Domestic Violence/domestic abuse


QUESTION: Hiya I have been with my partner 9 years now we have had some good times and some very bad times!  He has always had a nasty side not physical but mentally. We have a little girl together and i have 2 teenage daughters to previous marriage.  He is fantastic with the girl we share but is awful n nasty to my oldest girl to the point wher she wants to move out and they hate each other and cannot be in same room as each other. He is on his 3rd last chance. We have recently split up because my daughter and i have had enough we just vant take it anymore he is just not right in his head! He is fine around people it when we alone at home controlling viscious statments shouting walking on eggshells just herendous it has got. He drinks and has had gambling issues which mounted uo to thousands! he promised me he would change lots of times but has not. This time we been split for a week and he is constantly crying texting callin begging and he gettin therapy this time and is adamant he a changed man already! he has accepted that he not right and has put me and my 17 year old daughter through hell!!!  He wont stop pestering me that itwill be different this time. When im not with him i am strong and believe h wont but when he in front of me begging n promising and crying i go to pieces and feel like im getting sucked in again.He wants me to forgt the past and move on but i cant. what should i do?? do you think he will change please ijust need an answer my friends say get rid but ishe going to change and will  b throwing 9 years away??
thank you.

ANSWER: Hi Sonia,

Thank you for writing and asking for some information or ideas of what to do. People as such usually NEVER change even with all of the promises. Some may change for a short period of time but many can NOT maintain permanent change. Checking back with him in a year or so to see if he has stuck with his counseling program may be an option but going back before that time will most likely be more of the same because change is very painful and difficult for these folks.

Usually the only way to keep people as such from pestering you is to block their emails, phone calls and have NO contact with them. Any contact tells them you are still interested and provides hope for them to get you back so breaking ALL ties will help break that bond. Locating a domestic violence shelter close to you will also provide you with information about stalking and pestering. Carrying a phone with you at all times and calling 911 if he comes around uninvited may be necessary for him to realize that YOU do NOT want any contact with him. Staying away is usually the best option.

Sounds as if you are making a good decision and if you have any other questions, please ask. Breaking the emotional attachment is going to take time and having NO contact will help make that happen quicker. Seeing an attorney to know your rights about the child in common would be also good to do. Just remember, you deserve the very best in life and so do your kids. Taking the steps that creates happiness and joy is in your power!

Much peace to you,

Coach Cathy,
Cathy Backlund, Life Coach, Specializing in Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence Education

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QUESTION: Hi again thank you for getting back to me so soon. My partner seems to think its not domestic abuse it was negative mind set and after his meeting with therapist his attitude has changed to a positive mind set. He is telling me that it was not him in his head and he didn't even know he was doing it and he didn't set out to do these thing intentional and he not a horrible person he a kind man should i believe him??  He is really getting to me using emotional blackmail saying don't send me back to B and B i am all on my own and it cold and dark and he lonely. He is filling my head with everything i want to hear holidays walks out as a family no drinking i can have money i don't have to work till 1 in the morning because he earns enough for us both and our family. Can you see what he is doing is he manipulating my thoughts??  or is it possible he means it??  He has even managed to convince my daughter that he will change when he around and i almost feel happy for a while and then when i have time for me to think all these thoughts come rushing back. How can it be just stress from work he puts it after 9 years of it. He wasn't stressed when we first got together about work only in last couple of years but he has done nasty things and said the cruelest of things to me and my daughter he even shouted to her "I despise you" "your an ungrateful bitch" he didn't know she had recorded it 4 me to hear! this all happened when i work till 1am when he found out she had recorded it he blackmailed her with money for a bus pass so she could go see her friends to delete it. Please what do i do it sound terrible when written down and if it was someone else statement i would be mortified and shouting at computer screen to leave him!!!!!but because i am living it, it seems different! is this normal! after hearing all this is it possible he will change???  i am sorry to have to keep asking nut i got no 1 to talk to and i need independent advice from someone who doesn't know me. Thank you for listening reading and helping me with my situation.

ANSWER: Hi Sonia,

Domestic abuse is when a person routinely hurts their partner using words, actions or silence that controls their partner’s emotions in order to get one’s way. It is a one-sided relationship with very little concern for their partner’s feelings, wants and needs. Then when that partner decides they have had enough, then the emotional blackmail begins which is another technique to control their partner’s emotions. Emotional blackmail includes guilt trips, unfulfilled promises, insincere apologies, crying, anger, threats, etc, etc again behaviors performed to get what THEY want.

The only way to know if he will change is to have him prove it to you. Check back in a year or so to see if he has completed his therapy sessions which usually take at least a year to complete and see if all of the abusive behavior and emotional blackmail stops and are replaced with him treating you with love and respect. That is your test.

Accepting him back now will only be more of the same. Just remember, it is NOT your fault that he behaves in this manner and it is HIS responsibility to get the needed help if he really wants to change. I know you have had some good times with him, but looking at the whole package and ask yourself if you want to live this way for the rest of your life will give you the answers you are looking for. Also, your children need a positive role model so they can learn and know what a healthy relationship is as well. Living in an abuse-free environment is the goal for you and your kids.

Keep listening to your inner voice and knowledge like you are doing. You know deep down that this is emotional blackmail—you know you would tell other to leave him if you saw this happening to others—you know that he most likely will never change--believe it, accept it and walk away as quickly as you can and don’t look back. Looking back is what keeps you wondering and attached. That is why the NO contact rule is necessary to break the unhealthy bond of attachment. Keep telling yourself you deserve to live in a happy and joyous relationship and so do your kids!

It is normal to feel confused and being around others who understand will help you get through this. Here is a website for more information and support: and contact a domestic violence shelter for free guidance and counseling to help create a "safety plan" as you move forward.

Please keep asking questions and remember living in a emotionally "safe" and healthy enviornment will give you and your kids the life you are looking for!

Much Peace,

Coach Cathy,
Cathy Backlund, Life Coach, Specializing in Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence Education

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Cathy again! i am so confused he is telling me he has a mental health problem and he didnt know he was doing it and he seems quite adament on that. Because when he isnot  there he is constantly texting and calling and when he is there in my face following me from room to room for 2 3 hours at a time! begging and repeating everything he saying! He said he thinks he got bipolar but how can he pick and choose then when he ok when he wihhis friends and when his family or anyone around and gets awful to just me and my oldet daughter and doesnt to the middle one and his little girl?? just think its strange.He saying i cant turn my back on him he iss poorly  he is scared of what going tohappen to him etc etc. Is it possible that he didnt know what he was doing? and is it possible that he didnt set out to hurt anyone? and he didnt see it happening? and he says that wasnt him? At firsthe tried saying it was negative mind set! now he saying mental illness im not sure as you can tell! is he just sayin this to get me to feel sorry for him or could he be telling the truth? Telling me the best way for him to change is support and love from me and the girls not for us to just abandon him! he telling me to check websites but im so unsure! Thank you so much for your answers you help me clear my head.

Hi Sonia,

Most people who abuse usually have mental health issues. Most people with mental health issues can NOT and do NOT change. Most who start the counseling program do not complete the program because it is too difficult and painful for them. Most then want their partner to learn to live with and accept their abusive ways because they can’t learn self impulse control to stop harmful and hurtful behavior.

The question to you is do you want to live with someone who has these issues? Do you want your children to be around someone who is hurtful towards them while seeking counseling? This type of behavior does NOT change overnight—it may take a year or so for you to see significant change if he completes the program.

Instead of him following you around from room to room, constantly texting and calling you, begging you to support him and telling you he didn’t know he was behaving in such manner, he needs to be proving himself to you by enrolling and attending counseling classes. Has he done that yet? Has he enrolled into a program for abusive people with mental health issues?

If he had, he would find out in these sessions that his behavior of guilt tripping you, promises he will get better or change, and how he needs you to support him need to stop. He would find out that he needs to stop pressuring you, making you feel bad or guilty and get to work on helping himself learn self impulse control to stop the abusive behavior. Can you see the difference? He needs to prove to you that he can make long lasting change so that he no longer harms you or the children.

The most effective program is to stay away while he is going through treatment. Then if he changes, you can re-evaluate the way he treats you and your children and then decide if you want him part of your life. That is your choice. If he doesn’t complete the program, then you are ahead of the game and can move on with your life. The bottom line is committing to being around people who treat you and all of your children with love and respect.

Guilt tripping you for abandoning him is not love and respect. Following you around room to room and constantly texting you is not love and respect. Begging you to support him after the abuse he has done is not love and respect. Love and respect is taking responsibly for his actions and behavior and enrolling into a counseling program to work on his mental health issues alone. That is love and respect--working on being a better person who does not harm others.

Building a healthy life for you and your children is your responsibility as a parent and your goal. Protecting them and yourself from such abuse is also your responsibility and your goal. Staying away while he completes his program will do just that. You are protecting yourself and your family with having NO more abuse in your household. Having no more abuse is necessary for a happier and joyful life for you and your children.

Keep strong and move forward--the answers will be there for you.

Much peace to you,

Coach Cathy,
Cathy Backlund, Life Coach, Specializing in Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence Education  

Domestic Violence

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Cathy Backlund, Life Coach in Abuse & Domestic Violence


Are you feeling confused, angry, scared or hurt? Are you being yelled at, hit, threaten or told what to do? Do you worry or fear the safety of yourself, your family or pets? These are all signs of an abusive relationship, and I can help you determine if you are in an unhealthy or dangerous situation. No one deserves to live a life filled with fear, pain and abuse, and I am here to help you find ways for a better life--everyone deserves to live a life without fear and abuse. Your questions will be answered with honesty and respect. Please ask questions today to help you find better ways to live a more loving and happier life for you and your family. Let me help you!


I am a Certified Life Coach Specializing in Abuse and Domestic 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 www.DomesticViolence-Education.

•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 Education •Sexual Violence Core Training from Florida Council Against Sexual Violence •High Risk Domestic Violence Training by Lundy Bancroft and Sarasota Police Department, 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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