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Abusive Relationships/Is this emotional abuse?


I am married 17 years, and lately things have gotten pretty bad. I don't know, I used to take insults better, but lately it's as if I have had enough, especially when I wore a holter monitor and noticed how my heart rate skyrocketed when we had discussions: so here's just a little list of what he does:

He doesn't want me touch the car. We got this new leased car, I can't eat in it, I can't walk by it, I can't touch it (to make a picture I couldn't lean my hand on it)

Today he got pissed of at me cause I touched my pants when I was gardening and he thought they were dirty with dirt.

He doesn't like that I talk to my mom in Italy (77 years old) on the phone for about an hour every day.

He doesn't like that my dad (82) asks me how much I make every day working online, (he asks cause he's proud of me and it makes him happy and chuckles when I make good money).

I asked him if he would do counseling to save out marriage, he doesn't want to do it, but he also doesn't try to change.

Lately he says he can't tell me anything anymore as I get pissed off. (I am tired of hearing him dictate what I should do)

We had a big fight cause he wanted me to wash my hands when I came home from grocery shopping (I wasn't eating or cooking) just going to my office to work and I pet my dogs often so useless to me washing my hands.

He doesn't want me to eat on the couch.

He got really mad when one day I accidentally burned a paper towel while I was cooking.

He makes me feel guilty for leaving him to go see my parents in Italy. I am seeing them in 10 days, haven't seen them in 2 years and they are old and I love them very much.

I noticed lately I often swallow when I talk to him as if I am scared to say stuff at times.

He hates if I tell him to do something, but then he can tell me what to do most of the time.

Once he got pissed on me cause I walked with my shoes in the bed room. I won that though and said that if I couldn't walk there with my shoes, then the dogs shouldn't be allowed there either.

He often talks bad about my mom and dad. Gosh, it's thanks to them that we are living mortgage free and they bought us a house. I think he's so ungrateful. It's always as if he is jealous of them.

I caught him watching porn twice even though he knew that would break my heart. When I caught him be lied to my face even though there was proof.

I though he cheated on me once but he had his boss tell me it's not true, I never will know the truth.

When we have a fight, we don't talk for all day, and it makes me sick to my stomach. He instead just plays games and watches TV while I am sick and crying and my heart rate is high.

When we fight he tells me to go to Italy for a vacation, but then he says he says that he didn't really mean it.

We work at home, so spend 24 hours together in the same office, this is the good thing, I think many couples can't do that. We have big fights about once a month, mostly when I can no longer take his criticism.

I have no friends and the only people I talk to is my mom. I keep everything inside. I am tempted to talk to my mom about what's going on when I go  to visit her and think things over and maybe stay there for good, but I hate leaving my dogs which I love very much and are old.

I have no idea if this is emotional abuse, have nobody to talk to, compare things. I always thought I would divorce if I caught him cheating on me with proof or if he laid his hands on me. So I feel confused.

Today, I feel like I came to realize that I love him more and this is a unilateral relationship.

I often lately feel like there's no more love, but when I feel like leaving him, it stresses me out and I feel terrible and cry. I don';t have the strength to do it, we have no kids, only the dogs. I don't miss him much anymore when I go away to see my parents.

Thank you for writing and getting some ideas of what is going on. Your statement of “I used to take insults better” tells me that you have probably been in an emotionally abusive relationship for a very long time. Sounds as if you are beginning to take off the rose colored glasses and feel the emotional harm of such treatment. All of this is the normal progression of telling you that something has to change for your emotional well-being. It is also very normal to feel confused about the loss of “love” that you once thought was love.

Also, the thought of “change” for most people is terrifying and most likely causing lots of emotional stress for you. My suggestion is to see a professional counselor to help you sort out these feelings and help you set some goals to move you in the direction of a happier and healthier life.

Below is a link to a free newsletter and an online counselor who understands emotional abuse. Reading these newsletters will help understand emotional abuse.

Another are a couple more links that may be of interest as well:

Just remember, you have the power to make the change that needs to happen for a happier and healthier life. It is OK to feel these things and want a better life. And it is ok to cry. Reaching out today is the first step. Taking the next step with seeing a professional counselor will provide you with the answers and direction you are looking for.

Much peace to you!

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Cathy Backlund, Life Coach in Abuse & Domestic Violence


Are you unsure if you are living in an abusive relationship? Are you feeling confused, angry or hurt and don't know what to do? I can help you determine if you are in an abusive or unhealthy relationship and provide suggestions on how to create a plan for your happiness, health and well-being! Please ask questions to find out answers today! Everyone deserves to live life with happiness and joy, and I am here to help you. Are you ready to find out how you can live a better and happier life? If you are, please ask your questions today!! Asking and finding the answers you are looking for is the first step to improve you joy and happiness!


I am a Certified Life Coach Specializing in Prevention and Education of Domestic Abuse and Violence.

•SPARCC (Safe Place And Rape Crisis Center), Sarasota, FL •CAT (Sarasota Violence Prevention Community Action Team) •Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence •Guardian Ad Litem 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida

Please visit my webpage for more information and articles about abusive relationships and domestic violence at or I am here with you, while you find answers that help you!

•B.S. from Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA •Core Competency Course from the Shelter for Abused Women and Children, Naples, FL •Life Coach Training from Changepoint Coaching & Consulting Association •Advanced Training from The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction & Public Pathology •Sexual Violence Core Training from Florida Council Against Sexual Violence •High Risk Domestic Violence Training by Lundy Bancroft and Sarasota Police Dept, FL •Court Assistance Training from SPARCC (Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center, Sarasota, FL •Principles of Prevention by The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) •Guardian Ad Litem 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida

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