Examples of Verbal Abuse Early In A Relationship

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 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!

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.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.

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 self-doubt, there is no way to control the victim.

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.

Societally 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 also find Kellie Jo Holly on her website, Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

*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.

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100 Responses to Examples of Verbal Abuse Early In A Relationship

  1. John says:

    What about husbands being abused?
    I recently told my wife that I think it would be best for her to go get a job.
    For the past 6 months she has been a stay at home mom. I’ve seen her stress levels rise tremendously during that time. We have a 2 year old and one on the way.
    She has said in the past that she would not be able to be stay home for her own sanity.

    Granted, I know and understand 2 year olds can be a handful.
    She is doing a amazing job raising him, for that I’am greatful.

    Her response to getting a job was this:

    I think it’s best you get a real job

    Me: I have a real job

    Me: Don’t be rude

    Making 10 dollars an hr to babysit is not a real job
    No future!

    Me: I’m in the police academy

    that doesn’t mean you’re a police officer

    Me: No… But means I’m working hard to get there.

    That’s why most ppl with sense who work at XXXX are women bringing in a second family invome, young people going through school who end up leaving when they’re
    finished or losers
    Who have no ambition

    Me: so I’m a loser?

    Idk; I’m not seeing a lot of ambition

    Me: I’m in the police academy working my butt off on the side

    If you were working hard you would have found a real job and left peace already


    That’s how I’m treated all the time. I work with the mentally challenge. I’m really individuals with high behaviors, autism, Down syndrome, tramatic brain injury, etc.
    I enjoy doing it. I have coached special Olympics and have been really involved with help youth. I know I need something better to support my family. That’s why I’m in the police academy. I’m almost done! This job allows me to work and be able to be in the police academy. I work 80 hours a week and spend as much time as I can with my family. My son is my world.

    My wife is always putting me down, attacking me, belittling me.
    I’m not the perfect person. I have not been the perfect person in my response to her. I have sworn and have called her names due to the lack of words to communicate, and being frustrated and hurt.

    I have never reached out for help, but I don’t know if I can take much more of this.

  2. Tortured says:

    I’m married to a verbal abuser. She berates, humiliates, distorts, and puts me down regularly. She thought it was funny one time — during a camping trip with friends — to punch me as hard as she could after I fell asleep. Family and friends, including her friends, have told me the behavior is awful but they encourage me to “hang in there.”

    Her abuse is much worse than anything on your list, some of which I’d classify more as abrasive than abusive (ex: concerns about overspending). I earn well into six figures but I’m a “loser, unsuccessful, and worthless.” I am “old, fat, and unattractive.” I am “stupid, an underachiever, and have no friends.” I “do nothing around the house,” a charge that’s leveled while I’m cooking, cleaning, and returning with groceries. Her time is at least “ten-times more valuable” than mine.

    She is a “stay at home mom” despite that our child is in elementary school and after-care, and I work full-time. I usually drop off and pick up our child, though sometimes I refuse when she tells people that I don’t, which she does frequently. She undermines me, openly and actively encouraging our child to disrespect me, by doing things like telling her I’m picking when I tell the child not to hold her arms outside the car because it’s dangerous. When I told the then six-year old she could not sit in the front seat, which is legal in our state tough discouraged, it was also “picking:” the child was openly told to ignore me. I spent the day in hell today because the parking lot at our local farmer’s market was full, which was my fault.

    I’m writing because I came across something useful though. She once secretly turned on a tape recorder, after hours of put-down’s — when I responded — to show me how awful I am. But I realized I could do the same, for entire arguments, starting at the beginning. That quickly built a crystal-clear record (after decking and berating me in front of friends and family it probably wasn’t necessary but always a good idea to keep a record), and helped put things into perspective. It also sometimes keeps her from escalating, though only sometimes. I’d strongly recommend those on the receiving end of verbal abuse keep a smartphone with a voice recorder, or a regular recorder around, and don’t hesitate to put it in plain sight: you’d be amazed what it does.

    Finally one clarification from your article: petty bickering isn’t necessarily verbal abuse and making a charge of verbal abuse can itself be verbally abusive if it’s used to demand compliance. That is, disagreeing with the abuser is not “abusive”. Some of your complaints, especially defining concerns about “nickel and dime spending,” sound like they may fall into that category. Couple need to constructively work through frustration if a relationship has a chance of surviving: that isn’t abuse. Making impossible demands, putting one another down, working to purposefully embarrass and/or humiliate or degredate, belittling, hurling demonstrably false accusations, involving third parties for the purpose of humiliating, holding hostage (threatening to fly off the handle unless the abused does as told), those are abuse. Most abusers know what they are; just last night she half jokingly told friends she is out of control, but they can’t or won’t stop. It’s their problem, but they make it ours, and our children. I strongly encourage anybody facing genuine verbal abuse to seek professional help.

  3. Yes, petty bickering in a healthy relationship does happen. Some of the statements could be taken as petty if it weren’t for the ammunition behind them. For example, “You’re nickle and dime-ing us to death!” in my relationship meant other things, too. It meant, “You are untrustworthy” “You lie to me about money” “You don’t know how to manage money” “You would never make it in the real world”- all statements that collectively let me know that I am not as responsible/capable/etc. as him (they diminish me). And of course, all of those statements were made both as clear and calm “constructive criticisms” and as hateful shouts. Repeatedly. Boiled down together, his statement of “You’re nickel and dime-ing us to death!” brought up ALL other connected statements and hit me as hard as all the others combined.

    It was not a petty statement in my relationship.

    I’m sure you’ve read how physical violence (grabbing, blocking, punching, burning, etc.) happens less frequently than verbal/emotional abuse even in relationships that have been previously violent. This is because once the punch has landed, it takes much less to keep the victim in line in the future. So, in an emotionally/verbally abusive relationship, the “punch” is the initial insult and the “pettiness” is the reminder of it.

    I hope I explained that well.

    I cannot define verbal abuse for you. You cannot define it for me, either. I know the intricacies of my relationship better than any outsider, so I am the one who knows “genuine” verbal abuse in my relationship. It is a bad idea to tell others that their situation IS NOT abusive because it doesn’t meet your standards of outward signs. It is in the emotions and mind of the individual to decide if they are abused. So when my ex told me that he was the one abused, I didn’t argue with him. If he wanted to throw that out there as bait, so be it. He could reel it back in because I wasn’t gonna bite.

  4. Pedro says:

    Hello I am in the same situation as John and Tortured
    She is sweet in public, even has a sweet voice, but at home She tells me that I am wasting oxigen and that I should kill myself, She is a stay home alone since the kids are at school and the food She prepares is terrible, and the lies, she makes them on the fly.

  5. saddestgirl says:

    My bf will make me cry, then say , ” You’re crying AGAIN?!”"What a p###y.”"Stop being such a baby.” I’ve tried really hard not to ask for comfort. It’s like I’m not allowed to cry.

  6. C B says:

    My boyfriend is verbally abusive. He tells me I’m white trash. He tells me I’m a cunt. He tells me that I’m not his equal and don’t have any right to any opinions in his house. He tells me that I have nothing to be proud of. He calls my daughter my “fuck” trophy. He says the most awful things.

    What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just leave him?

  7. worthless girl says:

    I get the money issue of how come we have money for the trip when we never have money. Today as a matter of fact I didn’t call him during my lunch. (I wanted quiet time). When I text him I was out of work he said “oh there you are” or if it takes me longer to get home what took you so long. He made me download an app so can see where I am all the time. I can’t go out with the girls. I really don’t have friends. I go to work and home. I feel like I’m in prison. I have called him a warden. I don’t talk to him about work because he doesn’t care. I have asked for a divorce but he said no. I feel trapped. I used to go to a therapist but he would ask me why I still go. You that bad, what’s wrong with you. I tell him it is because of you. I ask him to go with me and he wouldn’t. I am miserable and don’t know what to do. I have had to get rid of friends on Facebook because he didn’t like them because of there comments. I can’t talk to anyone on the phone or by txt message because he needs to know what they are saying. The kids see it all and don’t like how he treats me. One is a teen the other two are adults. I can’t take to my male classmates from high school because they are men. Really I haven’t seen them in years. If I could go back in time I wouldn’t have married him. Oh and I have been going to college and he gives me a hard time about me doing my homework and makes remarks about bettering myself.

  8. Christine says:

    I’ve been having a really hard time with my husband lately and I think I’m being abused, but like you were talking about, I’m really confused. I have a physical illness that limits the amount of walking that I can do and it causes me a great deal of pain at times. My husband told me this week that my illness was making his life bad. We aren’t able to spend very much time together, which is mainly due to the fact that he refuses to do anything with me that I am able to. We either have to walk around the entire city or “I can just stay home”. When I have painful flare ups he doesn’t even look up from what he’s doing, he just gets angry ,throws up his hands and shouts me “what!” in an agitated voice.

    My husband tells me what I should do for the day before he leaves for work, and if I am not able to get all of it accomplished, or accomplished to his specifications, he gets very angry when he comes home. He greets me with a mumbled hello and then circles the house looking for something out of place. I am terrified to leave the house looking like I live in it.

    If I do something wrong, he likes to ask me if I’m stupid. Here are two examples from this week: I brought what I thought was his water from the kitchen to his bedside. I do this every night because he expects it. He had been cooking and had put some sugar water in a glass, and this is what I brought him not knowing that there was sugar in it. He said, “are you stupid? have you ever seen me drink water?” without explaining anything. I kept asking “what?” “why?” and he just kept saying “are you stupid?”. I got really upset and told him that I don’t like it when he asks if I’m stupid, I told him it’s an unnecessary question. He told me I was understanding it wrong. How can that question be taken as anything other than a belittlement of my intelligence for a simple, innocent mistake? This is the first example. The second one happened today. He called me this morning, but the connection was bad. All I heard was “call the post office,” which I did. When I later called him back for more clarification, he said “were you drunk? are you stupid? I just told you to get the mail”. This seriously pissed me off. I don’t drink and he knows that, much less at 11 in the morning.

    We were doing really well for a few weeks and this started up. It starts up, and then he back off and then it all starts up again. I’m angry, frustrated, hurt and confused. Am I being abused?

  9. Andrea says:

    I think my sister is being very verbally abusive to her husband. She yells and screams at him constantly, flies off the handle at the smallest “infraction.” She calls him a moron, says she can’t believe she’s married to him, that he’s worthless and does nothing for them, and the slightest thing can set her off. Like if he forgets to make their kids a smoothie or iron his clothes the night before something important the next day. I’m getting really tired of her calling me to do nothing but complain about him. She can be really horrible to us too. If my life isn’t going exactly as she thinks it should be, then I have a problem and I should fix it and live like she does. I’m worried about her kids living with this, and her husband. She threatens to leave him and then he gets upset and artificially modifies his behavior for awhile to placate her, but it never lasts long. I was in a very bad physically, verbally, and financially abusive marriage that I finally left, so I think I know how her husband feels. She is very controlling. She doesn’t think he should do anything he enjoys, like playing golf once a month with his father, because his time would be better spent volunteering, being with the family, etc. She rips on anyone else she knows that doesn’t live the perfect life she does, and HER being tired or HER having to work somehow is far more extreme than anyone else’s could be. If I were to tell her something she didn’t want to hear, she would hang up on me and not speak to me for a long time, and come up with a complete list of my personal faults and failings as a reason to discount anything I say. I’ve told her therapy would be best for both of them, and she used to say no to that, but recently said she’d try it, but hasn’t yet.

  10. JJ says:

    Great site. Thank you.
    My ex husband was verbally and emotionally abusive. I left him twenty years ago. During the divorce he came to the house with a gun. My dog saved my life that day.
    He was NEVER physically violent before that day. Don’t kid yourselves about sudden escalation.
    I remarried years later after being together for several years. I thought I’d been smart by taking time before getting married. I was wrong. I am finally recognizing that I’ve been emotionally and verbally abused since we moved into the same house five years ago. Even with couples therapy (second attempt, different therapist), it’s getting worse. Reality is uncomfortable but I have to accept it.
    My first husband killed himself recently. Something about that event brought me clarity about my current situation.
    Thank you for this site and the room for people to tell the truth. Sometimes seeing your own story is a powerful catalyst for change.

  11. cy zielinski says:

    My granddaughter attends a public college and did play basketball for her college last year as a freshman. There is a new coach this year and he went through the dorm and introduced himself. He then scheduled an open gym for the girls through one of the captains with a text message. In the text he told the captain to have my granddaughter were more appropriate shorts to the open gym. The relationship between m granddaughter and the coach has not been good since culminating when she asked him why he was so mean and disrespectful to her. His reply was basically I treat you like a whore because you present yourself as a whore. Needles to say she will not play for him. My question is, is this a form of abuse or harassment? And for the record she is a beautiful young lady both physically and as a person facing many of the issues young women face. She does not however believe in intimacy without commitment.

  12. Harassment is abuse, so the answer to your question is that the coach is committing both offenses.

  13. JJ says:

    My husband of 8 yrs is verbally abusive, he blows up at the slightest thing I say or do wrong in his mind. He is straight left brained, an engineer, I am right brained with left here and there. When he blows he likes to remind me I am stupid, can’t remember anything he has even called horrible names. When he blows he goes on and on like a pit bull attack, he repeats himself, brings up any and all old things I have done wrong (In his mind )he yells at the top of his lung and nothing can stop him, he just yells through me. People think he is so nice, I come from a complete different arena, no yelling and no name calling. I am to ashamed to tell family and friends from the sate I came from, they would hate him and want me to come home. I am 61 and have not worked for 9 years, so could not support myself. I also have 10 horses and 3 cats and live 2500 miles from my home town. I use to be independent and had very keen senses, I have lost those special gifts, I have lost myself. I HATE him. He has no remorse what so ever when he hurts me. He has NEVER ONCE said I am sorry for anything to me. When he is off shore and says I love you I just ignore him. We have not had sex for 2.5 yrs, he says because of his prostrate, he has no desire and it is not me, he says I am beautiful. But I came home and found him beating off to sluts on the internet and the yelled at me for coming into our office. Then he came in and told me it was my fault, I took to long to come. Well I should have said it is because you know nothing about foreplay. So he turned on me and then yelled. I am walking on eggs when he is home. My dr said I need to try and get stress free because my health is suffering, I could have a stoke or heart attack any time because of inflammation, well I never had health problems before living with him, after a yr he is impossible to live with. I even told him I hope he kills me from abuse and he will have to live with that forever.
    I am at the point when he introduces me as his wife, I want to say in name only and/ or I am his slave/ maid with out benefits. I want to hurt him in the worst way. I tell him in his tirades that I hate him, does not bother him. I am stuck. I tell him he is a sick $&#% he just says in a condescending voiceRIGHTTTT……..I have told he needs help but he thinks I am the nutty stupid one. I was a teacher for 20 yrs, I taught high school kids with behavioral problems, then I go and marry one. I am stuck and frustrated to no end.

  14. jane henson says:

    My sister is newly wed and married an ex army man and he is right now emotionally abusing her and in my opinion has always been a bit like this when she met him.This ones clever though because he is doing thre abusing yet he turns it around to make out he is the victim .She in turn thinks he has only changed since he had an op (one of many ) to his ankle which he has to use a walking stick but he has lots of issues from before he met her to do with his ex wife leaving him, plus he has issues over his parents divorcing and joined the army at 16 but he shows signs of Narcissistic traits and im worried for my sisters sanity because he has also did a psychology course (something he did but don’t know the reason) and he is using this when he texts so very clever and cunning .He isn’t clode toany family he has (siblings as parents both dead) even though his siblings love him (they are half siblings has his father had a few marriages and affairs)He wasn’t as bad when she met him 4 yrs ago but he was very insecure and not very trusting but he has gotten worse and he says the most nastiest disgusting things to my sis and demeans her and she doesn’t know when he is going to be like that but anything can trigger him ..its more complicated than this but its too long to type .All I know is she is an emotional wreck and he wont go to relate as he doesn’t think he has a problem but all that he does to her he will say its her doing it to him and he plays the victim..he is also very childish and wants her all to his self but isn’t very loving ,has ridiculed their sex life and blames her .I am here when she needs to talk but I can see he is trying to distance her from her family but she really does know he is abusive but she makes excuses that its since he had his op but no one should have to put up with that

  15. JeanXR says:

    My ex would NEVER have said any of those vile things! He saw The Vagina Monologues with a former girlfriend. He had lived in a hippie commune and knew all about feminism. He would never call his girlfriend a whore.

    Instead he would frequently ask me if I’d slept with this person or that person.

    He would never call me fat.

    Instead he asked me angrily if I was pregnant, and insisted on seeing my stomach.

    He would never call me ugly.

    Instead, he would criticise my clothes “just being honest/for your own good” till my body dysmorphia (which he knew about) came back in full flood.

    He would never criticise what I did in bed.

    Instead, he stopped doing anything at all in bed, because he knew I enjoyed sex.

    I think we need to understand that these things are just as harmful, and come from the same place, as the more obvious verbal abuse.

  16. caged butterf'y says:

    Verbal has led to physical. Nothing more chilling than sensing when a big strapping man is going to attack you. I’m not scared of anything, know how to defend myself and was brought up to believe no man raises a hand to a women. The man I met 20 years ago is not the same man. He’s been through stuff that you couldn’t write and has given up, drinks, takes drugs and rolls in looking for a fight because its always my fault, I frustrate him and I’m disgusting. This was the scenario last time. He came in said nothing, I made no eye contact, hoping he’d just go to bed, but then said he was going to take the kids to the shop. I told him no way, your wrecked and drunk. He stood in the doorway just screwing for about 5 minutes then said to my eldest “take the kids to the shop, I wanna talk to your mum” I knew I was for it. He went into the kitchen, I heard him sniff a line of coke, he came back in, lunged for me grabbed me by the arms and threw me at the front door, he came at me, pulled me out of the way, opened the door and tried to push me out. I got away and ran to the phone, dialled 999 and threw it behind the TV, I threw my self to the floor and just kicked and punched for my life, once he realised the police were on the phone, he backed off and I stayed on the phone with the operator, they came and he actually thought they would take his side, they wanted to arrest him but I just wanted him out of the house. I ended up with a black eyes, dislocated shoulder, kick and punch marks but I survived, he’s out, it was me that had all the power all the time. I feel for him and have been there for him through so much but enough, he’s still really angry mainly because I’m not in the gutter, I can keep a roof over my children’s heads and protect them. I’m not a count I’m not lazy, disgusting, a flirt, or a slag. Now he really has lost everything. Tough

  17. Carla Schwartz says:

    Christine, yes you’re being abused. He is not a child. You’re not a maid or his mother. He can get his own glass of water. You’re a partner and a wife who deserves respect and understanding. It sounds like you have an invisible illnesses. Take your husband to the doctor with you and maybe both of you should get support for this.

    John, Do what you love and you will be successful. I admire you. Your wife should be more supportive in your climb to your top.

    Just one person’s opinion :)

  18. Nervous Girl says:

    My husband is verbally abusive. He has such a short fuse, it’s ridiculous. He has hacked into my email many times because he doesn’t want me talking to anyone about our situation. He even read emails fro my mother BEFORE I even saw them. He goes on rants but can never take responsibility when he gets caught. It is MY fault for talking to her. He is such a lovely individual when we are around family or in public, no one would have any idea what I live with at home. I thought for a while that it was indeed me but then we went to couples therapy and within 30 seconds of him opening his mouth, the therapist called him out for his anger. Needless to say, 3 sessions in the therapy ended because the therapist was an “idiot”. I knew then it was not me. We were recently at a family gathering and after we left a few family members commented to my mom that my daughter & I were awfully quiet. That is when my mom told them a little of the situation we live with. The one thing I have a hard time with is GUILT! I know what I need to do for my daughter & I but the fear is paralyzing at times. I just cannot imagine my daughter having to spend time alone with him when he is like this. I could just cry. To top it off, we lost my dad to Cancer early 2014. It has been hard dealing with that and not having any emotional support at home.

    I really wish this sick feeling in my stomach would go away, but I think it is here to stay.

  19. V says:

    Me and my (at the time I am writing this) ex have been on and off for almost a decade. We have 2 children together. I had left him years ago mainly because he liked to drink and hung around people who drank. We were separated for a few years before we decided that it might work (he had stopped drinking during the time we were separated). The first few months were fine, then he started nit picking, questioning my faith (I’m Christian, he’s Atheist) by asking questions, that weren’t really questions, like “how can someone as smart as you believe in something so stupid?” and asking about “holes” he found in my belief system. He had trouble landing a permanent job at first, and I had found one before he did. First he was happy that I was working, making plans to find a place (with my less than minimum wage salary) and he made plans to stay at home and be with the kids, which I wouldn’t be able to afford. After a while, my carpal tunnel set in, so I resigned.
    A few months later, he got a job. Now that he had his job, the “rules” changed. We had been planning to get married almost immediately after we reconciled, but we wanted financial stability first. When we first were back together, he said that he didn’t care whether I worked or not because he knew that the kids needed me. I had been collecting welfare during the separation, and continued afterward, because I had financial responsibilities that I couldn’t neglect. Now that he was working (in a secure job), his rule was that we couldn’t live together until I had a job too (which has been very hard for me to find), and that we couldn’t get married until we lived together (which I had told him from the beginning that I didn’t want to do because it went against my convictions). Also, welfare didn’t like that he was working without financially supporting, so they garnished his wages. i tried my best to stop welfare, but they said that it was “ex’s” duty to pay, and would not stop the garnishments until we were married or under the same roof.
    These last few years that we’ve been together, he’s lived with his parents, and I with mine. He’d come over every weekend, and my mother seeing this has wanted him to come over less and less. Both his mother, and mine have voiced their opinion to me that he seems happy, and too comfortable, with this living arrangement. After he had been working for a few months, he started hanging out more with his new friends, I didn’t mind. Then I found him scrolling through some videos he had taken on his phone from one of his trips (which he said was just the guys – which was one of the reasons why I wasn’t invited) had a young woman firing off a gun (they were at a shooting range). So, I looked at his phone while he was asleep, and found that he had several videos of him with his guy buddies, and a couple with just that woman in particular, mainly her talking, smiling, and shooting that gun at a rock. When I asked him about it, he said that one of his buddies had a crush on her, but she was engaged, so he was keeping those videos to text to him. I told him “fine, can you text it and delete it now, so we can have more room for our kids’ pictures?” He threw a small fit, saying that I was soooo insecure and how could I be jealous. Eventually, he deleted it, but not without making me feel guilty about it first.
    A few months later, I got a seasonal job. It was Christmas Eve, and it was almost my last day of working. I had hoped that it would be a permanent job, so I had done my best to outwork myself at a chance to keep the job. Of course, with my mind on work, I wasn’t around my phone. And I couldn’t work on the floor with my phone around anyway. He had come to pick me up to go to my Mom’s for Christmas Eve. She had been planning the dinner for a few weeks. When he picked me up, he said “What the f&%?! Don’t you ever answer the f&%#ing phone?? I can’t believe you!!” I explained that I was working and couldn’t answer my phone, he responded “Plans changed. We’re going to mom’s tonight. We’ll have dinner at your mom’s tomorrow”.
    The whole way back to my mom’s house (that’s where our kids and all my stuff was) he was yelling at me, telling me that he was going to take the kids to his mom’s without me “And forget about getting married! This is Bulls#!t! If you want to get married, then you need to start cooperating” He said. I felt so guilty, I lied to my mom about why I was crying and told her that it was because the manager had yelled at me, so I could leave with him and be with my kids on Christmas Eve. I feel so ashamed now that I didn’t say anything at the time, but who wants to fight on Christmas? And of course the confusion of him being so nice most of the time, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around these “episodes”.
    This last year, he tried to change plans at the last minute again, but this time, I told his mom ahead of time that we couldn’t make it, and she understood.
    Recently, I gave permission to a family member to claim one of my kids on their taxes, since this person has been such a great help, they told me that the tax money they got, they would give me to put on a down for a car (which is a big reason for why I have a hard time finding work outside of the city I live in). I was so excited, I told “ex” this news. He was totally against it. I was surprised. “Ex” always claimed the kids at tax time, always saying “we’ll get married with this money” or “I’ll find a place or buy a car with this money.” just to make deals with other people and spend the money on everything but what he’s promised. When I told him, he said “Nooo wayyy! This relative is not claiming because I worked all year and you didn’t! You don’t deserve this money anyway!” It was hard for me to tell him that I had already given this relative permission. When I finally told him, I didn’t want to keep any secrets, he was so irate. He texted me later that day saying “You make me sick!” “I can’t believe you!” “You are such a liar, I can’t trust you. Forget about getting married now!” When I reminded him that I told him what I was planning to do, but he wouldn’t hear, so I didn’t know what to say, he said “I can’t trust you anymore. Why did you do this? You’re just a lazy welfare mom who won’t get off your ass and do something with your life! I can’t be with someone as lazy as you!” (I’m currently taking care of my two kids, going to school, and looking for permanent work).
    This breaks my heart. I feel guilty for not having told him everything, but I was afraid of the reaction that I got anyway. Now we’re not together, and he says it’s all my fault, and somewhere in my soul is a scared little girl who wondered if it was her fault.

  20. lizzie says:

    for the past few years he comes and goes as he pleases sometimes days he comes home and ill ask what happen were happen why didnt you call me so i dont worry I was helping xxxxx.just like that as if ok. Im burning inside my throught hurts cause im sucking it all up just to avoid an argument. I really dont know how to react with him if i cry he says there u go again thats why i leave. He gets real loud and if i try saying anything such a simple idea he gets word comes out my mouth and about a thousand out of his he uses reverse physiology i am aware.
    Im tired of being home all day every day. Ill walk to the store to buy milk whats taking me so long am i meeting neighbor has 3boys the youngest just turned 18. He is friends with my son. And one day my husband seen me talking to him and since then he says there’s something going on with us im tired of him acusing me of everything and all the name calling im stupid for still loving him and hopeing for a change. I believed im on denial he wont change.even both times he was in hospital for a week i was beside him day and night and he treated me like shit.thats not love and i know.but im trying to be strong im working on it. If he changes on time well good but if not i dont see me living this way. Oh by the way i wish i can go shopping of have fun waste money on myself but i can’t not without taking care of bills and rent so i can’t.but why and how do they get so careless. He just got his sad to say but his im broke cause bills are payed and he gives me money to put away.leaves comes back asking me for the money saying he missplaced his card bull shit i checked his account and $5 must be nice to spend $4000 on your self in less than 2days yes in the casino. All i ask is for god to make me strong and allow me to move on.cause i dont need this im always alone Anyways. I have no one to talk to so its hard for me to even stop now. Love is not supposed to hurt. And i do plan on leaving this world feeling loved. So babe get your shit together or it wont be you.

  21. Ann says:

    I think I’m in a verbally abusive relationship.I have been married for 13 yrs. And it’s always the husband is critical of everything I do.He says it’s because he is more knowledgable about things than Iam.He is constantly upset with me,and telling me how I come up short.He works very hard at his job and says he expects the same of me.I am a mother of three great kids and do everything for them.Yet my husband tells me constantly how they should be cared for etc.When I speak up he tells me I talk too loud,he blames anything negative about our life on my depression.Im miserable and scared I have no money,no job and he reminds of this whenever I threaten to leave.He says he will also keep the kids.Im terrified to leave,if I do my kids will have to go through a divorce and I can’t bear to hurt them.

  22. Two time loser says:

    I am so sad to see so many in the same boat. I was married to an abuser the first time around(including physical which ended that relationship) I never thought it would happen again. I remarried to what I thought was a nor mal guy. He swept me off my feet, told me he understood all that I went through, and he would never hurt me. Well….this one is so verbally
    abusive, I would rather be hit. Always when I think things are going well, he blows. I honestly think he
    can’t stand it when things are peaceful. I am no
    angel, but I have learned from years of therapy to
    be accountable for me. He says the most awful
    things to me when he is angry. Everything is my
    fault. I pushed the buttons, I made him mad, I
    say and do stupid things, I’m crazy, my feelings
    are stupid, and if I cry he says “poor, pitiful me”.
    He also says now he understands what my ex
    went through and feels sorry for him. Wow! We
    went to therapy for a year together, and when it
    came time for him to go alone, that was done. He
    says he is fine, there is nothing wrong with him.
    All me. Our fights are fewer, but when they
    happen these are the things he says, over and
    over. I’m 46 now and am so worn out. I do feel
    crazy, and so hurt. Each fight takes more and
    more effort to get over. Just like everyone else
    has said, he is wonderful to others and his co-
    workers. I get the crap thats left over.

  23. Becky says:

    Nervous girl.. I know exactly what you are talking about. My husband has his whole family thinking that he is the loving, caring, misunderstood husband and I am the selfish, disrespectful, unappreciative wife. He is so very good at being who he needs to be in any situation. At home he is different. He has completely changed recently to something very scary. He is calm and conniving. And conts to repeat that he loves me and is following God and is here for me and isn’t going anywhere. That he knows I’m dealing with demons and hurting…. Over things I have done that he has made up in his head!! He is delusional and believes God is answering his prayers.. He believes God has shown him that something happened. (Long story short. His friend of 25 yrs came to visit and he accused us of sleeping together and has this elaborate story made up about it in his head ) He refuses to get help because there is nothing wrong with him it’s me…. He hopes that my therapy starts helping me to see that he only loves me…. I have been dealing with verbal abuse for almost 18 years. But didn’t realize it until about 5 years ago. This change in his behavior the last week has me very worried…. He has always gone through this cycle of being extra nice after outburst but this is so different. He is saying things that he has never said before.. I’m actually pretty freaked out. I have s therapy session tomorrow and will mention it to him to see what he thinks.

  24. Check out the book How To Keep People From Pushing Your Buttons. In short, abusers know how to push your buttons to get what they want. This book will help you regain control of your emotions and your actions that follow them.

  25. My sons, now ages 18 and 21, both tell me they wished I’d left their father long before I did. When I left, they were about 13 and 16. Yes, your kids will experience the divorce, but it will be much more painful for you than it w-ll be for them. Kids are really really really really intelligent about these things. Plus, the sooner you get out into the workforce, the sooner you’ll have the income you need to support your family (meaning your kids and you).

  26. Angel Perez says:

    In my case the person that is abusive is his mom. Every two weeks she is coming to the house and when he is not present insults me and make insinuations about that I’m old, fat, even though that she used to live with someone with out been marry she is making moral comments about me. She is trying to make me think that I’m crazy. She says that north american woman does not take care of the house like the woman in her Country do. She is telling lies about me to other people causing others to say bad things to me and even insult me. She also tells my mom that I have to respect her just because she is older than I. I told my husband what was going on . He told me to ignore it. The problem is that she is constantly offending and if I say something to defend my self she says that I’m disrespecting her because I’m answering back. She says that I just had to accept her because I’m now part of the family. I ask my husband to look for help and he told me that is not necessary because she will leave soon. She is form Bolivia and came with a tourist visa. I don’t know how long she can stay but she came in October. The problem is that they have been talking about she staying in the Country. I have been really stressed and could not sleep in the last nights. I think that we really need help, because he can not see how much this is hurting me. He says that he will not invite her to the house anymore and then 2 weeks later he is bringing her home again. She feels empowered and continue doing the same. She even talk about our house like is her house and her garden. She changes things on my decoration and throw my things to the trash. She is always criticizing my cleaning. And she is making me feel bad about my self. I don’t know what to do. He is a good man and I love him but I’m not happy anymore. Is there a line or some help that we can receive? I don’t want him to stop having a relation with his mom but her mistreatment is making me sick. I can see that he is confuse about what to do because is his mom and he loves her and he love me. He does not want to say to her not to come anymore, but, honestly, I don’t see how the relation can survive with her.

  27. Becky says:

    He has been on this kick of telling me that he loves me, no one else has ever loved me. I have never loved before. I don’t know what love is. all the hostility that my kids show toward him is somehow my fault. Everything is my fault..

  28. Angel, I think it is best that you and your husband reach out to a therapist, counselor or clergy-member for support. Your husband’s mother controls him and he is having a very hard time setting boundaries with her. You are having a hard time setting boundaries, too. But when the abuser is your mother-in-law, the two of you (husband and wife) must come together to find a solution.

    It seems like you love each other. YOu need to protect that love. Couples counseling WILL work in a situation like this.

  29. Lisa says:

    I’ve always been the dominant one in my relationships because I’m a strong woman. After a while that gets old. It earned me a divorce and now I truly want an equal relationship. I’ve been in a relationship for the past 2 years that is the polar opposite. While at first I thought this mans dominance was sexy ands attractive now I know its far from attractive. My boyfriend was abused verbally as a child and grew up in a traditional Mexican family where his father was the supreme leader. His mother passes when he was 8 so there was a lot of nurturing and love he missed out on there. I see him treating me the way his father treated him as a child. It makes me hurt for him and now for myself as I’m the punching bag. I’m a strong and independent woman who has friends and family, I know I’m likeable and loveable too. Even still I’ve let this man break me down for things that don’t require the anger he’s unleashing on me. Yes there has been some physical abuse here too but its the words that hurt me the most. More and more he’s comfortable with telling me to “shut the *uck up” and last night told me he hates me. I don’t want to live a life like this and I’m proud of myself for taking the high road and not name calling back. Some words can’t be taken back and it kills me the way they reverberate in my brain. Of course I get apologies and then I feel better. Things may start to improve but then something happens that brings me right back down to that low place. I’m 32 years old and I’d really like to have a husband again and maybe even a family. Why am I trapping myself here and how can I love a man that picks at the core of my insecurities? I’m sabotaging myself and I don’t know how to stop it. I’m so embarrassed for what I’ve allowed and tolerated.

  30. He should be embarrassed, not you. Strong, competent, and educated men/women become victims of abuse all the time. Those qualities do not matter one lick when it comes to domestic violence and abuse. Abusers use their “alternate personality” to attract and keep you. For me, soon after I accepted that I fell in love with my ex-husband’s MASK instead of who he was, I felt stronger and stopped blaming myself for falling into the fricking trap.

    If you were walking thru the woods and fell into a hole that you could not have detected because an expert trap-maker built it, would you blame yourself? Or would you try to get out of the trap?

    Focus on getting out of the trap. It is much more useful than thinking you were stupid for falling into it. <3

    P.S. You're still a strong woman. Leaving him is going to make you even stronger.

  31. Keri Nicholls says:

    After 3 court cases, numerous arrests, community service and fines, injunctions lasting 2 years, threats from the judge of 5 years in prison, here is a rough guide to my past 24 hours.

    Yesterday 11am – long note thrown at my door begging forgiveness for many things – abusing me, accusing me, insulting me, being unfair, betraying my confidence, belittling me, wasting my time, not valuing me as a woman, hurting me and my family, disappointing me. Remember that last one, it’s important.

    Apparently I don’t know how much he loves me (that would be my fault then?), and, with all of his heart, he sincerely begged my forgiveness.

    Now that all sounds just lovely. But what it is, is a list that proves he knows exactly what he has done / is doing, although his list is selective to say the least.

    2 hours after the “love letter”, I get a text message. Remember that last one begging forgiveness for how much he has disappointed me? Said text went on to tell me that I would always be disappointed because I am a f***g ball breaker that has made his life impossible and that his efforts to please me have nearly killed him because I am never satisfied with anything because I am a stuck up superior bitch.

    I did not respond to any of it, never do.

    The rest of the day passed in silence, until 11.30pm. Phone call (drunk). I answer them, otherwise it will go on forever until I do. I don’t change my number because 1. Why the hell should I and 2. because I at least have the prior warning and security of knowing when he is about to kick off again. The surprise attacks were too much to bear. This way, I can follow the pattern and prepare accordingly. 3. I got a different phone for friends and family. the fear of never knowing when he was going to kick off was too much to bear and far worse.

    so, I answer, don’t listen to a word and immediately put the phone under the sofa cushion and let him rant at the upholstery. According to the call log, he lasted 27 minutes without a single sound from me. There were subsequently 13 missed calls. That goes on until 3.50am ( I put the phone on silent when I’m brave enough, but he’ll just keep on ringing till its answered anyway. Voicemail is disabled because I don’t want to hear any of it).

    I went to bed. But as we all know, you go to bed having checked all the locks, put the extra chain on the door, something to defend yourself with under the bed, phone fully charged, money, keys and handbag by your side and a huge glass of water to stave off the anxiety drought attack that thrives in your heavy breathing mouth. And with my heart pounding in my ears against the pillow, I listen out for every tiny sound, pray that my kitty will come home so that I can lock him in safely, and try to sleep.

    I wake at 7.05am to the sound of him tapping on my reinforced metal front gate. I lay there hyperventilating until he goes away at 7.30am.

    I get up, knowing that I have to go to the shop. Head aching badly, bloodshot eyes from tiredness, nausea and a few good thumping palpitations that make me catch my breath every now and then. I try to figure out when he is most likely to be busy. He does not work, only odd jobs. But he’s a pig, and always has a 2nd “proper breakfast” at 11am on the dot. I take a breathe, hold my keys with each one poking between my fingers, (weapons are illegal but I wont go down without a bloody good fight) and try to act like its a normal day. Head up, shoulders back, smile and walk with attitude. Off I go.

    No car. He wrecked that, along with my bank account. So I’m walking, not far, only 20 minutes all round. I think I’ve made it, then see him in the doorway of the bar, beer bottle stuck to his face, watching my every move. He raises the bottle to salute me with a smirk.

    I go home and try and carry on with my day, but I know I am doing mindless manic cleaning cleaning cleaning cleaning. I make it through till 6pm. my head aches so bad. I’m so tired. I sit down and try to eat. The food sticks like glue to my dry teeth and gets stuck half way down, trying to pass that hysteria golf ball that lives in my throat.

    Grab the cat and force him to cuddle with me for 10 minutes. Calm, gentle, soothing strokes, repeat, repeat, repeat, breathe. The cat quite likes it too!

    Then the tap tap tap on the gate starts again. I get up and close the windows and doors. I don’t look out. He cant see me. He screams out that I am a f…g whore. the neighbours hear it and do nothing. He goes away.

    7pm – he has a chat with my sofa again for 49 minutes. No idea what was said. I turn the tv up, chat on facebook with friends and family like normal. Any kind of distraction or normality. I feel sick, but manage not to vomit. Something hits the glass front door. I look out at the mucous running down the glass. Good shot. He has managed to spit and hit the door from approx. 4 metres.

    Cat is getting freaked out and stressed. I cuddle him a while till he insists on going out. I let him out and close the door with tears in my eyes. I never know if he’ll come home again.

    11pm – phone call. I hit the button and start to put it under the cushion but hear him screaming that I am a low life useless f…g whore. I know how the rest of it goes. I try to make a joke of it in my mind by repeating it in a stupid voice, along with the rest of the script. It works for a while.

    I take a shower. Quickly. Cant hear anything in the shower, so I rush. Cant blow dry my hair – dryer too noisy – I cant hear anything going on outside.

    Midnight and he’s back. Tap tap tap. “Oi,whore, I wanna talk to you. Get out here you ugly fat c…t.” I am a size 10. Well, I am now. He’s the best diet I’ve ever been on – 34 kilos off in 6 months. He cant see in. He cant get in. I sit and wait and turn the tv up a bit more.

    Tap tap tap. 2am. Tap tap tap. “please baby, I love you, forgive me, please”. He’s crying. Lots. I can see him hanging on to the gate, snotty, teary and dribbly, acting like he can barely stand up with the pain I am causing him (!!!?) Closely followed by “I don’t know why you do this to me all the time” And THAT really pisses me off. So I’m sitting here, writing this as a distraction, to a backdrop of tap tap tap, f…g whore and missed calls.

    I have approx. 24 hours more to go until he stops for another few weeks, if I’m lucky. Its normally a 3 day fiesta. The really interesting part of all this? I haven’t said a word to him or made any kind of contact for over 3 years. We split up 5 years ago. Are the police involved? Yeah. His best friend is the chief. Apparently, I need to try and see it from “his” point of view and be patient and understanding because HE is hurting from the break up.. Allllllllllllrighty then.

  32. Keri, I know you wrote that comment out of pain and frustration, but it is the best example of keeping your head on straight that I’ve seen in a LONG time. I identify with SO MANY of your feelings, but my abusive ex didn’t act 1/10th as horribly as yours.

    I figure you don’t move because you have a security gate where you are and, as you said, why the hell should you. But if you could just vanish to where he couldn’t find you… Do you ever think about it?

  33. Keri Nicholls says:

    Hi Kellie
    Your comment about me keeping my head straight was surprisingly affirming for me. I hadn’t realised how much I needed to hear that I was doing ok. I’m absolutely fine in my own company and am a real homebody. I have been since I was a child. I am rarely bored. So when he is yelling outside, I have all of my security measures in place, so I know for certain he cannot get in. That gives me a get out clause in the abuse because whilst I am indoors, I can view it as merely a very rude interruption in my otherwise happy day at home. I try to visualise it as rowdy children playing in the street. And lets face it, he must look a real plonker standing out there on his own, in the street, screaming at a closed door. Now that I am stronger I can often see the comedy in it. And the tragedy of his desperate dysfunction and lack of dignity. I am not a cold person at all, nor unkind. At times, it is still this exact humanitarian need to make it all better, to fix it, to help that pitiful pathetic creature, that can still pull at my ankles like quicksand. I acknowledge that I still, even now, can feel the pull of him, so I am vigilante with myself. Yes, I am still on red alert whilst he is around, and probably on amber the rest of the time and always will be until he is dead. (Thanks for the legacy!) But having done this for so long now, I made a conscious decision to stop trying to battle the law and waste my time in a constant state of outrage and frustration and hurt; and to just get on with my life the best I can and practice what I now call harm minimisation. I have rage days, when I allow myself to get really furious about the injustice of having to make allowances and changes because the justice system has failed me and because my financial status limits me in so many ways. Those days are REALLY good cleaning days when I turn the place upside down and have a good old bang crash and cry. But doing what I do now allows me to carry on and not become exhausted with it all. The 3 day fiestas are exhausting, more so if he catches me when I’m a bit low or stressed with other things. Then it takes a lot of mental control and effort to concentrate on carrying on with my life and not letting him grind me down.
    Financially it is impossible for me to move. He bled me dry, I am in debt up to my eyes now after his manipulating and borrowing. I will one day though. Its one of my goals that get me out of bed every day. I have a small terraced front garden but cannot use it really. It is bare. If I put pots and plants out there he will smash them or spray them with weed killer. So I’ve tried to make something positive out of it. I am now using my rear 4x3m utility gallery with its retractable glass ceiling. I am slowly turning it into an indoor garden patio and am growing plants in pots and recycled containers fixed to the wall, which I am painting in bright colour blocks behind each plant pot. Its really cool! Its amazing how much I’m enjoying creating it My life is by no means how I want it to be. All I am trying to do now is keep going, to reframe my victories, and come out a winner. I am very vigilante and mentally disciplined, but with periods of hyper-vigilence and of being totally neurotic. I was confused and befuddled and often suicidal for so long, for too long. That vulnerability frightens me. I work hard at taking care of myself psychologically. I watch help programmes and inspirational people on Youtube, such as Iyanla Vincente and I am a voracious reader. I am rebuilding my mind and information for me, is power.
    Seems like I’ve got a lot to say huh? lol. Maybe I need to get out more!!

  34. Keri Nicholls says:

    Hi Kellie and everyone
    I just wanted to update you, and also thank you for opening this page. You’ll see why…
    I read back to myself what I had written and was suddenly absolutely furious. I’m proud of myself for the way I’ve managed to carry on all these years and for staying in one piece. But I got really really mad. So, after I wrote my last entry, he turned up again ..tap tap tap oi whore…etc etc. I physically felt the “snap” of the last straw breaking. I called the emergency police number but this time I told them that the chief of police is a friend of his and that I was worried it would all just be made to “go away”. They were fantastic. He was arrested outside my house and taken away. He was crying and said shouted “I cant believe you’re doing this to me”. Incredible. Pure narcissist. I was in court the following morning (they do a “rapid hearing” here for domestic violence). He has been detained, no possibility of bail. I have to go for a trial in a few weeks, but my lawyer says that he will definitely get the 5 years in prison that he was threatened with before. So, Happy Days. I don’t feel guilty or sad. I feel free. And I’m off to the beach.

  35. Karen says:

    little confused My husband will get upset if I say something wrong he will say you could have said it like this and will give me an example this morning I had my glass case on the table my husbands is the same he opened it and said where is my glasses I said I do not know he got angry after he found them inside and said you did that on purpose. then he yelled at me about me not doing anything about his phone not working which I have sent emails to who we brought it off my husband became angry but he told me not to send it back until he had email with conformation I tried to explain this to him and he became angry and started to call me names I asked him not to abuse me and he said he wasn’t and became more angry more name calling I felt I had to leave the house until he went to work this is not the first time I have to leave. is this normal way of living Thanks Karen

  36. It is not a healthy way of living, that’s for sure. No, it isn’t “normal” either.

    Your confusion is a side-effect of the abuse. Abuse makes us less clear, less able to think past the confusion to address the abuse. The behavior you describe is CLASSIC abusive behavior.

    Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or (1-800-787-3224 if you’re hearing impaired). Their website is at and offers a chat service. Your husband abuses you, and you need the support and help that the hotline offers.

  37. Heather Zimmerman says:

    I’ve been with Tim 13 years. The first 2 years were quiet, after that, I seen the “other side” come out. A lot of the F word, a lot of him calling me “trailer trash” when he was in a nasty mood. His justification for it? “his dad was like that, he doesn’t mean to be an a**hole”. So, I finally figured out how to counteract it, and it worked. When he gets into one of his moods, and yes, I can see it coming, my first response is “stop the bulls**t right now. ” if he don’t, that’s when I take the car keys and leave the house. If it becomes a common occurance, I give my first warning, (I’m done, tired of your mouth). He then knows that he’s pushed me a bit far. I’ve already stayed at hotels, and not answered my phone for his calls. I’ve also learned what hurts him verbally, and I use it when necessary. So by now, 6 years gone by, and his verbal tirade has dramatically declined down to one incident a month instead of a daily ritual. Here we are at 13 years, and he’s down to one or two tirades a year. I already told him that he isn’t his father, no need to act like him. That stops him solid. I’m now the one in control, and no more anxiety or effects of any abuse.

  38. Becca says:

    Reading the comments of “Uselessgirl” was like reading snippets of my own story.
    Being told I didn’t do anything around the house, while cooking every night, doing all the laundry and cleaning, looking after the pets, changing the bedsheets, doing all our food shopping and holding down a full time job.
    He didn’t work for almost a year. Sitting at home playing computer all day.
    He never listened about work, what I did for a living, he would just belittle me and say I sat on my are in an office all day. I wasn’t allowed to wear much make up to work, if I looked too smart or pretty he would ask me who I was making the effort for, who I was trying to shag, that I was a dirty slut… if he hurt my feelings and I pointed this out I was over sensitive, he was only joking. But if he was upset, boy did you know it!! I had to cut friends out of my life and delete people from Facebook. He told me my family didn’t love me. That no one else would put up with me.
    He would never own up to or apologise for anything he did wrong, but would always turn it around on me and bring up something from the past that had, I thought, been dealt with.
    I am or was friends with most of my ex’s, who are now in other relationships, married and some have children. I am or was also friends with their new partners but all that had to stop as he thought it was “weird”
    Where I am from I have a lot of friends and maybe 60% are male but I was never allowed to talk to them. If I dared to go for a coffee with a male friend or colleague I was a cheater and a whore … if I could prove there was nothing in it from my side at least then I was naive and stupid to think men and women could just be friends. But he had female friends that was OK.
    I was liar, I spent money (I earned) on unecessary things ( I never bought new clothes or shoes it was all stuff for us. Except a plastic lunch box I bought to save money at work) I lived my mum more than him (well duh!)
    He would say I had ugly feet and weird fingers. He would give and take “points” away for good and bad behaviour like I was a 5 year old.
    I was “his”, he often said he owned me and would grab my bum and say “who’s is that”, if I didn’t answer him quick enough he would raise his voice and Stare at me “WHO’S IS THAT??”
    “Yours… ” I would say.
    Women weren’t allowed the remote control
    women should be seen and not heard… if I complained he was “only joking” and “did someone steal my sense of humour?”
    I am still seeing the effects of the mental and emotional abuse. I have zero confidence in myself even though I know deep down his comments were based in his own insecurities.

  39. bukie says:

    having read the article and comments, i do admit that i am verbally abusive towards my husband and i started this because that is the one thing that gets his attention – when i yell and scream and call him names.

    we have known for over 4 years but been married for less than 6 months and this trend began about 6 months into our relationship.

    i used to be a quiet person and really don’t believe in nagging over an issue before its addressed, but my husband gave me no choice.

    i discovered months into our relationship that i knew little or nothing about him because all he told me then and still tells me are lies. he lies over the most insignificant things and it is so frustrating. he never fully apologizes because that would be accepting responsibility…instead he shrugs things off by something stuff like “if you had minded your business you wont be hurting by now”… or “you are over reacting. i most have forgotten to mention it to u”… or “i’m not denying that you are right but i just cant remember telling you otherwise”.

    i’m so in love with this guy that i went ahead to marry him. i tried severally to end the relationship but he kept finding a way back, he told me recently that his life’s mission was to marry me and from the moment we started dating he knew he would marry him.

    i am a very open person and always quick to share with him even to my detriment and he says he loves me for my honesty; but i don’t get that same treatment from him. getting him to share the truth is a problem; he always intentionally omits something or out rightly tells lies.

    my verbal abuses towards him is the only i have been able to get him to take me seriously because he really hates to see me mad or say the things i say to him. i don’t like who i have become and have no peace in my heart. i love him but i’m also unhappy.

    what should someone like me do?

  40. My advice is to make a different choice. Read up on how to properly communication and stop using verbal abuse to manipulate him into doing what you want. But he’s not doing what you want, is he? He still lies and withdraws. So being ugly doesn’t do anything to help, does it?

    If he’s some kind of pathological liar, there will never be any truth. If he lies because he likes to see you work yourself up in a tizzy, then you’re going to end up with a heart attack.

    I think you need to get back to liking YOURSELF and maybe eventually realize that you just don’t like HIM all that much.

  41. ami says:

    I have to start facing up to how my life and personality has been shaped by a very dysfunctional relationship with my older brother (I live w/mom & him for financial reasons) I haven’t dated or want to for over 15 yrs because, I feel guys out there might be like him-even hearing his voice makes me feel crazy, act crazy- want to drink & smoke more. Continuing pattern of sleep and job performance/confidence being affected by home life. Every-time I want to think positive thoughts-& make positive chance- I get a wrench thrown in-disrupted. I just want to hide under the covers for 2 days.
    I think I am strong and can withstand it-then all at once I crumble. Even just hearing his voice-makes my brain go haywire-can’t concentrate. It is like some kind of post-traumatic/continuing thing. The only thing that helps so far is wearing ear-plugs-but I get very painful ear infections from wearing too long. I am socially isolated in the sense- I am around people at work-but it is a central thing that I have to hide-until I am well past it somehow in life and free of it.

  42. Norman Pike says:

    i couldn’t read all the comments. But the first example can go horribly a different way. When you say something that your partner purposely takes to mean something else to make it seem like you believe something else or to make it look like your being insulting or just so they can dismiss your thought as a bad idea
    , or a way to challenge your intelligence. And then no matter how many times you rephrase they find a way to lessen you. I never insulted the mother of my child but she founds ways to make me feel like i did over and over. It literally had me seek out a counselor and ask if i am delusional, or lieing to myself. My counselor confirmed that i was sane and that i was not lieing to myself. I was to broken though, and the second guessing never stopped. I finally had the courage to leave her. She threatened to sue me and within 5 months blackmailed me in to a relation ship by threatening to take away my son. Defeated i entered in to a 8 month systematic degradation . Wasn’t allowed to have my friends and lived in fear on a daily basis. I am 6 1 she is 4 11, this did not matter, her capability to hurt some one is gigantic. People should never under estimate verbal and emotional abuse

  43. Mel says:

    I am not sure what it is but i have been married for all my adult life. I was 20 when i got married to a man 10 years my senior. We have been married 13 years with one child a 5 year old boy.
    We worked overseas and saved some money, came back to our country coz we were not able to get residency in the US. Since back he invested our money in places that he would gather interest for the capital. This is a high risk investment. So before my son was bone we lost all our money and the final bit we had was stolen by his sister.
    Once my son was born I worked and am still working very hard today. He looked after our son and stayed home. I have provided very well for them we have a house and a car y son goes to privet school. I struggle to keep providing these things but he is never happy. He complains that he cant work coz he has to look after our son. Reality is he is really lazy. he never washes his dishes or tea cup. Never washes cloths. All he wants to do is go to the gym and expect me to take him on vacations.
    He wakes up late everyday. I wake up at 4.30 am in the morning to wash and dress my son and make his breakfast. then get ready to go to work its an hour and a half drive. he wakes up at 7.10 am the child needs to leave the house at 7.30 am. Today he complained that he can never use the bathroom to brush his teeth as i am in there getting ready for work. We have tow bathrooms. He got in to the car to drive my son to school and asked me where the key was. he drove it last and had not put it in the usual place where i looked. Then he gt annoyed and looked for it to find it in his pocket in the jeans he wore the last time we took the car out. Then when i asked if it was in his pocket he huffed and complained that i ask too many questions in the morning. If I ask him to wash his(the ones he ate in) dishes he tells me i do enough. If you cant do it leave it. I don’t need to do things the way you want. we have a maid, I pay he just like I pay for everything even loans taken by him and he cannot pay now. He is mean to the maid also. He got annoyed coz she filled the water cup but the lid was not on in a proper manner and a bit of water spilled. He has promised to buy lighting for our home and taken money from me yet never does it. Its been sop long wen I asks he says he just couldn’t get to it. even though he is free to do nothing all day. Please help me understand if i need t change myself of=r need to try and talk to him if so how do I go about it he is hostile if i try to talk about any of his lazy behavior.

  44. Ashli says:

    So I been with my bf for a little over a year. I didn’t notice the early signs. Things got worse. He would say some of the most horrible things, and lie all the time. I left and cheated and told him I did and I went back. He never changed . I can’t tell you how many times I have left him. And came back. He supposedly changed but still has certain,like tendencies. Like he was upset because I went to Hungry Howies one day while he was at work. I thought it was bc he wanted Hungry Howies. Son I brought him a delicious calzone. When he gets in the car he tosses it in.the back and I look at him and ask him, did u just throw that. He gets in and slams the crap out of the door. I started to cry hysterically,I couldn’t help it. It was like PTSD. Anyways his problem was that he just knew there were a bunch of men.working in hungry howies. When we were first together I was supposed to go anywhere bc there might be men. I wanted to love him and only him. I allowed him to lock me inside the house. One time I accidentally got too drunk with my neighbor upstairs, Ms.Gail, an older ladies and when he got home it was just Hell. He made me throw my clothes away, told me he didnt want no drunk b word. I mean I could go on and on about the messed up things he has done but why do I always come back? Really, why do I ?

  45. Julie Murchie says:

    I was brought up by a mentally ill mother. She had her 1st breakdown when my older brother was born. She had here 2nd breakdown when I was 5. I’m now 62. I was diagnosed by a trauma psychologist on Monday as having post traumatic stress disorder, caused by this.

    She tried to suicide twice. The 2nd time, I was home on school holidays. I was 8.

    She also hurt me emotionally, physically, psychologically, but I looked after her until the day she died. She developed dementia. & was in a nursing home.

    I was then working full time, bringing up my 2 little boys. My husband had left me for another woman. He had a 5 year affair before that.

    Any comments from anyone are welcome please.


    Julie Murchie

  46. Julie Murchie says:

    Currently, I’m still suffering with post traumatic stress, but my doberman and siamese cat seem to help me relax. I have inherited my mother’s genetic anxiety, but currently, am not suffering with genetic anxiety. I have anxiety though, brought on by post traumatic stress.

    My 2 adult sons (38 & 35), want nothing at all to do with me because I sometime suffer with anxiety. They seem to think I’m mentally unstable, which, of course, I am not and never have been. I have been called “sick in the head”, “get your mental health issues sorted out”, “you are seeing things which are not real”, and more, more.

    At the moment, except for post traumatic stress, I feel very well. My last episode of anxiety was last year. I became well on 28/12/2014. I am remaining well.

    I have been blocked from seeing my 2 grandchildren, 7 & 4, for no reason at all.

    Best wishes to you all out there

    Julie Murchie

  47. Emily says:

    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.

  48. 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.

  49. B says:

    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.

  50. 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.

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