Sanctuary for the Abused

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Reactive Abuse - What Is It?

“…stop making out people to be evil if they fight back. Or run away. As in divorce.

You cannot force people to submit to abuse. That is the Sin of Sodom, otherwise known as making someone bend over for it. It violates the Laws of Nature. And common sense.” - Kathy Krajco

If you’ve ever been in an abusive relationship like I have, it’s likely your abuser tried to convince you that YOU are the abusive one: that YOU have PMS (a favorite accusation of male partners), YOU are over-reacting, YOU are making it all up,  YOU are the crazy one, that YOU are responsible for all the issues in the relationship, that YOU are the “time-bomb” that explodes on a regular basis. My ex-abuser even called me “Time Bomb” and mocked me about my reactions and responses to his constant abuse during the last 3-3.5 years of our relationship.

It’s a pretty safe assumption that if you’re getting this type of constant blame, mockery, and guilting from a partner in response to any and all issues that arise, you’re in an abusive relationship.

As for your partner’s assertion, yes - you may have sent angry emails or yelled or slammed doors or called names. So your abuser claims YOU were abusing him/her. Or YOU are a Narcissist, Sociopath or Psychopath.

But it’s more likely you were REACTING to being abused by your partner. What can make it even more difficult for you to see and understand at this point is that some of their abuse may be subtle and covert rather than obvious and overt. This causes further difficulty for you in identifying the abuse - and makes it easier for your abuser to convince you that it’s all your fault, or the problem is really with YOU - that you’re “crazy”, or “imagining things”.

They’ll abuse you, and when you react to that abuse, they accuse YOU of abusing THEM and they play the victim role. They don’t call it “crazymaking” for nothing!

This is the stage at which an abused partner often describes as being in the “fog” of abuse. Their abusive partner has guilted them in to accepting ALL blame for the issues in the relationship, and caused them to doubt their own perceptions of the mistreatment they’re receiving.

It’s not at all unusual for a person in an abusive relationship to REACT abusively. This does not mean YOU are the abuser, that you are crazy, have PMS etc. etc. — though the abusive partner will try to convince you that YOU are THE problem and will often succeed in guilting you into believing it. I believed it for a LONG time before I began to recognize and question the pattern of abuse and the subsequent constant blame for the abuse, and worse, the ensuing mockery because I dared respond at all to having been hurt by it.

An interesting thing to note is that an abusive partner will often be very calm when you are upset and angry. This is because when they have finally succeeded in causing your reaction of hurt, upset or anger, then THEY are in power and control over you. THIS is what abuse is about: POWER and CONTROL. And like a drug addict, they get a lot of satisfaction out of that feeling of power and control. Abusers are very disordered people in this way.

The important thing for you to know is that this relationship and this person is toxic, unhealthy, and you need to get out of it and away from this person ASAP. They are emotional vampires, sucking away from you every iota of self-esteem and spirit you ever had. (then they will complain when you have none!)

If someone can drive you to be so upset on a regular basis (and abusers are experts at this - it gives them the sense of superiority, power and control they absolutely LIVE for) then the best thing to do is GET OUT and have NO FURTHER contact with that toxic person, if it is possible for you to do so.

The thing with abusers is that they are pathologically backwards people.

Lundy Bancroft touches on this in his book. Abusive, toxic people only consider and notice THEIR own feelings and their partner’s behavior. They never, EVER consider or notice their PARTNER’S FEELINGS and their own behavior.

When they’re abusive, (verbally, emotionally, sexually, physically, financially - covertly or overtly) it is always someone else’s fault. When their partner/victim finally reacts to that abuse with anger or upset at having been abused - then that is their partner/victim’s fault too.

In their minds, it never gets down to their OWN behavior and how it affects their partner’s feelings. They like to pretend that isn’t relevant, or anything they should ever be responsible for. They ALWAYS lack empathy for their partners (beyond the early “romance” stages when they’re trying to pull you in). This lack of empathy is the mark of the beast of abuse - more than anything else.

Here’s some information that may also help explain this “reactive abuse” concept a little more:

How do you know that you are not the one who is crazy or PMS’ing and that he is really emotionally abusive?


You are being abused if:

(1) He repeats a certain bad behavior (ie: pattern of behavior).

(2) You asked him to stop (for whatever reason) and...

(3) He refuses and continues to behave the way he has.
You may well be abusing him - but that does not mean that he is not being abusive towards you. Both parties are sometimes abusive towards each other.

People who are abusers rarely consider that they might be abusive. Even if the stresses of the relationship lead into what might be considered reactive abuse, anyone who honestly tries to adjust to the other person’s actual needs, actively listens to the other person, and makes every attempt to stop such behavior, probably is not an abuser.

Abusers do not take responsibility for their own actions, and in fact often blame the abused. When the abused person reacts to the abuse, the abuser calls that reaction abuse, and will use guilt to try to get the abused to feel responsible for the arguments or difficulties, as well as for the abuser’s actions.

This is one of the reasons getting away from an abuser is so important. Everything clarifies then.


While this article is written with the male as an abuser, your abuser may well be female!

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shared by Barbara at 12:03 AM



Excellent article!

1:01 PM  

Thank you for your very clear explanation of reactive abuse.

I had some undesireable behaviors, like some yelling and door slamming in response to my husband's verbal abuse. I changed them and he became more abusive.

He tells me that I provoke his name calling. I know better.


11:29 PM  

Thank you for this. I was abused by a NArrastic male who pretends to have Asbergers... to trap unsuppecting women wit spouses who do have AS.
He is a true psychopath NArasstic (so my suppprt group and therapist) told me and helped me understand. Still there was questions I didn't have answers for. Like how did he and his frieds with benefits manage to get me to react to their abuse everytime. I carried so much anger and disappointment within myself. It took a lot of work in forgiving myself. I managed too but had I known this even a year ago... it would have made the journy much easier.

Thank you from the bottem of my heart.

10:17 AM  

"An interesting thing to note is that an abusive partner will often be very calm when you are upset and angry. This is because when they have finally succeeded in causing your reaction of hurt, upset or anger, then THEY are in power and control over you. THIS is what abuse is about: POWER and CONTROL. And like a drug addict, they get a lot of satisfaction out of that feeling of power and control. Abusers are very disordered people in this way."

That is totally how it was in my 20 year marriage to an emotionally, mentally and verbally abusive man.
Even today as I have filed for divorce he tells people that I was the abusive person, I have an anger management problem, not him.

I tried so hard not to react, but eventually it would still happen and I often began to think that I truly was the abusive one. But I now realize that this is all part of their game. It's about power and control, and my almost-ex still does it.

12:13 PM  

Thank you so much for this article. So many terms to describe things but it all boils down to the fact that we aren't ALLOWED to say that some people are born without a conscience and therefore cannot feel love, empathy, disgust or shame. Dr. Robert Hare says something like they know the words but not the music.

The above comment by Amy is so precious to me. I too truly thought I was the angry person. What I finally realized is that I wanted to face issues head on and resolve them or get help. Basically, get to the TRUTH and deal with it. This can never happen with a psychopath/narcissist/passive-aggressive etc. as THERE IS NO TRUTH IN THEM!(John 8:44) They desire chaos and strife.

There's an article (The Psychopath/Psychopaths and rational morality by Jonah Lehrer) explaining how in some cases a psychopaths blood pressure will actually go DOWN when they are angry and abusive. Horror after horror when you finally are able to see/say the truth about these people.

12:30 PM  

This article described perfectly and to a "T" my 24 year relationship with my ex NH. This is what I lived with day in and day out. He still tells people that I'm an abuser and I have rage problems when clearly it was HIM. I'm so glad I'm away from him.

8:04 AM  

I made many mistakes with my X, including being unfaithful, slapping him, and throwing things. He did tell me that I was abusive, he said it like a threat, like he was going to turn me in to someone. The final straw was when he threw a dishful of food at my stepdaughter and then rushed across the room to pin her on the ground. I hit him on the back to make him get off her, but he said he was calling the cops because I had hit him. He said that I would be taken to jail and that I would never see my kids again, that I had been abusive to him. I can't believe I bought it, but I did. I still feel ashamed about my own behaviors while we were married, nothing will change that, but I know now that maybe I was driven to it. Sometimes I wish he had just beaten me, it would have made it so much easier to leave.

11:02 PM  

Are you saying here that if they try to stop, then they are not an abuser? Even if the abuse starts again in two weeks at the most, but more than likely in two days?

If that is so, I feel really bad about myself. I guess it is all my fault after all? Help!

8:53 AM  

NO Anonymous - that is not what this article is suggesting at all. You misread.

Read this:

You are NOT at fault. Abusers CHOOSE To abuse.

1:07 AM  

Thank you Barbara for your reply. It does say though is that if the abuser truly attempts to stop, then they are not abusing. He has truly attempted many times...

12:56 PM  

Ok- please ignore my last comment. I just read the link, and I am clearer now. My problem is that no matter how much reading I do on this, I still always take him back. I am trying so hard to break this cycle!

1:09 PM  

Reactive Abuse is something the VICTIM does as a "reaction" to the abuse.

If he really tried to stop, he'd leave. He stops long enough to "honeymoon" you. I will put an article up for you.

12:39 AM  

I can identify with this reactive abuse.For 5 yrs I had been in a relationship with a man who very cleverly and covertly manipulated and abused me.Only a matter of weeks ago I discovered he was sleeping with his ex ,a woman he had put through the ringer before me.I was expected to go quietly like a good girl. I showed up at a bar where he plays pool to have words....this was a gift to him he was the victim of this unreasonable woman. Out side the bar I ran after him and fell badly cracking my head he just looked at me said "I'll just leave you there"then just walked away.Now I reacted to his behaviour but for all the world to see I was the "mad" one! From now on its NC.

6:25 AM  

I have had 3 abusive relationships two of them marriages. I am just lost right now and I swear if I am happy he is angry. There are so many days I just wish I was dead. I changed my insurance to my kids names. jic. I do everything he says and it continues. If I remotely look sideways I am hit with everything and more that you have said. Last time it blew up huge huge, he stepped on and crush and crushed my foot till it stress crushed fracture and it still hurts. I just got a great job, not huge money, but a good job, going to try to finish my degree and get myself together despite this and focus on positives till ...I can't even think that far. I know I can't live like this.

6:31 PM  

hi. good article. i learned from it. but i was wondering if you could focus more on intersex abuse and not just male on female violence. the problem is not so much with men as it is with people who cannot control their agression. men receive plenty of abuse from women, too. it's not men or women just the society in general who promotes sexual imbalance and bending. thanks.

3:51 PM  

This article really helped. My ex is abusive and no one that I hung around believes be. They say I nagged him, i talked down to him and i was stubborn. He just recently left me while I was 6 months pregnant for his best friends ex. The day before he got with her he was trying to convince me to not put him on child support. He tried to tell me she means nothing, she is a friend, she is nothing more and even told me im over reacting. There was an incident at the apartment we shared. His other friend was spending the night. I was around 8 weeks. We were tickling each other and playing......the "honeymoon" phase once again. He told me to atop tickling him, he seemed like he was joking. He kicked me so hard I fell and hit me head on the wall, putting a dent into the dry wall..i went into the living room completely crying and in pain. His friend just went and yelled at him. Before that he had our black and blue bruises on my arms and there were hand prints on my things from where he had continuously slapped them. I WOKE UP IN PAIN! He apologized and said I didn't think you would bruise so easily because you are so BLACK......later that night I went to the bathroom and cried my eyes out. He asked "concerned" what's wrong? I lied and said i was a little emotional. After that i im trying to leave him alone. Im 7 months now....he says he will take my child...hes saying I am mentally unfit to be a mother...thank you for writing this really helped me see what things are.

12:15 PM  

What a relief, I felt like I was literally going crazy/mentally ill before I read this web page... This helped me understand some root causes to my relationship problems, and is now helping me reinstate confidence in myself, thank you for sharing this great info!!

12:32 PM  

I feel your pain people. My boyfriend tells me my feelings are unjust and i am way out there when i have an episode. He tells me to act right and he will treat me right. However, i know its the other way around. He invites his friends over and then starts to push my buttons, although no one notices because they dont know the things that upset me. For example, ever since our son was born i like to keep late company strictly on the weekends. Late nights are not normal during the week and i dont want our son to think it is. So when he is in one of his moods, he will invite 2/3 people over around 11:45 that stay until 3 a.m. to play video games. He knows what to expect. Im polite tge first few Times i mention the time. By the time 1 oclock strikes, im full blown bi"#h mode. He stays collected the entire time saying how sorry he feels for me as his crew talks down on me calling me a psychopath. None of them have children, not one. Then by the time they leave im in tears asking him why he does this to me. I will barely get to sleep when he gets into bed, just to start kissing my neck and rubbing my back. Lime i want anything to do with him. I know if i dont give in, though, he will be cold and cruel all day. When i cant take him degrading me any longer and i make a stand,he gets physical. Sometimes i tell him he is a serial killer that has yet to come out of the closet. Its difficult because i have no family at all. No place to turn to if i did leave. I am a stay at home mom. He is my lifeline. My son has began to say mean things to me too. He says he doesnt love me he loves his dad that he cant stand me and hates my guts.he is 2. Its heart breaking. Its crushing me.

2:34 PM  

Hello thankyou for your page,ivé been studying this behaviour for aprox 12 months while i was in my relationship and i wasn't even aware that he had a name,i was confused and hurt and thought i was going mad and everytime i defended myself i was being blamed for everything and that i was in fact the abuser,at some times i was starting to question myself,i know im no angel and i did stand up to him and said some pretty nasty things back to him but i felt defensive and angry that someone who claims they love you can treat you like that!Now i feel so much more at ease that i actually suffered from reactive abuse,i just didn't have a name for it but i knew in my heart i didn't start the fights i was merley reacting to his verbal and emotional abuse and the amount of times i tried to talk to him about his anger issues he would just project it on me saying i cant talk to you(that used to confuse me so much because i was the only one who actually approached him numerous times to talk and only hearing him say back to me-i dont want to!(im not a communicator)the numerous people he would run to and talk behind my back was so degrading and humialting,his family and friends were amazed why he was with someone like me and i was being judged,but at most times they were even acting confused as they would tell me how good i was for him and that they liked me alot,ivé never been in this situation before in my life and recently i left after 4 yrs of being in a yoyo relationship,i will never put myself in that position again and feel at peace with myself and no matter who they meet they will always remain the same,i was so tired of the yelling and screaming,and speeding in the car,the gambling,pot and booze and infidelity,one day ill meet someone who id worthy with showing there love and empathy,i look forward to leading a normal life now :-)

11:24 PM  

It's also the reason he does everything he can to make sure he's the number one thing on your mind - he makes sure he does not give you the mental space, or peace, you need to see things clearly. He knows that his hold over you requires that he keep you near.

6:10 AM  

"An interesting thing to note is that an abusive partner will often be very calm when you are upset and angry. This is because when they have finally succeeded in causing your reaction of hurt, upset or anger, then THEY are in power and control over you. THIS is what abuse is about: POWER and CONTROL. And like a drug addict, they get a lot of satisfaction out of that feeling of power and control. Abusers are very disordered people in this way."

That is totally how it was in my 20 year marriage to an emotionally, mentally and verbally abusive man.
Even today as I have filed for divorce he tells people that I was the abusive person, I have an anger management problem, not him.

I tried so hard not to react, but eventually it would still happen and I often began to think that I truly was the abusive one. But I now realize that this is all part of their game. It's about power and control, and my almost-ex still does it.
Same here for me 13 years of covert abuse . He tried to convince me i was the abuser or mentally unstable. even crazy. the worst part to me is not being able to make him see that he has the problem. Not that I don't have areas to improve. but i tried SO hard and still try to do what i am suppose to do. but now when i am with him the anger i have when we are around ppl and he is just this perfect guy everyone loves him makes me crazy. People don't understand abuse unless it is like in the movies with someone yelling and screaming and throwing things calling you names, but at the end of the day when you relate just the same to the women or men who go through that type of abuse... it is still abuse!

6:19 PM  

I have been in a relationship exactly like this for 13 years. My husband accuses me of being crazy, addicted to anger, mentally unstable, never happy and the abusive one. I am really starting to believe it. The root of our problem is a totally disconnected and zero effective communicative relationship. If the kids are misbehaving and not listening to him, I get blamed for "spoiling them". If I don't give him money to buy something he wants ( he claims he can't work because of his back), he starts raging. I remember that after my mom died, he knew I inherited some money. The first thing he does is plans out all these things he "needs", namely a $14,000 boat. Well, I put my foot down and said no. Boy, was that the wrong answer. He started going off on me and called me a selfish bitch, control freak, some other choice names. This is only one incident. Well, of course, I stand up for myself and tell him he is a abusive p.o.s and how selfish he is and I just throw it to him. Every time I fight back, I know in my mind that it will make things worse for me. He will just start a round of crazy making and gas lighting to make me feel like I'm the bad person. I have called him out on a lot of his misbehaviors and maltreatment towards me. He will dismiss things that totally upset me, for example smoking pot at our home, bringing people into our house to buy pot when the kids are here, abusing the dog if she poops in the house. Yea, I get super pissed off by his behavior and I shoot off my mouth. When I do, he calls me names and tells me to "f" off and stop being such a bitch. He tells me it's no big deal and be wont stop what he enjoys. He 'll twist things around to make himself look like he is the victim. He will say he busts his ass all day long. but the truth is, he doesnt. when my daughter is in school all day, he does nothing but dink in his garden and tells me what a hard job it is to feed our family. For example, he has not worked for the last 10 years of our 13 year relationship. When I come home tired and the house is a mess and he doesn't have to work, I expect him to do his share. If I say something, he will go off on me and tell me how ungrateful I am that I have someone home to take are of my daughter, and how much he is saving me in daycare fees and I unappreciative I am that he has to cook and clean while I'm at work. That if I stayed home, I wouldn't even do as good a job as he does. But when I come home, I still have to clean up the mess he made in the kitchen after cooking dinner, make sure daughter has her homework done,make her lunch, take her to sports practice, grocery shop, do laundry, pay the bills and all that jazz. But he saids I'm ungrateful. Maybe I am and I should just shut my mouth. See, I'm feeling like I'm the abusive one. I can't even pinpoint why I feel the way I do anymore. I think the crazy making he does to me is set up these situations where I think he is being decent and than side swipe me. When he is feeling particularily generous, he would say things like oh if ÿou need any help during the day with grocery shopping, let me know. Well, when it actually comes doing it, he will be so resistant and difficult that I just end up doing it myself. Like the other day, he wanted to drive out to the country and pick something up. Well, after we did that, I asked if we could stop off at the store to pick up some groceries.after all we were going right by it on the way home. He instantly started raging at me and said he wasn't gonna go out of his way and he was tired of dealing with traffic, and he just wanted to go straight home and how dare I make him wait while I grocery shopped. Blind sided. All. The.Time. Than I start in on him because I can't stand it. It's a shame.i should just shut my mouth. But how hurtful and humiliating. A simple request to stop off at a grocery store for convenience sake and I get that. I can go on and on.

6:03 AM  

Wow. This article helps. I am getting divorced because my husband put a profile on a Philippine dating site, then knocked himself out dating a sleeping with young girls during a 3 week trip to the Philippines. Guess whose fault that was? Mine! Because after 5 years of him isolating himself, emotionally stonewalling me because he "couldn't handle my anger,"I told him I thought we should go our own ways once our children were grown. He says if I hadn't said that,, his infidelity never would have happened. He loves to go off about what a dedicated husband and father he was in the first 10 years of our marriage and how I drove him away with my anger.

11:42 AM  

I am very relieve to have read this article. I had never hear this term Reactive Abuse but it spoke to me immediately. I have been becoming progressively worried about myself over the past 2 years, as I find that I get angry and upset, unreasonaly. This all happens in the contect of my family of origin, where I am the eldest. We have had two v elderly parents until last year when we lost my Mum. I really go out of my way to do a lot for fact too coming from a para medical background I have the inside information. At some point all of my sibling have turned on me, and in this has happened to a greater or lesser extent with the permission of my parents, who complain about me behind my back and accuse me of bulling them, being a control freak and a domineering and overbearing person. I am quite exhausted from all of this. My Father is a very manipulative man, and does not want to lose any of hsi 6 adult children, even though he has seen me have to call the police to one of my brothers. He claims inability to cope...and I suppose at 88 he has every right...however he then feeds these abusive sibling a negative feed on me when I do meet his Exact requirement and they then turn on me. It has now come to the point where I have withdraw feeling very hurt from my Father. My only sister takes him over, and she has always given me a very difficult life. She is younger, single, and very self centred. She will not give me the light of day. I know that I am enmeshed in the most horrible situation, and that in my efforts to deal with my Father,in refusing to collude with him , I end up getting his back up...and he is turn calls in the troops. It never ceases to amaze me that we are all in our 40/50's and there is very little care or compassion going around. My Mother passed last August and I really miss her...she knew how to pull my stings but was less covertly manipulting than my Father. We are all grieving in different ways, and my Father wants everything clearned up as soon as possible, and I cannot meet with this requirement as I am just not ready. Then I am given a deadline. At this point I feel I hate my whole family and wish I never had to see any of them again. They are a mob of viciousness. I had hoped to be able to help my Father but am now coming to the conclusing that if I am to keep my emotional stability I have to stand back from him as otherwise he will use my sibling to abuse me if he does not get his way. He does not complain about my brothers as they do not get involved with his emotional needs, and my sister stokes his mean behaviour to her own ends. I am now trying to get my own emotions under control as I can take no more. I went to the extent of phoning my health services and speaking with their elder abuse officer as I am so upset at the allegations made against me on no grounds. Thank you.

4:14 AM  

Great article, this is such an insidious part of the abusive relationship that takes so long to realise and usually when you've separated. My ex did this to me subtle covert manipulation and of course I reacted...sometimes I really thought it was me. I felt so bad, guilty and ashamed. Even when I knew somehow he'd created it at the time I couldn't see he's left I look over my long years with him and see it they say physical scars heal but the emotional manipulation is much harder. Thanks for this blog it makes me feel so much better.

5:40 AM  

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this article!! I am going to court tomorrow and am being accused of posting stuff like this on my Facebook page to hurt or discredit or damage my abusers reputation. This person was actually "foolish" enough to say..."I think what is being posted is about ME!". All I do is post these articles to hopefully save someone else from it happening or let them know they are not alone much less CRAZY!! My main appreciation though about this article do not specify "HE/SHE". I will clearly and confidently post this to my page!! THANK YOU!!!

7:45 PM  

The story you just wrote it's my daily life

8:23 AM  

Thank you so much for this! I was married to a covert abuser and he constantly blamed me for all the problems in the relationship and for him not being happy in the end. Towards the end of the relationship I noticed that I would get so angry that I didn't even recognize myself. He even used the words Time Bomb with me too - and for a long time I've been beating myself up for getting so upset. He convinced me I was being abusive, so I started going to therapy only to find out that I was the one being abused. It can get really confusing - and there is always this feeling like maybe I was wrong since I'm not proud of the way I acted in certain circumstances. This article sums up everything I have been feeling and trying to work out.

2:24 PM  

I live in united state, Two years ago i married a lady called saline, we had two children together, we were very happy to be husband and wife, so when i travel on a business trip to Brazil, i spent a year in Brazil due to my kind of business, i and my wife talked on phone all the time, we chatted on the Internet, i never knew that my wife had started cheating on me by going out with her old school friend called Mark, i never knew something was going wrong till i came back from my trip, then i and My wife started having problems, she goes out and come back late at night, she changed in a strange way that i could not endure, i tried to do everything to please her but it got worst, so one day she left the house and never came back, i tried reaching her but no way i could reach her, i never knew she had travelled with her new lover which was Mark, i wanted her so much because of the children she left for me and because i loved her so much too, because of the heart break she has put me into, i went into search of a real magic spell caster though I was scammed twice by a spell caster, but I never relented in my search because I wanted a happy life with my wife, So one morning i saw a testimony about a spell caster Esango Priest, so i contacted him and to my greatest surprise this made life manful for me again, my wife came back to me after 3 days of a love spell from this Esango Priest, i took her back and I am now settled with my wife by the magic power of Esango Priest .
Malcolm franks'

11:45 AM  

This is my one year relationship in a nutshell. Last Sunday I told my boyfriend to stop! because he got on top of me as was tickling me and I was having back problems and didn't want him to tweak my back. he called me the C word, a couple times so I got up and left. He didn't reach out to me the rest of that day. The next day I went to his place to get some stuff and he backed up what he called me and said it's because I have PMS. I lost it. I physically attached him (pushed him and kicked him) and he called his therapist and she told him to get rid of me and that I was bad news and he said my anger & rage during pms is what the problem is so he didn't speak to me all week and now he said he's breaking up with me. He's been calling me names and antagonizing me over PMS then ignoring me and turning it on me for my reaction whether its verbal or like this time physical since month 2 of our dating. I've apologized so many times and gone to him because I couldn't take being ignored after he would call me names etc. I want this to be the end but I'm in an abusive relationship and as sick as this sounds, I love him and want him to apologize and recognize what he does.

4:18 PM  

Im a 39 year old male. After our daughter was born, my wife slowly changed, her mom was always a backstabber, and 2 faced. Now that's my wife as she feeds on her mom telling her how freeway she is. Over time, i was ignored,rejected, gaslighted, was called an idiot dumb f $#k regularly. My self esteem and confidence as a man dropped to feeling worthless and unwanted. I became really angry and full of resentment. Everyday, became another day of feeling hopeless with her. when i tried to talk to her, she always responded with "i dont know". That would lead to me yelling and screaming for her to show some kind of effort towards our family and prioritize us over her mom. She ignored me more. Since we have seperated she has done more of the same, she has used our daughter by acting like, she belings to her and i was only good for child care. This caused alot of emotional emails on my part. Its not my character, but she is now. ..using it, too make me look unstable, and then she got a protective order to stop me from asking about my daughter. People are sick. i have to rebuild to not feel crazy. Lost on what to do.

6:15 PM  

Oh wow. I see it now. Recently, I have just broke up from a relationship like this. We've been together just 6 months. He changed on the 3rd month we've been together. He said he just found out his ex gf cheated on him in their 7 years relationship. He was very depressed about it. Made me wonder if he ever cared about me at all or was he with her when he started our relationship. He stopped working to deal with his grief. Anyhow, I stayed. I tried to comfort him the best I can. Over time, we argued a lot. I noticed he has changed. He accused me of being moody and controlling because I wanted him to stop smoking, because of his asthma, and I can't stand smoke. Also when I asked him for a date, he said I'm pushy.. He then said he wanted to charge me going on a date with him and had me buying him a pack of cigarettes because he pleaded me to. He pointed out all my shortcomings, saying I'm too fat, I can't cook, I'm a spoiled rich girl, I'm useless. It really made me depressed all through the relationship. I had the last straw when he started calling me psycho over and over again when I tried to reason with him. To him, expressing my feelings is an argument and he want no part of it. I had enough of it, because I can't afford for more heartache since I'm still studying. I needed focus. I'm kind of glad now that it's over. But I'm still sad about it.

1:50 AM  

I am in a abusive marriage. He is much younger then me, at first we are friends and then it turned to something more. He has lied to me about a lot of things, age, status and engagement he was in during our relationship. after 6 months of marriage, his violent side started to creep out. He is a cheater, over and over again I catch him cheating and I lose it, but then he starts making me feel at fault. He starts his mental, emotional and physical abuse. He puts his body weight on me and restrains me, cutting me off from outside world by breaking all the electronic devices. He keeps from leaving the house to get help. I have bruises all over the body from his restraints. So I loose it, I fight back to break free, I hit him and slap him to get him off me. But he never backs up. One time he had me in chaos for 48 hours, Sitting on me and pointing a drill gun to my head and a beebee gun. He has slapped me and bit me in the face . He is real violent. If I lock him out , he flies through glass window and chokes me, No way out. He has been arrested for leaving me out in the cold, but that does not stop this crazy man, I look after a disabled brother and sister, he has put them in fear. Police has told me, if I call them, they will arrest everyone in the house so I don't call them anymore.

10:24 AM  

This helps tremendously, sometimes I truly felt as though I was going completely mad. It's been a roller coaster of emotion, I feel guilty, sad, angry, depressed and just plain broken. My ex is currently facing domestic violence charges, its been a grueling process. I feel very alone at times.

5:17 PM  

Omg T.y. for sharing I lived it too.

11:49 PM  

Thank You!!!! I cannot tell you how much reading this has helped me put things into perspective. I gotta get away from this vicious cycle I feel bad about myself all the time. I never used to be that way ...😞

6:31 PM  

In the beginning (meaning the beginning of the abuse, once the “honeymoon” was over) I would try to defend myself from my narcissistic ex’s attacks and provocations. At that time, I didn’t understand that I was being abused; I thought I was having trouble communicating. Eventually, I realised that defending/explaining myself only resulted in him escalating the abuse, and increased the amount of damage I would suffer. It never led to any positive change. It only made things worse. Once I’d learned that lesson, I made every effort to not react, or try to stand up for myself. I’d just ignore his awful behavior whenever possible. Unfortunately, he knew that around the onset of my menstrual cycle, I was more sensitive than at other times. NOT bitchy, NOT irrational, SENSITIVE. (Sensitivity can be a good thing; pleasures and kindnesses have greater impact also.) Then he started tracking my cycle (He admitted that he did that.) and deliberately targeting me for abuse at that time of the month. I then got to endure a double-whammy of extra-painful abuse and gas-lighting. He would insist that my legitimate complaints were completely imaginary, and entirely due to my PMS. He claimed that he wasn’t being cruel, or acting badly, and that I just imagined he was, because I had PMS. I didn’t know what NPD was, and I thought I could reason with him, so I made the mistake of waiting until that part of my cycle was over, and then reintroducing the issue that he’d dismissed as PMS-fueled insanity. Result: narcissistic rage. I didn’t have the guts to try that again. Of course he wasn’t going to give up the perfect excuse to abuse me and then blame me for it all!
I find it very hard to believe that I’m the only one to have been on the receiving end of this tactic, and yet, I have found no mention of it on any internet site dealing with domestic, or Narcissistic, abuse. Why is that? My suspicion is that women are afraid to bring it up because “everybody knows” that premenstrual women are crazy, and no one will take them seriously if they do.

8:39 PM  

My ex and I divorced, but not before the damage to my son had begun. My son learned his pattern of abuse, and now my ex is alienating my son from me. It began even before filing for a divorce; every timr my son was disrespectful to me, my ex wpuld laugh and basically encourage it. My son got into so mucb trouble woth the law last year that I had no choice but to send him to his dad's because his dad pursued a custody battle to gain custody of both my children. Now that he has custody of my son, he tells my son a totally different account of what really happened, and my son believes him. My son now has nothing to do with me and has basically told me he doesn't want to see me or hear from me. My ex blames me for his behavior, even though he planted the seed of disrespect for over ten years.

12:30 AM  

This article really spoke to me! I've been dating my husband for 12 years. I still try to set aside all of the hurt and pain to just forgive him of his passive aggressive, unempathetic, blame game behavior; for the sake of peace. It makes it easier to just temporarily forget all of the pain and to move on. However, I've been dealing with this cycle for awhile now. The above article best describes our toxic relationship and I feel like I'm completely out of control in my own home. Many times I have chosen to not react to his manipulative behavior so he cannot get the satisfaction of seeing me upset. However, this became a very lonely time in my life; with days turning into weeks and months. Has anyone ever found a way to cope with a unempathetic and abusive husband like this? Divorce is not an option and while I can really relate to this article, I'm just that much more confused about what it is that I can do to improve our marriage while also ensuring I do not diminish the little bit of self respect I have left. Thoughts?

5:09 AM  

I have been with him for 10 years now. It took me many years to accept the fact that he is abusive. I knew on some level but his covert aggressive manipulation tactics are so sophisticated that I often times couldn't articulate what the problem was but would react so strongly and then over time so violently to the point I didn't even recognize myself. I knew something was wrong but sadly I thought it was me and that I was crazy and mentally unstable because he so expertly exploited my insecurities and of course I believed him. I still am trying to break free from this sick and twisted attachment I have with him. The most embarrassing part to admit is while I so badly want to get as far away from him as possible because being around him is so traumatic.. seeing him with another woman makes my skin is like I am having withdrawal symptoms. He kept me "sick" so he can justify his addiction to other women. He would constantly and subtly accuse me of the very things he was doing behind my back and when I would react..defend my dignity and morality..he would twist it and state my defensiveness must mean I was hiding something. I would become so aggressive by now that he would just sit back and watch calmly and accuse me of being mentally unstable. Little by little I break free from this narcotic-type addiction to him..he is my drug..but letting it go completely is still anxiety provoking and I can't even describe why. It was helpful to read everyone's own experiences..feels better to know I am not alone in how I feel. Thanks.

10:05 AM  

This was very helpful. Has anyone found a successful way out??

10:06 AM  

Please help me. Today I told my oldest son (who moved out) on Facebook that his stepdad has gotten his disability money. I thought nothing of it. Surely he wouldn't care about that?? He did. He saw the message hit my expensive computer hard and started acting violent and throwing things. I ran next door where my MIL lives he came behind me and pushed me hard twice in front of her. She told him to stop, he left, she yelled at me, and told me I was causing her pain, and I don't love her son because I no longer sleep with him, because he's too violent and leaves the tv on all night.. Everything I'M DOING WRONG. That she doesn't want me here, it's MY fault. EVERYTHING is always my fault.. I am leaving soon but don't even yet no where i'm going.. I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS AT ALL! :'(

3:22 PM  

The cycle for me is getting worse after 20 years. When we're in our sick game of me trying to explain my feelings and him getting defensive not taking any blame for it twisting it around and bring up things where I offended him and he's the victim. I get in rage, and feel so out of control. More times than I'd like to admit I've driven in my car and thought about driving off the side of the road off a cliff I've even thought of taking any sharp object near me and wanting to stab myself and put myself out of my misery sounds extreme but when I'm in the heat of it I feel like that's my only option. Anyone else?

12:37 AM  

So after 20 years I'm going to perimenopause I feel even more emotionally unstable than ever my rages I can't seem to control them I drink more I think of driving off a cliff or on the side of the road and injure myself and then wonder if him seeingn me in the hospital with provoke any emotional reaction. I just want to see he actually gives a sit about me. cuz he always is empty no empathy and looks at me stone cold. I often think in my rages because I feel so out of control, of grabbing the nearest sharp object and stabbing myself feeling like that's my only option to take me out of my misery. Am I alone in this

12:42 AM  

The cycle for me is getting worse after 20 years. When we're in our sick game of me trying to explain my feelings and him getting defensive not taking any blame for it twisting it around and bring up things where I offended him and he's the victim. I get in rage, and feel so out of control. More times than I'd like to admit I've driven in my car and thought about driving off the side of the road off a cliff I've even thought of taking any sharp object near me and wanting to stab myself and put myself out of my misery sounds extreme but when I'm in the heat of it I feel like that's my only option. Anyone else?

12:42 AM  

Yea, this article sounds about right. I've had two abusive boyfriends and I'm barely 18. The first one cheated on me and was very verbally abusive and I used to get so upset and would bite and hit his arm when he would be verbally abusive and play mind games. He eventually ended up raping me around the 6th month and I was so scared to leave it took forever, but I finally left. He raped me a lot and was very verbally abusive and then blamed me for everything in the end and said that I need help. He ended up doing something like he did to me to a girl at his new school a year later. Then my 2nd one was someone who had a very abusive mother and so I can't be mad because all he knows is every kind of abuse in the book, he played mind games and blamed me for everything and I would just nudge him and get upset or just slap him on the arm to just get him to stop talking because he would go in depth about how I'm the crazy one. He got physically abusive later on when we ended up living together and said I triggered it, when in reality something like saying his full name would get me slapped. He called me a bitch and i said he was a loser and then he locked me in a car and pulled my hair so hard I had knots to the point where I didn't sleep at all at night, he slapped me a lot too when I was locked in the car. Finally broke it off when I hit him on the knee for throwing my phone at the wall and he slapped me and fell down then his own dad walked in and knocked some sense into me to leave. He ended up blaming me for everything and said I was abusive. Whatever, I know what happened and my family knows everything too it was So nice to get away because now my head is clear and I feel alive rather than just breathing and trying to struggle through each day. So, it's sad how these people are honestly and I had no clue how many of them there were until I got older. I pray for anyone who is in a abusive relationship because you're being abused by your own feelings basically, it's sad and please get out asap it never ends good.

10:34 AM  

@ Daisy I can relate to all what you are saying !! I really don't recognise myself sometimes and desperately want to cut the invisible attachment I have with this man ...mine is extremely passive aggressive and will poke and poke me for a response ..eventually I do and I am lime a pressure cooker and he will sit back calmly and quietly and say I am abnormal and he is worried about my behaviour !! I want out but how ???

10:33 AM  

True that! When I told my mom that I plan on divorcing my husband, she said, I could see if he hit you, left bruises! Ppl don't get emotional abuse. That's what makes it harder to leave!

7:09 AM  

Hi I had the same problem as u. .at the start wen I first met my boyfriend is 3 years he pressured me into a relationship. Even no I said I wasn't ready made me guilty for him I started doing SOME stupid stuff out of anger from his actions then he abused me and made me feel like it was all me and I made him an abuser all I have done since then is get help but he never followed though on that JST continue to put me down and abuse me Iv walked away and he's still doing it I feel sorry FOR the new girl if he gets one

6:13 PM  

My husband would pull the honeymoon stage on me. He would behave nicely when the storm was brewing. Once everything settled & I think he was going to change, he went back to the way he was before, his true self.

2:05 AM  

Thank you..I was crying my eyes out before I found this article.I am not alone!

6:25 AM  

If you're not sure what to do, read "The emotionally abusive relationship" by Beverly Engle. My therapist recommended it for myself and thus far it has helped to put things into perspective. If you're not sure what to do, throw yourself into this book!

11:47 PM  

I told her she was being emotionally and verbally abusive after I have been sucking it up for months. Then she sent me this article and spins it around to say I am the abusive one.
I would leave but she is pregnant with you child. I am trapped...

2:14 AM  

My partner spent the first 2yrs laughing at my feelings whenever I tried to tell him I was justifiably upset.After 2 yrs of having a relationship with a brick wall I had no fuse left, i was beggining to shout back during his outbursts and i didn't like the new me.I told him I wanted to leave.Many other awful things happened-him mocking me,he came home drunk one night. I was shocked to see him so drunk (he's not a drinker) and full of anger I told him he reminded me of my alcoholic dad, to which he mocked "oh boo hoo poor you (animated tear drying of eyes), let's all feel sorry for you as you was abused by your dad".For the next 4 years he did me the honour of listening to me when I explained my feelings and not walk away but rather completely deny me my feelings and turn it around on me and resort to name calling.It didnt matter how nicely i conveyed my feelings- always met with the same things "what planet are you on, listen to you your moronic! Get a grip. Your mad, your a c##t, your a shit mum, your a year,your stupid, my family and friends know what your like they agree with me". 4 yrs I've put up with this for, after 2 yrs of being laughed at. Paranoia is an awful feeling.He's told me I don't look after him properly or love him or fulfill his sexual needs. 6 weeks ago when I told him I wanted to leave as the torment and frustration within me had built to a level that I actually had visions of punching him in the face. He seemed to finally understand the impact of his actions and wants to change.I feel used and worthless.I always wonder why he is with me if he hates me so much.I will never forget the repeated times he's told me he doesn't love me or want me and would be happy if I left.Yet when it comes to it, he says he's sorry and explains that he only says these things to hurt me and he won't do it again.I have a lot of patience and we have three young boys together.I have given him chance after chance. This weekend I upset him by having a shower in the morning while he was in bed and kept waking him as I was getting dressed. He told me very clearly he was pissed off. I left him to it said nada. Later he asked if I'd calmed down yet, but I wasn't angry to start with, I'd deliberately not reacted to his aggression as I know better. I started to explain my feelings to him and recited word dor word what he'd said and was about to say that it hurt my feelings, when he denied saying any of it cut me off by laughing so loudly. I saw red this time, I finally snapped and actually told him that I felt so angry that he was laughing at my feelings that I wanted to punch him in the face. He squared up, posturing, sticking his chest out and arms back, gritted hus teeth, and said "go on, do it". So I actually did. I was convinced he'd hit me back ad he's told me before that he would if it happened, but for once I wasn't scared, I just hated him so much in that moment . Rightly or wrongly it was so liberating after thsee outbursts of his haopening on averge once a mon the for years and years. Afterwards he gripped my clothes threw me down but refrained from punching me, he spat in my face 3 times and called me the scum if the earth. Our children were in another room playing loudly they were completely oblivious (as always) until he stormed in there to show them his bloody lip and say "look kids your mum did this to me, I'm leaving and im calling the police and she's going to prison". My kids were distraught.Of course I will never tell them about all the vile things he's said/done.I always thought he was such a great dad which made leaving him harder but now he's done this to my kids there will be no forgiving and forgetting this time.I'm totally ashamed that I hit him but it felt like a natural self preservation response at the time.Am I a bad person like he says?I don't know but I feel like it for having hit him. He goes through my phone, emails has insecurities over his male friends.

10:37 PM  

Having spent nine years in a truly abusive relationship, I'm now happily and healthy in a seven-year-long (and counting) relationship. The only problem is that his ex-wife is a classic example of the abuser who cries abuse. She criticised, goaded and undermined my partner for years and when he eventually snapped she accused him of abusing her. Even after all this time (she is still excessively bitter) if she is sent an assertive text message, she'll say, 'you can't bully me anymore'. I've been with this man for seven years (longer than their relationship) and I know there isn't an abusive bone in his body but I also know that everyone has a breaking point and that some people just love to play fast and loose in that area. She is conditioning her daughter to think that everything related to her father is only worthy of contempt. She makes disparaging comments about his car and his place of work, and if he, or his family, buys her anything she'll treat it badly, get it dirty and not care if it breaks. This is obviously extremely hurtful to him and I'm left with the fallout of the situation when a visitation is over. To cap it all his abusive ex-wife has recently been appointed the CEO of a domestic abuse charity!!! No doubt when she was interviewed she laid it on thickly how she understands domestic abuse first hand. That alone would be frustrating enough for me, but having really been through it and lived on eggshells, endured the silent treatment and true coercive control, it's doubly frustrating.

12:25 PM  

I cannot believe I found this today, I am in such an emotional state after years and years of abuse, I snap an feel Im going to go berserk at the slightest thing he says or does now, he then says im the abuser, he is even trying to kid the police of that fact. This has been so reassuring to me , im overwhelmed to have read these posts , thanks to everyone for posting them

6:13 PM  

Sounds like my soon to be exhusband . I put him out a year ago and he still denies the rage, bumming, drinking, abuse. I'm a single mom now , with nothing but excuses as help

10:18 PM  

Thank you for giving me the information I needed to stop myself from destroying my life any further. As others have commented previously, I didn't know there was a name for it. Being told I have a mental illness over years has given me a mental illness. I feel I may recover once I get myself out of this dreadful relationship.

5:49 AM  

Thank you for this article. Truly. I have been abused for nearly 9 months following our wedding. I truly believed that I was the problem and that if I wasn't so "needy" or didn't want my husband to show me affection so often, then everything would have been better. I tried for so long to change who I was in order to be able to be loved better by him. I tried to stop wanting true intimacy in order to "be more like him" and learn to be satisfied with his emotionally absent demeanor. When I couldn't and I tried to talk to him about my needs and wanting to feel loved, he told me "You should just always know that the love is always there!" and I would send him into abusive rages because of my "doubts" about him and his "love" for me. It came to the point when I actually craved the abuse because after the abuse comes the wonderful day or two when everything is great and he is a prince again. But after about 6 months, that post-fight grace period faded too; then I was left with nothing to show for the fight the next day besides feeling emotionally fucked in the ass and so much self-hatred, self-guilt, self-doubt, and shame that I wanted to die (and seriously considered arranging it a couple of times).

Once that started to happen, there was no "good" left to show or feel for what we had been through the days prior. I no longer felt that I elicited any "good" feelings from him; only rage and anger when I dared to speak my truth. I finally fled to Florida with a last-minute one way ticket after a fight that had lasted 4.5 hours one night. NOTE: this was never caused by alcohol, drugs, or any other substance. Yes, sometimes me having a few drinks would cause the suppressed feelings to come to the surface, however, he was never too messed up to know better. The last time, we had both gone out to bid my best friend farewell before she embarked on a 6 week trip to Australia- he had 5 drinks over 6 hours (beer), and I had 4 (3 beer, 1 champagne).

I finally got the courage and guile to leave once I got back from FL and he said he really wanted to "try." So thats what I (let me repeat, I, ME, MYSELF, LISA) did. I tried. Just me. he actually got more distant and gave little effort towards trying to show me affection or any signs of remorse. I, naturally, internalized the distance as something that i had done wrong, again. Until I finally had an epiphany, when I was thinking about how it would feel to leave him. I cried to think of missing his small coos he would make when we would cuddle. Not at the mess that he had made of my life; not the times he choked me on the floor; not the times he would hold his hand over my nose and mouth so I couldn't breath; not the times he would pick me up by my throat and head and throw me to the ground; nor the times he would shove his left hand into my mouth so hard that his wedding ring cut my lips and gums so bad that I was bloodied and braided for the next 4 days; nor the time he kneed me in the mouth so hard he caused me to bite my tounge so hard that I couldn't eat for 3 days, then held me down with his knee in me chest with all his weight behind it, to keep me "in my place." it was at that moment that I realized how much he had made me hate myself. I hated myself to the point that I was willing to kill myself in order to stay with him and gain his approval; not even his LOVE, just his approval.

10:05 PM  

I just came across this term in the book, "The emotionally destructive marriage". I would recommend this book to all the women(or men) on here. Especially if you are a Christian and feel like you can't get a divorce. This book is a big eye opener. God does not value the sanctity of marriage more than the individuals who are in the marriage. God loves all of us who are suffering and wants to deliver us from these non repenting men.

7:39 PM  

This article also completely applies to parents. In this case, my mother fits this to a T... I didn't really figure it out and why I was so emotionally beaten down and so vicious to her in return until a few years ago when I discovered gaslighting.

Luckily I have learned how to take the upper hand in conversation by pointing out what she did wrong to hurt me, and even though her response is always "oh sorry I forgot how sensitive and defensive you are", I just get really savage and vicious because I can't stand her hurting me anymore.

I don't know if she legitimately doesn't understand why she hurts me so much, or if she does it on purpose to control me. I feel awful around her either way, and I've been struggling to get a job so I can leave her and never talk to her again...

I know it's bad when there have been times in the past where I've had debilitating panic attacks where I had trouble breathing and had to call 911 when I was returning from a trip because I had so much anxiety from the thought of seeing her again. I know it's bad when there have been times where I've contemplated killing myself just to keep her away from me and have some mental peace, and to therefore hurt her in the worst possible way as payment for how she treats me.

Thankfully I've never gone through with anything that drastic because I value making myself a better person more than I value hurting other people for my own gain. And I have too much to live for and dreams I need to fulfill. But there are so many times where I have wished death upon her so that I don't have to deal with her burden anymore. But of course like all abusive relationships, it's confusing because I still love her and I would be sad if she died.

I'm just confused, but I know what I need to do, and that is to move out of her house. She is really insane.

I wish someone out there could help me, like come in and swoop me off my feet and save me from this situation, but it seems I can only help myself by trying my best to get out of this situation and by not giving up. I've learned not to rely on other people for anything.

2:19 PM  

Yes Tammy. I'm Laura and I've had 2 relationships that ended because of their alcohol abuse. I nerve felt the way I feel now. 25 YEARS with someone who twists everything around. I'm so angry and feel apathetic.

6:49 PM  

My name is laura, thsnk you for bring it uo you are nit alone. 25 years he used the excuse to abuse on pms, now that is over...he uses the full moon. It's always me.

11:58 PM  

Getting connected with healthy healing people is what helped me. You are ok.

6:00 PM  

Holy Moly. I've been in a relationship for 12years. We have two amazing kids but my relationship with my partner is shit-ebbs and flows with his moods. Even now I'm wondering if everything is my fault and I'm not giving him what he needs. I feel anxious most of the time. He can be very loving and affectionate, tells me I'm beautiful a lot but gets mad at me at least once a day. Today it was because I have him a dirty look when I was washing dishes after he asked me to come look at an email on his phone. He said my dirty look hurt him but then went on to basically say I'm a bitch and ask me if I'm aware of how bitchy I am. I get defensive and say to him he could have said to me "when you're done with the dishes come look at this email" but I also say I could have been nicer to him by saying "let me finish the dishes and I'd love to see the email"
He got right pissed at this saying I always get defensive and that I make his life a living hell. He went on about me being a bitch again and how I always have to make things 50/50. I'm so sick of repressing my feelings and always being like poor you, I'm so sorry, I'm sorry I MADE you feel that way. What's funny is that he gave me a dirty look the other night and when I asked him to use words to communicate he said non verbal communication works better. He would not apologize for giving me a dirty look (not that I was looking for one really)
Now he's sleeping in the spare bedroom (his choice) and strongly told me not to come in. I am riddled with guilt and sick to my stomach but also know (sort of) that I really didn't do anything wrong. We were separated for 5 months last year-during the separation I was going to get a tattoo that said "don't react" because when I do, I get sucked into drama and say things I regret (not even close to the things he says tho). What do I do? Never defend or explain myself? I've tried that and I end up with no self esteem and not even knowing who I am.
I feel stuck right now because I don't want to share my kids and not be able to see them everyday. He is a good dad but inconsistent. I also live in a beautiful house given to him by his mom. If I left if be renting a dingy basement suite (ok for me but want better for my kids). What to do? Am I crazy? Is everything my fault like he says it is (I'm willing to take in more than half the blame when really it's probably 10% max). His own mother can't stand to be around him for long periods and always shows me empathy with his moods. I sometimes think he has narcissistic personality disorder then I question if I'm the crazy one. I so don't know what to do.

1:43 AM  

I am the exact same way!! I know it's stupid to everyone around me but I just keep believing the bs he says!

4:31 PM  

My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years now, we have two children. About seven years ago we moved to Kuwait from the States, for a job offer he got. Now we live in Qatar because he got transferred. Since we have moved out to the gulf he complains that I don’t care about him or love him like I used to. Many things have changed since we have moved away from the states like I work full time and am completing a degree online. I was eighteen when we got married he was my first love and I was head over heels about him, as a person I have changed a lot it’s not that I don’t love him I just don’t have the same fire burning inside of me. All I ask of him is that he supports my return to school and that’s something he refuses to do. He almost always has nothing nice or positive to say about me. For me my marriage isn’t about sex I want to feel appreciated and want to have his support. Because he doesn’t give me those things I find myself pushing him away! Something that really gets to me is the fact that when I ask him about something he always tells me it’s not your business. I am his wife his life is my business. As of now he has moved his things out of our bedroom and we have not spoken to each other in about a week now. One day i was online for tutor, as i was browsing i saw a review about a spell caster who could solve my problem, i have heard about spell casting, and magic, i said i should give it a try i contacted the spell caster his name is Dr Ewan of {}, i contacted him and he told me not to worry that all he had to do for me is a love spell, he did it and told me that i should give my husband 48 hours and that he would realize him self, i waited anxiously and one the second day of casting the spell, he came to me and told me he was sorry for the wrong he did to me, he has agreed to send me to school and we are happy. Thank you Dr Ewan you are the best. If you have any marital problem, winning of lottery and many other problems you can contact him on his email, {COVENANTSOLUTIONTEMPLE@GMAIL.COM} and also check out his website, he is a good and kind man. Thanks

8:44 PM  

Omg this article made me bawl my eyes out AT work when I read it. This not only describes my ex, but his best friend, and his best friends wife, who claimed she was my best friend. He walked out month after 16 yrs, of living hell. I did honestly love that man with every fiber of my being, but omg, looking back I don't get why I stayed as long as I did. Yes I yelled screamed cursed threw shit across the house, called him everything but white. But what that man did to me in terms of the physical, mental,financial, emotional and at times sexual abuse, no wonder I reacted that way. He cheated over and over, gambled away entire paychecks leaving us damn near homeless at least 15 times in 16 yrs. He has a serious addiction to buying shit he doesn't need. This is 46 yr old man who could blow thousands on toys if I let him. I mean toys litterally. He would go buy remote controlled anything cause he wanted it. Right now the man has 7 motorcycles, plus the car and truck that I was cosigner on. I towed the car to get a car for ME because he refused to even leave me a vehicle when he walked out. That backfired on him and now he ran to his mommy how horrible I treated him and abused him and now he's an abuse survivor. Now I'm picking up the pieces of my shattered heart, and have developed feelings for a mutual friend, but am so teriffied of this happening again I'm scared to tell him my feelings.

9:02 AM  

I'm sorry to hear this. When reading this I saw myself in your son. My parents went through similar, divorced when I was 5 yrs. and I ended up with my dad who started the abuse with me when the custody battle was over, I was about 7 yrs old. One time in 2nd grade I forgot where I put my lunch money he gve me the night before. He started yelling and I remember freezing. He tore my room apart, even took apart board games. There was a huge pile of all my clothes toys and games in the middle of my room. Then he came over to me still mad and kicked me in the crotch. And he was wearing steel toe boots Cuz he was a maintennce man for work. I peed my tights (white cloth tights,I was in a skirt that day). He took me to the babysitters pee and all. Dropped me off then I told my aunt (she babysat me) and she asked what happened and I told her and she couldn't sy anything to my dad Cuz she was afraid. Seems like he hates me because of my mom and he wanted to get to her by abusing me. My younger brother didn't get the abusive, just me the "piss poor squaw" he called me along with stupid. My dad beat me so bad the LaST time. He hit and choked me til I blacked out and when I came to he was walking awy calling me a dumb cunt. Then I notice I went #1 and #2. I was 16 yrs old.
He ended up with his good lawyer and got a slap on the hand, my mom came and got me and I lived with her until high school graduation. I always got "the brakes" from those that knew. because of the abuse I had to deal. My mom didn't know, I didn't tlk to her a lot til I was 16. She knew my grandma (his mom) wouldn't let abuse happen, but grandma didn't know. My dad plotted like a sterotype vicious female can.
My mom and I are good, but I missed out in mom's love every day. And I definitely didn't have a das that told his daughter she was important and should be respected. You son will come around. I'm 43yrs old now. I haven't spoken to my dad in almost 20 yrs. Oh and the court ordered counseling for dad and i when I was 16 was a joke. According to him I was an out of control never listen brat. I want an angel but I wasn't out of control. His loss. He has missed out on 2 awesome grandkids. One graduated high school as class valedictorian and prep college as a pharmacy tech (same year!) And the other is getting ready to backpack with friends up and down California.

11:57 PM  

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7:05 PM  

I can't explain to anybody here how much ideas like these can enable female abusers. My wife does this to me often. I ask for simple things like checking online to see if a bill was paid before she goes to bed. She'll react by yelling "I'm sick of this! I'm sick of this! I'm so sick of this!" Then I'll say, "well, it's okay then." And her reply is, "No, enough abusive double-speak." "Double-speak" is some abuse-term she learned about. Apparently it's a control tactic, but mainly I am just trying to back down because she's gotten so angry. She talks about "gas-lighting" too when I try to defend myself against her accusations. For instance, it was my fault that she got mad, and by arguing against it, I'm "gas-lighting."

This whole psychological victimization-culture has gotten way out of control. There are real abused women out there - they have the bruises to prove it. Otherwise there are so many double standards: it's okay for women to get mad. It's fine for women to forbid a husband from going on a trip with his "trouble-maker" friends, but if a man does it, it's labeled control and abuse. We're teaching a whole generation of women that the normal heated arguments they encounter with their partner are in fact psychological abuse. It's tearing families apart and children are the ones who pay the consequences. Plus the men pay, whose minds are twisted around and disoriented. Life becomes confusing. I have no motivation. The only thing I to live for is my son. I'm scared to confront her about anything, especially at night. That's when it's the worst. She has already threatened divorce and says she can get full custody of our son because of my alleged abuse. And it's posts like these that have taught her exactly what to say if she does actually do it.

4:52 PM  

The reported relationship patterns and dynamics are far too synonymous for the people reporting the abuse that it's hard to be convinced that it's all just a coincidence. If anything, this shows light of how severely disordered these people are. It's comforting to know that you are not the only one going through such turmoil in a relationship that did nothing but make you doubt your own sanity. My XP-husband has been on a relentless campaign of making me believe that I am the mentally ill and emotionally unbalanced person for having a human reaction towards his covert emotional and mental manipulation and downright At the time, you feel guilty and indeed start blaming yourself. But once you manage to wake-up from the nightmare and detach yourself from the relationship, you will not only see how troubled and malefic that person is, how skilled and capable they are at deceit, but also you will come to realize that the entire time they were on a ruthless pursuit of handing over their own pathology, darkness, and insanity to you and making you believe that they are your own. In short, the morally insane is trying to impose the belief of himself being the person who is sane and normal while the victims become labeled as the "crazy" ones.

11:01 AM  

I've been in an abusive marriage for 10yrs. I'm honestly in shock that I survived. I have nightmares of being chocked and passing out. What would he do with my body. Standing in the corner naked while he beats me with steel toe boots, or a golf club. Hitting me with a belt til I'm bleeding. Calling me fat and how he's not attracted to me anymore... I'm so confused about how I stayed in that life for so long. The constant pain my body was in, how I couldn't sleep because I thought he might get mad about anything and chock me to death. I wouldn't sleep until he was snoring, that's when I felt safe. I was so ashamed I stayed away from all my family. I had no
relationship with my mom for 10yrs. He said she was a horrible mother and abandoned me after my dad passed away and he was my only family. No one else loved me and I should be grateful to my husband, because he's the only one who's supported me. I'm so ashamed of myself. I lost all my self confidence. My motivation for life is completely shattered. I can't see myself ever loving anyone again. I don't know why I survived this type of life or how it even came into being. I guess all I can say is Thank you God for giving me a second chance to live life. I pray for all of us in or finally out of our abusive relationship. That they don't kill our mind, body or soul and we all get a chance to live a healthy life, with all the love, honour and compassion we truly deserve in this world.

2:51 PM  

Thank you for your article. My husband started calling me dumb 3 months into our marriage and now it's worse. He got upset on how I put butter in the pan (he uses only 1 pat), to how the fawcets had to be centered before going to bed, etc... I try to clean our brown granite counters but sometimes because of lighting I miss some spots or don't see streaks until the sUn shines in the morning. I used to try not to react but then I got angry at the name calling and had a hard time not too. Now I sometimes get angry and hit a wall or the counter which makes him super mad so I am trying to stop responding . He calls me idiot, stupid, intellectual dwarf, imbecile, brings up my past lifeand the fact that I don't have a degree on the wall. If I respond in kind in anger , when peace is established he repeats what I said. Reading your article made me feel like better but I am concerned I am starting to believe him when he says I am stupid. I am super distracted often which doesn't help. No one would believe me that he's like this. He even said no one would believe me. In public to others he's kind, friendly etc. ... one day a few weeks ago he was angry at me cause when he came into the building we were in, I was in the washroom he wanted to go in. So he went to the other bathroom and when he saw me he was super upset, however when someone came by, his face changed immediately into a friendly face. When they left he was angry again. NO ONE WOULD BELIEVE ME. or they would believe him of he said I was stupid and dumb because everyone thinks he's so intelligent. I am going to try not to react cause when I do it gives him more ammunition to use against me.

3:22 PM  

I'm so sad to read this, you sound like my old best freind, she was brought up with her father who was scared as. I hope your getting well. My mother is sick but I survived, I knew their was something wrong with her at age 5. I had panic disorder at 5. Be well.

5:19 AM  

Dont! It's not YOUR FAULT. stop yourself from thinking like that. I'm alone all day everyday & it's better than being abused by people. Soon you will learn not to sell yourself short. Nobody can be a saint. Find out what's these toxics are actually thinking about you. They think your pathetic & enjoy hurting you.YOUR NOT PATHETIC you are a creation of God. He doesn't fuck up.

5:27 AM  

My ex let his mate beat me, then he partied with him! Dirtbag.

5:30 AM  

I am in this right now and have been over a year. So far I still feel as if there is no way out.

2:00 PM  

I left my abuser.. It was vary hard. But trust when I say it's the best thing.. I was with him 20 years half my life and half of those 20 he abused me.. I got out about 6 months ago even getting a protection order on him. Well as I'm wrighting I'm sitting out side on this beautiful night and thanking God I got out.. I'm so vary happy.. I have found happiness.. Peace of mind and serenity.. It's a feeling I thought I would never have but longed for.. I do still talk to my abuser due to our children.. And I steal feel that somewhat control over me.. But I always.. Tell myself. (You have to be your strongest during your weakest moment)..and I feel alot stronger and just hang up the phone and thank God for giving me the courage to TAKE A STAND. I will pray for each and every one of you every day for God to give you the same courage.. God Bless and goodnight

2:08 AM  

I am feeling terrible and feel like I've completely lost my mind. I am mother of two small children and a preschool teacher who is married to a man that never admits to his wrongdoings, lies and then twists his story around to make it seem like I'm delusional as he would say. If I confronted him about anything -- my feelings,why he lied, etc he would get defensive and yell and immediately make it my fault. Two days ago, I lost it. I literally lost control and started yelling and slapping him. He hit me in the face and called the cops. I can't believe I did that and I'm so ashamed and embarrassed and horrified at this person I have turned into that it makes me suicidal. I went to jail. .there goes my career. A criminal. I have been destroyed and he isn't even sorry. He didn't tell them he hit me back and verbally abused me. His story about that day has changed so many times. When I ask him, why weren't you honest? I was arrested because I was honest and said I got angry and slapped his arm, which I did. He denied anything and flips out when I ask him why.The while thing could be dismissed if he says he was an "aggressor" too but he won't without saying I made him do it.
He has me convinced that I'm the problem and now my family sees that I was the one arrested, therefore I'm the crazy one. If I divorce him which I know I need to do at this point -- he will get my girls unless I can get a good lawyer. What a mess. Who am I? Anyone else feel like they have lost themselves? I hate myself.

12:57 AM  

I am so hurt and lost right now because I am not sure if I am abusive, because I definitely know I was verbally abusive while taking chantix to quit smoking which is why I stopped taking it after 2 months, but if I am really honest with myself I know he is selfish, and before I took chantix I remember thinking to myself that I needed to... record somehow the things he would say or do because he just denies and argues. I kown it's not right to fight with your SO the way we do. I know I need to leave, but I still have hope he'll want to be a part of MY life as much as I want to be apart of his. I really need help, because at this point he has me believing that I made/am making him into an abusive person and all I can think about is how my first fiance told me the same thing....

3:20 PM  

I wish I had someone to talk to... tho right now "talking" is impossible. I feel alone and unsure!! I am told umi am "crazy " anytime I have an emotion outside the "approved" emotions. 90%of our fights are over HIM wanting to put in a camera to "watch" our fights??!! What the hell is that?? Don't you know what was said,? I want yo keep my privacy. An I "crazy"for that?
I feel like I am. Every fight turns to this... "if you thought you were in the right you would be ok with the cameras" ????? WHY??? WHY would I EVER be ok with my every intimate moment being recorded? ? I have no doubt that if we did record our room that he would see that I font start the fights. . But I don't trust what he would do with whatever ELSE that camera recorded!! Why do I have to be crazy to NOT want cameras recording my every move?!

10:59 PM  

Yep ... not that lost yet but on the road!! My husband constantly pushes me beyond my limits... he once chocked me to alost unconsciousNess and then convinced me that I would go to jail over the scratch marks I left in his arms as he chocked me. I understand what you have done and are going thru... I am too honest for my own good too! I am sorry I font have much advice. . Or any actually.. Just know that someone understands and I DON'T BLAME YOU!! I hope you find youself again soon! I hope I do too!

11:07 PM  

So true all of what I have read but I know what I need to do I'm a man in a 14 year relationship being pushed to the edge I would give anything to stop this pain but I don't have the strength to call it a day I just won't it to stop I still have massive feelings for my partner and I would just love her to see what see is doing but I know she won't help

4:58 PM  

Be strong for yourself. I know it's hard and I do the same, I try to make things right with him but then he does it all over again. This time I really distance myself from him and he got really aggressive and just plain cruel when I politely declined to come over to his place. Now THAT was an eye opener. I was confident and okay to not be around him so despite me missing him, I kept my distance and he started to verbally abuse me. Try a no contact rule or a no physical contact rule and see his reaction. Be logical, I love my ex but honestly he is lost in his abusive ways...I want us to be together but I want both of us to make an effort in making a change to this toxic cycle. Try going to therapy together or groups. If he denies then I think you are better off, hon.

9:34 PM  

I hit my ex with my keys so hard I left marks after I snapped. I was going through an abortion and he basically ditched me and went to a party and then kicked my friend who I called later to help me and was there for emotional support. He was verbally abusing me and called me worthless and like you said, I saw red and hit him as hard as I could. I apologized to him but he still holds it over me but doesn't look at what caused me to react that way. You are not alone, what we did wasn't right by physically hitting them, but it wasn't right of them to degrade and devalue our feelings like that either. We deserve better, someone who listens to how we feel, someone who supports and cherish us and values what we feel. People like my ex and your husband need to put their love in actions. If they really did love us, they wouldn't be treating us this way, right? Take care of yourself because when worse comes to worse, you will have yourself(a strong level headed person) to fall back on, but he will have his abusive, insecure, toxic ego. Be kind to yourself, be loving and compassionate through it all, that's what I am trying to do and hopefully find someone who truly cherishes that.

9:56 PM  

This is my situation. I spent nine years with an alcoholic narcissist, but even after a hospital stay where he almost died from drinking, I still thought I could change him. When he was drunk, I was every name in the book, the kindest being "fat" and "white trash". It came to a head when we both got physical and the cops were called. The first couple of times, it was even and they left, but last time he made sure not to touch me. He followed me from room to room despite repeated pleas to leave me alone. I even locked myself in the bathroom, but every room I tried to hide in he "had to get in there to get his stuff". He even chased me down the street calling me names, but my kids were inside so I had to come back. We just broke up and he has a new girlfriend, but we are still on a lease together. He was talking about how much better she is than me and how my kids are a$$holes and I'm a sh*t parent and I slapped him, then called the cops. I ran back down the street because he was chasing me (this is documented on the 911 call that I was being chased) but I remembered my kids, so I went back in and went upstairs to be with them. Long story shorter, I ended up in handcuffs despite it all and he got an ex parte on me so I can't even get close enough to put my kids on the school bus in the mornings. I don't know what to do. It's been nine years of this, and I've been more supportive than I need. I have witnesses to his verbal abuse and my children have been seeing counselors for it, so I don't know if I have a leg to stand on. But this article rings so true. I implore anyone in this situation, GET OUT OF THERE. It NEVER gets better if you don't. I learned this way too late.

10:47 AM  

Reactive abuse gives the abuser the excuse that you are the one. They need to blame and be the victim. They provoke till they get the reactive abuse.

Ask yourselves why we chose a person like that who has accountability. My ex fiancé delania, stole . Cheated. Lied falsified police reports, came back. Tried, and still villafies me. Don't worry people figure out why you chose and you will never again.

Good luck

9:05 AM  

I feel like I am in this type of relationship. As I read these stories, I see parts of me in each of you. I feel strong yet weak, pulling in and out of this cycle. The emotional and psychological abuse starts and I hit myself to get him to listen or I slap him and he slaps me back or pins me down. Last week he grabbed my arm really hard because I kep repeating something in regards to my feelings and he just wanted me to shut up. My arm and wrist and fingers hurt for a week. Yesterday, he couldn't have a normal conversation without getting mad and angry wheb i wouldnwouldn't lay on the bed and yanked me really hard off the floor by my flannel and my shirt dug into my arm and lebruises. I kept telling him to leave me alone and he wouldnwouldn't stop telling me crybaby and raising his voice even tho we have housemates. I slaped him and he got my face to the floor and socked me with my own hand. I deal with depression and anxiety and sometimes I hit myself but this time he slapped my face and grabbed my hand hard and socked me in my own face with it. My nose hurt all day. I feel like I am the abusive one sometimes but I know i have proof now on my skin that he is the abusive one. He gets mad at me when I react when he drives crazy or screams at people while driving or certain sexist or rude stuff he does and he doesn't want to hear it. And if i nudge him or "push his buttons" he gets mad and blames me for his anger. I have depression and anxiety and get moody but I just try my best every day and i tell him sorry if i am moody. And before he would be more understanding and sincere towards me and now he says that I wake up like a bitch every morning. And he yells at me stupid or lazy bitch. I am 24 and he treats me liek a child sometimes like forcing me out of the house because he doesn't want me to be alone with the housenate because he is a guy. He says he is being caring and safe for me but really he is very jealous and controlling. I know I can be jealous too but it is because i found some accounts online . he has been controllign and possesive the whole relationship. A few days ago he got really high on weed and I caught him glance at my mom's butt. And when I brought it up in a calm and humorous manner, he ignored me and said I was crazy. He says that I am really crazy and stupid and make dumb decisions today because I moved a chair and he tripped over it. Then a few seconds later he says bye I love you drives me crazy when he does these things because he is so hypocritical and I love and hate him as my abuser. I feel like I want to kill myself. He thinks I cheat on him which drives me to think he is cheatinf. He has always suspecting me and never trusted me yet I found those things. I would not be surprised if he was cheating on me while at work. He is loving but then this monster comes out and creates my monster and I feel like it is all my fault . i am not happy and I have no money to go anywhere. I am too depressed. But I am doing a protest of silence. I will not feel his ego and anger anymore and I just want him to stop touching me at night and teying to win me over. I know this is not right what we are doing to each other. And I hate him so much for what he has done to my arms.

3:40 PM  

So I get pushed to the point where I snap and feel like I lose control entirely resulting in me physically punching him because I'm that worked up but I feel like sometimes I provoke the behaviour.
Yesterday I was angry because of something he hasn't done and started listing things that I felt hurt about by him next thing he threw an onion at me (in the kitchen) pulled my hair and grabbed my arm so tight I have a hand mark on my arm.
I had one free arm so grabbed something to hit him with which he took away and I tried to headbutt him as a way to get him off and ended up in A&E saying I 'slipped'.
I told him he pushed me to that and he said I'm a crazy physcopath and if I stopped watching tv I wouldn't behave like that.
I feel like I refuse to except he's to blame because I pushed him to it.
I don't know anymore

9:57 AM  

You know I was wondering the same thing, exactly where you draw lines on something like this because there are no bruises, scars or proof. In our relationship it could go either way. I mean I actually came here afraid I may have been an abuser but now I am starting to think most of this is about perception. I am a woman who grew up in a very unstable household (verbal abuse and psychological mostly) and he grew up completely different (his mother was very manipulative and used him to get back at his dad) its just really hard to say who is in the wrong, mostly because of perception and past experiences all being different. I over react sometimes when don't I don't feel like he's listening or go to far when I perceive disrespect (sometimes on the verge of becoming physical) weather intended or not. But he has some triggers of his own and he has a way of pestering me because he wants to talk about it at the height of my anger rather than let me cool off so I often say things I regret. I can't see that one of us is any more at fault than the other. And moreover I think over the years we have grown to love each other better for our flaws. I'm not sure if any of this will make sense to anyone else but I tried.

3:04 AM  

My son verbally abused me. He is 19 now. He blames it on me my actions like I got a little upset that I lost my debit card so he called me asshole. He also has called me crazy constantly. When I confronted him this last time he says I'm playing a victim. So now he is putting the victim thing on me. Tried to reason with him does no good as he claims I'm over reacting to name calling playing victim. So it just makes it more painful for me as a mom being treated disrespectfully. I just try spend more time away from apt at night to avoid all this. I don't have guts throw him out on streets cause it was in news a young guy was sleeping in his car and got murdered. My son shows no compassion toward me if I react to his name calling. I really don't understand that and feel I now have to hide my hurt or he will call me victim again.I'm crying again now have to go.

11:11 PM  

Women are twice as likely to be beaten by a man than a man by a woman and five times as likely to be killed by a man than a man by a woman. So it’s fair to say this is a predominantly male issue, occasional exceptions aside.

4:24 PM  

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