Emotional/mentally abusive relationship

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Hello. I decided to join this to ask for some guidance. I’ve been in a very emotionally abusive relationship the past year. He has constantly played mind games saying he wants to be with me,communicating, have a relationship,fly or take me places etc then when he becomes angry or just in a “mood” says I’ve basically never been anything to him & he could easily replace me.He belittles me to the extreme, verbally has put me down so many times when he becomes angry over things I didn’t even imply,saying the reason he’s like that is because he was verbally abused by women,etc and I’m just like them.He was constantly pushing for lude sexual acts he knew I was not ok with, he isolated me from my family & loved ones. That I was never to tell anything about our 1st friendship then relationship.He began the relationship I kept telling him no then I admit after all the swooning it happened.

Many would wonder why I hadn’t walked away sooner. the problem is I’ve tried numerous times and he wouldn’t leave me alone. Then would play the guilt card for example if I didn’t reciprocate or do things the way he wanted “Well if you go out of my life then that just shows me your selfish and in it for yourself.” He’s cursed me out many times told me I was selfish when I was trying to tell him how I was feeling which he had said he was open to, egotistical looking for a “title”,told me if he saw me talking to friends about what I was feeling even about the relationship he’d harm me even though according to when he was angry “we didn’t have any real relationship I never did anything to make you think that. I hate relatioships.”

He calls women B’s; has lived his whole life objectfying them. After speaking with him recently he said in a moment of anger that being around him was like “dancing with the devil.” That I was ignorant & stupid. Then tells me I’m mentally ill in need of consouling when he began everything he’ll even admit gleefully to being a “nutty n#$^” & “crazy”. He’s openly deceptive promising one thing then
doing another.

There’s so much more that’ll take too long but basically he won’t let me out & I’ve tried hard. I’ve been pretty broken emotionally by him though he says he’s sorry if I take everything the “wrong way.” That I need to not take it to heart. He’s minipulated me over & over again.

My family doesn’t know they never did, now it appears he’s punishing me for talking forth right by threatening to move away so we wouldn’t see each other; he’s beginning a “new chapter” but will be talking to me..he’s done this pattern before where I’m relieved thinking it’s over so many times but he always comes back calling many times,writing but only when he hears other men are coming into my life plus he has a lot of baggage on me & will use if I walk.

He has tortured me emotionally and mentally. How do I get away from this horrible person that doesn’t want me but doesn’t want anyone else to have me either? I’m afraid he might try to do me espcially after he began threatening me about what I said or did.Thank you very much for your help.

A: I’m so very glad you wrote. What you are describing is a classic abusive relationship. Please don’t feel bad about yourself for being stuck. It’s very hard to get out of this kind of situation for all the reasons you listed. Your boyfriend is far better at manipulating than you are at deflecting it. You need some help. The YWCA in your city has a strong domestic violence program for women who are struggling to free themselves from abusive relationships. Please call them. You may need a restraining order. The people at the Y likely know how to work with the police and the courts to protect you.

Another source of help is the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. There are counselors there 24/7 who can give you much needed support and practical advice. The website is www.ndvh.org/. There are programs in every state in the United States to help families in which there has been domestic violence.

Nobody deserves this kind of treatment. Please get the support you need to extricate yourself from this dangerous and painful relationship.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Jul 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). Emotional/mentally abusive relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/07/27/emotionalmentally-abusive-relationship/