Abuse Isn’t Always Physical, and We Never Deserve It

“A bad relationship is like standing on broken glass. If you stay, you will keep hurting. If you walk away, you will hurt but you will heal.” ~Autumn Kohler

It happens little by little, bit by bit. So very slowly that before you know it, you can’t recognize the person you lie next to at night and you hate the person you see staring back at you in the mirror.

Who is that person?

Where is the strong, capable, unflappable, and carefree person that you once were? When did you become someone so pathetic, so small and malleable?

I have never been the kind of girl who accepts bad behavior, let alone anything verging on abuse.

I believe in good manners, in kindness, in treating others as you wish to be treated. I also believe absolutely in apologizing when I get it wrong.

I don’t let my two little people get away with being rude, cheeky, or back-chatting a grown-up. So why did I let him treat me so appallingly? Why didn’t I stand up to him? Why didn’t I get out?

I have always left, you see. With all the significant relationships I’ve been in, I have always ended it.

I have always made that call. I’ve always run away when I couldn’t do it anymore, or cut my losses before I could get hurt.

I ended my engagement to my ex mere months before the “big day.” I called time on my first marriage, seven years after saying “I do,” when three straight years of trying hard to fix it had failed.

So why didn’t I leave him?

People think domestic violence has to involve fists, bruises, and physical pain. Well, I can now put my hand up and admit that I was abused—but he never laid a finger on me. It doesn’t make it any less painful or significant or wrong.

I am beginning to get comfortable owning what happened to me, but its effects have lasting consequences that I am aware of almost daily.

The more time I spend analyzing what he did, and his potential motivations, the less I feel I understand what our relationship was about, and the more blatant the abuse appears.

He controlled, manipulated, and systematically ignored me.

I wasn’t allowed answer the door to other men if my husband wasn’t in the house, nor was I allowed to speak to other men at the pool where we trained.

He loved my little skirts and dresses while he was wooing me, but as soon as he had me it was always, “I hope you’ve got appropriate knickers on wearing that” or, “you will keep your legs closed if you go out wearing that.”

When he thought I had overstepped some invisible, unfathomable, and constantly shifting line, he could look me straight in the eye and yet completely ignore me for three straight days, without skipping a beat.

Not a word would leave his mouth. For days on end. And for a girl who can talk the hind legs off a donkey, that is pretty much the worst kind of torture imaginable. I was invisible. I was nothing.

But it happens gradually, remember.

In the beginning, he built me up and showered me with words of love and affection. He placed me on a pedestal and worshipped me. I had never felt so precious to anyone before.

He made himself the very center of my universe, and made himself so large that he obliterated everyone and everything else. Little by little, increment by increment, my universe became so very small, and by degrees I became myopic, a mere shadow of the woman I once was.

In some ways, the hardest thing for me now is coming to terms with the fact that I didn’t have the nerve to get out.

I had irrationally made the decision to stay because I truly felt that it was the only choice I had.

I think I justify it by saying that it was the only thing I could do—for the sake of my children. They had already been through so much; I couldn’t damage them further.

And anyway, his behavior was only directed at me. Once he had me controlled, managed, and living in fear, it was was only ever about me; I perceived that my children were safe from any form of direct threat.

The decision to get out, to get free and safe, wasn’t a decision I ever had to make, or got the chance to make. By some weird twist in the way the universe works, I received the ultimate “get out of jail free” card. The abusive monster of a man to whom I had given three years of my life died.

He died suddenly and shockingly, and in doing so simultaneously set me free and inflicted his biggest, most significant controlling act.

Now, almost exactly one year later, I still feel immense and overwhelming relief that I am out of that place; that like a caterpillar trapped, bound and confined, I have been able to break free and spread my beautiful wings.

But I still feel some misplaced sense of shame that I didn’t get to make that call. That I didn’t put my big girl brave pants on and make that decision first, and for me.

Being in that relationship is, without question, the biggest and worst regret of my life, one that I will carry to my grave.

I wanted to write this for all the people who feel trapped, who feel like a watered down impression of the person they once were. For the people who don’t feel able to speak out and ask for help.

I know how that feels.

I know the shame and embarrassment that keeps your lips sealed, even around those who you trust and love the most.

Just because there are no physical marks doesn’t mean it isn’t abuse.

When you question yourself and you try to tell yourself that it’s really not that bad, that he or she loves you, really, but has just got a few issues to deal with, or worse still, that it’s your fault he or she treats you this way, trust your gut.

If they continually put you down, shut you out in an attempt to manipulate and control you, ignore your needs, threaten you in any way, call you “crazy” or “overly sensitive” when you dare to raise your worries, and/or blames you for their reactions, that is not love. It is abuse.

It’s easier somehow to make excuses, accept the blame (you will even start to believe it), but know that you could end up spending the rest of your days in an a broken and painful place—a relationship where you feel small, worthless, and lonely beyond words.

Somewhere in your gut, you likely know this is true.

Whether your inner voice is yelling at you, or just whispering to get out, you know. You know it’s not right and that you deserve so much more. You deserve to have the chance for your wings to be set free.

And I pray that you do.

About Thea Baker

Thea started her working life in Human Resources; however, life changed after having children! She relocated to Australia in 2010 and switched careers focusing on health, fitness, and wellbeing for women. She now runs a successful personal training and small group training business - Thea Baker Fitness - and works almost exclusively with pre and postnatal women.

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  • Brav3

    Hi Thea,

    Thank you for writing this article, it feels like my story. I have been gaslighted for 2.5 years by a girl who I thought was the best girl in the world. Just like your story, she showered me with love and affection and then little by little created a dependency in me. I started questioning my identity, my gut feelings. I was made to believe that I was insecure, jealous and a highly over sensitive guy who always misunderstood her words. I thought that I was losing my mind and damaging my relationship. I wanted to stay so badly in this psychological abusive relationship that I damaged my self esteem severely. When she found another victim, she decided to leave me.

    The worst is I can’t expose her because everyone will think its the angry ex Bf. I can’t prove this trauma and its far worse than physical trauma as my recovery is so slow. I have been trying to recover from this abuse for last 4 months and its been so painful journey. I know what it feels like in that situation. I send you my compassion. I hope people will read this article and understand what emotional abuse is and its not just men that are abusers only, its women as well.

  • Great article, Thea. Thank you for sharing! I stayed in two emotionally abusive relationships: the first for 9 years and the second for 7 ~ it is so difficult to leave and I hope you can forgive yourself for not having made that choice. We all are doing the best we can at the time and hindsight is always 20/20! Learning to love ourselves is key … and that is a process; not always easy when the one we love is putting us down, telling us we’re crazy, etc. The thing that so many of us do is we beat ourselves up even more for staying when self-compassion is what is needed most. May your words and wisdom reach many!

  • Nancy S.

    I was married to a man for 24 years who abused me in this way. I probably never would have left, because I was afraid I would not be able to support myself and my three teenagers. I also thought that I would never have anyone love me again. Many years later, I am married to a man who is totally different than this, and I believe that #1 leaving me was the best thing that ever happened to me.

    I always advise young people that if something in your gut tells you to leave, DO IT! Don’t wait 24 years.

  • fragglerock

    Thank you for writing this. I’m still recovering from a relationship with a sociopath. He spent years grooming me for horrific psychological, emotional and sexual abuse. Part of getting out was accepting that these types of people exist. Whatever you want to call them: psychopaths, sociopaths, narcissists, they are people without empathy and that makes them dangerous and it’s NOT YOUR JOB to fix them. Abuse is abuse and just because you can’t see the bruises, doesn’t mean you haven’t been injured. There is hope. There is a way out. You are important and vital and deserve only the best.

  • Lolly Winne

    Thank you for writing this. I’ve always taken pride in the fact that I’m a strong woman who doesn’t tolerate or allow others to treat me poorly, and would certainly NEVER allow a man to come into my life and treat me that way, but sadly, when I read your story, I was totally able to relate. However, my abuser isn’t some man in my life, my abuser is my own son. My 17 year old son, who I love unconditionally with all my heart, treats me horribly. To the point where I’ve had to cut him out of my life because after our last confrontation (this past weekend) I allowed him to make me feel so badly about myself, that for the first time in my life I felt so broken that I truly no longer wanted to be here anymore. I have NEVER experienced that kind of pain before. I feel lost, alone and like a complete failure as a mother, and I honestly don’t know what I ever did to deserve how horribly he treats me. So my question is… what do you do when it’s your own son abusing you? :'(

  • JS

    How do you leave when everyone else thinks he’s such a great guy, because he is social, caring and full of life outside. But only you know how he is at home, inside the four walls!

  • T

    What happened to you happened exactly to my mother-in-law. Projecting a bubbling perfect image in an attempt to “protect” her kids and thinking staying in the relationship was her only option (was her 3rd marriage). Unfortunately she’s the one that died and near her last days her kids had to be shocked with learning that’s what their mom lived through all these years. She managed to hide it from both of her kids and all of her friends; only her siblings knew what took place but were made to seal their lips. In her last days, the siblings couldn’t take keeping things a secrecy any longer due to indecencies from the husband (eg. barely visited the hospital / hospice). Thank you for sharing your story.

  • HappenedToMeToo

    The behaviors you described sounded like narcissistic personality disorder. I just recently had my first experience with someone who did the same thing. They first have an “idealization phase” (also called love bombing). This is when he was courting you, everything was amazing, etc. Then the critical comments start coming out. then they drop you, much like the ignoring you for days. It’s to exercise control. I’m sure if you read up on this, you’ll find many answers just like I did.

  • Libby B.

    That’s the worst part. He took me to his office party one Christmas and I had to sit there and listen to all his co-workers tell me how wonderful and helpful he was. I wanted to puke.

  • Libby B.

    “…his behavior was only directed at me. Once he had me controlled, managed, and living in fear, it was was only ever about me; I perceived that my children were safe from any form of direct threat.” That’s when it ended for me: when he started calling me names and ‘lecturing’ me in front of our child. That’s when I knew I had to leave. I did not want her to grow up thinking it was okay for men to treat women like that.

  • Susie Brighouse

    It’s 5 months now since I left a relationship exactly like this. What gave me the courage to leave? He stayed with and my family over Christmas and, for some reason, dropped his ‘perfect guy’ facade and started treating them with the same offensive and manipulative behaviour that I had been getting for over 2 years but no one else saw. He was trying to put a wedge between them and me (I had no other friendships left for him to alienate me from). Seeing how uncomfortable he made my family woke me up from the sort of trance I had been in for so long – even if I thought I deserved it, I knew with all my heart that they did not. It was suddenly the easiest decision I have ever made. Since then my life has been getting better with every single day. I am discovering myself again, realising I never really went away, just got put aside. My friends and family have welcomed me back with open arms, and I now have more love in my life than I ever could have dared hope for this time last year. The author is right about that ‘gut feeling’ – if it’s there, even just as a whisper, you should listen. Because it’s not wrong, YOU are not wrong. 🙂

  • Thea

    Well done Susie – you are one strong woman and it warms my heart to know that you have a life full of love now. Thea xx.

  • Thea

    Libby it’s amazing what we can do for our children…hoping you’re safe and happy and thank you for responding to my words. xx.

  • Thea

    I’ve done lots of reading in the last year and it’s amazing how everything suddenly becomes clear when you understand some of what is going on…but at the time it’s all so confusing and scary. I just want to make sure others know that there are people out there like this, doing this and it’s so not ok. thank you for your words. xx.

  • Thea

    That makes me so sad…what a wonderful woman your mother-in-law was…very brave to struggle on like that, and so hard for her children to get their heads around afterwards. I hope everyone is doing ok…xx.

  • Thea

    It’s one thing I still really struggle with – especially as he has died and no one wants to talk about him in any negative way – people only ever remember him as the most wonderful, gentle soul which couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m still always very anxious that people won’t believe me or will hate me for saying these things about a dead man. But the truth is the truth, and I lived through it. I know. Thinking of you JS and Libby xx.

  • Thea

    Thank you so much for sharing your story…I can only imagine the struggles and hurt you are going through right now. It’s not just women that go through this and I’m sorry you are suffering. Just be kind to yourself and know that one day this will be all be part of your past, it will help shape your future for sure but you are a stronger, wiser man now. Be strong. xx.

  • Thea

    Oh Shannon so true!! It has to start with us..ourselves. Knowing and loving who we are at our core and building that back up…somehow ignoring the little voice that still speaks to us as our abuser did reminding us that we aren’t good enough. We are. And always will be. I hope you are healing and are in a happier place now. xx.

  • Thea

    Learning to listen to your gut Nancy is the biggest and best lesson we can ever learn or help others to learn. I’m so happy that you’ve put that 24-years behind you and you are happily remarried. Thank you so much for your words. xx.

  • Thea

    Thank you so much for your comments and advice fragglerock…being able to accept that there are people out there and they do what they do because it’s their flaw not because of anything I am or have done is a huge part of the healing. I have always considered myself to be strong and confident and could never have imagined that this could happen to me. It just happens. There are some not very nice people out there. That’s just the way it is. Thank you xx.

  • Thea

    Oh Lolly…my heart is so sad for you. I work with mum’s every single day. Please know that this isn’t your fault…you haven’t made this happen, you haven’t failed as a mummy. I hope that you have some means to get help, someone to talk to about all this? I wish I could do something…sending big love xx.

  • Lolly Winne

    Thank you so much, Thea! ❤️

  • pb45

    Thank you Thea for writing this post. I, too, stayed in an abusive relationship for 23 years. When I first got involved with him, close friends and my gut told me that this was not a good relationship. I was on the rebound from a first, failed marriage and hated being alone, so I discounted my friends’ comments and my own gut feeling and dove into the relationship. There were good days/weeks and bad ones. 5 years in, after several miscarriages, I gave birth to our beautiful daughter. Fast forward to 18 years later. The relationship was hell. He had given up a very successful business to start a new business, it failed and with that went our life savings (including our daughter’s college fund). He tried to restart his old business but he had burned so many bridges, it never really took off. He began drinking more than ever. He always worked alone, kept the radio on for company but over the years he listened less and less to NPR and more and more to talk radio and esp. Rush Limbaugh. He got a gun license and began to buy guns through mail order. He was convinced that he needed them to defend his family. I tried to point out that if he was drunk, he could easily be disarmed and the intruder would then have a whole arsenal of weapons. That blew up in my face BIGTIME.
    Our daughter had developed both an anxiety and an eating disorder and was wasting away. He insisted that she was being defiant and made her life hell. I felt helpless and scared. One night, he hit her (he had never done that before, though he had hit me numerous times) and began throwing the microwave, chairs, anything he could get his hands on. Something snapped, I grabbed my phone, she grabbed hers and and we ran out to the street. I called 911. The police came. They were wonderful. I explained that he had weapons and had a license for them. I thought for sure they would call a SWAT team but they didn’t. They calmly walked up with us to our apartment. The apartment was a mess-broken stuff everywhere. They asked if he had done this, he said yes. They asked if he had any guns, he said “no”. They asked me, I said “yes”. They asked me to show them the guns, two policemen went back to the bedroom with me. My husband had 2 automatic weapons and a rifle as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition. They carried the guns and went back to the living room. They arrested him and took him away.
    My daughter stood by me, knowing that I had no money, she said “My paycheck is yours.” So we were able to pay the rent and pay the bills. Both she and I have been in therapy for years, getting back on our feet but both of us feeling broken. I beat myself up for not having the courage to leave. I thought back to those many years when I convinced myself that if only I loved him enough, I could heal his brokenness and life would be good again.
    A major breakthrough came the other day. My ex-husband now lives in Florida, my daughter and I live in the Northeast. She has tried to maintain a relationship with him, so they talk on the phone. Last time they talked, he lit into her something fierce. She was so shaken. It was awful. She had been researching “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. She was reading a description of her father! All of a sudden the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. She told me about what she had read. I was sick, but I knew that she was right. He was like the wizard in the end scenes of the “Wizard of OZ”, the pathetic, sick man behind the curtain pulling the levers to keep the show going. I went to bed, I prayed for healing and guidance. In the days following, both she and I have talked, we feel like the weight has been lifted. He is a very sick man, who hurt us both. We are now free to pursue our healing.
    My heart goes out to anyone who is living with abuse. Please don’t beat yourself up, you are not weak, you are not a coward; you do not deserve this abuse. If my story helps you, in any way, I am grateful. My heart and my prayers are with you.

  • CC

    I was in an abusive situation, and I had been planning to get away for over a year. I didn’t even know it was abuse, but negative toxic people can abuse you. If I made a mistake, it was because I was stupid. He made sure to put down my parents lest I try to get advice from them. I was constantly apologizing for ridiculous things…if I dropped a kernel of popcorn on the floor after eating it, if something wasn’t put away where he thought it should be. If I asked him to split the grocery bill he would make a scene at the cashiers. If I didn’t want to go out (and gave to pay for him) I was antisocial and had no friends. When I wanted to end the relationship, he owed me thousands of dollars. I had no money to move. I eventually left my job and moved in with my parents to get away. None of our friends understand what he put me through. I eventually took him to court and got half back of what he owed me. His cruelty still creeps into my consciousness. He never got me. But he didn’t have to. He abused me financially and emotionally. He tells everyone I was ‘crazy’ and that I am making it up. He always has someone to blame for his problems, and that is why I had to get away. I wasn’t going to let it be me.

  • CC

    That’s the hardest part. I know my abuser has been telling people what a crazy sick person I was. My closest friends know this is not true. But it’s hard, you want to be able to talk about it but you don’t want to be the ‘crazy’ bitter ex. My advice is find people you CAN talk to it about. I wrote about it in a forum that no one knew who I was. Eventually I will write about it publically, but I won’t use names. The worst part is having to be silent. That’s another part of the abuse. The fear to speak up. It’s very hard to navigate telling your story without sounding resentful.

  • Tazchick

    I feel like I have been this way to my ex boyfriend, which left him to cheat on me. Please tell me are there any resources for emotional abusers who want to change? I am tired of treating people I love and who love me so badly. I don’t understand why I act this way.

  • Mia

    Hi, I also married a narcissistic guy almost a year ago. He was so nice, loving and caring in the beginning but then the mask wore off.. He keeps talking about his last relationships and even showed me the pictures of his beloved ex having sex. And when I felt bad about it he got mad at mr and said u all women are the same and regretted trusting me.. He said he felt close enough to me and wanted to be more like friends than husband and wife.
    He keeps blaming me and telling me I cant do things right. He also thinks I am so dirty and keeps accusing me of craving for having sex with every single guy that I happen to talk to or even look at.
    He avoids having sex with me and tell me he already had much sex in his life and he’s tired of doing it or sometimes says he hates sex.. But then i find his shirts he masturbated into.. Ugh, i also love this guy oh so bad and i kinda have this masochistic personality.. So on one hand i enjoy it and on the other hand i know it’s not just right.. I don’t really know what to do.. I never fight back when he gets angry. All i do is to try to calm him down and tell him he’s the only one i love.. Then he mocks me and gets even more angry.. I just dont know how to overcome my masochistic side and leave, cause we all deserve a happy life.
    Thanks for ur article. It was really helpful.

  • Yes, thank you! Recently I discovered Matt Kahn’s book, Whatever Arises, Love That: A Love Revolution That Begins with You –it really helps take the “idea” of loving ourselves into a practice and I highly recommend it! 😉

    Much love and light!

  • Thea

    You’ve really helped me make a decision writing what you’ve just done…I want to share this article on my work Facebook page but I’ve been really scared about what the fallout might be (lots of people I’m close to don’t know the full story) but you’re so right…that’s all part of the abuse, feeling that you have to stay silent. I’m not going to let that happen to me anymore. Thank you xx.

  • Thea

    Reading your story has brought tears for me…I’m so sorry that you had to go through this. I consider you to be strong beyond words and an amazingly inspirational woman. xx.

  • Thea

    Oh wow…it’s the hardest thing to say it to people. I’ve had one of my closest friends say to me, “oh but my husband is a complete arsehole to me sometimes, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love me.” It’s awful when they don’t, can’t or won’t understand…I just hang onto the fact that I know what he did to me, the hell that I lived in and that now I’m free. And so are you…well done wonderful lady xx.

  • Thea

    You really are a brave woman for recognising this stuff in you…and for that you need a whole lot of hugs and love. That I think is probably the hardest and biggest step to getting help. I think that finding a good therapist would be a great place to start…insight and healing and learning and growing. You can do this. xx.

  • Thea

    Oh Mia your words make me sad…I don’t want you to get hurt anymore. Please know that you are worth more…so much more. Please find someone you can confide in so you can find your way out…to be safe and happy. I know the cycle and believe me I know how hard it is that place you are in right now. Wishing you lots of love xx.

  • pb45

    God bless you, Thea, writing out my story was an incredibly healing experience for me-thank you for giving me the opportunity to share it. My healing deepened when I read your article and the letters following it. Please feel free to share my story, (I left names out). I remember so clearly the feelings of shame and being alone. Perhaps someone reading it will realize that she/he is not alone.

  • Stanislav

    I get what you’re saying here. People like that treat you as an accessory, if they pay any attention to you at all. Often they’re psycholigically abusive and manipulate people; even those who are close to them. They know how to get what they want, but if you’re smart you’ll beat them at their own game.

  • rt

    OMG Thea after reading your story I felt like you were talking about my husband! My wake up call was after having a burn out at 45yo after 22 years of marriage. My husband was very affectionate and loving and because of this, how he treated and spoke to me I could not see. But when I had a burn out and the roles reversed and it was time for him to be there for me, he turned on me. He made everything about himself and his life. He became angry and resentful towards me. And that’s when the crying started The first 3 years I kept crying thinking if this was the person I had married and then another 3 years (after telling him I wanted to leave) going through counselling. Which did not change him in any way. It was during my counselling sessions when I was asked to re-assess my marriage (because some spouses do not cope with illness) when realized I had given my power away and this had been going on for years. That’s when I also realized how alone I had felt in the marriage. And I allowed it. Why? Because being brought up in an ethnic family your job is to serve and do what you’re told. In other words you do not own your life, your husband does. I started to remember how many times he told me off for dinner being late 15mins.,not dressing to his standard, being told when I could speak when out with friends,where I was allowed to go. Even accusing me of having affairs with my practitioners and degrading my self worth if I ever spoke about other men. I broke down crying. I could not believe I had lost me,allowed this, and had been living for his happiness and life. And he made sure that I did! My final sign was when he told me I would never leave him because I wouldn’t do that to him. But 4 years ago I finally decided I could not live like this for the rest of my life and at the age of 51, I told him it was over. And I am doing it alone. My family have told me my marriage is my problem and my girlfriends chose to no longer keep in contact. I still live in the family home and doing classes to get back into the workforce, so I can earn an income to file for divorce. But today at 55 I will never ever go back to him and what I learned was I deserved better,deserve better and my life was too important to keep giving it away. No matter what!

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  • Tamara Woodbeck

    Thank you for writing this! I too believe he was a narcissist. Please do not be too hard on yourself. It is so easy to ultimately lose yourself in that situation. I know because I am 35 years in and am a mere shadow of my old self now. I have made the decision to leave this year but am now dealing with the details like finding housing and a window of time to leave when he is not around. Enjoy your freedom, you deserve it ❤️❤️

  • Eli Damaskinos

    Hi Tazchick and Thea.
    For everyone else. Yes, we guys get abused as well. I just ended a 6 year relationship with a woman i still care for. I am an Aquarius with a Moon in Libra. I’m a jovial, happy, carefree optimist. I no longer feel this way.

    For 6 years it’s “always” been “my” fault. I could always “do” better. Why don’t i this, why don’t i that. Guilted, berated, criticized, badgered, constantly interrogated. On and on for 6 years.

    Couple of years ago she physically rained hammerfists on my back because i was “ignoring” her feelings i.e. i was sick of her complaining about how i’m always in the wrong.

    She’s a Capricorn. Always blaming everyone else for her condition. I don’t wanna go into a lengthy diatribe but in the end I became her. I became verbally and emotionally abusive. I don’t resent her or judge her or blame her. I realize she is who she is. But it still doesn’t mean i have to take it. I’m a 43 year old good looking, selfless, simple laid back guy. I don’t HAVE to put up with anything I don’t.

    Tazchick, you truly want change? My opinion based on my experience: it would benefit you greatlly to seek out some aggressive counseling. That’s what MY therapist told her. Also, alot of it is your ego, your definitions and perspective on what is and how it should be. Learning to accept others without any bias etc. I could go on.

    But really, you truly want to know? It is very simple. Learn to LOVE. Not “love” but “LOVE”.
    Love for the sake of love. Not for your sake or anyone else’s.

    To everyone else. I know the majority of abusers seem to be men, but sometimes it happens to us to.

    I love you all. 🙂

  • Eli Damaskinos

    Oh man….Yes. You get it. Thank you! Staying silent has got to be the worst part of the abuse. F*ck i want to cry from the relief i feel at reading that. Thank you so much. We know this inside but refuse to admit it. Seeing someone else expressing the same feeling just helps lift that burden. I feel so damn guilty talking about it. As if i am talking bad about my ex gf and betraying her.

  • stefany

    I fully understand you, it is to bad that you had to go through such an insane situation. Most abusive narcissist will built you up, to a point were you can’t resist their charm and then try to control your every step. They will use your weakness against you to try to break you down. They criticize your very being. It is great that you are now moving past this. Keep reading about this, you are strong now and you’ll become so much stronger.

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  • Ataun

    Very wise words Thea Baker..

  • Thea

    Thank you Stefany…its been really hard to find my voice and explain how it was for me. It feels like now I can finally move on and heal xx

  • Thea

    Tamara I hope that you find peace and a way out and a new life. Thank you for your words, much love xx

  • Thea

    rt…you really do deserve so much better…you are worth so much more. I do hope for happier times for you. Thank you for sharing your story xx

  • Thea

    Thank you xx

  • rt

    Thank you Thea you words mean a lot to me.xo

  • B52

    “The ultimate get out of jail free card.”

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  • Kadija

    I’m still so hurt after my last relationship with my ex boyfriend, when I met him he was such a charmer, he did everything to make me happy for the first few weeks, than he started to change after he moved in with me as I have my own home, good job, I was the one giving and giving, he never had money to buy food, pay bills, he lied to me about everything, saying his ex wife had taken all his money and put him in debt and that all his salary were paying off loans and stuff.
    He knew everything about me but he speaks very little about himself, he blames everything that has ever happened to him on other people, lied about his exes cheating on him and taking all his money, I believed him as he was such a convincing guy, he would go to church and attend bible studies every week, I’m noIt a church goer. I supported him in everything he did, but I find that he is always putting me down.

    When I met him I was confident, after every single argument we had he would give me the silent treat ment for days and sometimes weeks, he started leaving me for weeks and months with no contact, when he would come back he would say how much he loved me and had missed me, I fell for everything as my confidence had gone, all I could see was my bf, until this day I’m still stuck with this mental abuse, it’s been 2 yrs since he left me, he’s moved on and seeing one of his ex and other woman from his workplace, I find it hard to trust anyone.
    Sometimes I convince myself that it’s my fault these things happened to me, that I wasn’t a good girlfriend, I don’t know what to think, I’m a beautiful person and very ambitious with a good job and my only wish is to be able to move on and forget this hurtful episode of my life…it’s been way too long and I still think of him each and everyday, sometimes I blame myself that I wasn’t caring or more loving… I don’t know…

  • Teresa Alvarez

    I’ve been married for 24 years. I relate to the stories here, all though the ignoring is for a day if I go to visit my family. He’ll tell his family that I’m out running around while he’s at home working in the yard. If he helps me in the house, and that’s only been less then 10 times in 24 years, he’ll make sure everyone know and make me feel bad. I cook great dinners, clean, iron, wash, help maintain him. He likes to get his family to laugh at me. He doesn’t let me rest, even though I have a full time job and pay the bills. If I sit down to watch a movie, he makes comment such as, I guess you’re so tired because you have to take care of all the kids. We don’t have children by the way. We could have, but he never tried.
    He’s a addict also.
    He puts my family down and tries to turn me against them.
    He likes to brag about the money I make to his family and then criticize my job at the same time. But yet, he benefits from it. He’s had a emotional affairs and a regular affair.
    He gets mad if I leave something in the way or some as little as him not being able to find his remote. If I give him money and need it back for bills, he’ll give me a hard time and emotionally work for it.
    He likes to flirt and have friends that are girls. He likes to have big trucks and fancy cowboy hats so he can stand out and get compliments all the while we are drowning in debt. He’s given a lot of our money away so that he can look good.
    The list goes on and on.
    I’m asking for a divorce this week.
    God , please give me the courage

  • Juha

    Emotional abuse and control can be a way more subtle than in your case. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Gil

    There’s always a dark side to people and being in a relationship mean having to experience it sometimes. I’m learning little by little to trust other people after living through a lot of pain, but I know if I let this pain dictate my life choices my darker side would be just as dark as the worst abuser. People are complex, sometimes scary. Not everyone copes well with social pressures, with the realisation of mortality, shortcomings, etc. Like Victor Hugo wrote, Love is helping another love him/herself. Some people love themselves so much already that all you’re gonna be around them is an annoyance, those people don’t deserve your love and affection. Some people hate themselves so much that it’s also extremely hard to make them love themselves. It can be painful, disapointing, it can hurt us. Between those two extremes is where we can find a middle ground of content satisfaction with ourselves, which is required for any relationship to be positively lasting for the two parties.

  • Ali0943

    I’ve been married 20 years and I’m finally going to ask for a divorce, I’m sooo nervous! I know what he’s going to say and it’s going to be ugly. hope I’m not making a mistake. I can’t believe I’m going to do it.

    Here are a few examples,

    Controlling: He keeps the controlling low key, he’ll give me the cold shoulder for a day if I go to see my family for the day, 60 miles away. He’ll call me at least 3 times asking when I’m on my way home. He told the therapist he doesn’t mind it if I’m gone while he’s working, not so.

    Verbal Abuse: He calls me lazy if I’m taking a moment to relax, he flies off the handle if I don’t answer his calls or if something is missing which should always be in it’s same place. He’s called me every name in the book. If he’s up and about working, I’m supposed to work with him and do my own housework. I never know who I am going to get from one moment to the next. It’s like living with Dr Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. He’ll be kind for days and then BAM! And then he’s nice again with in hours.

    Manipulative: He’ll be mean and then he’ll be really nice.

    He lies, he[‘s an addict, he’s had a emotional affair, and I can’t prove it 100% – but I’m pretty sure, a regular affair (he denies it to the end).

    Narcissist: He has to have the best trucks and hats. He likes to have women that are friends.

    He wants me to always be around him, catering to him. He doesn’t do anything for himself.

    He has broken all my deal breakers from the first time we separated. He cried and told me he was going to do everything I asked. He never did any of them. Rehab, therapy, getting rid of the one he had a affair with.

    The 1st time I left, he talked about suicide, that he’s going to over dose and he can’t live with out me. He’s admitted he’s co-dependent.

    The list goes on and on.

  • WhenToCallIt

    I feel I need some advice after reading this.
    My current partner and I are almost on two years and have lived together the whole time.
    Lately (month or so) I’ve felt frustrated, angry and like ending it. But at the same time I feel like I don’t have a reason to.
    But when I look back some things shock me. He’s gotten drunk and high (weed) and punched holes in the wall, threatened to beat his dad. He’s gotten angry at me for talking to an old male friend about catching up. He flew off in front of his best mate about me going in the car with a mutual friend and work colleague rather than both of us driving (and in this one he told me to shut the f#@? up, c#@? And shut up B#?@!)
    Then other times he’s loving, talks about marriage etc. I don’t know what to do.

  • Thea

    It’s so easy to accept the blame and believe it’s always your fault. But please know that someone else’s bad behaviour is their problem and their responsibility, not yours. Stay strong and true to you xx.

  • Thea

    thank for you reading it xx.

  • Thea

    It sounds like you have found your way out of some difficult times…I love that you are finding your way to trust again. That still scares me…trust is such a precious thing and once you have been broken it’s so very hard to see things the way that you used to. Wishing you the very best for your future. xx.

  • Thea

    I hope that you find your brave and get your divorce…20 years is a long time to break free from but I know that you will be better off on the other side. I so hope that you have supportive people around you to help and carry you through the tough days…break the silence and stay strong and safe xx.

  • Natasha Sutherland

    Do you have any idea the hurt you have caused his children by reading these words. They are just getting over losing their dad and you have brought it all back with ugly disgusting words. Unlike you, who moved onto another man in less than 4 months after Charles’s tragic death, his children are still mourning. Stop being so selfish and self centred. Charles isn’t here to defend himself and there are always two sides to a story, and I believe that most of your side is pure fiction, I must say, you do have a good imagination.
    Maybe your kids need a get out of jail free card from the monster that is their mother!!!
    Hurts doesn’t it!

  • foreverforeign

    Hi Thea! I feel you. I was in the same situation as yours for a long time in my previous marriage. I stayed because I was hoping he would change, that I could make it work. But you can’t make people change unless they want to, and in staying in the relationship trying to fix things, you end up losing yourself and the joy of life. I recently created a new post along the same lines to help women see more clearly when they are being emotionally abused:

  • Ali0943

    Thank you Thea. I don’t know why I’m so scared to say the words “I’m done, i can’t live like this anymore and I’m moving out”. It was on the tip of my tounge yesterday after he yelled at me and hung up the phone. I said it out lod and rehearsed it. When he got home, he was in a cheery mood, like did nothing wrong. I stood there, silent, nothing came out of my mouth! I made dinner and that was the end of the night. What is wrong with me???!!!

  • Ali0943

    Yes, my whole family is cheering me on and my close friends.
    Thank you again Thea!

  • Kirk

    I think we are really watering down the word “abuse” at this point. Everything is “abuse”. Any behaviors that we dont like are caste as abuse so that we can claim the coveted “victim” status. This, in and of itself, has become a sort of emotional “check-mate”. The first person to portray their mate’s behavior as abuse, and themselves as hapless, powerless, victims, wins.

    Real abuse consists of beatings, starvation, intimidation, and/or possibly on the less extreme side..verbal abuse. In the above article, the wife says she wasn’t ‘allowed to open the door to other men if her husband wasnt in the house’….ah, thats not abuse, its called safety. Not wanting your wife to be chatting and flirting with other men while wearing a bathing suite at a pool is pretty common husband behavior. Men dont like to be disrespected by their spouse, we’re just silly like that I guess. Most men would object to that. ABUSE?? No. You cant just change the word abuse to mean whatever you dont like or whatever makes you, personally, feel bad. Abuse is defined by the abuser’s actions, not the interpretation of the alleged victim.

  • CC

    You’ve obviously never been emotionally abused by someone. It’s insidious because you don’t have the bruises or wounds to ‘prove’ it. I suggest you listen to people’s stories, men and woman, who have been emotionally and verbally abused.

    This has nothing to do with being a ‘victim’ and ‘claiming’ abuse. If you don’t have any experience with something, please stop explaining to everyone else something that you don’t understand.

    Having s husband that doesn’t want you flirting? I really can’t even come down to the logic you are employing, it’s nonsense. You haven’t a clue.

  • CC

    Yeah, it’s really hard. My abuser is friends with some of my friends. But not talking about it is killing me. And it’s not like we had disagreements and I want tone resentful and mean. He controlled my money to the point I’m flat broke and had to move in with relatives. He made me scared in my own apartment….he would break my possessions and threaten to throw them on the street, he lied all the time. Stole my food and my other roommates food. These people intimidate you until you are too afraid to say it out loud. I’m afraid that no one will believe me. I’m embarrassed someone as smart as me let it happen. But not speaking about it is killing me.

  • William

    Kirk – total and utter nonsense, and this is coming me from me, a male. You try to make out that the person receiving the abuse, and there are many posts, including the OP, who don;t refer to themselves as victims. Your nonsensical argument therefore falls flat. Secondly, the definition if abuse can be physical but can also be “use something for bad effect… or purpose” – exactly as happened in this situation. So the majority of English dictionaries are also wrong? Forgive me, but in this century, should we not allow women the opportunity to choose who to open the door to rather than giving them orders? As for ‘wearing a bathing suit’, you’ve just taken the words and twist them to mean what you want them to mean, so it suits your delusion idea of life in general.

    And then you cap it off nicely – “Abuse is defined by the abuser’s actions” – so your very definition of abuse is that the person must be an abuser to behave like this, so one equals the other, therefore contradicting your argument that the victim is wring in their interpretation. If you honestly feel the OP’s outline is right, and the countless people who have commented that this has happened to them too is not abuse, then what is it? Normal life (says you). I pity your life and that of any women that dares to be with you. By the sound of it, ignorance, and not your life, is bliss…

  • belinda

    I think the point you are missing Kirk is that she wasn’t “allowed” to. She is a grown woman – not a child, no one can allow, or disallow, her to do anything. A husband is a life partner, not a boss. Of course no spouse wants to be cheated on, but you don’t get to control their actions to ensure that doesn’t happen – you build a trust filled relationship together and work to ensure you both stay happy and loyal.
    If he was worried that they lived in an unsafe area and that it was risky for her to answer the door then he is well within his rights to express that and buy a security door – but to decide she isn’t allowed to open the door is a different matter entirely. She, as an adult, is allowed to open the door to whomever she feels safe opening the door to – postman, avon lady, his mates, stranger. Did he actually think she was at risk of attack from people coming to their door?? or did he not trust her to not stay his???? based on the other things she was and wasn’t allowed to do I am going to presume that it was much more about controlling who she was in contact with so they she would stay his – and that is an issue – that is control, that is possessive, that is not about respecting your partner.
    And there are multiple kinds of abuse – physical, sexual, verbal, and emotional. None of them are okay. Emotional abuse, as outlined in this blog post, is actually illegal in some places (and should be in all). you are right that abuse is defined by an abusers actions – and to control and manipulate someone is emotional abuse. And the tricky thing with emotional and verbal abuse is that the individual events can all be rationalised away, which makes it very hard for the object of the control/abuse to recognise what is happening, and then to make others see it. He was trying to keep her safe by telling her not answer the door… rationalised. But this is about a pattern of behaviour, the purpose of which was to control her.
    Finding a spouse is about building a partnership together for mutual happiness – it is not an arrangement where one person gets to possess and control another person. If the actions of your spouse are making you feel disrespected, or upset, or you worry about their safety, have an adult conversation about it and hopefully the two of you can reach some understanding, but no-one gets to dis/allow another’s behaviour.

  • Natasha Sutherland

    Thank you for deleting my comment Thea, just goes to show that you have something to hide. Truth hurts especially when you have been caught out in a lie.

  • Rachel

    I remember reading your comment and was so glad the website moderator took it down. It was truly nasty. Suggesting her kids would be better off if she died??

    I really hope no one you love ends up in a relationship with someone so controlling/manipulative/protective as this author had to endure, and then has to put up with people calling them a liar.
    Sadly, i suppose, every single abuser has people doing that for them… congrats on fulfilling that role so nastily

  • Natasha Sutherland

    What Thea wrote was truly nasty, her deceased husbands children read those words that she wrote about their father. I wasn’t suggesting her kids would be better off if she died, I was merely stating exactly what she wrote to make her understand how hurtful her words were!
    How do you even know what she is writing is true? You don’t know the full story and you don’t have to see the faces of her deceased husbands children every day. I cant believe that you think it good that my post was removed because you thought it was nasty, did you actually read Theas? At least Thea is still here to comment and stick up for herself, unfortunately, Charles isn’t!!

  • Rachel

    Did i read the article we are in the comments section of?? Yes, i did…

    I didn’t live with them to see their relationship – but did you? Even kids living in a house don’t always recognise a parent being abused, so how can you be so sure it’s not true??

    Are these adult children, or children children? It’s sad that his kids are finding this news so hard to cope with, but i assume its never pleasant to hear that news about someone you love, and whether he has died or not this would have come out at some point. My father’s dad was abusive towards my grandmother. Dad didn’t learn about it until after his father died. It wasn’t pleasant news, but he came to realise that it explained a lot, especially about his mother and also his relationship with his father, and he studied and learnt a lot to make sure he wasn’t going to be the same guy his dad was – which he isn’t.

    I am sorry his kids are hurting.
    I am not sure that demanding women keep quiet about their experiences, or calling them a liar though is the beat way for us as a society to protect and teach each other

  • CC

    I am really at a loss over what her children have to do with anything.

    We should not expect people to hide or bury the truth because it might upset children, parents, cousins, friend, etc.

    That you are suggesting someone do this is why people continue to suffer from abusive situations long after they get out.

  • Brenda Smithson

    You are amazing Natasha is only because you have demonstrated how ridiculous you really are. By your argument, anyone who does anything wrong, and then dies, in fact gets (to use Thea’s words) the Ultimate Get Out of Jail Free card – for you think that anything they did wrong in their life is then automatically forgotten and should be swept under the carpet. Should we do that with child molesters, murderers – everyone pretend it never happened? What Thea wrote was the truth as she saw it – not nasty. You may not like it but tough! Think about the fact his kids don’t have to live with this for the rest of their life when Thea lived it for years. And then you compare her kids dying to ‘hurtful words’ – you really have no idea and come across as pea-brained and ignorant. Do you think if Charles (if that is actually who it is as I can see Thea never actually named him – you will silly enough to) was here this would be out? No, you would continue to live in bliss and never know Charles was a shockingly awful person who treated his wife appallingly but because she put on a brave face for the sake of the kids everything was nice! Thea wasn’t caught out in a lie – why would she you silly girl? Your argument is totally flawed and you come across and head in the sand mentality, failing to actually grasp anything. Read the many other supportive comments – and then yours.

  • Natasha Sutherland

    Righto, I’m ridiculous and ignorant!
    How do you know that her words are the truth?
    His kids knew their dad, and lived with him a lot longer than Thea ever did.
    You say that Thea lived with it for years, do you know that they were married for under 1 year before he died?
    Like I said, there are two sides to every story and its easy to embellish and lie when the other person is no longer here.
    He may not have been a saint but he was by no means the monster that Thea portrayed him to be.
    My argument is not flawed and you can think of me whatever you like, because like Theas story, you will never know the actual truth, especially if you believe everything you read.

  • Brenda Smithson

    I don’t know her words are the truth – but what she says rings many bells for me, and obviously many others but apparently you know better. I was not aware how long they were married but I suspect they probably lived together beforehand, and indeed were engaged for a period of time too – I doubt it all happened in a single day, or maybe that happens in your life!

    And kids and wives are so totally different you cannot compare the two – bringing up kids compared to marrying as an adult? Another ridiculous argument. You did not live with him either so you frankly know nothing other than a misguided loyalty and a refusal to look at what’s been written and perhaps try and understand why. How about another example of you being ridiculous? I apparently believe everything I read. Well, I don’t. I happen to believe what Thea has said – it resonated. I don’t believe your little rants – is that simple enough for you?

  • Natasha Sutherland

    Hahaha okay, you can suspect whatever you want, that doesn’t mean its the truth or right.
    Just so you know, I live with one of his children, so I have seen a lot of things that missed Theas story. For the past year I have lived with seeing the pain and struggle of someone tragically losing a parent, I have seen the hurt of the lies and promises Thea made, and now these awful words bringing more hurt.
    But that’s okay, you live in your little bubble and believe whatever you want, that’s your right.
    Just like its my right to stand up for what I believe.

  • LovenoLimit

    ~shut you out…ignore your needs, threaten you in any way, call you “crazy” or “overly sensitive” and “insecure” when you dare to raise your worries and concerns, and/or blames you for their reactions. I too experienced this with my last relationship and I remember telling my friend some months ago….”this is a form of abuse. I never felt threatened or feared him physically, but hs behavior, all that I described is 1st class emotional abuse. And whenever I brought it up, the blame always fell on me. It even made me second guess myself.

  • LovenoLimit

    He does show signs of personality disorder. Either narcissistic or bipolar or both. I recognized it a while ago. I remember mentioning it to my fried. He’s became highly irritatble amd moody with me. But once again, I 2nd guess myself. Because he seems so well put together. He carries himself and talks and behave with such poise that you’d think, no ways its him. It must be me

  • LovenoLimit

    I’m a 42 and also an Aquarius. I’m selfless, caring, giving and considerate. Overall very simple and laid back. Not at all hard to please. Far from needy and very self sufficient. I was dealing with someone who made me feel like I was wrong for asking for the basic things in a relationship…sex, time spent, a date hear and there. And he would act Like I was asking for the world. He even made me 2nd guess myself.

  • fed up with the hate

    I have ben wondering whether to respond to this for a few days, but I have been following Thea’s lead of not engaging with the torrent of hate she has received from his friends and family since speaking out, but I feel I need to say one simple thing –
    the people who know Thea believe her, because we have watched her journey of realisation and of processing this, and not everyone was actually surprised by the revelation – many people actually had concerns about the things they could see happening in this relationship.
    Yes, that is hard to reconcile with the image others who loved this man had of him, but it always is when these things come out.

  • Fe

    Thank you for sharing that. It is really really helpful to read that. Ive been going through a similar relationship for the last 6 months.
    Nothing violent, but just words and nasty comments all the time. The person trying to control you, saying what you can and cannot do. I’ve always been very independent, but for some reason i am incapable of getting out of this.
    He acts super charming around everyone, and i come across as the crazy person when i tell people.
    It’s getting completely out of hand, when i just wanna cry everyday because i dont have the courage to get out, bcs of the feeling that maybe i deserve it.
    Anyway, just wanted to thank you for sharing that and having the courage to write this. 🙂

  • Thea

    You’re so right foreverforeign…you can’t force anyone to change and you can’t make it work alone. Thank you for reading and sharing xx.

  • Thea

    thank you xx.

  • Thea

    Always blaming yourself, always second guessing yourself, doubting and walking on egg-shells waiting for the next time. It’s a place I never want to go again and hope you never will either xx.

  • Thea

    Thank you Fe – and I’m so sorry that you are suffering too…I hope you have people around you that you feel you can open up to, I know that feels impossible at times. Wishing you hope and brighter future. xx.

  • Thea

    It’s the way it’s done and I have no useful answers…I only wish I did. I just know how hard it is and can imagine how much you are struggling. Be strong and stay safe. xx.

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  • malesurvivor

    thank you. as a man who has only recently started to recognize the emotional abuse I experienced at the hands of my female partner, this piece really touched my heart. the shame and guilt I felt for not “being a man” was so profound that I stayed in something so unloving for 7 years of my life. And I only got out by attaching myself to another woman who I met through work who showed me that I was worth something. That relationship has ended as well, mutually, and I’m happy for that as well as its existence, but I feel a similar shame that I had to have someone else pull me out from something instead of being able to do it myself.

  • Thea

    Thank you so much for sharing your story – and I’m sorry you’ve had such a difficult time. Someone wise recently said to me that it doesn’t really matter in the big picture that I wasn’t able to deal with the situation myself – the universe intervened and I was saved from a truly awful future. When I feel the shame and embarrassment of not getting out myself that’s what I try to cling to. Does it really matter that we’re free…or is it just better that we are? Wishing you a truly happy future xx.

  • lightofmine

    I remember when I knew something was not right. But I was so broken psychologically i didn’t have the strength to do much. Being a stay at home mom with no car and not much regular interaction with other adults with the awful projection & hypercritical jabs etc wears on you even when you know what is being said is not true at all. Eventually in some ways you start to believe it and you break. I went from a strong independent woman to living out of the spare room in our home. He has also been unemployed 7x the past 2 years & it gets worse at home every time. Nothing to do with his day? No money coming in? Not good.
    Slowly I picked myself back up enough to say “ok what the heck am I dealing with here?!” I made a list of all the characteristics associated with my husbands irrational and irratic behavior. It didn’t take me very long to find a title for that list. Every single characteristic matched. He is an extreme narcissist. I stopped reacting to his nonsense & lies and he hated that! Stomping around a fuming ranting under his breath but he would leave me and our son alone for a few hours after that. I thought perfect, I can get my ducks in a row with my free time so we can get out of here! Well after a month or so of me actually getting dressed for the day and showering and brushing my hair, regaining self worth and confidence, along with not giving him fuel by not reacting he deemed me no longer useful. Then starting going into wild rampages of throwing & breaking stuff in the house kicking locked doors in, baracading exits, telling our son very inappropriate things. Didn’t respond. Then threatening divorce & saying he would get full custody as I am an unfit mother and am on drugs and a drunk… which scares me due to his constant projection & I noticed signs months ago that he was possibly using something.
    Left yesterday with a suitcase, a tote of valuables & our 3 year old. It’s gonna be a rough one but the sparkle in our child’s eyes when we are away from him is another reminder of why this is so important. My husband is crushes his beautiful soul. I will not let him be harmed another second.

  • Thea

    Oh my gosh you brave lady…well done! I hope you are safe and whatever challenges you may face, know in your heart that you have absolutely done the right thing. Stay strong. xx.

  • Growingstrong

    Thanks Thea for sharing your story.
    I have just ended a relationship with an emotionally unstable man. We had the most amazing year after we first met, travelled overseas and had beautiful romantic holidays. I saw red flags at the start but continued on. He would read my text messages, go through my phone, remove male friends from Facebook, tell me not to go to after work drinks, tell me to be home from a work function by 9pm, call me to see where I was, request snap chats etc etc. we had an amazing soul connection so I continued on. We moved in together and then things got worse. He’d tell me that cleaning the house was a woman’s job, call me lazy and slobby if I left things around. He compared me to his mother on every occasion he could. He’d insult me, dismiss my education and qualifications, tell me my parents raised me wrong etc etc. I felt controlled, lost my free spirit, forgot who I truly was and felt like I was just living in his shadow. I started getting depressed and reached to him to for help. I gave no compassion or empathy. He became violent, would push me around, hold my throat against the kitchen cupboards. I’d beg for him to stop but he had no self control. I reached out to his mum but she told me everything was my fault and I caused it all. I took a beach with family, found the courage and left. It taught me lol internally and connect with the live within, respect myself, set boundaries and to not rush love.

  • Merryl Key

    Thanks for your clear account of the violence underpinning verbal abuse . Intimidation, entitlement and ostracism are tools to destroy your sense of self, your human rights, your basic functions. Congratulations on reclaiming your power and clarity of who you are. ❤️❤️❤️ keep connecting and healing ❤️

  • Merryl Key

    Google The cycle of Abuse (as an image), Lenora Walker. Good To Know! Honeymoon phase is always followed by build up and explosion, then repeats, eventually downgrading and drip-feeding the honeymoon and pursuit stage. Result (and aim of perpetrator) is isolation, low self esteem, fear and confusion for those targetted in the cycle. It is essentially terrorism. Donald Trump is doing text-book ‘cycle of abuse’. Honeymoon – all the promises; Pursuit – threats and grand claims – denial of previous behaviour; Build up of tension – tweets in capital letters, personal attacks; Explosion: mad rants, emotional immaturity, blame, refusal to take accountability.