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But He Has Never Actually Hit Me.

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This is one of the phrases that victims of domestic abuse regularly say. ‘He did this, he did that, he took my children, he told me I was mad, a bitch, stupid, incapable… But he has never actually hit me…’

The complete misconception that physical abuse is the only form of domestic abuse worth talking about is still frighteningly prevalent.

We at MSV feel very strongly that before anyone is ever hit, there are other forms of abuse, and often, never any physical abuse of any kind. Violence can be expressed in many, many different ways.

Victims of abuse are rarely aware that they are being abused. In a normal, healthy, loving relationship, there is a sharing. A sharing that is almost imperceptible. A sharing of ideas, opinions, responsibility and love.

In an abusive relationship, though it would first appear that this is happening, very, very slowly over time the sharing is stopped.

It may be something little, a small disagreement. He is displeased with something she did. A disproportionate reaction. The first one. This leaves the victim feeling confused and worried and probably a little scared. It is often resolved quickly, apologies are dished out, gifts bought or favours promised. A lavish bunch of flowers to say how very ‘sorry’ he was for over reacting. Attention and admiration are adorned upon the victim, making her feel safe again, helping her to forget that first reaction. The victim writes it off. ‘It was a one off’ they tell themselves. ‘He’s had a bad day at work’ they think.

And life, for a while, returns to normal.

Another explosion, the victim is taken by surprise. She thought everything was ok, but it’s not. Clearly not. She’s upset him again, she’s sorry. She didn’t mean to upset him so much. She didn’t realise something so small would hurt him so badly. He forgives her, wipes her tears, tells her it isn’t her fault, she wasn’t to know. But she does now.

Over time these incidents happen with increasing regularity. Perhaps it starts out as the same thing each time. Then perhaps it migrates to other things. First it was the messy house, so she cleans up the mess. Then the TV is too loud, so she makes sure the TV isn’t too loud. The kids are too disruptive at dinner, so she calms them down and then worries all through dinner that she’s not keeping them quiet enough for him.

In tiny, creeping incremental stages, control is established. Little things, unimportant things.

‘Oh, he’s just funny about these things, I don’t mind doing the extra, it keeps the peace. Men, eh?’ she says and she rolls her eyes.

One little give from her. One little step forward for him. Two, three, ten, fifteen, twenty… And before she knows it, a million little things have taken over her life.

‘I must make sure of this, check that, oh no I forgot to do this!’

And still, no matter how many things she does right, there is always something else. He keeps changing the goal posts. She thinks she’s done it all right and, BOOM, something else. He tells her she is stupid, thoughtless, inconsiderate. He says he wonders why he ever puts up with her, no one else would. He oozes discontent. Without saying a word she knows he’s unhappy with something and it’s her job to find out what and rectify it. She knows the price she will pay if she doesn’t. She becomes anxious, nervous and worried. He asks he what her problem is. When she answers he tells her he takes such good care of her, he doesn’t know what her problem is, everyone gets cross occasionally.

He decides today she is on a pedestal, the best thing that has ever happened to him, without her he would be nothing, he praises her and her skills and makes her feel special. Then the next day she is stupid and useless again.

He shouts and screams and then apologises and ‘makes it up’ to her. But after a while even that stops. Now he just refuses to accept that it ever happened. He makes excuse after excuse. He says it was only because of the traffic that day, or he didn’t sleep that well, so he’s tired, or he needs some sex, ‘you know what I’m like when I don’t get enough sex’.

He confuses her. She is struggling to keep track of what is next, her life becomes about avoiding his temper about maintaining the peace. Her anxiety, depression or panic attacks become an almost daily occurrence. He says she should see someone about that, he can’t stand her being so miserable, she used to be so much fun. That’s why he’s so angry, he feels cheated. The woman he adores is not the same woman she used to be. What is her problem?

He tells her she is unstable and needs help. His help. He says there’s something wrong with her head. He takes the reigns of the finances, tells her she’s in no state to deal with such important things. He says he is looking after her, making sure she is safe from herself. Because he loves her.

He tells her she’s too stupid to know what’s going on. He says that she is the one with the mental health issues, not him. He says she ought to look at herself. He says she is pathetic, crying all the time. He says she is weak. This is why he has to do what he does. If she would just pull herself together, then he wouldn’t be so angry all the time. He says everyone knows she’s mad, and she should be grateful that he is still here. He says anyone else would leave her.

He shouts, why can’t she think of him? Why doesn’t she realise how she makes him feel? After everything that he has done for her. She’s told she is ungrateful, her behaviour is disgusting, everyone thinks so, not just him, everyone. Her friends, her family, everyone that she knows thinks she’s pathetic. He tells her they told him. He says that he defended her, and told them they shouldn’t say that. He says that she just needs his help. He says if only she would let him help her she would be ok.

Abuse is insidious. Women from all walks of life fall prey to it. This is just an example of how control is established before anyone’s fist gets planted in anyone else’s face. If, indeed, it ever does.

Abusers are not out of control, mindless thugs, they are doctors, solicitors, unemployed, sportsmen, couch potatoes, comedians, chefs, builders, painters. They drive sports cars, they don’t drive at all. They have degrees, they have no formal education. They’re tall, they’re short. They don’t fit a stereotype anymore than the victims do.

And they are NOT out of control.

Emotional, verbal, sexual, financial, psychological, spiritual, physical… to name just a handful. Abuse has many, many different forms, and within those forms so many different expressions

‘But he never actually hit me…’

He doesn’t need to hit you to be abusive. Fact.

***

Abuse happens in all kinds of relationships, though abusers are often men and victims are often women, we know very well that this is not always the case.

***

We are looking for your stories of abuse to feature. Many small voices make one LOUD voice.

Domestic abuse damages in whatever form and here at Many Small Voices we hope to gather the stories of those who have survived abuse into one resource to help and support those who are still victims. We also hope to support survivors through recovery once the abuse has stopped because the scars are still there and will remain forever. Support after abuse is just as important.

We are not experts, just people who are passionate that domestic abuse, in whatever form it takes, must be stopped.

If you think you or someone you know needs help please take a look in our links page to find a list of organisations that strive to help support victims of abuse.

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A network committed to speaking out about domestic abuse and offering support. Many small voices can make one big voice.

58 thoughts on “But He Has Never Actually Hit Me.

  1. I was in a very mentally abusive relationship for many years but after friends intervened I learned none of it was my fault I just let myself get treated that way for so long because I thought it was all because of me and that he was perfect and I was to blame. You are worth more than you think you are. Everyone needs to hear that everyday.

  2. No, he never actually hit me.

    He never worked, but spent money I earned with utter disregard. He sped on the highway without slowing down to punish me. He left horrid voice mails for me at work during fights at night, so that I would get them the next day. He ripped the clothes I had laid out to wear. He dumped water on me. He told lies about me to friends and neighbors, family and community members. He lied in court. He cornered me in locked rooms. He fought with me mercilessly whenever I tried to do any kind of enriching activity out of the house. He broke photographs and dishes. He once broke his wedding ring. He tripped me or stepped on my heels when I tried to get away during fighting, then said it never happened. He called me every name imaginable, and some that are beyond imaginable.

    No he never hit me. He screwed up once when he was trying to scare me, but that was an accident. He didn’t actually hit me. If he was going to hit me, I would know it.

    He threatened to shoot me. He pulled a knife on me. He restrained me. He scratched me. He pushed me. He let the car roll backwards so the door would bump me when I was getting out. He threw me out of the house. He strangled me with our year old daughter in my arms.

    But he never actually hit me.

  3. This is something that I suffered at the hands of for 12 years until we had a child and the verbal and emotional abuse worsened. It took me having my daughter to see what was going on and I left when she was three months old. I wish many more people would understand that abuse doesn’t mean physical. Thank you for writing this.

  4. I have come across this so many times, I used to work as a family law solicitor and would hear this trip off the mouths of so many of my clients. I make a point now of referring to it as domestic abuse and not violence, hopefully with posts and information like this more people will start to have an understanding that abuse is not always physical!

  5. What you say is SO true – I am a survivor of domestic abuse and I also underestimated and minimised for years the level of abuse I endured. I thought that because i never ended up at the emergency room I was let off lightly and not really a battered wife. I see now that that is a huge misconception and that the emotional, verbal and mental batterings I endured were just as harmful and cruel – http://www.thetiltedroom.wordpress.com

  6. I loved this its very well written and explained. As a lifetime domestic violence survivor and advocate and writer for dv awareness charities its always nice to see people speaking out and helping. I wrote a piece on my blog on the early signs of dv that still proves popular. Will re tweet this for others to read
    Missy xox

  7. This is so true! The abuser always makes out like the abuser is the victim, and the abuser is the only one allowed to have feelings. Abusive moms are like this, they use their feelings to bludgeon kids: you hurt me, you are ungrateful, you are always making my life difficult, I’m in so much pain, you have to be quiet, you are so vindictive, you are so nasty, you are bossy, you never help, you just make more work for me, etc. Everyone else goes numb trying to live as if everything is happy when there’s rot at the core. If we pretend to be happy, maybe today will be a good day.

      1. You can just be honest: Your mom needs help. More help than we can give her. What we are trying to do for her is not working. She is not able to look past her own problems to see to your needs, and that is not how you should be treated. You deserve to be treated well, and I am going to try to make that happen. We can feel compassion for your mother because she is so unhappy, but we don’t need to hate her or be unhappy forever for her sake. If she was well, she would love us because we are terrific, but since she is not able to treat us well, we need to move on and find a way to be happy.

        Having you on her side is an enormous asset to getting over abuse and not repeating it into the next generation. The farther you are away from it, the more strong days, and the less sad or weak days. It’s always a rollercoaster ride to recover from daily abuse, though, and don’t lose hope on the bad days. They get less and less frequent as you rebuild a safe place for yourself and your daughter.

        I wish you luck, and I feel like giving you and your daughter enormous hugs.

        Brenda

  8. The title to this post totally grabbed me. I was in an abusive relationship for a year and have been out for two years though I am still dealing with the fallout because of the VPO (restraining order) I got against him, his violation of it, and the fact that he was terminated from our mutual place of employment because of all this and I had to testify against him in his lawsuit for wrongful termination. Throughout this WHOLE ordeal that is something his attorney always tries to throw at me– that he didn’t *technically* hit me, though there was other physical violence and countless mental and emotional abuse and threats. It can make it very difficult to wrap your mind around what has truly happened to you to the point where you can confidently say it was wrong.

    In the next few months I actually have to go back to court because he has filed a motion to vacate the restraining order. I know I will have to deal with this same question– as well as the “why did you stay for so long?” but reading posts like these provide encouragement.

  9. I saw this on JeanneMarie blog. This is a wonderful post. Amazing how we think that makes a difference not being hit. But words and acts are like a punch in the gut we seem to grow accustom to! Well said! 🙂

  10. Thank you for this article. It has put into words what I have been trying to write for a while. I had a boyfriend once who spent a month making me feel like the sexiest, most interesting person on the planet then the next month bullying me into renting a flat with him that I couldn’t afford. For the next 3 months I was the emotional wreck described on this blog; he’d shut away my friends and family, I’d be screamed at for tiny things like not doing the washing up properly. It even got to the point that if I was ever home alone I would just sit on the sofa as I didn’t feel I deserved to listen to music or watch tv.

    Then one day I just snapped. Told him he was a bully and that I was leaving. He occasionally tries to contact me and says things like “just wondering if it’s safe for me to contact you yet” like it’s all my fault and I’m being unreasonable.

    It’s funny because when I was with him he’d tell me all about these exgirlfriends of his that “went crazy” and I guess I’m just another crazy to him. At least me and all my friends know the truth.

    I’m sorry to all the ladies that have had to suffer this for many years. I feel very lucky my nightmare lasted merely a few months. All I can say is your friends and family DO love you and WILL be there for you whenever you find the strength to leave!

  11. I never realized until recently that what goes on in my marriage qualifies as domestic abuse. The few times she actually struck me were ‘accidents.’ I see now that driving recklessly when angry, threats, and intimidation tactics are all forms of violence, with the same goals in mind: manipulation of the victim.

    After reading Brenda’s comment above, helps me recognize and identify that my daughter has also been a victim of my wife’s abuse.

  12. It is always such a relief to read such articulated pieces like this. It puts into words the life I lived for 9 years . I have four small children and constantly wonder if I did the right thing by leaving their father. When I am close to giving up because life is too hard, I find articles like this that then reinforce and compound the reasons for which I left him. Life with constant abuse was far, far worse than coping now as a single mum with four kids.

    1. And yet today, I feel different again. Today, I feel that I am not a very good mother to my lovely children. Today, I feel I am denying them their right to a mum and a dad under the same roof. Today, I feel like I am the lesser parent, the one who isn’t as much fun, the one who can not take care of them as well as their father can. Today, is a day that I feel I should go back to him and put up with life so that I can give the children the deserving family life that they all crave. My daughter idolises her father while holds me with disdain and dislike. My youngest son asked if he could “live with daddy forever” and my two oldest boys are worryingly indifferent. Today, I feel that everything my ex-husband said I was is true – I am not a good mother, I am lazy, I am selfish, I don’t care for my children, I don’t do enough with them, I am not a good wife, I am frigid, I am over dramatic, I can not cope…..Today, maybe he is right.

      1. Yes, I know how that feels. It takes time to get over any abuse. And having children does make it hard because they cannot understand the extent of what you went through. I can only say, hang on in there. You have the right to live unimpeded by abuse. As do your children. Feel free to email at smallvoicesspeakingout@gmail.com.

        Much love,

        MSV Team.

        Sent from my iPad

        >

  13. I know I had a lucky escape. I used this phrase so much, I wouldn’t leave him, there was still hope, he never hit me. We were married 15 months, split on our 5th anniversary. He had the mood swings of a teenage girl! He would scream at me as he drove me to work, my job was to MC parties and I would be shaking before I got there. I used to love the days when I had to call in at my boss’ house on the way because her husband always knew how to make me smile (as he did for my boss when she was going to work). We were each other’s only partner as we’d done the whole waiting thing, but he used to offer me out. Fortunately the people he offered me to knew it would not be a good idea with him.

    I do wonder what would have happened if we had stayed together, but only for a moment, then I remember what I have now and I’m glad I have this life.

  14. Thank you for sharing this, I have been through this twice, my first husband, and then again very recently. Other people saw the abuse with the first husband, the most recent one…very few people could/can see it. I am still trapped, even though it has eased off…circumstances have changed a bit, so it isn’t as often, but I still live with the fear, and it still pops up from time to time. I am trying to get away, but I have been put into a position that I haven’t been able to find a job, and even though he says he wants me to move, and I “need” to move, he will even pay for it…he wont pay for anything he doesn’t approve of, or isn’t a total rat hole. He also wont help me look for a place. I just don’t know how to get away. But I am trying. This kind of abuse makes you feel hopeless, and worthless.

  15. betherinahq, I was in exactly the same position as you but it lasted a year and a half and, I’m ashamed to say, it wasn’t me who ended it. All the events were the same but then one night he got mad, hit my head against the oven and called a friend in the middle of the night to get me before chucking me out in my pyjamas with just a plastic bag of belongings. The next day he changed his mind, saying I’d pushed him to it and wanted me back but my parents had already got all my things and wouldn’t let me go back, thankfully.

    I didn’t realise that throughout the relationship my family and friends were terrified for me and my friends had met to discuss staging an intervention. I had to take time of work as I had ME and my parents made me stay with them for 6 months so I wouldn’t go back. Even to this day I’d always thought it wasn’t that big a deal and that it wasn’t real abuse until I read this article, and especially betherinahq’s post. Brilliant and all so true.

  16. I have to comment on this. it sounds exactly like MY life. I took it and took it – – the name calling, the insults, the daily criticisms about how I did something wrong AGAIN (even when I tried to do EVERYTHING to please him so he wouldn’t get mad). I walked on eggshells every day. I feel worthless.

    The entire 15 months with him – – – I thought I’d lost my mind. My sanity. My heart and soul.
    Nothing I ever did was right. Everything I did was WRONG.

    One day (on THANKSGIVING NIGHT of all days !), he got violent and pushed a bag in my face. He smashed my computer and broke the monitor. He also damaged the walls in my apartment (by smashing the computer up against it). He spit on the floor and on my computer desk monitor. He threatened to put out ashes on the floor from a lit cigarette unless I handed him the ashtray RIGHT then and there.
    It was a horrific night, as he blasted the Television SO LOUD (max volume) and he was SO DRUNK during it all… slurring and slamming things. Telling me he was going to smash the computer over my head.

    Yes, I called the cops. I filed an RO immediately. But – – – of course – – – I UNDID it (asked the judge to vacate it) a week later. The judge looked so disappointed – – so confused. He even asked me – – after he called you Whore and Bitch – – you REALLY SURE you want him back again. Are you sure???

    And sure enough – – I took him back.

    Yesterday, I finally told him to leave (yet, the gravitational pull of wanting him back is STILL with me – – my self esteem is clearly VERY poor). I threw his stuff in the kitchen. He started grabbing things of mine and destroying them. I ALMOST called the cops on him (but didn’t, because I didn’t want him to go to jail). I WISH I DID call the cops. But my heart didn’t want me to do i

    So, I understand this article COMPLETELY. I’m living it. It’s a nightmare. I’m glad he’s gone because I have peace. But there’s a hole in my heart because I want him back.

    The cycle of abuse. I hate myself for accepting it. I want to be stronger than this.

    1. I know how you feel! I wanted my guy back and was so heartbroken when I finally had to leave. But it’s been 4 months now and I’m finally at a place where I am actually glad I got out when I did, before he killed me. I like you never wanted to call the cops because of the humiliation from the neighbors and stuff. But by not doing so I dd myself a great injustice. I found out recently that he had been in the pen for 18 months before we met for repeated DWI’s. I could have sent him back for 20+ ears for the domestic abuse he dealt out to me. Don’t beat yourself up about missing him. I try to plan things with friends each week, just one small something like dinner or a movie or shopping, just anything to have something to look forward to. Time does heal your wounds. Be strong!

  17. Another quick comment I’d like to add…

    Make sure you DO check his “criminal” background. An abuser will get VERY mad at you for doing this (because he usually has a big rap sheet to hide). SO…be very cautious and private about checking this. I suggest you wait until he is not around (of course), and look up his criminal record online in your state (and/or the state in which he used to live). You can find ALOT of criminal online databases in many states. (some states, unfortunately don’t give you access).

    Well, I researched…. And I found out he had three domestic violence incidents. and two restraining orders from other women. And one other for violence and disturbing the peace in public, while intoxicated.

    Yes, the offenses were 15 years ago, but still – – – The time that’s passed doesn’t mean a damn thing. Often times, a violent past will mean a violent present – – and future.

    P.S. Ex wives and girlfriends usually WON’T tell you about his abuse or criminal history. That’s because the ex’s are usually too afraid of him, to tell you. Or because they have a child with him, and they don’t want to make waves.

    P.P.S. I made the mistake of confronting him about his record. He called me “the investigator” and then got REALLY angry with me. He started telling me I was “crazy”, “paranoid”, “psycho” and that it’s “none of my business”, and not to judge him by his past.

    Well, duh, how could I NOT judge him from his past… And he only makes it worse by PRESENTLY engaging in the SAME EXACT abusive behavior TODAY!

    WE HAVE A RIGHT TO BE PROTECTED. TO RESEARCH HIS CRIMINAL BACKGROUND IS TO GAIN KNOWLEDGE OF WHO YOU ARE WITH. THAT IS YOUR RIGHT. IT IS PUBLIC RECORD.

  18. I just got out of a VERY abusive relationship that lasted for four years. He never hit me but he did call me a cunt, a whore, a bitch and a worthless piece of shit. He slammed doors and cabinets and broke full length mirrors. Knocked in the bedroom door and smashed up the garage doors with his vehicle trying to get to me while I was usually baracaded in a room. He never hit me he just verbally abused me until the day came when he pulled a loaded gun on me. He was a drunk and never remembered any of this and if he did he was sorry and was gonna change. The gun incident was the final straw. Now I am free from his abuse and able to live my life quietly and peacefully. It was hard at first but now I am finding some inner peace and tranquility. I thought if he loved me enough he would see what his drinking and rages did to us but that never happened. I had to get out for my own sake and I am soooo glad I did. He hasn’t changed! Occasionally I will get drunk calls and/or texts from him so I blocked him and cut him out of all phases of my life. He doesn’t have the power to hurt me anymore and he doesn’t like that.

    1. How long did it take you to stop thinking of him all the time ? it has only been a few months and even though I know I am so much better off without him I still miss him,he is schizophrenic and a narcissistic so there is no doubt it’s the best thing for me but I am still so angry and so hurt and I don’t want him in my thoughts and it doesn’t seem to be going away .

      1. It’s been 6 months now and I still think about him. Although not all the time as of late but I still think of him often. Since I’ve moved out of his house I can see things more clearly now and realize that he was not worth my tears. He still tries to draw me back in by sending me pictures of the dog and saying he loves and missed me. And I also get drunk texts from him spouting the same old anise only now I just turn my phone off. He lives for the drama of the fights he instigates and now he can no longer get to me thus the texts.

        I am not unhappy anymore and realize what my daddy always told me “no one will take care of you but you.”

        I have been on a few dates and was treated like a princess and it felt weird but now I know how a “normal” date is supposed to go. Plus I am loving living alone. I can do whatever I want when I want. I try to plan something each month to look forward to. And I surround myself with supportive friends.

        It does get better with time.

  19. My name is Gayl and I was engaged to a schizophrenic narcissist and I totally lost myself and I am a strong person and I loved this man so much but he did ruin my life but it’s just over 3 months on and I am starting to rebuild my life now and I did not see the abuse until he was out of my life and it was all about him and he put me down so much and I felt all my fight had gone but it really hadn’t,getting my life back now shows that I can get my life back because I am not fighting his comments and put downs and I thank god for making him leave my life !!

  20. Hi thank you for your reply,I still find it hard at times when I am alone but I am in no doubt that this man will never change and that he did me a massive favour getting out of my life although I didn’t see at the time because he did drag me down so much and I totally lost the person that I was. I am now turning my life back around to where I was before I met him and am having more good times than bad now and life is getting better all the time and I know 100 % if he was still in my life I would still be going through the same hell that I was going through then and his behavior will never ever change.Life is way too short to let anyone turn you into someone else which is just what the evil swine did to me .

  21. I know that my boyfriend is abusive at first it was verbal which was the worst for me, now that it is physical it can only
    Get worse.
    I am constantly in defense mode and now very afraid of him or what he will do. I know I need help dealing with this
    Before its to late.

      1. Just got back from a week in Maui with good friends. Something I would have never been able to do if I was still with my ex. It’s been almost 9 months since I ran for my life and my life is soooo much happier now. I’ve totally purged him from my life. I block his calls and texts but left him as a friend on Facebook (only because I wanted him to see how much fun I was having without him). While in Hawaii I made a comment about how beautiful it was there and I guess he blocked me because I can’t see his profile any longer. Oh well! It was for the best and at his doing. I am now going to return to my life and start living again!

  22. “He shouts, why can’t she think of him? Why doesn’t she realise how she makes him feel? After everything that he has done for her. She’s told she is ungrateful, her behaviour is disgusting, everyone thinks so, not just him, everyone. Her friends, her family, everyone that she knows thinks she’s pathetic. He tells her they told him.”

    This is an everyday thing, but I love him and I don’t know what to do. I am 19 and so confused. I just want things to be like they were when we first started dating, but they keep getting worse. He throws things at me now too. I love him, and when I had no one he was the only one who was there for me, I am afraid of bring alone and have major anxiety and depression. I have had it for a very long time, even before I dated him. I just dont know what to do.

  23. Reading this and feeling a very heart. My bf of one year is like this. If I reverse in the wrong direction instead of the way he thinks o should reverse.

    If I don’t set the alarm clock so he asked IP on time..in the AM.

    He openly berates me in front of his landlord & friends. Has called me names when he lost 600 and thought I had lost it because he was drunk.

    And now, I’m sitting in hotel room that I can’t really afford, that I paid with my only 300 so I have somewhere to stay until hopefully I find some place by this Friday.
    All because my phone reception doesn’t work in our apartment, I missed his calls to pick him up and he therefore felt entitled to tell me to fuck off, I was fucking with him, how much of an ungrateful useless cunt I am.

    Feeling very numb & don’t have anywhere to go. Have to goto work in the morning with the thought that either I’m sleeping in my car indefinerly or I’m going to somehow end up back at our apartment wishing I hadn’t gone back.

    I love him but after a year he is starting to wear on me.

  24. This could be my story exactly. He dazzled me with sex – amazing sex – hours & hours of sex – continuously keeping me up til 3 or 4 in the morning, knowing I had to be at work at 8 a.m. every day. When I said I needed sleep, he called me old and boring and said I couldn’t keep up with him. I ended up losing my job & he was glad because he said he thought they didn’t treat me right at work (right . . how about at home?) Then he would ridicule me for not having a job. He told me I was beautiful, amazing and the love of his life, then even in the same 24 hour period, would tell me I needed to lose weight (5’2″, 117 lb) and that my butt had cottage cheese and I needed a boob job. He brought me up to bring me down. At first he was the best listener & we would talk for hours. Over time, it became that we would talk for hours but he was repeating the same old words over & over & I was just supposed to affirm how wonderful he was. If I brought up a different topic or related something from my life to the conversation, then I was “making everything about me” and being self centered. If he drank too much, which he did a lot, he would talk & talk & look for me to respond incorrectly. When I did he would call me horrible names, get in my face, yell and scream at me.
    I took it and took it and always the next day he would apologize, but then the apology would turn into a discussion on what I had done to cause it, what I should or shouldn’t have done or said. My brain turned to mush – I bought all this BS. I was anxious, couldn’t sleep, eat or work. I was suicidal. He finally cornered me in the garage one night & screamed in my face for 10 minutes, with his fists raised by my face. I was frozen. When I got away I shook for the rest of the night. When he left in the morning, I took everything I could get in 10 minutes and drove away. I continued to shake for another 24 hours. I was a wreck. I was suicidal. I missed him. I was afraid of him.
    That was 7 months ago. And it was the 4th time I had left him. I finally can say I will never go back. I was an emotional and physical wreck for the first 3 months after leaving him. I was not able to make myself block his phone calls until one month ago. I still dream of him and in my dreams, he is the kind, sexy, loving man I once thought he was. I don’t know if I will ever fully recover from this, but I am better every day.
    And yes, he never hit me . . . . . .

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