An Emotional Abuser

Why would we purposely let ourselves get involved with an emotional abuser? Obviously we wouldn’t, but it happens. And that’s why it is so hard to recognize it because it happens without our knowledge.
Loving an emotional abuser is like a drug, you don’t think that it’s bad for you because you’re having a good time, until you find out it has destroyed your outlook on life, self esteem, and eventually you’re addicted and getting away isn’t an option. You think you can stop anytime you want, but they control you now.

I didn’t think I was being abused, I thought I was having a good time. I was trusting, forgiving, and clearly very gullible.
I hated all of his friends, they were all cheaters and liars and they would tell us stories about them proudly cheating on their girlfriends. “Thank god he isn’t like them” is what I would tell myself.A few months in I found out he was downloading dating apps while I wasn’t around. When I brought it up he would say that he hasn’t met anyone and that he only did it to meet new people and pass time. I guess I should have realized that that wasn’t the case, maybe somewhere deep down I did but I ignored it.
I started to get messages from girls at his school saying they heard he cheated on me, that only led him to be angry that I would question his integrity.
It got worse and eventually I started seeing messages and pictures of other girls and really tried to ignore it because we would have some stupid plans to do something exciting and I wouldn’t want to ruin that. Eventually I found out it wasn’t just messages but these things were happening pretty regularly. Most of the time I was scared to bring up the times I knew he cheated on me because I was scared to start a fight.
When that happened his favorite thing to do was to make me seem crazy, I can’t count how many times I heard that one.
I don’t know how it happened, but somehow over time he managed to have complete control over me and our relationship. He thought he was able to do what he wanted and I didn’t matter.
He hit me once for bringing it up, then once turned into three or four times, and that turned into almost any time he got angry.

Every time he hurt me, emotionally or physically, I cried less and less, I was getting used to being treated like this.
I became completely emotionally dependent on him and he knew it. I started apologizing for bringing these things up, because it upset him.
He could do what he wanted because I was never going to break up with him. Why would I? He’s gotten away with so much now so why would the next time be any different?
“You could walk in on me with another girl and you wouldn’t break up with me”, “You’re just like your mom you’ll never break up with me”. You would think comments like that would be a wake up call right? But he was right.
I lied to my friends and family to protect him. No one knew I was being treated like this, I eventually opened up about it to a few people but just enough that I could try to justify why I stayed so long.

I learned from him that I wasn’t able to think for myself, I wasn’t able to be my own person. My feelings and emotions didn’t matter and I started to believe that I deserved how I was being treated. It took him being across the world for me to realize that I didn’t deserve it and more importantly he didn’t deserve me. He thought I was kidding, like I wasn’t allowed to be done.
If there’s any advice I could give about emotional abusers, it’s to walk away as soon as you see a red flag. As soon as someone disrespects you and makes you feel like less than you are, walk away. Don’t give someone a second chance to break your heart or lay a hand on you.
You know what you’re worth, don’t let this person distract you from that. You deserve to be cherished. I know they’ll tell you they’re sorry and that they love you, it’s easy to believe them because you wish so badly that they’re telling the truth. They don’t love you, they love the control they have over you. Love isn’t making you feel sad, betrayed or unimportant.
You think you can change them, get it through their head that they aren’t treating you right. It doesn’t work, these people don’t want to change.
We try to justify it to ourselves by saying “that’s not who they are, they just make mistakes/get upset/ etc.” But if they deal with their mistakes and emotions at the cost of your emotional and physical health, then that is not a safe relationship for you to be in.
It is so hard to walk away especially after becoming comfortable with being treated this way, because you forget who you were before that person. You just need to be reminded that you’re strong and you’re important. Every person deserves to live their life happy, and only surround yourself with people that make you feel that way.
It is so important to love yourself before you try to love someone else. We allow others to treat us the way we feel about ourselves, if you aren’t happy with yourself, you’re allowing someone else to treat you that way.  This person is supposed to make you feel better about yourself, they’re supposed to support you and add to your quality of life, not the opposite. Remember that it isn’t love, and you deserve better. It hurts to walk away, but it hurts even more to stay.

Thanks for reading ☀️☀️☀️

68 thoughts on “An Emotional Abuser

  1. The best thing to do with a person like that is to let them go, once they break your trust there no reason to keep the relationship going. Otherwise you will constantly be thinking is he cheating on me no matter how many times he is saying he is not. He is not worth the aggravation and I’m sure you are beautiful enough to find a new person that will make you happy, truly happy.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was married to an emotional abuser for 7 years and 9 altogether. It was hard with my mental health problems I have and had then. I was barely even a person at that point. It really puts you down over time.
    After I divorced him this year, I finally felt like myself again and I really started to heal. It is hard to leave but it is so worth it!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve been in a situation that was emotional draining and abusive. I kept trying to fix things and didn’t want to accept that he didn’t really care about me.

        Like

  3. This! It’s exactly what emotional abuse is, and is often very difficult to put in words. Great job at framing something so complicated, confusing and emotional, in such comprehensive tone. More survivors should open up about emotional abuse like you did, because it’s very a serious issue that’s sadly not talked about much, making it difficult for victims to understand their situation and find a way out. Congratulations on standing up for yourself and being strong enough to not let it break you!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. It is indeed a vicious cycle. I believe that every individual faces a crucible in their lives. A situation that forces you to either crumble into the abyss, or face the void and crawl out stronger. You are indeed a bright, yellow star, and I pray that you never forget how radiant your shine truly is. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow! What a great post. Thanks so much for sharing because you never k ow who is reading this and posts could help someone struggling with one thing or another. I’m so glad you realized you do not have to be treated like this and it’s nothing you did. A lot of times these type of people have gone through something themselves but it’s not up to you to fix. Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was in such a relationship, as you ably described, in my first marriage. I was systematically decimated. I lost the ability to leave. Thankfully, she did leave. After enough years to get restored, I married a lovely woman. We build each other up! Many don’t realize that women are abusers. Fear keeps us form leaving, but then we miss out on a great new life.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am SO sorry that you’ve been going through all of this, I can only imagine how painful it must have been and how much you’ve been hurting.

    But it’s also AMAZING that you were strong enough to walk away and I hope you’re as proud of yourself as I am, or as anyone here is. It’s a sign of true strength, courage, wisdom and knowledge. You’re so right about it being really difficult to leave, but even harder to stay (I apologize if I mixed the order up).

    The truth is, sometimes we’re searching for a specific answer because we want to preserve what we thought we had, but we end up finding something completely different. And at that moment, the hardest choices have to be made, and you made it. You gave such amazing advice, but also thank you for sharing your story and experience, it was so insightful. I could feel the emotions coming from the page, almost as if you were reading it to us. Thanks for being that voice that inspires us! I do hope this transition goes smoothly for you! But I’m really happy about the end result in leaving the toxic behind, I know that it couldn’t have been easy, especially when you love someone who doesn’t treat you the way you deserve.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are so courageous. Courageous to leave a relationship of persistent and sustained abuse. Such an open and honest blog post. Emotional abuse affects so many of us. I realise my co-dependency and can see that when in a relationship I lose my sense of self and depend on my partner for my self esteem. I always compromise my integrity to ensure they are happy. If they are happy I’m OK. If they are unhappy I’m unhappy and will try to make them happy.

    Thankyou for such an open post.
    Richard.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m glad you were able to walk away from your abuser. Sometimes, it’s difficult particularly when it’s a family member. After being emotionally abused by my mother for most of my life, I was finally able to walk away, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow! I too so relate. I had a secure job and a ton of education and yet I was totally blind to it. I truly believed I couldn’t survive life without him. He also told me that he’d get the kids if I ever left because I was so crazy and incompetent they wouldn’t be safe with me. I believed him, despite the fact that I was a professor and coordinated the women’s studies program at my university. It’s really baffling in hindsight. I never had the courage to leave, he left me after I quit drinking and started to see things more clearly. I think he knew the writing was on the wall. The good news is that my life became a thousand times better after he left even though he financially destroyed me… and the kids briefly lived only with me because they hated his bullying. I don’t think people realize just how powerful and insidious emotional abuse is. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It helps me feel less “crazy.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hey Kourtney, true words and a good insight into how some people are. Such people are not worth bothering with, and if you have the strength, walk away. Not always easy to do, of course. Thanks for checking out a recent post. I’m glad you liked it. I appreciate it.

    Michael.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on That Jersey Girl's Life and commented:
    This pretty much sums up every relationship in my life starting with my own mother. Ending almost two years ago when I finally severed all ties with my emotionally abusive ex. Leaving is hard but allowing the cycle to continue is a death warrant.

    In the ashes, I found real love. I’m still getting used to what it feels like. It’s incredible.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for sharing your story. There was a lot that I could empathize with. I was in an unhealthy marriage for 10 years and the day our divorce papers were signed it was like a weight off my chest. I could breath again. I didn’t have to worry about threats, intimidation, or hours of my life wasted in arguments that went nowhere, because I too thought I could “change him”….I could “help him be better”. You nailed it on the head when you said, “they don’t want to get better”. He also loved to make me feel like everything was my fault…. “his favorite thing to do was to make me seem crazy”…..that must be universal among abusive type people. Anyway, I could talk forever about how I can relate, so I will end with….. I am glad you got out (many women don’t ever get away) and I am glad you are happy and see your worth today. Your doing great things already and I am sure your future is bright! I would love to re-blog this post, if that’s okay. I have a section on my page entitled “Sharing our Strength and Hope”. Your story is an inspiring story that I would like to add there. Thank you in advance. As always, take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Very nice work, but I hope that the story is just a story or a little dramatic effect to be heard.
    I was captivated the entire time. I have a very good idea you will be writing beautiful words the world has been hiding in the dark far to long qnd line and by line women will defend their right to be and not a slave to someone’s ego to be disrespecting your human life as a lower. Powerful and looking forward to reading more

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I grew up watching my mother being the punching bag night after night by her partner and as a teen wiping her blood off walls so that my baby sister wouldn’t see. I totally understand the situation. Its just a sad thought that we live in a world that seems to except this is love and I grew up fighting to be sure my children never had to endure the lifestyle. My 2 boys and 4 girls know if you put a hand on anyone its no longer a love relationship and it is against the law. I have to be proud that I have not continued on the disorder and broken the chain. It takes a strong person to stand up and I believe you are a much brighter and stronger person now. I’m always here for any support and I will always show kindness as the heart of an entire country is withih these ribs😉 be strong you are worth much much more

        Like

  15. “It is so important to love yourself before you try to love someone else. We allow others to treat us the way we feel about ourselves, if you aren’t happy with yourself, you’re allowing someone else to treat you that way. ” This quote hit me deep. I didn’t love myself either before entering my previous relationship and he had so much control over me. If I ever brought up something about him commenting on a girl’s pic of how hot she was while we were together he would call me crazy like I was some psycho and that it meant nothing. They always call us crazy when we catch them in their lie. It is there way of feeling like they have some power over us. The last part “It hurts to walk away, but it hurts even more to stay.” That is so true. I was so comfortable with my ex he knew how to touch me, to love me to take care of me. But when someone emotionally abuses you and has some kind of power over you, it is time to walk away and choose self love. That is what I am realizing now. I loved him so much but after reading your article I am now questioning it and maybe he loved the power he had over me of me getting sad over him flirting with so many women in front of me….. Thanks for your post. I am glad we both walked away from a horrible situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. After 14 years of living with an emotional abuser, who eventually got cocky and became a physical abuser as well, your words are wise. As soon as the person want’s to cut you away from your life, friends, etc, RUN !!! They often present themselves as someone who needs your help to start with, my ex was on drugs and I helped her off them, then she gradually cut off my friends and family, leaving me emotionally reliant on her. The only good thing that came of it all was I left, and I have a fantastic 7 year old son, who was 2 when we finally fled.It’s tough being a single parent with several disabilities, but I wouldn’t have it any other way now.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh all of this! Emotional abuse almost always escalates into the physical. But honestly, having endured all varieties in my lifetime, the emotional, psychological aspects of abuse are the worst. It takes a very long hard effort to mend yourself after that. Bones knit in a few months. Emotions/Souls? Those take a lot longer and also require deliberate healing effort on the person with the injury’s part. But i want to share that WE CAN ALL HEAL FROM THE HARDEST INJURIES. It’s not impossible. Just scary. Thank you, Kourtney. I’m very proud of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I didn’t feel strong when I left my children’s father. I was terrified of what he would do to me, I was afraid he was right when he said I couldn’t make it on my own, and I believed him that no one else would want me. But I was so exhausted from the years of abuse and chaos that I had to try to be on my own. I was perfectly fine with the idea of being alone the rest of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I was with an emotional abuser for 2 years and had a child together. It has changed so much about me. Although umm in a new relationship and happily married. I find myself afraid of many situations that used to “set off” my ex. Everything was MY fault. He did no wrong. My feelings were invalid. I his emotional punching bag if anything didn’t go his way. It causes me extreme anxiety. I finally got away but it didn’t stop the abuse. Until I finally cut ties with him and anyone that was associated with him, that meant a lot of my own friends. Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I spent a few years too many with an emotional manipulator who also turned physical once. In looking back, I made so many excuses and justifications for his behavior. I am glad you are no longer in this relationship. Thank you for embracing your vulnerabilities and sharing your story. This is how we inspire and educate others—having the courage to share our own. You will definitely help others! My 20 something self wishes I had this type of outlet and support; my 52 year old self applauds you and let’s continue to work to eradicate all forms of abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I’m trying to work on myself and avoid divorce. I am exactly this type of abuser, Passive-Aggressive and Emotional Manipulator. But, I just recently discovered that! By reading “Why does he do that” by Lundy Bancroft. This book was written for women, right? That’s what he says. No, it must be read by every man! It is eye-opening and revealing your very thoughts, as you read through the pages and see yourself on them. I am fully admitting my errors and am trying to change, for I love my family and want them all to be happy. Please see my blog: https://iamtheabuser.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was interested in it before! But actually started studying it after 🙂 if you want to read my “a letter to..” it gives a pretty full background of my life growing up which initially got me into psychology!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I’m so beyond relieved that you are out of this relationship! *Huge hugs* So much of this post was like reading my own thoughts and experiences and I’m sure a lot of other people who read this feel the same way. It’s alarming how quickly a relationship with an abuser can take complete control over someone’s life, and how hard it can be to escape that relationship, even once you start to wake up and see it for what it is. Some women never get out, or end up getting stuck in a cycle of abusive relationships. It took me just over two years (that felt more like two decades, even when I look back on them) to get out of an abusive relationship, and it has taken a long time to even begin to heal from it, but leaving the man who abused me was not only the bravest and healthiest thing I’ve ever done, but the biggest act of self-love.

    We all deserve more than an abusive relationship. We all deserve to be loved and cherished and respected and anything less than love and respect is just not good enough. If someone you are with hits you or physically harms you in any way? Run, don’t walk, and never look back. If they try to undermine your thoughts, feelings and experiences and make you feel like you’re crazy (i.e. gaslighting)? Run, don’t walk, and never look back. If they cheat? Run, don’t walk, and never look back. Don’t accept any form of abuse (physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, verbal, financial, etc) from anyone, because you are worth so much more than that.

    Thank you so much for this post. I know it must have taken a lot of strength and emotional energy to write. I applaud your work and your bravery and have so much respect for you for what you are doing. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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