What It's Like To Be In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

What It's Like To Be In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

He never put his hands on me, but I guess he didn't have to.

Before I start, I just want to say that there is no hatred in my heart, only love and forgiveness.

This is the first and probably last time I will openly speak about this. Some of these things may only be known by close friends, some by none at all. This is a way for me to release all these kept feelings and experiences I've had for so long.

When someone thinks of abuse in a relationship, the first thing that comes to mind is the physical kind. There are no scars on the outside from the emotional kind. I had no bruises on my eyes that I had to hide behind large shaded sunglasses or lacerations around my neck tucked away by scarves.

So what is it like to be in an emotionally abusive relationship?

It's putting on a smile to do your day-to-day activities, like grocery shopping or going to class, so that everyone else doesn't get suspicious of what's really going on.

It's questioning every move you make. Whether it's making plans with a friend you haven't seen in a long time, or sending a text to an old relative, it's the fear that he may see you smile at your phone and automatically assume you're doing something you shouldn't be.

It's shuddering in gym class when you learn 15 signs of an abusive partner in gym class and he matches 13 of them.

It's feeling like you always have to be available. Sitting around at home, staring at the wall or your phone just waiting for the text that he wants to see you.

It's staying up late fighting. When he texts you reminding you how worthless you are and how much better he could do, and you crying and begging for him to stay.

It's distancing yourself from those who love and care about you. They only want what's best, but he's convinced you that they're trying to break us apart.

It's going back-and-forth between him hurting you and you hurting yourself for not being good enough for him.

It's clinging onto the good parts of your relationship, like when he bought you flowers just because or told you that you looked nice that one day. You justify his actions for every other day, saying that he isn't always like this.

It's worrying for his safety when you do get a little spark of courage and try to break it off. He threatens to hurt himself, or even other people.

It's fearing. Maybe he'll hate you one day. Maybe he will hit you, but that day never comes. If you show your emotions too much, he'll call you sensitive and get angry.

It's becoming beyond upset when he leaves you, when what you should feel is relief.

It's looking him in the face after he threw you away and having to pretend like you were doing alright.

It's trying to get back what was taken from you. Many months, even years will pass until you can rebuild the trust that you have for people and to let yourself believe that you are worth everything he told you that you weren't.

It's apologizing profusely for every little mistake you make, even though everyone else is much more understanding.

It's understanding that words can hurt deeply and that you deserve to be spoken to in a way that makes you feel good about yourself.

It destroys you.

But, in the end, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. You take what you have learned and you face the world with open eyes. You learn to love and respect yourself, slowly, and keep in mind that one day, everything will be alright.

Cover Image Credit: wearyourvoicemag.com

Popular Right Now

An Open Letter To My Boyfriend's Mom

A simple thank you is not enough.

Your son and I have been dating a while now and I just wanted to thank you for everything.

Wow, where do I start? Ever since the day your son brought me into your home you have shown me nothing but kindness. I have not one negative thought about you and I am truly thankful for that. I first and foremost want to thank you for welcoming me with open arms. There are horror stories of mothers resenting their son's girlfriends and I am blessed there is no resentment or harsh feelings.

Thank you for treating me like one of your children, with so much love but knowing exactly when to tease me.

Thank you for sticking up for me when your son teases me, even though I know it’s all in good fun it's always comforting knowing you have someone by your side.

Thank you for raising a man who respects women and knows how to take responsibility of mistakes and not a boy who is immature and doesn’t take responsibility.

Thank you for always including me in family affairs, I may not be blood family but you do everything you can to make sure I feel like I am.

Thank you for letting me make memories with your family.

There is nothing I value more in this world then memories with friends and family and I am thankful you want and are willing to include me in yours. I have so much to thank you for my thoughts keep running together.

The most important thing I have to thank you for is for trusting me with your son. I know how precious and valuable he is and I won't break his heart. I will do everything I can to make him happy. This means more than you could ever imagine and I promise I will never break your trust.

The second most important thing I must thank you for is for accepting me for who I am. Never have you ever wished I looked like another girl or acted like another girl. You simply love and care for me and that’s all I could ever ask. Every person in this world is a unique different person and understanding that means a lot.

The third most important thing I must thank you is teaching me how to one day in the future treat a potential girlfriend that I may interact with as a mother. I am not a mother, but I one day plan to be. If I ever have a son it is because of how you treated me that I am able to be a humble loving mother to this new face that could one day walk into my door. How you have treated me has taught me how I should one day be in the future and I thank you for that.

This may seem all over the place but that’s how my brain gets when I try and thank you for everything you have done for me. It’s all so much and even the little things are so important so I promise my scattered thoughts are all with good intentions and not meant to bombard you. I just want to get the idea across to you that you are important and special to me and everything you do does not go unnoticed.


Your Son’s Girlfriend

Cover Image Credit: Christian Images and Quotes

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

I Promise, He Is Not The One That Got Away

You will never have to chase what is meant to stay.


You miss him. You miss the hugs, the laughs, the inside jokes. You miss hearing his voice over phone calls, you miss the late night drives, you miss the fun adventures. You miss your best friend.

The guy that you loved so much, that you once planned a future with, that you haven't had to imagine life without in so long, is suddenly gone. No explanation will make it easier, or less confusing, or less unfair.

You're probably thinking that you'll never move on. You're thinking that this pain you're feeling will stay with you forever. You think that you lost the love of your life, because how could a bond so strong not be meant to last forever?

Leaving the familiar is terrifying. It is so easy to believe that this was the greatest love you will ever experience. You're afraid to leave behind the memories. You don't want to start over, because no relationship you have with anyone else will ever be the same. Nobody is him, and nobody will ever be him. Scary, isn't it? Actually, no. This is the greatest truth that you can admit to yourself right now. Nobody will ever be him.

He left. He hurt you. He made you feel unworthy. He did not choose to love you the way that you deserve. Yes, he did make you happy for a season of your life. This is a beautiful thing, and you shouldn't deny it. Just because he did not make you happy forever does not erase the time you spent together. Every relationship leaves behind memories, and these memories will always be pieces of your life. It is okay to think about them. You will be thankful for them one day.

Love is not always meant to last forever. Loving someone does not bind you to each other for eternity. It's unfair, and it feels impossible to let a love go. Especially when you were certain you would never have to. You fear that he was "the one that got away". I promise you, this is so far from true. "The one" would not leave. He would choose to love you even through the rough times, instead of walking away. Saying someone is "the one that got away" is a counterintuitive statement, and frankly it's a load of BS. Yeah, sure, he got away, but would "the one" really put you through endless amounts of pain and suffering? Or would "the one" treat you with respect and love you the way you deserve?

I've been in this same situation, fearing that my ex is the person that I am supposed to be with and that I let him get away. But truthfully, I didn't let him get away. He chose to leave all on his own. And that by itself should be a sign that he really is NOT "the one". If you have to chase and beg and bargain with someone for them to be in your life, odds are they're not meant to be there anyway.

It ended because better is out there. It ended because the relationship was no longer best for the both of you. It may feel like you lost the best thing in your life, but there is a reason for it. If something leaves, it means that that something is no longer supposed to be in your life. And that means that you will be better off without it. He is not "the one that got away", because "the one" would do everything in his power to stay.

Related Content

Facebook Comments