Deprivation or Withholding

deprivation or withholdingWithholding affection is one type of deprivation, and that occurs when your mate purposefully withholds physical contact (including sex). Divorces of the past were granted for “alienation of affection” and withholding physical comforts underlies the complaint. However, there are multiple ways abusive people deprive their victims.

Abusers may deprive you of information that you need. For example, they may deprive you of financial information such as impending bankruptcy or bills that need to be paid; hiding money from you or denying you the money you need for groceries (or any other need) falls into this category, too.

Another type of deprivation involves your time. Abusers tend to think their time is of the utmost importance, but your time is of no value. Abusers tend to think that you should be available to them at all times. Sometimes, they’ll tell you to plan on an event “for sure” when they know the event is tentative. You end up setting aside entire days or afternoons only to find out, at the last minute, the plans changed. Sometimes, your abuser won’t even tell you the plans changed and you’ll be dressed up for a business dinner when he comes home yelling, “Why isn’t dinner on the table? Why are the kids at a babysitter?”

Speaking of time, abusers will often deprive you of a good night’s sleep. Perhaps he returns home at 1 AM and wants to “talk” but if you deny him a conversation, he turns on the nasty juice and demands your attention. Sleep deprivation also happens when you work different shifts. Instead of letting you sleep and tending to the children during that time, the abuser may demand that you stay awake to do it.

Another type of deprivation is withholding compliments that you deserve and/or replacing them with compliments that trivialize your contributions. Your abuser may compliment things that are easy to do (such as taking out the trash) while ignoring your greater accomplishments (such as getting a raise). Appreciation for taking out the trash is one thing, but praising your skill at doing it is trivial. The abuser takes note of what you consider to be important, and then makes sure to never compliment you on successes in that area or to undermine your accomplishments by making them seem less important to him than what other people, he or his friends do.

How My Husband Uses Deprivation (Withholding)

Will won’t talk to me about anything of importance for hours and sometimes days. He’ll make requests (“Pass the butter”) or ask questions (“Where are my shoes?”), but that is all.

He pushes me away when I make a sexual advance and then complains that I don’t act like I want him. He’ll come home drunk if he suspects I want to “talk”. He goes to his friend’s house instead of spending time with his family. He will work on projects that could wait for a couple of hours (or months!) when I want to do something together. I’m not talking about occasionally.

Will withholds true compliments. He tells me how great the house looks, but to me, that doesn’t matter. I want him to compliment my awesome new artwork that he can’t help but see when he walks in the door. That is important to me, but he ignores it, even when I fish for compliments.

My husband also deprives me of sleep. He’ll stay up late drinking, then come into our bedroom and slam dresser drawers or the closet door pretending to look for something. Those loud noises wake me with a start and because I know he doesn’t really need anything but is looking for a fight, my heart pounds and makes it difficult to go back to sleep. I lie there wondering, “Is it over? Is he coming back?”

By withholding and depriving, Will can say, “Nyah nyah! I’ve got something you want and you can’t have it! I’m in control! I can keep things exactly how they are, and you can’t do anything about it!

How to React to Withholding

how to react to denialThe main idea to remember if you’re forced to react to withholding or deprivation is that you have your own life, independent of your abuser. If you do not have “your own life” due to isolation or choice, then it is time to create one. Abuse causes the victim to focus mainly on the abuser, and when we do that, we lose sight of our talents and activities that bring us enjoyment. Bring those things back into your life. Give yourself something to focus on besides your abuser!

It is also important that you learn to validate and appreciate your own accomplishments. If you’ve done something well or have reason to be proud of yourself, do not rely on your abuser for approval or encouragement. Approve of and encourage yourself first, then share your joy with someone who cares.

Your Time And Sleep

If your partner abuses your time, there are a couple of ways you can handle it. If you experience a situation like being dressed for dinner only to find the event cancelled, go out to dinner anyway. Go alone if you must, but go. If you’ve taken time off of work to accompany your abuser on a trip that he cancels at the last minute, make sure you go visit your family on an overnight or leave the house during the daytime to pursue enjoyable activities alone. Don’t sit at the house pining, make use of your time in a way that makes you feel good.

Also, it is a good idea to schedule things that you want to do in advance, and keep them to yourself. For example, there may be a great exhibit opening at the museum next month and you want to be there. For an event like this, you may want to keep it private until a day or two before it occurs. If your abuser knows there’s something coming up, they may create an “important” event that trumps yours, forcing you to abandon your plans. If your abuser tries to take that time away from you by planning something else, tell them you already have plans and can’t help them that day. Break away from allowing your abuser to schedule what you do and when you do it. Make your own plans. Insist on honoring your time.

As you can imagine, reacting to sleep deprivation safely and healthfully could involve finding somewhere else to sleep! This isn’t practical, especially if you are married to or living with your abuser. But, if your abuser contacts you via phone during your sleep time, you could always turn off the phone. Or, if you live alone and your significant other comes banging on the door, you can ignore it. Do not answer the door. It will make them angry and God knows what they’ll accuse you of doing, but it is an option.

Financial Withholding

Financial withholding can devastate you emotionally as well as money-wise. Separate your finances from your abuser’s in every way possible. Remove yourself as joint user on credit cards and open your own checking and savings accounts. Your best bet is to research how to separate yourself from the abuser’s accounts starting on the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s Financial Tips for Victims and Survivors.

If your abuser controls your money, he has no legal right to do so. Change your direct deposit account to one in your name only, and remove him as joint user on any credit accounts. If he threatens to use your mental illness against you (have you committed), look into what it takes to have someone committed! When you know the rules, it is easy to work within them to ensure he would not be able to commit you. Secure legal aid if necessary, or at least know who to call if you need help.

If your abuser controls his money (he is the sole-provider), then you may have to deal with his controlling behaviors as he doles out cash when he feels like it. However, don’t let his control over the finances fool you into believing there is no way to leave the relationship. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 and ask them about financial assistance available in your area.

By the way, my abuser “allowed” to me full access to our banking accounts. I paid the bills, ensured the money went into his TSP account (like an IRA), and was able to transfer $9600 from our savings account to my own checking account on the night I left. My final financial transaction completely surprised him. He could do nothing about it. You see, he thought he controlled my financial life. One of the illusions abusers live with is the idea that “we” CANNOT do anything without their permission. He thought that he had enough control over my thinking to prohibit any individual choice.

Why did he think that? Well, he used my financial savvy against me. I handled the money really well, but he continually berated me for my performance. At one time, I thought he was right – that I was a spendthrift and wasted his income. And yet, he would never assume responsibility for our money. I think he felt a need to use our financial picture as a weapon against me. One day, he kept me on the porch for eight hours, “discussing” the proper way to handle money. Countless other times our “conversations” went on for two hours or more. He used abusive anger and denial and a host of other tactics in his attempt to control the money, but in the end, he failed. Overconfidence on his part, I suppose; an unwillingness to agree that it was “his” money alone on mine.

Deprivation or Withholding of Affection

Unless you’re willing to go outside of your relationship for physical comfort, you’re going to have to take sexual release into your own hands, literally. If you do choose to take a lover, please consider the damage that could be done to him when he falls in love with you, but you are unwilling to leave your marriage. Cheating is not fair to a potential lover, and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases with multiple lovers is not worth the risk. Find a great sex store and rev up your internal fantasies.

Women friends can be a source of comfort, too. Women hug. They will hold your hand across the table when you need comfort. This type of physical connection is not the same as a sexual one, but it does help to fill the void. Also, hug your kids! Ruffle their hair, hold their hands, or sit close on the couch while they watch cartoons. Again, this is no where near experiencing the intimate physical connection your spouse denies you, but any type of healthy touching is better than no touching at all.

When it comes to your partner specifically, you can speak up to him about how you feel and what you want sexually. However, don’t expect a positive response. He could say that it isn’t him, it’s you. He could say that he can’t stand to touch you anymore because [fill in hurtful reason here]. Most likely, he will say whatever it takes to make you feel worse for the horrible thing he is doing.

If your abuser deprives you of intimate conversation, your best responses are pretty much the same as if he denies you sex. The difference is that finding someone else to talk to is a practical and healthy alternative all the way around. Even in healthy relationships, people need other people besides their spouse to talk to. Open up. Talk to someone else, even if it is a hotline volunteer or a support group member. Do not rely on your abuser to fill the void of loneliness.

Remember that these statements are to help you feel better and detach from your abuser’s antics. They do not guarantee that your abuser will stop abusing you, nor do they protect you from further abuse. You should fill out a safety plan so you know what you will do if things get out of hand.

Based on the book The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans, ISBN 1558503048, Adams Media, February 2003 and my experiences with verbal abuse.

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  1. LaRubia says:

    “My” abuser, too, goes on talking jags, during which he mostly repeats himself. I learned long ago to sit with a particular look on my face AND air about myself. It USUALLY keeps me out of trouble. When it doesn’t, I get to hear all about whichever of his soapboxes he’s got at the fore AND I get reamed out yet again.

    “Am I BORING you?” he’ll snarl; or

    “Am I interRUPting something,” as he sneers at the TV. (This produces a diatribe [see paragraph above] about what I watch and the people on it and how low-class it is and blah blah blah about a third of the time); or

    “You’re not doing anything important. You can give me a minute of your time,” delivered in that deadly tone of voice.

    • Same here. He used to repeat the same issue (usually connected to some small event he had experienced during the day) over and over again, the entire night. He would ask the same question every 15 minutes, like what we were having for dinner. I would put it down to intoxication but it always made me feel like I could not engage in real interaction with this person, in any meaningful exchange of ideas, he was ”not all there”.

    • Tim Davis says:

      Are you truly willing to give him a minute of your time? Or have you checked out of the relationship on some level of intimacy?
      Be courageous and autonomous enough to discuss what is truly going on “between” the two of you.This is never comfortable and is always necessary to maintain true relationship.

    • I too have been in very abusive situations my selfe but by the grace of the Lord God that past iz behind me but I couldn’t have survived that abusiveness on my owne emotionally speaking because of the wonderful man that I believe sincerely believe that the Lord God brought into my life and it waz in around that tyme when I needed someone and my prayers were answered when I least expected it and for that im alwayz very thankful, and yes we are all people and we all have feelings and no one deserves to be abused in any way and it does not matter which side its on and what I mean by that iz that even if it haz to do with guardianship not even the guardian haz the right to abuse that person and then think oh well i have the right but in reality no she/ he does not not one lil bit!!!!. and what we free thinking and independent ppl need to understand is that we have the right to say No More. do not allow anyone to bully you and to make you feel as though you do not matter because guess what ? you do matter just lyke the next person. so you know who you are as a person and never let any1 tell you that you are less and that you dont matter because you do. i hope this helps. much love to all.

  2. You are so right; I have experienced all this as well. He used to praise me for simple things such as making him a sandwich, then trivialise my writing (that’s just British spelling, not an error) and any campaigns or events I tried to get involved in. Basically, anything I really held dear about my personality, anything that made me feel positive, motivated and full of life.

    Also, he used to wake me up at night, at any hour, with the excuse of being drunk and wanting some affection. If I minded (as I was tired and didn’t appreciate being forced to stay up) he would often throw fits, which made sure I wouldn’t sleep for the rest of the night. He used to get drunk, put the earphones on and start singing a few feet away from me, expecting me to get out of bed and tell him to stop if it bothered me (sometimes repeatedly), instead of simply avoiding the situation altogether. That was so frustrating. Sometimes he would do this on purpose and enjoy it. Almost demonic, really.

    Everything you wrote rings true. Every single thing. For instance, he avoided physical intimacy after I got pregnant and another half a year after I gave birth, with all sorts of excuses. Then one day (right before Christmas) he told me I had gotten fat and he was no longer attracted to me, then saying it was ”not a big deal”. He practically admitted to having lied for so long and having avoided me as skilfully as possible. Of course I could never feel totally comfortable again in that sense and throughout the years he kept telling me I was extremely unattractive, then he would suddenly ask for sex and get annoyed when I would say no. Of course he hated me for that as well and kept calling me a frigid bitch, even though he’d been the one to destroy our intimacy and trust in the first place, not to mention my confidence. I should’ve known things would never be the same after that.

  3. frustrated says:

    My partner has withheld almost everything from me since the birth of our daughter. In fact it started the day after she was born. I feel for any woman going through this. I am constantly depressed, literally sick for days from the stress. The only reason I stay is for my daughter. He says he is going to have all the neighbors testify against me in court, he constantly says I’m mental, but I have never been mental before him. He has no problem giving affection to his mother, female friends, etc. He takes every opportunity to put me down and criticize me. Nothing I do is good enough. We haven’t had sex in months, so long I forgot what it was like, I’m not joking. He never touches me, comforts me, doesn’t cuddle. It’s exhausting. We live 1000 miles away from family and I have no one. I’ve just been searching google for an explanation to all of this and I see now that it’s him although the damage is done, I really can’t see me staying with him but I can’t figure out how to leave. He said he will have me arrested for kidnapping. He wants me to abandon my child, I think he is addicted to hurting me and just last month he sat out there saying he was going to kill himself because all he does is hurt people, then promised change, but 2 weeks later it’s the same thing. It’s a constant, this withholding of any form of communication, affection, compliments, as well as the constant hurt I feel as if I just can’t function anymore. The doctor put me on an anti depressant for the depression but it just makes me want to knock him over the head with a bat or just completely aloof. Counseling is useless as he insists it’s all me, he sets appts with them and then we never go. He never takes initiative with anything, on mother’s day I was made to make my own dinner, I was gifted a 40 dollar present he wanted. Yet for father’s day he spent over 2 grand on himself and then turns around and says it is for the whole family. On valentines day I threw a fit because not so much as a card was given to me. I guess out of guilt he went and brought me flowers. I wish there was more support for how to cope with all of this. I have been sick with sores on my tonsils because of the extreme stress. It is now affecting my stomach, head, my joints. I feel like I’m in a 60 year old body and I’m 35. He won’t marry me and places no priority on it, he says it’s cause he can’t afford a ring. Its bs. He has had plenty of opportunity to purchase a ring, he just won’t. Had I known when I met this man I would be going through this I would have run for my life, but these passive aggressives are really good at being wolves in sheeps clothing. They use every little thing against you, tell them something personal and watch 2 years later they use it against you to make you seem unstable and crazy to other people or even yourself. They are masters at bringing you down. When we met, I would light up a room, talk to anyone, now I can hardly go anywhere, talk to anyone, I’ve gained 60 pounds, I’m completely unhappy and just want out. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find a way out.

    • Anonymous says:

      You must disengage yourself from this cycle of craziness. Why would you even care about a Valentine’s card, when there is no love in this relationship? Just control & manipulation?
      Love is not like this. Call a domestic violence hotline. Find an office in your area/by phone.
      Set up your case & stick with it.
      This relationship will slowly drain you if all you are & it is a slow death. Stress causes cancer & disease.
      Do it for you. Do it for your daughter.

    • anonymous says:

      I am In a relationship , marriage similar. He is 14 years my senior and was physically abisive in front of our children for most of their yourh I left briefly ,( separated ,) but . He started to turn my children away from me. When I came back to our home he was no longer physically abusive , but verbally and the control. ,( not wanting me to work outside the home ,) but then complaining about everything he buys for me , the majority is used for my orthopedic issues and the health insurance needs I am continually harassed for in front of my children. He is the opposite about affection & demands me to dress in sexy clothing like I used to wear whine we first met. He is constantly bringing up my transgressions although his transgressions were the reason my daughter had to leave. I am disguised by his material desires and disgusted by him because of the degredstion i havevwantercd to go back to work to help with the bills , but he is threatened that he will get revenge if I ever file for divorce. I don’t know where to turn , I have no career other than child rearing , homemaking & most of the chores . My sons and daughters are now disrespectful to me & they do not listen , are receptive to any disciplin. The only one of the family members that is openly reprimanded in a dispicable manner is me. The children are repeating the cycle of abuse because my position as a mother & homemaker has always been ,” freeloading ,” in his eyes . Now the children have the same attitude.,I don’t know where to turn and there is nothjg in my name. Doubtful my fanly will help. He continually tells me to leave when he knows very well I have nowhere to go. Can anyone recommend a hotline of faculty that will actually help, one called women in distress 2 x and they did not call back “.
      Thank you

      • Visit They have a chat line and a 24/7 phone service. This is only going to get worse. If you’ve been at home all these years, he will (most likely) be ordered to pay you some sort of alimony. College is about to start up again – file for financial aid at (NOT – they’re a “service”). Go to school, talk to an attorney, and get out of there asap.

        I won’t lie. Finances will be tight for awhile until you’re able to find work. You can work and make friends at work to help offset his nastiness. He doesn’t want you working because he’ll lose his grip on you. You will no longer be isolated to your toxic family if you step out.

        Also, talk to your family. They may surprise you. If they’re unsupportive, there’s no surprise. You’ll only know if you ask.

      • Hello friend????
        I am so sorry to read all that your husband puts you through. I am hoping he s your husband, but never the less I will still give you some advise from my own personnal experience. First I will tell you that what he does is cruel and you have a right to be distraught. He should treat you with Love and respect that you and every child of God deserves. But we cannot make soneone loving, or kind, or even just a decent human being…unfortunately!! What we can though, is work on ourselves. Its hard to imagine we need to change when our abuser is so clearly in the wrong….but never the less all we can do is work on us! I began a campaign of loving myself AND showing my husband as much genuine respect admiration and affection as i could.(depending on the circumstances and being prudent with right judgement) He wants your respect. Thats what men want most. Even though by his words and actuons he doesnt deserve it, give it to him anyway. You will find that by respecting him, you will BEGIN to feel live for him again because he will change, on his own, by u changing first.
        You can do it!! Try it for just a week. Treat him how YOU hope to be treated and wait for miracles to happen. You kids will respect YOU for your efforts believe me.
        A wife and mom who knows

    • Why would you “want to marry” this crazy belligerent man? Marriage makes it all worse…not better! Then you will really be trapped. He’s emotionally drained and poisoned your mind, body, heart, soul and spirit because he is toxic. YOU DESERVE BETTER! Take it from someone who has been there and finally walked away (it took me years to finally walk away for good!) Don’t wast another breath on a man who doesn’t even deserve to know your name.

      • Eileen MacDougall says:

        It’s true, it will get unbelievably worse if you can imagine that. I’ve been wasting the last fifteen years of my life. Love is love, don’t let them redefine it. So sad and wasteful to hurt someone who truly loves them. But they’ll make you lose yourself. It’s a demonic sickness they go along with. God Bless.

    • I completely understand. You need to find your happiness, and I hope you do soon! These men do not deserve such beautiful women.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should call the domestic violence hotline it really helped me I went to the classes and it just helps u as a individual more.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know exactly how you feel. Mine told me recently if I want sex or Affection I should go sell my body and be Prostitute that way I could get money and get the hell out. This is after he asked me for ten years to marry I always was stand off ish on it. I finally did. Year ago and now this. He was angry because I said if he was on social media he should have on that he is married and has four children instead he is only promote himself and our youngest daughter as of is a single dad of one. And is talking to other wonen lying about things he owns and about his real life. I got upset that this he wants to fight to keep his female friends but keep his marriage a secret from them. He said he is bored of be in the bedroom I don’t make it exciting for him. I think he could have decided that before marriage.
      He did tell me the day we got married I wasn’t supposed to show up and go Thur with it. So that hurt.
      Ever decision we have made in the last few years he now says it is really what he wanted. I don’t get it I have a older son and he was coming to visit he threatens to have him trespassed from the home just to hurt me cause he knows I love my child. He has turned in to a evil person that just keeps saying he. Wants to have his female friends even if it cost his marriage.
      He said he said it out of anger. He didn’t apologize. But I don’t see him the same way anymore. It literally hurts to look at him. It makes me feel sick now that he said those things to me. I don’t feel attracted to him and we have been living in silence for the past week. He said he doesn’t have time to work on the marriage it is childish bullshit.
      Where in t he do I go from here. Live in silence and be ignored he doesn’t believe e in counseling .

  4. I have been married for 17 years, together for 18. I just realized a month ago that I have been in a domestic abusive relationship this entire time. This last fight we had was so surreal. My abuser likes to avoid responsibility at any cost. You name it, he cowers and runs the other way. He starts screaming at me, calling be vile and sexually explicit names in front of our 16 year old son. This was happening even before we were married but my low self esteem didn’t know any better. I was verbally abused, physically abused and sexually abused by my father and my brother. My mother was carrying on in an affair for seven years, yet I didn’t know the truth about this until I was in my late forties. So, this behavior is all I have ever known. I became a “dancer” in a strip bar when I was 34. I had a false since of who I was, and needed the approval that I was “pretty” or “good enough.” I worked there for three years and had enough. I turned things around and went back to school and worked in a professional environment thinking I would meet the man of my dreams.Haha! Nope, I gravitated to the same type of abusive relationship, over and over again. Now I am much older, wiser and know the difference between a slick talker (husband) now. What happened a month ago started with the usual conversation about a home repair and that we needed to get a game plan going before the winter. Well, it was as if WWIII erupted in my living room. I literally had a “Black Out” of instant rage. I think I finally got fed up with the name calling, that I am worthless, fat (I weigh 115), stupid, bitch, whore, cu*t, crotch rot, ete, etc. I stood up so fast, after I threw my computer mouse at him and he threw a glass of water at me, I then picked up my laptop and slammed it against the wall. He wouldn’t shut up, so, I picked up his laptop and slammed it on the ground, I was so enraged I can’t even begin to say how this made me feel. I have never reacted like this before. Yet before when he bullied and name called me, I would always “apologize” first. Not anymore. I have heard this over and over again. My abuser is an alcoholic with a very addictive personality. Addictions to cocaine in the past, he lies, takes money we need to pay bills,(he now has his paycheck deposited in a different account so I don’t know what he makes.) Back in March, I lost my job, a lot of back stabbing politics. I won my case against them, and received my unemployment, and this threw me into a very deep depression. Long story short, there was no support what so ever from him. Yes, I take an anti depressive, thank God. I also have ADHD, and my abuser said that ever since I started taking medication, I have become a bitch. No, it’s the first time that I understand with clarity of what I was missing. My son is also ADHD and takes medication as well.
    I think the abuser feels intimidated because now I know the difference. He wants me to stop taking my medication, no way! The way I have figured this whole thing out and how to “not react” is just don’t react. I know now, that he has a serious problem and he doesn’t want help. I can’t fix him, I am not his savior. I moved into the spare room, made it my own. It’s clean, pretty, my grand-kids pictures are up, I can pray and read my Bible, pray my Rosary, and I feel the strength of the Lord and the Peace that surpasses all understanding.

    I can’t leave, we own a home together, and there are bills that need to be paid, and also, my son graduates from high school next year. I feel for the first time, empowered just knowing that after 18 years, I am who God created, and my abuser can’t do one thing about it. My son feels very indifferent about his dad, he knows that he is not a father or role model in anyway. His teachers in our parish are so supportive of him, and they show him what God expects a man/husband to be like. God has a plan and His timing is always perfect.

    There is hope for all of us victims from our abusers, but we have to stay tough and deal with it the best we can. By not talking or having any communication except for a few daily things, he goes to his room after work, to his social network, female friends etc, etc. He drinks, vapes and if that is his life, then so be it. He has left us alone, and I couldn’t be happier and more at peace. My son says, “mom, your so much more fun now!”

    So even if we live with the abuser, God has protected us and we feel His presence all around us. I will never be swayed by his words ever again. I am pretty sure he finally knows that I have figured him out.

  5. Withholding is definitely abusive behavior. It is a way of telling another person without actually saying it that: “You aren’t important enough to receive a response from me,” it is highly unkind and impersonal. It is hard for me to just walk away from withholding behaviors, I am working on it.

    • Don’t you know it! Meeting silence with silence is SO difficult. You could take the opportunity to tell your abuser exactly how you feel about their withholding behaviors. Challenge yourself to do so in the most healthful way possible. You know your partner does not have to listen or respond, but it feels better to be “the better person” and SANELY tell them exactly what you think. You know your abuser best, so don’t do this if you feel it will result in a dangerous situation.

    • I’ve been reading some of these letters and most of them are from women, well ladies I have to tell you that women do the same damn thing to men. I have been married to my second wife for 4 years and been with her for 12 years, she is 50 and I am 49 . I love her with all my heart and she knows that. I think that she is very gorgeous dis spite her gaining a little weight. She will undress, put sexy cloths on in front of me and still does not give me sex. She goes on social network have conversations with other guys including sexual conversations with them and tells me nothing is going on and that she is doing nothing wrong. Well I’m sorry but it is wrong. One of the reasons why I stay is that I guess I’m dumb or just that much in love with her. Bottom line is that everybody thinks that men are doing all the abuse but in fact women do it also

      • Andrew Harbison says:

        Mick I am another man who is in a similar situation that you are in. My wife will no longer say that she loves me. She will not let me touch her. She has been sleeping in another room now for 50 days. She does not know it, but I am filing for divorce. I deserve better treatment than this after 18 years of marriage. Sure I have not been the perfect husband. She believes she is the perfect wife. I just recently found out that she has be Gaslighting me for the last 18 years. Gaslighting is a form of mind manipulation where the abuser tells you that you said or did something that you know you did not say or do. I have been just shining it on and chalking it up as she just has a different recollection of how events occurred. My wife is Puerto Rican and she recently told me that when I was still living in Orlando area that I was sitting down and reading a Spanish news paper in fluent Spanish and understanding what I read. I can not read or understand that much Spanish. Sure I can recognize certain words, but I can not read it or speak it. After I told her that I did not do this she started to tell me that I did and was insisting that I could do this thing which I know that I can not do. I recently found out about Gaslighting from doing some research online. What the abuser does over time is convince their victim that what they say is reality and what you think is not reality. Basically it is a form of mind control. I am still investigating this perverted mental abuse. If anyone else is in a relationship where your abuser is telling you that you said or did things that you know you did not say or do. Then you need to get away from that person as fast as you can. Over any given period of time this behavior will cause you to loose your sanity. She almost was successful until she tried pulling off something that was just no way she was going to convince me that I did read that news paper. Up until then it was smaller things that I thought were insignificant. The problem is that it is very significant. Because if this practice is conducted over years. The abuser eventually will be able to convince you of anything that they want. I am regaining my self respect and dignity and I will get this woman out of my life. We do have three children together ages 18,17 and 11. This will be very hard on my youngest, but I must get out of this marriage to maintain my sanity. I hope this helps someone else that is out there being victimized in the same manner. If you want to speak to me about Gaslighting you can email me at

  6. You know, I’m beginning to wonder if “Long, pointless rants during which you basically just sit there and nod” should be added to the ever growing warning signs of an abusive personality for me. OOoh the ranting I endured. Out of curiosity once, I actually got up and walked away for an entire thirty minutes during a rant (we were just chatting long distance at that point and he wasn’t mad, just ranting about something or the other) and came back to find he LITERALLY didn’t realize I was gone. He was still going. I was basically just a prop. It was almost like watching a peacock strut (metaphorically) around flashing his tail feathers at me repeatedly in some sort of weird, ritualized mating dance only the subject at hand was nothing to do with mating.

    I got away from him pretty early on, thankfully. I started exerting my right to say “No” to things and telling him I didn’t appreciate constant accusations. This, of course, resulted in a lengthy “Maybe we’re just not right for each other, but we’re both really good people and perhaps we’re trying to force something that isn’t there with this whatever our relationship is. But maybe…) etc etc. So I got to write him a little note that said “You know, your last message seemed really unclear. I don’t know if you were threatening to leave the relationship or trying to tell me we didn’t have one or simply trying to derail the conversation thinking I”ll react in fear because you *might* leave. Whatever the case, this feels like a really manipulative situation so I”m going to clarify things for you. Goodbye. We’re done. Leave me alone. Go away, don’t come back, don’t call and don’t expect me to call you. I’ll be completely fine without you. Bye.” Then canceled my accounts, changed my phone number and blocked all contact options and told my friends never to answer a question he asked.

    My advice to people who see these things early on while it’s still possible is…just leave. Walk away. It’s not about you. It never was, it never will be. It’s about them and their issues and their internal constructs that cause them to feel abuse is an acceptable alternative to a healthy relationship. Just because they believe it doesn’t mean you have to. (Having been the victim in many relationships I completely understand and am not minimizing the pain. Consider my actions above to be a HUGE leap forward from who I used to be.)

  7. Bubbles says:

    Financially I am stable and I don’t understand why I put up with what I do. I think it’s the fear that no one else would want me. My husband shows me no affection at all. I have to ask for a kiss, sex is just out of the question. He never pays me any compliments. He shows no interest in my job. All he talks about is himself. I am not even allowed to have a cup of coffee without his permission. I am not allowed into the family from to watch TV. I often feel like a prisoner in my own home. I am a,lowed no opinion when it comes to our children.. If I tell him how I feel he tells me it is In my mind and that I am mentally ill. Yet I am allowed to visit my family – sometimes for the whole weekend. I don’t understand his attitude towards me. I once suggested outlets counselling to him but he said I was the one with the problem and that I should go alone so that they could “fix me”.

    • Bubbles, if you can get to counseling, then go. You don’t need “fixing” – you need help dealing with your husband. Let him think you’re going because of whatever reason he puts on you. Who cares what he thinks at this point?

      Marriage counseling won’t work at this point. And if HE went to therapy, God knows what he’d tell the therapist anyway.

      Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. YOu can also apply for a mentor from this site at

      • So true. My husband went to counseling for grief over the loss of a pet. He wound up having the counselor conclude that I was “emotionally unsafe” for him. So, when we both went to counseling for our marriage, she was already poisoned against me. In private sessions, she would tell me, “You are a f##king idiot” for being a SAHM and not having a career. Despite the fact that it was a mutual plan for our family before we got married, you know, when he was loving and sweet and saying all of the right things to make girl think he was a good man.

        And I’ve discovered that “emotionally unsafe” means he cannot tolerate honesty. He is a compulsive liar, probably from his youth. I know his parents don’t always believe everything he says, so they must have a reason to doubt what he says going way back before I ever knew him.

        Even though the recent angry silence has been unnerving, it sure is good that I don’t have to listen to him telling me how great he is and how he saved the day yet again. Oh, that I may never have to hear another fanciful story from his lying lips. Sweet joy!

        He gets paid today and I imagine he will play games with the money (sole income) because it’s not set up for direct deposit. I’m surprised he hasn’t locked me out of our checking account yet…again. It’s a favorite game of his. No matter. He’s ruined us financially and the only things left are his car that he wubs and our home. He’ll lose the car (if he doesn’t deposit the paycheck for the auto debit) before I lose the house (takes a lot longer for that process). Wonder how much sympathy the courts will give him?

  8. This doesn’t really say much about when they withhold sex though. They’re basically not participating in the marriage at that point, and it’s safe to say you probably have grounds for divorce.

  9. Amanalone says:

    His His He Cos it’s only men who abuse. Just for your info, 8MONTHS I’ve slept on sofa, 8 MONTHS since I felt even somewhat wanted, cannot remember a genuine compliment so you ladies tell me is it only men capable of abuse and if not why do you use gender specific descriptions. For your info I feel for every single one of you who are being taken for granted treated like you don’t matter downright ignored but please think wen you write your articles you are speaking for everyone and sometimes it’s a she that is ‘withholding’

    • I’m sorry your wife abuses you. Domestic violence and abuse is never a good situation. I hope you find happiness through your reactions to the abuse.

      I must reply to the tone of your message. Please see this page:

      If you choose not to look at it, then please know that we are well aware that men are abused. Instead of taking the pronoun usage as an offense, simply substitute the words he and him as needed. Women have done this for years as the words he and him were the ONLY pronouns used generically at the beginning of my generation (1970’s).

  10. Lonely and Sad says:

    In recent months, I have begun looking at online articles and blogs trying to get perspective on my relationship with my boyfriend. Some seem to apply while others are one-sided or have stories that I cannot relate to. This one seems to describe our dynamic perfectly. If I do something he doesn’t like at all from working late to splurging at the grocery store, he explodes and then runs away (literally he will drive off for hours or days and once even slept in the woods around our house). Then he will ignore me hours days or weeks. When we do talk, if I try to make my feelings heard, it starts all over again. Occasionally he comes back and apologizes but mostly it is on my to beg for a hug or attention. He will promise to try harder but anything I plan, he blows off while I dragged to whatever he wants to do. He does not seem to value me or my time. I have started thinking it is me and trying to figure out what is so wrong with me that he thinks I don’t deserve time, love and respect. I’ve ended up isolating myself because the less he would give, then the more I wanted to be there for the one moment of affection or attention. If I did ever go anywhere after weeks of waiting for his time or affectiom, I will come home to “well I wanted to have a date night, but you had other plans”, even though I would confirm thar we has no plans and let him know what I would be doing in advance. I used to actually beg for a couple hours of attention for the next weekend, only to be told “we’ll see if you’re good”. I know I need to leave and knowing that others see this behavior as wrong and horrible is building up my confidence and strength to make it so.

  11. I have an issue with the statement “Another type of deprivation is withholding compliments that you deserve”. We as individuals do not get to determine that we “deserve” a compliment. That’s not how a compliment works. We can take pride in what we feel are our accomplishments or positive traits, but we don’t get to demand other people view them in the same light. A “forced” compliment would lose all meaning.

    • GoFigure says:

      Simon, compliments encompass more than telling someone they look nice or you like their hair. Compliments also mean giving recognition for successes and accomplishments. I’ve been married to the same man for 37 years and to this day suppresses his feelings towards, and trivializes, my dreams and creations. I recall the first time I felt the figurative slap in the face; I had spent WEEKS making custom window treatments for our new home. After installing and informing him the project was complete, he raised his palms, made a visual circling of the rooms, then announced “it needs pictures”… not a damn word about the design, quality of work, money saved or time spent. That was 20 years ago. In the past few months I’ve painted wood trim, added moulding to a room, refinished a dinette set, and reupholstered an ottoman. It’s nice work that I should feel proud of. I get complimented by friends who visit, but where my husband is concerned it feels like a waste of time — instead of giving credit he says things like “why didn’t you just buy a new one?”. Ugh!!!

  12. It’s 5:30 a.m. where I live, and I had been awakened three times last night. Waking me up in the middle of the night (usually, around 2 or 3 a.m has gone on for months.) (When the children were little, he had almost nothing to do with the family, instead playing hockey almost every day of the week. After games, he’d come home, drunk, rile up the kids, so they couldn’t sleep, then return to the bar with his buddies, leaving me to try to wrestle my children back to bed. Now, I see this was another way of controlling my time.)

    The article was very informative, and I can now put a “name” to his behaviour which helps me strategize. I also saw a lot of commonalities between my situation and others who have posted here, viz: being accused of “mental illness,” no intimacy, accusations that I’m unattractive (too fat, too old, etc),long rants, financial withholding, and heavy alcohol use on the abusive spouse’s part. When I’m told I’m “mentally ill,” I demand to see his medical degree; I tune out the long rants (often praying, in my head, to have God make him go away); I’m starting to make an effort to look better when I go out, and I’m pushing myself to go out more with my friends. When I worked full time at a demanding job, he took all of my money to pay the bills, leaving me with $20/day for all my needs (parking, lunch, groceries, etc.) I finally quit, as I was too stressed out, and ended up having a minor stroke, after a full-on nervous breakdown (both events ignored. He wouldn’t even take me to the hospital after my stroke.)

    Now, I work part-time, refuse to help with the bills, made my own room, and my own life, divorced from his. In his case, I think he’s terrified to grow up, but I won’t play “Wendy” to his “Peter Pan.” I keep my wits about me and ignore his threats.I know my legal rights (I can take half of ALL his assets, and he will have to pay spousal support.) He claims that, if we divorce, we shouldn’t involve lawyers; we should do it “amicably.” Ha, ha, ha! That’s just code for “do it HIS way.” I’ve learned that, given my financial circumstances, he would have to pay for MY lawyer too. Mostly, I’ve learned that I am strong enough to survive this nonsense, that, if he doesn’t love me, others do, and that e-journaling my experiences helps immeasurably. They exhaust us to paralyze us, but I have to get up, push through, love myself, and move forward with my own life.

    And I’m keenly aware that it’s not just men who are abusive, as my beloved Brother-in-Law is also controlled by his abusive wife. We support each other, checking in, daily, over the phone.

  13. Francis Jackson says:

    I find this to be a very great article and as the man above wrote, I feel for every one of you. My wife and I are married for a little over a year now, been together for 5+ years and reading this is a real eye-opener. I think all partners should read this as they can start to realize if a problem is going on or potentially start. Recently, my wife and I have started to go through tough times due to her relocation to the states and I have realized that when I am stressed, I do abuse her verbally and this article brought up a very open conversation with my wife as well as opened my eyes as to how bad things can really get, especially after reading the stories women put on here. So thank you and continue to motivate and help the women and men who need it. If it’s too late, leave. If you can prevent it from turning out as bad as others have experienced, then do so. Once again, thank you so much and God bless.

  14. My abuser withholds sleep as a weapon. On days where I have had little to no sleep because of overtime at work and full time school, she goes through my phone and finds things to make trouble out of (and they’re usually really benign.) she also lies about how and why my phone became a topic of discussion in the first place (i.e. You got a text at 4am or she needed to use the phone at 2am) and the story changes a lot if I tell her that there’s no text or call or that she could have used her own phone. She’s even made up emergencies when I have slept at family or friends houses and called me (or if my phone was off, whoevers house I crashed at) that usually turn out to be absolutely nothing. Come on really? Waking me up at 3:30am claiming one of the kids needs to go to the hospital because of a runny nose?! Most of my family and friends refuse to interact with her. She’s even indirectly admitted to doing these things on purpose. I worked from 2pm to 2am once and she called me at 5am while I was asleep at my fathers and basically told me I get up when she gets up. The girl wonders why I won’t end our separation and live with her and the kids permanently….

  15. Anomynous says:

    It has been years and years. There is love in this relationship but that is it. I have used all the tactics mentioned of self appreciation and validation, but I still long for this person I love to want to show love to me. He is the King of ‘No’. I joked about something must of happened to him as a young toddler for him to be stuck in the ‘no’ phase of his life forever. He withholds and I know its all about power. Nothing I can say or do has changed that. There are other contributing factors that I do not care to go into at this time, but I have decided long ago to put my faith in God and continue to pray and hope for change. I weary at living with sadness and loneliness as the third very present member of our union, more and more.

  16. Anonymous says:

    My husband withholds affection, compliments, honest communication, financial information and deprives me of my time and sleep. He uses every angle possible to make me feel worthless. He is mic when he needs something and then switches once the task is complete. He has also slowly come to the point where he no longer apologizes for any of the thugs he does above. Life is suffocating in this house. I am just starting to acknowledge the gravity of my situation. I need help but don’t necessarily know where to start.

  17. my ex deprived me everything he knew i liked, food i liked, music i liked, going out and doing things all our money even the money i earned and even asked for my tip money when i got home. he denied the kids activities and sports and he decided what clothes we would get etc… everything! I was a prisoner

  18. I was trying to find out (in case we ever split up) if my husband taking the one charger we have (my outlets have disappeared!) to work with him which he never has done before, is considered abusive. We have kids and one with special needs. What if there was an energency?

    • Depends on if he did it on purpose or not. Best thing to do is to get multiple chargers, 2 or 3, and hide them around the house. You most definitely need to have a phone available to you for emergencies.

  19. Anonymous says:

    My husband is just like this. He mainly withholds intimacy and sex. We haven’t had sex in 6 months for a variety of ‘reasons’ all produced by him…. He’s sick, tired, doesn’t trust me, finds me disgusting. I can’t believe I’m staying. He is the single most manipulative person I have ever met. It’s like I’m isolated without even realizing it’s happening. He trivializes all my concerns and emotions. If I bring anything up then he won’t talk about it. I’ve brought up therapy but he is unwilling. I’m so depressed. I’m the only one working and somehow I still feel worthless and like I don’t do enough around the house. I’m losing it.

    • anonymous says:

      I have been going through this with my husband for many years. We have been together since high school and are in our mid 30′ s. I constantly beg and ask him to change, but he does not. I have asked him to go a psychiatrist to see if he is bipolar. I have always made excuses for his behaviour. He never apologises for anything, and blames me for everything. He withholds his emotions with me and our 16 year old son. He states it is my fault that the relationship is this way. I have put up with his abuse for years. I am exhausted and emotionally numb at this point.

  20. my boyfriend gives me time and money, takes me to eat and we always talk on the phone he texts and tells me he loves me, but he wont touch me hug me back kiss me or have sex and its only been 4 months. Im not sure is there someone else because we are together so much and if there was he would just screw us both. I cant be in an unaffectionate relationship. he has done jail time and had some child molestation trauma by same sex predators so I wonder is his sexuality in question as well.

  21. Living with a person who finds so many ways to control and belittle you amazingly makes you smaller in your own eyes. I am always trying to not do the last thing that upset him and then there’s something new. I think I fell for the part where he constantly blames me because I thought that gave me a way to make things better. All I had to do was stop doing or being what he said. After 8 years, yes 8 years, the list of things I’ve changed has left me not knowing who or where the real me is. I’m outside the country and isolated by geography and language but finally managed to book a flight out. I have no idea what I’ll do when I land back in the States but I’ve decided that that challenge is better than staying in the constant degradation. He knows I’m leaving and says now that since I think he’s “bad” (his word) he’s withholding EVERYYHING and telling me of all that he ever did for me??? We’ve lived in horrible situations most of the 8 years but I managed with each one somehow. I relate to sooo many of the comments and stories and it is giving me strength to face this decision. I thank God for this format as I have almost no one to speak with as my emotions and mind are spinning. At 63 years old I spend a good deal of time kicking myself for being in this situation.

  22. Anonymous says:

    My partner of 4 years deprives me of sex 4 to 6 weeks at a time. Claims her back hurts, whatever but won’t do anything or see a sex therapist with me. I cannot go on this way. We once had sex once or twice a week. Lame excuse all the way around.

  23. This was a very validating article. You verbalized even the subtle means of communicating absolute rejection & deprivation by someone “supposedly” your closest intimate. Paradoxicaly, once made that chosen intimate, they proceed to alienate you from not only themselves, but humanity at large. As if you are a complete zero.. A cipher…..nothing….. Thank you.

    • Nov.3rd 2016 I’m some one who died inside .I was 19 year old when I met my abuser he is 16 year older than I .my abuser was someone my family grew up with he was also my old next door neighbor at the beginning of our dating he was kind, caring and our intmate life was on fire but as time went on we got serious enough to move into gather. I moved out of my parents time went on he started getting demanding of me to be more like a wife cook,clean,work there was times I would come home from the night shift and find liquor bottles, beer cans ashtrays all over the house and I confronted him about all of the mess and he would say O I had some of the guys over so of course I had to clean everything up and there was times I got so fed up with him I would move out and go back to my parents house to live he only lived down the street from my parents house so he would drive bye and come to my parents house begging me and telling me that he was sorry and I would go back to him everything was good for 1-2 months well. I became pregnant and then I told him that I was pregnant with my first child at this time I was 22 years old and I thought that he would be happy and change when I told him that I was pregnant he said I hate you then he got on the phone calling places up about abortions. it killed me inside, broken my heart he even accused me saying that my baby wasn’t his. I moved back to my parents house until my baby girl was 1 year old shortly after that he started to look for me saying that he’s sorry and for my to give him a chance to know his child my parents said that it’s only fair so he was good to my daughter and things was good again we lived together and after 1 year he and I got married 3 months after that he became abusive again and found out that he was married before and had a teen son my husband was in to drugs and alcohol and his ex-wife sends his teen son to live with us so what was I able to do it wasn’t the son’s fault and not only that the teen now has a step mom which I’m only 4 years older than him and a new sister so I thought that the teen should grow with his sister so I found work took care of my family but my husband began to say things to me like you need to keep the house clean when I get up in the morning I want breakfast on the table and I worked the midnight shit on my feet all night and I had to take care of my daughter which was already up needing to be changed and fed so my husband would take his son to breakfast and come back with nothing for me to eat and one day my husband was at work and the son said to me that his father had a lady over they spent the night in our bedroom together and let my daughter crying all night 3 day’s later I find out I’m pregnant again and I told him he said l’m not a baby sitter,he made me walk to work and back the neighborhood was very bad especially at night I had to walk through a lot of parking lots to get to work and he would make me walk to Dr’s appointments he never sat in a office to hear the baby’s heart beat instead when I walked back home he would say to me I can’t stand looking at you. your a fat pig I only had sex during my last pregnancy 1 time and it was for him not me now my 2 girls are 19 year old and 17 years old I’m 43 years old and he is 58 years old I had back surgery this year from my tail bone up to my mid back I had physical therapy and he tells me things like I’m not your taxi driver and I wish I could sit on my butt doing nothing he got drunk about 3 day’s ago and wanted sex I’m not completely recovered from surgery yet so that is still a little uncomfortable so I offered him oral and he wasn’t being gentle with me and he with holds sex he hasn’t touch me in 8 months and back then he said to me this will be quick and he said I don’t want to see your face well 3 days ago after offering oral he was saying things like I wish it was someone else and that this isn’t working for him and that he doesn’t want to see my surgery scar ever and I said what does that mean for me he said you figure it out and because I had physical therapy and he kept on making me cancel my therapy. I called up my physical therapy and canceled all of it .I was so hurt to do that because I loved my Dr she was great with me and talk to me. I have no friends no family other than my daughter’s but they have boyfriend’s and work, school no time for me and when they are gone my abuser he sits and complaints about everything and how I’m useless. I feel like the living dead, invisible with no one to talk to or any where to go.

      • AnnonymousJL says:

        Please let go of this man! You can start life again without him! You are still young enough!! I will pray for you! You did nothing to deserve this treatment. Please, leave!

  24. I can’t relate to the advice for withholding sex, I personally after17 years of this met by chance a nice guy and started sleeping with him and never once felt guilty,my then partner guessed due to my improved mental state and general happiness,then tried to become loving, I left him and haven’t looked back. shame I wasted so many years, but being with a regular person who I don’t feel is playing some master chess game with my sanity trying to always declare checkmate on my soul is the best thing. You get one chance be happy.

  25. Reading through these comments is certainly an eye opener. So many similarities to my life. Thought I was the only one who had these feelings. Feeling so inadequate…feeling so hopeless…a prisoner in my own home. I have been with my abuser for 30 years, married for 22. No matter what I did, it was not good enough. Mowed the lawn (5 acres) the comment I would get would be “You need to mow on the diagonal, so people can’t see your lines aren’t straight”, bale 10 acres of hay “You couldn’t blow off the baler?” I worked outside the home until the kids were about 2 and 6 and then decided I wanted to stay home and take care of my kids. My abuser was a truck driver and I felt the kids needed at least one full time parent. That’s when it started to get really bad. He cut off my access to the bank accounts by opening new ones in his name only. He spent all his free time with his buddies. He was so selfish, when my daughter fell 15 feet from the hay loft onto the cement, he couldn’t be bothered to even come to the ER. He finally filed for divorce (on my birthday). At first I was crushed !! I begged him to seek couples therapy. Now, weeks later and a lot of reflecting (still have not been served with papers) I told him last night I was done. No therapy (I will seek some for myself to help me through this event) I am looking forward to living for me…not is approval.

    • Good for you Mary. I am proud of you and the steps you are taking to break the cycle of abuse for you and your kids.

      Janet (Verbal Abuse Journals Mentor Supervisor)

  26. As a male these articles are so incredibly alienating towards men and lesbians. In the narrative the abuser is always male, the one being abused female. Does nobody find this disturbing? As a father and somebody who has been on the receiving end of these behaviors it is highly bothersome. Both to be invalidated by pronouns and to have a daughter viewed by default as a victim. Great information but not very inclusive to human beings.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I am in a marriage without any physical or emotional connections. Nearly 3 years since we have been intimate. Always has an excuse. I am relatively attractive lady, feeling very lonely. I know it’s nothing I did, or didn’t do, etc….. Hate thinking about divorcing him, but I can’t waste the rest of my life with a man who blames me for his life sucking. If I were alive in 1963. He wouldve blamed me for the Kennedy Assasination

  28. Anonymous says:

    I Think that I deserve Better…And I want to leave so bad…My Husband has issues that I can’t Fix…He like es to Sanative My Very existence..He is Insulting..He Spits o. Me.He Lies a out Everything..He is Truly…Evil…God Help Me….

    • Dear Anonymous, We are here for you. My name is Janet and I work here at Verbal Abuse Journals. Let me say that you definitely deserve better. You are worth so much more than his abuse. Have you ever created a Safety Plan? We have a great one here at Verbal Abuse Journals. Creating one helps you plan a safe escape and helps you take your power back which you definitely deserve. I encourage you to follow this link to create one. One you open the link please scroll to the bottom of the page to download it for free, Also we have a wonderful Mentoring Team here at Verbal Abuse Journals. We have a great group of women who have all been there and they will offer free guidance and support via email for as long as you need it. Having a good support system is paramount when dealing with an abusive relationship and we are here to help. If you would like to sign up please go to Please take care Janet

      • Michelle says:

        As a one whom has suffered Lifelong abuse,I prefer to consider myself a survivor.. The process I went through would have been virtually impossible had I not had someone in my life to care about what would happen to me..
        .only to be right back where I swore to myself I would never be again
        Turns out I suppose I am unlovable,and unwanted.I treated the man like a king.He tells me he treated other girlfriends better than he treated me..when we split up,I at first was confident I would be OK.but the emotional neglect from my childhood never allowed me to mature emotionally..and with no one,no support system,no friend,not a soul to care.. dealing with both parents deaths coupled with my sisters verbal,emotional and financial abuse. The lack of give a damn,from people who should,and lack of skills that I possess.I am like a 40+ emotionally retarded idiot with no reason to breathe….To hang on would require some reasoning as to the quality of life would follow…what in the hell do I do??
        Right now A MAN LIVES WITH ME..UNTIL TODAY I was led to believe I was involved in a real relationship that had substance…until today,there were things he mentioned that led me to believe I would be there in his future,Despite the facts he has totally taken advantage of everything I own,anything of value,,manipulated my disabilities ,and enjoys reopening emotional wounds and the agony I suffer as he pours salt into the core of it..I have No one.. I know only one option,It’s not conducive to life…what support group can teach me lifelong skills necessary to life a purposeful life?

  29. I have ‘suffered’ 10 years of total intimacy shut down by my husband. He has avoided any support or help and my life and mental wellbeing has been greatly affected. Totally stuck! I am not sure if I have the capacity to love any more…although I have total love for our son and devote my time and energy to him….

  30. WOW!!!!!!!!ThankYou all for sharing!! Reading all of your words really HELPED me So…MUCH!!!! It PROVED to me, I WAS NOT ALONE in my Suffering! No offense, I’m not implying I’m glad you all are suffering too, I’m just merely expressing my relief from being able to relate to everyone else’s suffering, due to being in ABUSIVE relationships. I, too, HAD BEEN (past tense), in an ABUSIVE partnership for 8 long traumatizing years, and managed to escape with my sanity still intact, and before I died!!! It must of been a Miracle which my dear Lord & Savior sent me from Heaven above. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and into my Life and Heart, and then, it happened!!! I was FREED! Jesus is the only Way, the Truth, and the Life. Thank You Jesus! Hallelujah! BLessed to be Abuse FREE! AMEN!

  31. Chris stewart says:

    Rather than him and he this article could use her and she in my case. It works both ways.

    • Yes it does work both ways. Kellie Jo just writes from her own experience where the abuser was a man, but definitely we recognize at Verbal Abuse Journals that the abuser can be female.

  32. Anonymous says:

    My husband controls all bank accounts and our 7000 dollar a month income thirteen years of living on 5 dollars for gas at a time having to BEG and argue for groceries etc it gets worse I recently asked for a divorce where I stand to walk with a considerable amount of money and alimony enough that I have a great chance of beginning a new life my problem is I need 2500 for a retainer and I have no access to this money how do I begin divorce proceedings if I can’t touch the money even though legally as his wife it is mine too? His verbal abuse and his stinginess is awful Is there a legal way to force him to give me money he makes 70000 a year and everything is paid for all property we cleared and developed together both of us worked but overtime I gave up because of the miserable conditions it takes an hour of arguing threats and begging just to get 100 dollars to feed myself and my son that 100 dollars is expected to last two weeks I am divorcing him but I can’t get my hands on the attorney retainer any advice would be greatly appreciated ty

    • Usually I wouldn’t recommend retaining an attorney on credit. However, as you’re married, you can use his income on an INDIVIDUAL credit application. I would be surprised if you didn’t qualify for one with a limit surpassing $2500. Don’t go through the bank he uses, and stay on top of the mail so he doesn’t see the card when it comes in. Anyone have another idea on how she can get her hands on some money without going into debt?

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