Was my exbf really emotionally and physically abusive to me?

I'm confused if he was or not.

I couldn't really talk to him about anything that upset me even if it was small. He would get distressed if I did, literally would sulk and cry. I'd have to cheer him up and say sorry.

When I was really distressed because he gave me the silent treatment like I literally couldn't think sleep or eat he told me it was so bad for him and that I should think about him. He split up with me because I told him how bad he made me feel. He didn't want me to bring up any issues he just wanted us to be happy together but I felt like I couldn't say anything to him without him flying off the handle or ignoring me.

But I was overly critical of him, so does that mean I was doing it back? The thing is I'd ask him to do something and he'd tell me he'd do it and then would take months. He'd tell me I was never happy with him.

He'd often be... evasive about things if not outright lying. Like he lied about loans he'd had. He has memory problems due to the health condition he doesn't take care of properly. So I thought it was down to his brain damage but he can speak clearly most times. He often denied things had happened even though I knew they had and convince me otherwise.

He hurt me by pushing my head down cos he thought I was cheating at a game. Does this count as physical abuse? Cos he didn't beat me. He's physically restrained me when I was upset. He's crushed my hands and stuff while trying to be playful but then immediately been like oh I hope you don't think im hurting you ill be upset if you think that.

I commented that he shouldn't be eating something cos of his medical condition and he reacted by throwing it on the floor, getting out of bed and stomping down on it really hard repeatedly, storming out the room and barricading himself in the bathroom. I felt embarrassed like it was my fault I upset him because my boyfriend was crying and wouldn't speak to me. His dad tried to counsel it between us by saying I shouldn't be so critical.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Yes, I see mixtures of some ok and some really bad. He was not healthy emotionally. You also noted being critical of him... was that you or in response to him... you need to sort that out.

    My biggest concern is you were attracted to him... that is your #1 problem. Thus, march right into a counselors office and sort out what is going on within you and if anything is screwed up. The fact you can't see he was abusive also says you need an external opinion and support until you are healthy again. To be fair, lots of us have these issues... its hard to see from the "armchair quarterback" viewpoint when you are on the field in battle and confrontation. So it isn't that you are bad, but that you do need some help to see what happened, correct anything inside you so you don't repeat this performance.

    It doesn't sound like he could handle the emotion related to his illness, so he'd react poorly. As well, he couldn't handle negativity or possibly even intimacy. Basically, you took on a big wounded birdie.

    I hope you get healthier so you don't select another wounded bird.

    The flip side is that women can be very critical... makes me think you may be controlling. Women gotta watch that. As well, a lot of times you have to learn to ask more than once... guys do need some repetition in requests sometimes if something is different than what they are used to.

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    • About being critical... I was overly critical but only towards the end. I started off very soft but he just never did anything. Asked gently again and again for months. I got critical and harsh at the end because I got frustrated and resentful. Plus, he will literally die if he doesn't look after himself. So some of it is out of fear. I have learnt though that if someone doesn't change, you can't make them, and I should have just left him if I wasn't happy. SO I have learnt that.

      I think there's lots of reasons I stayed with him. 1) he was my first boyfriend - I have nothing to compare it to so didn't know any better 2) have only slept with him - I wanted to make it work cos of this 3) loved him, found it hard to leave, couldn't see clearly 4) despite worrying about ending up in a physically abusive relationship, I didn't have much knowledge of emotional abuse. my parents relationship was normal. it didn't occur to me he could be bad to me if he didn't *seem* nasty 5) my low self esteem

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    • You threw me for a sec as you said your parents had nothing to do with it... but low self esteem is often related to father issues. Fathers are important in emotional development. So realize that your behavior follows a common pattern... that is fathers provide a sense of security and self esteem/self value to their daughters. Losing him shakes those things and instead instills fear and insecurity. That makes you very normal, and vulnerable, just realize that is a soft spot that needs healing.. or else. Most young people don't deal with death like that at young age, but its been forced early in your life. Death challenges us all, thus God.

      God - I'd examine what Jesus offers, cause that's unconditional love and security, which is plugs the essence of the wound you have.

      When I say get counseling, I'm not saying there is something terrible about you... I'm saying it helps to have someone help you sort this stuff out, the feelings so they don't control you next time.

    • ah, right, yeah I deffo don't feel secure in relationships and feel really agonised when eve bad friendships end. yeah I would like counselling but I can't afford it! which is frustrating

Most Helpful Girl

  • This definitely sounds like abuse. He would get upset when you would try to talk about problems in the relationship, and then also try to twist you into thinking that things that had happened, didn't (this is called Gaslighting btw).

    Abusers typically do these sorts of things to manipulate people in staying with them. If a person is unsure what is happening, or if the abuser tells them sorry, the person being abused feels bad.

    Often times an abuser will use things like an addiction, trauma in their life, or some other event happening or problem going on in their life as an excuse for their behaviour and abuse.

    I was in an abusive relationship and my boyfriend at the time would say that he was stressed from work, and that he was just upset and stressed from work. That when he would yell at me, throw things or threaten me with violence, it was because of work stress.

    If I was sick, he would say he was sick and then get mad when I wouldn't wait on him hand and foot. It was a really bad situation.

    He would tell me terrible things and make me feel like crap.

    Don't put up with this anymore. Get out for your own safety!

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    • I thought he might be gaslighting me. there's lots of things that he denied that did happen.

      He wouldn't let me break up with him or at least told me not to for ages - he said he needed security and that I should keep giving him chances.

      He used bullying as an excuse - I've had far worse happen to me and I don't behave like him - big woop

      I'm so sorry your boyfriend acted like that they sound very similar. Unfortunately my ex's health condition makes him even more mood swingy so I can't tell if its him or the illness. regardless, its still him.

      Thank you

    • I wouldn't let him use his illness as an excuse. There are plenty of people in this world who suffer greatly and are not abusive towards their partners. That's just another way he can abuse you and get you to stay.

      The thing is, you keep giving chances and he keeps up the same behaviour.

    • yepp, I should have jus left him I realise that now but it was hard at the time. I genuinely thought what he was doing was my fault. his medical condition isn't an excuse your right

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What Guys Said 12

  • I don't really see any 'physical abuse'. A lot of people might claim physical abuse in this circumstance but I'm sure they have never witnessed a real beating in a domestic situation.

    He emotionally unstable and it's clearly evident. You are also enabling a lot of this behavior. You guys are both toxic for each other. You have to end it or it's going to get worse. You aren't happy nor is he. You guys think you make each other happy but it's obviously doing more harm than good.

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  • You and he had really stormy chemistry. I don't think either of you was abusive but I don't see how you could be long term partners. You must be relieved that he's now your ex.

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    • I am relieved yeah altho the break up was horrendous to go through

  • sounds like some amounts of physical abuse and emotional manipulation if not abuse... regardless sounds like it's great that he's your ex

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    • doesn't seem like its great now but im sure it will soon haha :)

  • I think its time to say that you both just need time apart and take a 2 wk hiatus on the relationship cause this just sounds like a trainwreck waiting to happen.

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    • I don't think a 2 week hiatus will sort him out

    • Well you phrase it as a 2 wk hiatus if he still hasn't changed then extend it. Remind him if he really wants you to change its got to be a complete change from how its currently going.

  • It definitely sounds like abuse at least to some extent. That aside, being able to talk and vent issues in your relationship to your partner is beyond important. Good thing you broke up with him. That relationship was extremely toxic. Well hope that helped haha

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    • he ended it with me (I think he has anyway) but yeah thank you. I always felt like I was just starting arguments im so happy I can see that it was his fault all along its a huge relief I thought I was just argumentative

  • All I can say is most people don't care to babysit another adult. Sounds like it's a REALLY good thing he's an 'ex'.

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    • yepp it was like a child. thanks

  • Yeah, that's definitely abuse. Stay far away from him and cut all ties. If the situation escalates, then contact the authorities.

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    • thank you. do you think I should try to remain civil and cordial or even friends or just screw that

  • 1. if he wasn't you wouldn't open a thread on first place, which additionally includes a wall of text
    2, he's hot badboy, so who cares?

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  • i think its a good idea to leave his ass

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    • thanks, I think he's left me anyway

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    • yeah I think that's a good idea safe to say

    • yeah i understand

  • My eyes are bleeding, is that a novel?

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  • Yes sounds like he was abusive. Maybe something he saw from his parents.

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    • both this parents were in abusive relationships: his dad is currently in a relationship where his spouse threw china during an argument and damaged some furniture and then they all acted as if it was okay and still got married a couple weeks later

  • he was abusive

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What Girls Said 18

  • His father is only siding with him because he is his father, and is blaming you on the situation. This isn't a healthy relationship. If he touched you and forced you into a comfortable position that hurts you, then it is physical abuse even if he isn't hitting you. He also emotionally hurts you as well, with the silent treatment even categorized as emotional abuse. I would tell you to get some help. He may hurt you even more than forcing your head down. He may even hit you and apologize that he didn't mean it, but won't change because you will forgive him. I'm not saying he will, but it is possible. You need someone to help you in this relationship. If you want to be with him still, your going to need someone to confront him. His father isn't helping you and is blaming you, so going to his mother won't help. I think you should find a professional to help you out with this, to give you advice, as I'd tell you to leave, but that may become complicated and even dangerous to you with his actions. If he keeps doing this, you need to contact law enforcement if he proceeds to hurt you. As much as you love him and say it is your fault, don't fall for it. You'll only make him keep doing this and keep hurting you. I must tell you that you are strong, knowing and asking for an explanation to this situation your in. Most people will think this will get better, but from what I can get from you, he isn't changing or even thinking about how you feel. A loving relationship isn't onsided and the person you love doesn't abuse you in any way. Your in a toxic relationship with you feeling guilty and people going against you. But this is not your fault. You did what you could and still love him even when he hurts you. You are very strong, and I am proud that you know you need help and aren't hiding your pain. But please, get some help before its too late. Soon, you'll emotionally break, no one can keep handling this torture he gives you. Find an professional and get help. Listen to their advice. Advice can only go so far if the person doesn't follow through with it. As much as I would love to help you through, you need to do something. You shouldn't allow yourself to be in such a relationship. It will hurt, yes, but from what I can get from you, you are very, very strong. You can do it, as you stayed and tried to make this relationship work. So now, use your strength to help yourself. I hope this helps you and your situation gets better. Also, get your family to help you.

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    • his mother told me he's a sweetheart and would never hurt a fly :/
      Luckily we don't live together. And I don't love him anymore either cos my family put sense in me and said how can you love someone that treats you that way.
      I thought it would get better and that it was a blip how bad he was being but it got worse and worse and then he broke up with me. Not even to my face. He told me he wanted up to be together a few days before and didn't wanna break up at all then told me the opposite. Its been so confusing. On and off and on again for 4 weeks.
      Thank you for saying i'm strong I haven't felt like it.
      Why have I let myself be in a toxic relationship for 2 years and not even realise?
      I think he did break me down completely and I doubted all my own thoughts and still do, a bit
      I don't know where to find help without paying for it. Is it unusual to be in a emotionally abusive relationship or do a lot of people experience this?
      Thank you so much

  • If you didn't think it was abuse, it wouldn't bother you... It sounds like he and his fam did try to make you feel like you were crazy though. It's simple. Like that last paragraph, you got nothing out of that situation. He's the one who had a breakdown, and got to vent all of that emotion, not you. He got something out of acting like a toddler, so how could you be the crazy one?

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    • His dad actually kind of supported him by helping him to return all my stuff. its weird I don't get it
      Thanks. I can't wait to have a normal relationship honestly

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    • Then that's what it is, he's used to his kid's issues.

    • Yepp! Shocking when the kid is in his mid twenties but there ya go

  • I don't see real physical abuse. What kind of medical condition does he have? If he has brain damage it could be anything and also give an excuse for his behaviour. (I actually study neuroscience so I'm very curious)
    Overall it sounds like he was very insecure and afraid you weren't happy about the relationship. Some people can't handle criticism and it sounds like every negative thought you had about the relationship came down at him as criticism.
    Maybe he didn't always have bad intentions, but it sounds like the relationship wasn't great. Find someone else.

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    • he goes hypoglycemic which affects moods a lot (becomes very angry/hostile/moody when blood sugar is low or if he doesn't control it with insulin)
      yeah exactly. I don't think he had bad intentions but I thin he just doesn't realise how bad his behaviour was/is. I was so scared I wouldn't find someone else it stopped me leaving. I really want someone else but I don't know how I will ever meet someone

  • I don't think he was physically abusive, I'd say he was too rough. But it sounds like you two were BOTH emotionally toxic and abusive of each other. All in all it sounds like you two are better off separated.

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    • how was I absusive/toxic to him?

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    • Well it would have been beneficial for you to explain that, I would have arrived at another conclusion if that were the case but you left it incredibly vague. Not criticizing, I'm just pointing out where the confusion was and how I came to the conclusion that I did.

      Ultimately, you shouldn't have tolerated that behavior, but that doesn't make what he did any less shitty and it doesn't mean it's your fault. All in all, you two are not a good match for each other.

    • that's fine its really hard to summarise 2 years of stuff into the word limit and also to actual order my own thoughts on it all as its so confusing. I really do appreciate your opinion. I don't think I was perfect but I think I made like basic mistakes not horrific ones like him and I can live with that. I don't think no matter what I did it would be okay for him to do what he did. No I shouldn't have tolerated it but I didn't realise it at the time that what he was doing was wrong. im still coming to terms with it. no we're not. thanks again

  • This is not a good relationship for you. I can't tell if you are currently together or not but either way, move on. An ideal relationship is one where both people understand the needs of their partner and seek to provide them. This rekationship isn't it.

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  • As far as physical abuse, I don't think he was abusive, yet. He probably doesn't understand boundaries. He does seem very on edge that physical abuse would be likely in the long run, if you'd stayed with him.
    He is mentally and emotionally abusive. He shows signs of being very manipulating and he guilt trips you a lot. These attributes are very unhealthy for any relationship. You should be able to talk about your feelings in any relationship and not feel bad for it or scared to bring any issue to the table.
    We learn these habits from our childhood, his family or parents may react the way he does. If he's not willing to grow, and change; healthier communication, hearing you out, its best to stay away. You've done nothing wrong.
    Stay safe hun:)

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    • thanks he did hurt me and make me scared but he didn't beat me up so yeah. I worry he's get worse. especially because his health makes his moods go very angry and its only going to get worse as he gets older.

      thank you I can't believe I always thought I was just being argumentative/picky

      his parents were both in abusive relationships, more than once. I've tried to get him to change this behaviour for 2 years. it never worked but he told me how hard he was trying and it was my fault for not praising him enough.
      Thank you

  • Emotionally abusive. Yes.

    Physically. No.

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  • It's some weird reverse psychological form of abuse, he didn't know how to cope with your emotions, and tried to make it ab him very weird

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    • people have been telling me he's a narcissist

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    • definitely not. can't wait to be with someone nice and normal

    • Hopefully soon

  • Yeah that was just toxic I'm sorry you were involved in that relationship sweet heart.

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  • I find men more attractive in pants... however I also find chicks more attractive in pants too 🤔

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    • cheers for the double insult!!

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    • Yes he was run over on Christmas Eve 10 years ago.. I've adapted to my life. I love him so we work through stuff, he ebbs and flows from who he was before to who he is now so I stay in it for the good times because they remind me of the love I lost. Like if a dead person you loved could come back to visit every now and then but not quiet as dramatic as that sounds.🙂

    • aww that must be hard. im glad you get glimpses of the old him. best of luck to you both :)

  • He seems to have a manipulative personality and yes he abused you at least emotionally, for sure.

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  • It definitely sounds like abuse, get out now before it gets worse

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  • He was dangerous. it is good that you broke up with him

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    • he actually ended me but same outcome I guess haha

  • you sound hypersensitive and semi-coockoo.

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    • you sound like an arsehole so I guess I still win

    • plus you don't know how to spell cuckoo :)

  • I'm really asked that you asked this question because unfortunately I'm married to someone who waited 4 years to show me this side of him and I've constantly questioned myself as to if it's verbal abuse and this just helped with my decision.
    Thank you! Especially to the men who openly answered this question.

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    • I'm so so glad this had helped you. It's really helped me to read other people's questions and see if there's any comparisons and similarities. I hope you get out ASAP and look into womens shelters and charities to help make an exit plan so you can leave safely - I've heard you can be more at risk leaving

  • He sounds kinda autistic. Probably some kind of mental disorder maybe aspergers? Even then he shouldn't be doing that to you.

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    • funnily enough I actually suspected he might be somewhere on the spectrum but regardless you're right it's not right what he's done

  • He definitely has issues him. He can't control his anger and emotions. Even if you were critical of him that doesn't warrant being emotionally and physically by him. It's a toxic relationship. His abuse will get worse if you don't get out of

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  • I say it's more emotional then physical. Abusers always make the person being abused feel like they did something wrong. It's a type of manipulation people like that do. The moment you mention their faults or them doing something bad they find a way to revert to you and make you feel bad. Leave him alone. Know that if it's genuine you wouldn't feel the way you do know.

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    • yeah he couldn't acknowledge he did stuff srong with me or past relationships either, thank you. he messed me head up for so long that I didn't know what to think

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