Receive LOVE in your mailbox

Try our weekly newsletter with amazing tips to bring and retain love in your life

I Was In An Abusive Relationship For 2 Years And Never Knew It

I had always thought an abusive relationship was one in which your partner hits you physically, until I was in one for two years without a single bruise. You will find that people can abuse you without raising a fist, harming on a deeper emotional level. This can be even more painful because physical bruises may heal with time, but invisible scars may never go away.

We often mistake this more subtle type of abuse as a form of jealousy, territorial behavior, or even a need to protect. If my words resonate with personal experiences in your own life, walk out. Walk out on the person who makes you cry more often than they make you smile. Walk out on the person who gives you a cold shoulder when you want to hug them tight. Walk out on the person who hurls abuses because they think you are always at fault. I know it is easier said than done, but for once, learn to love yourself and cling to your self-respect.

woman thinking

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Today, as I happily sit in a room surrounded by the people that I love, I know that I did the right thing by walking out on my abuser. I am proud to share that I am a survivor of abuse and that I didn’t give up, no matter how close I was then. Had I stayed, I would have been another victim of love gone wrong. Thus, I want to share this journey with you because there are too many of us who fail to see the signs of an abusive relationship, or when we do, it is too late.

Some people come into our lives and make us realize that life can be unpredictable and even cruel if you are not prepared. Hear my story and realize that not all love stories turn out to have fairy tale endings. Then, hopefully, you will be prepared to face the relationship challenges coming your way, no matter how difficult they may seem.

Suggested read: 6 surefire signs you’re in an abusive relationship

The first signs of my emotionally abusive relationship

Like every other girl, I grew up reading those sappy romance tales where nothing goes wrong and the perfect guy is always out there caring for his girl. I grew up believing that I would be one of the girls in those fancy novels who would get the chance to sit in the balcony and narrate how I lived happily ever after.

couple in love

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

I met him in college and he was everything a girl could dream of: a flashy, flamboyant, charming college hunk. In one word, he seemed perfect. He was the kind of guy who could make you swoon, and so he did. I wondered if he would see me amidst the crowd, and so when he did, I got giddy with excitement.

Unlike most love stories where the brooding guy asks the girl out, I was the one who popped the question. We had grown close and I knew that there was chemistry. When I asked him if he’d like to be my boyfriend and he responded with a casual nod, I was dumbstruck. In that nonchalant confirmation of our relationship-to-be, I fell for him all over again.

It all seems so dreamy and mushy, and at the time, it was. I was incredibly happy and felt like he was my only right in a world of wrongs. However, things soon took a downward turn—and quickly. He was popular and enjoyed hanging out with a lot of people, which weakened his devotion to our relationship. He didn’t respond to my texts, he didn’t take my calls. My friends didn’t like his attitude, but I was knee deep in love and always came up with an excuse to justify it. “He has a social life besides hanging out with me all the time,” I used to say. I never once questioned the unanswered messages or the reasons for skipping my calls. I kept quiet because I thought it was love.


Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

The real trouble began when he called me in the middle of the night that day. I was asleep, oblivious to the world outside me. I always turned my phone on silent when I sleep, so I saw three missed calls from him when I woke up. It delighted me that he would call in the middle of the night because it meant that when the world had gone to sleep, I was still on his mind. I wanted to call him back, but it was 6am, so I figured he would need some sleep.

I didn’t call.

When we met later, he gave me a steely cold look and I wondered what had gone wrong. When I asked him, he barked, “Don’t say a word. You were not there when I needed you and I don’t care what you need to say. You failed me.”

Those three words kept ringing in my ears: “You failed me.” My heart sunk, despite the irrationality of the accusation. After all, he had missed at least 35 of my calls and innumerable texts, and yet, I failed him when I missed three of his calls in the middle of the night? Angry and humiliated at the public shaming, I walked away as tears began to glisten in my eyes.

couple disagreement

Image source: Shutterstock

I came to know from one of our common friends that his mother had a terrible seizure the other day, which was the reason why he was upset. My heart was torn at the news, and I cursed myself for not being there to help him. I set off to look for him and found him sitting at the tennis courts. I sat beside him and cried. Today, I still remember my words in that moment.

Suggested read: My screams against marital rape… this is my story

“I am sorry. Babe, I should have been there. I should have never turned my phone to silent. I am sorry I couldn’t take your call. I didn’t know your mom had a seizure. I know that I should’ve apologized this morning, but I want you to know now that I am sorry.”

I went on and on, apologizing for things I never did. He never asked me to stop. He simply shrugged his impressive shoulders and said, okay. I sat there feeling small, insufficient, and guilty about what had happened. He made me feel like a terrible girlfriend and I kept playing the part.

woman talking on phone

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Fast forward a couple weeks after that incident. I called him around 2 pm in the afternoon because I had fainted while home alone due to exhaustion and lack of sleep, and I was scared when I woke up. He listened to me and then asked me to call my girlfriends because he was out with a friend. He never once enquired about how I was doing the following week, but I told myself it was okay because he had said that he loved me while hanging up.

Things went downhill because my one “mistake” was too big to be forgotten. He brought this up every time we had a fight and he even called me names. He said I was incapable of feeling what love felt like. He said I was manipulative and always seeking attention. He labeled me a desperate girl that had landed a great guy like him by chance.

sad woman

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Every time I explained myself, he would say, “You were never there for me when I needed you. You are supposed to be the person who stitches me up, but instead you make me bleed.”

That was the time I knew that I had gone through enough. I was in a verbally abusive relationship and I decided I had to learn how to leave.

I was tired of being the one constantly feeling sorry. I was tired of feeling terrible for things I never did. Leaving an abusive relationship isn’t easy, but I knew I had to do it before I lost control of the self-respecting person that I used to be. I called him up and, per usual, he didn’t pick up the call. I called again, but to no avail. I ultimately called 7 times in a row and he picked the call only to shout, “I am busy, why are you calling so many times?”

woman carrying suitcases

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

“It is over,” was all I managed to say before I hung up and began crying. In that moment, it felt like my tears would never stop. Yet, as I share this story with you today, my eyes have not shed a single tear because I am with someone who loves me for who I am.

This tough experience taught me a lot about myself and about relationships more generally. For one, I realized that being in love is supposed to make you smile, not cry. A mentally abusive relationship can distort your view of yourself and cause self-doubt or even self-loathing to creep into your life. Only invest time in people who will make you a better, more positive person; you are special and you deserve love, not abuse!

Suggested read: I found out my husband cheated on me… but I stayed…

More importantly, I realized that each person has control of their own choices in a relationship, despite how helpless they may feel. If you recognize signs of continued abuse—physical, emotional or otherwise—stand up for what you believe in and walk out! It may hurt while you are doing it, but it gets better, I swear. It always does.

Have you ever faced such a journey or do you need advice about how to handle an abusive relationship? If you are comfortable talking about it, feel free to reach out to me — we all deserve someone who can support us by discussing these tough subjects. I’m here for you!

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
I Was In An Abusive Relationship For 2 Years Without Knowing It
An abusive relationship doesn't necessarily mean a physically abusive one. Emotional abuse is almost, if not more, worse than a physical one.
Shruti Fatehpuria

Shruti Fatehpuria

I am a misfit software engineer who left her work in the corporate world to pursue the insatiable quest to write. A freelance worker by the day, I choose to dream with eyes open wide. I have conversations with myself where I talk of the possibilities that life can hold. Too many wishes made on empty starless nights ensure that there are various dreams yet to be lived. I am working my way as I am on a quest to find myself. The greatest journeys are indeed the ones that lie within. I am yet to live my story because right now, the book is full of too many apostrophes and too many commas. The words are jumbled until the right one fits the puzzle. I don't believe in perfection because too many times, it is imperfection which paints the perfect story. I am verbose and I aim at living life in full swing until a speed breaker curbs the tantalizing pace with which I wish to conquer the dreams that would otherwise be too big for the not-so-tiny shoes I wear. Blessed with a lot of chubby fat, I love going the extra mile to conquer my extra dreams with an extra advice after all, we all love a little extra. A die-hard shopaholic, you can often find me laughing on serious stuff inappropriately at wrong times (unintentionally).