Hey, I saw you roll your eyes! What are you really saying?" But the abuser's answer is "I didn't roll my eyes! You are a wonderful wife!" It doesn't matter what you say, the abuser sticks to the lie that no eyes were rolled in the telling of your wonderfulness.

Word play and denial, given the circumstances of I love you and time, result in the victim becoming really confused. The victim knows what she saw and heard. She knows the abuser is lying. However, the victim tends to blow off the behavior, choosing to make an excuse for why the abuser behaves that way instead of calling in the chips and hitting the road.

As a related side note, the abuser tends to up the ante when he or she believes the victim is stuck in the relationship. Examples of being stuck include pregnancy, engagement, marriage, sleeping together or whatever the abuser associates with owning the victim. Most likely, the victim agrees that he or she is stuck in the relationship. However, because up to that point the victim has not been abused (enough), stuck isn't the word the victim uses.

Examples of verbal abuse aren’t easy to pinpoint, especially in the beginning of a relationship. If you're wondering if you're crazy, it's time to read this.Unfortunately, over time, confusion turns into destabilization of the victim's mind. She starts to wonder if she's really hearing and seeing what she thinks she hears and sees. This destabilization is the in the abuser needs. Destabilization of your mind amounts to brainwashing.

Destabilization of the mind is crucial to the ability to control anyone. The abuser must implant doubt in the victim's mind concerning what he or she believes and perceives. Without the victim's self-doubt, there is no way to control him or her.

Examples of Verbal Abuse You May Recognize

Below are examples of verbal abuse, statements verbally abusive men and women make. Do you recognize any of these?

Emotionally Abusive Statements

  • You're so cute when you try to concentrate! Look at you trying to think.
  • I can't believe I love a stupid jerk.
  • Aw, come on, can't you take a joke?

Sexually Abusive Statements

  • You should know how to please me by now.
  • I hoped you were less experienced.
  • Stop acting like a whore.

Financially Abusive Statements

  • You are going to nickel and dime me to death!
  • In what world does buying that make sense?
  • Fine. You handle your finances. Let me know when things go to hell.

Societal Abusive Statements

  • How dare you spread around our private business!
  • Let me do the talking; people listen to men.
  • You took a vow in front of God and everybody and I expect you to honor it!

Threatening and Intimidating Statements

  • If you don't train that dog I'm going to rub your nose in its mess.
  • I will take our kids if you leave me.
  • You're scared?! This isn't angry! You will KNOW when I'm ANGRY!

Spiritually Abusive Statement

  • Keep your stupid beliefs to yourself.
  • God will find a way to get you back, and it ain't gonna be pretty.
  • I can feel myself being pulled into hell just listening to your nonsense!

How Spotting Examples of Verbal Abuse Early Can Help

When verbal abuse begins, you may be able to nip it in the bud if

  1. your partner admits they have a problem AND
  2. he or she acts on that statement by going to individual therapy AND
  3. you hear and sense steady improvement.

You would benefit from seeing your own counselor during this process. Verbal abuse can sneak in the back door without you realizing it. A therapist will help you keep your mind clear.

But if your partner blames you for their words and actions, then the likelihood that he or she will go back to being the sweet person you fell in love with are slim to none.

Lips and tongues lie. But actions never do. No matter what words are spoken, actions betray the truth of everyone's heart. ― Sherrilyn Kenyon


You can find Kellie Jo Holly at Verbal Abuse Journals, or social media on Google+, Facebook,Twitter and Amazon Authors.

*Both women and men could be abusers or victims, so do not take my pronoun choices as an implication that one gender abuses and the other is victimized.

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2011, September 4). Examples of Verbal Abuse Early In A Relationship, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 22 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

October, 12 2018 at 12:06 pm

Hi I am writing about my daughter as she is in a mental abusive marriage and will not acknowledge it to me. They have an 8 year old son that is headed in his fathers foot steps and I'm so worried. It breaks my heart because I raised a totally different child and person that my daughter has turned into. I literally had to tell her one time after a bad argument with her husband to give her son love he was crying also and trying to console her. I cried she doesnt seem like my daughter any more, kind of like a stranger! My grandson has changed from a happy funny child to a very angry aggresive child. They both need help and I am at my wits end hands are tied and I don't know what to do and cant force her to do what she knows deep down needs to be done and even promised her son they would leqve and get on their own but never went thru with it. I just dont know what to do afraid its just to late.

October, 5 2019 at 5:26 am

Hi there you can try and call a phsychologist and schedule a meeting behind her back if not you could call the social services to investigate.

July, 9 2018 at 11:39 am

Hello, I have been dealing with some hard issues the past 2 years. Been in a really dark place and been fighting my way out. During this, I have isolated myself from friends and family and have caused quite a bit of tension amongst myself and them. There have been times during this period of my life where I have had a family member not leave me alone(after saying least 6 times during the encounter, " Ok, leave me alone now please"... or "Alright stop now, seriously let me be")….
I would like to know; When someone refuses to stop/ leave you alone, can that be defined as verbal abuse in some form.( the moment I feel insulted it will be defined by myself as verbal abuse).. I'm just curious though, if someone will not leave you alone, is it considered verbal abuse?.... an example being; they continue babbling on and even at times will follow you into another room to continue letting you hear them, though you've asked them to stop repeatedly and then left the room to get away... ( even though insults and belittlement aren't readily apparent?)
I would prefer a response through an email please and thank you.

Maria Paula
April, 30 2018 at 8:23 pm

Hi! I just found out this blog and I am in a confusing situation, because I have been with my boyfriend for more than a year and I feel like He might have some abuse behaviours. The thing that most worries me is that when ever I tell him I feel hurt for something He said or done He inmediately gets defensive and tells me that it is MY problem because it is MY interpretation of things, and that He didn't mean it that way. All my life I have struggled with low self esteem, and I know sometimes my inner bad voices twist around what other say to me, but with him, it just hurts me that He doesn't even try initially to understand my feelings, and just gets furious with me (he often tells me that he can't speak honestly with me because I am too sensitive). Eventually he sometimes accepts that he was wrong, but I feel like he is not fully commited to stop doing those things.
Another thing that hurts me is that he gets mad very easily. In the beginning of our relationship, he used to be calm, but now is like he gets fired up with small and honest mistakes.
For example, due to me low self esteem I didn't want to apply for an award of my field (journalism) because I feel like none of my work is worth receiving an award. His response was to get mad at me. I then got mad and yelled once, and slamed my door twice. But I always cae back and said sorry. He never apologized for getting mad at me, and when I tried to tell him that his behaviour was hurtfull, He was furious because I didn't saw all the good things He had done for me that night (which was basically holding me after I left and returned). He just couldn't understand that I needed something, and to this day the "solution" was that due to my own bad behaviour it was impossible for him to react differently. I don't think this is him recognizing his responsability. That fight escalated so much that two days later he told me to "Fuck off" on the phone and inmediately broke me with via whatsapp. we talked later (I reached out), and he agreed that anger wasn't a good solution, but he keeps getting mad about small and big things.
He is not a bad man, and I know he really loves me, but I just don't know if he can change, if he is willing to do it. I know I have to improve my self esteem, because it is very, very low (and has been from a very young age). I feel so bad for wanting him to change, but him getting angry about everything is so hard for me. I don`t want to leave him because he is flawed, because I it would suck if someone would leave me because of my low self esteem, instead of supporting me. But I just don't know how to support him in his personal growing without getting hurt.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 29 2021 at 12:17 pm

Sweetie, You are with the wrong person. No amount of talking to this guy will ever change him. You need to get out of this relationship period! Otherwise he could start
hitting you, abusing you even worse verbally or beating you! He has problems and you need to get out for your mental health!
You have to save one else will DO IT FOR YOU! After 55 years of abuse from my mother...mental, verbal, emotional and psychological I have learned a great
deal about human about human behavior. HE WON"T CHANGE!!! Do you want to spend another 20-30 years going thru this same crap! He is undermining you, making
you think he didn't really mean what he said which is mental, verbal and psychological abuse.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 18 2021 at 7:47 am

He IS an ABUSER! He is gaslighting you. He will not change. You are not at fault. If you need to read all about it to convince yourself, do so. All of his behaviors are classic abuser, and sound like possiblity a narcissist. This sounds like everything I went through. Sounds like the same guy. Again... He is abusing you!!! He won't change!!!! Get out now, as soon as you can. You owe him nothing. You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself. You can do this!!!!!!! Find supports. Best wishes to you!!!!!

Anni Nykaen
April, 18 2018 at 10:26 am

My ex propably has BPD, I had to take more and more space, since he was always yelling and blaming, never apologized, emotinally abusing in various degrees, and was never wrong even when I had proof. Withheld affection , didint talk apbout important stuff, ignored when he got uncomfortable about issues I wanted to discuss. Blamed for me for things he didint do him self, didint help, but blamed for not offering me help on mee too. etc. At first his emotional abuse was apparently somekind of love testing and so incredibly stressing and cruel , irrational pus pull. it ruined my pre med totally. Also I am so mad that he didint support in my studies, in anyway, but when i missed the apllying test, ( I wouldnt of gotten in med school anyways, since he had ruined it for me, so I couldnt leant or concentrate at all) cause, my cat stormed to the hall way, since ther had been stircase renovaton sounds, and apparently was curious. So I missed my train....He yelled, how i should have predicted everything and how he could this and that. Some better behaviour in between, when he got spooked, agter I had enough. But in few months I have taken space draticly, so I could braeath, and be my self. I neede space even we had good times, cause there was cood moments, but not uncertainty and unability for me to trust his even , emotional input, care, ephaty , fairness, help etc normal. But I was always to blame. Irrational explanations the more rationally i confroted him. So, the threat of me leaving was not imagined, he did something I couldnt believe he could do, since it was so against his values , somehow still committed even though regocnised the fight circle but the reasons were different with him and sometimes varied. His previous relatinoship lasted 10 years and ended her cheatng on him ( I have secretly discussed with his ex, and he admitted that he is a good guy, but wasnt there for her like she hoped and asked, just what i wanted from him too. but of course met him as an independent adult, they met when she was 19 and overall more submissive in nature than me, so the controlling was easier and she was more pleasing and less stressfull partner for him. and even brief affair showed her how much he had ignored her, put his needs first despite being nice, safe, comitted. But bad outweighted the good. Also told that, he used to undermind his work with adiicted kids, though he is way smarter and also argued against proof. He also annoyed her calmly till she threw something. I was uppset to her that when she got kidney infection and was released from the hospital. WHen she called him to pick her up, he just said :cant you take a buss. Agreed finally when she got mad that no she literally is not allowed to leave without an escort, since she full of drugs....then he finally came ...doctors orders.. OMG, WHo does that? He was at home, doing nothing, and most signicant others would ask at work that could they leave earlier, since their spouse is being released from hospital and needs an escort. And told how there was no hugging in the family, thus it was somewhat normal, but bad patterns. I feel for my ex, when she told her mother never ead any books to him as a kid....sad. ) But he got casught in tinder chatting, and I had proof, used his hidden jealousy against him to get proof , and It was easy, and he was so quilty he didint even yell, but lied, and twisted, wouldt show me his phone. All so against his values, since he always said he wouldnt ever cheat , and made me promise the same thing and how everyone deserves truth,and he had exprienced that it feels so bad even to suspect,not to mention how it feels to be cheated. And no no no , twisting, lying more, wont show me his phone, cause u would just overrect, and wouldnt understand, its nothing. If you cant beiebe im taking you home. I gave up, and started texting to his ex, cause this is so confusing and wrong, could she tell anything that would inlight me. He went to bed, but threw my blanket to the sofa like i was the one doing the shitty thing. In the early hours, i tried to aprroach him, and he turned away(again as if I was the one to blame and punish) and touv´ched his phone under his pillow accidentaly , and he freaked "oh that why you came int he bedroom,, to stalk my actions" and quicly (as if i didint see) checked his phone, "here no messages",,,,but obvious he was afraid there was meassages. Finally (well of course doing some poor proof sabotage) showed me one message he of course chose, holding the phone with 2 hands. And it was obvious from the 2 sentences that He had deleted messages and maybe asked her to match again(he said you cannot delete messages there..that was later on, but i havent checked , it doesent matter) but it was obvious from the structure of the short dialogue, that he had ignitiated it...sure lied, but what was the worst the time stamps, i was in the house, ít was obvious from the moment i gaught him at all, but since the time stamp was ther I just flipped. STILL LYING, WHILE HE IS SO QUILTU, AND WE ARE BOTH LOOKING AT THE SAME PROOF AND THE FACT THAT CHEATING IN ANY FORM IS THE MOST NORMAL WAY HE HAS EVER HURTED ME. I got so fusrious, that i hit him good, it felt so bad and powerless, the last piece of trust of him was gone gone gone, and just revealed how selfish and incapable of responsibility or remorse even when he knows he did wrong. I took responsibility, for my punch, and asked if he wanted to file.
So, no I am the bad one, and the little contact we have had, he ahs been the one who has contacted me, and lies then too. He was abroad over a week ago, and apolgised some, and texted when he got back. And I was pleased to know, since i do worry. But if I try to hold him accountable or talk that i need some closure, he cannot talk., He just starts yelling and balme me fo blamig him. Also said something so irrational than: he doesent blame his ex fro cheathing when every time the see (they co parent dogs without proplems) so, irrational claim, just because our thing happenned pretty much a blink ago and they have been separated ove 4 years.
Has Displayed similiar cold behaviour , lke he did in the beginning- especially after I suddenly missed him and admitted him , but he wouldnt see me when i wanted to, and got pissed( I Again Felt he owed me that) especially when i promised not to blame, we could go to a public place. He claims he is afraid i hit him again of stab him ( WT???) " You want this cuddler type, i am not. get it?" I was like, exumua, wasnt that you how said few month ago "oh,this odd. youre spontaneusly tv cuddling me" or who has been sleeping in another room and who has taken drastic space and spent time at my place? ME!
Well, I just forget meeting him at all, and he has proven to be even colder than imagined , despite the little contact.
It was my mistake to admit anything and argue, When there is truth in what he says " why see each other, when it only causes more missing" True, considering I do not love him enough or in a healthy way or have loved him for so long , or see any possibility to a normal relationship. But I got this feeling of missing him, maybe pms, or reading how BPD really suffer and feel despite their abusive behaviour. I care and worry, understand depression.
Also lack of support makes me feel insecure. I have tired posting my story asking does this sound like BPD, what should I expect. But mostly, got underminding "leave it be" , "omg u hit him" , "you cant fix crazy, run run" etc obvious they sont read what I write. I want info, and if someone can see, that yes, that sounds like BPD, fully realizing its not official diagnose, nor brakes any ethical rules. quite opposite, If someone is sick, they need help , even though I cannot give it to him, its good to know facts and the possible chanche of him getting worse.
Also, I really do not know what to expect anymore A) he cheated, B) me losing my temper was a reason for him to escpae any resonsibility and propably lost any authentic feeling of guilt to that point and sees me as the one h´who needs to be punished /discarded/tested.
c)Thus years relationshipis not compareable to a 10 year relationship and living partner. But also, I know from his ex ( this my ex of course hasnt told me)that after she got caught and they broke up, they had to live in the same house for 6 moths. And they did,separated and with separated lives in same house with 2 floors. She moved on,started dating, fully thinking that he wanted a divorce too. He was just him, hurt for sure, but didint try to make a mend and like I said never gave an impression it was nothing but over too.But when she finally found a place and was really physchally moving out . Then he started to cry, saying he understand and wants to change. In ten years she never saw him cry. not healthy
I crave information, and want peoples opinions, not undermning, since, hes behaviour has been predicable and confusing, but then goes to another level, that only I witness. I havent contacted him. I try to stay away, but last thing i said that I feel he needs help, and Its not your fault and im not blaming, but im hurting too, and want to understand you. If theres anythings you wish tell about you, or your childhood, or feelings you feel but do not show or n´dont understand. I will listen, will hug and hug, so you could feel safe. Still love you and wish to help, if you hav even the slightest feeling of not being ok . that was last sat, when he demonstrated his hatred and lack of emphaty, that I kind of snappe out of my anger. calmed down and said that. He did respondn that we can see some oteher time later on. ( And i had suggested sunday in my message and during that days communicating it got VERY clear sunday its not possible) but I didint reply to that, but after and hour he wrote "to be specific"later on" doesent mean sunday". I found it odd, it was so clear it wasnt possible. In the evening I replied "yeah, I know"
So any was that his way of getting me to respond. or more like react. Or ABout anything. AM I the crazy violent, ( im not) or what? WHy do I miss him, when I have days of rationality and why do I feel (even though he propabply keep tinder on fie)i could kind of sweet talk manipulate him back. Of course I wont do that. And I might be wrong. Any good sites where to search info about my situation and how to tell if someone is trying to get an reaction out of you even when they seem just full on hate, and when they should actually be apologizing. About love testing and emotional abuse in BPD men. HE has no wast friend circle, thus has been in a same work place in 13, only has one good friend. He even commented his behaviour when i missed my medical school test ,thats not fair, especially when I got ADHD. He propably doesent show any messages, and hos friend is a counler for kids....and if he hasnt noticed anything yet eiter. They mostly climb and are friend from childhood. And my ex once said a bit amusingly, "that hs friend might be a bit narscissistic" not undermind or judge.

Daniel Bryce
March, 31 2018 at 9:58 pm

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I'm finally out, after 13 years. It's gonna time some time for me to heal.
Your article is very validating! Thank you once more!

March, 29 2018 at 7:31 pm

My boyfriend of one year is beginning to show signs of control. I don’t know if I’m overreacting or not. There have been several comments made where I have felt like I’m not good enough for him. For I told him that I enjoyed rainy days. He in turn, says that he does not want to be with someone who is gloomy and depressed. After hours of arguing, he then tell me that everyone talks badly about me to him about how crazy I am. Then later tonight told me he just made it up to hurt me. But that he was sticking by his word about what he wants in a partner, that he has a list of things he wants, and if I cannot fulfill them he will let me know that we don’t have a future together. He says it’s jusy “the way he is. straight forward and blunt and knows exactly what he wants out of life”.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 31 2018 at 3:13 am

Hi Amanda,
I'm Emma-Marie, one of the authors of this blog, and I wanted to thank you for your comment here. Your post struck a chord with me because it sounds exactly like my experience of abuse. It's also pretty textbook gaslighting, which I explored in my recent post "Gaslighting Abuse Examples and How to Respond." There, I talk about the three stages of verbal or emotional abuse in relationships often referred to as "gaslighting."
In short, the article supports the idea that there are three stages of an abusive or cohesive relationship: 1. Idealization, where you can do no wrong in your partner's eyes; 2. Devaluation, which is where the partner tells you that you're not living up to their expectations or you're not good enough; and 3. Discarding, where the person tells you they don't want to be with you unless you change.
Sound familiar? It did to me too. My ex-boyfriend and I had fundamentally different personalities, and he repeatedly told me that unless I changed to become more like him then we didn't have a future. He hated that I liked "depressing music" as well as the fact I was "crazy", "emotional" and "needy." He too had a list of qualities he wanted in a partner, and let me tell you -- I would NEVER have been able to live up to them. No one can.
I look back now and feel sorry for him because I don't think he'll ever be truly happy in a relationship. He won't change because he thinks the problem is with everyone else rather than himself. I, on the other hand, am now married to a man who wouldn't change a thing about me and tells me that every day. I now know that's what a relationship should be like, and I am 100% sure it's what you deserve from a partner, too.

February, 7 2018 at 5:56 pm

I’ve been married for almost 24 years. My husband often makes hurtful comments to me such as “it’s not normal to have a house like that” if he comes home and the kids play room is a mess or says something hurtful and when I say something to him I’ve always misunderstood how he meant what he said. I’ve finally had enough and had separation papers drawn up. Now he’s finally willing to change and has begged for another chance. I don’t believe he can change no matter how bad he wants to change - this behavior has been going on since we’ve been together which has been almost 30years

December, 28 2017 at 12:50 am

Hi im Shelly I've been in a three year relationship with completely abusive man. I love him so much.. but every day I want out, I want free from the name calling. The hurt and pain and the blaming .. im blamed for everything that goes wrong. I tried to leave three time allready but he keeps ketching me.. I have a 14 month old son for him , and just found out im have ing another baby for him . Im scard to dealth to bring another child into this relationship.. im a good person who loves hard and always get fooled.. I always want to help and fix my relationship.. but in the end im the only one who gets hurt and wants our and have to start all over again and again .. im 37 now and feel like I don't want to start iv
Over again.. someone give me advice and help me to understand why I do this to myself.. why can't I just leave and move on. Why do I love such a monster ...

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 30 2018 at 7:34 pm

Have you fixed this yet

Becky Schlangen
November, 20 2017 at 2:48 pm

I have been in a emotionally abusive relationship with the same person for over forty years -off and on-. I sat off and on because we have divorced twice and are again married todAy. This time he became so angry with me that he moved out of (his) parents home and lives alone on a different farm a couple miles away. He shows up every day for dinner at 12:00 noon. Coffee at 8:00 AM and 3:00PM. then he's gone till morning again. I really don't know how this schedule got written in stone but if I don't have things ready for him he barks out one word orders like 'COFFEE' OR his favorite' Be nice to have something to eat..' There's no give and take...if the conversation isn't going as he wants he puts his hands up shaking his head and walks out with a slammed door for a final insult. I react with such frustration and anger that I will still be so upset even the next morning. But he will breeze in with no mention or reaction for the day before. If I don't go along with the new mood he sets then I will be punished with the silent treatment for whatever time frame suits him. I am on a disability check and live frugally. I help with the farm work as much as I can. I don't know anymore what I want from life. I wish I could just relax for more than an hour at a time. There is so much more to this but I couldn't begin to write it down. I was hoping that the act of writing this I would feel better as some had commented before this. Maybe I should keep writing....

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 25 2017 at 4:01 pm

Hi, Thank you so much for your comment. I'm so glad you reached out to us. Over forty years? Wow! Bless your heart, that's a long time to live that way. I'm so sorry this has been your way of life for so long, that must be incredibly frustrating for you. You absolutely deserve to be valued and appreciated. Check out an article I wrote about Coping with Verbal Abuse When You Can't Just Leave .
Also, I love that you're writing. I absolutely recommend doing things you enjoy or activities that are therapeutic and expressive for you. It's a great way to be able to get some of those feelings out there and to show yourself love and care. So often in emotionally abusive relationships, the victim begins to feel as though their identity is being diminished and they are slowly losing themselves. Writing will help you use and stay true to your own voice in this. Keep writing Becky! Take care of you. Reach out anytime, Thanks again!

October, 20 2017 at 3:12 am

So sad hearing all these stories. Many I could relate to .But I can finally say those were distant memories. It's hard to recognise abuse Beacause it starts ever so gently but with each situation the layering of abuse gets heavier . After 6 years of walking on eggshells ,losing contact with friends ,family and a deterioration of my physical ,mental and emotional wellbeing I decide I needed to follow through in walking away for good this time .Dont get me wrong ,I knew it would be hard but it was sooooooo bad because his abuse,stalking and intimidating escalated . After 3 years of running I can proudly say I'm free as a bird !.
The rewards are far greater than you can imagine .Not only have I've regained my independence but I've evolved into a strong ,wiser ,resilient person . I know what I want and don't want due to my experience. The best lessons are the hardest... life is too short to allow another chip away at your happiness bit by bit ... I see it everyday in people and it hurts me as I know it's their path that sometimes needs to be travelled ..until they wake up one day and say ...what about me ...!!

October, 13 2017 at 11:05 am

Is there a study out somewhere that links verbally abusive husbands with their work situation say for example a husband who has a verbally abusive female boss?

September, 25 2017 at 10:45 am

My husband verbally n spiritual abuse

paula casey
August, 20 2017 at 4:50 pm

I have been verbally abused for 7 yrs i am with a man 27 yrs old i am 51 when we met i knew he was not right he was always miserable spoiled by his mother and i know has mental disorders that he denies. His mother has bpd I am so ashamed of myself and have no self esteem left i thought i could fix him he calls me old says he hates me i stold his player card i made him love me i took his youth he would rather be dead than be with me he has left many times never cheated and always stayed with me never completely broke up always came back said i was the only one got engaged then says he will never marry me he is extremely narcissistic i hurt everyday he screams at me picks fights over nothing i do everything for him he is very cold never cries or says he is sorry just acts as if nothing ever happened i am so destroyed i dont have any desire to keep on i get told i am flabby while everyone else says i look great for my age ge always insults me hates that i have children and makes fun of them and my past calls me disgusting for being married in the past and is extremely jealous that i have a past please help what do i do i have no strength left

Breakup Counseling
August, 9 2017 at 9:17 pm

I appreciate the efforts you people put in to share blogs on such kind of topics, it was really helpful. Keep Posting!

June, 23 2017 at 2:42 pm

22 years For me the early days we would go out and he would say 'oh everyone has said how nice YOU are, but they don't have to live with you'. I thought I had done something wrong and couldn't understand why he was upset, so over time I talked less when out. This resulted in him saying to me just before we went out 'try and be socialble and nice this evening please' which would knock me off kilter because I would have been looking forward to going out. Thats the tip of the iceberg, according to him I waffle and talk to much, I'm miserable because i can't take a joke, he told me people think I am weird etc. I am never quite good enough and I feel like i have been trained like a rat. ( I am embarrased to say that I am quite frightened of him but I brush it off thinking I am daft because I am afraid to admit all of this to myself because no one sees it and there are no physical bruises, )
Somehow when he would smash things and shout in my face for, I don't know what, I seemed to handle it better than I ever could now, I have run out of energy, I feel I want to just give up on life. I feel like I am no longer sure of myself, that I am not capable of doing things, I am not quite sure whats real or not as its all washed over with a tiny bit of nice attention every now and again. Thats without all the tutting, angry growling, rolling eyes, angry looks etc. I rather feel like an empty shell of myself and if it were not for my kids I could have run away or jumped off the nearest bridge, I could never ever hurt my beautiful kids like that. I realise that I need to take tiny steps to independence and eventually leave. I feel so ashamed of this and pathetic for putting up with it. I have asked myself if I am going mad because that what it feels like, and if I am ever ill, ooh it makes him angry. To everyone else he is marvellous and points out he is progressing with his life and I do nothing, I feel like such a let down because 'other wives do this and that etc' he always has plenty to talk about with the other wives and he gets them to organise stuff for him. Its his way or the highway, and you can never go against him, he is very controlling and I swear he does and says stuff to make me feel or think I am going crazy. Thank you for your article it is very helpful and one day I hope that I can get myself back and be free. It has helped to write this too.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

And I'm some lady
July, 12 2017 at 10:30 pm

Oh Helen, its 2am here and your comment or confession hurt my heart. I've been in this relationship for 17years or so. It started out as snarky sarcasm. I really didn't want him to use it with our son. When our son was little the sarcasm was just the beginning. I really should have run then. Our son is 18 years old now and all the verbal abuse he took has left him so broken. I would stand up for him all the time. I would purposely draw his fire in hopes of sparing Ollie. It wasn't enough. Crazy thing about it our son was seeing a therapist for years. Most of them would talk to me about how to get his dad to be " less critical". I wish we were all being more honest. He has squashed my light. My son is suffering from depression and anxiety and I fear someday his suicide attempt will be successful. I can't leave now. I was injured a few years back and I'm unable to work. All those years just went by, and I kept thinking it was going to get better or I could leave. Then I couldn't. He used to like making fun of me in front of my family and friends and so I stopped having them over. It was to painful. My world got smaller and smaller. He would tell everyone that I wouldn't answer the phone when they called. Which was sorta true. I liked to be alone in the house when I talked on the phone. But he made it weird. He would play their messages on the answering machine when they came over and erase their messages as some sort of thing about me. I actually forgot about that until just minute. Well eventually most people stopped calling. Sometimes someone would point out what was happening and I would just die a little. I didn't know what to do about it. If he did it to our son I would jump in and we would fight about it. And that's not good either. I really just wanted to say I'm with you Helen. And your right just typing this I also feel better.

Leah Joslin
June, 4 2017 at 7:53 am

My dad has said so many of these it's unreal. But no one will believe me, I don't even believe myself. How do I get help if I'm just a kid? I get scared when someone even raises a hand in class. Who do I go to?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 8 2017 at 1:17 pm

Hey. You have to be live yourself. Your feelings matter and they are real. Please see if you can go to therapy any way you can.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 8 2017 at 1:21 pm

Ask for help from a school counselor

June, 1 2017 at 8:41 am

I feel like I'm in too far. I'm at the stage where I don't remember things accurately and I continue to stay. I feel financially trapped and I make enough for me and my daughter can be ok. I'm in my last semester for my BS in engineering and this is starting to effect my school efforts. I don't know where to get the strength to get out but I know it's something I HAVE to do. It is effecting my 8 year old daughter now. Finding therapy is expensive and I keep saving money because I keep thinking that will help me feel secure enough to do what's right. How do I find the strength to get out before more damage is done?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 8 2017 at 1:19 pm

Reach out to someone you trust and start making a plan to leave. Ask others for help.

May, 18 2017 at 11:08 am

I have been dating this female for about a month in a half now. If I didn't text or call right back she would get mad and send me crazy texts and not answer my calls when I would call right back. She did that on last Thursday night and Friday when I finally got through to her we had a decent conversation. Fast forward three hours later I was outside and my phone was on the charger, I get back to the phone and seen she texted me and when I didn't reply back within ten minutes she sent me another crazy text. So I called her a few times and when she finally answered I yelled at her asking her what's her problem? I didn't mean to do it intentionally and have been telling her that I was sorry but she seems to forget that her acting like that provoked me to yell. I didn't mean it and I care about her a lot. She says that she needs some time to think about what happened. This was the first incident that we had since we started dating. I want to know what can I do to prove to her that I am not the guy she see's me as now

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 5 2019 at 5:37 am

Hi Keith,
Honestly the best adice I can give you is to leave she got angry because you defended yourself in fact what she did was abusive.

Elizabeth meehan
April, 8 2017 at 11:53 pm

I was in a relationship for 16months. I found he would dump me when l said no or it wasnt going the way he wanted. Then l said no to him staying one night ..he came over pushed his way in the door got in my face shouting an pointing the finger. Saying no one will put up with you like l did. Told me to up. He then proceded to remove his glasses an asked me to hit him. He said come on hit me thats what you want to do. I have never hit anyone. He finally left

March, 29 2017 at 6:32 am

I am 68 years married for 50 years.Over that time I've been physical and mentally abused I have always felt trapped for one reason or another having children,.no support from family, and more. The physical abuse stopped some years ago the last time I was grabbed by the throat was in 2005 .How did the physical abuse stop I stopped fitting back (something l read once).This eventually worked for me but it only worked because l keep my mouth , if l said what l'd like to He would snap .I'm now Disabled and l suffer verbal abuse,Stupid ,fat.ugly mentioning my deformity ,the usual things to belittle me. I'm as trapped now as l was them.Over the years l learnt to deal with the situation at a great cost.I know what l should have don in 1967 put my baby In though days there was no help for women like me..There is help out there now so if you read this and you are suffering abuse get help don't ruin your life or the lives of your children.

Keith miller
August, 10 2016 at 5:18 pm

I have this little problem which I think it is but I need some assistance on what's going on ...let's start off I recently started a new job well the manager which I will not name was talking to the other employees saying that all I'm daydreaming and oh he's got stuff on his mind out their and he can't concentrate on is Job.. The fact is I'm not.... I'm concentrating on the job that I am doing which I have 5 years in doing this job... Can he go and say this kind of things to other employees like it's a joke and maybe I'm not supposed to hear.... Is this harassment.... at first I thought it was a joke but he keeps on saying this...

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
August, 10 2016 at 10:54 pm

It sounds like your bully of a boss has targeted you. You're in a tight spot, I know. What are your human resource guidelines on reporting harassment? Find out what they are and follow them. If you get fired, you can either sue or take it as a sign to move on to something better. Or maybe your manager will get put on notice or fired. There's no way to tell the future.
If he talks about other people to you, then he's targeted a bunch of you and the group should get together to talk about what can be done. Perhaps report him to human resources together.

August, 8 2016 at 9:50 am

One common tactic abusers employ but not mentioned here (I think) is to play family members off against one another, as a means of demeaning, crazymaking, etc.
Constantly comparing siblings critically, criticizing spouse to child (potentially poisoning parent-child relationship for a long time), etc.
Unless you've grown up under this sort of terrorist, totalitarian regime (all the time being told you/other family members are the real cause) and only come to recognize it much later in adult life, it can be difficult to understand how completely debilitating it can be.
It is very much like your actual soul has been poisoned from a very young age.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
August, 9 2016 at 1:05 pm

You are right - abusers do play one person off another and I don't think it has been mentioned. Good catch. My ex did this to me and my sons. I think he still tries to, but my boys are too smart to fall for it (now that they're older). <3

July, 28 2016 at 2:08 am

My boyfriend is verbally abuse to me ... I think psychological abuse is the worst kind, it leaves long lasting scars.. it questions your abilities, your perceptions of how you view the world and your sanity.. I had a meltdown and told him to leave and he left.. nothing I did was ever enough, I didn't do things right, he was always mad at me, if I asked questions he'd get mad and even say they're stupid questions; I love him but it's negatively affecting my life.. I've been in abusive relationships before, I always end up in abusive relationships and its no life to be constantly worried and unhappy. Much love to everyone in the forum who's being verbally abused, no one deserves that. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.

Olivia Burns
July, 17 2016 at 9:24 am

My man said to me while we were seking your pussy is so big my Dickerson want stay in it. It hurt my fillings and I why did you say that to me, he said what did I say. I told him what he said and he said I didn't say that but if I did say that I didn't mean it, he said it was a joke.

July, 3 2016 at 2:21 pm

Thanks for a great article. My 2 yr relationship is still a question mark to me.
He is a wonderful guy one moment and the next moment he turns into an a...hole. I find myself being scared to ask questions as he often puts me down. When I mention this to him he says it's all in my head.
Recently I found out that he's been in touch with his ex-girlfriend- their conversations were beyond friendship and were reminiscing their romantic moments....and when I approached him about it he was very apologetic, felt sorry and that he is aware that wasn't good or mature thing to do. I believe it was a genuine apology and regret. However, the next time I mention it to him along the lines "are you guys still in touch?," he said "we already talked about this there's nothing there. Why are you so insecure?"
Often he alludes that I have bad memory: "Remember what I told you last summer about that?" And when I honestly say that I don't, he accuses me of not caring.
I have been trying to find out whether this is verbal abuse or something else so if you can point me in the right direction that will be wonderful.
Thanks for a great article.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 20 2016 at 11:16 pm

This post and the following comments are shocking and revealing for me at the same time. I've been in relationship with this guy for over a year now and being in a conservative family, I couldn't go out with him or spend time with him a lot. Our major communication was through phone accompanied with some occasional meetings.
He used to belittle me by saying that I am not sexy or curvy and if i said that his comment hurt me, he'd either say that he didn't mean it that way or he'd blame me for misunderstanding his 'earnest and true' opinion. I am a person with a lot of family problems( my father being an abuser himself) and whenever I'd discuss them with him, he'd either remain silent or pass uninterested comments. If I ask a question about them or ask an elaboration of his uninterested comments, he'd burst out on me. He'd then say that I have no capability of dealing with things or letting past go and say that my worries are just silly.
It's like that on every instance of sharing my insecurities with him. It's been very distressing for me, but I had to always hold onto this thing: His love to me. It was almost as if I didn't love him even. But then, no matter how much I felt sad or let down, I could never accept that it was by his doing, because he always made it look like my fault and he was always very soft-spoken and loving. I used to mull over my mistakes and my 'wrong' judgments again and again for I used to sincerely believe that it was all my fault( my belief was that I was sad or distressed out of proportion or I said an inappropriate thing when he was tired or sleepy that he shouted at me).
But when I figured it out that it was he who was all being mean to me I told it to him. It ended up in escalated fights and arguments but then one day, finally he understood. So I told him that he must do something to improve or change. He promised that he will, because, of course he loved me, but then nothing happened. Whatever suggestions I made, how much ever I supported him, he wasn't willing to change. Now when we fought, he'd say, "you are not giving me time. I am trying so hard but these recurring fights bug me." What did he try? Nothing really though. He claimed that he is trying so hard to pass his exams and get on with a job( that he is so lazy to do that as well) now how can he do all the (silly) things to make me happy?
So I broke up with him. Until today, I was so depressed, not for having to let him go but by his disheartening words that still clamour in my mind. I never knew I was being verbally abused, I still can't believe it. But it is relieving to know that it isn't my fault that we broke up because I was, until now, feeling that it was my insecurities and worries that broke our ties; he, being such a kind and loving person, couldn't possibly hurt me!!
I guess it's important that we respect ourselves and care ourselves. Others are going to mistreat us but if we are unsure of ourselves we are going to fall right into their traps. And to the likes of me who have (once again) lost our self- worth, I guess we should know that our worries our little things aren't silly or unimportant. Those tiny things- pleasures and worries, make us who we are! Never let anyone change that...

April, 20 2016 at 11:05 pm

A relationship that started out good & had potential for better turned bad after one weekend visit. I don't really know what I did to bring on the verbal abuse. It started with little things he said during conversations that hurt my feelings. I told him he hurt my feelings but my mistake was not repeating what he said when he asked. That was because he said tell me how I hurt your feelings so I can keep doing it. My immediate thought was that he was only joking when he responded with that. When we went out to the first social outing...after an incident involving one of the attendees that could have resulted in bodily injury to me...I commented quietly to him about the near injury & his response implied that I was not to behave in a manner that would show I was lower class. I was insulted but only told him he did & his response was the same. This time I didn't laugh. The following evening after my complaint about a dirty glass I was told I didn't have any class & that's why he don't date women like me, that he made a mistake trying to date me & we were leaving. Needless to say I felt hurt, insulted, disrespected enough to bring me to tears. After a silent drive for nearly 20 minutes, he asked would I like to stop for a bite to eat which I politely refused. As I changed my clothes I packed all my belongings & dressed for bed. He didn't offer an apology & I didn't comment on the incident. I slept quietly on one side of the bed that night & at the break of dawn I quietly dressed, then woke him to lock his door...AND said thank you. We have not spoke or had any form of communication since. As I talked to my family about the visit & how wounded and heavy my heart felt to know he had such a low perception of my character/behavior they tried to comfort me. As they did the words abusive, verbal assault, amongst other words were used to describe the situation. It took days for me to accept that his assessment of me was an attempt to diminish my self esteem, self confidence to convince me of his superiority over me. I think he has done this to other women as I replay conversations we have had about relationships. Still not totally convinced he was verbally abusive, I googled the definition and read several of the articles. I'm glad I was strong enough to walk away although he's very popular well groomed well known & exceptionally charming. I now feel that everything about him is attractive on the outside & initially says all the right things he is unable to maintain a healthy relationship because he has low self confidence & self esteem which would explain why he needed to crush mine. I'm not a psychologist but there is something inside him that needs professional attention. I needed to tell this story because to some the way he talked to me may seem trivial but trust me...that feeling the came over me & pain that my heart felt was NOT trivial. We have many mutual friends and acquaintances that I will never tell what occurred & I think I will be okay with whatever he wants to say occurred. I will admit my disappointment with the outcome...I really enjoyed the seduction.

April, 17 2016 at 3:37 am

even though i was only in the relationship for around a year, and it's now been almost five months since i've cut off ties with him, I still get memories of him popping up, and i'm afraid to even have to go near or pass by where he lives, let alone even wear the clothes that i did when i was with him. Sometimes I still have nightmares, but I wish that it would disappear. I don't know how to feel better completely again. Even though I am seeing a counselor and met a great new guy, I feel like I can't help but feel very suspicious about the new guy no matter how nice he is, and my counselor isn't really helpful either... My life goes on regularly, but i wish it would go away forever...

April, 8 2016 at 6:31 am

I agree with you. I would add though that I have been to many counselors over the years and none of them got that I was in an abusive relationship until my last one (after having been in this relationship over 30 years) who diagnosed me with severe C-PTSD, and in figuring out why I had that issue I was finally able to see what had been going on for years and years. Counselors are not perfect, they have their own agendas often, and some prefer to be willfully blind to certain things (like sexual abuse within a marriage). The best thing you can do is what this says, let actions speak louder than words, and believe in yourself... if it feels off, abusive, demeaning, then it probably is. "You misheard me", or "I didn't mean it that way", or "why do you always have to make a big deal out of nothing?", were common things I heard, as well as making up our history in ways that made him look good and not admit to any past abuses. It'll kill you, or you'll kill yourself, if you stay in abusive relationships. Emotional/psychological abuse is far worse than physical abuse in my opinion, because it's harder to KNOW you're in an abusive relationship, and it's so much harder to heal those psychological kinds of damages. If you're not feeling respected and safe in your relationship, you should be doing some serious thinking about what's going on, and questioning the core beliefs that you think are written in stone (like they are honest, or they love you and would never hurt you on purpose, etc.). Thanks for the article, it's well written and good information.

Raul Ramos
March, 15 2016 at 9:39 am

Hard to say it, I'm being verbally abused. I'm 48, married for two years. Her words leaves deep wounds. I wouldn't care if I didn't loved her; but I do. Breaking up is not an option to me.

March, 10 2016 at 11:18 pm

...Buzz off...
FROM MODERATOR: I'm sorry to delete so much of your comment. You're obviously angry. As I cannot allow verbal abuse on an anti-verbal abuse blog, I had to edit this. What you said may be true, but it's just not appropriate for this blog.
I understand the desire to check up on your ex to see what he's posting and whatnot. However, the best thing you can do is ignore him everywhere except in court.

February, 18 2016 at 9:38 am

This is so sad - you can keep scrolling and scrolling reading all the hurt! So many good people who love that are with the wrong ones and it wrecks it for the rest!

Confused, tired, and broken
October, 1 2015 at 12:43 am

I left my abuser January 1st of this year after 23 years of marriage. I recognize every sign of abuse and brainwashing in your article. I've been in therapy since I've left yet I don't feel that I'm much different than when I was with him. I question the validity of every single thought or emotion I have. I feel guilty and as if I'm a bad person most of the time. I confess thing constantly to my minister or therapist and they'll tell me that what I think I did wrong or the thoughts or feelings that I've had arent even remotely wrong. I have a hard time putting into words or even pinpointing why I'm feeling what I'm feeling. Then I feel crazy. Not normal. How can a normal person not know exactly what their feeling? I feel unworthy of anyone's love. Im angry sometimes and feel guilty for my anger. I still find it almost impossible to set boundries. I struggle with negative thinking to the extreme. For example if someone says I look pretty I'm sure they must be saying that just to make me feel good and I must look really bad. I have a hard time seeing the positive in me or any situation. I still struggle with extreme anxiety, depression, and insomnia. I see a psychiatrist and get medicine ( I have on and off for years) but I've yet to find that much relief. I live with extreme guilt and regret for what I put my now adult children through all those years even though we are all very close and they say they understand and it wasn't my fault. I lost my 20 year old son in a car accident not quite three years ago and have extreme guilt and regret for not getting him and his sisters out when they were children. I feel I was a coward and that any pain they went through was my fault for not leaving. And now my son is gone and I can't try and make it up to him. My son and I were very close and I know he wouldn't want me to feel like this. He loved me and would want me to be happy. I even feel guilty for not being happy right now. I'm out of the situation so I need to let go, move on, suck it up, and choose to be happy and thankful. But I keep failing. I've been told I'm too hard on myself and that I'm only just now allowing myself to really grieve the loss of my son because I was too busy just trying to survive the abuse so I didn't have time to fully grieve. In part that may be true. I felt guilty for being sad just four months after he passed. I told myself I was feeling sorry for myself. To knock it off. It happened and I had to get over it. When I think about it I would be horrified and enraged at anyone that said that to someone just four months after losing a child or if they ever said it. Yet I still struggle with guilt if I feel sad about it. Especially this far out. I was also told by my husband his death was my fault. I struggle with that even though I wasn't with him and it was just a accident.. I seem to find ways to blame myself for everything. Right now I'm questioning everything I've written here. Is it stupid and crazy? Am I just trying to get sympathy? Feeling sorry for myself? This is what I go through daily. I'm so tired of it. I'm starting to doubt if it will ever get better. If I will. I fear sometimes I might be broken beyond repair. I pray not.

September, 24 2015 at 4:55 am

Even though I've been told I am a victim of abuse by my counsellor as well as family and friends plus being sent to a domestic violence support group by my counsellor I still find it difficult to come to terms with. Is it really true? Am I making it up? Is it somehow my fault? Did this really happen, it just all seems so unbelievable & ridiculous. I know it must be true otherwise these people that care about me wouldn't tell me so. I think it's because I've lived with it for so long (20 yrs) & have been so isolated & brainwashed by him that I'm so unsure of myself and my own thoughts. My belief system has become so distorted that I don't know what's real and what's not anymore or who to believe or even who I am!
Especially when he says my family don't care about me, they never have, when have they ever been there for you. Really? you think all of a sudden now they want to be so supportive, they're trying to turn you against me you know, your sister is evil, she's a liar, she just wants you to be like her, she doesn't want you to be happy, just miserable like her & the rest of your family. Oh and your so called best friend just wants to sleep with me. If it wasn't for me you'd be living in a caravan park with an idiot boyfriend & 6 ferrill kids running around your ankles & you still wouldn't be able to speak properly or have a job. I've always been there for you, I'm the one who's always looked after you not them. What have they been telling you, who are you listening to, counsellors are all stupid & pathetic and can't fix their own lives so all they want to do is ruin everyone elses. We are suppose to be together etc etc don't listen to them, can't you think for yourself - I am you, YOU are me, we are the same person.
That's the kind of stuff he was saying after I moved states trying to rebuild a life for myself & the kids but then he decided to join us & moved in, which caused much turmoil - he tried desperately to totally destroy my thinking even more. I was going out of my mind, nothing was making sense & I was so confused. He kept turning everything around and wouldn't listen. When I said he was abusive he behaved like he was so shocked that I could say such a thing, he said that I was the abusive one! When I said he drinks too much, he said I drank more than him! Apparently, all I did was get drunk and yell and scream. This talk made me second guess myself, oh no, maybe he's right, maybe I am insane. At times I did resort to a few drinks too many because I couldn't cope with this insanity but it just made things all the more confusing because it was easier then for him to manipulate and confuse me and I would of course get emotional so he could then say, look at yourself......and you say I'm crazy, yeh right, you don't even know what your talking about. In previous years, whenever I didn't want to drink he would encourage me to and say I was so boring if I didn't, I'm never any fun anymore. Then I felt guilty and boring so often did join him for a drink especially when I got fed up watching him on his own or with friends spending all our money, figured I may as well join in but then he'd drink too much as usual become abusive and say it was my fault. If I ever complained about his drinking he'd say, the reason I drink so much is because I have to put up with you. He'd spend so much money on alcohol, expensive bottles of spirits etc.....when we couldn't afford it & I had no money for food so always went through his pockets for change to buy milk & bread for the kids, he'd come home & put his feet up with his expensive alcohol, "ahhh, this is good, was on special & I figured I deserved it after working so hard!" & there I was scrounging around for change, crying in the shopping centre, going to op shops for kids clothes & he'd come home with a brand new expensive shirt, because he says well, what do I work so hard for I need a new shirt, I have to look good otherwise we won't make any money at all.....oh but here I got you this. It was a dress with a $2.50 tag from the op shop....hmmmm I said. He promptly told me how ungrateful I was and said can't you ever just say thank you and be happy for god sake!
By the way, I worked also in his business with no pay, looking after the kids as well plus working till all hours in the morning at times, while he went to bed or watched movies!
Things got worse after moving & he knew I wanted to separate. He would tell me his dreams were telling him that I was going to die - he looked at lines on my hand & said that I didn't have very long to live so I better make the right choices. He said I was going to hell after what I had done & the people in his dreams had told him I had done some really bad things. Apparently "they said" oh, she just doesn't understand the situation, she's just not very smart!" His dreams told him that I had cancer & I needed to go to the doctor immediately to get checked out, this resulted in a colonoscopy & gastroscopy - but no, there was nothing there. He said, well that's because, he'd since realised the dream was actually about him instead, he thought he must be the one with cancer not me. Upon going to my doctor for a follow up, I booked him in also for a check. Our name was called out, he said, no you go in on your own, I looked confused, what? but? oh, he said, I don't need to go anymore I'm cured, yeh, I "healed myself" I don't have it anymore. So, I had to go in and try to apologise to the doctor on his behalf for him not going in. How did he get me to go for the op in the first place you ask? this is how intimidating & manipulative he is, I had to go, I couldn't not go, I would never hear the end of it, ever.
I planned different tactics from all angles to no avail. I even got the strength to speak assertively & calmly trying to tell him that we needed to talk as adults and do something about this situation but there was no getting through to him. In an instant I was shot down in flames, he was furiously intimidating, his voice was so strong, so much so that I just turned into a little mouse again, backed into a corner with no where to go, no voice, shaking. I was terrified. How can your own husband make you feel like that? It was like being killed with words. Like they were being thrown at me like sharp knives. I don't think he even took a breath. Certainly put me in my place again. He took my car leaving me with no transport, after 3 weeks out in the country without being able to get to the shop I finally asked for my car back and he attacked me telling me I was selfish and he'd never met such an angry selfish person, you were never like this, you were always such a nice person, what happened to you.
Funny how I keep wondering if I've made a mistake, did I do the right thing. The kids miss him & wonder when he's coming back? After reading through this though when I see it down in plain English there's no mistaking. I was just so blind.
I could go on forever, many similar stories to tell over the years, it's all too much. He's now been gone for 4 months but only after I had to leave the house myself and threatened to get the police if he wasn't gone when I came back. I'm still so angry....and so frustrated because he will swear black and blue that he doesn't understand and doesn't know what he's done wrong and still blames me!!! I just have to accept it, be strong and let it go.... xxx
I know this is long, just thought the different scenarios might help someone else if they experience similar, they are not alone.

July, 21 2015 at 9:15 pm

I feel like I may be in an abusive relationship, and I am confused. I feel like everything is my fault all the time. Me and my boyfriend get in arguments a lot and one day he took my phone and locked himself in another room with my phone as he was looking through all my texts. He wasnt happy to find out I was texting a guy friend I had recently met at school, he came out of the room and immediately yelled harsh words like " f*** you, b**** get the f*** out of my house." After realizing what he said he looked at me for a second with a sorry face and started pacing around the room just thinking and he punched a hole in the wall and this is all over a guy that was only a friend to me. I stuck around and he gave me a huge apology speech, which I did forgive him. But the thing that makes it so confusing for me is that my boyfriend suffers from bi polar disorder and he has very intense mood swings.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
July, 27 2015 at 8:40 am

Stroke, bipolar, abusive personality...whatever causes the person to act abusively isn't your fault. You staying with someone who abuses you does not help them or you. From the outside looking in (and as a depression and ptsd sufferer), his bipolar disorder doesn't count for sympathy. If he weren't hurting you that is one thing. But to stay because he has a disorder isn't helping either of you.

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