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21 Big Signs of Emotional Abuse You May Be Overlooking

21 Big Signs Of Emotional Abuse You May Be Overlooking

Emotional abuse is extremely easy to overlook. Just take a look at these 21 signs of emotional abuse to see if you’re being abused instead of loved!

As humans, we’re not dumb. When someone opposes or oppresses us with emotional abuse, we’re always ready to strike back.

But what do you do when you’re manipulated just a little bit every day?

What do you do if you just don’t realize you’re being tricked and duped into abuse with sweet words of love?

What if your love for this person convinces you that you need to bend over backwards just to please them, even if that translates to emotional abuse?

[Read: 16 abusive relationship signs and traits of a devious lover]

Emotional abuse is easy to overlook

Reality and our interpretation of reality are completely different and subjective.

You would believe you’re being emotionally abused only if you convince yourself of that truth.

And until you see the truth for yourself, no one else can help you realize it.

It’s like the metaphorical boiling frog syndrome.

It’s been said that if you drop a frog in boiling water, it would jump out immediately. But if you place a frog in a pot of tepid water and start to boil the water very slowly, the frog would continue to stay in the pot of water until it boils to death.

Now this may be a metaphor to prove a cautionary tale about change and our inability to see the signs. But this story plays a big part in understanding your own relationship. [Read: 15 types of really toxic relationships you could be experiencing right now!]

Has your partner’s behavior changed?

In all the years that both of you have been together, do you think your partner’s behavior has changed over time?

If the change is gradual, and you choose not to see the changes, you may never ever realize it.

And even if you’re being emotionally abused, you may never see the signs.

Abuse in any form has to start somewhere. There’s a point in the relationship where your partner does something that mentally disturbs you, and yet, you choose to overlook it because of the love you have for them. [Read: The consequences of making someone a priority when you’re only an option to them]

And then, it happens again. And you still choose to overlook it. And finally, it reaches a point where you feel suffocated and weak, and don’t even know why you’re feeling so helpless.

What is emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse is any kind of psychological abuse that traumatizes a person’s mind or their state of being, forcing them to feel weak, traumatized and helpless.

You may feel moments of emotional abuse now and then in your own relationships with the people around you, be it with your parents, siblings, friends or even your romantic partner.

The easiest way to realize if you’re being abused by someone is if you feel weak and stressed around them. [Read: 10 types of toxic people who’ll make you feel weak and used]

Emotional abuse can change your life forever

A person would be able to understand the damage emotional abuse can cause to them only if they experience it. It’s easy for someone to tell an emotionally abused person to walk out of the relationship. But they would never be able to understand your state of mind, how helpless you feel or the emotional mess you’re in.

If you ever experience emotional abuse, you need to realize that you can ask for all the help from others, but unless you strengthen yourself from within, no one can ever help you change your life. [Read: How to stop selfish people from hurting you]

Don’t be ashamed of the abuse or the helplessness

Emotional abuse feels shameful and humiliating. It’s not easy to talk about it with others, especially when you believe it’s your own weakness that led to the abuse. But you need to remember that it wasn’t your weakness, but your unconditional love for this person, that led to it.

Emotional abuse isn’t restricted to either sex, nor is it restricted to a particular kind of relationship. So the first thing you need to remember is to stop feeling ashamed. [Read: How your self respect affects you and all the relationships you have]

The 21 big signs of emotional abuse that you may easily overlook

Emotional abuse always starts small, and it has to start somewhere. The easiest test to realize if you’re emotionally abused is by asking yourself if your partner’s behavior hurt you mentally. If it did, you need to talk about it with them.

After all, emotional abuse isn’t always inflicted on you to suppress you. Sometimes, emotional abuse could also stem from neglect and ignorance. [Read: How to improve communication in a relationship]

Use these 21 subtle signs of emotional abuse to find out if you’ve been pushed to the wall by your spouse, your boyfriend or your girlfriend. And if you do see these signs, perhaps it’s now time to start pushing back.

#1 You’re scared. Your partner’s behavior scares you. You’re afraid to ask for things or tell them something because you just don’t know how they would react.

#2 Incessant lectures. Your partner constantly tells you how you’re so flawed and how you still need to improve in so many ways. But instead of trying to help you, they point your flaws out and behave like you’re a lost cause who can’t be helped because you’re too weak or dumb. [Read: The power of words and how it can make or break your relationship]

#3 Painful comparisons. Your partner constantly compares you, either with your more prettier or successful friends, and tells you how much better than you they are. Your partner may even be subtle and point out to celebrities and tell you how they’re so much more attractive than you.

#4 Constant confusions. Your partner yells at you often. But when you try to argue back or prove that you’re right, they may even get down on their knees or humiliate themselves just to apologize to you and win your affection back.

#5 You get blamed for no fault. Your partner blames you for no fault of yours. They blame you for your friend’s behavior, for the way the kids are, your friend’s divorce, or just about anything else. Sometimes, your partner may even hear about something on the television and yell at you because they’re pissed off!

#6 Possessive jealousy. Your partner always has something negative to say about your friends, especially if they’re of the opposite sex. Your partner hates it when you get phone calls from your friends and sometimes even asks you to hang up the phone. They just don’t like it when you have an active social life. [Read: 15 subtle and shocking signs of a controlling boyfriend]

#7 Your self esteem is crippled. Your partner constantly tells you how bad or worthless you are, and gets angry with you because you’re always relying on them. But even when you try to do something yourself, they tell you you’re not capable of making decisions and make you feel dumb all the time.

#8 Two faced personality. Your partner’s behavior and attitude confuses you. At times, they may be extremely loving and caring. And at other times, they’re really mean and hurtful. You just can’t predict how they’ll react to anything you do.

#9 The sadist inside. Your partner feels better about themselves when they point out your flaws or criticize you. They may be more jovial or happy on days when you’re overworking or stressed because of your own mistakes.

#10 The humiliation. Your partner humiliates you or makes nasty remarks, especially around your friends or people who admire you.

#11 Big demands. They set unreasonable expectations and make big demands from you, secretly hoping you’d fail so they can say ‘I told you so!’ [Read: 18 critical signs of an unhealthy relationship]

#12 Sexual manipulation. Your partner emotionally manipulates you into sexual activities you don’t like. They may even emotionally armtwist you by saying things like “Other girls/guys do it! Why can’t you?”

#13 Big confessions. Your partner shares their problems with everyone who listens. But if you confess any of your problems, especially about the relationship, to your friends or family, your partner would get very upset with you.

#14 Turning everyone against you. This is a sneaky trick that emotionally abusive partners use to gain advantage and leave you feeling helpless. Your partner may constantly bitch about how difficult or dumb you are to everyone, including your friends, your family and even your kids. Your partner may even give biased examples just to convince everyone else and turn them against you so no one would take your side against theirs.

#15 The silent treatment. If you stand up for something or try to take control of the situation, your partner may walk away in a huff and give you the silent treatment. An emotionally abusive partner works on guilt, and they hate giving power away in a relationship. Your partner may just ignore you until you apologize for opposing their decision! [Read: How to perfect the silent treatment in a relationship]

#16 Physically abusive. Sometimes, your partner may resort to physical abuse like a slap, a painful pinch or even a threatening gesture just to scare you into submission when you oppose them for anything.

#17 You’re not allowed to think. Emotionally abusive lovers take pleasure in taking full control of the relationship. They’d manipulate you one step at a time until you lose all confidence in your judgment. You convince yourself that you are not capable of taking any decisions yourself, without your partner’s guidance. [Read: 25 memorable life lessons to perfect your life]

#18 Isolation and dependence. Initially, your partner may tell you they don’t like your friends or a particular family member. Soon, they may tell you to avoid that particular person. And before you realize it, your partner may carefully isolate you from everyone who was once close to you. And one fine day, you’d see that the only person you can go to for help or depend on is your partner.

#19 Emotional memories. Your partner constantly reminds you of all the times you’ve screwed up each time there’s an argument or a discussion. They constantly bring up your failures or the mistakes you’ve made in your life to reinforce the idea that you depend on your partner and can’t survive by yourself without their help and guidance in life. [Read: A guide to fighting fair in a relationship]

#20 Your achievements don’t matter. Your partner glorifies even the smallest of their achievements and proudly brags about it. But on the other hand, no matter what you achieve or do, your partner always mocks your achievements and makes you feel silly for celebrating it.

#21 Denial. Even when you point out their emotionally abusive ways, your partner doesn’t accept their emotionally abusive ways as a flaw. Instead, they convince themselves and try to convince you that they’re doing all this only to help you become a better person and stand on your own feet. [Read: How to fall out of love when you see no future with your partner]

Recognizing the subtle signs of emotional abuse

If you’re not sure what you’re going through is abuse, just look at yourself from another person’s perspective. Or ask yourself how you would feel if your sibling or your child was living your life. Would you be happy for them? Would you genuinely believe that they’re in the happiest relationship of their life or would you want them to walk out or get the strength to confront the issue?

If you see these signs in your own love life, you need to remember that the strength to overcome the abuse lies within you. All you need to do is believe in yourself, and take a firm stand. [Read: The right way to take a break in the relationship and improve both your lives]

It may seem like the hardest thing to do right now, but you’ll feel your strength and confidence seeping right back into you the very instant you put your foot down for the first time.

If you can’t deal with it yourself, get help from a family member or an organization for abused victims. But don’t just put up with it. After all, patience or unconditional love won’t change an emotionally abusive lover. Only a firm reply will!

[Read: 16 perfect ways to handle abusive behavior in a relationship]

These 21 signs of emotional abuse will help you decipher if you’re being abused and taken for granted in your love life. And if you do see these signs, speak about it with your lover or with a friend. It’ll be your first step towards a much better future!

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Natalia Avdeeva
Natalia Avdeeva
Natalia Avdeeva sometimes feels like she’s an 80-year-old woman trapped in a 29-year-old body. She loves buying makeup and ends up not wearing them most of th...
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47 thoughts on “21 Big Signs of Emotional Abuse You May Be Overlooking”

  1. Ben says:

    8, 9, 10, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20 — are all traits I recognise in *all* of my friends relationships. The news: it’s usually the girl doing it to the guy.

  2. claridad says:

    My situation is very similar to almost everything I just finish reading I’m confuse & don’t know exactly what to do I just decide that I’m going look for help but is not easy when theres kids involve But I’m still do it I see it as my happiness is my children happiness & right now I’m not happy Thank you so much for this tips it help me a lot Gbu always!

  3. L. says:

    When I was 19, I started dating a man who was 10 years older. I dated him for a little over a year. He fit every single one of these signs and crippled my self esteem at the time. I broke up with him when I decided that I would not put up with any more of his emotional abuse. Love and relationships should NOT make you feel worse than you ever felt in your life. I am now 24 and still working on my self esteem that he brought down, but now I’m achieving all of my dreams that he told me I never could accomplish. I also feel beautiful now, something he never would acknowledge or let me feel. I am so much stronger now, and if I was still with him I would be in a terrible place in my life. My advice for all you women is that you’ll thank yourself if not now, later in life when you choose to get out of the relationship as soon as possible. There are so many wonderful guys in the world, don’t waste your time on an emotionally abusive, cold hearted, jealous coward.

  4. anonymous says:

    I have been in a toxic relationship where my bf cut me off from all of my friends. I was only allowed to hang out with his friends. It then got to the point where I am a “bitch” his words and I embarrass him. I noticed this when I went back to college and as I go on through my semesters I feel more isolated than ever. Looking back 5 years when we started dating there were signs. Not being able to control. His temper and I looked pass it. A year into our relationship he had a dating profile on a dating site. And about a year after i found the daying site we got imto a confrontation where i walked away with a black eyeHowever since going back to school I have been feeling more empowered because it is myself who helps me to be the person I want to be. I would never say these last 5 years were a waste because without conflict you cannot grow. I just wish that when you love someone son much and when you would do anything for them that it doesn’t have to get to that point. My friend posted a funny video on fb about possessive significant others and my bf was like is that about me.,?? Why is that on your fb If I saw the subtle signs 5 years ago I could have been in a better situation today.but remember nothing is a waste every struggle can make or break you and I pray for our sakes….it makes us

  5. Telina says:

    My partner practically abused me. Cut of from everyone. I asked him from “Can I eat my dinner’ to “Can I go to the bathroom”. Got whipped when I didn’t obey. I’m the mouse, he’s the cat. He would use handcuffs on me while he toyed with my breast. I’m his play goodie. I depend on him. He controls me. P.S. He is my master.

  6. Lauren says:

    Hi everyone, im so glad I came across this website I have a situation and I DONT know what to do about it anymore …so here’s my story

    8 months ago today I found myself in a new relationship and he was everything and MORE, I could tell he actually liked me for ME. Which completely attracted me to him even more and he would
    never let me down …so fast forward 3months later I made a
    careless decision to put myself around a Guy that I had past
    relations with to smoke some pot, & my boyfriend really hated this Guy and I understand why but he found out and although NOTHING happpened between me and the Guy. My boyfriend really felt betrayed and this resulted in a BIG fall out. I felt so bad because I was being selfish to what I wanted at the time and ever since then I made a promise to put mu selfishness aside BUT ever since then he makes it completely known that his trust for me is gone he ALWAYS reminds me of my past and I know it’s not squeaky clean but he would say hurtful things at the most random times. So fast forward again to May(5 months) …times were hard and I was happy we made it, BUT since classes were over he would suggest I come over EVERYDAY and I would because when things are good they’re great no fighting. BUT then he would start to get mad about things or situations that happen in my past WAY before we even knew each other. Our fights started turning physical & he would throw me around and yell, I would always fight back usually leaving scratches all over him but he alwayss says he trying restrain me, and he said it would never happen again when I threaten to break up with him but I always took him back because I see the good in him other than the fights he treats me like a queen but Anywayssss large amount of $$ he spends on me he NEVER lets me forget it, FAST FORWARD AGAIN TO THIS MONTH ITS July and and things were okay except he really dislike my bff because he thinks shes a slut and she could care less bout him but on the 4 th of.
    July we came together and even tho I wanted to be just him and I my bff tagged along and w/ some drinks and smoke they got along and I loved it but what I thought ended on a good note DIDN’T ..in the midst of one of our arguments my bff stuck up for me on fb through statuses but admitted she STOLE $1OO from him…now I wad placed in this awkward situation and because of it my boyfriend told me I HAVE to choose, so I when I talked yo my bff abt it she admitted and then went online bashing me for staying w? Him so I then started to feel betrayed by her because how do I knoww she wouldn’t steal from me?! So me and her friendship is on a pause I tried to talk to her but she told me im being overdramatic so my family advised me to keeep my distance and be cordial AND surprisingly my boyfriend even stopped picking at me b/c most of the time he didn’t like me to be around her because she puts herself around guyss that only want sex BUT the fighting is slowly starting all over and. Not to mention he doesn’t like my mother b/c she has a stern judgment abt him

    BUT all in all I could go OJ alll day but I read these websites and its clear that he’s controlling but everytime I try to leave he alwayss brings me right back and emotionally I feeel depressed because I do nt have many people to turn to about my problems …I really really love this Guy even though I see the problems I just want things to changee


  7. Lands says:

    After reading the above it brought me to realize that I am in an abusive marriage…not physically but emotionally….I’ve been feeling really depressed and sad and have thought many times that if I could afford I’d rather be on my own…learn to want to live again…to me it doesn’t matter whether I live or die.
    I’ve been married 14 years and it hasn’t been easy…I raised my son with him since 14’mmit was very stressful as he was always picking on my son…he was very abusive to the extent where he would break windows…shout at us and his anger would terrify us….his teen daughter from a previous marriage came to live with us for a couple years…some nights he was so violent we took to the streets until he sobered up…then he stopped drinking…things got better but his anger outbursts didn’t stop….I don’t have any friends….it stopped because I always had excuses for them not to come over…I am always afraid he might have a temper flare and embarrass me…I don’t need to do anything wrong …he just gets agitated…you never dare have him wait if he wants anything…he flares if the kids are in the bathroom when he needs it….if anything breaks or goes wrong…like power outages….he is mean to me…shouts and complains….appliances that break is because we break them…not because of an expired lifetime….he gives me everything I need…materialistic…but I’m living like a hermit….I go to the supermarket and back…he’s not jealous..not overly so but has threatened that should I have an affair hel kill us both….and it’s without cause…I’m not the type….I’m not allowed to talk to anyone about domestic issues..not even my sister….hel get furious…I never did see it as abuse but from what I’ve read it sure is…so basically as long as I act along..never cross him…never have an irritated tone…nothing breaks…and make appointments to use the bathroom…it will be okay…my son is still living with us but doesn’t often sleep home…it’s only his daughter and she finishes high school next year…il be 51….haven’t worked in years he won’t allow it…..so see…I’m doomed….all alone with no way out

  8. robyn says:

    Ok i love this man but I just wrote down what applies to me and its scary 1 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21.. I knew there was somthing wring with us but this really shocked me …. what do I do!

  9. serena says:

    I know I need help. I am scared I feel so alone I used to smile and be able to laugh at my self. I have two kids and know one to turn to. I feel like a frailer in everything my life. I never thought in a million years my life would have turned out this way. that my only friends are the comment sections on line, I don’t talk to anyone anymore cause my husband will just find something about them he doesn’t like. I don’t know where to get help. how will I survive financially if he brings all the money home. everything is under his name… I feel like I am slowly withering away I am so embarrassed . anyways thanks for listening world

  10. dimple says:

    my guy is exactly like this. he doesnt like when i go out.. and he keeps calling me up. whenever m outdoors.. i feel stuck.
    i wnna brkup with him..but dont know how to….
    because he keeps threateng me..that he would hurt himself if i leave him.

  11. Taylor says:

    Does it have to apply to romantic relationships? Because the above outlines the relationship I had with my father and his wife, my stepmother.

  12. casey says:

    im so alone , 6 years i gave him everything my love my time my heart my everything , every single one of these listings i can look back and think “yup he did that and that and that etc.” i know i need help but im so alone hes all i got . my real dad left me and my mother i knew i could never trust a man because of him . i dont know what to do im so confused and hurt i need help plz :,( im breaking down this depression is making me want to shove a knife through my heart and end this depression :,( i blame no one but myself 🙁 the name calling he says to me the way he flios around my feelings or when im mad at him he flips it to where hes made at me and im on my knees begging god for forgiveness . idk what more i can take :,( HELP

  13. Monique says:

    I am married 10 years (1 Nov) I have 4 wonderfull kids princes (9), (6), (4) and princess (3).
    I just want to tell all of you out there!!

    this is hectic shit !

    It’s time to just feel a nothing about the person who abuse you and or your kids.
    it’s time to go to the police get a protect order for you (me) and my kids , and start planning your devorce!! this abuse will never end and it will go on to my kids and they will be abusive ( not because they want to but because this is what they learn and saw how the matters must be handled) .

    He almost killed me the other night, strangled me pulled my hair, threw me on the ground !! and all my kids are screaming and crying ! seeing what’s happening! What am I doing to my kids??? it is at this point that I want to kill myself and I’m thinking that it would be the easy way out! and then my kids don’t have to see this violent behaviour!

    But hell no!! I will not leave my children alone with this monster!!!

    Rather just get him out off my (our) lives!

    I got pregnant with my oldest boy and this is where it all started, He was just a few moths old and I was sitting on the bed. I can not remember what the reason was but he just pushed me into the bed and started to hurt me!

    It continued almost every second month. He will push me into the wall and press me hard against an obsticle. He will press me so hard that Iam brused blue, green, purple, yellow!!
    somedays I could not even walk cause my mussles are so sore. and then he will only say I am so sorry , everything got out of hand, this will never happen again. please forgive me.

    and what will I do?? forgive him and just go on with our lives .. What is my reason you ask? My kids!

    With every pregnancy after my first born. he would hit me while I’m pregnant. When I was pregnant with my Second child he took a belt , I was lying in bed. He then took the belt and hit me with force over my body I just turned around on my belly so that he would not hit my belly. Why did he do this … because I didnt get out of bed to iron his pants for work.

    Is this acceptable ????

    and as I am writing this I am crying my eyes out and wondering why am I so stupid to be with this guy?

    I am not going to go on living like this!

    the sad thing is that I am unemployed ( he went to my work place and resigned for me).
    I dont have anything of my own!

    I don’t have money, I don’t have a car, I don’t know how this devorce prosedures are!

    everything is in his name. and when he is in his state he will take away the car, my debit card, my phone, and the keys of the gate, so that I cant go anywhere!

    Who does this man think he is to treat me in this manner?

    I am not stupid, I am a qualified Financial Manager, I am a qualified Nail technician.

    Why am I so scared to go on my own?

    Just for the sake of my kids ! My jewels !

    I have to We have think for ourselves , we have think what is best for my children,

    I will rather let my kids go through trauma once through a divorce (wich will benefit them) than to put them through trauma every second month or like now a screaming , sarcastic , fight about nothing every thursday night)

    I dont know who else has this similar problem!!!

    He will start thinking of all the stuff I have done wrong, and when we are together he will start asking me questions and he wants answers ! the only thing is that I can not give him answers because the stuff that he is thinking is not the truth, it is lies that he made for himself in his head. of this is how I feel and this is what you have done. ( and I seriously) Promise to God my Heavenly Father, that is not the truth. I dont know where he comes out with this stuff.

    I got so angry with him last because he didnt want to give me R150 to go buy a costume for my second sons school consert. I scared myself because I got so angry and was so power less that I could not breath. It felf like my throut just clamed shutt!!

    It is so hard to make this desision but I have to ! I cant go on for another 10 years! I can’t ..
    My oldest son has anger issues at school and the teacher called me in to speak to me about it. and I think it is a result of my husband actions.

    God please give me the strength to devorce my husband, keep me beside You and don’t let me go. For you are my only refuge.

    I will pray for all of the woman in the world that suffers from this. I am from South Africa, I live in a small town called White River. I read the other lady on top is from America. so all around the world.

    God is our only way to beat this and to get out of this situation. Because this is not what God had planned for us.

    And ladies who is not married! don’t fool yourself this will not change no matter what he says HE WILL NOT CHANGE !! So get out of the situation, Get a order against his so that he can stay away from you!

  14. Anon says:

    I’m only 14 and am currently in an emotionally abusive. My boyfriend of 9 months fits into all 21 categories. I feel trapped and I can’t get out, no matter what. I’m only 14, I’ve barely started highschool. I shouldn’t be going through ANY of this at this age.. I’m so young. I feel suffocated, nervous stressed and worried all of the time. Im too scared to leave him or go find help, because i cant help but love him unconditionally. I feel like nobody understands. People try to help and even that wont work. Im so weak. Im not me anymore.

  15. moda says:

    Cheating. Please don’t forget – cheating can be added to the list.

  16. David Millner says:

    Seems like you describe the uncaring, cold, clinical narcissist when many of these apply. Beware !! They take away the self esteem then dump you for another victim.

  17. Heather says:

    My Mother in Law does most of those things to me every few weeks. We are stuck living with her. We moved in to HELP her and she is Bi polar, won’t take meds and she gets hateful and goes rants. Last time it happened was last friday. We made a list of my faults that she named as she said I never own anything. one of them was that I am an asshole. She will bring up personal painful things and say how I am a loser and a failure and I don’t deserve my husband. It goes on for hours and sometimes days and always ends with her saying- it was just a mood swing.

  18. Robyn says:

    I thought I had found my soul mate. We were great together for 6 years and I dont think I could ever love another man like I loved him. We always had each others back, so when his drinking escalated, his personality changed, and no matter how hard I tried, the alcohol took him away from me. I forgave him so many times when he hurt me because I knew that his behavior was from this addiction. But I always believed we would overcome any demon that we encountered. He cheated on me, lied to me, verbally and emotionally beat me down, and then he walked out on me. My entire future was now nothing but a wasted 9 years of devotion. I was a broken person, empty and alone. I prayed for him to get the help he needed and when he did, he returned to the woman who wrecked my life. I will never trust anyone again. Love isn’t supposed to hurt and thats exactly all I ended up with.

  19. Cyndi says:

    I just wanna cry. I don’t know if I’m emotionally abused or not but I have no self-esteem. My husband makes me feel bad about myself. I feel nervous around him. But anxious and miss him when not around him. Fear losing him. The insults in front of other people. Saying things that seem like yelling but without raising his voice when I did nothing wrong that humiliate me in front of others. He’s called me fat disgusting crazy ……. let my son do it, even encouraged it. I live a life of a physically emotionally sick person who has attempted suicide. He’s filed for divorce so feeling the being pushed away thing is to be expected but the thing is, most of the relationship pains I feel are not much different than they have been. Actually we had some up time which hasn’t happened in a long time. But he is unhappy again and I don’t know why. I always feel guilty. And maybe it is my fault. I have been sick and disabled making life miserable for anyone around for quite a few years now. Now the silent treatment. I don’t push for fear of not wanting to know what might be on his mind. Talk about fear. He is very intimidating. Never physically abusive or profane.

  20. Tasha R says:

    Im in the all of the above category. He doesn’t have a job takes all of my money. Takes my car likes its his stay out all times of night. Picks me up from work late and my own. Car.

  21. dad j says:

    My daughter is in an abusive relationship that breaks my heart. Her husband won’t let her have friends or spend time with her faimlie. He goes through her phone so we can’t contact her. We have been able to get her to leave him severl times she even started divorce procedings but she is with him tonight. I don’t want to give up on her but everything I do or say dosent change athing l let it beat me up for a week witch was not fair to the rest of my family. I guess all we can do is except the things we can’t change and hope some day they see the light. I hope this helpes others to get on with life. I sure miss my grandson.

  22. DMD says:

    Don’t ever give up hope. It hurts like hell to leave an emotionally abusive relationship because you are so attached to this person who is literally killing you from the inside out. It’s not love you are feeling towards him….no….not at all! It may have been in the beginning when he was sweet and charming, but not now. It’s the result of his control! We’ve been hooked through the heart by these devils and that’s all they care about…..the fact that we’re hooked and won’t leave no matter how bad they make us feel. We are not puppets to be manipulated and abused!! We are loving, caring, selfless people who gave too much and expected too little in return. One life. Don’t waste another moment of your precious time and energy feeding someone else’s warped ego and abusive nature. Love yourself enough to go it alone by any means you can. You CAN do it!!

    Show your abuser what you are really made of and start a new life for yourself and your children. You are worth it and the well-being of yourself and your children is more than worth it. It’s not easy, but it’s the one thing that you can do to begin living again.

    I’ve just started over and I’m not looking back! It hurts and doubt trickles in, but I’m going to keep going with the belief that I can be happy and live my own life without his influence. It’s a moment-by-moment emotional struggle, but I’m not going to give up on me and I pray that you won’t give up on you either.


    “Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” ~ author unknown

  23. sassy says:

    im in the same situation.i confronted my husband last monday morning after my birthday party my kids gave me.made me a cake and cooked dinner for me at our house,well he went to bed and didn get up the entire time and threw away the food i fixed him and took to the bedroom for him to eat in there as he does when my kids or grandkids come over and now any of my family.my sister is about the only one who will still come.i have no contact with my old friends..when anyone calls for me he tries to hide it and delete it on our cell before i know it and gets angry and yells at me if i answer.if i keep my grandkids he punishes me with the silent treatment and he is a diabetic and will go as far as not eating at all for 3 days sometimes.he tells me its to help me that my daughter is using me to baby sit but i wasn baby setting but once every other month til i had it.i feel i cant take anymore.i know what i must do.he stayed out of work when he seen i was for real.begged me told me he cant live without me cant do anything without me.thats funny cuz if i try to talk or offer advice that i know is true he cuts me off and calls his sister or anyone.he beleaves a stranger beforre me til i start to leave.he kept staying out of work til i promised id b here when he got off.it hasnt been 2 weeks and he is starting to fall back into his ways as i told him he would.lastnight the hospital called at 8;45 and i gave him the phone and he yelled a curse word and said who is it????it was the one he owes a $75 co-pay to that i got blamed for him owing somehow.i could write all day but thats just a lil.he has hit me in the past when i tried to leave and actually got my close out the door..and even then talked me into staying.i was so happy 5 years ago.til i got with him.i been sad,lonely.idk what to do or how to leave.i want him to tell me to.i been sick ever sense we been together.not that happy out going women anymore.and i just feel that he talks bad bout me and blames all on me to his friends co workers.ive heard him lie already then look at me knowen i know thats not true.please help me stand up to him .he has my self esteem bottomed out.i feel worthless.others tell me i hope ur man knows what he got but he gets mad at me….i cant do nun right.he only see my faults that really are not mine.

  24. taggarton says:

    dimple and anyone else in your situation, never let threats of self harm keep you in a relationship. my brother married a girl who did this and now she’s making his life a misery, i stayed with a girl for far too long who tried using threats of suicide. it’s not worth it, they will only keep hurting you. put yourself first.

  25. ndw says:

    I am not sure whether I am in such a relationship but for sure have lost the zeal and excitement of life that I was once proud of…hope I get through this indecisive stage asap and stick to my decision forever…never regretting anything…

  26. Unknown says:

    Hello. I’m in need of some serious help. I’ve read through all of the comments and come to the conclusion that I am in an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship. My mum best friends have all told me time and time again to leave him as they know how unhappy I am. Funny thing is I know myself but I can’t help but feel I always somehow get pulled back in. Me and my partner have been together nearly six years and we’ve has are ups and downs like every couple but just recently I feel that I just can’t take anymore. We have a son together which also worries me as I don’t want him to pick up on these vibes anymore. For years I’ve said that my parter doesn’t mean what he says and that he’s had a troubled childhood but that’s no excuse how he treats me (supposedly the mother of his child) I feel like it’s a constant battle with him, all to please him and make him happy when I’m so unhappy! I’m at that point where I don’t know what to do anymore. It hasn’t always been like this he was the most caring and fun loving man I could of ever chosen to be the father of my child. But i have myself questioning constantly whether it’s me or my fault when I can be honest when it is but he is never wrong. I know men are a pain in the arse but this man is supposed to be my sole mate and I just feel used and weak. I’m no longer the strong bubbley girl that everyone used to love being around. I feel angry bitter and weak and it’s just not me. I know I have to do this myself but if I’m honest I really need a help In hand. Be it a councillor or someone that knows what there talking about as I can’t hide it anymore. thankyou

  27. NC says:

    I am fresh out of a relationship that had a lot of the characteristics above. BUT he could also be for good to me. At times he was almost child like with sweetness and being close. It never lasted long which I kinda of took as him going in to his “man cave” to get some guy-ness back. I am a firm believer in remembering guys are not bigger, stronger women…they are men. However, in that time he can be really rude and, whether or not he’s pulling away, I am always questioned and accused of cheating. Incidentally, I left because he was dedicating a song to a girl on Facebook which sounds so trivial but he had been also talking to her on the phone and when I asked about it he said, “oh she’s just some whack job with four kids who drinks too much” I bought it until I saw the Sade song of all things and h read her response, delete her message and then the song. There’s so much more but here is my question…

    When I left I was confident I was making a good move. Now, only 3 days later I already confused. Did I imagine this stuff? Was it as bad as I thought? Am I being too sensitive?

  28. Asha says:

    Iv been married 13 yrs hav three daughters my husband says society is bad and my eldest specially should be dressed appropriatly all times he makes me feel I’m not a good role model he dislikes my family and constantly tells me how he works all hrs to support us and make our lives comfortable he tells me I can’t work and who I should avoid even neighbours he tells me he is above me as he is a husband and I’m a wife and I should make him feel respected and comfortable ie meals on table and cleared up after clothes socks shoes cleaned clothes press ironed. Iv tried talking to him telling him I want to feel loved I want freedom to go out but it doesn’t seem to register with him. He lectured me on my where abouts says I am out a lot wen I drop my kids to school where do I go? When he leaves for work usually bettween 12-1pm I should stay in make his food drink and only go out where’s needed ie collection of kids or my parents or sisters hse. Iv offen thought of leaving him but all finances are in his hands bills mortgage I can’t work he won’t allow it and I only have money he transfers in my bank account I have no savings so I usually end up just staying put because I’m scared of the finances which I can’t afford living alone. Everything I do is usually hidden from him and it’s as innocent as just spending day with my sister in town or having lunch. Please anyone who reads this give me ur overall opinion as wat I should do.

  29. Hurtgirl29 says:

    Well, it’s been two weeks since i made my final decision, to break up with my 6-months relationship. He is living in another city, 3 hours away and since he has a job, we could only see each other on weekends. Last week, I visited him spontaneously on a Monday and I told him I would stay with him until Thursday morning, when I would take the bus to return back to my place. At the beginning, I thought that this should have been a nice surprice because he was always telling me how bad he feels for the little time we always have together. Instead of this, he acted in a very angry way, cause till then I had never took any initiative throughout our relationship, due to the fact that he would always feel uncomfortabe and quite angry (for the first 2 months he would conceal his anger).
    I have to admit that my sudden visit was kind of a test to him…. I knew all of this time that something was wrong, my intuition as well as my instict plus some other signals would always make me worry about him, about me and most of all about us and our future…
    He is a 33 year old guy, educated, handsome who has very strict parents. Moreover, his childhood was not good at all and he has a brother who has special needs and needs care 24/7. Since our very first date, he was telling me all of his family problems, the pressure he was feeling, his brother, his guilts for the times he is not there to be with him and other stuff…..but, he almost never asked anything about me, about my life, my interests, the things i like…..I was feeling sympathy for him because of his problems and I liked his external apperance (even though i was feeling quite lonely already)…So, I justified his not being really interested in knowing me at that time…
    As the time was passing by, even though he would sometimes tell me how much he loves me and how sorry he is for the times he is talking to me in a rude way, saying bad words or even humiliate me, finally I figured out that he never had a true interest in me. All he wanted was a person to share his pain with, the pain that was coming from his family (as he was claiming), someone to burst at and finally, a human being (ANY human being, not especially me) who could tolerate a ”problematic” man. There was no me in this relationship. So much loneliness and a man who didn’t care about my problems. my life, my dreams and never payed attention to my words, my opinions e.t.c…
    Lots and lots of constant fights were taking place as I was trying to let him know that he was hurting me emotionally, but he always responded following the same strategies. Silence for hours, even for days coupled with denial for having sex with me, or even kiss/touch me. The strange thing is that he would invite me at his place every single weekend no matter if we had a fight earlier (at the phone for example), but every time i was mentioning something about the emotional abuse he was using on me (with the hope I would open his eyes, so that he could understand and change) he would react so badly making me scared and then feeling guilty all, even though it was not my fault.
    One day I woke up at his couch (he didn’t let me sleep with him at his bed that night, like so many other nights with the excuse that he was angry at me -with no real reason!- ) caught myself feeling so dipressed and miserable, that I almost felt I was going insane from the way he treated me (which ofcourse i didn’t deserve), the fact i could do nothing to make him better and improve his behaviour and the constant sadness… I stood up, put my clothes on, made my suitcase, told him i had to take the bus earleir cause my dad was sick and the other day called him and told him goodbye forever explaining how bad i was feeling all of this time….He admitted he was a monster and that he deserved that….but i had given him so many chances already, i couldn’t go on like this…..The most difficult part was to break up wih someone you are in love to…..but i had to save me…..

  30. Angie says:

    I spent 2 years with a man who was 14 years older than me. He was jealous and obviously very insecure himself, so he spent all of his time making me feel like I was a bad person. Anything I did that he perceived as a slight towards him, he would bring up constantly and turn into a yelling and screaming match. I lost nearly all of my friends because I was, basically, not allowed to spend time with anyone who wasn’t him. Or if he did “allow” me some time away (he was always nice about it, making a big deal about how he understood I needed to see other people), I’d hear about it later and it became a problem. He complained that I didn’t “advertise” our relationship enough on Facebook, etc, like I was hiding him, which in a way I was. I wasn’t proud of our relationship. It made me miserable all of the time, but I felt bad leaving him because through it all, he was sick. But that’s not an excuse to make another person miserable. I finally left this past September; I’m trying to rebuild my life but some relationships he damaged are irrevocably lost.

  31. Lianna says:

    Ok. I’m in a relationship at the moment and have been for almost 6 years. I came across this article. My partner has a bit of a temper. She hits walls and doors. She once smashed a laptop during her final year of uni and said it was my fault coz i “provoked” her. After we had loved together for a year and a half, i couldnt take the.constant criticism and being blamed for everything. I decided that the kids deserved better than listening to us and so i took my son and we moved out. Her daughter stayed with her. I got my own place – with help from my family, some friends and my sons father. I was won over by her again but stuck to my guns this time with staying in my own house. 4 years later and i managed to finish things. During this time, id had 2 best friends taken away from me by her behaviour, my friendship with my sons father has always been amazing (thankfully) yet it riles her so much she has made it so hard for my son to even go to his dads. Hes under 10 yet she grills him and goes at him for anything. Im not allowed to see my family because “they dont like” me and “they hate” her. They told me when we finally split a few months ago that it was amazing to see me. They missed me. They couldnt get to me to help the situation. Yet still i went bk. This is the third time now. I see what she does. I do. Yet the biggest part of me thinks that a) she only wants to keep me safe and b) she knows whats best for me. I hate it when we argue. My backbone is growing. I stand my ground a lot now… but i always go back :'(

  32. me says:

    This is the last 17 years of my life. It aint easy to walk away when kids are involved. He has progressivly gotten worse over the last 6 months. I get blammed from shit going wrong at his job, house, kid’s grades.

  33. nikki says:

    This is my boyfriend. And I’m leaving him soon.

  34. Krissy says:

    hey guys… well i actually came across this site becuz of a movie that i was watching about a controlling boyfriend… and during one of the scenes.. a therapist made the young girl read out signs of a controlling boyfriend and when i heard some of the signs i realized one of them relates to my boyfriend…. then i decided to look up the signs myself and i found this site… most of the signs here doesnt relate to my boyfriend but a few does and i dont know what to do…. 🙁 its kinda depressing… my boyfriend is great, he helps me, he doesnt provoke me or put me down BUT i somehow feel like he doesnt trust me… he has my facebook password and email and i have a very close guy best friend and everytime i talk to him my boyfriend gets jealous and tells me that i should be with my best friend instead of him and its getting me worked up becuz i’ve known my best friend for years now and he knows everything about me from what time i wake up down to my shoe size and we’re really close but somehow my boyfriend doesnt understand this and get jealous fast and sometimes he would get angry and give me the silent treatment and i dont know what to do …..on one hand i want to be relieved of this relationship but on the other :'( im helpless… and i dont want to hurt him becuz i know he loves me a lot

  35. MariaChristina says:

    I’m 23. Graduated from a great college with a degree in the medical field. Currently unemployed for almost six months. My relationship basically summarized by this article. Its been physical in the sense of abuse. Mainly gripping, bear hugs, and pushing. We’ve been together for almost four years. My brother who is older lives with me as well sees and hears the abuse. The name calling on my bfs behalf is too much (bit#h, cu#my, p.o.s gf, worst gf ever), it’s a daily thing for him now. I have no family. Mom passed away when I was 18. Never met my father. Needless to say I jumped house to house. I believe in God which is my strength to push forward. But my main dilemma is how do I emotionally unattach myself emotionally yet live in the same home. Because without help I will have to find work and find my own way out.
    Any honest advice? Please serious inquiries only

  36. SalubriOutcast says:

    according to this I’m in an abusive relationship… with my own mind.

  37. David says:

    My dad matches about half of these.
    The emotional scarring from my childhood and that of many of my siblings (I have 17), has lasted many years into adulthood, and has been so terribly crippling at times.

    To every single one of you I want to say, don’t be afraid to leave.
    No one should ever be abused. No one deserves it. No one.
    I don’t think there are words to describe the feelings we sometimes have, or the worries we have about leaving. There are so many complications involving money, kids, family, etc. There is always that huge “what if”.
    If they truly loved you, they wouldn’t abuse you. Simple as that.
    If you do believe in God, which I do, I can tell you that He would never want you to be abused, and if leaving is the right thing to do, He will work miracles to help you move on. I know that from personal experience.
    My heart breaks reading every one of your stories. I wish I could personally give each of you a massive hug and tell you things can get better.

    Take a leap of faith!

  38. Yasmin says:

    Why people tolerate physical abuse is beyond me. I can understand the mind games and tactics emotionally abusive lovers will use to control their partner, but when it comes to laying an aggressive hand on someone else, then I think that should be the biggest wake up call ever. Don’t put up with it because it isn’t normal or acceptable!

  39. mimes says:

    They usually wait to become violent, wait until they have you isolated from your friends and family and completely dependent on them with no where else to go

  40. sanda says:

    I tolerated the abuse of my my late husband for too long. He died because I killed him. Yes, I confessed to that but the court didn’t really believe me and said that I was just hiding the truth because I was always the good wife, always the person to rely on but it didn’t matter to my husband. He would always abuse me in every way he can. He’d abuse me physically, he would bang my head against the wall and make me bleed. He would slap my butt with a hammer, he would do all kinds of shit to me. He abused me sexually because he was a masochist and a sadist. He wanted me to bleed every time we had sex and I couldn’t really complain. It took at toll in me and one day I just woke up in the morning and shot him with a handgun. The gardener was took into custody and not me because apparently, he had more motive to kill my husband because he didn’t get paid for several months and my husband just kept promising him. I was happy of course because I was left a free woman. I guess this was what I really deserved, a life without constant torment and I didn’t have to fear anything or anyone now. I am my own free person and I will love my life now.

  41. Kate says:

    The line re if you see the above signs “talk to your lover” is ridiculous and even dangerous. The last person you can reason with is your abuser. The best advice is to read widely, educate yourself/get help from a support group to the point that you gain enough insight into the situation to start an exit strategy.

  42. 'round it goes says:

    you are correct, “talk to your lover” is nonsense and dangerous. if you could talk to him cause he listens and cares he would have abused you in the first place. you cant talk to these people, you will end up attacked. you have to leave in order for the abuse to stop. I thought I couldn’t, I was in such a low point, 2 kids, no income no friends or family around, very alone, once I left, everything stopped, it’s like you’re saying “you can’t treat me that way anymore cause im not there, and im not yours”. on the one had it was easy to leave, cause once i decided that this is what I have to do, I have just done it, yes one friend helped by giving me shelter for a month till i found my own place. trust me what seems impossible is sooo possible. yes the kids and other issues will be a problem, but if you don’t leave, nothing will change, he will continue and it will get worst. now i am a better person, better mother, I still feel sorry for my kids that have to be with him alone, as you know abusers take most advantage when no-one else can see, so I had to give something up to save myself. I am so happy now, things are hard financially (he took all my money too and he is loaded) but it’s nothing compared to what I have been though for the last 20 years. Thank god I left. Good luck, and yes you can. plan it and then do it. get a job first, save some money. then save yourself. you won’t regret it. cause you will finally be at peace with yourself, this is naturally where you were before the abuse. love and peace to all!

  43. isis1769 says:

    You were right to kill him but wrong to blame the gardener. What about his life?

  44. isis1769 says:

    Are you trolling or not?

  45. Oberon says:

    I havent read the comments yet, but i am sure everybody thinks its men that are mean and evil to women, I am a guy, my wife fits 95% of these guides, i am a good person, was a good person at least, would do anything to help anyone which made me happy, now i turn to alcohol to deal with abuse and i am drinking more and more each time I do, everytime she hurts or yells at me I feel for alcohol to deal. I have no friends or life, I had to quit my job because I had to keep running home from work to see about her and her ‘problems’ with my mother etc, until we got our own place. I really want to just die, I have a child and i dont want to have a divorce, I do care for her and want to help her also, which is why i wont leave her, I have been through hell, I have had family hate me I have lost many things yet i am still trying and going through this. I have no friends, I dont go out, i am not allowed to, she may say its okay but then tells all kind of excuse why i cant go, like nobody will see about the child, because she has to look for some makeup special? wtf?, nobody to turn to, nobody to understand me. I am 6’3 and 250 pounds. I used to lift weights. I am physically strong, yet i have never hit her, one time I stood up to her and pushed her back when she was trying to hit me, until this day I still hear about how i abused her, while she broke my phone and computer (which is how i make a living ). anyways I just really needed to talk to someone, i will just go back to hell now and hope my liver or heart fails soon, I dont want to die….. i have not experienced anything good in life, i want to see the world have fun smile, know what it is to be happy. I guess its not for me 🙂 I dont know what it is I have not done wrong to be put in this situation, i have always been a good person tried to do good, help others and uplift others around me, well until i got married, she was just yelling at me for typing on the computer…… I dunno what to do….. I just want to go in a corner drink and cry for a few days then die.

  46. Laura says:

    Oberon, I was touched by your feelings expressed here and you are so brave to talk about all these but I think it will be better to find a psychotherapist to talk about these… Nobody deserve to live this kind of life and each person deserve respect.

  47. ???????? says:

    Sounds like my SO.. They used to really attempt to bring me down and it used to work. Now anything they say is ignored.. I won’t stand for the attitude, put downs and blaming bc their shortcomings and issues aren’t caused by mr

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