Emotionally abusive boyfriends humiliate, intimidate, and threaten their girlfriends. Getting strength to leave a boyfriend who abuses you emotionally takes a surprisingly amount of time!
Here’s what Lisa says:
“I’ve been with my boyfriend for 4 years. He began to lightly abuse me, calling me names, pushing me or throwing things at me. It began to get worse; he spat on me and even punched my face so hard I ended up in hospital. One night I went to bed early and because I never “asked his permission” he came in and cut up my clothes before my eyes. I never told anyone what I went through and still haven’t. My boyfriend would emotionally get inside my head and apologise so much and say he would change. I am very emotionally attached to this man and miss him when I think of what he was like when he was not emotionally abusive. He was my best friend. I know I am stupid for even having these thoughts but I cant help it. Please help!!” – from 5 Stages Women Go Through Before Leaving a Man Who Abuses.
If you think or know you’re being emotionally abused, read The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize it and How to Respond. You need help getting out!
And, here’s what I say to girlfriends in emotionally abusive relationships…
What Does an Emotionally Abusive Boyfriend Do?
Here’s a great explanation of emotional abuse, from the Domestic Violence website:
“The aim of emotional abuse is to chip away at your feelings of self-worth and independence. If you’re the victim of emotional abuse, you may feel that there is no way out of the relationship or that without your abusive partner you have nothing.
Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming. Isolation, intimidation, and controlling behavior also fall under emotional abuse. Additionally, abusers who use emotional or psychological abuse often throw in threats of physical violence or other repercussions if you don’t do what they want.
You may think that physical abuse is far worse than emotional abuse, since physical violence can send you to the hospital and leave you with scars. But, the scars of emotional abuse are very real, and they run deep. In fact, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse — sometimes even more so.” – from Signs of Abuse and Abusive Relationships.
4 Ways to Get Strong and Leave an Emotionally Abusive Boyfriend
You are NOT stupid, dumb, weak, or wrong for being in this relationship – or for not being able to leave your boyfriend. Your thoughts and reactions are not wrong or stupid. You’re a woman in love, in the grip of a powerful force that is complicated and difficult to shake off.
But, that doesn’t mean you have to stay where you are.
Talk to someone you trust
One of the most powerful weapons emotionally abusive boyfriends have is your SILENCE. When you don’t talk about your boyfriend, you are protecting him and your relationship. When you protect him, you keep yourself trapped, weak, and helpless.
If you can’t tell your family how your partner treats you, you’re not alone. Most women who are abused don’t tell anyone about it because they’re ashamed, embarrassed, and reluctant to hurt their partners and their loved ones.
One of the first ways to get the strength to leave your abusive boyfriend is to talk to someone you trust. If you don’t trust anybody and have no family or friends, then call the Domestic Violence Hotline – the number and website is at the end of this article.
Read the comments on articles about leaving abusive boyfriends
Here’s what one reader, Diane, told a woman who was emotionally abused by her husband:
“Remember, stuff is just that…stuff. The most important thing is safety and sanity. You will have other stuff. You only have one mind. You have to make sure you will not go back. You are truly a strong and intelligent woman. You can do this. Don’t listen to negative voices in your head. They are lying to you. You have nothing to feel guilty about. He will suffer the consequences of his actions. You will suffer the consequences of yours.”
There are many comments on How Do You Leave an Abusive Relationship? One Step at a Time. Reading through them will help you get strong and leave your boyfriend.
Give yourself time
Leaving an emotionally abusive boyfriend is a process that takes time because the effects of emotional abuse are so sneaky and evil. Low self-esteem, insecurity, helplessness, powerlessness, unworthiness – those are the effects of abuse, and they are not easily overcome!
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have the strength to leave your boyfriend today, or tomorrow, or this month. When you’re trapped in a bad relationship, you need time to grow and get ready to leave.
Think about the relationship – and the life – you want for yourself
The best way to get strong and successful is to focus on what you want to create in your life. You don’t want to create more helplessness, violence, humiliation, and fear. Your boyfriend is providing enough of that, f**k him very much!
What you need to create is hope, peace, success, strength, and plans for your future. You have the power to create your own destiny (though you may not feel that way right now!).
You have the power, my friend. The way to tap into your power is to stay focused on the relationship, career, home, friends, and life you want. You can become the woman you want to be…you just need to take it one step at a time.
Keep reading articles about leaving an emotionally abusive relationship — it’ll rub off on you!
For more ways to get strong and leave a boyfriend who abuses you emotionally, read How to Break Free From an Emotionally Destructive Relationship.
Is your boyfriend emotionally abusive? Please talk about it – to your friends, family, coworkers, and in the comments section below. It’s not your fault, and you have nothing to be ashamed of.
If you don’t have the strength to leave your relationship, call the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence at 800-537-2238 or visit their website at www.ncdsv.org/.
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.