(Closed) When did you know it was abusive?

posted 6 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
10358 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

Emotionally abusive for me (and I realized too late) was when I lost all sense of self-confidence, felt “dependent” on him, didn’t have my own friends/life outside of him, and spent a hell of a lot of time crying and defending myself. 

It did end up in physical abuse, and I think all of those things are definite warning signs. Anyone that is controlling, belittles you, doesn’t respect you or trust you is not someone you should marry or be married to.

Post # 3
1770 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Spent 5 years living a nightmare. I knew the entire time but for some reason couldnt let go. red flags looking back are controlling behavior, making you feel unworthy, the other person hurting your feelings on purpose or hurting you physically in any way, shape, or form. Yelling, isolating you, keeping tabs on you, belittling you… abuse really is so many things but the minute you question whether or not someone is abusive you already have your answer.

Post # 4
2256 posts
Buzzing bee

I knew it was emotionally abusive when he was making me feel badly about myself. My self esteem plummeted after he basically called me a slut when he found out how many partners I’d had.

He would use emotional manipulation to get what he wanted. He would use emotional manipulation to get me to change my religious and moral views.

He would get angry with me when I even spoke to people I’d had sex with in the past.

Things started to get fishier when I visited him after he moved back home to Europe. He was meeting up with some shady guy for some (probably illegal) business deal, and he told me not to speak in the car because he didn’t want the other guy to know I spoke English.

The physical abuse eventually came when I was intoxicated, and in a foreign country with a language I didn’t know, and he wouldn’t take no for an answer and coerced me into having sex with him. I was so terrified for the rest of the trip, hoping he wouldn’t do it again, hoping I wouldn’t make him angry. I didn’t speak Russian or Latvian, and I was in a residential neighborhood in Jurmala without a car, so going to the police would have been nearly impossible.

I ignored so many signs. Any time a man makes you feel badly about yourself, it’s bad. Any time he manipulates you using guilt, it’s bad. Any time you are fearful of what his reaction will be if you say a particular something, it’s bad. Don’t ignore those feelings.

Post # 5
266 posts
Helper bee

PP’s have good advice! For me a big thing was realizing how much of his behavior I was hiding or explaining away to my family and friends. It didn’t turn physically abusive but emotional abuse isn’t ok either!

Post # 6
3534 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

View original reply
anon1722:  emotional abuse here… I realized it little by little. but looking back, something didn’t sit right with me two weeks into dating him, but I didn’t trust my gut and ended up dating him for three years. 

Post # 7
1552 posts
Bumble bee

When my ex started getting jealous of me being with my friends. My female friends. When our relationship became long-distance and he constantly had to call me to know where I was and what I was doing. It escalated, he would eventually hit me. Looking back, I feel an idiot for staying so long, but I was also a teenager at the time. It’s one of those situations where you’re blind in the moment, but hindsight is 20/20. I don’t know your unique situation, but if you have to question it, chances are it’s abuse.

Post # 8
1037 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

It seems like you always figure it out too late because in general you hope for good in people. I can’t comment on physical abuse but the emotional abuse started with isolation (making sure he was everything to me) which included him hating my mom and best friend. Should have ran right then but wasted 3 years. Ahhh the travelling I could have done.

Agree with PP’s that he also belittled me, told me no one else would love me, would make fun of my appearance and then compliment me to which bred a lack of self confidence. If I wore nice underwear to school (somewhere he couldnt keep an eye on me) meant I was instantly cheating in his eyes.

And when I finally got the courage to dump him he bawled his face off, had his friends call me to take me back. I succumbed once and then realized I would rather be single for the rest of my life than spend on more day with him.


Post # 9
131 posts
Blushing bee

When did I know it was abusive? Here’s an example:

When he would encourage me to go hang out with a friend, or my mom, and right before leaving to spend time with her, I would be hammered with “Do you want me to come with you? I’m going to be bored all alone here” which quickly devolved into “I want you to be home by x time” and calling me or texting me the entire time I was out of the house. He would act as though I were locking him up in a jail cell for 2 days with no food or water or something.

Another example would be when he would be awake from various aches and pains, and decide that I needed to wake up too, because if he couldn’t sleep, I shouldn’t have the luxury either. And one time when I refused to get up, I got a cup full of ice water dumped on me.

There’s tons more, but it’s just a bunch of incidents that add up, and it’s insidious. It’s like being smacked with strands of spaghetti noodles. At first it’s annoying but you brush it off, but after a while you start realising it’s not normal behavior if you’re twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to avoid the smacking.

Post # 10
2256 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
ZomBee:  Oh my god. The ice water… What the ever living fuck? I’m glad you aren’t with him anymore.

Post # 11
1294 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

First off, if you are asking, something is probably not right. Trust your gut, if it feels wrong, no matter how much he tries to convince you that whatever bothers you is ok and you are wrong, there is an issue. 

Healthy relationships are based on good communication, and both parthers being able to express themselves without the fear of the other judging them, getting angry, jealous, or starting a fight. If your SO does not respect who you are and your oponions and spends more time trying to “win” a discussion than actually listening discussing, there is a problem. 

They should also focus on the person you are right NOW, and not on choices you made in the past. 

Like PP’s said other red flags are jealousy, picking fights over tiny things that make no sense to you, controlling behavior, (teling you how to dress, who to hang out with, ect), trying to get you to cut off contact with your friends and family (support system).

Here are some good resources that may help you as well to identify if you are in an abusive relationship. It only gets worse, it never gets better, no matter how much you hope it will. 




Post # 12
563 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

View original reply
ZomBee:  girl he was just a nutcase lol

Post # 13
23 posts

Please, please, please trust your intuition. If you have the smallest niggling feeling in the back of your mind, something may not be right. Emotional abusers have different methods…but the end result is the same. You find yourself questioning yourself, doubting your own mind, changing yourself to fit their mold — to avoid conflict, you find yourself losing your confidence, no longer speaking your mind, accepting what they say as the truth when you know it couldn’t possibly be, sometimes you get a lump in your throat because you just know you’ve said the “wrong thing”…


I didn’t realize what I was dealing with until my relationship was nearing its demise. He seemed so sweet and caring, got me to open up to him and then used everything I told him against me. When he would do hurtful things and I would express the smallest displeasure, suddenly I was over emotional. If I asked questions, I wasn’t letting things flow. I was the self-sufficient attorney, but suddenly I was being called a “Charity case” and being compared to “feeding the homeless.” WTF?!? And I still tried to make it work, smh.  He built me up to put me down and it was only after I was finally over it that I found out just how far his manipulation went (he admitted he watched me on social media before we dated so that he could figure out what I wanted in a man, and be that). It’s such a shame that I didn’t see it sooner. Gaslighting is real. Emotional manipulation is real.Trust your instinct.

Post # 14
860 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I think one good measure is can you tell the people you love about what he’s doing? 

I was in an emotionally abusive relationship and when I finally ended it and started telling my mother, best friends about what had been going on they were furious with me for not telling them and told me that was COMPLETELY out of line. Which deep down I knew, which is why I never told them. Because they would have told me that wasn’t ok…him telling me I was fat because he needed to feel better about himself and his hundred pound weight gain, him telling me our sex problems were my ‘fault,’ him picking fights with me over nothing, him telling me he wanted to make-up and talking me into leaving my class graduation party when we were having a fight – when as soon as I left he showed up at the party and ignored my calls for the rest of the night. If I had told my best friends about any of these things they would have told me I was being dumb for putting up with it.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think its right for women to constantly air every greivance about their husband with all their girlfriends or constantly be negative about their relationship. But there should be a couple of people with whom you can vent with or talk to about a fight or something thats bothering you. Someone who can give you perspective and advise you without judging your or your SO. If you’re intentionally hiding things from this person then its probably because they’ve crossed a line that would no longer be ok with the people who love you.

Post # 15
23 posts

Oh and he tried to come back. But even the way he did it was manipulation. Trying to get me to chase HIM. He was controlling and jealous…could do whatever he said and do whatever he wanted, but if I did the same, I was inviting his wrath, I was inviting his hurt. Want that back?!? Hell no.

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