Home > Abusive relationships, Borderline Personality Disorder, Marriage, relationships > 10 Signs Your Girlfriend or Wife is an Emotional Bully

10 Signs Your Girlfriend or Wife is an Emotional Bully


mood-swingsDoes your girlfriend or wife yell, scream, and swear at you? Do you feel like you can’t talk to anyone about your relationship because they just wouldn’t understand? Is your relationship making you feel like you’re slowly going crazy?

If so, you’re probably involved with a woman who is an emotionally abusive bully. Most men don’t want to admit that they’re in an abusive relationship. They describe the relationship and their girlfriend/wife using other terms like crazy, emotional, controlling, bossy, domineering, constant conflict, or volatile. If you use words like this to describe your relationship, odds are you’re being emotionally abused.

Do you recognize any of the following behaviors?

1) Bullying. If she doesn’t get her way, there’s hell to pay. She wants to control you and resorts to emotional intimidation to do it. She uses verbal assaults and threats in order to get you to do what she wants. It makes her feel powerful to make you feel bad. People with a Narcissistic personality are often bullies.

Result: You lose your self-respect and feel outnumbered, sad, and alone. You develop a case of Stockholm Syndrome, in which you identify with the aggressor and actually defend her behavior to others.

2) Unreasonable expectations. No matter how hard you try and how much you give, it’s never enough. She expects you to drop whatever you’re doing and attend to her needs. No matter the inconvenience, she comes first. She has an endless list of demands that no one mere mortal could ever fulfill.

Common complaints include: You’re not romantic enough, you don’t spend enough time with me, you’re not sensitive enough, you’re not smart enough to figure out my needs, you’re not making enough money, you’re not FILL IN THE BLANK enough. Basically, you’re not enough, because there’s no pleasing this woman. No one will ever be enough for her, so don’t take it to heart.

Result: You’re constantly criticized because you’re not able to meet her needs and experience a sense of learned helplessness. You feel powerless and defeated because she puts you in no-win situations.

3) Verbal attacks.This is self-explanatory. She employs schoolyard name calling, pathologizing (e.g., armed with a superficial knowledge of psychology she uses diagnostic terms like labile, paranoid, narcissistic, etc. for a 50-cent version of name calling), criticizing, threatening, screaming, yelling, swearing, sarcasm, humiliation, exaggerating your flaws, and making fun of you in front of others, including your children and other people she’s not intimidated by. Verbal assault is another form of bullying, and bullies only act like this in front of those whom they don’t fear or people who let them get away with their bad behavior.

Result: Your self-confidence and sense of self-worth all but disappear. You may even begin to believe the horrible things she says to you.

4) Gaslighting. “I didn’t do that. I didn’t say that. I don’t know what you’re talking about. It wasn’t that bad. You’re imagining things. Stop making things up.” If the woman you’re involved with is prone to Borderline or Narcissistic rage episodes, in which she spirals into outer orbit, she may very well not remember things she’s said and done. However, don’t doubt your perception and memory of events. They happened and they are that bad.

Result: Her gaslighting behavior may cause you to doubt your own sanity. It’s crazy-making behavior that leaves you feeling confused, bewildered, and helpless.

5) Unpredictable responses. Round and round and round she goes. Where she’ll stop, nobody knows. She reacts differently to you on different days or at different times. For example, on Monday, it’s ok for you to Blackberry work email in front of her. On Wednesday, the same behavior is “disrespectful, insensitive, you don’t love me, you’re a self-important jerk, you’re a workaholic.” By Friday, it could be okay for you to Blackberry again.

Telling you one day that something’s alright and the next day that it’s not is emotionally abusive behavior. It’s like walking through a landmine in which the mines shift location.

Result: You’re constantly on edge, walking on eggshells, and waiting for the other shoe to drop. This is a trauma response. You’re being traumatized by her behavior. Because you can’t predict her responses, you become hypervigilant to any change in her mood or potential outburst, which leaves you in a perpetual state of anxiety and possibly fear. It’s a healthy sign to be afraid of this behavior. It’s scary. Don’t feel ashamed to admit it.

6) Constant Chaos. She’s addicted to conflict. She gets a charge from the adrenaline and drama. She may deliberately start arguments and conflict as a way to avoid intimacy, to avoid being called on her bullshit, to avoid feeling inferior or, bewilderingly, as an attempt to avoid being abandoned. She may also pick fights to keep you engaged or as a way to get you to react to her with hostility, so that she can accuse you of being abusive and she can play the victim. This maneuver is a defense mechanism called projective identification.

Result: You become emotionally punch drunk. You’re left feeling dazed and confused, not knowing which end is up. This is highly stressful because it also requires you to be hypervigilant and in a constant state of defense for incoming attacks.

7) Emotional Blackmail. She threatens to abandon you, to end the relationship, or give you the cold shoulder if you don’t play by her rules. She plays on your fears, vulnerabilities, weaknesses, shame, values, sympathy, compassion, and other “buttons” to control you and get what she wants.

Result: You feel manipulated, used, and controlled.

8 Rejection. She ignores you, won’t look at you when you’re in the same room, gives you the cold shoulder, withholds affection, withholds sex, declines or puts down your ideas, invitations, suggestions, and pushes you away when you try to be close. After she pushes you as hard and as far away as she can, she’ll try to be affectionate with you. You’re still hurting from her previous rebuff or attack and don’t respond. Then she accuses you of being cold and rejecting, which she’ll use as an excuse to push you away again in the future.

Result: You feel undesirable, unwanted, and unlovable. You believe no one else would want you and cling to this abusive woman, grateful for whatever scraps of infrequent affection she shows you.

9) Withholding affection and sex. This is another form of rejection and emotional blackmail. It’s not just about sex, it’s about withholding physical, psychological, and emotional nurturing. It includes a lack of interest in what’s important to you–your job, family, friends, hobbies, activities–and being uninvolved, emotionally detached or shut down with you.

Result: You have a transactional relationship in which you have to perform tasks, buy her things, “be nice to her,” or give into her demands in order to receive love and affection from her. You don’t feel loved and appreciated for who you are, but for what you do for her or buy her.

10) Isolating. She demands or acts in ways that cause you to distance yourself from your family, friends, or anyone that would be concerned for your well-being or a source of support. This typically involves verbally trashing your friends and family, being overtly hostile to your family and friends, or acting out and starting arguments in front of others to make it as unpleasant as possible for them to be around the two of you.

Result: This makes you completely dependent upon her. She takes away your outside sources of support and/or controls the amount of interaction you have with them. You’re left feeling trapped and alone, afraid to tell anyone what really goes on in your relationship because you don’t think they’ll believe you.

You don’t have to accept emotional abuse in your relationship. You can get help or you can end it. Most emotionally abusive women don’t want help. They don’t think they need it. They are the professional victims, bullies, narcissists, and borderlines. They’re abusive personality types and don’t know any other way to act in relationships.

Life is too short to spend one more second in this kind of relationship. If your partner won’t admit she has a problem and agree to get help, real help, then it’s in your best interest to get support, get out, and stay out.

by Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

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I provide confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. My practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit Services and Products for professional inquiries.

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Mood swings on ccmbuzz.

  1. Ernest Mustain.
    May 21, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Well. She can get mad at the drop of a hat. That quick. She only hears what she wants. She starts something. Until the point I get mad. And then runs to our Pastor and tells him what kind of person I am. So very seldom apologizes for things she says or does. She is hateful to neighbors and every one that lives around her. She bullies her kids and once in a while my kids. When talking to her. And I make a mistake in saying what I need to say. Like. I want to love you more. And continue with the sentence. All she heard was. I want to love you more. Which she thinks I don’t live her at all. When she gets mad. She’s like a jack hammer. Pounds pounds pounds. And always have to have the floor. And I can’t get a word in edge wise. Then when I tell her. I’m sorry. She stated. Well you should be. She has blew up at our pastor. And walked out yelling. But on the other hand. When she ok. She the most lovable person you can ask for. Altho I have lost respect for her as a wife. She has not only gotten mentally abusive. But lately physical abusive and denies that she is either one. Or blames it on me that I’m the reason that she did what she did. I just can’t take much more. I’m 63. And I’m getting tired of walking on egg shells. Yet. I have a sense that God can change her. But know he can’t until she is willing to allow him to change her.

  2. Jermaine
    May 16, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    This has opened my eyes and ears in so many ways.

  3. Jurgen Denecke
    May 16, 2017 at 8:06 am

    Absolutely spot on, men don’t like to admit suffering from emotional bullying but I would not say that projection is a female thing. It’s a human thing, we find bullying at all levels, even in science…..
    I thank you for your 10 descriptions….I have experienced almost all of these….

  4. lifelostforever
    May 12, 2017 at 1:17 am

    Get a divorce and leave the kids with her and hope she mildly screws up enough so you have evidence against her to get custody. If you don’t have kids, run away and don’t look back.

  5. Ryan Coker
    May 2, 2017 at 6:51 am

    It is good to know that I’m not freaking insane! However I am getting there. I have sat with a loaded pistol in my mouth more times than I care to keep up with. Reading this article was like a deep breath of air. Spot on 98%. I used to be a man with dreams, integrity, quality of life, and values. Now I’m consumed with just trying to get it right with her in hopes of getting back to the basics. I often realize that I’m fighting a losing battle and see truth but then I’m quickly side swiped with something that makes me question myself and see possible fix that will only cost me just maybe one more low road. It’s so eft up! I know I need to go, it sucks because it wasn’t always like this. We were the best of friends for many years, inseparable. And we have a beautiful baby girl that is just so in love with her mommy. The whole thing makes me want to kick the crap out of whatever or whoever that is to blame. Such a shitty hand. Anyway, thank you!

  6. May 2, 2017 at 1:00 am

    Yep, I’ve got the same problem. Controlling, verbal assaults at random and put downs. Zero Empathy, though she puts on a pretty good show at church. She is well trained on the “Churchianity” dance. However at home, there is no appreciation. If I mention that it would be nice, all I get are sarcastic retorts. However, I did notice some of those tendencies before we go married. She would put down the kids she was babysitting for. But I couldn’t wrap my head around two diametrically opposed personality displays. She has zero guilt. Everyone else are the bad people. She will blow up relationships if there is anything she doesn’t like. I’ve endured 30 years of this (Mostly by staying at work). No kids. But I have about had enough of it. I hate to admit it, but there are many people like that in Pentacostal churches, which of course is where we met. I’ve seen other men abused that way in these churches. It has taken me years to come up for air. I’m ready for some fresh air.

  7. Jerry
    April 19, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Some of you might remember me posting on here a while back (beginning of the year). I left my 21 year marriage in December because the sweet, kind, caring girl I married isn’t in there any more…at least if she is she’s buried so deep she’s never allowed out, at least not for me.

    In her case it’s a protection mechanism against certain things that have hurt her (alcoholic parent) but I, the one who stood by her all through the years of that abuse, became the brunt of her frustration. She doesn’t scream and shout but she shut down her feelings. I tried hard to break through but nothing was good enough. i stayed as long as I could, seeing teenage kids through leaving home, until there was a final straw.

    So I left. I’m still out there to the extent that ‘out there’ is starting to feel like it’s not out there any more. we’re still friends and she occasionally makes noises like we could get back together but even me leaving hasn’t changed her. She didn’t even ask me not to leave but looks so sad when I visit but then leave again. But she’s almost incapable of saying whether she really wants me or not and, in the end, i had to make the decision that I’d rather be with someone who appreciates me or on my own. I still love her and not a day goes by that I don’t feel guilty, and miss her like crazy.

    But going back wouldn’t change anything. Leaving has changed me…I have more self-respect, like myself more (except that little voice, and the alcoholic parent, that tells me I was a bad person to leave) and I’m more able to help her, and my kids, to get through their lives whilst enjoying the freedom, the lack of constant complaining, and just being myself.

    So it can be done. Leave, don’t go back unless they genuinely, truly, change and even then ask yourself whether that’s what YOU really want for yourself. Maybe it’s better for everyone, and stronger, if you just walk away.

    • Not Proud
      April 19, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      Jerry – thanks for your note. While I have not left yet, I am lining myself up for this actively. I will always love her, but I will choose to love her from afar when I leave. Thanks for your post.

      • Jerry
        April 19, 2017 at 4:02 pm

        That’s it, mate…if you want to look after anyone you have to look after yourself first

  8. TC
    April 14, 2017 at 5:58 am

    My wife unfortunately does everything on your list to me. It is absolutely spot on to her nehavior. Does she need to be on a medication or is this a lost cause? We have 3 kids, and she is making our.lives miserable.

  9. Max
    April 8, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Wow so much information, some points definitely applies to me. In short, my wife yells at me and my children. Very short tempered which creates an atmosphere of fear for my children, 4 and 2. I just can’t stand her anymore. I do not want to divorce because she would get custody of my children. What is the best age for my kids, to get a divorce? As for now I just bite my tongue and play along, but I can’t live like this for the rest of my life no chance. I read somewhere I should wait till they are more stable, like when they start primary school, is that true?

    • Ed
      April 21, 2017 at 10:46 pm

      Max – I am in the same situation with two kids at a similar age. It kills me to think I don’t have a fair chance at 50% custody so I stall as well and suffer while waiting for the right time. I have been “waiting” for years now, frozen in indecision, wishing I could be stronger and able to just do it.

  10. James
    April 7, 2017 at 1:26 am

    I am filled with doubt.

    I met my dream woman a little over a year ago. Things were mostly amazing — six out of seven days, she was affectionate, cute, and had an incredible libido. One day per week, she’d lose her mind and accuse me of things out of left field, like, “You backed up your text messages when you changed phones. Were you doing that just to save texts from your ex?”

    The only thing I have ever done is that, when we were first dating, I lied about an ex’s name — our casual relationship was confidential and my fiance asked about it in front of mutual friends, so I denied that anything had happened with that particular person. When she later figured it out and confronted me about it, I apologized immediately — quite frankly, I had forgotten about it because the girl lives six hours away and we barely stayed in touch.

    She regularly compares me unfavorably to her exes, even though she knows I can’t stand it. (One was a junkie who tried to kill her. One was an unemployable high school dropout. Both supposedly cheated on her.) And now, her controlling is getting worse — she wants me to text her whenever I leave the house, even to grab fast food for lunch, supposedly in case I get into an accident. I’m 31 and healthy — it’s not like I’m a stroke patient who can’t find his way home. Her outbursts are getting worse: she had a meltdown over boxes left on the floor the other day. I’m constantly worried that she’s going to come home and snap at me again.

    I love the girl. She’s smart. She’s funny. She’s sexy. And we’re engaged. Just don’t know whether or how to say enough is enough and walk away.

    • Max
      April 8, 2017 at 8:12 am

      Run. If you are having issues now, it will only get worse. I don’t want to sound mean, but it sounds like she has baggage and insecurity issues. Also, controlling. You need to stand up to her if you love her. If she continues, let her go. Unfortunately, you can’t get through to some people. If you love her, give it a try. Dont bother trying to change her.

    • Ed
      April 21, 2017 at 10:57 pm

      James – If in your gut you feel something is wrong/off, then listen very hard. I ignored the signals and am now married with two kids stuck with the prospect of financial hardship and damaging my kids through divorce. If it feels wrong it absolutely is. You can get out clean and find a person who will treat you right. I wish I had.

  11. Alex
    April 1, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Yep, real good article…I am planning the escape as I write this. Woman like this are predators, and there is a certain type of man they go after. Not that relationships are about ‘winning’, with these women their manipulation skills are excellent. You have to become Machiavellian even to deal with them. I have been interviewing for jobs, over the past two weeks and not once has she said anything encouraging. I just got nailed with food poisoning and not one iota of concern – she is, for lack of a better expression – a fucking psycho cunt and yes there is a huge disorder mentally with these types. To all men, get clear of these snakes, you deserve to live a wonderful fulfilling life living your dream. These types of women will rip it from you and enslave you.

  12. jk
    March 26, 2017 at 3:56 am

    This article identified and described my life with my fiancee, perfectly. It gives me a kind of relief that not only am not the only one experiencing this, but that it’s been documented and understood elsewhere with great detail.

    Eventhough I read this, I am clueless on how to leave my fiancee. She has two boys from her first marriage that I’ve raised for ten years. They are ‘my sons’ now and leaving them is a situation I don’t know how to process. It does not fit who I want to be for them.

    This article incredibly described my relationship with my fiancee.

    My endless thank you.

    • Ed Ba
      March 26, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      JK – thanks for posting, you are certainly among friends here who are in the same situation. I once got out of a bad relationship but loved the kids. Years later I was able to connect with them, and they asked if they were to blame for the divorce. I was able to assure them that it was not them, that it was their mother (who was a closet addict). Now, I am in a 7 year marriage that is even worse because I married a narcissist. Part of my reason for staying and taking this abuse (no kids) is that I don’t want to hurt her feelings. How crazy is that? In any event, you are not alone and your sons will be with you for life – with or without her. Just my opinion.

    • Kevin
      March 26, 2017 at 7:00 pm

      I truly feel for you. It’s the nice guys like us that find ourselves in relationships with women who treat us as objects. For them it’s a sickness, but for us staying in these relationships is also a manifestation of our own sickness. For me, my sickness is that I will do for others before doing for me, in other words I look at my own strength and compassion and feel sorry for other people so I help them before I help me. But this will take its toll on you. I have been broken-physically, mentally, emotionally, and most of all……spiritually. O honestly thought I could outlast this and rise above it but it has taken its toll. I am trying to recover from stress induced autoimmune issues that make it hard to do anything.

      I am engaged to someone just like you are and we have had to postpone the wedding more than once. I love this person and I feel so bad for her…mostly because she doesn’t get it nor will she understand or have real joy in her life and I tried so hard to bring it to her. I don’t think I can give any advice but offer my sincere condolences.

      If I could find the strength to get out of the relationship I would. Unfortunately for me I have been sapped of all strength and can only rely on God at this point to help sustain me. It might sound harsh or extreme but having the kind of depression I have now is debilitating.

      Best of luck to you.

      • Not Proud
        April 5, 2017 at 3:38 pm

        Count me in as being a “nice guy” also. I actually liked being a nice guy and I’m very proud to be one to my family and friends and in my business profession.

        However, here at home, I feel taken advantage of like I am an employee or a servant. I fully realize I put myself in this own position through lack of boundaries. My spouse literally asks me to “do a favor for me” or summons me for the littlest of things anywhere from 10 to 20 times a day. She is a highly educated person, but needs me to show her how to buy a song on iTunes on her phone. Any computer problem at all and she feels that I am her private tech support resource. I would never ever dream of asking anyone for this amount of help. However she just doesn’t get it and has no sense of boundaries at all. On the other hand, perhaps she does get it and knows that she finds me as an easy mark. Having to answer to 10 to 20 requests a day makes me hate to hear my own name being called.

        I truly understand that you are sapped of all your strength, as I am in the same position. She is mad at me because we don’t have an intimate life also, but I just can’t do it with a person who is ready to attack, criticize and treat me like an employee.

        Here’s to being a nice guy – I am proud to be one, and I’m making plans to find my own peace elsewhere. Stay strong my friend.

      • Max
        April 8, 2017 at 8:20 am

        If you don’t have kids with her, why would you stay man? I don’t get that. There is someone beautiful and nurturing out there for you. Don’t waste your life being miserable. Ask God for help and take a step out the door. If you have been broken spiritually that is awful. Just leave her.

        • Not Proud
          April 17, 2017 at 6:06 pm

          Max, I just saw your comment. You are right, at this point I am spiritually and mentally broke, and have lost my glow and self-esteem. I will have to ask God for the right way to get out, as she will never change. It has been all about her, all about her, all about her since she conned me into her trap. I appreciate your comment and support my friend.

      • Marcus Cole
        April 18, 2017 at 4:48 am

        I’m genuinely shocked at how close to home your collective experiences are to mine.

        Like you, I’m trapped. It’s like a living hell, I’m a proud but kind man, I do my best to help others and my community.

        I’m in my early 30’s, worked my way out of a Hell hole, served in my country’s armed forces, before taking a highly stressful ‘directors’position for an international company. Until I decided to go self employed and work part time, a less stressful life, and even set up a small charity ( 100% of donations go to helping kids get into education and to improve the local community, I do not take a salary for this).

        Until recently, (past 6 months) I kept extremely physically fit and toned, I even boxed (non competitively) and ran regular half marathons. I was also a charismatic, confident and outspoken guy, I’d regularly travel, meet new people and do something different. In fact, I had a goal of doing of doing one thing new every month, and pushing my own boundaries.

        My life now is completely different, I am a shell of who I was, afraid to leave the house and live in fear. My life is like Hell.

        I feel shattered, my hair is falling outin lumps, I’ve put on 40 lbs, I’m afraid to go running, and have no friends. My life over the past 6 months has deteriorated badly. I am at the point now where I get regular panic attacks and am afraid to leave my home.

        My partner is a highly educated woman, she is in fact a lawyer. She is loyal but beyond that she has destroyed the man who I once was. It happened little by little but she broke me. The Army never, the tours never, no other person was able to but she did. My own partner crushed me as a man.

        Her jealousy is amazing, I cant have a facebook account cause if a woman likes my status she will attack both me, then publicly attack the woman! She has chased all of my friends away, especially the female ones.

        I once bought a book, I collect fantasy and sci-fi books, one of the covers had a woman on it. She exploded in the shop where I was to buy it, accusing me of cheating, of wanting to fuck her, I had literally 5 hours of non stop abuse thrown at me by her in public for that.
        I liked a song by a female singer, and again she exploded, throwing things, that night I slept on the streets in the middle of a dangerous city.

        With my charity, there was young students helping out, we took kids out on a day trip to the local university for lessons. She decided that I was not allowed to go, so I went, she came with me, screaming at me non stop, it was like something out of a horror film, she told me I was not allowed to speak to anyone. As I set up the event I had to speak to people, I spoke to one person, she again exploded, I had to sit with her on our own. I stood up to get a drink then she exploded again accusing me of wanting to cheat on her. She then went over to the other ‘helpers’ then told them that I was a paedophile and that I wanted to fuck them, I was horrified, if she was a man I would have hit her. But it broke me, I cried that night. I spent 3 months organizing this day, there were even journalists there but I ended up being absolutely humiliated.

        she even accused me of cheating on her with her brother. I was close to her brother, one day I decided to visit him… She took this as us having an affair,

        I use to write a diary, it worked out that she would act like this once every 2 days. If I get a drink of water and dont ask her if she wants one then she will scream at me accusing me of being selfish, I cannot even buy myself a packet of crisps, I cannot go to the gym in case I cheat, or because I am only going it to look good for other woman (according to her) I am not allowed to make friends as she believes that she should be good enough for me..
        She’s sent me about 500 abusive e-mails in the past 6 months, and maybe 2,000 abusive messages on social media.

        Little by little she has chipped away at me, just torn me apart.

        I dont know what has happened, why I have become like this. But my life is like Hell! I cannot use my phone, I cannot have my own camera, I cannot play video games, I cannot read books,I cannot do my charity work or my own work.

        Nothing is ever good enough for her, I was happy working part time, it payed the bills but now she decides that I must earn more money so she can have a child.

        The first night we made love, I was nervous so kept going for ages. When I… relieved myself, she accused me of thinking of my “Ex” and was shouting at me. I felt so sickend, I honestly felt broken after that. It was to be a special thing… It was my first time too. I am an old fashioned romantic. I honestly felt like something broke inside.

        Her parents are foreign, they dont speak english when we were in their country she wouldnt translate for me. So I spent a month unable to speak to anyone. When I started learning the language she exploded… I honestly felt caged, like a prisoner.

        One night I went for a walk with her Brother, she kicked off but this time in front of her mother. Her family were shocked, she even started fighting her Mother. I was so broken but was glad her mother saw what it was like. Her mother ejected her from the premises and made me stay with her (mother). Even though she couldn’t speak English, I ended up speaking via google translate.

        I love her parents and family, and of course our pets. I even love her but I need to leave. It sounds so obvious to leave but I dont know how, but she’s completely destroyed me as a man, my backbone is gone, I am timid, I cant go the gym anymore cause of her.

        All of this is insane, and I cannot believe that it has happened to me! I use to fight men for sport, served in the army but I am now a husk of a man because of one woman!

        I wanted to fix these problems, I wanted a future with her. I started getting suicidal thoughts, but with what little dignity I have left I must leave, she has left me financially ruined, I lost my job because of her. But with what little I will leave. I need to leave, but its so hard, its like I have nothing left inside, like I am being choked, like who I am is gone and I have this puppet master controlling me.

        I dont know how to break up with her, do I do it in person, over the phone, e-mail? I fear she will drag me back into her insane asylum of a life.

        Sorry for hijacking the threat… I just wanted to say something.

      • Ryan Coker
        May 2, 2017 at 7:18 am

        Kevin brother, wow! Same thing your doing was me. I am still in the marriage but, I see something that I didn’t see before. I’m going to share with you and hope you credit to yourself enough muster to get out! You said your relying on God to get you there, that’s good! But brother you have to do your part in that as well. What I’m saying is get rid of the crutches, if you believe in God then you gotta believe that he gave you the strength already and is standing by to make sure you succeed. Faith! Jesus didn’t die on the cross so we can be miserable. Your destiny is yours​ for the taking, it’s already done! I hope this helps and God bless you.

    • Michelle
      April 10, 2017 at 6:25 am

      Friend, you can still have the boys in your life by arranging visitation, but you have GOT to draw boundary lines with their mother. You won’t regret the peace you’ll receive after breaking up and doing such a courageous and loving thing for yourself.
      My relationship was 12 years old when we broke it off, but I now maintain only the weekly visitation with her daughter, and her daughter is very happy with the time we have. At first, I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle the ability to still “peer” into my ex’s life, bcuz of the visitations, but the more I realize how abused I’d been the less I care about her life. I mean, I will always care for her as a person, and mother of a wonderful child, but one can only take crazy for so long. Point being, once she gets into a relationship with someone else, and I happen to witnes it, it won’t matter, bcuz then she’ll then be “their crazy problem” to deal with.
      Peace.

  13. James Edward bess
    March 23, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Thank you for this because I feel like nothing in on my current relationship I think I love and care for her more then I do she ignores me, argue about what her kids and dogs are doin should I leave ??I tried but I can’t let but she gon be the down fall of me I just knowww it

  14. Sim
    March 23, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Hi Not Proud
    Mate your dilemma of not leaving is very similar to mine. I feel i am getting closer to making the final break. Everytime i think of it my heart races with excitement but then the thought of not seeing my son everyday brings me down to earth.

  15. March 22, 2017 at 1:11 am

    I found this article very helpful. My son married his first girlfriend 20 months ago at age 26. She announced to the minister during pre-marital counseling that she would “drive a wedge between him & his family.” She had a mental health history which included hospitalizations. His sisters & I encouraged him to delay the wedding & seek expert advice. He married her as scheduled, 2 days later. She had already established that he could not communicate with us except by going through her. She began posting insulting, angry things about his family online. He called me 2 months ago to say that he had to “take a break” from us. I don’t contact him because she makes it so hard on him. I fear the repercussions.
    Am I right to stay out of it? I fear for his mental & physical safety.

  16. Sim
    March 21, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Hi guys and Dr T
    I have been reading many comments on this website and is indeed Godsend for people like me who i think have been abused, verbally and physically beaten, bullied and belittled.
    I can relate to many traits in my wife of 25 years and also to the experiences many of youz have had.
    I stayed because of my kids. I left many times but came back because i always left in a huff i.e. without a plan hence the gentleman who said plan your escape is a genius.
    I also came back because my son was very very young when i left the first time. And i am glad on one hand because i spent such wonderful wonderful time with him which i will cherish all my life.
    on the other hand sometimes i canot help but think would i have been better off without her.
    My wife belittles me, verbally abuses me, calls me a liar, a bully, non-considerate, someone who mocks her, someone who is happy inside at her misery, someone who cannot communicate with her, dont understand her feelings, dont know how to talk to others etc etc etc.
    I cannot invite anyone at home, i am alleged to make plans with my family to plan out ways to make her feel miserable.
    And I know for sure that there is absolute no truth in any of these absurd allegations.

    Dr T, if you may suggest, how do i make her understand its not me but its her! I have great relationship with my friends, parents, children but not her. She on the other hand has no friends, is estranged with her sister and mother. All the time its about her feelings. Once she starts to ‘talk’ it can go for ages, I am not allowed to speak and if I do somehow manage to convince her that i should also get a go on airing my views, she goes silent but once i finish, its like ….whoa..here we go again..

    I am seriously so tired mentally. my work is very demanding and requires time to ponder and analyse and the days she is not arguing (there are some such days when she is over sweet) i do so well at work. But the day i start thinking….okay its all behind us…it starts all over again.

    Dr T, Is there a way out with her? Should i now make a plan and get out? My son is now 19 and am sure thinking of moving out bcos who would want to see their parents argue regularly.

    • shrink4men
      March 22, 2017 at 4:05 am

      You shouldn’t have to convince your mate that you’re a good person. And if she truly thinks you’re such a jerk, why would she want to be with you? Why do you want to stay with someone who tells you that you’re crap and treats you as if you are? By keeping you in a down position, she retains control over you and the relationship. Abusers don’t willingly give that up. Stop trying to figure out how to convince her of anything and start focusing on what is keeping you in an abusive relationship. Do you want your son to think your marriage is acceptable and normal?

      • Sim
        March 22, 2017 at 11:21 am

        Thank you Dr T. What is keeping me in this highly charged and abusive relationship:
        1. Shame of marriage failure in the eyes of others
        2. Will not be able to see my son every day
        3. Being alone at least to start with, I have no family in this country and practically no friends
        4. I will have to pay her half my financial assets
        5. Anxiety about organising a place to stay, moving my things from family home
        6. Actual fear of moving out
        7. Comfort of home cooked dinner

        Why I want to leave:
        1. Constant belittling me, yelling, swearing and constant arguing, arguing, lecturing over something I have not even thought of let alone doing it.
        2. Nothing I ever do is good enough. Reminders that how much she helps/helped me and All help that i do is either not really done, or done to further my own sinister hidden agenda or show for others because I suspect most others dont share her view of me
        3. Blaming her own shortcomings, inadequacies on me
        4. Always focused on what i am ‘really saying’ rather what i say. As a result i open my mouth after much consideration or dont speak at all which is also a problem for her
        5. God forbid if i share my opinion and it happens to be different to hers. She on the other hand has God given right to air her views because she is ‘standing up to me – the bully’
        6. She is totally convinced i am Lucifer incarnate and is not reticent to share it with others.
        7. Complain complain complain…on anything that happens to her even if that is physically impossible for me to do.
        8. Bad mouthing my parents, my family, my friends who are not welcome in my house. If i somehow invite someone, oh no, i will have to listen how ‘disrespectful’ mine or their actions were.
        9. If we do go out for a dinner where we are invited, how I sat motionless when others were ‘flirting’ with her. Which is pure figment of her twisted imagination.
        10. All this happens in the ear shot of our son and I think neighbours as well.

      • Sim
        March 23, 2017 at 12:08 pm

        Thanks doc

  17. John
    March 16, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    I’m finding it hard.
    She is so good, compassionate and caring to everyone but seems to save her frustration up for me.
    It’s normally my fault.
    I told her about my being bullied when I was in school, but her opinion is that I must have been doing something to egg them on.
    When we got together I was neglected, forgotten at times when we were to meet, leaving me for two hours while the people she was with reminded her I was waiting.
    I should have got the message then.
    But some 23 years later we are married, have a fantastic son, but the abuse continues.
    She has threatened me, threatened to leave, says she hates me most days, says I’m stupid, says I’m a shit and a bastard. She has shoved me, just tried to hit me with a door on the way out to an event she didn’t want to go to, but rather than tell the person she made the commitment to, she took it out on me, calling me names.
    I went to counselling about 5 years ago, as a condition for staying married, and I mostly ended up talking about her, I’m tearful now just thinking of it.
    I’ve an important role in work, I have a lot of responsibility and I’m not long in the post, but my wife has threatened me on a number of times that unless I meet her standards at home I’ll have to leave it. She has accused me of “managing” her, but I just want the shouting and swearing to stop. She really hates me, hates me touching her, but calls me cold and dead when I can’t respond when she wants intimacy, how can I be intimate with a nightmare?

  18. March 13, 2017 at 6:15 am

    Wow!!! That is literally an autobiography of my relationship. But yet she has EVERYONE around her convinced I’m the bad guy. And I’m one of them.. But it was very nice to hear that I may not be as bad a person as I think I am. On the flip side, she can be SOOO sweet and wonderful. Sincerely.

    • Alex
      April 1, 2017 at 1:27 pm

      LEAVE!!!!!!!

  19. John
    March 11, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Great info. Thanks for this. That describes to the T what my relationship is like right now. Now all i have to do is learn from my mistakes. More than 10 people that know us have told me to get out of it, but it is true what was in this read. i try to make excuses for her because she is the mother of my daughter. And i think she will change one day. But she will not. Not after 8 years of it……. the good thing about it though is not one single person in my family has not been there for me if i needed them through all of it. I just need to learn how to listen to the people that care about me.

  20. Vince
    March 6, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    I saw this a few years too late. I am in this right now its painful. I love her but I love myself also. I cant seem do enough for her, there is litterally no end to HER nèeds and wants. She can watch me pay alot of money on her and the next day ask gor something more. If I refuse its maybe we should breakup. Constantly critical of anything I do or say. Extremely jealous of any woman she thinks is cute, I do not have to interact with them at all. So certain restaraunts, stores, friends and other places are banned or we breakup. She puts pictures of us on my facebook wall we look like a happy couple. If you look at her wall Im barely there. I just closed my account so no one can post but me. Almost everything on your list she does, so when I saw it I could believe it. The only bright spot is she has agreed to getting counseling. Im not sure if that will work in this case but its worth a try.

    • Alex
      April 1, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      Best thing you could ever do for your self is LEAVE!!!! She is incapable of real love. Love your self and LEAVE!!!!!!!! I left and came back…it wasnt worth it….LEAVE!!!!!!! SAve yourself…there are many many more good women out there who deserve your love

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