Post
Experience Project iOS Android Apps | Download EP for your Mobile Device

What Is Emotional Abuse.

What is Emotional Abuse? I've asked myself this question a million times. I never knew the answers and for a long time I was too afraid to find them, I was afraid of what I'd discover. About myself, about my spouse, about our life. Then for some reason in the last couple of weeks I have been feeling more and more out of touch with reality and decided it was time to get some answers to the questions that I had been too afraid to seek. So I started posting anonymous confessions about things going on in my life. Just to get them off my mind. I started reading what people commented and considering what they had to say. Drawing my own conclusions from it. One of my confessions/questions was on this subject and when I went back and looked at the comments people had made. One comment stuck out more than any other. and the comment was "Google it" Google what Emotional Abuse was. and so I did. and the answers that I found were definatly not ones I liked. But they were a reality that I had been hiding from. A reality that I was too afraid to face. No longer. After reading what was there. My eyes were opened to things on a whole new level. My eyes were open to my spouses abuse of me. and while it may not have been intentional. I do not believe it was. For part of his problem stems back to his childhood. It doesn't make his actions any less real. and it doesn't mean that I can hide from them or ignore them any longer. Its time to face what couldn't be faced before. I am no longer afraid. and I can no longer sit by and endure my life and his abuse, as I have done for so long. Intentional or not.  Anyway so here I am posting something again. and I decided I wanted to post the questions that I found that helped me see what has been going on. and to help me realize that if things are going to work in my realationship my spouse and I need counseling. Him for his abuse and I for my recovery. and that if he isn't willing or doesn't want to go. I can't stay in the situation any longer, but must do what is right for me. So here they are and I hope that for some of women out there, that suspect themselves of being a victim of Emotional Abuse that these questions will help you see the reality of it, and will help you know that it is not healthy in any way. and if you want have a chance at happiness for yourself. Your gonna have to take steps to change your life. If that means getting the courage to confront your abuser and get counseling to work things out, or if their not willing to do that then it means getting the courage to say it's over and to take yourself out of the situation entirely.  Either way You can Not change your abuser. You can only change you. and what I mean by changing you is your courage or lack of it, to be able to put a stop to allowing it to happen. You can do it. Its hard. and it can be scary but you Can do it. You Can say Enough is Enough and get help. Anyway here are the questions that can help you answer what is emotional abuse if you allow them to:

An abusive partner will railroad discussions, so that you don't have time to think about what's right and what's wrong in their behavior.

Take a moment to consider these questions.  Your partner might have behaved as though these things were okay, even though it's obvious that they aren't okay...:

Do you feel that you can't discuss with your partner what is bothering you?

Does your partner frequently criticize you, humiliate you, or undermine your self-esteem?

Does your partner ridicule you for expressing yourself?

Does your partner isolate you from friends, family or groups?

Does your partner limit your access to work, money or material resources? 

Has your partner ever stolen from you?  Or run up debts for you to handle? 

Does your relationship swing back and forth between a lot of emotional distance and being very close? 

Have you ever felt obligated to have sex, just to avoid an argument about it?

Do you sometimes feel trapped in the relationship?

Has your partner ever thrown away your belongings, destroyed objects or threatened pets?

Are you afraid of your partner?

 

I hope that these questions have help to answer some of the questions running through your mind. and if so Im glad. Good for you. For being able to see what I couldn't for so long. Now do something about it. You can do it. You deserve better. and the only person that can demand better is you. Good luck.  Do not let me leave entirely on this note. For you men out there. Women are not the only ones that suffer this kind of abuse. and some of you men out there may have wives that are just as abusive emotionally as in any relationship in which the abuse is a male to female one. and these questions that I have put up should be ones you ask yourself too. and  as an addition to your section I want to add:

 

"Marry the man today -- and change his ways tomorrow!"

--Lyric from Broadway musical Guys & Dolls

 

Our culture excessively, irrationally accepts the "I'll Change Him" philosophy, where a woman selects and then "molds" a partner to her liking.

Certainly, equal loving partners may decide to change their physical HABITS to please each other -- but a person should NOT be asked to change their LIFESTYLE, PERSONALITY, HOBBIES, or CAREER CHOICES.

If your partner asks you to be or become a different person, remind them that they originally selected you as yourself.  If their preferences have now changed, then they should either attend counseling with you, or admit that the partnership has ended -- so that you will be free to find a new partner who loves you for who you are.

 

and on an ending note I would just like to repeat to everyone. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!YOU CAN DO IT! YOU DESERVE BETTER! and you are the only one that can demand it for yourself.  Good luck to all.

Oh and yeah. For more info on Emotional Abuse take the advice that was given me. "Google it"

and for those that are wanting to know where I found what I posted above. Its at:

http://www.lilaclane.com/relationships/emotional-abuse/index.html

UndeniablyConfused UndeniablyConfused 26-30, F 66 Responses Dec 1, 2008

Your Response

Cancel

Yes. I have a similar story. I just in the last few weeks looked up abuse (emotional) and was a little shocked and yet validated when I finally realized I was being abused. I also don't think my husband does it intentionally, but I do know I won't put up with it any more. We have seven kids and I need to show them what a respectful, loving relationship is. That won't happen if I stay here. Thank you!

Amen!!
I've lived with my husband/ex-husband off and on for 17+years, been with him for 18+. For years I'd wondered if I were going crazy, as he told me that I was. He'd say things in the fight that would just completely hurt me, like dragging up my past and the fact that one of my brothers raped me when I was a child, just to shut me up. When we were married, he cheated on me with a friend of ours. I was so low by this point that, a few days after I was told about the affair, I attempted suicide. Know what his answer was? If you truly love me, if you want to be with me, you're going to let me be with her. I will come home when I want to and you can't say or do anything about it. What finally woke me up, all these damn years later, was a child. In September I found out I was pregnant with our second child. He didn't want to keep it, as we had medical issues going on. And there was this "promise" that we would get help and try again. Well....come end of November, no changes were made whatsoever. When I'd mention getting medical help for him, oh no no no we can't have that. Excuses, excuses. Blame it all on me. You made me sick. It's your fault. I didn't want that damn kid. And it finally woke me up. I'm so sorry that it took SO LONG for me to realize what the hell has been going on all these years, and even sorrier still that I had to lose a child to see it.
Once it dawned on me, I started to do a little research, as you did, and found that our relationship and what he's said and done over time fits the description of emotional abuse down to the letter. I am putting together an exit plan for me and my daughter, as I will NOT raise her around an abusive jerk. She deserves better.

Wow, I answered yes to all of these questions. For years I have thought that I was crazy and that I really was the bad person in the relationship. I have only recently realized just what this man has done to me. Now I have a child to consider and feel even more trapped than before.

I did some more research on this since you mentioned it and it said that it can cause anxiety, chronic depression and or posttraumatic stress disorder. I looked into anxiety and PTSD and it looks like I have some symptoms. Although PTSD is mainly related to serious, intense trauma and it also says you must have loss of physical integrity as well as serious psychological response to it (like intense fear), some of the symptoms are some of the things I still suffer with like; avoidance of triggers (which I do sometimes), sometimes flashbacks almost daily of things he did, decreased capacity to feel certain feelings and my future being constrained. It appears I suffered PTSD when I dislocated my knee, but in this case, I'm referring to my last abusive relationship. It's been like a year since we broke up, but I still get worried/anxious/scared whenever he's around me or, I think he's near me, or if I see something which reminds me of him. When I looked into anxiety, PTSD was what related to me most.
I looked up if abusive relationships could lead to PTSD and it appears it can. O.o

I'm new to this site and have never joined a message board but have done personal research and seen a therapist for six months now in which both have taught me I'm subject to verbal, emotional and psychological abuse by by husband of one year. Although my username sounds as if I'm strong enough to know better, the truth is I've had trouble leaving this mess. On one hand I'm trying to prepare financially, but my therapist is concerned if I continue to stay I will continue to brush things under the rug. Everything stated in the post above is what I experience. He's just so selfish. I need the outside help and was hoping this message board will tell me whether it gets worse. It can't get any better, I know. But will it get worse? What will happen to me if I keep turning a blind eye to be financially secure? Has anyone escaped this successfully?

honey, find some place where you can go to get out of your situation. A friend, a relative, even a shelter if you have to. Go there when you have had enough. For me, it starts with a string of insults and then there is nothing I can say or do to stop the abuse... so I just leave the area. I say if you are going to continue to insult me, I am leaving. switch off my phone, say goodbye and return later when things are better.

You have to be very strong to simply take all the abuse internally, it is very draining, and can lead to depression.

Hi Johnsmi1 you are one of the few responses to my response and first ever posting above so I wanted to thank you for reaching out. As I just mentioned to Pleasebekind below, I have finally gotten out of that toxic relationship. I no longer feel depressed. It all just came together and I just upped and said I had enough. It only got worse. I wish we would all help others out there.

I was also in an emotional abusive relationship and let me tell you, I did not believe it could get worse, that he would continue to hurt me. He always seemed so genuine and would do things that would make me think "wow this guy is really in love with me, there's no other answer, he loves me so much that I make him this crazy". After they apologize over and over for their hurt. Their behaviours keep popping up in different ways and lights. You start to notice it more and more each time, while they don't (ever). They will see they understand but they don't. Soon enough, once you start standing up, or noticing the repetitiveness, you start to catch on. The abuser at this point loses their control. When they lose their control, they become more mean, selfish, and will do anything to blame you. At this point, it can get worse and worse. It could even shock you the extent an abuser will go just to get a good or bad reaction from you. At that point you NEED to get away. It becomes a war for them. Financially you should be more scared if he is the one in control of the money. He could use your finances to control you as well. They get desperate, trust me, I did not believe it either, but after he became physical - I know it was for real. In solidarity. -B

Oh my days, this is exactly what abusers do! I've always found it hard to describe so I respect those who can!

I haven't been on this site since October of 2013 but am glad to announce that I left for good about 1 month ago. Everything you said above was true. The more I called him out, the meaner, nastier and more selfish he became. The cheating, womanizing, lying, all got worse I just lost my mind one night and screamed for him to get out. It took me about a day to simmer down but I have been feeling so much happier. I am shopping at Wal-Mart and saving where I can to fill the financial void. It's tough but I still wish I had left sooner. I wish I had read your post sooner Pleasebekind, but the problem is others who wrote similar things just couldn't get through to me. I feel that is the biggest problem here with the other victims out there. How do we get this to stop happening?

Hello all...I'm responding to my own post. I can hardly believe it when I see the words I wrote above only four months ago. The h*** I was living through. I don't understand why I tolerated it. I left a month ago and couldn't be happier.

3 More Responses

thank you for this post

I Googled Narcissists...
It Helped Me See_But They Only Thing Changing is The One Being Abused By Them.

Reading this reminds me so much of me. I am in a shock phase I think. Not wanting to believe that this is me. Although I cannot answer yes to all of the questions- I have unknowingly become codependent and will do almost anything to get him to love me or even respect me and my choices. The emotional/verbal abuse is there I am too having trouble facing reality or accepting that this what I have allowed to happen. I'm not there yet... but I hope that one day I will be.

Yes to all :(

Thank you for explaining emotional abuse. I have been in a marriage for twenty years dealing with emotional, physical, mental abuse. I am just now (like this week) trying to get out of it. I know I have a long way to go in healing but it is nice to know there is a name for what he did and does to me. Just because one doesn't always see the bruises on the outside doesn't mean there aren't any inside. I can relate to almost every question you posted. Now I am doing something about it. I am a survivor.

I have been in an emotional abusive relationship for a long time. I have an eight year old daughter and I have seen her change the way to react to his behavior and I am not doing it any more it has been a rough 6 months of divorce but I am getting out and I hope to I become a stronger person for myself and my daughter!

After 15 years of marriage and being emotionally, and verbally abused, I have finally opened my eyes and accepted it.
I no longer have the will, or fight in me to stay much longer.
I say much longer because after staying home for ten years to raise children ( his decision) I have just now gone back to work, and need to save a little nest egg (probably a couple of paychecks) before I can secure a place for me and the children.
I wished I had gotten out sooner. He had me stay home and made it seem like he wanted me to enjoy being a SAHM and how he was sacrificing for me to be able to stay home, which I loved doing. I also see now he was setting me up to be financially bereft of my own money.

We always say "there will be another exit along the way", and once we do turn around and see the path of destruction paved behind us, it's almost unbearable. Everything becomes clearer - their background motives and intentions, the fact that we really were experiencing abuse, and all of the turn-offs that we missed and should have taken.

It's impossible to recognize until you're at your wits end; when all strength and all try is diminished. Then, to leave, life asks us to be the strongest we ever have.

I agree with shadowwolf44. I am in that exact spot as I write this. I am scared, I don't know what I should do. Its a family member that's doing this. I don't trust her, she is my sister. I google " Sociopath " and I almost got sick! She fits to a T. They say my sister is very dangerous. She has tried to ruin me in so many ways, talking behind my back then when she see's me she says " hi how are you " very charming person. She has stoled from me, she thinks she's intitled. So much more too... Thanks shadowwolf44 I'm not crazy afterall..

I'm short of words here, I don't know what to say about what Dr khakani has done for me. My lover scott left me for almost 2years, I really loved my husband scott because he was my first love, When he left me I thought the world was over. But when I came in contact with dr khakani he just told me that my lover will be back to my arms within 48hours and that he will love and respect me forever. So the most surprising thing is that my lover is now back to me and we are now together. My lover bought me a nice car and now I also have access to his bank account to show me that he will never leave me or hurt me again. Am so grateful to dr khakani. Please Dr khakani is a great man..contact him for any kind of help and he will never disappoint you. His private email khakanibestsolutioncentre12@gmail.com or cell phone +2348062216903

Flagged as SPAM.

Thank you! You are inspirational.

I was like you. I had no idea the reality I faced until I looked it up and researched it. And even then, I was on the fence about what I was going through. I finally got the courage to believe it and that acceptance has helped the healing process - what I went through IS a big deal and not just "life."

my fiance is emotionally and verbally abusive, and i've grown accustomed to his bullshit over the years, and sometimes he leaves me flabbergasted, he is so disrespectful at times an then at others he's like a prince charming. what is his issue, in this relationship it's like he's so much more better than me. and I hate that feeling, and I'm not strong enough to walk away cause I can't even land a ******* job to rely on. it's like nobody is hiring and I just feel so trapped. I am the unhappy housewife and I always worry on what this ******* has to say. he says he's an ******* and he's proud, he ignores me when im hurt, he just ignores me when im enraged. im so tired of his ****. honestly. if i could be rich and tell em to kiss my *** I would do it in front of the world. and I'd move the **** on. He agreed to therapy two months ago and guess what? he doesn't feel he needs any. i mean do you think therapy would make him a more understanding '*******?'

I have been with this man for a year now and I love him more than anything, we have been living together and I'm completely comfortable around him but he is very emotionally abusive. One minute he's happy, the next he's mad and saying hurtful things for no reason and out of nowhere. And when he gets to this point there's nothing I can do, if I ignore him he gets angrier but if I sit there and respond to everything he says he just keeps going and going and the fight escalades. He is even ruining things with my family, he disrespected my dad and puts my family down, and everytime we fight he talks crap about me to his mom and has made his family hate me, I could go on and on.. Anways he is bipolar and in a week and a half he is getting put on meds, he seeked help because he wants things with us to work out, and I don't know what I'll do if his meds don't work, I don't feel strong enough to walk away. I don't want to be lonely. I don't want him to meet someone else. I don't want to be a stranger to him. I can't imagine my life without him, If we broke up for good I would be depressed for a long time, it takes me forever to get over someone I would be heartbroken for a long time and it would take years to get over him completely and move on with my life and be happy again. When I love, I love deeply. And I give my all. I'm so confused. Part of me KNOWS I should leave because I do deserve better but the other part of me is saying, 'but do I want better? I love him.' I wish I would have listened to my Dad from the very start. He has always known better than I have.

I am in a similar situation, but I have stayed regretfully for twelve years. Now I feel more trapped than ever. If you recognize early on that you should leave, just do it. You will thank yourself later. In the meantime, I am still working up the courage...

I know exactly what you are feeling. I'm going through the exact same thing. After our incident where I nearly left my husband, his solution is to go back on his bipolar medicine. But that was just a bandaid and didn't even always work anyway. He admitted that he has a problem, but now he seems to think that the problem is not his control issues or his manipulative personality, but his inability to control extreme emotions. I would so much rather him admit to being abusive, not just explosive, and go to actual therapy. Instead he just brags about how quickly he can get meds from his new doctor because he "can get her to do anything he wants" since he's smart. He expects me to think that is awesome. The truth is, he doesn't think he's abusive, he thinks he's doing me a favor by going back on meds because it makes me feel better about him. I don't. Not only do I not believe that he will stay on meds (just long enough to placate me), but I don't believe the actual subtle abuse will end until he talks about some very deep seated issues with someone other than me.
My worst fear, as you mentioned is leaving him. I can't imagine being with anyone else. Every night as I lay falling asleep I wish that in the morning everything will have changed and will truly see. And I wish that none of this had ever happened and the I could still think of him as my perfect man, without a sick feeling in my stomach.

I have been emotionally abused and sadly it's in my current marriage. I never knew there was so much to it, but I do know the experience. It's hard to be with someone that you cannot talk to without them getting upset. It's horrible to feel trapped, and I know the feeling. It's fear, it's walking on eggshells just to please the person abusing you. Emotional abuse hurts, cuts deep and really changes a person. I never knew how much it could change a person until I experienced it. 10 Years and I know that it's not right for me to be in this situation. Getting out is the hard part.

i am new to this site and i am really happy to hear all of your responses. it has helped validate my feelings. i thought i was going crazy. i knew something was wrong in my marriage but could not figure it out. i had only been married for 1 year. the yelling and temper tantrums started early in the marriage. i was yelled at, spit on, ignored, lied to and accussed for making him angry. he did not allow me to get close to him. he was very secretive. he was not intamate with me. it was like he was punishing me with it because i asked to be held and made love to. he would get angry and not talk to me for days. not even sleep in the same room with me. i tried over and over to explain myself. if only i could make him understand that what he does hurts me then he would not do it anymore. it seemed no matter how i would say it or what i would said he still did not get it. i can't believe i let him do this to me. how come i did not see it. i left the marriage. i thought i was the only woman out there with this experience.

I don't know that i agree with the swinging between closeness and distance. My husband was a total under-functioner. There was no feeling of closeness. Same thing...family of origin stuff...feelings, even good ones, were threatening. Difficult personalities that engage in abusive behaviors are marked by a mistaken assessment of danger. When feelings are dangerous, and you are vulnerable and close to someone, and you can't handle that, then abuse can occur.

Making you think you are crazy is a big part of a emotional abuser, they make you think that you didn't say something, even though you know you did, they will argue and say they they never said something to you, when you know they did. I Finally got proof and all I heard was I am sorry, but a few hours later I was still wrong.

I am so scared of being alone. My mum and stepdad live in a one bedroom flat and all my friends are the same or married with families in the house. we both share a small amount of debt but enough for me to not be able to afford a rented place of my own. he earns much more than i do but dont i just know it, but then he can be lovely and spoil me with the money he earns. it confusing me . everyone thinks we have the perfect live and we do 50% of the time. my best friend that has know me from when i was 7 even got annoyed with me the last time we were together telling me that i was boring. i am boring and i think it is because of my homelife i am trying to be sensible grownup and perfect all the time when really i used to be shy when you 1st meet me but then very chatty ditzy up for a laugh and would do any thing for a giggle i.e. was on chat roulette and got dared to flash my boobs (still in my bra) to bunch of 15 year old boys, where as the old me would have flashed out of my bra and not felt guilty but i felt restrained even though my partner was no where near and afterwards i felt guilt towards my partner. tonight without asking my partner told me to grab beers from the shop when i was nipping out, i have work tomor but he still didnt care to think or even ask if i wanted to have a drink. i didnt say anything because i know i would just get told i didnt have to stay in and have a drink with him or that i was boring. we then decided to search for songs we love on internet, he pickd 2 then i picked but he didnt like what i picked and so i asked what else he wanted on and he replied nothing seeming i had ruined the evening and was boring and that he would need to seroiusly think bout wether he should leave me behind then he goes off too bed leaving me feeling like ****. all because i picked a song i liked after listening to the songs he liked, and yet before that when he was under the impression i wanted to have a drink, he was fine smiling away and being quite cuddly. there is so much more i need to get out my system but it isnt that i am boring but rather that i cant do right for doing wrong. i know tomor he will say it was because of drinking and not having something to eat ...... he always does. but can that ever excuse the fact that i have been called a freak, idiot, boring oh and he had the decency to tell me that he has had better looking gf's in the past. one min he is the person i am closest to in the world and the next i feel like the loneliest. does anyone deserve to be treated or spoken to like this??

to iamsadtoo,
To the last question: Absolutely not!!! Maybe if you think a second, you will realize he isn't all that interesting either. Maybe he thinks his money makes him interesting?
If you sit down right now and make a list of all the traits you would want in a man does hit all the marks? Does your list include "rude" and "jerk" or "insensitive d*ck"? Well, then he probably isn't mister perfect either so maybe he should take a look at himself before criticizing others. I think you can do better. Be confident in yourself. Go find one that fits your list.

I have been in a 2 year long relationship with someone whom you have described to a t. He abused alcohol, cocaine other drugs. He destroyed me, day by day, and I allowed him to make me feel like it was all my fault and that I was crazy. He also tells people I am the crazy one. He had verbally assaulted me so terribly and berated me and even when I start to cry, he goes "wha wha wha" now you're going to start that f in sh@@t? Shut the F up, you're pathetic. I just can't even believe I let it go on for so long. I just kept hoping and hoping that he would change, but of course he never did and hated me for trying to make him. In retrospect, I can't believe just how abusive he was emotionally. Finally, he punched me in the chest, and that was when I called it quits. I was crying and begging him to stop verbally abusing me and threatening to leave when he did it. I think the reason why one still feels so attached to the abuser is because they crush your self esteem and you end up feeling like no one will want you. Also, it is an addiction. Abusers are very hot and cold. Its the hot we want to feel, so when they get cold and abusive, it makes the good stuff seem all that much better than it is in reality. <br />
<br />
Im finally starting to feel less and less pain after leaving a 2 year of an on and off again relationship with my abuser. Its only been a few weeks since I called 911 and pressed assault charges, and I still cry over him, but don't even want that feeling again.

I do truely hope that you have been able to gain strength from all of the support found here. You have made it more then halfway because you now know what it is. Personally I was abused by my bi-polar wife of 17 years and the ones who suffered the most was our 4 children. Since reading "co-dependant no more" I found that I was enabling the pattern of destruction within myself and my children. Now divorced for 11 years I wasawarded custudy hands down, she moved from the east coast to the west and has seen very little of the kids over the years, we are all much better off. I found a loving spouse bringing the total to 7 kids to raise, all but the youngest are over 22 and our jewel is just turning 18, honor student since the 5th grade we are so proud of her. Then she turns it around and writes this poem that explaind to me that as she see it, I was the hero for saving all of our lives (very hard to listen to her, we do what we have to). With one of the largest challenges ahead of me (my feature story). we seem somehow to all be walking in step and full of support which is a most amazing thing. <br />
<br />
My message -- once you are able to see what is broken, the path to fix it is wrought with pain, sorrow, & loss. What you gain is self confidence, trust in your higher power, and a repaired self-image that will propel you forward.<br />
<br />
Hugs to all, we deserve them<br />
<br />
Ali

I always had this dillusional thought that my partner and I were going to sail off into the sunset together. YES I did "Google It" !!!
My first thought was WOW are these people in my house spying on me. I knew the truth I was just too afraid to confirm it.
Have you ever asked your significant other to do something very simple for you and it becomes a BIG project? Do they ask you a question more than twice until they get the answer THEY want to hear? Do you feel like your under the microscope every day? Do they have a two standards one for you and one for them? They pick up on every lil mistake you make but never on "hey you did a great job"? Communication welllllllll lets just say if is an opinion forget it you dont have one or if you say something they dont like you are starting an argument. Emotions hmmmmmmmmmmm apparently you got to hide them. They like to sweep everything under the rug like its nothing but yet to you it is everything. Life in my house has become a guessing game as to what mood or frame of mind he will be in today. The one I hate the most is the Silent Treatment and sometimes I don't even know why. LOL one time he dint speak to me for a few days because he had asked me if i needed to go downtown I said Yeah to Pharmasave apparently because I didnt tell him what I needed there he dint speak to me now how childish is that? These emotional abusers are just like little children who will go out of their way to get whatever they want whatever the cost. His mother passed away at the end of December and since then it has been a real eye opener. This is my second time around with this individual and it really makes me angry that at one point after separating for two years that I FORGAVE HIM. Because I loved this man. But having this so called second chance (three years now) things would be blissful for us. NOT
We moved in together the second time around That was a mistake and a half. My daughter he kicked out of the house a few months back (she now lives at my mothers) My friends they dont come here because of him and I cant do the things I like to do for sake of making a mess of things HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLO I am ME who the heck is MEEEEEE anyways? That is what my goal is NOW to find out who I AM to LOVE ME and to get my own place to GET OUT to GET MY LIFE BACK..I was given this second chance I BELIEVE to open my eyes to see that NO he is not the one for me.
Ladies BELIEVE IN YOURSELF YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!!
STEP BACK TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND LOOK AT THE REAL PICTURE.....IF YOU CANT BE YOURSELF WHO CAN YOU BE?
HAVE FAITH, GAIN STRENGTH, GET OUT!!!!!! They are like a vampire and will suck every drop of life you have lett in you out.

The best analogy I seen defining the emotional abuser is "That emotional abusers are like vampire they suck the life right out of you"

My father has issues controlling his temper; one time, I asked him if I could shave--this was middle school-- and he flipped out. Another time I coughed at the wrong time I guess and the same. I always thought it was so surreal that I must be losing my mind. It was never physical abuse and no one would believe me when I told them. Constant harassment was something I had to grow up with. It made me severely depressed. I had a similar experience of seeing my mother being locked out of the house. He seems to take a pleasure in manipulating and undermining my well being. I just need someone to tell me I'm not crazy!!

Hi, It is so good to read your comments to reassure me that I am not going loopy and I am not alone in this awful place!<br />
I left my partner 4 weeks ago after enduring 6 and a half years of emotional abuse. I left with only a few personal belongings, my daughter and our dog whilst he was out playing football. I just knew I had to escape while I could before he dragged me even further into the hell I was living in.<br />
He has called me names, he has accussed me of making him feel inferior in a social events and then reduced me to tears with his accussations of how my behaviour was an embarrasment ( yet everyone else who was at the same event are shocked when I apologise). It almost as if he blames me if he doesn't have a good time and therefore only feels better when I am crying and begging forgiveness. He yells about the state of the house ( yet it is pristine). he shouts at our daughter to put her junk (his name for her toys!) away and if she doesn't he throws them in the bin. She was not allowed to make any mess. <br />
He would call me to check where I was, would berate me for being late and demand to know why. He would blame me for any little thing that didn't go to plan in his life. My parents weren't welcome to visit the house and my friends all knew that they could only call when he was out!<br />
It was a living hell and I am now living with my parents and free........it's scary but already I have found a home for us to move into and am getting my life back.<br />
The only bad bit is I am meeting him this week-end so he can see our daughter.........know it is probably the wrong thing to do but I have given in to his demands and now regretting it! Just hope I can get through the week-end unscathed!

You may have left with only a few personal belongings but YOU LEFT WITH YOUR DAUGHTER AND YOUR LIFE AND DIGNITY BACK!!!!!! That is everything to me.
My partner is a perfectionist I think that comes with the territory with these individuals. If my daughter left a single thing plugged in in her room he would rip it right out of the wall claiming it could start a fire. Her room may have had a lil clutter from time to time (what teenagers doesnt) It was never good enough. She never felt welcome in her own home because of him. We are not their mothers and he is not ours. Dont go back I dont know how old your daughter is but he will weedle his way back through her if he can.

I think I am in an abusive marraige of 7 years and reading you story I almost feel jealous. I wish I had family to go to. I have been thinking of ways to leave for years but can never figure it out. For one thing I would be back to minimum wage since he hasn't let me work all these years and he wouldnt let me get a degree so I'm totally unqualified for anything. Also, I have no family to go to. I wish I could leave like you did!!!

Thank you for your post. It helps me to know I'm not alone. I hope things work out for you. Be strong.

Thanks undeniablyconfused for this and everyone else for this very enlightening discussion!<br />
I too am just realizing that I have been in an emotionally abusive relationship for seven years that I thought was a very great relationship but that I had problems that I needed to work on.<br />
What an eye opener! <br />
My problem now is figuring out what to do since he has worked it so that I have no family or friends or money or car or resources of any kind.<br />
I am 29 and at this point the question naturally arises... Can I make it all alone in the world? And What am I going to do with my life?

I am still wondering why emotional abusers tend to lash out at the person who loves and cares for them the most. It seems to be a common thread throughout this post. Others that they interact with seem to be fooled by their charm and never recognize the behavior. How do they become this way. I am not trying to fix my abuser I gave up on that some time ago and have spent my time healing and loving myself. I see now that he was the only person in my life who ever found fault with everything I did and was unkind. My interaction with others always made me feel joyful and positive . There was such ahuge difference I scold myself at times for not seeing it earlier. But I still wonder why he developed this method of behaviour and why would you not recognize how damaging it is.Maybe I am giving him to much credit maybe he enjoyed hurting nothing more nothing lessI was just a casualty in his war.

help i cant go on, self harming big style

I never though that, as a man (even though I am gay), I would be ever posting a comment to this, but I've been struggling with this for a while now. I have met people who were like this, but I never entered into a relationship with one until now. When I met him, he was a pretty cool guy; we had a lot in common and we could have long conversations for hours or even days without any trouble. But, as time went on, he started to become more trouble. Yes, I did cheat on him and he cheated on me. At the time, I really didn't know that what I was doing was cheating; this was my first relationship. But, signs of the abuse had already been showing. He constantly puts me down, calls me names, and acts as if he doesn't respect me. I've been told by him that I shouldn't want to see my friends and family often (or at all really) while he sees whomever he wants, invites them over at all times of the day and says that I shouldn't complain about it. Everything that I do is bad; If I work to earn money, then it takes time away from him. When I don't have money, it's as if I don't even exist (I've helped him out more than a person should financially, so this definitely doesn't make sense). I've tried to talk to him about it several times, but he always takes the issue at hand and turns it into something that I'm doing wrong or it's my fault it's a certain way. Sometimes he's good...other times he's horrible. When he gets to drinking heavily, he rages and becomes this monster of a man that I can't handle. I just don't know what to do...I don't wanna leave him, because when he's good, he's great, but I can't deal with this up and down thing going on. It was going on before the cheating too; I've literally tried changing everything I was doing, I've missed class and work to spend more time with him, but it always backfires; he has a way of turning something I do into something bad. He even talks to me and treats me like a child; He's barely two years older than me! It's just all crazy. I feel bad for even posting this because it doesn't nearly compare to some of the stories I've read, but it's just...crazy! That's the only word I can use to describe this: CRAZY!

I have been emotionally abused by my husband for 11 years, hard to believe i put up with it that long, but finally i left him, not the easy way, i used police but i was not allowed to take the children that wanted to stay, now it has been over 3 weeks and he is now drinking from time to time, something the children never seen before, he has not drank for 12 years..i am about to file for divorce and worried what he is going to do afterwards..he is now emotionally abusing his children...

I have been emotionally abused by my mother aunt as well as my mothers boyfriend!!! My aunt as well as my mothers boyfriend would verbally abuse me than when i would try to defend myself my mother would abuse me too!!! just like she did when i was a child!!! She never protected us from abusive people and would bring them into our lives just so she could have others there who accepted her!!! Also during this time i had been dating a man who was also emotionally abusive to me!! I don't hang out with my mother nore her friends anymore and it has helped me to have my own control on having them in my life but it hurts me that my own mother hates me - that is how it feels - Plus i don't have a mother never really had!! as for the boyfriend i still am seeing him but i know it's onnly time before i let go of him too!!!!!!!!!!!

This post makes me sad because it's something that I am experiencing on a daily basis with my wife. I am terrified of interacting with her because I never know who I'm going to get. She can be caustic and scarring one minute and then open and warm the next. She often blames me for whatever is going on in her life (either I caused it or I failed to rescue her from it -- and for that, I'm a failure as a husband), or she tells me that I've done something to upset her but she won't tell me what I did or how I can help, she just keeps cutting at me verbally, telling me "I don't know how anybody could love you" and "You are worthless to me." I ask her what I can do and she says that I need to learn how to accept criticism from her. According to her, the proper way to accept criticism (of the abusive sort) is to just nod and agree. I feel like her punching bag. The real me is invisible...<br />
<br />
We went in for marriage counseling about 8 months ago. During our first session, we agreed to Not Bring Up Anything Specific so we could get a feel for the therapist and to learn about whatever ground rules were in place. In the last 5 minutes, she ambushed me and brought up numerous complaints about how I emotionally neglect her, how I never listen to her and never own up to the ways that I upset her, adding that most recently, I had stayed late at work but didn't ask her first if it was OK. I didn't have any time to respond to her so naturally, the therapist assumes I'm an overbearing, abusive husband. For the next four weeks, that's what we worked on: how I need to become a better listener and I need to pamper my wife. This is painfully ironic because during our epic fights, I will beg my wife to please tell me what I can do or how I can improve or fix our situation but she will just stare silently away from me, then change the subject to how I am inadequate, worthless, etc.<br />
<br />
At the moment, my wife is in her "warm and supportive" mood. Coincidentally, she's also out of town. I am so afraid for when she will return...

OMG, thank you to everyone who shared on this post! I feel so much better reading that I am not the only one, I am not nuts, and I am right in the choices I made. <br />
I got together with a very manipulative (he seemed so sweet and honest!) guy, and for ten years he emotionally abused me, and made me feel crazy. Ironically, I chose him to help me recover (with the approval of a therapist to move forward) from a sexually abusive relationship. I am a very strong, opiionated, and outspoken woman. I think my absolute favorite thing (in retrospect, it makes me laugh, I mean, I really bought this!) my husband used to do was walk in when I was getting in or out of the shower, and say "wow, your so skinny you look like a prepubescent boy. Disgusting." And everytime on the spot, I'd tell him that was rude and hurtful. "what?" he'd say. "what you just said." I'd reply. "Oh, I was just joking. HAHA" or, "I didn't say that, you misheard me." and I would actually doubt myself! MAybe he ws kidding, I'm tired, I took the joke wrong. NAh, thats right, he wouldn't say that! The whole looking in the mirror and deciding I really was disgusting.<br />
He did a lot of emotional abuse. I really thought I was crazy, depressed, possibly bi-polar? I went to dr.s and I took meds. I talked to therapists, they gave me meds. None helped, he'd still say something and I would spiral into a week of depression, as soon as it'd start to lift, BAM! He'd nail me again.<br />
I left him recently. My final straws were that my 3yo son was imitating his dad, and I'd hear the same words my husband said to me coming from my son. The other was that after ten years of very hard work, trying to balance keeping the ex happy, mmy family, and work, I started a small business. Within the FIRST month, I made enough to support our whole family, while still keeping my son all day everyday with me while I worked, and keeping my house up, ect. And one night after coming home at 7pm (I had to balance my books for taxes) and mind you, I had left a cassarole with instructions on how to turn on the oven and cook it, what time I'd be home, ect, he told me I was the worst wife in the world. I was too skinny, worthless, had no skills, and was a bad mother because I was applying so much of myself to work. I mean the nerve of me, asking him to set the oven and place a cassarole in it! What next, would he have to wash his own socks? I almost died on the spot. I felt awful, I mean, how could I so neglect my family and my wifely duties to further my career! I felt so horrible, worthless, ugly, selfish, I actually thought about shutting down my business. Fortunately, before I did, I called my best freind.<br />
And she told me the best peice of advice I have ever heard.<br />
She said- "Look at what you do! List everything you did yesterday. List one thing you did for your personal enjoyment. Got nothing?"<br />
And she was right. I started my business to help get more money for our family, and to ensure we had something to pass on to our son. As she made me realize, I juggled a lot, all by myself. I was (still do!) always working to make sure everyone around me was taken care of, so they could have time to do what they enjoyed. I was fine, there was something wrong twith him.<br />
I moved out the next night, I got a divorce, and I haven't regretted it once. It's hard, having to deal with my (now very pissed off) ex, who still denies that this was in any way his fault. I took nothing in my divorce, I left with my son and the clothes on my back. We are still bouncing back finacially and in terms of material things. But not waking up every morning feeling like a worthless peice of crap who no one would ever want? PRICELESS! <br />
Thanks again to everyone for posting here, and showing me my ex is wrong, I'm not alone in this. I was not the one with the issue, and leaving was not me being "selfish". I am not a failure because I chose not to stick this out, endure it another ten years, or watch my son learn to treat women like this. And the whole thing of breaking me down in private (when no one was present) and then acting like nothing happened around everyone else? Knew I didn't imagine it! LOL! Thank you guys so much, I truly hope that I and everyone who shares these similar experiences can heal from it. I know I'm still working on it, but seperating from my abuser has sure enough helped.

Thank you for sharing this I wish I had seen this a few months ago, I was emotionally abused by someone that I was letting stay with me, it only lasted a week but that was because she had gotten me so throughly wrapped around her way of thinking that when a major mistake was made I tried killing myself as a way of making up for it.<br />
I wish there was better education on this subject, if I had been taught how to recognize abuse in grade school life would have been much easier for me. I think recognition of abusive situations should be taught in school, have an entire mandatory class on good mental health and signs of damaging situations. This kind of thing shouldn't be one you have to experience or be close to a person that has experienced it & recovered to learn.

Thank you for posting this. My husband does not do all of these but he does enough of them and it has effected me so much over the years. He says he is not controling and he doesnt stop me from doing things but he uses intimidation instead, He doesnt even see that he is doing it. He has told everyone that we know what I have done (I ended up having an emotional affair-which he found out about) Im not even sure what to do anymore, we have been in counseling for over 6 months now but the impression I am getting is that I am where the problem is and i know that if i say i want to see another counselor he will turn it around on me and tell me it is because i dont agree with what this one is saying or doing. Im so sad right now because I know that my boys have seen this and they think it is ok - I dont want them to be this way. But i have nothing no way to support myself or my boys.<br />
I keep thinking maybe hes right maybe it is because of me but I know that isnt true. I know what the truth is, how long can I keep doing this to myself. I need strength desprately.<br />
Thank you again for posting this it is helping me just a little bit.

Thank you for sharing this. Even though I now except the reality of being a victim of emotional abuse and have decided to leave this marriage, I still need "booster shots" like this. As I become clear and stronger, his game playing/abuse is being laced with more "niceness" and it would be too easy for me to fall back into "it isn't that bad..."

I am curious as to what life is like for those who've left the abusive situation. I'm living in a situation of emotional abuse at the hands of a man who makes even simple conversations a battlefield. It does not matter if I attempt to say something nice, or say something I know he will find ob<x>jectionable, he always turns my words into his own and then slings insults my way. If I say "I" instead of "we," that deams me a selfish individual. If I try talking about a friend inviting us somewhere the conversation will instead turn to why the person does this, or that, and I end up not even finishing my thought. I am not entitled to an opinion that differs from his without a lashing, insult or somehow my statements are turned into words I did not say that are insulting to him. I cannot complain of anything. I make meals he insults them and says he's not a foodie and that anyone who enjoys a good meal is fat. If I don't make food he says I NEVER make anything and he has to fend for himself. If a room in not perfectly clean (not just tidy) I am told the house is always a mess. He says women do not have pains during pregnancy; that women who complain of are weak and lying. I'm not allowed to be tired, even if up all night with our son. If I don't keep a smile on my face and say, "yes," to everything than I am wrong, a complainer, lazy, ***** or some other derogatory statment. Yet, life will be harder in other ways if I leave: family expectatons, my son loosing any relationship with his father, financial burdeons, retaliation to my escape. I did not know this man was "this," man when I met him. He covered his demons well and sucked me in and now I feel trapped in this life. Unfortunately, it takes a while to get to the depths I live and the self-esteem I once carried is now gone, which makes it feel as though it is impossible to take the first step in leaving.

Thank you.. After being in denial for 3yrs and being shameful of telling anyone of the abusement my ex put me thorugh... Im now getting help. He and I ended 6mths ago, but he emotionally and verbally abused me for awhile... I was soo BLINDSIDED! But now I realized how his words changed me to the worst meaning i became shy, quiet and felt ungly... Words are hard to forget. Til this day I remember word by word what he said... even writing this I find myself crying remembering...

good post. its really hard to leave an abusive relationship. its even harder to intervene. you can ask the questions and offer all the support but many women are angry even resentful at the time and lie and deny. Then come back years later after they've left with different memories of their hospital visits claiming no help was offered ?!?!? I suppose you have to be ready to accept the help to hear it.

Thank you for posting this. My last relationship was emotionally abusive, although I didn't realize it at the time. No one has the right to make you feel like less than a person. "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent"- Elanor Roosevelt

After 15 years of emotional and verbal abuse, I finally left and filed for divorce when my husband physically assaulted me.

I hope that you find yourself along your journey Tryn...<br />
<br />
Somehow, if we focus on ourselves to the appropriate degree with all the love we can muster...It's got to be the key to being free.<br />
<br />
What have you learned about yourself in counseling? Im curious.<br />
<br />
I also see a counselor - I went to him because I was drained by my people pleasing to no avail. I still wasn't happy. <br />
<br />
Im really curious to talk to other women that are in the middle of a huge transformation with themselves to get healthy.<br />
<br />
Thanks and Loving support to you!

I know I am in this kind of marriage, but have just recently started to call it by name. The hard part is yet to come, and although my counselor tells me I need to get out, it's still not that easy. My counselor did however tell me not to call myself a victim, but a survivor. So to all of you survivors, I wish you all the best!

Yes, physical stuff is easier to deal with. Emotional stuff is harder to bear and it really lasts longer.

it wasn't a spouse, it was my moms husband.<br />
he'd tell my mom he wasn't smoking, and when i'd come home from school and see him sitting in his chair smoking a cigarette he'd get in my face and tell me not to tell me mother or else. at that point i was about 13..he was 65. my mom was 38. he had cancer twice. a heart attack when i was 5. and died last year of a bladder infection. i was relieved. i was always afraid of my mom leaving me home alone with him. he completely changed both my mom and i for the worse. when i was in elementary school he'd whistle at me when i'd walk by. it made me stronger, and my mom weaker. <br />
i cant imagine having that feeling with a spouse..

Your welcome Kilira I do sincerly hope that things get better and I hope the counseling helps. Good Luck and feel free to come vent at any time you need to. Even if you send me a private message I'll be happy to listen. :D

Thanks so much for this. We have decided on couples counseling after we got into another huge fight. He told me that he knew saying that thing about him killing himself was wrong and he wouldn't do it again. So now I do believe that maybe he could've been manipulating me at that point. We both need help and I hope the counseling works out because he wouldn't even let me leave the house the other day just to clear my head for like an hour. He blocked the doorway and was crying and begging me not to leave. ugh<br />
Thanks again-your comment was a lot of help and I'm so glad I found this place where I can vent my feelings without oppression and judgement.

Chaio7. You are very welcome. I'm glad to hear it helped. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Kalira I would like to point out that while I do feel some concern that your spouse would threaten such a thing to himself, especially considering I myself have lost several friends to such things and threats like that hit extremely close to my heart, they also can be a form of manipulation that emotional abusers use to make us "feel bad" for making them feel bad. and we must learn to decipher when someone make such a threat weather it is a legitimate one and there is a real potential hazard to their health or weather they are just using it as a manipulation tactic to get us to comply with whatever they want. My own spouse pulled something like that on me after we got into a fight and I had decided I was ready to leave because we could never get along. I backed down in that situation primarily because at the time I was terrified that he would follow through with it and could not stand the thought of living with the guilt if he were to do such a thing, and had just not but a month before had one of my best friends die from suicide. Knowing how affected I was when my friend died, he used it against me later to manipulate me into doing as his wished me to, which was to stay and put up with his continous emotional abuse without complaint. It was a threat on his part, not something that he likely would have followed through on. Though I have heard of it happening. My friend was a prime example of one such case. Which is why it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between a threat and a potential hazard. I have learned several things since about such things though. Generally not always though when someone is a real potential threat for suicide. They will not say anything to anyone about what they are thinking of doing or even threaten to do it. They will just do it or try to without anyone ever knowing what they are planning. Those who threaten are usually doing one of two things. They are either asking for help, in a manner of speaking or they are doing it to manipulate someone into complying with something that they want. Either way they may feel like dying but do not really want to and given counseling, time and/or some other form of help can and often do recover. I've actually quite a few times sat (or babysat) a friend who was in a suicidal fr<x>ame of mine. They all still suffer from depression sometimes severely from time to time. Most of them didn't really want to die. They just needed someone to take the time to sit and listen to them vent till they got whatever was bothering them out of their system. I will say thought in your situation that you are probably not (no offense) the right person for your spouse to vent to though considering his manipulations/frustrations/whatever have something to do with the situation between the two of you. and just so you know. You are not crazy, but neither is he. You both just happen to see things from different points of view and in different lights. That does not mean that he does not have a problem with emotionally abusing you though and you are not wrong for standing up for yourself. As far as the answer to what to do about it though, that decision must be up to you. If you wish to work things out and are prepared to do so and he is as well. My advice would be to try to find someone who can give you some marriage counseling together, as well as seperate counsel for each of you individually to help you both try to work on things. I will caution you though that he needs to be just as willing to "fix" it as you are though. because if he is not then counseling will not do much good and the problems will continue to be a problem for each of you. Good luck and I wish you the best.

I just want to thank you for sharing your story. It helped me make a change in my own situation.

Some of this hits home for me. I am married and have been for only a year now, but we've been together for 6. I've been so confused lately as to wether I am being abused or not. Whenever we fight I always end up being the one who is wrong and he alsways ends up defining my person and telling me what's wrong with me. But he offers it like it's logical and that he's just trying to help me. It's so confusing. I get emotionally numb and don't know what to think. I feel like I am going crazy when we fight sometimes and sometimes he tells me I'm crazy. But I am always wrong when we fight and am beginning to think it's not always me. I've tried standing up to myself recently (been googling info about abuse) and telling him that I think he criticizes me and stuff and when I told him this, he got all bent out of shape and told me to leave the house "it's over". He said he couldn't believe that I thought he was abusing me. He was crying and punched the ground (because he was on the floor sulking) and then he told me to take back what I said. He said if he was hurting me he would kill himself. I don't know what to do. We are like best friends and we are so very close, but when we fight I feel like I'm part of the floor he's stomping on! He tells me I am addicted to the chemical process in my brain that happens when I'm feeling like a victim so that's why I get all bent out of shape and "blame" him for my feeling bad. He tells me I'm too sensitive all the time, for years he's been saying this. He says he saved me from the life I had before because I was hanging out with losers. I was 15! I would've found my way!Do you think this sounds like abuse?

My heart go's out to all of you, as i know this ('former pain' all to well, ) don't doubt yourself or your perseptions, of 'reality' it is all true, and definatly not your fault, 'or all in your head', the responsability lies with the abuser, NOT YOU!!!

Just to add to the subject I've pasted below, the body of an email I sent to our counselor. <br />
<br />
Emotional abusers are often very good at covering their tracks. They may create a hostile environment for you by means of not much more than words, gestures and tone of voice, or even just an absence of normal social co-operation. They "Con'' people to believe what you want them to believe as true. They present reality the way they want others to see it rather than the way it "really is.'' They hide behind a "mask'' and let people see them in an acceptable way when in reality they are actually feeling or acting in an ``unacceptable'' way. They make other people feel sorry for them even though it would be better to make them accept personal responsibility for their own actions. They get away with not having to do the things necessary to meet obligations, responsibilities, and duties in life. They make others feel guilty or responsible for actions or thoughts which are theirs alone. They get others to feel like they are responsible for their welfare so that they do not have to make a decision or take responsibility for anything that goes wrong in their lives<br />
<br />
An emotional manipulator is the picture of a willing helper. If you ask them to do something they will almost always agree. Then when you say, "ok thanks" - they make a bunch of heavy sighs, or other non verbal signs that let you know they don’t really want to do whatever said thing happens to be. (Paul just won’t do what he says he will do a lot of the time). When you tell them it doesn’t seem like they want to do whatever - they will turn it around and try to make it seem like OF COURSE they wanted to and how unreasonable you are. This is a form of crazy making - which is something emotional manipulators are very good at. (Paul is much more subtle, he would pretend he didn’t hear my request the first or second time, then the 3rd time he would agree emotionless and distracted. Always giving me the uneasy feeling, “did he hear me? Is he really going to do it?” I would rather he showed irritation or happiness or some kind of emotion. He always leaves me guessing and in an uneasy state). <br />
<br />
Crazy making - saying one thing and later assuring you they did not say it. If you find yourself in a relationship where you figure you should start keeping a log of what’s been said (I had started doing this) because you are beginning to question your own sanity --You are experiencing emotional manipulation. An emotional manipulator is an expert in turning things around, rationalizing, justifying and explaining things away. They can lie so smoothly that you can sit looking at black and they’ll call it white - and argue so persuasively that you begin to doubt your very senses. (He is very persuasive when wrongly accusing me to cover up his wrongdoings). Over a period of time this is so insidious and eroding it can literally alter your sense of reality. (That’s why it’s so hard to explain what he does because I stop believing in myself the mind games are so overwhelming).<br />
<br />
Guilt. Emotional manipulators are excellent guilt mongers. They can make you feel guilty for speaking up or not speaking up, for being emotional or not being emotional enough, for giving and caring, or for not giving and caring enough. Anything is fair game and open to guilt with an emotional manipulator. Emotional manipulators seldom express their needs or desires openly - they get what they want through emotional manipulation. Guilt is not the only form of this but it is a potent one. Most of us are pretty conditioned to do whatever is necessary to reduce our feelings of guilt. Another powerful emotion that is used is sympathy. An emotional manipulator is a great victim. They inspire a profound sense of needing to support, care for and nurture. Emotional Manipulators seldom fight their own fights or do their own dirty work.<br />
<br />
Emotional manipulators fight dirty. They are passive aggressive, meaning they find subtle ways of letting you know they are not happy little campers. They’ll tell you what they think you want to hear and then do a bunch of stuff to undermine it. Example: "Of course I want you to go back to school honey and you know I’ll support you." Then exam night you are sitting at the table and poker buddies show up, the kids are crying the t.v. blasting and the dog needs walking - all the while "Sweetie" is sitting their looking at you blankly. Dare you call them on such behavior you are likely to hear, "well you can’t expect life to just stop because you have an exam can you honey?" Cry, scream or choke ‘em - only the last will have any long-term benefits and it’ll probably wind your butt in jail. (Paul told me once that if I wanted to alter our schedules so that I could work out is being selfish on my part…that I’m only thinking of myself. When in fact I had thought about the way it would least impact the family before presenting it to Paul. He CONSTANTLY accuses me of being malicious to cover up his wrongdoings. That is my biggest hurt of all. It’s like his way of life is being lazy and irresponsible and defending that lifestyle with child like, manipulative tactics. He does it all the time and I can’t get a word in to defend myself. Even if I try he talks over me, accuses me even more, name calls, says extremely hurtful things etc. He’s a bully.)<br />
<br />
If you have a headache an emotional manipulator will have a brain tumor! No matter what your situation is the emotional manipulator has probably been there or is there now - but only ten times worse. It’s hard after a period of time to feel emotionally connected to an emotional manipulator because they have a way of de-railing conversations and putting the spotlight back on themselves. If you call them on this behavior they will likely become deeply wounded or very petulant and call you selfish - or claim that it is you who are always in the spotlight. The thing is that even though you know this is not the case you are left with the impossible task of proving it. (And it is impossible. I’ve tried everything to get him to see my innocence and he will not have it. He knows I am he just wants to win and deter the blame from himself. Mind games.) <br />
<br />
Emotional manipulators have no sense of accountability. They take no responsibility for themselves or their behavior - it is always about what everyone else has "done to them". One of the easiest ways to spot an emotional manipulator is that they often attempt to establish intimacy through the early sharing of deeply personal information that is generally of the "hook-you-in-and-make-you-sorry-for-me" variety. Initially you may perceive this type of person as very sensitive, emotionally open and maybe a little vulnerable. Believe me when I say that an emotional manipulator is about as vulnerable as a rabid pit bull, and there will always be a problem or a crisis to overcome. <br />
<br />
Things Paul does to me:<br />
<br />
Doesn’t make eye contact. I’m afraid of making eye contact with him – I don’t want to risk rejection <br />
<br />
He asks questions then doesn’t acknowledge my responses at all <br />
<br />
Ignores me. Has admitted to pretending he couldn’t hear me when I call to him from upstairs. He usually pretends he’s paying attention to the baby most of the time I speak to him. He won’t answer me until the 3rd or 4th try. Even if I’m sitting next to him he will not acknowledge a smile from me or a laugh. <br />
<br />
Smiles at me sarcastically, mocks himself smiling at me. Rarely smiles sincerely. <br />
<br />
Withholds affection for weeks, months or years <br />
Sleeps on couch around 75% of the time <br />
<br />
Rejects me sexually <br />
<br />
I’m afraid to hug him because I never know if he’s going to just sit there without hugging back or not. I’m afraid to put myself out there anymore, in fact I’ve stopped for the most part. <br />
<br />
Mocking, teasing, is his way of communication, especially when I’m looking for validation. <br />
<br />
He holds an imaginary microphone to my mouth when I express something important to me. <br />
<br />
Makes fun of things I get excited about. Always makes a joke then says, “I was just kidding”. I’ve never seen him get excited about anything. He doesn’t show real joy ever. <br />
<br />
After opening up about my mother on a long car ride, to which he was active in the conversation; he said real angrily, “you f’d me over.” You said you’d let me sleep and you talked the whole time.” <br />
<br />
Looking or talking to the baby but ignoring me when I’m holding the baby. Like I'll say something and he'll just keep talking to the baby. If I call him on it he says, "I'm sorry I was occupied with the baby." Always and excuse then he turns it around like I’m irrational. <br />
<br />
These paragraphs are most important:<br />
<br />
The victim knows that they are being attacked, but other people in the vicinity may not realize it. The victim will be reluctant to complain, and if they do complain, they will probably not be taken seriously. Indeed, others may form the opinion that the victim is paranoid, delusional or wrong. (He is kind to everyone but me. He butters other people up and is on his best behavior so no one can even picture the things I tell them he says.)<br />
<br />
It’s about circumventing retaliation - creating a situation in which the manipulator can persecute his victim with impunity. The victim knows that they are being attacked, but simply does not know what to do about it, and will have no credibility should they attempt to come forward. This kind of harassment can subject the victim to extreme psychological stress. Such a campaign of persecution can be pursued for months or even years (it's been 6 years), with serious mental and physical health consequences for the victim. It is very difficult to combat, as I know from experience. <br />
<br />
One of the main benefits of the passive-aggressive method is the fact that the victim never really knows precisely what is going on. He always has a vague feeling that something is wrong. Make them suffer - keep them guessing. This situation, as I know from personal experience, can be very stressful, can produce feelings of extreme psychological discomfort, and over time may make the victim paranoid, defensive and distrustful of others, thus increasing their social isolation. The intention is to create a vague feeling of unease (at all times) which is hard to pin down, and then to allow the victim to dwell and brood on this over a long period. <br />
<br />
By means of techniques such as those described here, it is possible to maintain a campaign of low-level psychological harassment against someone for years on end at virtually no cost to yourself. (And with Paul that’s as subtle as just body language and tone alone) The idea is to create an atmosphere in which the victim constantly feels tense and uncomfortable, but there is nothing they can do about it, and no blame attaches to you. They cannot complain or even confront you about it, because you can simply deny it. (This is my life and why I think about divorce almost on a daily basis).<br />
<br />
One of the key features of passive aggressive abuse is always to make sure that your actions remain below your victim's aggression threshold, and even more so, to ensure that it remains below observers' aggression threshold (that includes you and my parents, sister, friends and relatives etc.) Fly underneath the radar. Certainly in the case of public or 'ambient' abuse, one of the key features of mental abuse is to always make sure that your actions remain below your victim's aggression threshold. This means that you can continue to mentally abuse them and they will be unsure how to respond. <br />
<br />
Mental abuse has to be pitched in such a way that no individual incident is serious enough to merit a formal complaint. (Paul is Expert at this and this is why I try to take notes because I try to prove it. But it’s hard to prove a feeling invoked by body language or lack thereof). If the victim complains about something so seemingly trivial, they will seem petulant and churlish and elicit little sympathy from those around them. <br />
<br />
The damage is caused by the cumulative effect of constant low-level abuse over a long period. It would be naïve to underestimate the effectiveness of such methods. Tree-roots can bring down a castle wall. It just takes time. Pretending to be helpless is an important tactic for the attacker. The idea of passive-aggressive hostility is being able to attack your victim without them being able to retaliate, and without anyone else thinking anything is wrong. If this is done well, then they may not realise that they have been attacked until later, by which time the opportunity to retaliate has passed. <br />
<br />
Alternatively, they may realize that they have been attacked but the verbal attack either has another (innocent) interpretation, or is mild enough to be on the edge of social acceptability, (PAUL IS EXPERT AT THIS) so that taking offence would appear churlish. <br />
<br />
Paul does this so often to condescend...<br />
<br />
Suppressed laughter: I want to give you the impression that I am laughing at you, but I’m not going to tell you why, so I am going to make a display of suppressing laughter. Why not just laugh openly? If I make it look as if I am trying not to laugh, it looks as if I am making an effort to spare your embarrassment, which makes it more difficult for you to retaliate. In fact, however, the opposite is the case; I am not trying to spare your embarrassment at all, I am trying to cause you embarrassment, shame and humiliation; I am just trying to do it in such a way that no-one will blame me for it. <br />
<br />
Physical abuse damages the body. Mental abuse damages one's entire life. The targets are one's self-esteem, mental health, (and consequently physical health), relationships, social status, reputation (and consequently one's career), even their liberty. The only limitation is that it takes more ingenuity, more negotiation; it may take time and diligence. An abuser cannot destroy someone’s life overnight; it may require months or years of constant pressure. The pressure has to be kept to a low level so that their actions are not discovered by others, and if they are, they are deniable. They need to be subtle. The damage inflicted by means of these methods is often intangible, but it’s real enough. It’s difficult to prove. It’s not always visible to others. This style of conflict is all about hitting the victim where it doesn’t leave any marks, and in such a way that the attacker themself cannot be implicated.

that is my life for 20 years. thank you I thought I was crazy.

My emotionalabuser tried to convince others I was crazy. I have alays been a responsible functioning adult and felt I was being treated unjustly and said so. I used to feel sympathy for him but realized why bother. I feel sorry for his next true love. Although I doubt that will happen as he is a narcissit as well.I am interested to know how this personality disorder develops. Anybody have any information regarding that.

You've articulated this in such an uncanny way. This is exactly how it is.

And you cannot state your opinion on anything especially if its contrare or they will accuse you of starting an argument. He asks questions in a way that doesnt get the answer he is looking for so then it makes me feel like an idiot and he will say for the fifth time grrrrrrrrrrrrr this crap really ****** me off. Then I get defensive oh how he loves that. If I am upset or I am emotional that really bothers him he just turns everyting off like a switch. The silent treatment to him is like a punishment and sometimes I dont know even what for. I am so frickin tired of playing a guessing game of what is going to set off his mood today and walking on eggshells. This is just a small iota of things around here. My question why does a person still feel so attached to this person and be so frickin scared of the consequences when it is only a good thing you get out of the situation?

thank you for that. everything in it is the same for me, and sometimes worse. he makes it so that even though i know that he is doing it i am so turned around in my mind that i cannot pinpoint what it is he was doing. it makes me feel like i am crazy. i actually went to a mental health doctor for it and they put me on medicines for a disorder i do not have. thank you for putting into words what i haven't been able to. he will do things and when even immediately confronted with it, he will deny he did it or make it out to be smaller than it was. and then he asks what have i ever done to you when i am upset about it. i googled this myself a few months ago, and after reading all of it....i am angry. just angry. at first i was hurt about it. all i have now is anger that he could do this. we have two boys and he is beginning to be physically abusive to them now and starting to destroy their self esteem. if for no other reason than my boys, i have a plan to leave and am now taking the steps t make it happen. i hope anyone else in this situation has the chance to get out of it early or if not early, then out to heal. i am very confused still and sometimes i still feel like maybe it IS in fact me sometimes. thats one of his favorites...its my fault.

mine for 16. you are not crazy

it is part of the manipulation. i used to be so afraid of leaving even though i knew something was not right. i thought he would take my boys from me, because he said he would. and mine loves to make me upset. it seems at times like he is not happy if i am not confused, angry, crying, or trying to defend myself from things i cant even identify at times.

4 More Responses

Thanks again Randomstatic. That link was very helpful. and I definatly can relate to what it said. and will continue to use it to remind myself to not be blind in my own life when stuff like that is going on, and to not allow it to happen.

It better knowing that there are ppl out there who know what its like, those who can be of support.. <br />
<br />
this is something from that site that opened my eyes a lot<br />
<br />
http://mountcope.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/power-and-control.gif

Thank you Randomstatic for adding that site to this page. Maybe together we can bring about more awareness of this type of abuse, to those that maybe suffering, but are still blind to it, so that they can realize what is going on with themselves and put a stop to it or get help putting a stop to it.

sorry that is "mount cope"

thank you for posting this, I also got help and an eye opener from a site called "Mount Hope"<br />
<br />
i helps when you can talk and see that others understand and see things that you now see that you didnt, just to afirm that you are right, because one thing that i know and does happen with me, is we question ourselves about what happened and can/do fall back into the blaming of ourselves for what they ahve done, because they told us so many times and twisted things so in the end you believe them, this sometimes still happens specially when in low times..<br />
<br />
thankyou for posting, hirts to know othes are feeling the same wrenching pain, but at the same time its a comfort to know there are those who understand completely

Thanks for the great post UC. I can answer yes to most of those questions. Its scary. But next month I am gone. Either that, or she will kill me (I have this fear of my wife losing it b/c she has in the past) . But I cant stay anymore. I hope you make the right decisions in your life.

Thanks for posting this. I'd read some on this before. Its good to have a refresher. I realized that I have suffered from some aspects of emotional abuse in my recent past. This posting is helpful, as any reminder would be, to keep me on track and help keep me from falling in to the trap of letting it happen again to easily. I hope we can all stay as far away from this as possible now that we are better able to identify it. Continueing to learn about it is a strong step in that direction.

Thanks for commenting guys(girls) and your right Coffemate. Emotional abuse I think does stay with you for a much longer time than physicall abuse. Its also harder to recognize when its occuring. Most people being emotionally abused tend to make excuses for the bad behavior of their partner even though something inside of them is quietly telling them that somethings wrong. and they tend to blind themselves to the truth out of fear or shame. Which these things are exactly what i did for a long time before realizing it. and one more thing I point out. Verbal abuse is a form of emotional abuse. It can make you feel like your worthless. It can make you depressed, it can cause you to be insecure about yourself and it can cause you to be afraid of meeting new people, going new places and doing new things. So if you know its verbal abuse and you think" Oh its just verbal abuse. Or You will not wake up for a long time to the reality of it and by then it maybe too late to fix anything eveen if you wanted too.

i have been through all kinds of abuse from physical to financial to being forced into prositiution to support someones habit and i find the worst abuse is emotional. Not only because it's harder to measure (with physical there can be black eyes or hospitalizations) but physical wounds heal, emotional wounds seldom do.

You're quite correct.

i'm dealing mostly with verbal abuse