Things Verbal Abusers Say and Do

April 29, 2012 Kellie Jo Holly

Abusive people, men and women, say and do similar things to control their victims. The delivery may vary in tone or type, but the effect is the same. Read this.

What does verbal abuse sound like? The tone and content vary from abuser to abuser, but the words affect the victim in similar ways. Victims hear horrible things from their abuser and they feel small, withdrawn, angry, helpless, sad, ashamed, and a hundred other horrible emotions - sometimes all at once.

At the beginning of my abusive relationship, I felt anger and stood up for myself leading to loud, circular verbal altercations that had no solutions. Later, after coming to believe that he was my hero, my savior, and my provider, I felt stupid and wanted to fix myself so he would love me. Much later, I turned away and left the house for a while which eventually led to increased physical violence and leaving forever.

Sometimes my abuser's words hurt when he jabs and attempts to provoke me on the phone. Mainly, the memory, the countless memories of the abusive things he's said to me rear up and try to convince me that his remembered voice is my own.

This list is only a partial list of the things verbal abusers say. It's not limited to my own abusive relationship. It takes into account what others report hearing, too.

Things Verbal Abusers Say:

  • "Why don't you get a job so you understand the real world? Oh, wait - I forgot - you can't get a job because you're a stupid sh!t.
  • "Quit your whining and crying. You have no reason to cry or complain! Your life is perfect because I made it that way!"
  • "Bitch" (and the countless other names I won't bother to list)
  • "I should have left you at the club with all the other whores."
  • "If you were more like my mother I could worship you."
  • "I hate it when you act so pitiful. Stop the waterworks and talk like a human being."
  • "I can't stand to look at you. You make me sick."
  • "You're such a great actress! You know how to get what you want, don't you?"
  • "I can't believe I have to come home to you every day. How did I get involved with such a train wreck?"
  • "I must be the first a$$hole to love you. You don't know how to please a man!"
  • "You're fat and miserable and you make me hate you."
  • "You always look like God stomped on your face."
  • "Why do you care what I want for dinner? My favorites taste like crap when you make them anyway."
  • "You used to be as beautiful as my ex, but geesh - time hasn't been good to you, baby!"
  • "Those children are mine, will always be mine, and if you leave you'll never see them again."

Things Verbal Abusers Do:

  • Deny they said anything similar to the list above.
  • Defend what they've said.
  • Analyze what they've said out loud, explaining that the words they used do not have the definitions you seem to think they do.
  • Block you in a room so you can't leave and thereby avoid what they're saying.
  • Talk horribly to the television but are really speaking to you.
  • Flip open their knife to open a piece of gum while looking at you under knitted brows.
  • Leave to do something else at the last minute when you had plans together.
  • Take you out for your best birthday ever and then wind up berating you on the way home for not appreciating their efforts enough.
  • Tell your children you need more happy pills to be a good mom.
  • Change the topic of the conversation so you bounce from one place to another, never getting to the core of the issue.
  • Accuse you of being a whore or a dummy or a _________ so often that they no longer need to say the words but can offer up a "look" and you know what they're saying (then they may deny it).

Okay. I have to stop. My stomach is literally upset right now after digesting the utter contempt and hatred some people spew on a daily basis.

If you're still living in this nonsense, learn about detachment and how it can benefit you. Maybe in time you'll choose to leave your abuser, and maybe you'll choose to stay. No one here will judge you for staying (I've been there and it can feel hopeless!), but please work on ways to make yourself feel better in the process.

Start here:

You can also find Kellie on her website at Verbal Abuse Journals and can buy her books from Amazon.

*Both women and men could be abusers or victims, so do not take my pronoun choices as an implication that one gender abuses and the other is victimized.

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2012, April 29). Things Verbal Abusers Say and Do, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, December 9 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 10 2020 at 1:45 am

I’m 23 my husband is 60. He can be so charming and sweet. He is attractive for his age. But he has called me a stupid b**** and has said he hates me. He has called me a prostitute, lesbian, stripper and all tours of things. I have sinned in my past. But I’m so hurt that he still holds things over my head. I really love and respect but it literally feels like my heart and chest are being cut when he says harsh things to me. Christ said husbands are to live your wives. Where is the love?

September, 2 2017 at 2:33 pm

My husband of 4 months, together for 5 years, constantly verbally abuses me, raises his hand at me like he will hit me. He calls me harsh words and berates me everyday. A part of me wants to leave but invested so long I don't have the strength to leave. We don't have any children and while I was trying to get pregnant, I am not actively trying now He will call me trash, tell me my nursing job is not good enough and he makes the real money. Says he wants me out of his house and that I don't deserve to live there. Says my mouth is the reason he hates me because I tell the truth and try not to accept what he says to me. I never say a word to him because I don't want to trigger him, i walk around on eggshells and here I am his doormat. I let him treat me like crap and beat me down to feeling worthless. I sometimes want to die and makes me feel everyone would be better off if I did. I'm so unhappy but cannot face the shame and embarrassment of leaving him. We don't have sex, he won't touch me, he won't say a kind word to me. I feel like I married the devil. I need help but don't know to get it.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 11 2017 at 12:33 am

Hi Kelli,
Thank you for your comment, and well done for speaking out about what you're going through. My heart goes out to you because your situation sounds terribly familiar. There was a time when I thought I was pregnant by my abusive ex-partner, and now that I'm free of him I thank the universe every day that didn't happen. Since then, I became engaged to a wonderful, caring man and we had a child of our own. Even so, I find motherhood challenging at times, and without a supportive partner by my side I would have struggled even more. I know it is not my place to say, but please think twice before you bring a child into the world with this man. If he abuses you, there is a high chance he will abuse your children. Parenting is wonderful, but it really tests your patience and resolve. This can be dangerous for those who are used to being in control; babies and children are so unpredictable.
Please consider opening up to someone about your relationship. Whatever he makes you believe, the way he treats you is not OK. I know it feels shameful and embarrassing to admit what's been going on, but trust me: you're not the only one.
i would recommend talking to a trusted friend or family member and getting someone on your side to help you with the next step. You should also research some domestic violence helplines and organizations where you live and get in touch with one of those. It's also worth contacting a counsellor or therapist who is specially trained to help victims of domestic violence. Those are the first steps to take. I know it can feel overwhelming, but you can do it. It's not an easy journey, but it's definitely one worth making.
Good luck!

MB Ladi
August, 2 2017 at 6:24 pm

I just got called a f****ng idiot by my fiancé of 7 years in front of my 20 year old college kid home for three weeks. The house flooded due to her forgetting the water was running in the sink. Previously, her and I argued. He says it was my fault because we often argue and i should leave her alone; if I would've have left her alone she wouldn't have been frazzled and forgotten that the water was running in the sink. The house is a mess! He told her don't worry about it, but hasn't said much to me. I asked what I could do, but he basically implies not to worry about it. He's been a fiancé this long for a reason, right?! Lol! Finding humor even with a wounded heart.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 11 2017 at 12:21 am

Hello MB Ladi,
Relationships are so challenging, and people can often say things in the moment that they don't really mean, or that they will later regret. Have you managed to talk to your fiancé about how his comment made you feel? I recommend you read my post, The Difference Between Arguments and Verbal Abuse, and watch out for other verbally abusive behavior.
Good luck! Emma x

July, 23 2017 at 5:12 pm

I have been with my husband for 10 years. He has cheated on me several times. He corners me and verbally attacks me. He acts like he is going to hit me. He tells me I front of our children that I am a f***ing bilplar B** ch and a horrible mother. He tells me he is the only one that works to give me the life I have. But if I get a job it has to be on his schedule. I feel hopeless I don't want to take my kids from him. But I can't take any more.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 11 2017 at 12:17 am

Hello Anonymous,
I'm so sorry to hear about what you're going through. The situation you're in sounds like it could be dangerous. Consider calling one of the domestic violence helplines on our Help and Resources page -- these are people who can help you when you feel stuck and don't know where to turn. It may also be worth contacting a lawyer so you can plan for the financial implications of leaving your husband (if that's what you plan to do). Please continue to use this site for support and reach out to others when you can. Good luck to you.
Emma x

October, 16 2017 at 4:29 pm

My father is at the end stages of early onset Alzheimers and is only 63. I moved back in with my parents after 13 years because my father requires 24 care, and I promised him that he would not end up in a nursing home. So now I work from home and so does my mom so that we can take care of my father. My father is priority, but for three years now at least 2-3 times a week I get blamed for his Alzheimers by my mother. I get called everything but my name, and am told on a daily basis how sorry I am and that this world and her life would be better if I was gone. There is a lot of other things she says that I don't think are appropriate to even type. When she starts in on me I listen and keep my mouth shut and when I have had enough I will walk away or go sit outside and bring my dad with me. It seems like walking away makes it worse and when I agree with her about how sorry and pathetic I am it makes the situation worse. I have thought about just leaving and going my own way, but then I think of my dad and how selfish it would be for me to leave. These verbal attacks are the reason I left home in the first place and was almost the reason my dad divorced my mom. Faith and prayer has brought contentment to me and I can tell it's rubbing off on my dad as well, but the attacks still hurt. Its like if someone day after day keeps telling you that you are worthless and that your birth was the biggest mistake, sooner or later you start to wonder if it's true. I do get scared sometimes that she is just going to loose it all one day and hurt me or my dad, but that is just a "what if" at the moment. I know not everyone is religious but I always refer to the book of Romans chapter 12 verses 9-21, it helps me, maybe it can help someone who reads this comment. No matter what anyone does or says always be quick to forgive and love with an attitude of gratitude in any situation. All the abuse and hate in this world will never conquer love. God bless!

July, 23 2017 at 5:10 pm

I have been with my husband for 10 years. He has cheated on me several times. He corners me and verbally attacks me. He acts like he is going to hit me. He tells me I front of our children that I am a f***ing bilplar B** ch and a horrible mother. He tells me he is the only one that works to give me the life I have. But if I get a job it has to be on his schedule. I feel hopeless I don't want to take my kids from him. But I can't take any more.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

MB Ladi
August, 2 2017 at 6:17 pm

Misty - I'm being hypocritical, but plan your departure soon.

July, 20 2017 at 2:59 pm

My Husband and I have been together for almost 10 years now. We have beautiful children. He was the first man I had ever been with sexually. He calls me names and downgrades me constantly. I have been going through this for a very long time. I recently found out that he has been cheating on me as well. I kicked him out. He was only gone a week and I begged him to come back. So he did. He didnt do it for me tho he did it for our kids. I really just dont understand why I cant let him go. Why everything is just so hard for me. I finished high school and moved in with him right away. I'm about to be 28 years old and still have done absoulutly nothing with my life. When he left I felt like everything was my fault. I begged and pleaded for him to come back. I'm so stupid!! since he has came back NOTHING has gotten better. I have tried but nothing is ever good enough he has no remorse for what he has done and he is making my life really hard right now. He keeps calling me a stupid F****** C*** over and over. He lays in bed and plays games on his phone and he laughs like he has no worries. I dont know what to do anymore. I love him but more so I love the man he used to be. I dont know if he ever really loved me.

July, 10 2017 at 7:33 am

The man who lives with me has a bad temper. I thought it was my fault for a long time. We have been together two years and he flies off the handle and blames me. Like a couple days ago I texted him one message while he was at work and he blew up and still is mad. He says he hates me and calls me a stupid b**** and even says he hates my kids, thankfully they are grown. He got drunk a couple months ago and came home and hit me so many times in my arm that I had bruises for almost a month. Then he can be a loving man and its like nothing happened but he always says I made him do it. He always threatens to leave me. I feel like even if he leaves it won't solve the problem. What about the next woman he abuses?

July, 6 2017 at 11:56 pm

My fiance and I have been together a little over a year now. And in the beginning we both would call each other names,we'll he has asked me to stop and I have but yet he won't stop calling get me names. I'm not sure what to do. I love him to death and would do everything and anything for him. I don't understand... Am I not good enough or does he do this cut he wants me to leave or he wants to leave I'm so hurt and confused right now Idk what to do say at this point. I love him to pieces he's my angel from above he took me out a bad situation and bow he's starting to do simular things my soon to be ex husband did.

July, 5 2017 at 7:57 pm

My boyfriend is in his late 40s and I'll be 20 soon. He calls me a narcissistic, attention wh**e, and is always accusing me of lying and/or cheating. He can make me feel like the greatest person on the plant. And then lower than dirt the next. If I don't reply to a text or answer everytime he calls, he gets extremely upset. He says my entire generation are narcissists. If I tell him how this makes me feel either by getting upset or calmly explaining it always ends up my fault. I've tried to talk to him. But I feel like there's no changing his mind ever. So what should I do?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 6 2017 at 3:45 am

Hi Jade,
Sorry to hear you're going through this. What you're describing is a classic emotional abuse situation. I have been in your position and learned that there is nothing you can do within the relationship to change an abuser's behavior. You — the closest person to him — are the perfect scapegoat for his own issues, and the person he will project all of his mistrust on to.
I know that leaving the relationship feels impossible, but you may come to realize that this is the only way you'll be able to feel like yourself again. My experience was very similar to yours, and I felt like my life wasn't worth living when the relationship ended. A few weeks without him in my life made all the difference: I finally felt free to be myself for the first time in years and went on to meet my fiancé, who treats me with respect and love 100% of the time. That is the kind of relationship we all deserve, not one in which we're constantly walking on eggshells.
This article will give you some guidance on where to go from here, and how to go about finding support.

July, 5 2017 at 8:06 am

I probably won't see these reply's but I felt I needed to talk to someone, anyone about what has been happening to me.. I'm 21 years old and my fiance is 22 we have been together since we were 15 years old. We have always had small fights, but several months ago I started talking to this girl from my job, we never had sex but it was an emotional affair that could have turned into something more. Anyways he found out and wanted me to quit, but I was the only one working at the time so I didn't quit immediatly. I ended up quiting and trying to stay with him and make things better because I genuinely love him so much. But the the anger started, and at first I was like okay I deserve this completely I really hurt him bad. It's been 3 months or so and it has progressively gotten worse. He calls me a w***e and a s**t, and things similar that I don't feel comfortable telling strangers because it's too painful. He has call me a lazy fata$$, a stupid b***h, and things like I don't love you anymore and good luck finding anyone that will deal with you. He has told me he hates coming home to me and being near me. This has all put me in a deep depression that I can't climb out of, and he's even mad at me for being depressed, saying things like you're pathetic and you suck the life out of every room you walk into, everyone hates you, and I'm embarrassed to take you in public. I think the worst part is he never says sorry just explains why he thinks it's okay to make me feel small and destroy any self confidence, self worth, or dignity I have left. I know I hurt him but I want to feel loved and wanted again so badly but he hates me. I feel like I love him too much to leave but he doesn't see or doesn't care how bad he is hurting me. It seems the more I tell him I need him or miss him he pushes me further away. I feel desperate for his affection to feel accepted, but all I get is shut down and berated when I try to talk about feelings. I know you will tell me to leave but I can't for some reason he has this sad hold on me I'm his willing prisoner. I just need him so bad, I feel so guilty and sad that I ruined our life and I'm worried we will never be happy again. I just miss him so bad I miss who he was I can't stop crying because I destroyed the only good thing I had left in my life now I'm feeling alone and broken.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 6 2017 at 4:10 am

Hi Sonja,
Well done for speaking out about what's happening to you. Your situation sounds eerily familiar — in fact, it is the exact situation I found myself in five years ago. Firstly, know you are not to blame for how he is treating you. I'm not surprised you sought an emotional connection with someone outside of your relationship, given the way he is withholding affection and verbally and emotionally abusing you. The things he is saying to you are dreadful and you don't deserve to be spoken to that way by someone who is supposed to love you, regardless of whether you have emotionally or physically been unfaithful.
I can't tell you to leave your partner, even if I think that is what you should do. Trust me, I know how hard this is. I put up with this kind of behavior for years and waited until he left me. I had no dignity left and could barely remember who I was. I don't want that to happen to you, Sonja.
But know this: this relationship you're describing, it's not love. A loving relationship is mutually respectful and supportive. You will never get what you need from this man. Also, you're not crazy, and don't let him manipulate you into thinking you are. My previous partner convinced me I had all kinds of psychological issues when we were together, but it wasn't true. Remember the real "you" underneath — you will need her.
You can always come to this site for support. I'm a new blogger for HealthyPlace and I'm going to be writing about a lot of the struggles you've described. You can find me here.
Good luck, and big hugs. You can do this.

June, 5 2017 at 2:14 pm

If I disagree, get upset about anything, or express a different opinion than my husband has... he more often than not ends up raging and yelling "f*** you you f***ing b****" and storms out. I never swear at him, and I have told him dozens of time that it hurts me so much when he calls me that. I've even said that it feels like he's sticking a knife in me when he calls me that. I basically just feel numb afterwards. This doesn't happen often, because I try to avoid any conflict by just agreeing with him, or not saying anything at all. If I get upset and express my feelings , he says things like "settle" (isn't this what people say to their dog?) ... or "you're out of control". He gets mad if I don't walk the right way, which means right next to him and I feel like he wants me to "heel" like a dog. Last night he got mad I didn't walk exactly where or how he wanted me to and said I had "crossed his line"...? What's made me so upset today is that last night my 18 yr old son disagreed with him and was expressing his opinion on how a sport is played. After a minute of discussion - there wasn't yelling involved at all.. my husband raises his voice and yells "F***" at our son! I was sitting right next to both of them! For a moment, no one said anything... my husband then just started to talk like nothing happened.. I decided it was time to stand up to him... I said "hold on! that was uncalled for. Our son is entitled to have different opinions than you and he's entitled to express them. He wasn't trying to hurt you or anyone. What you said was wrong!". He looks at me, not our son, and says angrily "Sorry". He never looked at our son an sincerely said sorry. Our son, replied calmly and sincerely. "I'm sorry too..." and then a long, long, period of silence started. I was so upset, but didn't say anything. I went to bed early and this morning I told my husband that I was disappointed and upset about how he reacted last night. His reply "He (our son) was out of line"! what? for expressing his opinion? I said "He can express his opinion, and if it's different than yours, too bad. He wasn't trying to hurt you. But you hurt him by yelling at him. That's unacceptable. He said "out of line" a few more times.... I am so angry right now this is all I can think about.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 29 2017 at 9:44 pm

Oh my God, please leave this horribly abusive man if you have somewhere to go. I am so sorry this is happening to you. I hope you find a solution, you will never be happy walking on eggshells for the rest of your life. Praying for you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 8 2017 at 9:12 pm

I'm living your nightmare as well except i have been married for 16 yrs and it hasn't stopped. I have been called every derogatory name you can imagine. Sit hurts like hell and it makes you love him a little less each time. Get out if u can.

Matt Johnston
May, 2 2017 at 1:07 am

Omg. I am a man, my wife calls me an abusive husband. I complain about the filth we live in. I work long hrs. We do have children. Therefor i understand what it takes to care for small children(I was a stay at home dad for 5 years). I love my wife. I really really do. After she started calling Me abusive. I started reading articles
and reasearching abuse. As i read this list above. Im shocked. Never have i berated my wife. I dont call her names. I dont tell her shes worthless. I have no regrets marrying her. These are the things says and does to me. Im to blame for everything. Im far from perfect. Ive made mistakes.ive excepted responsibility for my mistakes. Never has she. I wish i had hidden. Cameras in the house so people could see the truth. I feel like im the one being gaslighted. Please help. My marriage depends on it. I dont want to lose her

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 28 2017 at 11:45 am

Please see a professional- you need help and that, in turn, may help her - or at least, maybe you can then safely convince her to see what she's doing.

Jenny Shaw
April, 17 2017 at 11:42 pm

I've been married for 20 years, my husband had turned verbally abusive when his grandfather died 4 years ago. He just calls me some awful words when he's drunk or upset with me. Can he be removed from the house if he's business is ran from the garage?

April, 4 2017 at 1:10 am

Hell no these abusers know what they do many of them are narcissist or sociopaths who could careless the pain and suffering they inflict on others. I would say all of them not most get off on hurting others because they are sadistic. Not one of these abuser deserve understanding of why they do it or love period!!!!!

July, 10 2016 at 7:55 am

I've been with my bf for 3 yrs now.hes 33 and I'm 38, i Do love him with all my heart but first yr he moved in to my home and it was all good for a little while instill he would shrw me no emotions. And never would tell me he loved me first ever so i started looking on chatlines for someone to say the words that i wanted him to say to me. Ur beautiful, sexy , i would love to have u has my gf But i was getting it from chatlines Instead Of him well my bf find out that i was on the chatlines. And down the line i find out that he was on chatlines too .i wouldn't tell the hole truth to him about my x bf my baby's dad that i was dropping off the kids cause he would tell me that i was wrong for being so nice to him .ok i understand some of it but everyday i got told that i was cheating with his friends or family members on his side. i would tell him not true i would never cross that line im not like that at all . i don't know what to do anymore. Getting very sick and everyday i don't talk to him cause i don't want to fight with him so i stay away maybe im wrong for staying away but i hate fighting with him .we don't. Sleep in the same room any more cause he has kicked me out to many times so i just say fuck it any more not kissing his ass and put all my stuff back in the room for him to kick me out again so now i stay in the other room .what should i do i dropped all my friends cause he says they r no good i have 2 girl friends left that i still talk to i don't even see my side of my family cause they hate him and don't want nothing to do with him cause of all the past history between me and him . so all i have left is my kids that aren't his and he fights in front of them with me so i just walk away so we don't fight in front of them . i fell in love with him never had fallen in love with anyone like i did with him this is so hard to leave him been through alot with him in the pasted 3 yrs .i just don't know what to do anymore going crazy trying to fix this relationship please help me find the right thing to do

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
July, 11 2016 at 11:21 am

Leave him. It takes two people who want to change a relationship for it to change. He doesn't want to change himself and he doesn't want to change the relationship for the better. Look at your lifetime: how long is three years, really? Not long. Get out so you can find yourself, learn to love yourself, and make a healthy home for your children.

July, 8 2016 at 2:02 pm

The father of my kids has said almost everything on that list. I dont work because I have 3 small daughters and will have to pay Alot of childcare. So he constantly tell me I'm worthless, bad mom, and a piece of you know what. I try not to let him get to me but he does. During my pregnancy he would tell me horrible things and after was worse. I believe I have fallen into depression and at one point even tried to end my life because I was starting to believe what he said was true. I try to reason with him but he hurts me emotionally and I cry. I ask him why he says those things to me he responds by telling me it's all my fault l. Is there a way I can get through to him or is it a failing cause?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
July, 11 2016 at 11:30 am

If you could get through to him, you could have done it the first time you reasoned with him. Abuse is not about reason, it's about control. Get treatment for your depression and contact the NDVH at It's time to go.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 4 2017 at 1:11 am


Aelinor Holloway
July, 5 2016 at 6:29 pm

Literally around this time last year I was forced on and abused and used by a Bangladesh man. He was clever whenever something told me to hold back he'd sent romantic texts and call me and tell me how much he loved me, until he tried to have sex with me, and he couldn't penetrate me. And then it was, "why are you getting so upset? This is natural don't take it so seriously." oh, and how we broke up, I'd stupidly thought id fallen for him and I told him. He responded by using me like a cheap whore and then rejecting me.
The thing that hurts the most though is this experience happened right at a time when these men are fleeing these countries. friends, even celebrities I've admired since I was nineteen are constantly saying we need to let these men in, we have to help them, right. A western woman is basically raped and cruelly told that she's a worthless whore and she's a cunt for not wanting those men here? You call it islamaphobia i call it slut shaming and victim blaming rolled into one.

June, 16 2016 at 8:55 pm

I have been in a relationship with my husband for 22 years. I recently left him. On this occasion we had disagreed about something. I told him to calm down and he told me I was fat. He belittled me in front of our children the next day because I didn't approach him to resolve the dispute yesterday. He called me ignorant and told me I acted and looked like a granny. The following day he told me not to buy him any birthday presents and to leave our house. He also called me fat, lazy and unfit again in front of the children.
Despite the fact he hasn't hit me, he says this latest incident wasn't that bad compared to all the others (which unfortunately is true). I have been criticised many times - just because he doesn't swear at me doesn't make it any better. I am told I'm lazy, spoiler, self-centred, rotten, cold, heartless, ungrateful, lack diligence, lack initiative, rude etc etc. funnily enough, no other person would characterise me this way. I actually work hard and am self motivated.
He also has many great qualities though and wants me to give him another chance. He has actually listened to my concerns, apologised for the harm caused and sought counselling for himself. He has given me space and behaved more respectably towards me.
However I am in two minds and not sure whether to take the risk. Not sure if these people really change. It's harder to leave again especially if they improve but still disrespectful. I also have support and a place to live at the moment. Alternatively I do get along with the nice side of him and don't want to not be with my children for potentially half their life!
Would appreciate advice, views from others.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
June, 17 2016 at 3:56 am

If he is truly changing, he will respect your desire to separate for awhile. Tell him that you need time to heal, and the feeling of walking on eggshells (even though he is improving himself) is causing you anxiety. Remind him that he has been nice to you before, and you love that side of him, but you need greater space. If he doesn't respect your desire, then he is not changing.
Take the opportunity to move into the other place. Give yourself some breathing room. If he truly wants to change, he will do it without you in the home, too.
BTW, he tells you you're bad at the things you do best because those things we're good at typically give us pleasure, self-esteem and happiness. He lies to you about who you are to destroy those things. Happy people are very difficult to control.
As for the children, I'm guessing you've tried to protect them from the worst of his abuse. If you are not with them some of the time, they will eventually see their father for who he is. When they're old enough to choose, the 1/2 time stuff can end. I was heartbroken, devastated when the judge gave primary custody to my ex. However, over time, I began to see the benefits. For example, one day my ex dropped off my youngest son. My son came in the door, closed it, leaned against it, sighed and said, "Finally! Some peace!" That's when I knew things were going to be okay. I provided my boys something they could not get from their father - peace, encouragement, space to breathe, an opportunity to be themselves.
That's my advice. Take care of yourself during this time. If you have a chance to separate, use it.

May, 30 2016 at 2:43 pm

I'm 63 my daughter is pregnant newly divorced and says I m.ugly fat no one likes Me. She's been very loose yet I help.her out of things. I feel very used. The last straw came she work up from map verbally abused
Me then she threw my things breaking them and threw water bottle at the door. I had a mom that was like this. Verbally and physically. I'm scared she's like my mom who's schizophrenic. Don't know what to do. I don't want to b around bout I worry about baby

May, 27 2016 at 4:09 am

So many of these comments sound like my current situation and have brought me to tears. For the past year I have been in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship with someone that meant so much to me and that I loved so dearly. We did not get off on the right foot though when we started dating, due to my own faults. He has always held this against me, but stayed with me despite of my betrayal. We hung out for a few months, sleeping together as well, and eventually I was ready to call if a relationship. He kept saying he wasn't ready, yet we hung out exclusively every weekend. This started to make me angry because enough time had past when people make the decision to be together for real. I told him multiple times I was beginning to feel like the feelings weren't mutual between us, and that I was beginning to fall in love with him even though I didn't feel that from him. We saw eachother a few days later, and he brought it up. He seemed to like the idea that I loved him, and he told me he "had love for me", but that he wasn't ready to go all out yet and wouldn't be "even if I was the most perfect woman in the world" because he moves slow. He even brought up the betrayal again, and pointed out that most guys would have dropped me already. This is how everything started, with him subtlety breaking me down due to all of my flaws. More time passed, and I eventually met his father, and he asked me to be his girlfriend, only to have him say a few days later during a texting argument that he didn't mean it. We pretty much broke things off due to this. I didn't see him for two weeks, though we kept texting. One night we had been texting eachother all day, and it seemed like maybe we were getting better and would make up. I had plans that night to go out with my friends. He told me to come over instead, but I told him I couldn't let my friends down. I was only out maybe two hours then went home because my friend felt ill. Just as I texted him saying I was going home, thinking he would want to make plans, he announced he was going out and I didn't hear from him the rest of the night. I remember sitting at home all alone crying, drinking, and chain smoking cigarettes (something I take up when I'm stressed and upset). I felt so betrayed. I texted him saying I knew he was probably with another girl. By the afternoon the next day he finally replied saying he was very hungover and sick. I offered to come take care of him but he declined. A few days later I tried being nice, saying I had hoped we could make things work, and he seemed to agree. Then he told me that he had gone out with another girl, and was starting to like her and was thinking of giving her a chance because it seemed like a better match. I again felt betrayed. We fought some more and a few days went by with no communication. Eventually we spoke again, and discussed the possibility of seeing eachother while seeing other people - like starting again. I was not too excited about the idea since I am a one at a time type person, but I understood everyone's different. I said I could probably do that, but I wouldn't want to see someone who's sleeping with other people. He said he couldn't promise that, yet I was not allowed to sleep with other guys. A few days later I went over to his place so we could talk, and because I had left clothes there. As soon as I walked in he was different. He said he had missed me and wanted to be together. So we tried to make it work. I later found out that the girl he had gone out with had actually came over that night, and was too drunk to drive home so he let her sleep over in his bed with him! But they didn't have sex? He said they only kissed good night. This is how everything started. Other horrible things he did was basically tell me I was not attractive. One time I asked him why he had never called me "hot"? Other people have in my life, but it felt strange tha he never did. His response was "do you actually think you're the hottest I've been with?". I don't think anyone's ever said such gut wrenching things to me. He described me as cute and pretty, but not hot. He also said that when he first saw my pictures before we met in person that he wasn't sure he'd be attracted to me. I wasn't really his type. He also said he preferred me with makeup on. I have also felt not good enough in his eyes. He doesn't like the clothes I wear, or my shoes. He complains that I don't get my nails done. He points out that I have a chubby neck and face because I don't have a strong jaw line. He shows me pics of girls he used to sleep with. He had pics of other girls in his phone still. He has all sorts of girls numbers in his phone, it's like the white pages. He even went to a strip club with his friend one night. He didn't tell me til he got home the next morning. Apparently one of the strippers hung out with him and his friend after at his friends apartment. He told me on April fools day that this stripper actually went down on him, but then played it off as an April fools joke. I got very upset by this, and he got mad at me for being upset. He also makes me do all the shopping, cleaning, laundry and dishes. He just plays video games. We never did anything I like. I finally just left him. We got in yet another fight, and he told me to just leave, something he has always said. He said he's sorry he gave me a chance. He called me a B and a C. He even called me a dirty B. I packed up all my stuff and left without saying goodbye. I blocked his number and social media. One year of my life. Sorry this was so long.

Michelle Hope
May, 21 2016 at 10:51 pm

I'm in an abusive relationship with my partner he is nice one minute and horrible the next I've been in hospital recently I tried to end my life as I couldn't cope with the abuse anymore. My partner found me semi conscious he called me a bitch and told me to buck my ideas up or he'd pack my bags and kick me out of our home. He said he doesn't mean the things he says. I'm staying with family at the moment , I cant take his bullying anymore

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
May, 23 2016 at 3:44 am

Michelle, STAY where you are. Don't go back to him. Anyone who bullies you to the point of a suicide attempt isn't going to stop harassing you until you succeed in such an attempt. I really hope you seek therapy and call the NDVH ( when you need to talk.

Michelle Hope
May, 21 2016 at 10:41 pm

I live with my partner of 3 years I'm a joint tenant of our hone. I've been suffering from emotional abuse , one minute my partner is nice kind caring loving and the next he is horrible. I was recently admitted to hospital due to self harming my partner came home he found me semi conscious. He called me a selfish bitch and told me to buck my ideas up or he'd pack my bags and kick me out. I couldn't take his abuse any longer . At the hospital he told me he hit someone's car and it was my fault. I'm ok now staying with family to be safe. My partner phoned me and said he is going to get the police to me I said why He said it's very serious , I started feeling very stressed again he was with his parents they abuse him I believe he is just just game playing again I'm very scared.

May, 20 2016 at 10:39 am

Lostself I hope u called the wedding off and NEVER get back with him! Do u know HOW MANY women wish they had clear signs like yours before they got married, had children, gave up their jobs and have been slowly 'taken in' to the point of where they are 'trapped' with no money and kids that they want to give a good life to? If u have no energy then have R&R at your parents place but WHO SAYS that u had to give him an answer by tomorrow? STOP GIVING YOUR POWER AWAY! If u have to, take out a restraining order or.....RUN! And remember, sometimes beautiful beginnings are disguised as painful endings. Let go of the guilt, even if there are things you wish you might have done, tried, I seriously don't think it would have changed your world for the better-just prolonged the pain. PLEASE see this as a GREAT OPPORTUNITY and be excited about what the future holds. As the pain subsides please count your blessings daily as this REALLY helps! Your angels really are looking out for you-I really see you as lucky and way smarter and stronger than you give yourself credit for. You could also try looking at things from another perspective: if you were/are a parent, would you be happy for your grown child to have a relationship like that? What would YOUR advice be to THEM? xx

May, 19 2016 at 9:31 am

Hiya I've been through alot as well always trying my best my boyfriend and I would do gigs started off nice but sometimes at the intervals he would take me outside and cuss me of I'm not performing good enough or I'm fat so to be perfect I use to starve myself and work out it never got better he cheated and I stayed he insulted me I stayed we have 2boys and I'm at my points end I worked long hours we had a studio by the time I came home he does nothing blame me for not pushing the studio blames me for everything and will say I'm a waste of time I'm a whore I'm a fat c*****etc I will always love him but I'm no longer in love with him going around in a circle I no longer feel I'll continue to pray for him and wish him well but I can no longer be with him

May, 7 2016 at 7:32 pm

Hey everyone who reads this but I have a lot to say. I been married for 1 year with my husband and total of 2 years together. Than we have a lovely daughter of 8 months. It was all great the first year but than when I became pregnant all went down hill. I got his id renewed, pay for everything he wears, own, and eats. I worked until i was 8 months pregnant. No break and he will call me bitch everyday! He will call me prositute, whore slut, everyday of pregnancy. We also slept in the car while I work and he wait for me in the car.we fought the whole time I was pregnant. He beat me up and put me down. When it was time for labor he stayed in the hospital with me but argue with me the whole 3 days. After 2 months of having my daughter I had to go to work. The 3-8 months he argue with me and said everything is my fault! He said he no love me anymore, we wish he never marry me, he says in fat and ugly and a bitch pig every week and complains every day that he has to take care our daughter while I work!!!! He drinks everyday and he always ask me or beg me to buy beer for him because he says he stress when he don't work or pay bills, I do !!!! WHAT SHOULD I DO??i ran out of ideas and everything he says it's my fault and he leave and we push each other and than he will text me all the bad things!!! May God bless him I pray every time we fight I'm running out of patience and kindness and love for my husband when I am a Christian trying to do right

May, 1 2016 at 2:47 am


April, 29 2016 at 7:01 am

His mother hates me to him and his mother have always treated the girlfriends like this . it's terrible how evil people can be . they all push me around and constantly make digs . I try to hold it in but after a while I explode . I bite my tongue till it bleeds in other words. Everyone on this earth wants to be loved . I feel like I never got it and never will. I'm exhausted my head pounds from being cracked so hard by him today. I don't want to eat but I just go through the motions so when he wants to eat with me I just eat it then I puke it up when he's not paying attention.

April, 29 2016 at 6:51 am

I really can't take living with my boyfriend anymore. We have a 3 yr old together. He tells me he hates me I'm a terrible caretaker and if he could throw me out of the car doing 65 and get away with it he would. Today we've been fighting verbally and physically . I have no $ I do work but everything I make goes into his account or he will be angry. I have little support. I was adopted and me and my adoptive family arnt close cuz they've always treated me like I was adopted. I also have a 10 yr old who sees and heard all this who is also depressed . I feel like a terrible mom I feel ugly worthless . I feel like I have to options kill myself or stay and deal with it. He knows how depressed I am and when I beg him to stop talking down to me cuz it makes me want to die he says shut up your not gonna do nothing you've been saying that for months but your to scared to kill yourself. I feel the worst for my 10 yr old cuz he doesn't have his dad in his life and no grandparents I'm all he really has so that's what keeps me alive.

April, 21 2016 at 12:55 pm

I've been married for over 3 years now but been with my husband for almost 5 years. I left him just this past January but like most of you, I went back after he said he would change and go to counseling. Well, he did goto counseling but quite after going 4 or 5 times. He is verbally abusive but most of all he love to belittle me and make me feel stupid....he does this atleast once if not twice every single day! I walk on egg shells around him. My daughter is in college and is now engaged and my husband will flip out if my daughter comes home and brings her fiance with her and my husband is not home. He claims he doesn't want anybody in his house while he's not home and I say it's just my daughter and her fiance. He is controlling, possessive, mean, and makes me cry pretty much everyday. I have recently learned that he treated his ex wife the same way....she filed for divorce is 2010. I can't handle this, I've always been such a cool, happy, full of life person. Everyone wants to hang out with me because of my energy and being the life bod the party. I have not been able to hang out or go out with any of my friends in almost 5 years! My husband always say go out then, stop acting like I keep you home. I know what my night would be like, constant text messages containing slandering remarks, and rude name calling. The next day will be accusations of me shaking my butt I front of guys for attention and then comes the cheating. I can't deal, my daughter in college is so stressed out for me she can barely concentrate and she is going for her LPN so her classes are not easy. I feel just awful because of that. I can be making dinner and start crying, doing laundry and start crying, Watchung tv and start crying. Who does this to a person they claim they Love. He has exiled me from my friends, and tries to family but I won't give in to that! What a monster. I will leave agian here in a few months (after I save a little money) and I will not come back. I refuse to live what time I have left on earth in hell....I just turned 40 and I know this is not what God has planned for me! #thisismyfightsong

April, 9 2016 at 12:01 am

Personal abuse - "you're fat and ugly" etc., is unacceptable. But getting pissed-off and telling your lazy, dead-beat wife to get a job instead of complaining that there's not enough money (even though you're in the top 5% of income earners), seems more than justified to me. Some people are disagreeable piss-takers and deserve to be pulled up on it. If that is "abuse", then do is being a parasite.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
April, 10 2016 at 7:53 am

Wow. "Grumpy" seems a suitable name to use for that comment. Sounds like a divorce is in order. If she's such a "lazy dead-beat" who refuses to get a job, then you don't need that "parasite." Set her free.

March, 20 2016 at 12:10 am

Lost self....and those after her. Ive been in same situation to the T. Last night was final straw I think its over now. 5 years....constant tossing me out at night in the streets, constant blaming cannot talk to him he gets furious. The slightest thing sets him off. Constant break ups and as soon as I go few days later normal as can be. It is draining me to the core. I have lost weight I do not eat. Whatever I would put on the table lets go for coffee or so is stupid. I am stupid. My clothes are old and stupid. If I cry, then be told stop being such a baby. So yeah, I cannot do this anymore, I just cannot. This from a grown man 54 years old...I discovered he did the same with his ex wife and other girlfriends as well. No, I think its over, as I for first time last night spoke up and told him he is a HORRIBLE person.

March, 12 2016 at 3:39 pm

I have been living with a narcissist. Married for 18 years and last 3 have been hell. He hasn't worked for the last 3 months and has no desire to find employment. He has become involved in what i consider a pyramid scheme and says that is his work-calling people to try and get them to join. Whenever i mention getting a job, he screams at me that he has one but he is not contributing to the house. He may do a load of laundry a day but he doesn't clean or pick up after himself. I come home from working 12 hours a day and have to pick up, do dishes, feed dogs, etc while he sits on his computer. I have left 2 times and both time he promises to change and doesn't. When things don't go his way, he screams at me, calls me names, and tells me what a waste i am. I work anywhere from 60-80 hrs a week and am exhausted in every way possible. I do love him but i resent him so much right now. He gets mad if i don't want to have sex with him but anymore it 's all about what he wants and why should i reward him if he isn't doing anything for me. I am at my wits end. He sold a couple of things that made us some money and now he went out and spent most of that money on other things for himself. I wanted to pay a couple of an adult. He was on dating sites for awhile and he just last week cancelled them. But i don't trust him. He gets mad that i work so much but to maintain our lifestyle, i have to. I really want to leave but feel like such a failure walking away after 20 years. But then by not leaving i feel like i am letting myself down for not being strong.

March, 1 2016 at 7:29 am

One more thing though - the best advice I can give anyone who is trying to leave is pretend that you are a secret agent and that your abuser is literally trying to kill you even if he has never actually threatened that or physically abused you. You have to have the right mindset in order to carry through with what you need to do because believe me, it isn't easy. You have to be "underhanded", and "lie" and other behaviors that normally are not advised in a marriage or a relationship of any sort, really. But if you are in a relationship with an abuser, all bets are off. You have to accept that you must sneak and make sure he doesn't know that you are hiding money and clothes and have a get away plan. You have to act normal around him so that he doesn't get the whiff of freedom coming from you. Do not confront him with your plan under any circumstance. He may act cool or he may blow his top but remember that information is power and if you have the information about your plans and he does not, that gives you power. And honey, you need power when you are dealing with someone like these men described here. Don't let anyone tell you that you are a "control freak" because they don't even know what a control freak is until they meet a man like you have had to deal with. Be your own best friend and also remember that those kids are yours to protect because what do you think will happen if you leave but not with the kids? That's right - the kids will become the ones that get yelled at, belittled, and otherwise destroyed emotionally. Fight for yourself and for your kids but make him think everything is totally normal. As much as you would love so much to see him intimidated for once, don't tell him your plans. And for those that say he is nice 90% of the time and only 10% is he awful - what if the 90% of the time is just him acting and the 10% is his true self that you are seeing?

March, 1 2016 at 7:14 am

hello all ! I am here to let everyone know that it is possible to get away and it is possible to find love again. I am proof. I won't say living proof because who knows, by the time you read this, maybe I'll be dead because my ex will have shot me down on the front steps. I hate to say it so casually but let's face it ladies, it is always a risk. These guys that are verbally abusive turn physically abuse quicker than you realize and sometimes by the time you realize what happens, it is too late. So, am I happy now? Yes. Am I forever paranoid and have PTSD even though I have yet to find a physician who will acknowledge it? Yes. My fiance has PTSD from being a veteran and the doctors fall all over themselves to prescribe him meds to help him sleep or stay calm but me? Nope. They are willing to prescribe Ambien but guess what I just found out? Ambien increases your chances of a heart attack by 50%. In the toilet with those poison pills ! ANYway, I'm rambling because my ex has thrown me into a terror/panic attack and I'm just trying to calm down. But bottom line, there is love after abuse but I will not ever let my guard down again. Maybe it will keep me alive.

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