Verbally & Physically Abusive Relationships - When to Walk Away

This is a very important article as it discusses both verbally and physically abusive relationships; the signs and how to deal with them;

"Abusive relationships can sneak up on you. They happen to men as well as women. It can happen between parents and children, friends, and lovers. They can happen with violence or harsh language, or they can more subtle.

Most abusive relationships happen when one partner has a need for control of the other partner, or sometimes it is more selfish. They need their emotional, physical, or mental needs met and offer no mutual satisfaction to their partners.

With any relationship there will be disagreements that occur. As you get to know each other there will be differing of opinions or events or situations which one party may become upset and possibly a loud argument or disagreement my be a result of this. It is what happens during these arguments that can indicate abuse. Obviously any physical altercation is a big indicator of abuse. No person male or female has the right to injure someone else. To some this is obvious indication to call it quits. However generally what happens is a cycle of events. The abuser will use your emotions and vulnerabilities in their favor..."



It is so true that the abuser will use our emotions and vulnerabilities in their favor. I lived with the king of manipulation. They pull you and use your emotions to control . Its a cycle i could never see when I was in the relationship..but now separated I can see it all so clearly.
It is also how they trap you into depending on them. At times I have thought that maybe he just didn't realize what he was doing BUT I have realized he knew EXACTLY what he was doing and he had become so good at it.
It is all about Power and control and manipulating to get what they want.
Anything i did to please him was never enough and because of that I lost much self worth.
When your in it you can feel there is something Definitely wrong but you question yourself because thats what they want. THey want us to believe we are the problem we are to blame.
Then we try to keep them happy but because they are so controlling they find other ways to keep that power.

Then you fall into that cycle ...its just all so clear now and after I was out of it it was really shocking to see how much abuse there really was. but I was in denial or for some reason blind to it.

Im not blind to it anymore.


so puppydoglvr

were you in an abusive realtionship???

AG, thank you so much for giving us your own personal insight regarding being in an abusive relationship. My last relationship was awful; he was so verbally abusive and I tolerated it. Its been 5 months since I ended the relationship and now looking back I can't believe that I was ever with this man. But, much like the man you were in a relationship with, he was such a brilliant manipulator and I think that's what kept sucking me back in. When he was abusive, it was so bad, but then he would sweet talk me to the point where I would forget his hurtful yelling and screaming. Now, I feel so free and so happy, but I do have trust issues with men. This guy came in so smoothly and slyly and then bam...there came the abuse. How were you able to move on?

Wow.... I can't decide whether it's abuse or if he just tells me the truth about myself. He does make me feel like crap a lot of the time, but he just says things that I already now. Is repeatedly telling the hurtful truth abuse? My husband is also a master manipulator. He often tries to win arguments by frustrating the person and making them feel so stupid that they eventually just give up because they feel anything they say will be stupid. Geez, just writing that and reading it back to myself makes me think there might be some verbal abuse going on. But I am probably guilty myself of this.... I don't know.

Hi Dani, thank you for sharing with us. I am so sorry for what you are going through with your husband. Yes, what he is doing is verbally abusing you and it's not okay. Regardless of whether or not he is being truthful, it's all in the delivery and way it makes you feel. Please know that you don't need to stand for this. Have you ever told him how it makes you feel?

I agree with puppydoglvr. It sounds like abuse. I would talk to him about it and if he gets defensive or upset you should probably tell someone else what's going on. I had an ex who was the same way and it went to physical abuse and then got to the point of him actually pinning me against a door and strangling me. He may tell you that you do the same to him (verbal abuse) but it's not always the case. Don't become blinded and start blaming yourself, I would hate for another person to go through what I went through. Talk to him and if he doesn't listen then that's a flag.

Hi Dani, next time you find yourself saying something you would consider verbally abusive I want you to stop and think, Am I doing this out of my own thoughts of him, or am I responding to something he says to me? A kind word turns away rage, is he being kind when it comes from you? All you can control is what you say, and if you're speaking from hurt or fear that would seem to be a possible cause. Sounds like your husband is very adept at turning things around in your conversations. I know most men I've known use the tactic that The best defense is a good offense. You are right to create a support system for yourself! I for one a
Proud of you. Stay strong and know people care.!!!

Friends in Need, I totally and completely agree with you in that these types of men are very good at turning things around and become very defensive of their actions. I dated a verbally/emotionally abusive man and he was brilliant at making me think and feel that I was in the wrong. Wow, they really do have talent at doing so.

Hi dear puppydoglvr, I know I am speaking from a woman's point of view though. I don't want to be so cynical and maybe that's why I'm single today(gets lonely, miss the good parts) but I learned that when my husband would try to turn it back to me saying or insinuating that his behavior was caused by something I had done or said, or not done for that matter, I just spoke up and said, Ok, we'll discuss that after we settle this". Like I said, I'm single now, and divorced, again, so maybe I shouldn't be giving anyone advice. It's up to each person to decide what they can and will live with from their partner. I wasn't safe in my relationship and still miss the creep sometimes! Life! Thank you for your comment. I just joined the site and I feel better already. Just knowing that you're not alone in these things really has helped me already. Take care, seek peace, friend.

Friends in Need, you are speaking/writing from a very important and vital stand-point; not just from that of a woman but from that of someone who was in an abusive relationship. Abuse is abuse, and the abuser is so good at manipulating the situation. I have been there, and I know that you have been there as well. From everything that I have learned from those who have been in similar situations, it seems that the abuser is a manipulator, male or female.

I know that you will meet someone wonderful who deserves you. I don't know why we go through what we go through in life, but I do believe there is a purpose. I am praying for you and wishing you a beautiful, happy, positive, and peaceful relationship.

Thank you so much for being with us. Please keep sharing.

Puppydoglvr. Thank you for sharing this article & I am glad you were able to get out of an abusive relationship.
I am currently in a relationship where I think my husband might be
verbally abusive & somewhat controling (he puts me down (often in what he calls jokes-but when he is mad at me there insults)/and belittles my "accomplishments (I was so happy to get into nursing school-but my husband response to the news upset me because although he said congrats I am proud of u-he also added affirmative action-one good thing about being Mexican-it helped u get in; or if i got an A in a class-he was like good job but it's just junior college aka moron college). He claims these are jokes but I do not find them funny. I am not a stupid person but he always jokingly calls me a dingbat or jokes that I got a GED (the only reason I didn;t finish hs is because he encouraged me to just get my GED so I could be home w/ our children instead of having to pay for daycare-last semester of my senior yr of highschool.I was always an honors student in hs even though I was a teen mom so I was not slow. My husband is "Funny" and jokes w/ friends a lot so I am not sure if it is just him or abuse. Also he jokes that I have no friends-bc I usually only hang out w/a few, close girlfriends (we have been friends since kids). It upsets me because I am a shy person & it is lonely at times being home w/ children/household duties all day that I worry something is wrong w. me for being boring & quiet (when we go out my husband is often the life of a party, outgoing, funny-so he is opposite of me-who is quiet until I know someone). My husband does not encourage me to make new friends-because he is jealous at times-but he likes to joke about me being shy.

How do you know if someone is purposely manipulating things or if they do things unintentionally? I wonder if my husband means to be insulting/unsupportive or if he just has an odd sense of humour/selfish person.
He claims I am too sensitive and need to lighten up. I am a sensitive person-so I am always second guessing myself. I have even had him read articles on "emotional abuse" and his response was a joke (sounding like Cartman on Southpark and calling it Hippie Crap),,then he was like we just argue it is not "abuse" stop trying to look for problems in our relationship. I wonder if I am oversensitive, if he is in denial, or if he purposely manipulates things to get what he wants.
My husband is the only guy I have ever been in a relationship with so I have no basis to judge what is normal.

Puppydiglvr - You make me smile! Thank you. I needed that. Your friend.

Hey again... afraid I will probably harass you often these mornings when Im having trouble sleeping.. the boys are still in bed.. and Im alone with my guitar.. If I may.. the relationship should be something more than yourself.. your test of a choice in life. Angry and abusive words.. first thing .. stop trying to win the fight and simply say we have a problem here.. I am learning to love you, and learning stops when we have problems that degrade our relationship. Physical harm.. ah.. thats the time to walk. At times there is a large learning curve when its simply words and me anyway, has to look at our relationship as being larger than myself and express what is needed to grow it. Didnt work in my marrage and it got physically abusive.. finally I was in a hospital room with 48 stitches. Too stupid to leave before it got too late. But it worked for the best.. I have my boys with me most of the time.. Simple words.. that hurt.. look at the relationship you are trying to build and let the other person know they can come to you with understanding if they go off.. but it must be instantly.. like, that hurt me so lets see what we can do to make us stronger.. verbal and mental abuse without immediate stoping and talking about the larger picture of the relationship.. or physical abuse.. time to run.

Marisol, thank you for giving me more insight into your relationship. From what I read and now understand, your husband continually puts you down in all facets of your life; from education to friendships. A relationship should add to your life and not take away from it; all I see him doing is degrading you and making you feel bad. How often does he make you smile? How often does he compliment you and make you feel good about yourself? Does the good outweigh the bad?

I believe that everyone can change, though they have to see their faults, own them and be willing to work on themselves. Your husband doesn't seem to think that there is anything wrong with his words and behavior. As well, he is turning it around on you by telling you that you are too sensitive. That's total manipulation and not taking ownership for his actions.

If you can, tell him that things need to change, that his words hurt, and don't allow him to tell you that you are too sensitive. If he is willing to change and work on himself, then it's worth moving forward in your marriage, but he has to show some effort.

Please know that you are a wonderful and special person, and don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. I am here for you and here to help you through this.

Hi puppydoglvr. Thanks for your insight. My husband is a mix of kind and mean-depending on the day. He can make me feel like the most special person in the world oneday & than at other times like I am worthless. He has been one of the few people in my life who has been there for me through thick & thin. Even though we fight, & he says mean things, he has never left me and he is always a good father to our children. I had a horrible father growing up-so it means a lot to me that he is a good, involved dad-and I worry if I were to ever leave him, i would be ruining my children's relationship with their dad or making their life harder.

Our relationship started out dysfunctional-he has admitted/apologized that when I was only 13-he used me/didn;t care about me at that time, stayed w. me because we had chidren together, and since than fallen in love because we both tried to make the best of a bad situation (i was messed up at 13-so part of the dysfunction was my fault too). I do not know if the good out ways the bad because it seems like when I go along with what my husband wants-things are perfect,he is supportive, kind etc. But when I hold strong to a difference in opinion from him (our major issue right now is over school in that -i really want to go back to school now he wants me to wait until my children are all in school full time) he is very mean. I know that people who know you best can be the most hurtful-and he knows exactly what to say that will make me feel bad & worthless.He'll say things like go ahead and leave but you know no judge would give you custody of our children-you have no job, education etc; or if you divorce me you'll never see your kids again (as if he'd have custody-he never threatened to hurt our children); you won't leave-you have no where else to go; and he even says no guy would want you in terms of a serious relationship bc you are too damage-3 kids at 20 yrs old-guys ur age would run.

He feels it is not the right time for me to go back to school-because my youngest is only in preschool part time, he thinks my job right now should be as a stay at home mom, and that I am being selfish thinking of my own needs over my children aka being a bad mom. I want to go to school to better our life & my children;s life, show them education is important, that you can make mistakes in life and overcome them, and be able to financially support myself oneday so I am with my husband because I love him not because I have no where to go without him. I have found /gotten into inexpensive nursing programs where I can go part time during day/evening, some have daycare options, and I still plan to be an involved mom & good wife (i'll just be busier because of school). However, my husband is rigid and it seems like it is either his way or no way-which is not fair. I supported him going on with school years ago even though it was harder on me, and it is time he helped me do something to better myself too. His words can be very mean but at other times he can say/do the nicest things for me so it is confusing. He has never gotten along well with my family, but he is willing to take my mom to treatment or help me physically care for her-even though they never got along-so I really appreciate that. My mom has battled ovarian cancer for years and at this point it is terminal. My husband has been there for me when I have been devastated about my mom, or had a bad day caring for her-so he does show kindness * love to me-but he can also have a dark side. I want us both to get professional help-so we do not mess up our children (i grew up in an abusive home, where my mom stayed in an abusive marraige for the kids,and it definately negatively affected us-so i do not want to do that to my children). However, I just had my second counseling sesssion in my life-and my husband is unsupportive of me going. He thinks counseling is only for crazy people, and that I am looking for problems in our marriage. I am trying to learn to better communicate with him but it gets very frustrating when he lashes out at me verbally when I say something he doesn;t want to hear or agree with him. I am sick of always doing things his way to avoid confrontations with him. I do not blame him for all the problems in my life but he seems to think in counseling everything will be his fault which is not true. I just wish he wasn't so stuborn and ignorant. It is like pulling teeth to get my husband to do something he doesn;t want to do--even if it means a lot to me.

Also-I agree my husband rarely thinks he is wrong. Even when he apologizes he often says "I am sorry you got upset- but you need to stop being so sensitive it was a joke" or "your just in a bad mood so everything is bothering you today". I am a person who hates to fight and I try not to take things our on others-so often I am the one in our relationship apologizing for everything. Of course I get in bad moods but he is a much more moodier person than I am. He works two jobs and is under more stress than I am so I get why he is moody but it makes my life harder. Honestly, it is hard enough all day with 3 children (especially in the summer when there is no school) but I always worry that I hope my hubby is not in bad mood when he comes home. If my husband is in a good mood-the night is fun, he is very helpful with the kids, and he is a wonderful husband. If he is in a bad mood-which happens usually at least once a week but degree varies-than I know I will have to be careful not to say or do something to upset him, and that his level of helpfulness with our children will be limited. I can tell his mood right away when he comes home & it is hard on me because sometimes I feel like i have a 4th child in that the littlest thing will upset/anger my husband. I think my husband should see someone to better handle his stress but once again he is too stuborn & ignorant.

Marisol, thank you for giving me more insight, as it's so helpful in trying to help you get through this. Your husband has a lot of very good qualities, but he really does need to work on the way he talks to you and demeans you. Because, this behavior is absolutely unacceptable and wrong. You should never ever have anyone in your life who makes you feel badly about yourself.

In regard to your education, I think that he fears that you will have your own life [so to speak/write] and then you will be able to leave him because you will have something to fall back on. Right now, he feels that he has total control over you and that he can do and say anything that he wants. By threatening losing your children, he knows that he has a strong hold over you, which is awful. I think that you should move forward with your education, I love that you want to show your children how you can turn your life around. Do it for yourself, do it for your children.

If you can seriously explain to your husband that he needs to work on his communication, and that marriage counseling would be helpful, then you can have a wonderful future together. Is this something that he would be willing to do?

Don't allow him to continually turn things around on you. From what I read and from how he expresses himself when you tell him that you are hurt, he completely manipulates the situation and turns it around on you. Don't stand for anything less than respect.

Please know that I am always here for you.

Puppydoglvr thankyou for your insight and advice. I agree a hundred percent with what you said. I do plan on attending nursing school in the fall. I know my husband will not help me and make my life more difficult when I start school because he does not support my decision. He has already said that I will have to take public transportation (not a big deal) because he will not pay for gas for me to drive to school nor will he pick me from school; he said that I must still be able to pick my children up from school/activities because he refuses to do more than he normally does; and basically keep my household duties. I think once I show him I am committed to completing this program successfully; and also plan to successfully keep my other duties-he will become supportive of me becoming a nurse. My husband is one of those people who can be a huge pain the a&& if things do not go his way; but if you really need him-he is there for you. So-eventually I think everything will work out with me going back to school, but I am prepared for the first semester to be difficult & drama filled because my husband will be a pain in the a**. My two sisters have offered to help in any way they can-such as finances, child care, transportation etc-so I am grateful to have them & am making a plan for the fall so that my house will not be in chaos. I wish my husband would support me in going back to school; and it greatly hurts me that I think he wants me to fail at it even though he knows how much it means to me.

You are completely right that my husband likes to be in control. He is more traditional-and thinks because he makes a good living I do not have to work. I should be happy about that and focus on being a good mom. He does have control issues-and he even tried to tell me what I could or couldn't talk about in therapy-even though he refuses to go with me (obviously I am not listening this time because I want to get help/do better in life). I am not going to school because I want to leave him-I am doing this because I want a financially secure future, help others, and do something positvie for me/my family.

I pray that one day he will attend therapy with me & will continue to explain to him why it is important. It is doubtful though that he will ever go because he thinks therapy is a wast of time/money, most marriages end in divorce after therapy; he doesn't want us discussing our problems with other people, and he believes we can fix our our problems through discussion. I wish we could just talk and fix our issues but my husband enjoys arguing and he is excellent at manipulating words & going on and on. I usually get so frustrated when we argue, there is no compromise, and eventually I get a headache & end the arguement. I will continue to try to get him to realize therapy can be very helpful to us both, but I worry that his pride and ignorance will prevent him from ever going.
Thank you agin for your advice-it has been very helpful =)

Excuse me, but when I was working full time (bringing home as much as my husband did) and raising 4 girls (god, the laundry!) ha! My husband was being selfish like yours seems to be. I had to pack all children's bags for the day, drop them off, Work all day, pick them up, stop at the grocery store on the way home, With kids in tow, cook dinner, give them their baths, wash the dishes, read them story, put to bed ( after many "Mommy I want a drink!") ha, etc, etc.,! Anyway my point is that my boss took me aside one day and said "Dear, you don't have a big red 'S' on your chest, you are not superwoman" I went home that day and said to my husband that I would be dropping off the children and he would be picking them up. He, of course, balked. But I insisted that they weren't going to be picked up then as I would be home preparing his 3-4 course dinner as usual. Guess what! It worked! He thereafter shared in the childcare a little better, at least dropping them off or picking them up...I left the choice up to him, put your foot diwn for some support, they're his kids too! Busybody friend that's been there. Supporting you totally!!!