Is Change Possible In An Abuser?

can abusers change

Is Change Possible In An Abuser?

People change.

That small, two-word sentence is actually a huge, significant statement that carries a lot of weight. We grow up learning about change — the inevitability of it, the uncertainty it can bring. We change — our opinions, personalities, careers, friends and much more.

Some changes feel like they happen overnight. Others are more conscious, and they have to be, like overcoming an addiction or correcting a personality flaw that’s harmful to ourselves or others.

If you’re the one wanting a loved one to change, it can feel impossible — but we hold onto the hope that they will change, because we desperately want them to, because we remember how they were different in the past (and if they changed for the worse, can’t they change for the better?)

Can an abusive partner really change?

While people do have the capacity to change, they need to deeply want to and be committed to all aspects of change in order to begin to do so — and even then, it’s a lot easier said than done.

In discussing why abusers abuse , it’s clear that a lot of the causal factors behind these behaviors are learned attitudes and feelings of entitlement and privilege — which can be extremely difficult to truly change. Because of this, there’s a very low percentage of abusers who truly do change their ways.

One part of changing may involve an abusive partner willingly attending a certified batterer intervention program that focuses on behavior, reflection and accountability. At the Hotline we don’t recommend couples counseling, anger management, substance abuse programs or mental health treatments for abusers to learn about and deal with their abusive patterns (although oftentimes these can helpfully supplement a batterer intervention program).

How can abusers change?

According to author Lundy Bancroft, the following are some changes in your partner that could indicate they’re making progress in their recovery:

  • Admitting fully to what they have done
  • Stopping excuses and blaming
  • Making amends
  • Accepting responsibility and recognizing that abuse is a choice
  • Identifying patterns of controlling behavior they use
  • Identifying the attitudes that drive their abuse
  • Accepting that overcoming abusiveness is a decades-long processnot declaring themselves “cured”
  • Not demanding credit for improvements they’ve made
  • Not treating improvements as vouchers to be spent on occasional acts of abuse (ex. “I haven’t done anything like this in a long time, so it’s not a big deal)
  • Developing respectful, kind, supportive behaviors
  • Carrying their weight and sharing power
  • Changing how they respond to their partner’s (or former partner’s) anger and grievances
  • Changing how they act in heated conflicts
  • Accepting the consequences of their actions (including not feeling sorry for themselves about the consequences, and not blaming their partner or children for them)

Learn more about Lundy Bancroft here and check out some of his helpful books, including “Why Does He Do That? Inside The Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.”

As Bancroft notes, truly overcoming abusiveness can be an ongoing, often lifelong process.

No one deserves abuse, and it’s never too late to seek help. While we hope abusive partners will change, it’s not always realistic to expect that they can and will. Focus on changes you can control to improve your own life, because you deserved to feel loved, happy and safe.

In the words of artist Andy Warhol, “When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then… You can’t make them change if they don’t want to.”

Comment section

156 replies
  1. My spouse threatened to burn our house down and his adult children think this is a joke. My spouse blames me for his threat and yet he remains blameless in his mind. He needs to see his physician and be seen for his issue(s). He has since moved out of our residence and is staying with family. I told him that I still love him but that our marriage has failed. He cannot understand how I can still love him but that his rage has destroyed our relationship!

  2. Never take any threats lightly. You know what your spouse is capable of and you also know that is why you are no longer together. Your marriage has failed, so did mine. That does not mean you are a failure, but you do need to keep your distance from this man. Don’t be cajoled into accepting his guilt and excuses either. It’s not worth your life. As you well know, abusers are very charming people – that is how we end up with them in the first place. Flattery, charm, lack of guile, these are all easy to fall for. You no longer need to accept responsibility for his actions, and he may never fully accept responsibility either, but please make sure you stand up for yourself and stay safe.Get as much local help as you can, keep a safety plan at all times and cut ties with him. Let your friends and family know that you don’t feel safe and how to keep in touch if they need to do that too.

  3. Diane,
    It sounds like you’ve been through a very scary situation, thank you for sharing. If you’d ever like to reach out to our advocate to talk about what has been happening, feel free to give us a call anytime. We are open 24/7 and are completely confidential and anonymous. Our advocate would be happy to talk with you about what you’ve been experiencing, it sounds very overwhelming. As well, if you need or want any local resources that might be of some support, we’d be happy to get you connected to those too.

    Give us a call any time at 1-800-799-7233.


  4. Tsula2,

    Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. Your words of encouragement and safety planning tips are definitely appreciated. One thing we try to encourage at The HOTLINE is to tailor a safety plan to each individual because every situation is different. What works for one person, may not work for another.

    If you have any questions about this feel free to contact us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233.



  5. in a relationship for six years the abuse had stopped for a while but its coming back I dont know what to do
    I have no one but him

  6. dm,

    Thanks for reaching out to our online community. It is very common in abusive relationships for the abuse to come and go. No situation is black and white, so there is going to be good in any relationship. It is also very common for abusers to isolate their victims. That makes it much easier to have power and control over them. It can be very jarring when you think things are finally good and the abuse resurfaces.

    But you don’t have to face this alone. I would encourage you to call us at 1(800)799.7233. We can talk about your situation and get you connected to local resources that can help. We are here 24/7 and are completely confidential and anonymous.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  7. My boyfriend has been living rent and utilities free with me and my two teens. He always seems angry about something and sometimes i feel he has bipolar..we never know if hes hot or cold..sometimes he mumbles to himself..sometimes it even may take more than an hour for him to change into sleep shorts cause he sits the bed in silence with his eyes close thinking..i dont bother to ask what is he doing cause he gets all offensive..he does that eyes closing thinking thing a lot..its scary..and if i bring up how mean or rude hes being, he says im the one who said something to get him started. He always gets angry..even when it has nothing to do with us, he takes it out on me n the kids. Puts us down then changes what he was saying and trying to make it sound like he just trying to tell us to better ourselves..his anger been getting worse and he wont accept it..he wont leave when i ask him to. Then he gets threatening sounding if i try and do something that involves anything to do with police officers. He knows i dont have much and is struggling yet he spends hundreds of his paycheck on shopping on items for himself..doesnt give me anything for rent, utilities, groceries, etc..he gives $100 a month for part of cable..which he acts like he owns the tv. He even tries to tell my kids tbat because hes older than them, he knows whats right and he even curses at them when his anger goes overboard..i cant even calm him down..he doesnt care who he emotionally hurts. He believes he doesnt do anything wrong. He wont just leave..even when i tell him theres no reason to stay together. He wont leave. I have to think of myself and my kids and everything in our place is all we have. He will pop out from anywhere. Hes even said several times that he would make sure to make my life more miserable and more worse if i dont stop talking about how i dont believe we should be together. He just yells at me and says its my fault. And if things get worse for him, he will sure to make it worse for me. There was several times, he raises his voice and then tells me that cops better not come to the door. It would be easier said than done if it was just myself..but it feels like no matter which way it goes, my kids are going to get hurt somehow. Especially if we cant get him to leave. Even if we had to call police officers, how does that guarantee our safety afterwards along with what belongings we can just pack n go..

  8. Dear Cinderelly,

    What a red flag! You wrote that your abuser says he is just trying to get you to better yourself while he verbally and emotionally abuses you. I have had other callers tell me the samy thing. It is a way for the abuser to manipulate the situation and throw you off guard. It is a cowards way of being abusive. The economic abuse and verbal abuse you wrote about is so frustrating. I’m sure it affects the entire family. Abusers blame everyone else for their behavior which is why they don’t change. For a person to change they have to acknowledge that they have a problem and take resposibility for how they behave. Obviously this rarely happens. Please call us at hotline so we can help you figure out how to get this abusive man out of your house. We can brainstorm alternatives and give you resources to help. You have a right to be happy and to be treated with respect and consideration. Your kids deserve this as well. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is here to help so please call us 24/7 at 800-799-7233.

    Hotline Admin_MT

  9. My husband n I got into an argument this morning about the stupiest thing ever, the dirty dishes, and it resulted in him calling me a stupid bitch over n over, my kids were in the other room hearing all of this. I have asked him numerous times not to call me names in front of the kids, they dont need to hear him calling their mom a bitch and even worse a cunt, they dont need that. And when he was about to leave I told him that I hated him and he came back into the kitchen and slapped me and choked me. I’m not going to lie and say this is the first time cause it isnt. At my last job I was told not to come to work if I had another black eye and to cover my bruises on my arms. I recently found out that he cheated on me only after 4 months of being married!! I feel completely destroyed by this! and to tell you the truth the lying and cheating actually hurts me worse than the abuse. Cause deep down I really do love him and dont want to leave him but I’m an emotional wreak, I feel like no matter what i do I loose…I just dont know what to do.

  10. Hey Eliza,

    Wow! I’m so sorry to hear that! That sounds like a really awful situation to be in. It can be incredibly difficult to leave an abusive relationship. They are often very complicated and it can be hard to let go of someone when you care for them deeply. It can often seem like you are walking on eggshells, where any old thing can suddenly become violent. It sounds like you are doing the best that you can to protect your children and to move forward. But know that you do not have to face this alone. And you deserve so much better.

    I would encourage you to give us a call at 1(800)799.7233. Here we can talk about your situation, get you connected to resources and maybe develop a plan for your safety and self-care. We are here 24/7 and we are completely confidential and anonymous.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  11. I have been in a abusive relationship sense 2004 . I am sad because I do not understand why I have gone back to the relationship time and time again believing he will change . I have gone to therapy read book after book about domestic violence . I do not understand why I would let someone hit me belittle me an make me feel like I am worth nothing . I have done everything to make him happy . I am so sad I am not strong enough to stop believing his lies that he won’t hurt me again . Please I need a reply of how many other woman deal with the same situation and how can I help myself to stop my situation . Maybe someone can help !!!! You know I was going to end my blog there. Why not tell the world how it really is .. Just last night I was beat for asking for some help to buy groceries . I pretended like it was alright after the fight . He said I ask for to much . . I believe 50.00 an I have 4 kids . I pay all the bills from a check I get once a month because my previous husband died of an asthma attack . I cried so hard in silence so he couldn’t hear me .. I kept telling myself God mad me such a strong woman to tolerate such abuse .. That some day I will over come all of this abuse . I will … Miracles may happen .. God bless

  12. Hi Jen,
    I know exactly what you speak of. I’m unfortunately still in my situation since 2006. He spends his paycheck on himself as if he doesnt need to contribute to any expenses while living at my place with my kids. He gives me about half of cable money when he has time to. I even bring up how im short for rent but it doesnt bother him. I just stand aside and watch as he purchases materialistic items for himself. Just the other day, he was looking into buying himself at $900 peacoat for himself for his next paycheck. Just a few hours ago, we were in livingroom while he watched tv. I fell asleep and when i woke up to check the time, i got upset cause my phone was working properly..he got mad and automatically assumed i was being mad at him. He raised his voice stating im always mad. While hes assuming the whole time i was upset with him, he continued to yell and as usual, ignore and act like i dont exist and he doesnt care if im upset. Then i have no choice to feel alone. I dont want to go through this anymore. I keep praying to God to help me and grant me strength. I know hes not going to change and its not going to get better. So i post on here cause i feel a little better telling how i feel to all of you out there since he doesnt. Maybe one day God will give me the strength..but for now, its just another day of feeling alone.

  13. I read a lot of the things on this website and I agree totally. I have domestically abuse my ex girlfriend four times over the past 5 years or so. I used to make excuses because I never felt I was angry at her. We would get into verbal spats and I would blank out. I used to think nothing was wrong with me. I allowed things to cloud me such as pride and ego.(tools of nothing) After the first time I committed the act we went to a Couple counseling and the therapist would give me these techniques to use once I was angry. I constantly would say I don’t need any techniques at that point because it is too late. I need to know what is causing me to feel angry to start with. As I look back over the years it was stress that I would bring on myself. Having all kinds of irrational thoughts consistently flooding my thoughts. Feeling like I am not a good father, not a man because I lost my job. I even enrolled myself in this 6 month DV/Anger Management course the weekend after I got out I had my worst blow up to date. I no longer talk to the one of the greatest women I know. I can make the excuse because I had just lost my father and I had too much to drink that night. In the end it was me all me. I was not a man at all. I had insecurities,anxiety (that I just found out about during that time), and a screwed up view of what my role and my partners role. I used to think that once I finished the class I was cured you are never cured it is a life long process once that set in I have a better understanding of my issues. You have to continue to work at it each and everyday. It will get easier but you have to stay consistent. It was not until I took better care of myself physically with running, working out and the most important is finding God and staying the course with that I have became a better person. Changing from that person I was is a total lifestyle change for me. The person I am today does not change what pain that brought to that beautiful soul that was always in my corner. No woman deserves to be touch in nothing but a loving manner.

  14. Andre,

    Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It takes a lot of courage to take responsibility of your actions and it is great that you were able to share that with us. It sounds like you tried many different strategies to combat the abuse and have found something that works for you. You are right, it is something that you have to work toward everyday and I am glad you are feeling like a better and changed person.

    Hope you can continue with this journey and inspire others to do the same.


  15. My boyfriend has had a drinking cycle for the entire three years we’ve been together where he drinks until he blacks out and in the process sleep deprives me by spending hours following me around fighting and cutting me down and snapping on the lights to continue fighting if I try to go to sleep. Then he apologizes the nextdy claiming not to remember. I’ve heard every promise about cutting back and quitting. Always broken. He also breaks things in a rage. he tried to bring a drunken stranger into our home while our little girls were sleeping (he has a daughter and so do I). I said over my dead body. Luckily the stranger didn’t push to come in and left. My bf threatened to break down my daughter’s bedroom door when I went to sleep with her and locked her door. He physically restrained me when I tried to walk away. Then kicked me and my daughter out the next day. Thats when he swore he would get sober and did for two months. Then he got resentful about it and said he needs to have his fun and I need to let a man be a man. The next time he threatened me asking if I was aftaid of him and saying I should be. This last time he verbally abused me, threatened me and got angry when I said I wasn’t scared, and lightening fast slammed a tv remote against the wall by my head. Then forced himself on me in a very sexually degrading way for over an hour. Claimed not to remember the next day but slowly it became apparent he rembered both the actions and thoughts behind them. Claims he will get treatment now but I’ve seen nothing. Isn’t drinking so far but I think I just need to leave. I do love him and there is good but my daughter is my number one.

  16. And btw the sexual abuse resulted in him ripping my hair out by the roots and squeezing the front of my throat several times not enough to leave marks but enough to hurt

  17. Dear Jen
    I’m gald you have decided to leave such an abusive relationship. Most abusers promise to change and never do. They do not take responsibility for their actions and blame everyone else, especially their partner, for their abuse. It is terrible that he would endanger his daughter and yours by trying to have a drunken stranger come into your home. The torture you are going through is terrible and you do not derserve this treatment. His sexual abuse is basically rape! You wrote that you love him. Many victims who leave their abusers still have feelings for them. They leave because they know the abuser will never change and they want a better life. Please call us at the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-7233 so we can give you resources to help you and your daughter get out of the relationship.
    Hotline Advocate_MT

  18. Stalking
    My situation is no they enjoy making fun of you, they enjoy the abuse its a game to them. The laws need to change, i want to feel safe. We must find courage in the support of each other, strength in our unity, our passion for change and speak out very loud, to make a difference, to create a safer place for women

  19. Can an abuser change? Absolutely – but it has to be for himself or herself and for no one else or for any other reason than recognizing they have a problem within themselves that need to be fixed. The victim of abuse needs to focus on her own healing process. She does not need to “be in his corner” as he works through his own issues. I think that is the hardest part – the feeling that you are either betraying or being betrayed by your partner. But the individuals need to keep the focus on themselves and not their partner.

    I never thought of myself as an abuser because I never hit my wife. All I ever did was get angry and throw and hit things to intimidate her. I would scream and curse at her. My father taught me never to hit a female, but I saw him treat my mom like this, so I thought it was ok. I justified it by saying that I was “getting in angry dad mode.” To complicate matters, I have Bipolar Disorder and wasn’t taking my meds properly. Also, I was drinking. Eventually, I pushed her and hit her with an open hand one night because I was angry with her.

    Now, I realize that I was out of control (not only on this night, but the entire time). My wife and I are not separated and have been for over a year. I had a 50b restraining order put on me for over a year, and I enrolled in a Domestic Violence Intervention Program. I also attended individual therapy sessions as well as pastoral counseling. I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I was an abuser because I didn’t know how to respond to situations when I didn’t have control. Instead of being rational, I would “stew” about it until I blew up (usually on my wife and kids).

    I now know that I need to focus on taking a more rational look at things. Looking at what I CAN do. Recognizing my level of influence in each and every situation and not trying to overstep my boundaries to the point of bullying or intimidation. If I can do nothing at all in a certain situation, then I need to accept it and move on. I have to examine myself everyday.

    The hardest part for me is not being able to convince my wife to work on rebuilding our marriage. I love her, we have children together and, despite what anyone thinks, the best environment for a child to live in is one that is both non-abusive and where they can see Mama and Daddy loving each other. I know in my heart that, if my wife were to trust me, that I could lead our family through this entire difficult process. I would not want to rush. I would want to be sensitive to her feelings, and mine too (i.e. counseling, limited communication, double dating, one-o-one dating, mentoring from another couple in our church). Nonetheless, as painful as it is to admit, my wife’s choice is another thing that I have no control over. When it comes to our reconciliation, I only have control over what I do.

    As weird as this sounds, This has been like a blessing in disguise because a horrible truth about myself has come to life and now I am able to deal with it.

  20. Pamela,

    You are absolutely right. We are working to change our society to end all violence against women. If you are being stalked currently, I would invite you to give us a call at 1(800).799.7233. We can talk to you about a safety plan and hopefully get you connected to resources that can help. We are here 24/7 and we are completely confidential and anonymous.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  21. Mike,

    Thanks for sharing your story with our blog community. You are absolutely right. Abusers won’t change until they take responsibility for their actions and see what they have done is wrong. They need to change for themselves and not just because they are wanting to manipulate their partners into getting back together with them. It is also very important to recognize that we can only control our own actions. And that trust is something to be earned, not given. Trust once broken is much more difficult to rebuild but I am very glad that you are taking those steps to rebuild that trust.

    All the best,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  22. Please tell me that you’re leaving. I stayed with an abusive man for 29 years until one day a lightbulb went off… and I got out… I was free! But the residual effects will haunt me until my dying day and perhaps for generations after that.

    My children, (who had to see and hear all of the abuse in their formative years), damaged them. Because I stayed and because my ex could not control the rage, our children were forever changed from the people they might have been, to the people the abuse turned them into.

    Love has little to do with doing the right thing. Save your children… literally… from a life that will never be happy for them. Take away the sadness and fear they are growing up with, and even if you have to replace it with struggling to make ends meet, trust that you will all be happier in the peaceful, serene life you make for yourself and for them.

    Regret is the most bitter pill you will ever swallow when you could be tasting something far more sweet.

  23. Shar,

    Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It sounds like you are really happy with the steps you have taken to leave the abusive relationship, it’s something that takes a lot of strength to do. Both you and your children deserve to feel safe in your home. I appreciate the words of encouragement you have shared to motivate others to do the same. Here at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, we recognize the importance of individualized plans for safety. We know that what works for one person may not work for another.

    It is so important that no one feels guilty for being victim to an abusive and controlling person as they are reaching out for help and exploring their options. We speak to many women in abusive situations and know that there are countless reasons that a person may stay in the relationship and there are often many barriers to get out. If you would like to talk about ways you can continue to motivate people in these dangerous situations, feel free to contact us at 1-800-799-7233.


  24. I dated him for a year, got married and stayed together for 8 months and finally i gave up. Divorced was finalized last november 2013. He was very nice and gentleman at first. Everything started when we got married and i was pregnant. I was abused sexually, emotionally and mentally and it all happened when i was carrying our child. Whenever i will not allow him to have contact with me sexually, we will have a fight. He will not let me get away with it. He wants sex before i wake up to go to work, in the afternoon ( if i am off) and before i go to sleep. i always have urinary tract of infection throughout my pregnancy because of the number of times he wants me to have sex with him.He will call me names when he is jealous and becomes out of control. He is very controlling with my underwear, my clothes, my friends, my actions. Jealous with all of the guys in the world. Accusing me of different things when in fact i am 8 months pregnant and with a very big belly. I thought he will change when i have given birth to our daughter but i was wrong. He is my ex husband now, thank God but what i am worried about is my daughter. We share custody with her and until now, he still insist of getting me back and using my daughter to get what he wants. I did not mention the abuse in the divorce proceeding because i want to end it right away and to be away from him. Is there a possibility that he will do the same to our daughter? He wont admit all his mistakes and still blames me for his actions.

  25. My daughter is being physically abused by her fiancée and they also have a 1 1/2 year old that he verbally abuses like telling him to shut the f*ck up. He has left with the kid and she is very scared. I’m just not sure what can be done about this.

  26. Dear Purplecream,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Abuse often gets worse during pregnancy. It should be the most joyous time in your life and I’m sorry you suffered in this abusive relationship. Much of what you mentioned is typical behavior of abusive men. Sexual coercion, jealousy, and isolation are often forms of control these abusers use. You are right on point when you say that abusers don’t admit their mistakes and they don’t take responsibility for thei actions. Instead they balme you, the victim. I hope you will call the National Domestic Violence hotline for counseling and support group resources.Our number is (800) 799-7233.

    Good Luck,
    Hotline Advocate_MT

  27. Dear Betty Jo,

    Domestic Violence affects the entire family and I am sorry that your daughter is being abused. I can imagine how devastating it is to see you grandchild also suffer the abuse in this household. Please call us so that we can try to help you and your daughter in this situation. The National Domestic Hotline phone is (800) 799-7233.

    Hotline Advocate_MT

  28. Hi, I found this page after google searching ‘can abusers change’. I’m wondering if my husband has changed and if he will ever do it again. He was not ever abusive, until he deployed and returned with ptsd, and the rage took over him. He had never hurt me before, but once he started he quickly escalated from pushing me or grabbing my arm, to slamming me into walls and choking me. I finally called someone for help after he threatened me with a weapon in the bedroom and choked me until I had broken blood vessels and couldn’t talk for a few days. He was sent to a month long inpatient treatment and he has had some incidents since he got back but not as bad or as frequent. He truly wants to change and he has done many of the things on your list like admitting what he has done and taking responsibility for it, and he goes to counseling weekly. However a few things he won’t do, he hates talking about it because it makes him feel bad, even though he knows I feel like I need to talk about it. And he always wants so much credit for it. Like, he can lay on the couch all day and want praise simply for not having an outburst. I want to say, seriously?? You want me to praise you and tell you how amazing you are just for not beating me??
    The last time he freaked out was a couple months ago, he didn’t hurt me, he stopped himself. He had gotten mad about something and he punched the fridge, punched the wall, grabbed my arm and I thought he was about to slam my face down on the hot stove – but then he let go, ran into the other room and punched the door. Thats how the situations have gone since he’s gotten back from his treatment, he restrains himself at the last second.
    I’m really not sure how to look at it, it could go two ways – one, he really wants to change (which I believe) and he is using all his strength to stop himself from hurting me. Or two, he doesn’t want to go back to the ‘crazy house’ (he was really mad that I called) and eventually, he will escalate again. So what is likely to happen? Even if he really wants to change, do I have to wonder if one day he will ‘slip’ and do it again? Or is it possible that soon it will never happen again?

  29. Thank you for responding. I thought i am okay now after almost 2 years of being separated and moved out of state but whenever i talked about what he did to me, i can’t help but to cry and still asking myself why he did that.i don’t tell this story to anyone,i told about the sexual coercion to my sisters and they were very very mad and they cried with me.No one knows the suffering i endured from my ex husband.

  30. Hi Melissa,

    Thank you for sharing your experience, I know you have been through a lot with your husband. Change takes time, and as you read in the article, “truly overcoming abusiveness can be an ongoing, often lifelong process”. I know that you have expressed that your husband is seeking change and that he has sought out help for himself. I also know that you have concerns as to if this change will last or if things will go back to how they were. One concerning thing, as you described below, is the last incident in which, even though your husband did not hit you, he grabbed your arm, and punched the wall instead. These are still signs of abuse and still bring about concern for your safely and well being going forward. You are right in observing that the situation could go in two ways, and sometimes it is difficult to know which way a situation will turn out. I know you have concerns regarding your safety and the future with your husband. I want to encourage you to call us so that we can specifically talk to you about your concerns in this situation. You can reach us at our 24 hour hotline number at 1-800-799-7233. We are here to hear your concerns and discuss how you can stay safe and free from abuse, because your safely is important and you do not deserve to be abused at all. Please give us a call when you are safe to talk.

    Hotline Advocate MK

  31. Purplecream,

    Thank you for continuing to share with our blog community. It sounds like there are many different layers to this situation. It can be frustrating when we seek help and do not receive the response we expected. There is no timeline to the healing process, it is completely understandable to continue to feel hurt from what has happened. Know that you are not alone and that help exists. I encourage you to give us, The National Domestic Violence Hotline, a call at 1800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support, as well as help you find local resources for ongoing support.

    Until then,


  32. My boyfriend and I have been together a few years now. After a year of the honeymoon stage, I started to see his temper every now and then until it became more and more often. I have always been able to remain calm and try out different ways to approach things with him, even though I always knew it was not my fault he would act the way he would (no matter how much he would tell me it was.) The most abuse I would see from him physically was him trying to intimidate me by punching the wall, throwing a chair, pushing me once, and one time holding his hands up to my neck to show me he could choke me. All other abuse has been emotional and I’ve seen a few controlling qualities. I’ve made excuses for his behavior in the past to my friends, but I come to find I haven’t needed to lately. Almost a year ago I started putting my foot down, and instead of babying him like I realized I was doing, I decided we needed to take a break. One break turned into two, three, four. Each time he would come back saying he was sorry and he realized why we had gotten into the argument(s). Until finally I broke up with him. When we finally had to contact each other so all of his furniture could be moved out, we ended up having a conversation that day. We worked so many things out and he actually listened, responded, and made sense about the issues in our relationship. He admitted to the abuse and said he never really realized how badly he was treating me and that he felt awful for putting me through that. I think his mother had a talk with him after our break up to console him and possibly gave him a much needed, new perspective. After a very deep conversation and some more time apart, we started talking every now and then and we wanted to start dating. My father was abusive to my mother when I was young, and he has spoken to me about my relationship. He tells me that change takes a lot of time and to be cautious; for my father it took years. I have been cautious dating my formerly abusive boyfriend now for almost five months again. I feel slightly paranoid, because he has exhibited every behavior you listed in the bulletins, and then some, since we have started dating again. I have not allowed him to move back in, and he tells me he understands why and knows that this will take time but he is willing to do it for me and for us. He behaves completely different in arguments, like he knows how to express his feelings now and he knows how to listen to me expressing mine. He no longer gets heated if there is an issue we talk about, he is willing to talk things out, does not blame me for any of his past anger. He even helps me around my apartment and takes me out on nice little dates. Things aren’t absolutely perfect (that would be a bad sign anyway) but it feels like how a healthy relationship should be. His behavior feels and looks genuine, and he overall seems like a happier man, but for some reason I am still paranoid. I would think this is because of the abuse itself causing whatever damage it has to my trust. I understand that just because he is working on his behavior and his own issues doesn’t mean that they have disappeared. It’s something that will take his effort every day for a long time, possibly the rest of his life. Is it possible that I will be able to trust him again? Or am I not paranoid and he is working tremendously hard to make it look like he has changed when he really hasn’t? Wouldn’t I have seen at least some hints of abuse by now (approx. 5-6 months)?

  33. My common in law partner and me got very mad just because yesterday his father came to our house for them to go to work my daughter told her grandpa that the dog scratched her so i said to my daughter its ok the dog wont be living here no more shes going to live with my mom. Then his dad told my common in law partner then after he came from work and woke up he said angry why you told my dad that you were giving the dog back to your mom but he said it with an angry voice. So i got mad and told him why does your dad always say something then you get mad at me and start making problems. Then he said its you making problems you should not be saying nothing and accused me and then i started yelling and crying that well he always pays attention to whatever his dad says and then starts telling me shit and starts problems he took away my keys so me and my kids didnt go out and then i got mad i took his tools out of my car and put them inside the house then i found the keys he was super mad and started yelling at the kids first get the fuck out or ill drag you out by your hair ill fucking do it my kids and i were scared we got out but i didnt have any money so he locked us out.

  34. I don’t know exactly what i should do i have no job my kids ages sre 7,7,9,10 he’s verbally aabusive. His parents know his an abuser yet they tell him things to get him mad and start an argument. He has a record but back in 2003 when i was 8 1/2 pregnant with our child i left him and he was very pissed off he wanted me to go back and live with him at his parents house.which was very stressful living with them making me mad causing problems but when i call the police they never do nothing they are lazy i don’t trust police. One.time he hit me a few times in my head with closed fist i called the police didn’t see nothing until the next day i was all bruised with a headache and didnt called the police because they didnt do nothing about what i told them.

  35. Melanie,

    Thank you for sharing your story and what you have been experiencing. I know you are concerned about the feelings you are having as you step back into this relationship. It is understandable why you may be feeling paranoid in this situation, especially knowing the past and the abuse that you have encountered in this relationship. You have asked some very important questions about your feelings, concerns, and being able to trust him again. I would like to encourage you to contact our hotline to speak with one of our advocates about your specific situation. It may also be helpful to speak one on one with someone about your thoughts and concerns and receive feedback as well as support as to what you can do moving forward. We can be able to connect you with local support that may be able to provide counsel to you around your situation, questions and concerns. I also know that change is a question that is on your mind regarding your boyfriend. As the article stated from Lundy Bancroft, “truly overcoming abusiveness can be an ongoing, often lifelong process”. I am not saying that it is impossible to change, but know that change takes time. Please call us at our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-799-7233, so that we can discuss your concerns and questions further. Thank you again for reaching out and sharing your experience.

    Hotline Advocate MK

  36. Edith,

    Thank you for sharing your concerns. Wow, from what you wrote, it sounds like you are in a physically and verbally abusive relationship. From the way your partner speaks to you, to him taking the keys and keeping you out of the house, to the situation of physical abuse that you expressed, your partner is being very abusive towards you. I understand your frustration as well with reaching out for help, and I am sorry that you were not able to get support from the police when you reached out. Don’t give up though; it is not acceptable for your partner to do those things to you. Abuse in any shape or form is never okay, no matter whether there is a bruise or not, it is never okay. I would like to encourage you, in the same way that you have reached out on our blog, to give us a call. We are here to speak further with you about your situation, and explore different ways in which you may be able to find support and help for yourself as well as your children. Please call us at our 24-7 Hotline number 1-800-799-7233, we are completely confidential and anonymous and are here to support you. I hope you will be able to give us a call.

    Hotline Advocate MK

  37. I’ve just started to realize that I’m in an emotional, verbal and now physically abusive relationship. That probably sounds odd, but DH has been such a master manipulator that I haven’t even noticed until now. Just a little back story, we’ve been married for 6 years and have two wonderful kids. He is a great man and an amazing father, but I’ve only started to realize that I’ve cut myself off from all of my friends (I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen them outside a couples/family function), not because he says I can’t do something… but because he’ll be extremely upset or not speak with me when I get home or when I ask if he can watch the kids so I can meet a friend, he’ll make a comment about “how HE only sees his friends during the week, so he doesn’t have to take time away from the kids”. And it’s constant…he’s never flat out said I CAN’T do something, such as go to work or spend money, it’s always very subtle manipulation so that I find myself not wanting to any more or at least not feeling like I should do it. That being said, it hasn’t been all bad, I have truly enjoyed his company all these years and want to spend time with him and my kids. However a series of events have occurred in the past 9 months that have sent DH on a downward spiral; we purchased a new, larger home when our 2nd was born that my husband has never liked. He holds a lot of resentment for leaving a “home that he loved”, I don’t understand his attachment to that home, but it has been the subject of many a spiteful comment and argument. He also lost his father, somewhat abruptly. He is very close to his family and although his father was 86 years old, no one caught his health issues and he died about 5 weeks after being diagnosed with heart failure. His mom who has had health issues as long as I have known her is falling sicker now, then last month he got laid off from a successfully job that he really loved. Every single life change has made him more and more angry. I have pulled away emotionally from him and try to keep things pleasant for our kids, but he just keeps getting more angry.

    Finally a couple nights ago he was making snide comments again and I asked him nicely to leave until the kids went to sleep. He proceeded to go get drunk then come home, ringing the door bell to get me awake (even though, he clearly has a key). He walked in and pushed me, not hard, but definitely intentionally. I tried to walk away and make some space but he just kept coming. I kept telling him we needed to talk in the morning and to just leave or go to sleep in the guest bedroom. He kept at it until I finally tried to go back to bed, he came to our room, grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me out of bed and onto the floor. Again, he didn’t physically hurt me, but I was so shocked I couldn’t stop crying. Since our kids sleep in our bed and I didn’t want him to wake our boys I went back downstairs to talk to him. I think he finally started to sober up and realized what he did because he finally let me go back to bed and left me alone.

    The next day, he kept telling me he was so sorry and he doesn’t want to be this person and that he needed my forgiveness, which I couldn’t and can’t do. He’s never been angry or physical with the boys (never) and I’m not scared of him necessarily, but I am scared of what this means going forward. I know there is a cycle of violence and if he is willing to push and pull on me now, what happens next time? Will he really hit me? I know he really doesn’t want to be this person and he does want to change. He has been seeing a grief counselor since his father passed away, but he stopped about 2 months ago. I don’t want to make excuses for him, but at the same time I see the triggers.

    I’m a smart and confident women, but this is the father of my children and I do love him and just want what’s best for my kids. I know if some large changes aren’t made in our relationship that this will continue to escalate, so I guess I’m looking for some advice on what to do now before it gets worse. It’s already out of hand, I know that. I’ve asked him to move out until he can get some anger management and we can get counseling, but he keeps crying and saying he doesn’t want to leave, that I just need to love him. Should I let him stay while we go through counseling or should I put my foot down and separate until things change?

  38. Dear Stella,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Unfortunately abusers are always angry about something. It is the way they can continue to have power and control in the relationship. Victims talk about how their abusers are like Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, changing their moods all the time. Your isolation from family and friends is also very typical and a tactic abusers use to keep you away from those that can help you stay strong. You are absolutely right about abusers being manipulative and they will use what they can to make you question your actions and decisions. You mentioned that, “it hasn’t been all bad” and that is typical of domestic violence. The abuse comes at different times and leaves the victim feeling like they are on a roller coaster and/or walking on egg shells all the time. I’m sorry that he is becoming more violent with you. Abuse often excalates over time.

    Please call our hotline so that we can talk to you about your situation and brainstorm options. Remember that the abuse your husband exhibits has nothing to do with you. He has decided to be abusive and no matter how much you love him you are not responsible for his actions. Unfortunately we cannot change another person, they have to make changes on their own. The difficulty is that abusers do not take responsibility for their actions. Instead they blame their partners for “making them angry.”

    You are a strong and confident woman. The fact that you are reaching out is an example of your courage. The National Domestic Violence Hotline number is (800) 799-7233. I hope you will call us soon and remember you deserve to be treated with love, consideration, and respect.

    Hotline Advocate_MT

  39. I’ve been in a relationship for almost four years now and have a beautiful baby boy. The abuse only seems to happen when he drinks, mixing all kinds of liquor. I recently separated from him for these reasons, he’s says his willing && wants to change. Has even signed up for an anger management course. I just don’t know whether to label this domestic violence or a troubled alcoholic. Which help shall I seek?

  40. Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for sharing your situation. We know that it can be confusing when abusive behavior is primarily exhibited or escalated when alcohol is involved. We know from experience that alcohol does not make someone abusive. Many people drink and still do not choose to become abusive. While alcohol may be affecting your partner’s self control, like it does for many people, he is still responsible for the choices he makes, including drinking which is when he becomes more violent.

    We’re so glad to hear that you were able to leave the relationship and are taking the time that you need to figure out what you and the baby need in order to feel safe. No one should ever take away your safety or put you in danger. It can be difficult to figure out how to handle a situation like this. I know you want to believe that he wants to change; unfortunately, most people don’t stop choosing to be abusive. Only your ex-partner can make that choice. He has the opportunity to take the necessary steps and get help, and regain your trust.

    If you’d like to talk about this more, please know that you can reach us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. Calls are anonymous and confidential.

    Take care.

    Hotline Advocate AS

  41. Could someone please help me? I was going to do a chat, but it is almost 7:00 and I am not sure how long it would take for me to explain.
    At the end of 2010, I gave birth. In 2011, I finally had enough of the father’s abuse and decided to leave. My decision to leave was not planned (For the first time I called police after an attack from him and filed a restraining order).
    I felt lost and completely alone. I was staying with a friend, but her husband did not want me there or my son there (he’s abusive as well, but emotionally).
    So, since I was about to lose the place we were staying, I began to feel guilty about keeping my baby away from his father. I decided to drop the restraining order and stay with the father.
    Fast track three years later and we have two children now. There really isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about leaving. My entire personality has changed. I rarely ever smile unless it is something silly my children do or some cute picture, etc.
    I don’t have a job and haven’t had one for a long time, so I have no money except some financial aid refund checks I get that are usually spent on textbooks. I take classes online to hopefully complete my bachelor degree.
    He has not physically abused me in almost a year and a half, but I ALWAYS see it right there on the surface. If I say something to push him over the edge, or get in his way at times, I know he will hurt me. I KNOW he will hurt me.
    I don’t think I should live like this, but domestic violence shelters won’t take us unless there is active abuse.
    It seems every other shelter in the area that has any sort of private living area (not just a gigantic room with a bunch of beds and everyone crammed in there to live) will not take us unless I am at least working part time.
    I haven’t been able to find a job and find it impossible to find one since the father always seems to choose a school schedule that is random and not open for me to work (He actually attends classes on campus).
    I hope I have expressed my concern thoroughly and it is not too long for you.
    I just can’t seem to find a way to get out that my children will not be afraid of. Sometimes I wonder if would just be better if I left and left the children with him, but I honestly don’t know what would happen if I chose to do that.

  42. Hi LP,

    Thank you for bravely sharing your story. You are living in a terrifying situation, and it’s normal that it’s affected your emotional state so much. You’re absolutely right that you shouldn’t have to live in fear. You have the right to be safe and no one should take that away from you. It can be incredibly scary to imagine that things could be different, and that you could live a life free from abuse and fear, especially when there has been abuse and control for so long. You deserve a life free from abuse, where you are free to make your own decisions.

    I can hear that you’re struggling with a lot of those decisions now. If you want a safe place to talk them out, please give us a call anytime at 1-800-799-7233. Our advocates are here to provide a safe, anonymous, and confidential place for you to talk about what’s going on, so you can make the choice that’s best for you. We aren’t here to tell you what to do; as the person living this situation, you are the expert. You know your partner, your relationship, and what you need better than anyone else.

    It can take time, resources, and support to make important decisions and big changes. Please be patient with yourself. You’ve survived so much, and are continuing to do so much on a daily basis. You shouldn’t have to go through this alone, and we are here for you.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

  43. I recently separated from my boyfriend of almost a year. 2 months into our relationship he had drunkenly pulled my hair and grabbed my arm (leaving bruises) after I insisted he leave and talk to me when he was sober. As this happened in public, a neighbor phoned the police. Fast forward two months…after multiple pleas to get back together, telling me how much he loved me, how he was inebriated and didn’t mean it, how it would never happen again…I relented and gave him a second chance. He even stopped drinking. 6 months after the first incident (and after months of verbal abuse), he punched me during an argument, claiming I slapped him and I should know he strikes when stricken. I would like to mention that he was SOBER when this happened. I shouldn’t have slapped him but the verbal abuse was becoming too much for me and I couldn’t take it anymore. I had even asked him to stop saying the things he was saying and he wouldn’t. His punch resulted in a broken rib and that is what prompted me to kick him out of my home and begin emotionally (and physically) separating myself from him. Like many other posts have stated, the relationship had its good/tender/affectionate moments as well, and it’s hard to accept that these two sides are the same person. He has made taken care of me while I’m sick. He bought me a cat for christmas, knowing I had always wanted one. We would take long walks in the park. I love him and am heartbroken over this. He keeps telling me he’ll change, but deep inside I don’t believe it. I am afraid if we’re ever alone, months down the road, something worse will happen to me. That he may even make me “pay” for kicking him out and keeping my distance. Is my thinking correct? I guess the answer is obvious but my confused feelings are clouding my ability to see :(. How can someone be so sorry and so in love with you and hurt you this badly?

  44. Anonymous,

    Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It sounds like this has been such a difficult situation. It is completely understandable to feel conflicted and confused when you are hearing promises that aren’t being kept. At the hotline, we know that abuse happens because one person feels entitled to the power and control in the relationship and uses different tactics to gain and maintain it. What this means is that both the good times and the bad are part of the abuse, part of the manipulation. That can be really difficult to realize and its totally normal to continue to think about it all.

    It sounds like you have taken some really huge steps toward your safety but we know that the healing process does not have a timeline. Know that we are definitely available to talk through what is going on and talk about next steps at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 and your call is completely anonymous and confidential.

    Until then,

    Hotline Advocate_SG

  45. Hi there,

    I am newly married (seven weeks) to the love of my life; she’s the best thing (along with my six-year-old son from a previous relationship) that has ever happened to me. I think the world of her and want to grow old with her. I look up to her and am impressed by and proud of her everyday.

    Recently, I’ve become abusive. My abuse coincides with a tremendous amount of stress I’ve been under for about a year (a horrible custody situation with my son, a lost job, etc.) Prior to that, as I look back on all of my life, I showed signs of entitlement and arrogance, but certainly never physical abuse. In past relationships, as I look back, I could be somewhat controlling and insecure, but all that changed when I met my wife. I was at ease with her, giving, secure and safe. Then the stress came.

    All these things happened after I’d been drinking to excess — I drink often, but these times were fraught with excess and / or the stress.

    I ended up going to therapy (which I still am) and it’s opened my eyes to many things from childhood on that feed into my need for control and fear of abandonment. Things were making a turn for the better until a few nights ago, when I drank FAR too much and became belligerent, chasing her around the house just to argue when she just wanted to go to sleep and avoid a fight. Things escalated.

    I feel as though I’m just about the worst person on Earth and am just about to lose her, which would devastate me greatly. Deep down I know my actions (which are VERY much my own choices) are fueled by the horrible stress I’ve had and also by alcohol. When we fight and deal with stress when I’m sober, I’m a very effective communicator and we always get things solved simply by talking. I’ve already resolved to stop drinking; I don’t foresee this as a problem, and if the temptation becomes too much, I will seek help for that specifically.

    I just need to know where to go from here. I want to be the partner I used to be before my nightmare of a year began. I fully accept what I am at the moment, even if it kills me to say it: I am an abuser. What do I do to help myself and save my marriage to this wonderful, supportive person whom I’ve pushed to the edge??????

  46. I just stumbled upon this website, and looking at all the fellow people living with an abusive controlling partner in one way or another. My compassion goes out to each of you as I myself have lived in this situation for 34 years, but I’m getting out, not the way one should but I’m getting out and finally standing up on my own 2 feet with a looking ahead at a life of struggles. My abuse didn’t start at the beginning of my marriage, and I honestly can’t remember exactly when it did start because it was a slow process of control over me, and I stuck it out making terrible decisions which I’ll be paying for the rest of my life partly because I wasn’t strong enough to seek help and stand up for myself. Looking back now I can’t even believe I’m in the trouble I am in, but it is at least going to get me away from him!

    My husband is very moody, and if irritated will stop talking to me especially if I make him mad, sometimes it is over the most stupid things, and sometimes its because of nothing. He likes people to feel sorry for him, as he always will say he is sick or something hurts and these are his reasons. I know they are excuses as he has to come up with it not being him. He can go for days without talking and just his looks make you feel like he hates you so much. When the kids were young we’d stay in another part of the house and I’d try to keep them quiet so he wouldn’t go off. I was so stupid!

    He also is one of the best verbally abusive people you cold ever meet. I have been called everything in the book, and because he is also an alcoholic he can go on a rant of how bad of person I am for hours until he finally passes out. Thankfully most of these happened when the kids were asleep, but I do know they heard them too. When someone constantly calls you names and tells you how bad of a person you are you start believing it. He also make comments against my parents, and that it was their fault I’m the prude unlikable person I am. Sadly they are gone, but I feel now maybe this is why they stayed away from visiting me and their grandchildren. Because of his drinking and behavior I honestly can’t remember the last time he worked for a living. He lost the last job he had at a time of trouble we were having with our oldest, and he stayed home from that point on. Staying home meaning he did anything? NO, just the yard work as he likes that, and drink. He’d tell people he worked at home, that he was a software engineer and worked as a contractor out of our home. Sorry to say I believe our children believed it. This put more hardship on me to provide for my children, endure verbal abuse, mental abuse, and his alcoholic behavior. If I threatened to speak up he’d play the fact I wanted him to live in a box, that I wanted the kids to hate him that I wanted to destroy our family! This all went on for years, along with raising the kids pretty much on my own. Now he was good with them, and treated them well. To the kids he was the fun parent! Not that he didn’t’ butt heads with my boys, and the oldest actually told me to leave him one time that he hated how I was treated. My middle son took abuse as he wasn’t a sports kid, and at has now admitted he is gay. Surprisingly my husband has accepted it somewhat, but still makes hurtful jokes, as he did while my middle son was growing up. My daughter I believe knows, but she is Daddy’s little girl, but she does see and know he has problems. The biggest deal is he DOES truly love his kids, and never has put them in the same abusive situations I have lived. It has always fell on my shoulders. Friends seen it, and we’d lose friends because of his behavior. I of course never really had a friend, and looking back this was to his advantage just like the fact of my parents not coming around either. But what I did have was to raise my children. Looking at leaving and the stress and turmoil of them leaving a father they did love I stuck it out and we lived a secret life to everyone. I also made bad decisions that now are legal problems that I’m facing time in prison as I stole money to survive. A lot of money and I knew it was wrong, but I did it once and didn’t get caught and I could keep the family a float and him happy. It also allowed him to stay home and not work, and he got his life schedule of sleep till 10 am get up shower, go out to lunch at 1 pm and home by 3 pm before the kids got home and I got home to start fixing dinner. He also would buy anything he wanted, and I’d cover it by stealing. This added more turmoil in my life of a down hill swirl, as my subconscious bothered me. My employer was oblivious of it all as he had trust in me, and also had started making passes at me. When your employer who you are stealing from starts making sexual advances to you it seems you best allow it, which puts yourself down even more. Its hard to go to work and have someone make advances to you when you don’t want it, but you must support your family and an abusive husband too. I stuck it out and continued along, my objective was to raise my kids, as they are throughout all of this good honest respective well adjusted people. But I also needed an escape so I started to gamble. Gambling was great, good place for a alcoholic to go cause he could drink, and I could escape, but my gambling got more and more as I found I got perks from gambling. Most of these perks made my husband happy as it meant free liquor and belonging to a club, and to me it was an escape, plus I was stealing money so I could do what a wanted. Till you get caught which is where I am. The worst day of my life for everything to come out that I am a THIEF! Does anyone care about my life or reasons, NO. I’m a THIEF. My employer sexually harassed me, NO I’m THIEF! But my crime did awaken me, and I am still with my husband as I await sentencing, but I’m not allowing any control, he tries abuse, but it doesn’t work. His secret of not working has come out and all know. The kids also see his behavior now, and I’ve told them when I get out I will not be with him, as this is my separation. He needs help and I hope he gets it, Because of my crime we have lost everything of our assets, but i don’t’ care I’m free. I do wish people would understand part of my crime was because of the life I lived, but I did know better and now I will have to pay. I will come out with nothing, but I will be free. Also for those who might care my employer sued me for everything, and of course feels his harassment was consensual so he’s the perfect person. I do believe in Karma, and I’m writing this so that people in a abusive state such as mine doesn’t make stupid decisions.

    It is hard to live with myself, and my subconscious keeps reminding me everyday. It’s hard for me to believe I did what I did, but the control, and lack of worth from abuse puts you into a position, but this is not an excuse for my crime. I was wrong and will pay, and have to live with myself and the guilt for the rest of my life. Just stand up, don’t wait, someone out there does care somewhere! I hope to find someone that does someday!

  47. Laura,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with our blog community. It sounds like this was such a dangerous situation and like so much has happened. You have taken so many huge steps to feel safe and sometimes, when we are in crisis, we are forced to do things that we would not normally do. If you would ever like to talk through this situation, please feel free to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support and can help you brainstorm ways to stay safe while you are still in the home.

    Know that your words of compassion are definitely appreciated.

  48. Hello Anonymous,

    It takes a lot of courage to share your story, and even more to take responsibility for your choices. Life can be stressful at times, but those circumstances never relieve any of us of our responsibility to treat those around us in respectful ways that make them feel safe. It sounds like you’ve seen a pattern of behavior in your past, and we do know that abuse escalates. Abuse in all forms is terrifying and has no place in a healthy relationship. At this point, your wife has the right to decide if she is going to stay in this relationship or not, and that decision must be respected. Respect is a core value and absolute necessity for healthy relationships.

    It’s great to hear that you’re getting help and have learned a lot about the feelings of entitlement to power and control over a partner that are the basis for domestic violence. Choosing not to drink, and having a safety plan around drinking also sound like important and smart choices for the life that you want to have, and the partner that you want to be. If you would like to take about other options or programs that might be helpful, please give us a call. We’re here 24/7 to respectfully provide support and resources, anonymously and confidentially at 1-800-799-7233.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

    Please note: for the safety of all community members, some content was removed. You can find our guidelines here.

  49. Laura,

    I am in almost the exact situation. I left my mentally and verbally abusive husband several years ago and finally have finally found the help I needed. I did stay with him for 32 years and in that time did do almost exactly the same thing with my employer and am in the same legal trouble you are in. I have remarried in the mean time and my current husband is being very supportive but I am dragging him through my terrible past. I was threatened daily by my ex to pay all of the debts no matter what it took and he would spend the money faster than it would come in. He did work but never bothered to look at what the expenses where. Everything was always my fault, and I had to find a way to make it work or else. The or else could mean anything. He had taken off at one time for weeks with our youngest daughter and I did not know where they were. I lived in fear of him and of my employer. I only blame myself. I did not know how to get out. You are right, no one cares the reason for what we did. Stay strong, we are survivors.

  50. Dear Rebecca,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Economic abuse can be a devastating aspect of domestic violence. Victims are made to pay household bills, grocery bills, get clothes for the kids and incur more and more debt. The abuser meanwhile continues to spend money as if it comes out of thin air. I’m sorry that this has hurt you and that you are now facing legal issues. I’m happy to hear that your current husband is being supportive and I wish you the best. You are absolutely a survivor! Please call us if you need any other resources or just need someone to talk to. The phone number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline is (800) 799-SAFE(7233).


    Hotline Advocate-MT

  51. Dear hotline,

    My situation is my abusive 16 years old son. He is getting worse everyday. Since he dropped out of high school last year, he will sleep until mid day, find the food he like to eat in the pantry, I do shopping for preparing lunches for other children to take to school, he will eat it all, turn on and watch TV all day. He is very reluctant to help out the housework, refuse to clean his room. The worse thing his girl friend is staying with him in his room without our permission. He begs us that if we allow her to stay, he promises to tidy up and goes to TAFE ( a school for kids can’t cope with normal school).
    They just take everything for granted, eat, sleep, watch TV and use all the utilities without contributing nothing. He is also sponging off his girl friend. His girl friend gave him her old iphone and laptop for thanking him to stay with him using our expenses. We ask them to move out and they refuse and say ” make us to move, nothing you can do about it”. He said ” I am your son, it is our responsibilities to provide and support him. He is abusive, he slams doors and some of the doors are broken, call me name f**king bitch, stupid woman, dog in front of other children. I am the worst mum in the world. if I try to ask him to clean up, he will do a very bad job. He has no intention to find a job and they are very content to live in my house and use whatever they want. We are victimized by our son. I don’t really know what to do because he has no where to go, he is not adult yet. I don’t know my right. We have called the police a couple of times. After negotiating with him, he changes for a month or so and he is back on the same routine without respect, obey house rules, threatening other members of the family. Could you give me advise please?

  52. Hi, my boyfriend has been getting me pregnant to make it hard for me to leave. This is our 3 rd my 4 th. I have been through so many things, and he claims he has changed. It’s been at least 6mos with no physical abuse. I can handle verbal argueing, because it can be apologized for, but busting my eyelid open with a cell phone was the last straw. I think it made him realize he was hurting me more than he thought. I am still terrified, because I am scared his meaness will come back. I haven one to helo

  53. This has made me cry a lot reading your post. It helps a little to believe my man may ne changing. I hope that if I continue to be in this relationship he really does stop. I am so afraid to even talk on here. He looks through my web history. Bit I need someone who understands what I am going through. I wish you.luck and hope you have truly improved too

  54. Alice,

    I am so sorry to hear what you are experiencing with your son. By no means do you deserve to have to go through the emotional abuse that he is putting you and the rest of your family through. I know you are not certain of what you can do, but I want you to know that there is support available for you as a parent. Our hotline in general does not have parenting support, but please consider contacting the National Parent Helpline. The National Parent Helpline has advocates there to support you as a parent with whatever you may be experiencing. Their number is (855) 427-2736. I hope you are able to find support with them and that you and your family will be safe.

    Hotline Advocate MK

  55. Shay,

    Thank you for reaching out, I know it is not easy to do so especially with the fear of your boyfriend looking through your web history. First and foremost, I want you to know if you are not safe to use the web, you can call us, I will provide you with our number shortly. You have mentioned so many things that are very concerning. Your boyfriend getting you pregnant intentionally is called reproductive coercion. That happens in abusive relationships, where an abusive partner with get the other partner pregnant, in attempt of making things more difficult and gaining more power and control over the other partner. Not only are you experiencing reproductive coercion, but from what you have shared it sounds like there is extreme physical abuse as well as emotional abuse going on. I know it hasn’t happened in several months, but it’s still not ok, you should never ever be physically or emotionally abused by your partner. I would like to encourage you to call us if you are safe to. I know you are still terrified and scared of this happening in the future and we are here to talk to you about that. We are here 24-7 and have advocates ready to listen and support you in what you are going through. Give us a call at 1-800-799-7233. You do not deserve to be hurt or treated that way; we are here to support you and hope to hear from you.

    Hotline Advocate MK

  56. Hi im looking for help ..I grew up seeing domestic violence, my father would always beat my mom , he was an alcoholic and nothing else mattered. Im now 25 years old n im in a domestic relationship ONLY this time im the abuser..im not proud of it at all ..I need serious help ..my mental state of mind has been hurt before you get hurt , protect yourself. Only thing is im not doing it the right way ..no one deserves to be physically or emotional hurt I dont know how to control myself and worst of all my 5 year old has seen me argue and fight.. please lead me in a good direction

  57. Dear Nancy,
    Our upbringing can certainly have an affect on how we function in relationships. Change can occur when a person indentifies that they have a problem and then takes responsibility for changing that behavior. The fact that you can admit that you are being abusive is a first step. Having a 5 year old is even more reason to try and get help for your abusiveness. There are programs that we can suggest. Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline to get those resources, (800) 799-7233.


    Hotline Advocate MT

  58. I can fully appreciate the comments here as I too have been physically abusive to my partner over the years. I think that I have had so much anger holed up inside of me that I hold it in for as long as possible but any vent to it and it pours out like a nuclear explosion and I just don’t have the power to control it until its too late. The last big fight I had with my wife ended up with me getting arrested and now I don’t live at home. I am waiting for a court date and its quite possible that I will never see my kids again. The rules down here are extremely strict for my situation.
    I accept that we both need counseling as my wife regularly verbally dares me to hit her when I am angry and I tell her that I just don’t want to. Then everything gets ugly and I think “what the hey!” and stupidly and pathetically she gets what she asked for…I got her to go to a battered wives seminar and only recently i agreed to go too but too little too late as I got arrested before I could start my own therapy. My eldest boy saw the last fight and I know then that I lost his respect forever.
    I used to wonder if I really loved my wife and I began to doubt myself. As I sit here I realise that if I don’t love her then above all I definitely respect her more now for putting up with me for so damned long.
    I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs and don’t smoke so I would really like to know where all this anger is coming from.
    I want to be a normal calm and respectful husband and father.
    Any advice would be great. Thanks for being here.

  59. Jim,

    Thank you for reaching out to our blog community. It sounds like a lot has been going on and it takes so much courage to reach out for help. At the hotline, we know that abusive relationships are not caused by anger, they happen because one person uses different tactics to gain and maintain power and control in the relationship. Many times anger, along with threats and intimidation, are common tactics used to maintain the power and also lead to the escalated incidents of physical violence.

    It sounds like you are really concerned that you may not be able to see your family again, and that is completely understandable. If you would like to talk about what has happened and explore your options to change, feel free to contact us, The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233. Advocates are available 24/7 and your call will be completely anonymous and confidential.

  60. Have you explored for a medical opinion? Maybe its something beyond your control. Sometimes its a little late to realize you are wrong but its never too late to get help, not only for you but to be a better parent. Good luck on your journey.

  61. i have been married to my husband for almost four months and his hitting me has gotten worse and he has bruised my legs so bad i cant wear shorts ots crazy he wont let me do much of anything he told me if i leave he will kill me cause its death to us part and i love him but i should not go through this and im worried he is getting worse cause he has choked me and head butted me and told me he will kill me and my family but everytime i try to leave he takes my phone and wont let me leaveand i am scared he eventuallywill kill meand i have threekids i fear he will hurt two girls one boy please help me get out ququietly

  62. Jackie,

    Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. This sounds like such a dangerous and scary situation. It takes so much strength to reach out for help and I am so glad you have contacted us. From what you have described, it sounds like this is a very abusive situation. Abuse happens because one person uses many different tactics to gain power and control over another person. It sounds like in this case, there is a lot of intimidation and manipulation being used to maintain that power. It sounds like the abuse has been escalating and that is what we know continues to happen in abusive relationships.

    It sounds like you are very concerned for your safety, and that is completely understandable. Know that we, The National Domestic Violence Hotline, is available 24/7 at 1800-799-7233 to help brainstorm a plan for you to leave safely. It is so important to have this plan because he is going to try to make it as difficult as possible for you to leave, as you have already experienced. Advocates are always available to offer guidance and support and your call will be completely anonymous and confidential.

    Til then,


  63. I have been with my abuser for about 5 years. I have a 10 year old daughter. When we first got together, he was kind,generous, affectionate, and caring. For the past few years, I haven’t gone a day without crying. It is clear that he only cares about himself. He gets drunk daily. Last week, he promised to stop drinking. That lasted a day. When I try to leave, he blocks the doors and steals my money and keys. I have no family and no close friends. I work a part time job and would like a full time job but have not been able to find one. I have to spend my money on household expenses. So I can not save. He calls in to work often. He no longer helps with household chores and sleeps all day. He constantly insults, mocks, and degrades me. I have nowhere to go. I wish he would change but I can no longer believe him. I have left him before and took him back because he seemed remorseful. He was arrested for domestic violence once. He paid a lawyer some money and did not have to even appear in court.

  64. Hi Jacqueline,

    We really appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. It takes courage to share your experiences and feelings with a community. It sounds like your partner has changed a lot, and that can be difficult in the best of circumstances. When it happens in an abusive relationship, and your partner’s deceit and manipulation become evident, it can be so painful, frustrating, and overwhelming. I can hear how deeply your partner’s abusive choices have hurt you, and how isolated and trapped you feel.

    I know it doesn’t make sense how we can still care about an abusive person, or want to believe that they will change, but people and feelings are complicated. We don’t automatically stop caring or have the ability to leave someone when they become abusive. I hear that you feel trapped in the relationship and your living situation. Taking care of yourself, your daughter, and your home takes so much energy and strength on a daily basis. It’s really smart to think about how to provide for yourself and your daughter, so that when you leave and get safe, you’ll be able to maintain that environment and stay safe. You both have the right to be safe and no one should ever take that away from you.

    If you’d like to talk about resources in your area, or brainstorm about next steps, we are always here for you to talk, anonymously and confidentially. Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-799-7233 or chat with us online Monday through Friday, 9am-7pm CST.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

  65. Is it possible that the only symptom they have is the physical abuse its self? I have been in a relationship with my fiance for almost 3 years, he’s not jealous or doesn’t put me down unless we are arguing. He doesn’t try to control me in any way however if I bring things up from the past (his cheating) he loses his temper and beats me I feel like I bring it on my self. I am a widow and only met my fiance 2 months after I lost my husband, I feel lost.

  66. He was an emotional manipulator, a complainer, and was aggressive in bed. He took an anti anxiety medication he had just been prescribed, and attacked me a couple weeks ago. We were living with my mom- and he attacked her too. Her punched her in the head and neck and she fell down, busting her head on the wall. I got her and the kids out while he trashed our room and broke everything he could. I forgot my phone so ran back in the house and that’s when he came at me. After we left he continued to wreck things, and cut himself all over his arm. It is now I remember he also tripped me once when pregnant with our daughter, and hit me in my back once when I fell asleep while he was talking to me to wake me up (it was really late and he was drunk). He would keep me awake at night to keep him company, even after I had gotten up early and had watched the kids all day. He is now facing a felony charge and may go to prison for 2-10 years. He blames it on the drinking and the medication. He says he doesn’t remember what happened, only flashes (and to be fair I have seen him forget conversations minutes after having them when taking this medicine). He said he couldn’t believe what he did, was in shock, and said he’d never take the meds again. He said he would do anything to be with me, but I don’t trust him anymore. I want to believe it was the alcohol and meds, I do. But I am not sure if I can. I want him to get help, for himself, not for me. And I want the same for me. I don’t know if he can change, even though I am “the best thing that ever happened to him.” If that is so, then why would he hurt me? I fear him now. I love him still, but fear him as well. Maybe one day he can change, but I don’t want to be stuck with him if he can’t or won’t. I thought he was going to kill me two weeks ago. And that’s not something one can just forgive and forget. I find it really hard though, now, without him here. I am so alone and I miss him. I cry a lot, even though I know I have to be strong for the kids. I am just not used to the loneliness, betrayal and constant fear. I have no friends, but my family has been very helpful. I know it is going to take time to get on with my life, but I just feel so lost..

  67. Hi Dolly,

    We’re so glad that you reached out for information about your relationship. Every relationship is different, and abuse takes many different forms. It can be primarily, or even solely physical. We know that the lack of jealousy or controlling behavior doesn’t make the situation any easier. Your fiance has no right to hurt you or put his hands on you. There are healthy ways to communicate and have conflict in a relationship, and physical violence is not one of them. If you’d like to check out more information on healthy relationships, I encourage you to check out our website here.

    You are not responsible for your fiance’s choices, or the fact that he hurts you. There is nothing that you’ve done that makes it happen. Your fiance chooses to be violent and abusive, and that is why it happens. He may not like that you bring up the past, but that doesn’t give him the right to hurt you. He has other options available when it comes to how he responds or handles the situation.

    I hear that you feel lost. It can be incredibly difficult to feel alone, and scared. You have the right to feel safe and no one should take that away from you. Please know that we are here for you 24/7 and you are welcome to call us anytime at 1-800-799-7233. Our calls are all confidential and anonymous.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

  68. Bella,

    Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. This sounds like such a scary situation, it seems like you did so much to keep you and your family safe. And I think that creativity and strength is the first thing we should recognize. From what you have shared, it sounds like this was a very abusive relationship. We know that abuse happens because one person feels entitled to power and control in the relationship. Abusers use many different tactics to gain and maintain this control including: minimizing their behavior, finding excuses for their actions, and turning the blame around. It sounds like that is what was going on here with the alcohol and medication. It is understandable to fear a person who has exposed you to so much violence and you have every right to set up those boundaries for your physical and emotional safety.

    It’s great that your family has been supportive! Healing after abuse is a process without a timeline, its totally normal to feel lost. Know that you are not alone with those feelings. I encourage you to give us, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, a call at 1800-799-7233. Advocates are available 24/7 to help you process what has happened as well as help you find local support groups.

    Until then,


  69. I’ve been in an abusive relationship for almost eight years and counting. This man was my first love, my high school sweetheart. We now have a one year old son, and expecting baby #2 in a couple months. In truth, he is all kinds of abuse. He has physically abused me in the past, but it has lessen within the last couple of years. Often times he verbally and emotionally abuses me. You see, it’s not everyday when he’s like this, but I can see how easily he gets angry with me. It’s gotten to the point where I’d have to watch what I do or say to assure he doesn’t get angry. Once his anger breaks loose, he’ll make me feel horrible. He never takes back what he says, and he never apologizes. Despite the fact that I cry every night thinking about it, I know I’m obviously not happy. My only dilemma now is that I’ll be having two kids with him, and it would only be harder for me to leave. I hate the fact that he isn’t afraid to yell and argue in front of our son, I hold on in hopes for change, but I don’t see it likely anymore.. Should I stay? For the kids? Or should I leave? If I do, how can I make it possible?

  70. Broken Heart,

    I know how hard it must be experiencing abuse from your first love. I know that the abuse does not occur every day, but it should never happen. It sounds like you are in fear, watching what you have to say to try not to upset him. It also sounds like he doesn’t take responsibility for any of his actions. I want you to know that this is not your fault. It can be really difficulty living in a situation where there is constant emotional abuse. It is a situation that can be difficult to know what to do in. I know you have a lot of questions and concerns, especially since you will have two children very soon in this situation with you. There are options and we want to talk to you about what those might be. Please give us a call at our 24 hour hotline when you are safe to do so. Our number is 1-800-799-7233. You deserve to be happy!

    Hotline Advocate MK

  71. I was being abused threw out my marriage he would sit on me wn I woke him to go to work he would sock my legs and he was controlling I wasn’t allowed to wear certain clothes and wasn’t allowed to go no we’re and at 48 I started using drugs it was like my happy place. We’ll he found them and started kicked me and hittin me with his fists well he broke my ribs and they punched my lung he told me that if I said he done it he would tell them about the drugs well I went to hospital and they told me that I only had a few hours and I would of died my lungs were clasping. I told them I fell of a ladder he has hit me in the head with the telephone picked me up and threw me against the walls and held me down by my hair all night in bed the pain in me hurts to this day iam scared of him I have been with him for 40 yrs I don’t no any diff life he has calmed down but I still am scared know my daughter says she hates me and has came close to hitting me. My life sucks so bad iam not allowed a car or money I feel I prisoned. At one point there wasn’t a place on my body that wasn’t bruised

  72. Sue,

    Oh my goodness, it sounds like you have been through so much! I’m so sorry that he did all those things to you. Its sounds to me like you were doing everything you could to stay safe. Know that none of this is your fault. You do not control his actions and there is nothing you could do to force him to be abusive. That is a choice that he is making. You deserve to be safe and respected. What he is doing is not ok.

    I would encourage you to give us a call at 1(800)799.7233. We are here 24/7 and we are completely confidential/anonymous. We can talk about a plan for your safety and figure out resources that can help you get out if you want too.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  73. I am recently going thru the same thing with my partner. We have been together for 12 years, but out of those 12 years we were engaged for 6 years. I cancelled my wedding and gave his ring back, which this was about 2 weeks ago. We still are living together, with my 13 year old son and our 5 year old son. My partner is a very selfish, angry, and controlling person to me and the kids. He yells, throw things, and punches holes in the wall. He especially is mean to my oldest son, which I truly believe because he is not his son. I hate having to have my kids to go thru this. I stand up to him everytime he gets angry, especially protecting my kids. (My mom always told me that “People will do anything they want to you, if only you allow it.”)When I cancelled the wedding and told him I was moving out, he is now trying to act like he is now a changed man over night. Going to church, and theorpy. I am happy that he is trying to better himself, but we been down this road about 5xs and I just dont believe him. I am confused as well, and don’t know what to do. I have mixed feelings about him, because I want to believe him but it might just be too late to fix.

  74. Yolanda,
    It sounds like you and your kids are going through a very overwhelming and stressful situation. You sound so brave and strong for all that you’re going through, and for continuing to stand up for yourself; that sounds like it might be very scary to do sometimes.
    If you’d ever like to reach out to us, you can give us a call 24/7 to talk with an advocate about what is going on. We are completely anonymous and confidential.
    Please call us anytime you are safe to talk. 1-800-799-7233


  75. Dear dm1728,
    I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. You are not alone. I have experienced this as well. Even though my husband seemed regretful of his behavior & showed signs of improvement for a while, his tactics changed for the worse. It was all very confusing to the point that I wasn’t sure how to protect myself mentally, emotionally, physically & financially. At that time I didn’t realize there were others I could talk to, sadly I was very isolated even though I was a Pastor’s Wife in a very large church & very large denomination. My husband was very good at his public appearance. I just want you to know that you are not alone, there are others who understand, care & want to talk & help you in any way they can.

  76. jackie, What you’re going through sounds so difficult. My abusive marriage was difficult as well, but one thing I wish I’d done much sooner & more often was to attend a really good domestic violence support group 2-3 times per week. If I could go back & do it all over, I’d have talked to the Hotline daily, gone to a dv group once or more per week & stayed in constant contact with a dv advocate who could help me sort out my thoughts. Having people to talk to who have experience with domestic violence helped me so much, but I definitely wish I’d have known about that support much earlier on. I realized that my husband’s communication to me was 95% of what was shaping my thinking, so I needed to have more people speaking to me who were true professionals in the issue of domestic violence. In our community the YWCA and the local domestic violence agency has wonderful groups. The Hotline also knows how to find local groups in your area as well. I realize my situation isn’t identical to yours, but my heart goes out to you and I just wanted to share what I learned in the hopes that it might help you.

  77. Cinderelly,
    I realize your post was a few months ago, I’m just hoping things are better for you now. A book that helped me is called When Love Hurts by Karen McAndless-Davis. It really helped me to look at what was happening to me & think about how each incident affected me & how I felt about it. Not sure I can explain it, but when I read that book it just felt that someone was actually asking me how I felt about how I was being treated. Many times looking back, I wish I had filed for Divorce & protection order because I believe at that time the police can then come & escort the abuser to leave the residence. I was a Pastor’s Wife for 30 years so everyone thought my life was wonderful & that my husband was the same person at home that he pretended to be in public, but that was not the truth. He eventually moved out & now I can actually sit & read a book in my own living room in peace without being sworn at or treated badly.

  78. Right before marrying Joe (that’s what I’ll call him), I started to feel isolated and trapped as if every move was controlled. Depression set in, and he said we could hold off on getting married. We waited a week to get settled then married at the beach, just he and I. Immediately after marriage, the criticism began calling me lazy and things of that nature. He threatened physical violence – saying he would break my hand when I got upset and was defending myself.

    He said I seemed distant, not as affectionate before we got married, and one day while I was at my mother’s, he had a terrible episode. He called talking divorce, called me the most awful things I had ever heard; he threatened to burn our new house down, and said he would make my life a living hell. Later that night, he threatened suicide.

    My family wouldn’t let me go home. I stayed at my mother’s for a few days, and we met at counseling. For the last week or two, he has been kind, remorseful – including reading his Bible every day and being proactive to attend church services.

    I can’t get peace. And I no longer feel the same that I did before. My older sister, who I trust with everything, says that I should walk away. I am independent, have no children and have a good job.

    I am hurt so badly and do not want to be in an abusive relationship. Two weeks after marriage and I experience suicide threats, physical threats and verbal abuse.

  79. I have been with my husband for 29 years. He has always been rigid, controlling and verbally abusive. In the past 2 years (since the last of our grown children moved out) he has become increasingly physically violent. It’s getting worse with each day that passes. In addition to raping me every time he upset about some little thing, he has punched me, kicked me, and bashed my head into the wall. I went to the ER with a concussion last month, but I told the doctor I fell down. Our kids don’t know that he is physically abusing me and I would rather not have them find out. He told me that if I try to leave him he will destroy me. I don’t want to leave him because I have been with him since I was 18 years old. I am afraid of living by myself. But I don’t know how to get him to stop hurting me and I’m worried if the violence keeps escalating I could get seriously injured. I am very depressed and confused. What am I supposed to do?

  80. Dearest Anna,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m sorry that you are going through this at such an early point in your marriage. What you have outlined in your letter is very typical of how abusers function. Many threaten to take their life if you leave. Again this is an attempt to have power and control over you…a way to make you stay with him. I’m glad you have so much support from your family. This can be invaluable during such hard times.

    You mention that you don’t trust his new “kindness”. We often recommend that callers listen to their instinct. Abusers go back and forth with their actions. Unfortunately this doesn’t mean they will change. It is often a way of manipulating you to stay with them.

    I know you are hurting and I hope you will reach out to us for help. The National Domestic Violence hotline number is (800) 799-7233. It sounds like some therapy and attending the support groups at your local domestic violence agency could really be helpful to you.

    Hotline Advocate MT

  81. I have been married for almost 10 years now, I met my s/o 11 years ago. We met online and 2 years later he came to visit me in my country. Then we got married and I moved to his State. I have been here for all those and not once has he petitioned for my green card, even though i have brought it up many times.

    I was very surprised to find this website and to learned most of what i go through from him is considered abuse It’s scary to see so many of the points fit me. a Few years ago he told me if I ever left him that i would not be allowed to have the kids, and he continuously undermines me and tells them bad things about me, in front me me and they disrespect me for it.

    We recently got into more then a few fights where he basically told me the things i brought to his attention were lies and that i was wrong about it and what i was saying about him. In these last 7 years, being without a green card has made it difficult for me to do anything. I’ve been stuck at home the majority of the time unless its to go somewhere with him. I have no friends to turn to except a few online friends. I don’t know what to do. Hes finding new way to make me fall for things he says. The other day i told him I was thinking of leaving, that didn’t go over well, obviously, but he somehow managed to convince me to stay. I made the mistake of bringing up the abuse to him and the website and he tried to turn it around onto me.

    This morning he wakes me up and asked me again if i want to leave and basically told me if i stay he’d help me get the green card through marriage, the one I’ve been trying to get him to do for since we were married, but then he told me if i chose to leave I would be on my own with no place to go and no kids and If i chose to file for the I-360 for which can help abused spouses that it would damage his record and he’d get fired from his job and wouldn’t be able to provide for the kids. I’m so trapped and don’t know what to do, I told him I’d stay and try to work things out but how is this even supposed to work out?!?

  82. Lee Anne,
    Thank you for reaching out. This sounds like such a scary and dangerous situation. It is completely understandable to feel confused about what to do next.

    From what you shared, this sounds like a very abusive relationship. Abuse is about having power and control over the victim, and abusers will try many tactics to maintain it. This includes physical and sexual violence as well as intimidation and threats. Many abusers threaten to ruin their victim’s life if they leave, which usually causes them to feel hopeless and like there are no options. While it is a difficult and complicated situation, there are still options and support available to you. We know that many abusers escalate with time, so I’m glad you’re reaching out for help. It’s never too late to ask for help.

    I would encourage you to reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support. It is normal to feel terrified of taking any steps, but please know that you are not alone. You deserve to be safe and you never deserve to be abused.

    Hotline Advocate VG

  83. Hey,
    I have been with my boyfriend for a little over two years and at first everything was so perfect but now it’s almost like once a week we get into a heated argument and he hits me. It’s never too serious, it’s usually a punch in the arm or leg and a slap in the face or a hard shove but I really don’t like it. He used to never do that, then he started doing it around a year ago and then stopped and started hurting himself instead when he would get mad (he would punch something or slam his fist into his head), now hes hitting me again. Every time, immediately after he hits me, i can tell he feels bad and he says stuff like “i didn’t use my strength” or “i had an open fist” like hes trying to justify himself and make it seem like it wasn’t that bad. Sometimes after he does it, he just completely denies that he did, almost like he blacked out and didn’t even realize that he hit me. He also will say really mean things to me before or while he hits me, such as “You Motherf*cking dumb*ss b*tch”. but on the other hand we have so many good times and sometimes I feel so protected and safe and he can be so sweet and nice and really take care of me. I love him so much, i planned on spending the rest of my life with him but i know that what he’s doing isn’t right. I never thought i would be in this type of situation. He was so perfect and now I just don’t know what to do. I just cant imagine being with anyone else.

  84. I have been with my bf for 15 years. We have 6 kids together. He has always wanted to be the main part of my life, not wanting me to have friends or go out. After my mom died some things happened and I even cut off all ties to my family at his request. We moved to another state where we didnt know anyone. Recently he has started long haul trucking hes gone 28 days and home for 4. Im stuck at home with 6 kids no car and so alone. He doesnt want me to have any friends talk to anyone he even wants us both to cut ties with his whole family even with them being across the country from me. His family recently witnesses the way he speaks to me and they have been trying to convince me to move in with them with my kids and telling me how its not right and its verbal abuse and I dont deserve it. I love him and I dont want my kids to grow up without their dad but I cant live like this either. I am so alone and depressed. I dont know what to do I want more for my life and i definitely want more for my kids. I want to leave and I dont eithet way I couldnt take his family up on their offer its not right for me to leave him and his family taking us in. I need to do this on my own my youngest is only 3 weeks I have never put my kids in day care but if I leave I will have no option.please help

  85. Dear Michelle,

    Thank you for sharing your life experience with us. Abusers will always give excuses when it comes to their actions. Like you said there is never a good reason for them to put their hands on someone they’re supposed to love. Love is not supposed to hurt. Abusers also seem to convienintly forget what they did. When we are in domestic violence there is often a part of us that wants to look at the good in the relationship. It is never all bad, otherwise we probably wouldn’t stay. You deserve to be treated with love, consideration, and respect at all times. A healthy relationship doesn’t allow for mistreatment. Please call us so we can help you through your life process. The hotline number is (800) 799-7233.

    Hotline Advocate MT

  86. Dear Trapped and Confused,
    Thank you for reaching out. It sounds like such a tough and confusing situation for you. Most abusers do turn things around on their victims when the victim points out the abusive behavior to them. It’s part of victim blaming and gaslighting. By making you believe that you are somehow to blame, he can maintain his power and control over you. Your situation sounds very controlling and it sounds like he is very manipulative. Many abusers will also tell you that reaching out for help will jeopardize their career when that may not be the case. Some options for immigration are confidential and it’s possible that he may never find out.

    We would love to talk to you about your options and offer you support. I would encourage you to reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support.

    Hotline Advocate VG

  87. Dear scarednhurt,
    Thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry that you are going through this situation. It’s completely natural to feel conflicted.

    From what you shared, this sounds like an emotionally abusive situation. It sounds like you feel very trapped and alone, which is not something that normally happens in a healthy relationship. Many abusers try to isolate their victims and keep them from becoming independent. This includes moving you to a new place where you would not have any support. Many abusers also keep their victims from talking to friends and family. I’m glad to hear that his family has been supportive and is trying to help you out.

    Please take your time making a decision, but I would encourage you to reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We can offer you emotional support and talk to you about your options. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support.

    Hotline Advocate VG

  88. My fiance got drunk the other night and out of his face ddrunk he grabbed a girls behind and called him my name i seeen it and so we left. On our way home he fought with a guy as both got into words aftert this guy pushed mine he was angry and scared me he knew this and got very worked up thinking i would leave him. I asked him to sleep on the couch as i was pissed about he gilr but told him wed talk when he was sober and assured him i lvoed him out of the blue (he was quite and just didnt know what was happening at the time) he got up and kicked me to the side of the head. I feel over and my brother heard this and asked my fiance to leave my finace worried (he didnt no what hed done even though he did it!) said no psuhed my brother off and grabbed me to ask what happened they then fought and the police where called. He was arrested and i since found out he has priors (never charged for them) for assaulting two exc girl friends. I’m devastated my life has been turned upside down and the worse part is everyone of his friends and family are on my side and worn me he wants me back. And everyone on my side wants him dead (oddly my mam is being supportive saying that she knows it was down to the drink and that he needs help) but either way i know i cant get back with him. Like he never hurt me before and hes always been my prince (helping me through illness, doing things no one else would with me and helping with my job and college he proposed only a short time before this and even told me he’d wait for kids or that we can adopt as he knows i might not be able to concieve in later years) i’m just blown awway by the hurt this has caused and i cant get over him i feel widowed.

  89. Alexis,

    Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. This sounds like such a complicated situation and it is totally normal to feel confused and overwhelmed by everything that has happened. It sounds like everything escalated really quickly that night, that’s so scary. From what you have shared, it sounds like this could have been a situation that continued to escalate. Abuse happens because one person feels like they deserve the power and control in the relationship and use many different strategies to get it. That includes being very charming as well as escalating to physical violence. We also know that abuse is always a choice and that alcohol is usually used as an excuse for someone who is not taking responsibility for their actions. There are many people who get drunk and don’t become aggressive. This could be very difficult to think about all at once, and it is understandable to approach this with compassion since this is someone who you care so much about.

    Know that your feelings are completely understandable and that this is going to be a process. I encourage you to reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233 to speak to an advocate about what has happened as well as strategies to heal. The hotline is available 24/7 and your call is completely anonymous and confidential.

    I hope you are able to call.
    Until then,

  90. hi i need some advice im currently in a domestic realtionship just today my bf hit me with a wrench on my wrist i really want to leave him im just so scared i have three kids all under the age of 5 im tired of all the abuse i need to get out of this realtionship im just so scared that i wont be able to provide of my kids i ve never worked in my life i depend on him thats one of the rasons i dont leva im use to all the verbal and physical abuse i just would like to talk to someone

  91. lonley26,

    Thank you so much for reaching out. It’s never ok for anyone to abuse you. It is so scary and traumatic to have someone you trust and depend on be abusive towards you. Abusers usually try to keep you dependent on them to maintain their power and control. Being able to financially support yourself is such a huge concern for many people that we talk to, especially when there are children involved. It can be scary and overwhelming to reach out for help, but there are resources out there for people trying to leave. It’s not easy but it’s possible.

    Talking to an advocate might about your options and resources in your area may help you make a decision. I encourage you to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We’re here 24/7 to support you.

    Hotline Advocate VG

  92. Hi, I have been with my boyfriend for 11 years and we have 3 children. He is a Veteran and suffers from ptsd and is bipolar, I thought things were getting better between us, he hasn’t hit me in a long time, but it got so bad the other night, he hit me in the face and now i have a black eye, there have been times where he would just push me or mush my face, but nothing like this ever. He apoloigized which he never really does and felt so bad that he had to leave the house tonight because he couldnt stand to see what hes done to my face. He goes to threapy once a month and is medication but he does not want to become dependent on the meds, what should i do?

  93. Shev,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to our blog community. This sounds like such a scary and complicated situation. It sounds like you have approached this with so much compassion and understanding but we know that there is no excuse for abuse. Because it sounds like there are so many layers to this situation, I encourage you to give us, The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233, a call to talk this through as well as explore strategies to stay safe. Our hotline is available 24/7 and is completely anonymous and confidential.

    Until then,

  94. Hi, I met my boyfriend in 2011 and since day one he was charming and loving but then he started hitting me every time he thought I was going to leave him.he kept me away from my family and harrash me at work. In 2012 he got sentence for treating me with a gun and give me a beat up…almost 3 years have past and he is soon to b release in november 2014…we have been talking on his time in jail and he seems change….we talk so much and I feel in love with him, he is funny and he admits all his wrongs…but just yesterday we argue over the phone and I told him I didn’t want to be with him… he said something that has me scare because he sounded very serious about it, he told me he will kill me and himself because he cant go on without me….I’m a little scare, especially when November is around the corner…is change possible? Did he just said that out of anger??

  95. Vanessa,
    Thank you for reaching out and sharing your experiences with our blog community. It sounds like you went through a very scary situation with this person in the past and that you might be seeing some similar behaviors in him over the phone again, that sounds really scary and confusing.
    It concerns me that he has threatened to kill you and then to commit suicide, this is a big red flag we see in domestic violence. This is not something people would just say out of anger.
    If you’d like to talk with an advocate in more detail about what’s going on, your concerns, and to safety plan before November, you can contact us anytime.
    You can contact our hotline 24/7 at 1.800.799.7233 or you can chat with us at thehotline.org M-F from 9 AM to 7 PM CST.
    We’re completely confidential and anonymous.

    Hotline Advocate KK

  96. You know you have to leave, but it’s so hard! I was once in a very similar situation to yours. It would get bad and I would get away, but soon I was Begging him to let me come home. Can you believe it? Then I remembered something my father had said to me once when I ran away from home. He said, “Kid, you know you’ll have to leave us sometime. But don’t run away until you have something to run toward.” Always my escape was fueled by immense fear and not by intelligent thought. As the counselors said–You need a plan.

    Thank goodness my abusive husband was not very clever. I got a job and some credit cards. I bought us some much needed clothing and sneaked them into the house. I bought a car of my own (I told him I had to have one for work)–BUT I put his car up for collateral for my car. He never even looked over the papers, he just signed them. I had time for all of this, but I am not sure that you do. And I had friends to help me.

    You too can have a plan of your own. Make one NOW, Run away to a better life. Good luck.

    I see that this was written some time ago. I hope that by now you are in a better situation. Don’t give up!

  97. Please take his threats seriously . When you get some time alone try to gather all important papers IDs, ss cards, birth certificates , car titles ect. put them all in a envelope or bag and give it to a parent or someone you can trust or keep it in a place you can grab it on your way out. But remember material thing can be replaced YOU and your CHILDREN’S lives are irreplaceable . I pray you get away safely.

  98. Dear Shawnery,

    Your advice is great. You’re so right, nothing is as important as a person’s safety and the safety of their children. Gather important documents and call the National Domestic Violence Hotline so we can brainstrom about your options. There is a way out!

    Hotline Advocate MT

  99. Dear Karen,

    Your words shed so much wisdom. You are a true survivor! When possible it is great to have an exit plan. This can help ensure that you have a way to take care of yourself and your children. There are resources to help make this plan and help a person escape domestic violence. Call us for these resources and to talk to us about your options. Like you said Karen, “Don’t give up!” You have a community of people behind you. People that you don’t even know are prepared to help you. Please call us at the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-7233.

    Always with you,
    Hotline Advocate MT

  100. Oh my gosh……… This almost reads like ‘I wrote it myself……….. Difference is a shorter time line for me….. He spoils me rotten, tells me almost constantly how wonderful I am and how he has dreamed of me his entire life…. and I admit, it’s like we are supposed to be together……. it’s miraculous……….. Then the other 3% of our relationship emerges……. cursing horrible horrible things has now developed into backhanding and choking…. but then right back to the loving compliments and total admiration……… Everything I read and see says “RUN RUN” but I truly love him………. but how could that be?? How could I be so foolish?? I admit that drug use has now entered the picture and come to light now that I finally had him arrested the other day…… What if he never, ever uses again?? Can the abuse stop?? He has am exwife and children and has never been aggressive to them……… Please help me before his court date in a few days… Because now that he has 2 weeks sober, he is again my best friend, lover, team mate, soulmate that I met just over a year ago……… Help me to understand how someone who professes his love so vehemently for me could flip a switch so drastically…. Could him being sober fix everything???

  101. Christina,
    Thank you so much for your addition to our blog community. It sounds as though the post really resonated with you and what you have been facing has been extremely difficult. As you pointed out, so much of the behavior abusers exhibit falls along the same trend. Abusers can be so good at making a situation confusing, going back and forth between the charmer and the batterer. The thing that is hard to remember is that this is the same person. What we see is that many abusive people exhibit that sweet, loving behavior as a method of manipulation, knowing that this is what their partner wants, only to take it away. It can create a very confusing situation where the survivor is trying to figure out what is real. The most important thing to note is that abuse is a choice, and although they may say pretty words and have pretty deeds, they still make that decision to hurt their partners.
    It would be ideal if being sober would solve the whole abuse but unfortunately we don’t see that as being the case. Many people abuse alcohol and other substances and make the decision to not be abusive, so that alone is not an excuse to hurt their partner. We know that it is a small likelihood of change with abusive persons, but that gets especially tricky when they attribute the abuse to outside things, like drugs or alcohol. It sounds as though you have been going through so much with this relationship, and would encourage you to reach out to the Hotline any time if you would like continued support. We are 24 hours, completely confidential and anonymous and we can be reached at (800) 799-7233.
    Take care,
    Hotline Advocate RF

  102. Thank you RF… beautifully written….
    Thank you for acknowledging how truly confusing the entire relationship is…
    Truth is, I know better…….. I know I deserve to live a life not shrouded with fear or even anticipation of the next “flip side” interaction…
    I have actually made the decision to move FAR away and move in with my daughter… Work on me for awhile…. Though I can’t bring myself to full acceptance that my relationship is over right now, I am giving myself the chance to feel again, to explore, to gain the confidence and clarity I am missing right now……. It tears me up to take this first step, actually brings tears to my eyes that ‘I am leaving a man that loved me so much… but if he truly does, then fear and uncertainty wouldn’t be the other emotion I seem to be feeling… What a tangled web is weaved when someone sets out to deceive…. perhaps a few months enjoying the aurora borealis (forgive my spelling) will help me with clarity…
    and for all or any of you struggling with uncertainty and confusion, remember that if it was meant to be than it will still be when you let it go… but give yourself the chance to find out… Give yourself the chance to see the picture from the outside for a time…. This is the first moment I have actually felt “right” about anything for quite sometime…. I deserve a chance to see what the world holds for me… you deserve that “right” feeling too..

  103. Me and my husband have had a bad relationship since the beginning every time I’ve tried to leave he’d lock me in hotel rooms or stop the car in the middle of the freeway till I said I’d stay I finally agreed with myself that he’d never let me go it got to the point to where he had his gun to his head till I said I’d stay when he went on an eight month deployment he cheated on me I had proof and everything and I thought this is my way out finally we were fighting like crazy I’d try to hit him to let me out of the room he’d lock me in but he’d always hit me back harder I was probably the first girl to get excited over being cheated on but he denied everything and refused to let me file for divorce I’m not allowed out with friends or talk to certain people I’ve asked his mom for help but she says to suck it up l don’t want to tell my mom about it but I need to get out of this marriage we got into an argument again I asked for divorce his first reply was to slap me down to the ground this whole situation has me stressed I’m gaining weight when I’m stressed I throw up like crazy I know he won’t kill me but he’ll threaten me to get what he wants my face right now is numb because I tried to hit him totally missed and fell and he elbowed me in the face to stop me from trying again and as soon as he knows he hurt me he’ll cuddle me and say sorry I don’t know where to turn to Ive got nothing

  104. Bella,

    Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It sounds like you’ve been through so much! You absolutely deserve to be safe and supported and what he is doing is absolutely unacceptable. We know here that abusive people can be incredibly manipulative and threatening suicide is a very common manipulative tactic. It makes you feel like the bad guy and put all the blame on you. Its a way that he can escape accountability for his actions. And it is not ok. It is also a warning sign that he may hurt you and than hurt himself, especially if he has access to guns. We know that abusive people will often escalate their abuse if they think that you are leaving because they want to have power and control. You leaving is a clear indication that he no longer has that. Its going to be very important that he doesn’t find out about any preparations that you make to leave. Know that whatever you are feeling right now is ok and that you are not alone.

    I would encourage you to give us a call when its safe. Our number is 1 (800) 799 7233. We are here 24/7 and we are confidential/anonymous. We can talk about your situation, develop a plan for your safety and get you connected to resources that can help. This includes legal advocacy. You have rights and we want to get you in touch the people who can help fight for them. You can also check out the website women’s law for state specific information around domestic violence and family law.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  105. I could really use some advice. My boyfriend and I have become abusive in our relationship. I have never been abusive in my entire life until I met this guy (he’s my first boyfriend). It started with him pushing me onto the floor in the heat of an argument or hitting me on the arm/hand. Then it got worse and I started to be abusive as well. But not as bad or as frequently as him. He started choking me and he bit my so hard on my leg twice that I was limping for two days. Then the worst of all was when I damaged one of his video games and he started throwing objects at me. I ignored him cause I knew he was furious but he threw shears (about the size of scissors) at me so hard it stabbed me in the hand. I thought of phoning the police but his mom convinced me not to. He has threatened to burn my hair and has elbowed me in the face before. One of the few times that I actually did hit him he called the police on me. I felt betrayed because I had gone through so much worse but still loved him enough to want to protect him from going to jail. Right now I’m back home visiting my family. We haven’t seen each other in weeks and are being so lovable and sweet to each other. We always tend to be like that when apart. He told me that he needs me, that I mean everything to him, and that he wants to marry me. I believed him but then the minute we had an argument he told me he was done, that it was over. This isn’t the first time that he has given up so easily. Why tell me that you need me if you are on the verge of leaving me? I don’t understand and I don’t know what I should do. We have a 20 month old son as well who thankfully has been kept away from most of the arguments

  106. Liz,

    Thank you so much for reaching out. It sounds like you have been in a very abusive and dangerous situation. It sounds like he has been both physically and emotionally abusive. How we understand abuse is when one person wants to have power and control over their partner. It is a pattern of behavior. Sometimes survivors/victims will strike back after abuse but that doesn’t make the victim/survivor abusive. Because again, abuse is about power and control. It sounds like you have been through some really scary things and it is natural to want to defend yourself. Nothing justifies his behavior and it is not your fault at all. He is the only one responsible or in control of his actions. Abusive people will often be hot and cold. One minute they are sweet and loving and the next they are abusive and hurtful. This is a tactic that abusive people use to keep you unbalanced and never knowing what is going to happen next. They do this because its easier to control you if never know what will happen next and it can lure you into a false sense of security. The fact that he has choked you is very, very concerning to me because its a red flag that things might get deadly.

    I would really encourage you to give us a call at 1 (800) 799.7233. We are here 24/7 and completely confidential/anonymous. We can talk about the different dynamics of abuse, develop a plan for your safety and get you connected to resources in your area that can help. Know that you don’t have to face this alone and that there is support out there for you.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  107. I have an 8month baby who recently had a brain injury i have to deal with my daughtes disability and ive been dealing with her father being explosive and manipulating. I moved 4 states away to Sacramento CA all my family is back in Texas except my dads brother. I left the house I was in because all hes family blamed me for hes actions he was controlling me with money and cell phone usage. Now that im staying with my family he wants to acuse me of kidnnapping and say that if i bring any guy around hes daughter he will kill me i have recordings also yet I tried to work things out the right way with him but he keeps exploding and making threats after hes madness goes away he wants to be ok i love him yet idk what to do no more im tired of living in fear and not knowin what to do or whats best i just want the best for my daughter.

  108. Itzel,
    Wow. It sounds like you’ve been going through some very scary and overwhelming things. It is understandable that you wanted to go where you had family and hopefully more support. I can hear that you’re scared and want what’s best and safest for you and your daughter. If you’d like to talk to our advocates please don’t hesitate to call with us or chat with us. All of our services are anonymous and confidential.

    Hotline_Advocate KK

  109. Ive been in an abusive marriage for 7yrs things have escalated over time the last draw was him hitting me a few times and pulling a knife on me.
    I left 1 week after this last abuse.
    since then me and my 2 children have been safe in protection.
    He contacted me by phone and he says he sees things differently now that he has booked in for help and he doesnt want me to get my own house because were married I still dont feel safe to go back. He says I dont have to go back but he is trying?! And never wants to abuse me again. Im confused but I think I need to do my own thing and feel safe and see how things go from there. I always second quess myself

  110. Hi Lisa,

    I’m so glad you’re in safe place now. When you’re in a relationship, you should feel safe and respected. It sounds like if you went back, you wouldn’t feel safe anymore and would constantly worry about him becoming abusive again. You have every right to be cautious, especially with how dangerous the situation became before you left. Although change is possible, it takes a lot of time and effort. Trust your instincts. It’s okay to wait and see if he’s changing and becoming healthier. It’s also okay to decide that you don’t want to be in a relationship. This is a big decision and it’s your right to take your time deciding your next steps.

    It’s normal to feel conflicted and to second guess yourself. It helps to check in with other people that you trust or even an advocate at a domestic violence agency. If you have questions or want to talk to an advocate, we’re here 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. We’re completely confidential and anonymous.

    Take care,
    Hotline Advocate VG

  111. Hi. I have a question, Is constant abuse by a Manager or someone of high authority whom singles you out over his or her staff. And constant endless psychological bullyint of forcing power onto you even after these types make you lose your job(s) over enviromental stress is this caused by abuse of Power and manipulation. What can be done?
    This has happened to me twice by management at different companies where i end up carying the emotional burden of the company. I just work there and never even asked to be abused by multiple employees all at the lead manager discernment. Can someone help me as this affects every other job i’ve been on, I am scared for my safety and also the emotional abuse i have received. tHIS also effects every other company i’ve worked for as it seems if i speak out then automatically bullied again. What the heck? can someone please explain this to me any kind of techniques from healing with this trauma. it REALLY is painful.

  112. Jenny,

    Thank you for reaching out to our blog community. It sounds like this has been such an overwhelming situation. We know that there are many people who use their positions of authority to justify their abusive actions. The National Domestic Violence Hotline focuses primarily on intimate partner violence, it sounds like this is a bit different. I will still encourage you to give us a call at 1800-799-7233 to speak to an advocate about the ways you can focus on your emotional safety.

    Everyone deserves to feel safe at work. Feel free to check out this website to find out a bit more about violence in the workplace.

  113. My husband of 12 years jumped on me and broke my arm and put 1o staples and 4 stiches in my head. he blames me . This is not the first fight but it has been years since something like this happen.
    Our oldest son we have together and my other chldren seen this. My oldest son not by him wants to kill him. My husband is not in the home but is on drugs and alcohol very bad, but itis no excuse for what he did Myfriend came over and it look like a crime scene. I have been going to Safehome meetings and enjoying it.

  114. Hi Bebe,

    You and your children must have been so terrified by your abuser. No one ever has the right to be abusive towards you. There’s no justification for breaking your arm and causing you to get stitches. He may blame you, but there’s no truth to his reasoning or justification. He’s an adult who can control his anger if he chooses to, but he chooses to be abusive. Drugs and alcohol usually make abusers worse, but don’t cause the abuse. If someone is an alcoholic and abusive, it’s two separate issues. There are abusers who get treated for alcoholism or drug addiction and keep being abusive because the alcohol/drugs weren’t the problem. You and your kids deserve to live in peace and feel safe. I’m so glad he’s no longer in the home and that you’re getting help.

    It takes courage to ask for support, so I applaud you for going to meetings. It’s hard to talk about the abuse, but it helps to have that support and be in a place where people understand what you’ve experienced. If you would like to talk or get more support, we’re available any time at 1-800-799-7233. We’re completely anonymous and confidential.

    Take care,
    Hotline Advocate VG

  115. Bebe,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with our blog community. This sounds like such a scary and complicated situation. You are definitely right, nothing can justify this behavior. Research has shown how substance abuse and drug use does not force someone to control their partner, and that is what abuse is about. The physical violence is the escalation of everything else that’s going on where one person uses different strategies to gain and maintain power and control over their partner. I am concerned because it sounds like the situation is escalating with your son wanting to kill him. This is a very normal response for a child exposed to abuse. I hope you are able to give us a call at 1800-799-7233 to talk this through and come up with a plan on how to keep everyone safe, including your son. Know that this isn’t anything you deserve and advocates can offer guidance and support 24/7 and everything is completely anonymous and confidential.

  116. Thank you for sharing Shar. I really needed to read this. Most of the abuse I am subjected to is verbal, emotional and financial. I have noticed it affecting my children negatively, but over the six years I’ve been married, I kept trying to make it work. I thought that marriage was supposed to be forever, and that being a Christion, I could only leave if he cheated on me. Howeverh, I have learned that abuse can break the covenant of marriage, too. Even if a person chooses to stay married, a legal separation may be the only way to stop the abuse and give stability to the children. I struggled for years eith whether to stay or go, but I finally had to realize that my children deserve to feel safe and secure, and not have excessive stress put upon them. I also realized that the stress of the abuse was negatively affecting the children, and making it hard for me to be a good mother, worker, student, friend, and Christian. If I hold onto my abusive spouse, I think I will end up losing everything else that matters to me. Still, I grieve the loss of my husband, I still love him, but I have accepted that love is not a reason to stay and be abused.

  117. Lynn,

    Thank you for sharing with our blog community. We know that abusive relationships are such complicated situations, making the decision to leave doesn’t come so easy for everyone. It sounds like that was the case for you too and that is totally understandable. Thank you for sharing your encouraging story with us. Know that you can also contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233 to talk through this situation 24/7 with an advocate.


  118. I am a domestic, particularly verbal abuser. I hope change is possible but it is hard. Abuse is irrational behaviour and in my case arises out of an irrational perception of fear. Until your abuser deals with the underlying causes of his abusive behaviours, ie lack of self value, he will never change. Even if he does he will be fighting against all manner of learned, automatic and conditioned behaviour. Change is hard and takes time and pain. I am trying to change. My wife has left me and I do want to try and fix our marriage, but have accepted this is not my choice. My choice is to get myself to be mentally healthy and realise that I don’t need her, I want her. This is a daily struggle and my progress in change isn’t linear. It is a daily blog, so on dark days you may not like what you read, but it is an honest reflection of the mind of an abuser and how dangerous their minds can be.

  119. Hi Gregory,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so happy to hear that you are on the path to changing your behavior. Any time we attempt to change, there are obstacles and setbacks. As you mentioned, change is difficult, sometimes painful and time consuming. At the same time, it’s difficult to be healthy or happy when you are abusive. It’s great that you are continuing to work on your behavior despite your setbacks. It takes strength to recognize a problem and work hard to solve it. Everyone deserves to be in a healthy relationship and have a happy life.

    While we’re based in the US and don’t have access to resources in the UK, our website does have helpful information. In the UK, I would encourage you to contact RESPECT (http://respect.uk.net/) at 0808 802 4040 if you ever need support or resources. They offer support to callers who are concerned with their behavior and have access to resources in the UK.

    Take care,
    Hotline Advocate VG

    In accordance with our community guidelines, available here, personally identifying information was removed.

  120. My wife and I have been together for 16 years and met in high school. Even then, we would get into blowout arguments, which I now recognize were the result of my abusive and controlling nature. I thought it was something I would grow out of and we stayed together through college, always “working” on our fights eventually getting married. At one point in my twenties, I became intoxicated and slapped her for seemingly no reason. The next day I enrolled in AA and have not touched a drink since that night. I assured her that drinking was the cause of my anger as well as verbal, emotional and now physical abuse. A year after I stopped drinking, we began to fight again, and this time became somewhat physically abusive with each other during confrontations. I understand this was because of my emotional and verbal abuse during our fights. I told this to her and agreed to go to counseling to manage my anger. After four months we agreed that I was “getting better” we talked when we got angry and avoided confrontations.

    This ended six months ago, I became verbally and emotionally abusive during disagreements and she would leave for the night to let me “cool off”. We talked about how we had not fought in such a long time and that we needed to watch it so as not to get physical with each other. Recently, I woke up angry, as I often due but made the choice to take it out on her. She left and has had enough as have I. I understand her need to leave me as I do not want to harm her, I love her but I cannot be with her anymore. I choose not to control my emotions with regard to her. I do not want to be this person, I do not want to abuse people, and especially the ones I love. I do not want her to go but know this is out of my control. I know I did not loose her but gave her no choice. I do not want to make excuses, I know I am abusive to her in many ways and the thought of it becoming further physical again is too much. I need/want a change and currently looking into further resources. I wright this for two reasons, one to take any advice on the matter; I do not have close friends and am not comfortable talking to family. Second, if there are resources that may aid me in anyway, I welcome the suggestions.

  121. Hi H,
    First, thank you so much for your contribution to our blog community. That was a huge step that you’ve made in reaching out to us and takes a lot of courage to be so honest. What we see is that the biggest thing that needs to be there for change to happen is self awareness. I see a lot of that in what you wrote to us. You took responsibility and saw what you wanted to your relationship to be and that it wasn’t there. Our behaviors are all choices that we make in our daily lives and I see that you recognize the choices that lead to some of the abuses in your relationship. There are programs out there that can be incredibly helpful for abusive individuals. We talk to a lot of our callers about what are called BIPPs, or batterer intervention prevention programs. We would be happy to find one close to you so that you may have support in your journey.
    We are available here 24 hours a day and are completely anonymous and confidential. Please feel free to call our program any time for resources and/or support at 800-799-7233.
    Take Care.
    Hotline Advocate RF

  122. Hello. My ex and I got in a huge argument Sunday because he thinks it’s alright to hit women. He blew up and strangled me three times and picked me up and slammed me on my shoe rack. I know have brusies and a huge mark on my back because of it. Everytime I think about it I feel the pain all over again. I don’t think a 20 year old should have to go through this. He thought it was funny after he did it. How can I stop thinking about it? It’s hard for it being the first time and being traumatised from it.

  123. Dear Brandi,

    I am so sorry to read how your ex attacked you. Obviously he doesn’t know how to respect a woman and you certainly do not deserve this treatment. You’re right, a 20 year old should not have to go through this. Abuse is very traumatizing and I would like to suggest that you see a counselor to discuss what happened to you. Therapy can help you heal from abusive situations and give you ways to deal with the memories of what was done to you. Please call us at the National Domestic Violence Hotline so we can give you the number to the domestic violence agency in your area. They have professional therapy for victims of abuse. Our number is (800) 799-7233.

    Hotline Advocate MT

  124. I’ve been abuse for 4 years. I got the courage to leave about 7 months ago. I’m now the monster. I know I’m not elaborating much but I took him back. Once again he wants me to leave my home (in Witch case I’ll lose everything including section 8) & be trapped. He’s been very good. Doing everything possible to correct his wrong doings. I don’t treat him right and I cheated on him. I need help I’m so lost and confused

  125. Hi Maggie,

    Thank you for sharing your story with our online community. It takes a lot of courage to talk about what’s going on. Being in an abusive relationship is a traumatic experience that can have profound effects on a person. Many people we talk to say that they don’t feel like themselves, and that can be a frustrating and difficult thing to work through.

    It sounds like your partner may be trying to manipulate you into returning to the relationship so that he can isolate you. I hear that you’re feeling confused by what’s going on, and that’s a normal reaction to what you’re experiencing. If you want a safe place to talk, feel free to call us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 or chat with us here every day from 7am-2am CST. All conversations are confidential and anonymous.

    We’re here when you need us.

    Hotline Advocate AS

  126. I’m definitely still in shock from what I just went thought 12/16/14. I find myself making excuses for the “1” time he pushed me to the ground while my daughters watched helplessly. What can I say about our relationship, it has been 3years of love, passion, desire, making me feel I’m the only woman in this world that mattered. As a Hispanic female raised in a world where men are taken care of and are exempt from modern change and shift in responsibilities just doesn’t apply to them. And yes, verbal a use is quite tolerated on so many levels. But he was different….or so I thought.
    He was kind, accepted and showed my daughters from a previous marriage love and support. He showed me everything I searched for from love, acceptance, support, and down right romantic. He loved me! But how can he love me and while enraged threatened to destroy my car, light my purse on fire, and throughout the fighting made gestures that he was going to knock my lights out.
    Like many women before me, I sit here wondering if it’s an isolated incident and he can get help to prevent from happening again. But I know it’s not possible even though he admits to being wrong there are excuses mixed in with his apology and shifty promises. I don’t know why I ask if it’s possible for him to change thiough I know deep down “I can’t fix him” but I want him to so bad. I just need to find strength to leave and not miss the memories I cherished and the fantasy life I can’t no longer have.
    Having been abused psychologically, physically now for the second time around (once during high school by a boyfriend). I am at the same crossroads I was once before, thinking that it was only one time… But deep down I know nothing can ever repair the loss of safety, trust, love, and identity that has been shattered to near destruction since the day he became a stranger and a threat….

  127. Ana,
    Thank you so much for reaching out to our blog community. I can see, with what you’ve shared, that you have faced a lot with this relationship. You did make a distinction in there that I think is important, unfortunately you’re right, we cannot fix our abusers. What we see is that if he does not believe that his behavior is wrong then his abuse may not only continue but worsen over time. Some of the examples you have shared are red flags for isolation, threatening your car and your purse can keep you immobile for awhile, which certainly is a common method of abuse. You are not alone in your feelings of confusion, abusive relationships are rarely black and white. Your instincts and the way you feel is the most important thing, you mentioned a loss of trust, that is a difficult thing to get back, trust what you are feeling because you deserve to be safe.
    We are here 24 hours a day through our confidential hotline at 800=799-7233 if you would like any kind of support from us, options or local resources. We are always here.
    Take Care,
    Hotline Advocate RF

  128. I am having a very hard time today. After 10-years of on and off emotional and physical abuse in my marriage, I filed an order of protection today. Immediately after leaving the court, I had so much guilt and regret. I don’t know if I made a terrible mistake. I thought I was going to breakdown in the grocery store. He will be very, very angry. Our two sons will have only short periods of time with him.

    I also know that after I told him I’d like a trial separation for some space from his controlling behavior, he got very mad and I don’t know what he is capable of based on past incidents. I’m so uncertain of everything right now. I just want what is best for the kids. Ugh.

  129. Dear SH,

    It sounds like your going through a very confusing time. Many people experience a range of emotions from anger and sadness to regret and guilt when taking steps to get away from their abuser and take control back of their lives. Many times the feelings of regret and guilt come from a place of love and caring mixed with the messages the abuser has sent over and over again that their abuse is somehow not their choice or their fault. However, we believe that only abusers are responsible for their abusive behaviors and therefore they are responsible for the results of those behaviors. You did not choose for your abuser to be dangerous for you and the boys, you got an order of protection to be safe from behaviors that the abuser has chosen. It was incredibly brave for you to do that. If you would like to talk about this process and your safety, you can call our Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Our advocates are available 24/7 and we keep all conversations anonymous and confidential.

    Hotline Advocate

  130. my husband and I have been together for 20 years. The first 15 we fought all the time and occasionally our fights would get violent. Once 5 years ago he put his hands around my throat but just laid them there and looked into my eyes and said I made him want to squeeze. Later when I confronted him about how scary that was he laughed it off and said he was just joking and if he really had wanted to hurt me he would have. That was the last time anything really scary has happened but I can’t seem to get past it. I told him I was done then but later took him back. Now he is very kind and gentle with me but I’m still upset and don’t understand why I can’t seem to believe his kindness is real.

  131. Hi Illfindjoy75,

    Thank you for sharing your story. Building a healthy relationship after abuse can be very difficult. What you went though sounds very scary and upsetting and that doesn’t go away overnight. It’s also important to listen to your instincts and explore whether there are any reasons that you are still not ready to trust him. Here is a really good quiz you could take to help you assess the health of the relationship and whether there is possibly any abuse still present: Is My Abusive Partner Changing? Quiz. You’re also welcome to contact us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 or by live chat from 7am-2am CST. We would be happy to discuss your concerns and offer some strategies.

  132. thank you for sharing your story! It takes a lot of strength to admit you have a problem! Be proud of yourself that you are one of the few who admit it. I was emotionally abused by my ex. I do not or will ever see him as an evil or bad identity. Just a person who went through a lot growing up and was conditioned to handle conflict in a way to gain control through manipulation, coercion and threats. I learned that i had to take responsibility for my actions, behaviors. That i can not change the person and help them realize what they did wrong. In a way i was just as controlling, manipulative out of hope he would be less aggressive. I never called him a name, but i would talk to friends and his family about his abusive behavior. i became obsessed, trying to change him ( abusive behavior) which made him angry and probably instilled a lot of shame and guilt. Reading your post from an abuser in recovery say that they will not change unless they are ready etc compared to information from the hotline or based on stastics etc really helps with the healing process. so thank you! I wish that there were therapeutic groups were it was a mixture of abusers who are in recovery and co- dependents in recovery . I feel it would really give both partys insight to the other and can be very beneficial.

  133. Hi Nia,

    That sounds like it was a difficult relationship to be in. Abuse is a choice, and even if your ex-partner went through a lot growing up, it’s still no excuse for his abusive behavior. You are right that it’s impossible for a person to force their partner to change if they are abusive, and that desire to change has to come from the abusive person themselves. If you have any other questions or need more support with healing from your previous relationship, please feel free to reach out to us at the Hotline, via chat or phone 1-800-799-7233.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate CC

  134. I am concerned about a friend, who moved to the United States from overseas. Her husband had met her when working overseas and encouraged her to come and bring her daughter. She decided she did love him and came to the U.S. They got married and now it seems like he is treating her so horribly. He tells her that she would have nothing if it wasn’t for him and that if she doesn’t do things the way he wants he will ship her back home to her country.

    He is very nice to the daughter, and seems to want to be a good parent to her. But if he’s saying these hurtful things to the Mom, doesn’t that also place the daughter in a position of emotional harm as well?

    She insists that he’s not physically abusive, but I see his behavior as emotionally abusive. It seems like the relationship is not mutually equal, in that he is exerting power over her.

    How can I help her understand that he has no right to treat her this way? I know that there are anger management programs out there, but I doubt very much he would be willing to attend any sessions.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

  135. BlogReader,

    Thank you so much for reaching out for help for your friend. It sounds like she is in a difficult situation, coming here from overseas and then her husband treating with emotional abuse. You are right that abuse does not have to be simply physical, and emotional abuse can be equally painful and difficult to deal with. Unfortunately, it be really difficult or almost impossible to save her from the situation, and that is great that you are trying to help her see that she doesn’t deserve to be treated like that. It’s really important to maintain communication with her and help her to not feel isolated, which often happens in situations like this. Be supportive of her decisions, and trust her to know what will be the best thing to do in her situation. If you want to talk more about what is going on and need additional support, you are welcome to call us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 or chat with us from 7 am to 2 am. You could also encourage her to reach out, if she feels like she needs someone to talk to.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate CC

  136. Shar, thx you, agree 100 percent. I stayed 21 years, didn’t have kids with the monster, however, I will have to live with regret and lost of my youth everyday for the rest of my life and that is definitely the most painful aspect of it all. Women always ask me can an abuser change??? My answer: maybe, maybe not, who cares, but knowing what I know now, you ain’t got that type of time to find out. Do yourself a favor and leave, find somebody that don’t need changing. Better yet, put God first, thx you. Amen!!! G

  137. Same here, I think the sexual coercion or “rape” was the worst part of it. I would not want my rst enemy to go through what I endured. I am so glad I left him, best decision I ever made. I had constant vaginal infections because he refused to wear a condom, and would get mad if I complained or insisted he wear one. He threatened to leave if I would not have sex with him, then one day when he made that threat, when by then I was emotionally and financially ready to leave, I said thats exactly what I want you to do. He didn’t leave, but I did and never looked back. Now, am free, I dare any man to treat mw like that again, because Jesus is my friend, better recognize.

  138. Same here, I think the sexual coercion or “rape” was the worst part of it. I would not want my rst enemy to go through what I endured. I am so glad I left him, best decision I ever made. I had constant vaginal infections because he refused to wear a condom, and would get mad if I complained or insisted he wear one. He threatened to leave if I would not have sex with him, then one day when he made that last threat, when by then I was emotionally and financially ready to leave, I said thats exactly what I want you to do. He didn’t leave, but I did and never looked back. Now, am free, I dare any man to treat mw like that again, because Jesus is my friend, better recognize.

  139. Ms. it is my opinion that 5 or 6 months is not a lot of time to evaluate whether an individual will become abusive again. But what I would suggest is that you avail yourself to counseling. Think about yourself, and work on you, discover who you are and what you want out of life, stop worrying about him. A lot of time when are in abusive situations we tend to focus on the abuser and in the process we lose are own identity. Additionally, I might suggest pick up some books on the subject of domestic violence, learning about the why and the how of the issue, what happened to you is very vital to your recovery, as well as learn about him and why men abuse. A good book is, Why does he do that by Lundy Brancroft, it is the bible on domestic violence. I’ve been free of my abuser going on 5 years and these things helped me. God bless you. G. p.s. for me, I do not believe in waiting for someone to change, I wasted enough of my time already on the ignorance of abuse. But that certainly does not mean ‘some men’ cannot change, however follow your gut, if something feels wrong, it more than likely is wrong…

  140. I was wondering if you think it is possible to work things out in an abusive relationship. My fiancé and I have not been together long and we are both very young (21). He does have a bad temper and can be very jealous. We have got into a physical argument before and I went to the police even though all that has happened I obviously still care for him and am considering working things out. I just wanted to know your thoughts about this and if it’s worth him and I seriously getting professional help not only as individuals but also as a couple.

    Yours sincerely

  141. Hi Giulia,

    Thank you so much for reaching out! Your situation sounds very difficult and upsetting, and it can be really hard to determine whether to continue a relationship or not when there are so many mixed and complicated emotions. If you would like to contact us directly, we would be happy to help you assess the situation, determine the likelihood of his behavior changing, and what steps he would need to take. You can reach us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233, or chat with an advocate 7am-2am CST online at http://www.thehotline.org.

    You mentioned counseling, which we would also be happy to help you find. But we do want to let you know that we don’t recommend couples counseling in situations of abuse. Abuse is a personal issue, not a relationship issue, and for the abusive person to change they need to be ready to approach it as such. But more importantly, couples counseling could put you at risk of further abuse, because things said in the safety of the counseling room could be used against you later. Your safety is very important to us, and because there has been physical violence, we would strongly recommend that you seek individual counseling, rather than couples counseling. Here is more information on that, if you’d like to read more: Why We Don’t Recommend Couples Counseling

  142. Amen sister in Jesus Christ. The good lord will shield you and see you through any circumstances. Always put him first. Hallelujah.

  143. Ma’am i know it’s hard to see your daughter go through this. But all you can do is give it to God and be there for her always. Even when she chooses to stay with this jerk. Your daughter has to come to her senses on her own and stand her own ground to say enough is enough. Because please believe me, she will not leave until she’s ready. Let her know how concerned you are about the situation. But don’t force it on her to leave and be to demanding. Because if she still love him. she will continue to go back to him. And that will put a strand on yall relationship. So in the end Pray, talk to her and let her know your there for her and love her no matter what. But your daughter has to decide in her heart for herself. And i believe she will make the right decision and leave him. Stay strong and many blessings to you all.

  144. Sir, i’m so proud of you in this statement you wrote. Because alot of men won’t come forward like you and admit there faults and take the responsibility in there wrong doing on like you just did. So much Respect to you on that. You sound sincere about it. And the maturity in your comment, is on point. And the best part is that You Accepted God!!! And God was telling you all along that you were wrong. But we as humans fall short and don’t want to listen. But i’m glad you finally listened to God. He will never steer you wrong. It’s the Devil who does us wrong and want havoc in our lives. Well i believe you should continue to share your story.. Maybe more men will follow your lead. But if you can touch one man heart, then your doing your part. I’m not a man and you touched me!!! Keep up the good work. And May God continue to bless you on your journey.

  145. What do you do if it’s not your significant other being abusive? What if it’s your younger sister? I think she has been dabbling in drugs or alcohol lately, but our dad did pass a few months ago, but still, she has been hitting me and throwing things at me in front of my two year old whom has picked this violent behavior up. My sister is bi-polar, but recently it has become so much worse to the point she tries to hit me and threatens to kill me or take my daughter. She says it is my fault she is so violent, yet all I do is stick up for myself when she is being verbally abusive. My mom is afraid to stick up for me, because my sister is also a cutter, so she is afraid she will commit suicide or something. We all live together and split up the bills. But I fear that my sisters violent outbursts are becoming a severe problem. I have only hit her back once and it was out of defense because she was choking me. What do I do about something like this?

  146. Jessica,

    That sounds like a really scary situation. I’m so sorry you are going through that. There is no excuse for your sister’s behavior. While alcohol and drugs can effect a person’s judgement, they do not cause abusive behavior. Similarly, there are many people who are bipolar and are not abusive towards their loved ones. Seeing a loved on practice self-harm and worrying about whether or not they may commit suicide is really upsetting. It is not fair for anyone to use the threat of self-harm or suicide to control those around them.

    Your wellbeing and safety are important. I encourage you to contact us directly. Our advocates can help you to safety plan, discuss options and refer you to local resources that might be helpful. Please know you can reach out to out Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233.

    Take care,
    Hotline Advocate RG

  147. I have survived… manipulation, brainwashing, sexual abuse, strangulation, control, gaslighting and likely much more.. I am a survivor. What I have learned is that my abuser may not change, but I can. I have power and I am strong.

  148. Admin note: This comment has been edited for safety per our community guidelines.
    My boyfriend got so angry he broke my nose and gave me two black eyes. He is currently in jail. He says he sorry and that he knows he needs help, but I’m so scared he’s going to try to come back. I do love him but I worry about my safety. I don’t know what to do.

  149. Dear Keysha,
    Thank you for reaching out to us. This sounds like such a difficult and complicated situation, and you do not deserve to be treated this way by anyone, for any reason. You have been through so much and you deserve support. To speak confidentially with an advocate, please call 1-800-799-7233, remember we also have a chat available via our website, hwww.thehotline.org We are here 24/7/365. We are here for you whenever is safe for you to call! I hope this helps!
    Take care!
    The Hotline Admin

  150. Wow you need to leave that situation especially for the children they will just grow up to learn the same behavior that is not right there is help out there

  151. Pingback: Escalation -

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