I have been in a relationship with a man for almost five years, during which there have been both major highs and lows. When we first started dating, he was sweet, kind and spoiled me in every way possible.
The last couple of years, he's been calling me names, constantly checking on me, not letting me return to university. And slowly, I noticed my friends disappear.
Anything he says, I must do, or he'll threaten to leave. He’s only like this when we fight. In good times/days, it's amazing.
Many people in my life tell me he's emotionally abusing me… but people say hurtful things when fighting, right?
Should I call it quits? I enjoy our life together and our home but don’t know if I can take the almost-daily screaming and name-calling anymore. I want things the perfect way we were before.
Confused and Sad
Run! Or his emotional abuse will eventually affect your physical health too.
That’s what the people in your life are urging you to recognize. So am I.
Yes, people say hurtful things sometimes, but this man has also isolated you and stolen your freedom.
The “sweet” beginning is the hallmark of controlling abusers. They hook you in with mega-attention and kindness. Then, once sure of their power, they wield it destructively – e.g. checking up on you is their way of saying you can’t be trusted.
And university had to be cancelled because it gave you access to better influences he can’t allow you to have.
There’s no place for confusion here, little time for wishing otherwise. Plan a safe way to leave. Do not use your phone or personal email… instead, use a public-library’s computer, and leave when he’s out. Stay with family, or a trusted friend. If he threatens you, contact police to seek a restraining order against him.
My husband and I emigrated here with our two children. He’s a professional and had to start at a lesser level than what he’d known back home. I’m also a professional but don’t have a visa to work yet.
We’d agreed that I’d get our children settled in school, take them to activities, help them with making new friends.
My husband is very resentful that I’m not working and is often unreasonably angry with me. He offers no help at home, or with the children’s homework, or any of our family needs.
The only way I can contribute financially is if I start working privately and get paid “under the table.” But discovery could put my chances for getting a work visa and a decent job at risk.
He’s angry, perhaps at himself too. He’s not known/ respected at the same level he achieved back home. There may even be co-workers in line for the same jobs who resent his arrival.
He could be excused for being cranky if such situations exist. But not for turning against you.
Tell him you’re both struggling through this major change, as are the kids. His attitude is making things harder for everyone.
Call a family meeting for everyone to say how it’s going so far – the good and the bad parts. Encourage the kids to speak first. Open up about your own frustrations with the change (not about his behaviour).
Hopefully, he may see this is an all-family project that he helped create, with initial difficulties faced by all. If he remains angry and distant, you’ll need marital counselling to get through this together.
My extended family only includes my brother's family, with one niece and two nephews, ages 19-to-25. I've always given them gifts for Christmas, as they were children. I was happy to do it.
Now I'm a mother of two, ages six and eight, yet still expected to buy gifts for my full-grown niece and nephews, without them buying anything for me or my children.
How long should I feel obligated to gift them? They’re all doing well in life, while I'm a single mom. My brother thinks I must give gifts, so they have "something to unwrap" when we’re together. Shouldn't it go both ways? But I don't want to start a family rift about this.
If your brother’s giving gifts to your children, it’s an exchange you should still reciprocate. But you can do it inexpensively e.g. nicely-wrapped Christmas cookies baked by you and your kids, or a well-chosen book for each of his.
Tip of the day:
Recognize when a relationship is too abusive for you to accept. And run!