4 Stages In The Cycle Of Abuse And How To Heal

woman coping with abuse

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Does any of this sound familiar? You’re at home, hiding in the bathroom, crying. You aren’t sure how things got so bad between you and your partner, but it feels like you’re always doing something wrong, or they’re angry.

You have no idea how to make them happy anymore, and it’s gotten so bad that you have to hide your pain from them.

If this is happening to you, you might be in the middle of a cycle of abuse.

However, because this type of abuse can be difficult to identify, you might not be sure about what’s actually going on between you and your partner.

Right now, you might be going through a series of emotions that make everything a blur, such as confusion, guilt, and sadness.

In this article, we’ll review how the cycle of abuse works, how you can identify different types of abuse, and how to break the cycle of abuse.

Finally, you can figure out your situation so that you find a way out of this painful experience. Read on to learn more.

Physical and Emotional Abuse in the Cycle of Abuse

There are two types of abuse that occur during the cycle of abuse, which can also both occur at the same time. The first, which is easier to identify, is physical abuse. If your partner beats you or takes out their emotions on you physically, this is physical abuse.

Of course, there are situations when physical abuse seems so minor that you may not consider it to be. But it still is.

Emotional abuse, on the other hand, is more difficult to identify, even though it can be quite damaging psychologically.

What is Emotional Abuse?

Generally speaking, emotional abuse is something an abuser does so that they can control their partner. Usually, they blame, shame, embarrass, criticize, or use other emotional tactics to manipulate their partner.

When someone does this regularly to their partner, using the cycle of abuse, their bullying behavior and abusive words eventually undermine the victim’s mental health and wear down their self-esteem, often causing feelings of relationship insecurity.

Even though emotional abuse is usually known to occur in romantic relationships, it can occur in any type of relationship, among co-workers, roommates, family members, and friends.

It is also important to note that not only women suffer from abuse.

The Cycle of Abuse

cycle of abuse

Part of why so many victims choose to stay with their abusers is that there is a cycle of abuse. Because of how it works, it’s easy to think that these recurring events will eventually stop. The cycle of abuse is made up of four stages.

These stages include the building of tension, the abuse incident, the reconciliation, and a period of calm.

The Building of Tension

Usually, abusers harm their victims because they are in a stressful situation. These stressors can make the situation feel tenser. Potential stressors include fatigue, physical illness, trouble at work, or family issues.

The abuser will start exhibiting signs of paranoia, anger, injustice, and powerlessness in response to these stressors.

As you notice this, you find that you’re hyperalert to their needs and feeling guarded and anxious. You’re afraid that abuse is about to happen, whether it’s emotional or physical.

The Abuse Incident

The next step of the cycle of abuse is the abuse incident itself. This can vary, including emotional manipulation, sexual or physical violence, attempts to control the behavior of the victim, threats of property destruction or harm, or name-calling or insults.

This is the point at which you’re most likely to think that you’re having relationship issues.

Reconciliation

After the abuse has occurred, you and your partner will enter the reconciliation phase. Usually, you enter a honeymoon period, brought on by your abuser giving you loving gestures, gifts, and kindness to move past the abuse.

Because your brain usually releases oxytocin and dopamine when this happens, you’re likely to want to stay. You’ll feel more bonded and like your relationship is going to work out after all.

Calm

In order to move forward after the abuse, both people involved need to have an explanation that justifies why it happened. The abusive partner is likely to apologize in such a way that it minimizes your perception of their responsibility for what occurred.

Some of the ways they might establish this period of calm are by:

  • Using outside factors as a reason for their behavior
  • Apologizing but blaming others at the same time
  • Denying or minimizing the abuse itself
  • Saying it’s your fault because you provoked them

Once this period of calm begins, it’s easy to pretend that the abuse was an exception. Sometimes, you might not even think it happened, especially if you’re being emotionally manipulated to think it didn’t.

You might even have been manipulated to think it’s your fault, in which case you can’t blame the abuser for it.

Unfortunately, in abusive situations, this calm doesn’t last forever. Once more external stressors come in, they can set off your partner again.

Signs of Emotional Abuse

Now that we’ve answered the question, “What is the cycle of abuse?”, we’ll get into the specific types of emotional abuse and what they might look like. Because it can be hard to identify emotional abuse, it’s important to know what these signs are.

4 stages of abuse

In fact, a large part of emotional abuse is controlling your perceptions. This is called gaslighting. The abuser, in this case, makes it nearly impossible for the victim to see what’s happening, which is why it’s essential to review this list.

Invalidation

One of the tactics emotional abusers use is invalidation. If they don’t accept your feelings and tell you instead how to feel about something, they’re invalidating your feelings. It feels like your side of things doesn’t count. Other examples include:

  • Distorting, dismissing, or undermining your reality or perceptions
  • Making you give explanations of your feelings over and over
  • Telling you you’re “crazy,” “too emotional,” or “too sensitive”

They might also accuse you of being too materialistic, needy, or materialistic when you express what you need. They’re also likely to say you’re blowing something out of proportion or don’t see your ideas or opinions as valid.

Having Unrealistic Expectations

Often, emotional abusers have unrealistic expectations. They might want you to spend all your time with them, be dissatisfied with all your efforts to make them happy, or want you to put everything in your life aside for them.

Emotional Blackmail

Emotional blackmail is another tactic emotional abusers use. They might humiliate you in private or in public, use your compassion, fears, or values to control you in a situation, or punish you by giving you the silent treatment or withholding affection.

Creating Chaos

Emotional abusers also create chaos. This interrupts your sense of stability. They might have sudden emotional outbursts or drastic mood changes, start arguments for no reason, or make statements that are contradictory or confusing.

Isolating and Controlling You

When you’re being emotionally abused, your abuser will try to isolate and control you. For example, they might control how often you see your family and friends. They might even forbid you from seeing a specific person. Other signs of this type of control include:

  • Being jealous of other relationships
  • Accusing you of wanting to cheat or having cheated
  • Monitoring your email, social media, and text messages
  • Making fun of or criticizing those close to you
  • Demanding to always know where you are

Additional isolation and control tactics include controlling your finances, using envy and jealousy as signs of love, treating you like property or a possession, and hiding or taking your car keys.

Acting Superior

If you often feel quite small around your abuser, then they are probably using the tactic of acting superior. When your abuser does this, they might blame you for their shortcomings or mistakes, treat you like you’re an inferior, or act condescending.

How to Deal with Emotional and Physical Abuse

If you find that you’re trapped in the cycle of abuse, you might be feeling a bit scared about your well-being. You might also feel a bit heartbroken, knowing that there are some pretty intense issues going on within your relationship.

Despite the difficult position you find yourself in now, this is actually a good thing. Why?

The first step in getting out of the cycle of abuse is knowing that it’s going on. Now that you know your situation, you can start to improve it. You deserve better. You deserve to be happy. You can be. Here’s how.

Prioritize Yourself

First of all, you want to prioritize yourself. Instead of thinking about your partner’s needs, think about your own. What do you need to be physically healthy? Eat well, exercise, and get the sleep you need.

As for emotional health, affirm yourself and think positively. Finally, you can start healing.

Establish Your Boundaries

Now that you’ve identified the abuse, you can establish your boundaries. Tell your partner that they’re no longer allowed to be rude to you, insult you, or yell at you. Have consequences that occur if they don’t respect your boundaries.

For example, you could go out for a walk if they start yelling at you or being unkind.

Don’t Blame Yourself

When you experience emotional abuse, you lose a lot of your self-worth. Additionally, your partner might put the blame on you for many things. As a result, you might be in the habit of blaming yourself. Now that you know about the cycle of abuse, you might be thinking:

“I can’t believe this is happening to me. How I could be so stupid to get into this situation? How haven’t I recognized any of the signs?”

Just remember that this isn’t your fault. This is your abuser’s fault, and no one else’s.

Create a Support Network

Because it’s so easy to feel isolated when you’ve been emotionally abused, you might feel completely alone in this situation. But this isn’t the case at all. There are many people who love you, and it’s just a matter of reaching out.

If any of your friends or family are upset about your distance recently, you can explain a bit about how you were isolated and controlled.

You’d be surprised, however, by how many people will welcome you back with open arms without any explanation at all.

Create an Exit Plan

If your partner continues their behavior even after you’ve established your boundaries and spoken to them about the abuse, you need to get out of this relationship. It isn’t healthy for you to stay in it—or for your partner.

It can be complicated to get out of a relationship. To prepare, speak with a therapist, a trusted friend, or someone in your family. Keep in mind that your exit plan could end up backfiring.

If you think you might end up in a dangerous situation if you try to get out, you should speak with a therapist first about the signs that your partner could be violent toward you if you want to leave.

This way, you can find a way to safely leave your abuser so that you can start to live your own, happy life again.

Need Help?

Now that you’ve learned about the cycle of abuse, the different types of abuse, and how to heal, you might need help. Maybe you want to learn about more strategies you can use to identify abuse or to get past it.

Or maybe you’re looking for a therapist to help you get through this difficult time.

Whatever help you need, we can help you. At Makin Wellness, we offer therapy and counseling services. To learn more about how we can help you, start your healing journey now.

Sara Makin MSEd, LPC, NCC

Sara Makin MSEd, LPC, NCC

All articles are written in conjunction with the Makin Wellness Research Team.

This Post Has 92 Comments

  1. Kristine

    Very helpful advice. Thank you.

    1. Sara Makin

      I am so glad we could help! Abuse is a very serious topic and we are here if you need to further explore this.

      1. Rs

        I keep seeing these sad stories about innocent women and children being kiicked out in the cold or onto the streets. But why cant i get my emotionally abusive ex out of my home? He wont leave. And hes called the police on me several times trying to get me kicked out of my own house. He succeeded once and got me baker acted for three days because his emotional abuse got to me so badly. HE IS NOT ON THE LEASE BUT I CANT GET HIM OUT.

        PLEASE HELP.

        I have no money for a lawyer so i dont expect any help. Just grasping at straws here

        1. Dana

          I am not an expert here, but I would suggest writting him an email that you want him to move out and until when ( that you have written proof that you had asked him to move out). If he doesn’t move out go with the email to the police and ask them to help. If they refuse then talk to the landlord about ending your lease,get a new appartment to live and move your things when he is out at work.

          1. Hannah

            Great idea. I am in the same boat as RS. I will write an email to my husband. I cannot talk to him about it or he will get violent. I have my escape plan in place, but nowhere to go.

        2. Lucy

          Speak to your landlord about your situation , ask them to evict only him.

        3. Katherine

          Hi , your story touched me because this is extremely unsafe and most be exhausting for you. You must get him to leave. Be firm. When he’s gone change the locks and make sure all his things are gone, then call the cops and say he won’t leave you alone. Get a restraining order of need be. It’s okay to do these things for you to move on because I promise you will move on to be stronger and do better! The Devil is a lie!

        4. Kiesha boyd

          the same thing I’m going through I feel like I’m at war in my own home and he’s not on my least

        5. Amabda

          All you need to do is go through the courts with a normal eviction process and get a restraining or protective order.

        6. Elizabeth

          Hello there. There’s something called the VAWA – the violence against womens act that you need to research. It protects you in your housing. Get a restraining order asap and he will be forced to leave and will not legally be able to be around you.

        7. Diane

          Send him on a trip a one-way trip. It’s his gift that is from you to him. Then he feels like you are blinded by his abuse
          While he is gone grab your “premade” to do list. List is what needs to be done in order to ensure he cannot come back into your life. It be great if you had some records like emails texted messages ECT. If not then you start from scratch. This is where your premade list comes in.
          First you got little time.
          Second you need to get into a new place asap. If you preplanned then you will have your foot in a new place before even sending him and his special getaway.
          Third you need to be sure to not leave any clues like voice mail by your helpers or any clues as to where you are. So you keep all premade lists any interactings and other information in a single notebook that notebook needs to be placed in a safety deposit box or at a person who you can fully trust to keep it safe.
          Forth let go of the need for closure you won’t get any I know this one is the hardest part
          Fifth you slowly start building a positive attitude
          So on and so forth.
          It’s possible but if you can just go no contact is the best thing to do absolutely no contact whatsoever

      2. Betsy

        Please help me he even took my money I’m getting sicker every day
        I honestly cannot take it I’m so afraid of him yet he and his mother used me up I can hardly move to move I was straight out of a coma and he would not leave me alone and hits me and says the cruelest things but he took all my money re house he kept in his mom a name. I battled for 20 years to just get used by a tag sim mother team please help me he even took my last name !! I never married him !! He’s mean doe’s drugs hurts me won’t let me move and I’m geriiung sicker daily from his yelling and evil hate speech.

        1. Makinwellness

          We are sorry you are struggling with this situation. To get on a path to move toward healing, please reach out and schedule an introductory call with one of our team members. We’re here to help.

      3. Emily

        I am in the cycle currently being emotionally and physically abused. I need help getting out.

        1. Makinwellness

          Hi Emily. We are sorry that you are struggling with an abusive relationship. Feel free to schedule an appointment with one our team members to help you move toward healing.

          1. Winnie

            Thank you. This article is very illuminating, validating, and reassuring.

            My ex sent me to the hospital with a large hematoma on my forehead, a laceration on the top of my head that required 3 surgical staples to close and a concussion.

            The neighbors called the police. I was in shock bleeding all over the place saying “What did he hit me with? What did he hit me with?” The blow to the top of my head knocked me unconscious briefly.

            Without realizing it was an office that I was speaking to (and not a paramedic), I said to the officer, “He hit me with something.” When the officer questioned me further I said that I didn’t know what happened.

            (which is true, I didn’t understand at the time what set him off, to attack me so badly).

            I do not want him to go to prison.

            He was not arrested because he left before the police arrived.

            If he goes to prison for attacking me, he will come out a much more dangerous man. And he threatens to kill me, my friends and family if he gets in trouble with the law. To have me kidnapped and tortured. That he will spend every day in prison plotting his revenge against me.

            I think my therapist had to file a report because I told her the truth about him hitting me.

            How likely is it that he will be convicted of anything if I refuse to talk to the police and the only other evidence is reports from nurses at the ER and from my therapist?

            The law will not help this situation. It will make things worse.

            I’m executing an exit safety plan and I really think it will work, that I will be free of him soon. I need reassurance that he will not be convicted of anything or have anything damaging on his record.

            He will damage me further if there is.

          2. Makinwellness

            Hey Winnie. We are sorry that you are struggling with this abusive situation. Feel free to schedule an appointment with one our team members if you need someone to talk to more about this.

      4. Mikko

        Thank you Sara, i couldn’t talk to my family. I couldn’t talk to anyone because we are on the same workplace and it’s driving me crazy. I’m a victim of emotional, physical and financial abuseThank you for this article, i hope i will recover from this one.. I’m really tired

  2. Chase

    Very helpful! This has helped me determine that I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. One further question…. In your work have you seen emotional abusers change? My husband says he realizes he didn’t treat me like I should have been treated and that he is willing to go to counseling. Some small red flags for me are that he tries to minimize how often the outbursts happened and there severity…basically he says he knows this happened but that I have exaggerated it in my mind. Another is that he always says he knows this happened between us but that I need to look at how I contributed to it and I need to work on that. I know in my heart I was trying everything NOT to start a fight.
    I have been separated from him for 7 months and he says he gets it and we can go to counseling and a couples retreat and he wants me to move back in immediately. I’m not comfortable with that so I am not going to do that but I am just so scared to give him a second chance. I feel like I have him so many chances to no avail.:/

    1. Sara Makin

      Unfortunately, many times emotional abusers don’t change. It sounds like he is gaslighting you and we don’t think it would be safe for you to move back in with him at this point in time. For further guidance, one of our therapists are able to help you individually to help process your feelings. Tori, Pam or Tanja would be a great fit for a therapist 💙

      1. Rosana Fernandes

        Please I need help!

        1. Makin Wellness

          Hi Rosana, Thank you for reaching out. If you are in immediate danger please call 911. You can reach out to our counselors anytime at 833-274-4325 for mental and emotional support, but your safety is invaluable. We wish you the best and hope to hear from you soon.

        2. Brenda

          Are you safe now? I actually had to search for how to help dealing with my own abuse, but I’m out a free!

          If you aren’t safe leave me a heart ♥️) I will try to help, I’m sick of people getting away with this abuse as if the victim asked for it,

          1. Marcella McNeill

            ❤️

          2. Ems

            I have gone through this abuse cycle few times and I feel that nothing seems to change. I wanna walk out of my marriage but wondered if I’m doing the right thing?

    2. Cindy 2

      Wow your story happened to me only he followed me after I moved on our cameras and tails on me told me he got professional help and was better and to take him back and the second I took him back (which he gave me an ultimatum) he was back to abusing me. The pattern has been the same since day one and he has used my mistakes to shield it all.

      1. Makin Wellness

        Hi Cindy. Unfortunately, these cycles of abuse tend to repeat themselves until broken through therapy or separation. What’s most important is safety. Based on what you’re saying, it doesn’t sound like you are in a safe environment. Give us a call at 833-274-HEAL. We are here for you and can help you create a safety plan that you are comfortable with.

        1. Emil Gordon

          I’m in this odd situation where I think I’m being verbally Abused by my wife . And I deflect often because I believe them to do the same things I do but only make it a big deal when I do it. It’s so draining cause I usually do the reflection and comeback and apologize for my behavior. And we go through the cycle that you pointed out in this article. This article and all the research I’ve done makes think we abuse each other. Verbally and emotionally. Which also makes me think I’m deflecting more cause I don’t want to Face the blame myself. Someone please advise me in what to do.

          I’m currently in therapy and also was diagnosed with adhd at 27years old. Yes I take meds

          1. Makinwellness

            Hi Emil. We are sorry that you are struggling with this situation. Feel free to schedule an appointment with one our team members to help you move toward healing.

    3. Katherine

      Your woman intuition is your best friend. Call it your angel from god , if you have left for 7 months your doing so great! It’s hard but time heals all ! Get some friends, support group or therapist and keep going! Eventually if you can stop all contact ASAP. Sending your prayers

    4. K

      No second chances! He will not change. He will never change! I am the only person on the lease, it is now on a mth to mth basis. I have no where to go. but I do have a job. He doesn’t. He never leaves the house. And he is a messy person. I am not. He makes dirt, when he just sits. Piles of cigarette butts. Filth. He expects me to clean up after him AND hold down a job. Because he doesn’t do anything but grow weed (legally). I have given nothing but second, third, fourth,…. how many more chances? You don’t owe him anything! He knew what he was doing and he is abusive.

  3. Eve

    What if my husband will not go to counseling or any kind of therapy. How do I get him to see that it’s necessary? I have not entirely confronted him on his abuse. Out of fear, and knowing it will be pushed back onto me as my problem, I’ve even suggested that the therapy would be for me and all of “my craziness.” Still, he has said no. Any suggestions or advice?

    1. Sara Makin

      If he is completely against going to therapy, our best advice is for you to get in therapy yourself. Being in a relationship with an abuser is something that we’d advise you to process. It Is typically very challenging to get an abuser into therapy because they usually know deep down that the therapist would eventually address it. We are happy to help you further at 833-274-HEAL

      1. Lindsey

        Thank you for this article. I heard everything I needed to hear once reading this piece. This is a life changing moment, everything is clear now, I’m in an emotionally abusive relationship there is no more questioning it. This has to change, change right now

        1. Makinwellness

          Hey Lindsey. We are so glad you connected with this article. It can feel so hard to go through emotional abuse. If you need any support please reach out to a Makin Wellness therapist. We would be happy to help you!

      2. Kiesha

        So glad I stumbled on this article now I know I’m not crazy and there’s nothing wrong with me WOW

  4. Lisa

    Hello our daughter has been in an abusive relationship for the last 5+ years. If had esculated with his drug us over the last several years.
    He husband checks off everything above for physical and mental. The police have been to the house they live in that we own that they know it if you mentioned it say oh that house.
    November 2020 a week and a half before Thanksgiving we and the eventually the police ended up at the house. This time she finally filed a complaint after 4+ years of this.
    Unfortunately she back off and ask the charges be dropped he eventually plead guilty to menancing and got time served 3 days and one year probation with no counseling.
    Since this there has been multiple emotional outburst our 11 year old granddaughter us to house for. Our granddaughter has been with us since late May 2021 because she doesn’t want to be there anymore. The 7 year old grandson only stays because he is allowed to play video games most of the time and he loves his mommy. He ask me to get him a phone to hide in case he needed to call me over since sissy isn’t there with her phone. There is a 2 year old granddaughter who doesn’t realize the whole situation yet.
    We are searching for guidance, counceling and legal help unfortunately due to supporting a d being taken advantage of (financially) we don’t have funds to seek legal advice.

    1. Sara Makin

      Hi Lisa, Thank you for reaching out to us. We understand how complicated relationships like this can become. My best recommendation for you right now, considering your situation, is to talk to some one who can help you cope with all of the different levels of strife this is causing your family. We are always available to talk to you one on one, but if you feel like that won’t work for you right now, we do offer Q & A sessions with a live counselor on Facebook Live. Our next session will be on August 27th @ 9:30am. You can join anonymously and have your questions answered in a more personable way. We wish you well and hope to hear from you soon.

  5. Susie Kaploozie

    I live a life with a man who constantly belittles, shames, is unemotional, controlling, never happy, loves money. He is a master at gaslighting. We put on a good “front” for everyone. I have been very sick for the entirety of the marriage … almost four years. I have an education, yet unable to work. He knows it. Constantly throws up that I “live off him.”
    Anytime I bring up a business idea… to bring in income, he poo poo’s the idea. Punishes with the silent treatment. Days. Never apologizes. I need to get out.

    1. Sara Makin

      Suzie, Thank you for sharing. Your situation sounds like it is definitely at a breaking point. You do not deserve that. I highly recommend speaking to a therapist to help you cope with the hurt and fears you are dealing with. Being able to sort through your thoughts and emotions in a safe environment with a licensed professional will help you move on. We would love to speak with you and help you find your true potential. Please contact us at 833-274-4325 Monday-Friday 7am-7pm. We are here for you Suzie!

  6. Lisa W

    Great article. My situation is now to point that I have broken ties with abusive adult daughter. It’s been brewing steadily over 2 yrs, but very recently, after trying every reasonable method, there was an irrefutable breach. A cycle of emotional abuse, gaslighting, and much more. She’s 44 and I am 66. Fortunately, we live 800 miles from each other. I have cut off any way for her to communicate with me. She’s got so many of her own issues in life, and she’s not coping well at all. By removing myself from the situation, I can move forward and she can no longer use me as excuse to avoid her own life. Honestly, this is so long overdue. I did this 2 weeks ago and feel a million times better.

    1. Sara Makin

      Hi Alyssa, Thank you for sharing and congratulations. It is incredibly difficult to cut ties with a child, even in adulthood, but putting your mental health first is the right thing to do in such a situation! Give yourself time to heal and try to practice daily self care! If you need some one to help you work through your thoughts or emotions, we are here for you. Everyday is another opportunity to be better to yourself!

    2. Robert Ginsberg

      I love this article. My wife has been abusive to me for years. Kept me away from family and friends. Always made me look bad, Ruthless name calling. Blamed me for everything. Controlling. Put a GPS tracker on my truck,,,etc. You can feel the tension building. then boom. Over the last 4 years I left 3 times only to have gone back. This is the last time. Once you see or notice the pattern you become aware. To see it confirmed in print blew me away. I am upset with myself for going back all those times. I would have been much further a long. In my heart I needed to make sure that “I” had done all I could. To no avail. I am sad. Broken hearted. But not going back. Even at 55 years old. I will move on. I will read this every time that I feel as though I miss her. Thanks. Robert

      1. Makinwellness

        Hey Robert. Thank you for sharing your story. It can be so hard moving on from an abusive relationship. If you ever need someone to talk to feel free to schedule an appointment with one our team members! We’re always here to help!

  7. Mayra

    Thank you for your article. I have a question in regarding boundaries. I know he is abusing me mentally by yelling at me and constantly reminding me not to eat much all the time cause he doesn’t want me fat when he isn’t the best of shape and expects more food on my plate than mine….also he blames me on things that are out of my control or he did.

    So one is: what are example of boundaries we can create and two what example of consequences that occur if they don’t respect your boundaries? I’ve said it’s best we go apart but he hates and gets upset I say this and says I’m quitting and giving up on us. What can be said? Thank you.

    1. Sara Makin

      Hi Mayra, Thank you so much for reaching out. After discussing your situation, our counselors highly recommend that you start individual counseling as soon as possible so you can develop a safety plan and explore what your options could be. Mayra, our team is here for you. Please call 1-833-274-4325. If you are not from Pennsylvania, we can help guide you in the right direction. Stay safe and we hope to connect with you soon.

  8. Lebo

    I have been in a emotionally abusive relationship till i decided to end it then my partner asked for a place to stay while sorting out his things,i allowed him to stay in my house until he raped me and now he says he did that because I’ve been toying with his emotions.i don’t remember doing that i was just civil with him since we are sharing the same space and he started telling me he’ll buy prostitutes i told him to do anything he wants with whoever he wants instead he raped me…I’m not comfortable around him and he doesn’t want to leave.

    1. Sara Makin

      Thank you for reaching out. I’m so sorry that you are dealing with this. Your home should feel like a safe space and you shouldn’t be uncomfortable. If you’re feeling like you’re in immediate danger, please call 911. I would also suggest reaching out to our office. We would love to help guide you through this stressful time. Our number is 1-833-274-4325. We’re here for you!

      1. A. Gray

        I’ve been married for 6 years. My husband is law enforcement & I’m in public safety as well. He has never been physically abusive. However, he lacks empathy, compassion, & accountability. It’s like he wears a mask at work. He’s been an officer for 21 years and is very well respected in the department. He always looks for things my son has done wrong. They have never gotten along. My son was 10 when we started dating and he definitely did stuff to pick at my husband such as, sneaking in our room taking his stuff, climbing on cabinets to take my husband’s snacks, talking back, etc. But I feel like my husband holds grudges and can’t move past any of that. During disagreements, my husband will say very hurtful things. He’s acknowledged he does this out of anger yet refuses to stop or seek help. We did do pre-marital counseling and a couple of sessions here & there but now, he refuses to get help. He questions everything I do from the clothes I wear to the lotion I buy. He says he does it jokingly but it doesn’t feel that way. Even my stepson (same age as mine) told him recently all he does is focus on the bad with my son so he feels forgotten about. He accused me of trying to turn his son against him. My husband says he is moving out when he doesn’t get his way and I don’t conform but has never done it. This go round he gave a date he is moving. We didn’t speak for a week then he started being playful and said there are some things we need to make this marriage work. When I said I only have 2 requests, counseling & working on his relationship with my son, that mask dropped & he began the same stuff again saying he is moving out. I’ve went to therapy (through the police dept) and even had to speak with their domestic violence detectives over an incident that was only verbal. It seems no one wants to hold him accountable and his dept just sweeps it under the rug. It’s easy to say well just leave. That is much easier said than done, financially, emotionally, mentally. It almost doesn’t seem worth the fallout of ending things. Obviously, I want things to work out but I feel a bit hopeless.

        1. Makinwellness

          Hey A. Gray, We understand how difficult it is to deal with conflicts in marriage. We are sorry that you are struggling with connection and communication together. We are always here to help so, feel free to schedule an appointment with one of our team members to help you move toward healing!