Jul 082012

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.

Relationship Help

Do you regret the break up? Get Your Ex Back

Want to stop the separation or divorce? Save Your Marriage

Wondering how to make a man fall in love with you? Captivate Him So He'll Never Want to Leave

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.

Fix Your Marriage

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 invite you to share your thoughts below! I read every comment, but can't offer advice or even guarantee a personal response. Don't let this stop you from sharing -- writing often brings clarity and insight, and will show other readers they're not alone.

"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit." - Romans 15:13

  4 Responses to “Is Your Boyfriend Emotionally Abusive? 4 Ways to Get Strong and Leave”

  1. Dear Sara,

    Thank you for sharing how you feel! It took alot of courage and strength to tell the truth here.

    You say you can’t tell anyone how you feel because it’s your fault — but you have to remember that it’s not your fault. It’s your boyfriend’s fault, and you are caught in a very common trap of believing that people won’t understand and they’ll blame you.

    You feel trapped and helpless, and you need to find a way to get your power back. The first step is talking about your relationship! Your boyfriend won’t be able to keep your son — but you need to get strong enough to talk about your life with your loved ones.

    Who is one of the closest people in your life? Close your eyes, and imagine telling that person the truth about your relationship.

    What will that person say to you?

  2. My boyfriend of 5 years and father to my child is emotionally abusive I think and a cheater he is always leaving all nite long having the same number call his phone that doesn’t even have a name just a letter that he ignores and then gets mad at me if I even glance at his phone when it’s poped up he tells and always tell me if he doesn’t like wat he does then to “kick rocks” he calls me names and says how worthless I a to him and how if I leave he will keep my son in scared he will he makes way more money them me and supports the household if I leave then I will have no were to go he is only nice when he realy did something wrong but I love him he I fell in love with him for how he treated kids and how we could laugh now there is no laughter just me crying and him callin me a crybaby he says he’s sorry and he loves me but idk wat to do he makes me have sex n if I don’t he gets mad or ill wake up to him doing wat he wants to me I don’t know wat realy is going on but I’m scared if I leave he will keep my son who I love with my whole heart I can’t tell anyone cuz it’s my fault I don’t leave I just needed to say something so this is it

  3. Dear Joan,

    Both you and your boyfriend know he is emotionally abusive, and that he can’t commit to a relationship with you. Now, it’s up to you (actually, it’s always been up to you!).

    Do you want to stay with a man who treats you this way? What keeps you connected to him?

    I wrote this article for you:

    When Your Husband Uses Money to Control You

    I hope it helps, and welcome your thoughts.


  4. My boyfriend of almost 10 years is always making excuses for everything he does and then blaming me because I make him break up with me. One of my biggest issues is that he promised to give me an insurance policy in case something happens to him. He has told me this many times and now says he won’t because it is my fault that our relationship is bad. If he doesn’t care what happens to me if something happens to him, does he really care for me? He uses money as his weapon against me. I feel that he cannot truly have a committed relationship because as soon as something happens not to this liking he breaks up with me, and then wants me back. This has been his cycle for the 9 years of our relationship. He is also separated from his wife, whom he will never divorce. The last time we broke up I told him he was emotionally and verbally abusive, and he agreed. But he always goes back to the same behavior, which, of course, if my fault. All he wants is TLC. How can you give someone TLC when he is constantly doing things to hurt you? I do care about him, but I am tired of the same of conversations, which really go no where. He always tells me I haven’t changed and he has. I want more out of life then fighting all the time.

 Leave a Reply