Tobi Atte: Being in an Abusive Relationship is Terrible! Here are 11 Vital Things to Note About Domestic Abuse

Chances are, aside from the curiosity about the title of this article, you are reading this because you know at least one person that is in an abusive relationship and it blows your mind that they don’t “just” leave…or maybe you ARE that person…this is your life. You are in a relationship that you KNOW is abusive. This is for you too. If you don’t belong to either one of these groups…still read this. In fact, have it for dinner…because you might be in an abusive relationship and not even know it.

I have decided to write this piece to hopefully give you the loving observer some understanding that may help you help your loved one but even more importantly, I write this for you…who may be living through this, that hopefully, you get some answers and find strength to have a better experience out of life.

The Signs Are Not Easy to Tell at The Beginning
Nobody wears a sign on their head saying “Hey …date/marry me and I’ll be sure to abuse you in the future!” The fact is that many relationships that are abusive, didn’t start that way. On the contrary, they start out almost too good to be true. I once read of a couple where he was so in love with her that he decided to marry her. He asked her parents for her hand in marriage and that’s where the first seed of abuse was planted. The girl’s family exploited him. They did it with his dowry and did not care that he was not in the best financial position. They accounted for every penny of clothes, school fees and other costs of “raising” this prized possession of a daughter. He was nearly financially wiped out by the time the wedding took place.

Too embarrassed to say anything, he shut his mouth and got through it. A few months later…still unable to recover from the financial plummet, he started falling into depression, frustration and of course anger. One day, he asked his new wife to make him a sandwich or something. Her response wasn’t favorable…and he beat her. Explaining to her that he paid with his life’s savings to buy her from parents who acted as if they were selling property, not sending a daughter off to happiness. In this case who was abused? They both were. Him by her parents and her by him. So here is the take away from this one…someone can become abusive that wasn’t before.

It’s Not Just the “Violence”
Abuse is not only DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. Many times, abuse happens long before it shows up as domestic violence. Abuse is simply the cruel or violent treatment of someone. So again violence is only part of the story cruel treatment is the other part, and that happens to many of us more than we are willing to admit. There are many people in “Emotionally abusive “relationships/marriages. This type of abuse is no less terrible than physical abuse. Emotional abuse is a non-physically violent but terrible form of abuse. It is usually characterized by behavior that chips away at someone’s sense of self worth. Some examples are shaming, humiliation, withholding basic needs, threatening, and of course using guilt (perhaps of a past mistake) as a source of power over the other or for emotional ransom.

Abusive People Make You Feel Like You Need Them By Force
One of the telling things about a healthy relationship is that two people need each other by choice.  Each chooses to depend on the other for something(s). Not so with abusive relationships. Abusers create a world where the other person is dependent on them by force. A counselor once spoke of an abuser who found out that his girlfriend got a new job that required a car that she could not afford to buy. He bought the car “supposedly for her” but she was not allowed to drive it. Only he could. She needed her job so she needed him and put up with his abuse for the sake of the job she needed.

You Against the World
Abusers are experts at making a person feel that they are not going to be accepted by the world  and that they are the only ones who are accepting of the victim and so are doing a favor. They give the victim the impression of themselves that says “I am really bad/ugly/not-good-enough/educated enough/ strong enough/ whateverenough that no one out there will tolerate and love me.  They erode the victims self esteem so much so that the person starts to think “The monster I know is better than the ones I don’t”. Abusers make victims eat so much feces that the occasional vomit…the occasional “good treatments” looks like a treat.

Abuse is Not a Gender Issue
We may have more “domestic violence” cases reported by women, but that does not mean that men don’t go through domestic violence as well and it certainly does not mean they don’t go through abuse. The truth is that men don’t really have an outlet to talk about themselves as victims. When women share this pain, they often get a host of sympathizers…EVERYONE comes to their rescue.  Men get nothing. Right from when men are young, they were told to just suck it up and be a man. So when a wife throws a tantrum at home, cries at the slightest nudge, PMS for 30 days instead of 4…we suck it up…we don’t go having sleep overs at our boy’s place and break down in tears about how she threw her spoon at us last night. We don’t tell our parents that the woman we live with emotionally abuses us most of the month. We don’t do that because we don’t get any support and even if we did, it’s too embarrassing. So know that abuse is not a gender thing.

You might even be a female abuser and not realize it because you’re thinking “well I’ve never hit my man before” but remember, abuse can happen long before anyone physically hits the other.

It’s Not the Size of the Bruise but the Violation of the Sense of Safety
A wife who beats her husband to the best of her ability and throws items at him is just as abusive as the man who hits his wife. Just because the bruise from the man is bigger doesn’t make HER less abusive. The fact is that we should not be hitting each other. PERIOD. A woman who threatens to embarrass her husband and expose something shameful about him unless he does or buys XYZ, is just as abusive as the man who threatens to stop financial support if a woman doesn’t sleep with him. We should not be extorting or exploiting each other.If someone feels like you have the potential to violate their physical, emotional or psychological safety, you are already abusing them.

No One Says I’m Sorry Better than An Abuser
Why do they stay? We ask. Why do people in abusive relationships stay? Why don’t they just leave? Abusers are the best apologizers. They are the ones that will buy a diamond ring to say I’m sorry for your busted lip. They will buy that car to say “I’ll never yell at you in public again”. They will have mind blowing sex with you for days to say sorry.They go to the extreme to say “I won’t do it again”. What victims need to focus on is “What possessed you to be ok with doing that in the first place?” What really traps victims sometimes, is when family, friends and acquaintances see the gifts and extreme goodness, they respond by saying “OMG your husband/your wife is amazing. You are so lucky.” They gather round and swoon over your new diamond necklace and you don’t know how to say “eerrmmm oh it’s just his way of saying he won’t beat me again“. No. You just smile…because you don’t know how to NOT enjoy the attention you are getting from those people.

Our friends and family suck the strength to leave that abusive relationship because they pay so much attention to what our abusive significant others DO for us or buy us rather than how they take care of our hearts. Too many girlfriends have said “Honey, most men don’t know how to control their anger at least you get diamonds”. Too many fathers have told their daughters to put up with abusive rich husbands and just focus on the good life he provides.

Seduction and Isolation
It works even better than Mohammad Ali’s one two punch. This deadly combination is what many victims and experts say is a tell tale of how abuse begins. It begins with seduction. I don’t mean sexual seduction even though that may be a small part of it. Na. I’m talking about heavy emotional and psychological seduction. Abusers make you feel like they are the ultimate rescuer. Superman…or super woman. They make you promises that no HUMAN should be making another human.  They give the feeling of “The world around you is terrible. I am here with a big “S” on my chest, my red cape and I want to take you far far away to planet krypton…far away from your mess.” The problem is that Krypton is far far away. The problem is that in Krypton, you are also isolated from the world. Seduction and Isolation looks like someone making a huge promise that almost sounds too good to be true but then because of that promise, they isolate you form the things in the/your world that make you whole. Family, friends, career fulfillment and anything else that may give you fulfillment and joy outside of him/her.

Religion is No Guarantee
I can’t tell you how many people who I have met, who are basically suffering at home in the hands of religious men and women.  No religion seems to be safe from people who abuse others in the name of religion. Religious people can be abusive too. Remember, abuse is the cruel or violent treatment of something or someone.Religious people can be cruel too and few things work as a get-out-of-jail card like religion. When a grown man wants to marry and impregnate a girl whose body should not be carrying a child, when a woman holds a her husband’s secret mistake over his head as ransom for her to get whatever she wants and do whatever she wants, when a man beats woman in an attempt to beat a demon out of her, or prevents her from pursuing a professional career because it is not (fill in your religion) for her to do so.

I Am Like This Because You Upset Me
Abusers and violent people have a very smooth, passive aggressive way of making you feel like it’s YOUR fault they are that way. “I beat you but it’s because you upset me that much”. “If you just do things my way, it won’t result in this.” Now, while you may have done something foolish or downright stupid (yes that’s possible unless you’re Jesus and you’re not) you,however, did not cause his or her reaction. Each person is responsible for their actions and reactions. It is not true that you are the one that turns him/her into the incredible hulk.

Friends/Family of the abused – BE REAL FRIENDS
These people NEED you. If you suspect that someone you care about is being abused, DON’T stay away. It’s NOT their problem. Be strong for them. Show up uninvited at their place and constantly politely check up on them (especially if they are living with the suspected abuser). Part of why abuse is so rampant is the isolation after the abuse. When you do have enough reason to believe that abuse is taking place…especially physical abuse, call the authorities. Create a support group for them and don’t tell them to suck it up and enjoy the diamonds and nice house.

Are you are real friend? When people think of you, do they feel that they can pour their heart out to you in their most vulnerable state and know that you’ll be a shoulder to lean on? OR Do they feel that they can never let you see them weak…that they cannot allow you to see them down? Do they feel like they have to look like they “have it together?” When someone feels like they have become a punching bag for life and relationship troubles, are you a bag of ice? A soothing relief…even if temporary? Or are you a mirror that reminds them of how bad they have been beaten up. Read this article I wrote “How do you smell” . Ignore the title. The point is this. Your loved one in an abusive relationship is more likely to open up if you indeed are a shoulder to lean on instead of well…fill in the blank.

Being in an abusive relationship is not easy. It’s terrible. Hopefully these tips and perspectives are helpful both to people who are living this horror and for their family and friends. For more answers and perspectives on this issue and other relationship issues, catch Tobi Atte and IJUSTMETME on Love Lounge airing on Ebonylife TV (DSTV 165). New Season begins on Sept 30th.

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Tobi Atte is the writer behind – For more on relationships, motivation, personal improvement and more, Like the IJUSTMETME facebook page, subscribe on Youtube and visit the website. Be careful though… You might get addicted. 

67 Comments on Tobi Atte: Being in an Abusive Relationship is Terrible! Here are 11 Vital Things to Note About Domestic Abuse
  • October 3, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Nice write up tobi. At times i wonder y sme people feel like if d other goes they wil die all in the name of lust that they cal luv. I read a story of a young girl that his boyfriend wil wake up every morning and pee on her mouth and she wil agree al in d name dat “i luv him and i want to make him happy” rubbishhh

    • dp October 3, 2013 at 9:46 am

      Haba can dat story be true, pee in her mouth bawo

    • Lois July 31, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      I wish I can read about men in abusive relationships too. I know few men in pitiable marriages and relationsips

  • my love October 3, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Wow what a great article. Thanks for sharing. God bless you.

  • meme October 3, 2013 at 8:42 am

    “no one says I’m sorry more than the abuser” !!! they will even try to commit suicide and cry for the nation.. That seems to be a very common one. Lord may I never have an abusive partner.

  • nwanyi na aga aga October 3, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Wonderful write up Tobi. I will take a lesson from your last point. BE REAL FRIENDS. i am guilty of saying its their business, I don’t want when they settle they use me to settle. I think I will implement one of ur tips always politely showing up and being a shoulder they can lean on.

  • ejogene October 3, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Excellent write up. Tobi you nailed it especially with the apologizing aspect. May God save everybody from abusers of any form.

  • confused girl October 3, 2013 at 9:04 am

    I. Am at that point where I don’t know how to walk away from my boyfriend of 4years because he seems so sweet yet the idea of marriage to him scares me to my bone marrow.when we started out he ws so perfect bt little by liTtle I realised he was a chronic liar and serial cheat.I just feel so dependent on him I can’t walk away as I keep trying to.After I catch him cheating we break upp and he comes begging with all the things he knows I need.I hv contracted sti’s from him in the past but still I don’t know how I manage to get back with him each time he come begging.he has never touched me physically but he manipuulates me and lies to me so much I don’t know when I can completely trust him.To the world he is an amazing guy but I hv never been able to tell anyone the real issues we face cos I am protecting his image.I know I should walk away but I just don’t know how to do it.I fear that I may not find anyone else to love me like he fairness he is always ther for me but I still just can’t shake off that voice in my head telling me I deserve better.I know if I was financially independent I woul have walked .don’t judge me I am nt with him for money but its really hard to stand your grounds when the person you need to get away from is the only one that provides for your welfare.I am 26 without a job and my family is not financially me I’ve tried my hands on many biznesses but stilll hv not found my bearing.Most times we break up after he cheats, he comes back when I’m dead broke and I am always carried away by the relief of being taken care of.

    • Kia October 3, 2013 at 9:41 am

      Run don’t walk!

    • Ready October 3, 2013 at 9:58 am

      Babe, you need a job. I’m not going to criticize or pontificate…the bottomline is that you need a job. From your post, you’re educated and you can think for yourself…that settles half of the problem because it means you have basic skills required for the work place. Look, unless you’re very picky and don’t want one of those marketer/office assistant/contract staff jobs, you can definitely get employed between now and November.
      You must walk away, and you must do it very soon. You’ve contracted STIs for goodness’ sake. This dude is playing with your head, and you’ll only continue to lose your self esteem until you become a shell of who you once were. I think you should prepare to face the hardest 1-2 years of your life, but know that in that time, you’ll make something of yourself and be financially stable enough to not need a guy–that is unless you want the luxuries like the hair and shoes and fancy phones.
      It will be hard, but the disadvantages of not doing this for yourself will be much more than the benefits you think you gain from him now.

    • Ada Ada October 3, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Wow…Sorry Hun..I really really understand your plight..But the truth is this guy that has given you STI’s can also give you HIV…My darling please suck it up and walk away while you still can..Leaving him might actually bring blessings your way..I know that phrase sounds really corny but in my opinion leaving him will be one of the best things you’ve ever done for you… Trust me..i’VE BEEN IN YOUR SHOES *Big Hug*

    • Rose October 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      He is your comfort zone and your safety net unless you spread your wings by leaving your nest and your comfort zone you wont experience the goodies waiting for you. i have left a marriage without my son, job, shelter nor finances but i am better off today with more financial security, 3 marriage proposals and my son to crown it all. you never know until you try!

    • zsa zsa October 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      @confused girl. You are playing with your life.
      1. If you have contracted an STI or STI’S as you stated which probably means it happened more than once, your chances of having children in the future might be greatly affected. Not to mention the almighty HIV/AIDS.
      2. You say you feel no one would love you the way he does, well guess what? he knows exactly how you think and will continue to capitalize on it.
      3.He shows up when you need him, as you mentioned especially when you are broke. Don’t you think this is deliberate on his part? when you have your fights he knows you would need him sooner or later…he knows to show up at the right time.

      Please set yourself free, Its not easy i understand but you just have to. Go get a job…any job, it cant be that bad. Look at it this way, what if he leaves you for good? what would you do then? find another guy that would “take care” of you? Take control of your life and do it fast.

    • Tobi-ijustmetme October 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      Hello Confused girl. I am sooooo sorry to hear your predicament. It is indeed unfortunate. You need to first of all know that you are not crazy and you are not alone. It is VERY important for you to not be so hard on yourself that you no longer have confidence in your own self. (Think about that for a moment)
      Now Confused girl, I am going to give it to you in a way that may be uncomfortable.
      Yours is a classic case of abuse. Both physical and abuse. Peeing on you is bad enough….STI’s? This is your LIFE at stake and you are playing with it. But you already know that. The problem is BOTH that you have no “apparent” way of making money AND you are feeling guilty about the thought of leaving him BECAUSE you feel that you “used” him as financial support. Let me put it like this. Subconsciously, you allow him to use you because you feel deep down inside that you use him (for financial support). But that’s not true. He IS supposed to take care of you because he loves you and cares about you AND if you are in a healthy relationship, it should be ok for one person to be down and out for a while the other person picks up the slack. What if it was him that lost his job? Girlfriend I know its not easy but here are two things that you must do and do right away
      1.Better yourself and do it now. If you can’t find a job with your credentials, get new ones. Tell everyone in your circle that they need to get involved with helping you look for a new job or create opportunities for yourself. One of the best ways is to build a skill or identify a way you can make money with a skill you already have. Are you great at picking outfits, then tell your girlfriends to make you their personal shopper. DO something. Sell oranges if you must. The problem is that you are putting the good life ahead of your life. You are caring about how you will maintain your lifestyle and be “taken care of” and outing that over your dignity. Don’t do that. It doesn’t not take much to eat and you have enough clothes…
      2. Forget “Don’t ask don’t tell”. This is not the US military. DO tell him how you view what he is doing to you. VERBALISE it. If you don’t say anything to him, he will mentally get away with it by telling himself that it must not be that back if you are not saying anything about it. (I assume you have done this though, but I wanted to share just in case). Right now its just peeing and STIs but this is your life and you need to RUN.
      It may take a while to finally cut the cord but you need to start cutting now. God bless you sweetie and good luck. Remember…when God made you, he didn’t have this in mind. Find out what he did have in mind…

    • 5YRS IN MARRIAGE October 25, 2013 at 5:51 pm


    • NIL November 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Dear Confused Girl and Worried girl, this is just an advice
      I will give you. its comes as a form of my own story but please use
      it as an advice. Firstly, let me start by stating clearly that we
      came into this world ALONE and as we came AlONE, we shall also go
      back ALONE! as simple as this sentence is, it is very hard for
      people to understand. By coming into this world ALONE, it means you
      do not need anyone but the one who Brought you into this world
      (GOD) to survive! its true when you are in love with someone, you
      feel you cannot live without that person! you feel pain in your
      heart the moment you think of being ALONE and without that person.
      But one thing you need to realise is that this life is a journey,
      you are on this earth for a purpose and when your time is up, you
      will go back to HIM to who sent on this journey. Do you ever sit
      and wonder how people get over the pains and hurts of the death of
      their loved ones? it is normal i remember a long time ago when I
      think about my life and my parents and I say I can’t leave without
      them, God forbid that any of them should die I would kill myself
      and so on, but a time came, I lost my mother as an only child, I
      thought that was it, I thought my life had come to an end, but then
      I realised that my life had only begun and I couldnt take my own
      life away, so I had to live without her and I am still living
      without her. I miss her yes, but my life goes on and there are
      times as a matter of fact a lot of times when I don’t feel like she
      is gone, because that vacuum or emptiness that her death has caused
      has been filled by so many positive things which gives my life a
      meaning and then I realise I dont need my mother after all because
      there are some people who never even had the chance to see their
      own mothers yet they are happy and they are still living! . I know
      you might be thinking that what i am saying doesn’t relate to these
      problems you are facing but I have read all the comments above and
      I am very sure they are the sort of advice you have been told a
      couple of times by your loved ones and your friends who tell you
      life is too short oh, run oh! leave the man oh! bla bla bla but you
      still find yourself going back to the same person and infect you
      realise you stop telling your problems to people anymore because
      you know what they will tell you already and that is not what you
      want to hear. Well, true happiness comes from within, you cannot
      change one who is unwilling to change. I will start by commending
      both of you for your bravery and openness because the first step to
      getting help or finding a solution is by admitting to yourself that
      there actually is a PROBLEM! @ confused girl, I know you might be
      financially unstable, but it is not worth you going through this
      pain! God made woman i.e YOU out of man THE WOMAN CAME FROM HIS
      EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL E.T.C) Not every man understands this, but
      every woman ought to understand that the moment the man you are
      with isn’t any of the above or doesn’t do any of the above, then
      you need to end it! END the relationship! a broken engagement is
      better than a broken marriage. I am pleased that neither of you are
      married so it is a lot easier for you to end it now. I have been
      there before, I have experienced abuse and loss, I have experienced
      sleepless nights because I am in tears all the time. I have cried
      and I have prayed but I realised that I was praying wrongly. I was
      being biased in my prayer. I didn’t want the will of God, I wanted
      my own will but I wanted it to feel like it was the will of God. I
      have cried to God to make the man I was dating to change, to stop
      cheating, to love me, to want me but it didn’t happen and I was
      upset with God because I thought he wasn’t answering my prayers but
      I didn’t realise that my prayers were wrong, until I decided to say
      God please if this man is my husband, let your will be done and I
      know your will is not for me to be crying and unhappy but if he is
      not, please take him far away from me! cause something to happen
      that will end the relationship permanently. this was the most
      simple prayer but yet the most difficult prayer I have ever had to
      pray in my life! because I didn’t want the relationship to end, yet
      I wanted to see a change. You know how we women are, most times we
      end the relationship and after a few days we make excuses for the
      man and find reasons to forgive him or be a “VIRTUOUS WOMAN” and
      suck it up and come back to the man and still take the crap over
      again. Well, God answered my prayers and this guy ended the
      relationship just like that! thats the good thing i like about men
      too, they are very decisive unlike us women, the moment they say
      NO, its hard to come back on it! I felt like i was going to die! i
      lost a lot of weight! no one understood what was going on with me,
      I lost it completely, I didn’t have emotions again! I couldn’t feel
      pain or hurt, I felt after loosing my mother the love of my life
      forever, I am loosing another “Love of my life again”. I felt life
      had no meaning once more and I just wanted my own journey of life
      to end, but still in these hard times I always was able to pull
      through and mumble the words “every disappointment was a blessing
      in disguise”. No one knew what I was going through, all I did was
      to write everything in my journal this is a very long story but let
      me just cut it short. after about 2 years, I finally found someone
      who is my soul mate. he completes me and vice versa! I’m the queen
      of his castle. He has affected my life so positively as much as I
      have affected his life. we have helped each other grow and everyone
      calls me his PA ( personal assistant) now because to come to him,
      you must come through me first. I am so at peace and happy and
      comfortable. I could care less about checking his fone or his email
      or bb messages because I have the passwords. I mean sometimes i sit
      down and I can’t even believe it is me. I can’t believe that when I
      even think about this other guy that I dated, I hate myself just
      the mere thought of it. I ask myself, what exactly was i thinking?
      what was it that he had or he gave me that I felt I had to take all
      that crap? and you know the funny thing is that I was even the one
      taking care of him financially. i tell my stories to people and it
      has affected most positively. I hope you all who read this can be
      able to pick one or two lessons from this story. not only to
      confused girl and worried girl but to every other person who feels
      they are in a similar situation. in the end, We Came ALONE and We
      will go back ALONE and give account of our journey to our creator.
      One man is not worth causing you misery in this wicked world we
      already live in. Snap yourself out of that misery, shut a door to
      that relationship or better still if u are like me who felt you
      couldnt end it, pray for God to make the man end it! and when he
      ends it, Please dont go back begging. the moment you find a loop
      hole run! delete his numbers, text messages, pictures, just shut
      you heart to him we are women, we are very strong! it only takes a
      woman to go into a labour room and push a child out of her …..
      and still go back home strong and healthy and continue her daily
      routine. you will never know how strong you are until you test your
      self! I’m not a feminist but I believe that even the weakest woman
      is stonger than the strongest man on this earth! yes many men wwill
      not agree but we have the key! my dear ladies please! do this for
      yourself. there is someone better out there and even if you don’t
      find that someone, you dont need a man actually to be happy or to

  • Thanks! October 3, 2013 at 9:25 am

    I hope this provides the knowledge people need to be free from abusive relationships and help their friends provide the support they need to break free

  • Nkechi October 3, 2013 at 9:36 am

    My worry is that we have boxed abuse in relationships to physical abuse alone. Emotional and verbal abuse is deeper and more psychologically damaging than physical abuse and too many women are suffering and since society will ask you – is he beating you? is he not taking care of you? – so many women are silent.

  • Fizzie October 3, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Honestly speaking being in an emotional abusive relationship is worst than every other abusive relationship ‘cos it destroys ur self esteem and ur confidence,it makes you think less of urself and so on bt thank God am saved… I call them EMOTIONAL DRAINERS

  • frances October 3, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Thank u so much for this.we only pray men(yes men also can be abused,I heard of one dat d wife throws plates of soup at him bcuz according 2her,he eats d meat and leaves nothing 4her.she flares up and hits him at any opportuinity) and women faced with dis will have d courage to walk out.thrz more to ur life than dat man/woman and its only wen u let go of d bad dat d good can come in.#u deserve better.

  • Worried girl October 3, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Good day everyone, Please allow me share mine.

    I have been in a relationship with a guy for about a year now. It was all interesting from the start. Till i started to notice the characters of the man i am with. He is very authoritative, jealous and possessive. It becomes a problem if i don’t cook, clean and do all domestic work in his house every time and i am there at least twice a week. He doesn’t let me talk or listen to my opinion. He constantly shuts me up at every given opportunity. No one can talk to him not even his parents. He monitors my movements, gets angry at any little mistake i make and always suspects i am cheating. My phone must never be off and i must not miss my calls(to him, i am with another guy). He’s not responsible for my welfare. I work, though i don’t earn so much, I am comfortable and i still have my parents and siblings. I love him so much and i know he does too but i think he has noticed that and taken me for granted. My phone is his playbook, he even checks the number of contacts i have and i have to explain y there is a new one. When i am in his house, i put my phone on silent mode because if a guy calls me, he listens to the conversation and if the call is more than 2mins he gets really angry. He doesn’t forgive easily and keeps reminding me of past accounts. He takes offence when i want to hangout with my friends and doesn’t allow me to anymore but he’s friends are always in his house or he’s at theirs cos he can’t stay bored when i am at my house. He says if i want to hangout i should be at his house. I can only be at my house, his or nowhere else. Even on my birthday, he asked me not to receive any gifts from anyone cos he forgot and felt anyone giving me gifts, wants to take me from him. The last argument was about the fact that i picked a family outing over coming to his place without adequate notice. According to him, y mum doesn’t like him, so she’s looking for a man for me. His parents and siblings love me so much and are preparing for us to get married and keep calling and praying for me, though my family doesn’t like him cos of the way he treats me. I am scared because i have heard of his past and he used to be violent. He has never been violent with me but i feel he’s hiding that part, maybe that’s y he’s in a hurry to get married. He keeps reminding me that i am not his mate and so he deserves so much respect and can tell me to do whatever and i have to. He also says that, if i leave him today, he’ll meet a girl and marry her in at most 3months.

    There’s so much to write but i don’t want to bore you with sad tales.. D bottomline is i’m scared and i don’t want to end up in a sad unhappy home cos i no longer feel happy going to visit him.

    • lilz October 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      mbok what are you waiting for???? please leave o..with all the talks about abuse?? you cant be there my sister..MOVE!!!!!! and tell him when you leave him you’ll find a guy thats a million times better than he is.. Men sha.. dont even think about getting married to him except to want to ruin your life by yourself

    • masked October 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      In as much as i’d like to write an epistle, i think i will only mirror what you already know…leave his sorry ass alone and let him get married in 3months time….irrespective of how older he is to you, you are supposed to be his “companion” not anything less. He’s not the best you will get, leave him alone and MEAN it!!! I emphasize mean it cos most of this kinda pple will come back with the world begging you to come back, but unless he takes 1yr in anger mgt class and courses in mutual partnership, he’s not good for you and b4 he comes back, you have moved on to a better life. All the best in making the best decision you may have to make in your life.

    • Ami October 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      Please leave, the early you leave the easier it will be and you can start again. As the years go by he will only get worse and the reasons not to leave will only increase.

    • Abby October 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      Chei,ths is truly sad,i dont understand how self centred some men are…like i have always said, it is better to have a broken rship than a broken marriage…pray and ask God for his guidance.Only God works great miracles,God’s love never fails.

    • slice October 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      Some abusive behavior is learned and so can be corrected. Sometime what we call abusive demands are silly things that we implicitly agreed to do. U ve to do all the domestic work…no u don’t. U just did it to keep the peace. Give the relationship a real try since u say u love hiim. Stop doing things u don’t want to do, answer ur calls, tell him u’re a grown up woman and if he wants a relationship with the real u who has friends and family to attend to, he’s welcome to be ur bfriend and not check ur phone. But if not, he can leave.

      • metoo October 3, 2013 at 4:30 pm

        Very good point. I was in a similar situation with mbok until my sister pointed out that I needed to be more assertive. The guy was not having it and we eventually broke up. One of the lowest points of my life because (in retrospect) he pulled the classic abuser line on me “no one is better for you than I am”

      • metoo October 3, 2013 at 4:31 pm

        worried girl* not mbok

    • Tobi-ijustmetme October 3, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      Worried girl. Part of the problem is “Escalation of Commitment” You are committed to his family. Its like you are in a relationship with them too and if you break up with him, you will break up with them. Let me help you. You will be alone when you get married. very alone. its not that they wont care, its just that just like now, they wont be able to help you then. The way to look at this is that you can break up with him as a lover, and still have a relationship with his family. More importantly, a relationship with them is supposed to be a by product of your relationship with him and not the other way round. The other thing sweetie, is that you are in love with “being in a relationship” you like that status and the attention and the chip on the shoulder it gives you with other ladies because you have a “man”. But that is not a man and that is not love. Let me put it this way “NOW is the easiest time it will ever be to rethink that relationship” Tomorrow will be closer to a wedding, tomorrow will be one more day (or 100 more) days that yo will be in that situation and it gets harder to leave after so long. Tomorrow there will be a wedding and tomorrow there will be a ring. if its hard to consider leaving now..honey it doesnt get easier tomorrow. Like i told the lady above… when God created you, he didnt have thin in mind…your job is to find out what he had in mind and get it.

    • Spacey October 3, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      In my opinion, the fact that you are writing this means you have a pretty good idea what you should do.

    • Browngyrl October 3, 2013 at 11:53 pm

      Run, Run, Run… put on shoes on top of your head and run!!!! Never look back.

    • Dubem October 4, 2013 at 1:39 am

      You are lucky you are still in a relationship. Get out while you can. Sadly, you may still be attracted to the same type of men.

  • Ugo October 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    My darling worried girl, you’ve answered your own questions. Be brave and do the right thing. Else you’ll have no one else to blame but yourself! Xx!

  • Glow October 3, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    * ……D bottomline is i’m scared and i don’t want to end up in a sad unhappy home cos i no longer feel happy going to visit him. *
    My dear why do you still go to visit him then? Be careful not to walk into your own misery ( or death…. GOD Forbid! ) with your own two legs.
    I think you know what to do but just don’t know how to do it.
    Take time off from the relationship & all…. to think.
    Pull yourself together & FLY right out.
    Trust me, you’ll feel so MUCH BETTER after doing it.
    I am talking from experience!

    Best of Luck & May the Lord be your Strength.

  • neola October 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Worried girl, can i pray for you. If you agree, we can do a prayer of agreement., cause i know people will say RUN which obviously you know you should , if not you would not have asked for advise, but im guessing its so difficult for you to do so,because you think you love this guy. This guy will kill you if you do not leave now and you will have sold your happiness in this lifetime the day you make that decision to marry this dude. So please let me know, i just feel you need a spiritual severance from this dude.

  • Bimpe October 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I have this to say girl, my ex told me that (if i leave him today, he’ll meet a girl and marry her in i-cant-remember months).. And was he right? Totally, well he got married alil more than a year after and i wasnt.
    And MY! am I happier, without any form of pretense-i need not prove any point but getting married is NOT my life’s aim. My aim is to have unhindered fellowship with GOD while in union with my man. Anyone can get married but not everyone will get it right. Please get it right and stay blessed.

  • Worried girl October 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks a lot Lilz and Neola. I really do appreciate. Yea, Neola a prayer would b nice. Thank u.

    • jcsgrl October 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      Sweetie I will also pray in agreement with others and you that God will give you the grace to run away from this relationship and never look back. You will never know the limitless possibilities God has for you out there until you’re willing to step out in faith. trust God and damn the fears and insecurities. Pls may I add after you leave please stay single for a while. People who have been in abusive relationships tend to jump into another one to make themselves feel good. Be independent for a while, get to meet single friends, serve God and humanity with all your heart, channel your love for this man into yourself, your family, your career and you will be amazed at how life will turn around for you. Be prepared to stand your ground becos he will surely come back begging. his family will beg and try to convince you. Pls don’t ever reconsider at all unless Jesus himself comes down to tell you. Move on and move on fast. Start little…cut off communication. change your activities or any circle of friends connected to him. Let him go and find someone else. Peace, love and hugs to you. Pls come back and let us know how you’re faring.

  • Faena October 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Babe, you need a job. I’m not going to criticize or pontificate…the bottomline is that you need a job. From your post, you’re educated and you can think for yourself…that settles half of the problem because it means you have basic skills required for the work place. Look, unless you’re very picky and don’t want one of those marketer/office assistant/contract staff jobs, you can definitely get employed between now and November.
    You must walk away, and you must do it very soon. You’ve contracted STIs for goodness’ sake. This dude is playing with your head, and you’ll only continue to lose your self esteem until you become a shell of who you once were. I think you should prepare to face the hardest 1-2 years of your life, but know that in that time, you’ll make something of yourself and be financially stable enough to not need a guythat is unless you want the luxuries like the hair and shoes and fancy phones.
    It will be hard, but the disadvantages of not doing this for yourself will be much more than the benefits you think you gain from him now.

  • Jules October 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Nice article…. really love it, thanks for sharing.

  • Worried girl October 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Thank u everyone… I really appreciate your comments.

    • Ready October 3, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      My dear, don’t just appreciate the comments. Please say you will do something concrete about your situation.

      • Escada October 5, 2013 at 2:35 pm

        @worried girl -I just happened to go throught the comments again and I’m sure you would say it’s easier said than done, afterall most of you are not in my shoes. Well, I have been in those shoes and at the time I thought I would not live another day without the guy. Deep down, I knew it wasn’t what I wanted for myself but didn’t have the courage to let go. My family watched me change into a completely different being, my best friend called to threaten him. It was so bad, I had never been so low all my life. But you know what, he is married now and maybe happy but I am soooo much happier because no matter how much this guy loves another girl, he won’t treat her differently. You will go through these phases BUT you will heal!
        You will hurt so bad, you’ll feel the pain almost physically, you’ll stalk him every step of the way, wonder what he’s doing, who he is with, what you didn’t do right and always pray you never run into him, his wife when he has one and maybe his family so he doesn’t rub it in your face what you have supposedly missed.All that is normal because he has taken what is left of your self esteem and worth, BUT you will HEAL! It may be weeks(not likely), months or maybe years, but each day will bring new opportunities to discover yourself, to rebuild what he took from you and gradually you’ll become whole again. Forget his family, they are probably sooo sweet to you because of the catastrophe they have as a son but years down the line, you will thank yourself every single day for making this very difficult decision to leave him. YOU NEED TO LEAVE HIM and remember, YOU WILL HEAL.

  • shegirl October 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    worried girl are u still in that relationship? i hope you
    have already run? nobody and i repeat nobody should put you in that
    position……now that you know leave him faster than i can say
    jack…….trust me love aint that scarce, you will get another
    person to love you so pls let the nigger go…..had i known will
    not be your story IJN…..

  • Joan85 October 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    @WorriedGirl only an insecure man will threaten to marry
    someone else if u leave. My dear, it will be difficult, but please
    leave him. God will help you. I was in an abusive relationship for
    8 months and didn’t even know it. Everyone thought he was the best
    guy ever and so did I. The abuse was emotional not physical. I was
    isolated from my family, but my friends thought the world of him so
    I was manipulated into communicating with them alone. My movements
    were monitored, but it was called love and being together so I
    didn’t say anything. I couldn’t wear certain dresses because he
    wasn’t by my side for me to wear such bodycon dresses (it was a
    long distance thing) so I wore regular dresses. He said it was
    God’s will for us to be together so my family was the enemy that
    ‘we’ had to fight against, so I prayed against any hindrance from
    my family. The story is long o lol; the day I broke up with him, he
    told me that he knew that I had made up my mind to break up with
    him because of how I’d bee behaving the last couple of weeks, and
    that he had sensed it too because all his friends had suddenly
    started trying to hook him up with other chics i.e. he had options.
    I walked away, tears n all, my self esteem crushed and praying for
    God to heal my heart n mind. He still calls me a year later and
    when I pick up, he just doesn’t say anything, like basically silent
    lol. God heard me and now, I have a man who let’s me be me and
    loves me with everything I come with, family, friends, n all.
    Marriage? God is working on it 😀 My point is that abuse may never
    be physical; it could be subtle things that are passed off as love.
    But real love will never isolate u from ur loved ones or even track
    when u sleep n wake up. #MyTwoKobo 🙂

  • lee October 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    seriously, i dunno y anyone let alone a single lady wud stay put in an abusive relationship. it beats me. i c em in movies but i knw lots of peeps are in such relationships which is ALL CAPS SAD! i pray such peeps find the strength to leave such hell cos damn it its not worth it!

  • amaka October 3, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    ok mine now

  • yuroba babes October 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    i really need srz advice on what to do..

    i have been in a relationship with a married man for close to 5 years.. i thought we were soo much in luv until recently wen i begun to pull back as i thought of soo many things. he’s married to a very pretty lady with four handsome boys and always tells me he is going to divorce his wife so we get married. he made me thin everyone hu was against us was not god enough to be my friend and didnt want my happiness, he even turned me against my family.. he abused me once and begged the same night,, i felt i even loved him more that day and forgave him.. Later i begun to feel some hatred for doing that to me and eventually asked for a break up. he agreed but still ingered around. he does that deliberately cus he knows i cant do without him.. we are cool friends now but he’s still in my life but want him out. when i dont call him, i feel lm being mean to him and he says wors that make me think i owe him a lot to treat him that way..
    BN readers pls i need your advice on what to do to be able to close this chapter of my life.

    • Joan85 October 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      Hunny, five years nd he hasn’t left his wife yet? Chances are he was never going to leave her in the first place. You didn’t mention if u have a job or not, but I will assume that u do. Resolve to leave him, live below your means so that u can fend for yourself independent of him and make up your mind to cut off any connections/contact. It will be difficult but you will be better off for it.

    • MT October 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      You don’t owe him jack… It was a mutually satisfying relationship of give and take. Even though I’d say you lost way more than he may have given you. For 5 years you have held on to what is not yours while what is yours keeps passing you by. Close your eyes and let go so your own good thing can come to you instead of an harvest of curses & ill fortune. Change your # & address if you have to. Give him the show down of his life in public so he’ll be too embarrassed to look for you again.
      You cant be cool friends… Please avoid this man like a terminal disease

    • sis eko October 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      Hunnie hour isn’t going to leave his wife for nutin. Even
      if by juju he does, he’ll do the exact same thing to you. Do you
      think u are the only woman he is telling that lie to???? No way!!
      You also cannot I repeat cannot be good friends with him, dts a
      lie, a big lie so for ur own good cut all ties with him ALL
      TIES!!!!! He has a wife n kids, if he needs companion he’s got more
      than enough. You don’t owe him didly squat, u’ve given 5yrs of ur
      life already. Time you can never get back so pls for ur own sake n
      to avert anymore curses in ur life face ur forward and move

  • tatafo October 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    God bless you for this article, the way people rained abuses at the girl in the last Aunty Bella article made me cry. Hopefully this will be an enlightening article to all. The three most important things that I hope people take away from this article is that
    1. No one enters into a relationship expecting abuse
    2. The mind games the abuser plays is partly why people stay
    3. If your loved one is in an abusive relationship, show LOVE not condemnation

    • Tobi-ijustmetme October 3, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      Thank you tatafo. God bless!

  • Sparkle October 3, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I can relate this to my last relationship. I met this guy
    who approached me like an angel, infact I felt like I was in
    wonderland. Fast forward to six months later, he decided to bring
    out his true colors. He abused me emotionally and made me feel like
    he did me a favour by being in a relationship with him because
    according to him, he doesn’t chase after women rather they chase
    him. I remembered how I cried severally even to the extent of
    committing suicide because of love. Anyway, when I realize he
    wasn’t ready to change despite the fact I stayed with him for three
    years plus, I just decided to suck it up and leave him for good. It
    was painful and difficult for me because he was my first, but I
    guess my life, health and happiness is more precious.

  • hot mama October 3, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    I’m particularly interested in the last part of this write up…”be real friends”, while I very much agree with you I must also say sometimes the concerned friend may become emotionally abused by the victim too. I have a friend who experienced most of these things written up there when she dated her boyfriend now husband, to my knowledge 95% of the time in that relationship was spent in misery and I being the concerned friend felt her misery….I begged her, advised her, talked to her…kind words,harsh words…on a few occasions I had to give into her teary pleas to help her apologise and talk to her boo even though I knew he didn’t deserve it, I would go to her house at 3 am just cos she would call and be hysterical on the phone…biko what dint I do for her….this went on for a year plus…then the issue of getting married to the guy came up and I found myself pleading with her not to just cos I knew first hand what she had gone through with him, at some point it felt like I was tryna discourage her from getting married just cos I wasn’t….biko man pikin just got tired of the whole ish….my pleas and all fell on deaf ears apparently and she got married to him, I had to tell her straight up that I was done carrying her wahala on my shoulders for her and since she felt she needed to be unhappy she should deal with the unhappiness herself…truth is I stopped enjoying our friendship as it was no longer what it used to be,instead it became a complain/crying galore, not to even add the fact that her husband started planting ideas about me to her sef…I just had to lean back…..point is sometimes it’s really hard for friends too.

  • Betty October 4, 2013 at 8:40 am

    You have talked about religion…. it is true! Someone can find a Christian couple and think they are not abusive. I remember of a couple who were going to be marriage but the man always tell her fiance that “but you you are older than me… two (2) years above me are too much… the girl gave up because she expected those same sayings in their marriage. So, people must be aware of the way they are talking to their lovers.

  • Nike October 4, 2013 at 9:46 am

    @Tobi-ijustmetme, this is a very enlightening article.

    I used to date a guy for 2 years and when we met we just seemed to get along so well. By the end of the relationship there was so much spite and harsh words from his side and all I felt from him was hatred and disgust.

    I met him when I was working at my first job; I was earning enough money to take care of myself and buy a few nice things I didn’t mind. He was earning double my salary and always ‘jokingly’ mentioned that he had to feed me and take care of me. I moved to a second and third job with the % increase in my salary being 50% between the first and second and finally being more than 200% between the second and the third. That was when he began complaining that his pay wasn’t commensurate to his work, that those who did hard work were not well rewarded. I moved cities and he was always accusing me of plotting to leave him and all of that.

    He was jealous of my family members, jealous of my friends, jealous of my colleagues and acquaintances even! He always wanted me to visit him and was always complaining when I went home to visit my family. He even told me that if we got married I won’t visit often.

    He was always accusing me of reporting him to my friends and so they look at him funny, act funny to him. He insisted that they add him on BBM and was always complaining that my friends never initiated conversation with him. After we split my friends told me that if I had ended up getting married to him they would not have visited our house.

    I fell terribly ill last year and was ill/recovering for about 6 months. I was on steroids and added a few kilos. He kept telling me that I was too fat, that if my stomach was that big when we met he would never have asked me out. He grew hateful and hurtful: one day he told me that 9 out of the 10 times I had been to his house I was sick and he was forced to take care of me. The look in his eyes was of disdain and disgust.

    At the end of the day I realised that I had been so manipulated emotionally by him – he broke away my self-confidence bit by bit and then came back using guilt. I have always been a very confident person and never expected to be in such a situation. Most of the time when I remember I feel ashamed that I even spent 2 years in that kind of relationship.

    I have mulled over commenting on this post since yesterday. I have the mind of sending the link of this article to him letting him know that the relationship we had was indeed very abusive. However I won’t as he is very cantankerous and I have since last year cut off all communication with him even though he periodically tries to revive it.

    Right now I am in a position where I am wary of nice guys; I wonder when they will ‘start to show their true colours’ and have become a lot more self-conascious especially about my body.

    • missNk October 19, 2013 at 4:42 am

      awwww sweetie, I don’t know you but hugs. I’m glad you were able to get out of that relationship. I was in one for just over a year and he was jealous, defensive and manipulative. We were long distance which helped a bit because I could ignore him or curse him back as well over the phone. To cut the long story short, I broke up with him and a week later, he went to on a trip with some girl he’d been messing about with. I wasn’t even upset, more like amused. fast forward, I met this amazing man (my present boyfriend) and we’ve been together for almost 2 years and it’s been wonderful. I’m glad I got out and you’ll definitely find one better. 🙂

  • Rynyx October 4, 2013 at 11:28 am

    @worried girl, your boyfriend is sick. any man who says if you leave me, I ill get someone else does not deserve a good girl. I dated some idiot like that for a little over one year. by the time I walked away, I had no self worth because of the emotional abuse I had to deal with. he was so sure I wont have the guts to leave. and then he started to say there was someone else when I eventually did. I met my husband about 4months after and I have been married two years and happy and guess what, the he goat is still single. he cant even get someone to commit to him. my dear, walk away, that dude needs a lot of help that may not come from you so leave now while you still have the courage to talk about it. if he has a history of violent relationships, its only a matter of time before you get your very first slap which will be the first of many. please my sister, take this from someone who survived, WALK AWAY.

  • Anon October 4, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    @neola..if u r reading dis plz pray 4 me. Im goin thru d same trauma..long story short..married to a big time abusive husbnd…lately bcme suicide..nbody to turn to…

  • GirlOnTop :D October 5, 2013 at 8:57 am

    I think all you people need to search deeply within your hearts and make the riight decisions for yourselves. At the end of the day, you what is going on exactly. Do not let fear hold you back e.g Fear of what people will say or think, fear of how you will cope without him or her, fear of him or his relatives etc. This is your life and decisions and choices you make determine your altitude. Someone once said “The wedding ring is a handcuff, choose your partner carefully”. Be bold and make the right decision for you! God help us all. 😀

  • Jene October 6, 2013 at 1:10 am

    Where all the abused dudes at? I know y’all reading! 🙂

  • hrh Ihuoma October 7, 2013 at 9:25 am

    the one thing i hate about discussions relating to abuse in relationships, is that half the people who talk about it, dnnt knw jack about what they are sayn and another quarter are too afraid that smone will recognize their story and as such leave out meaningful input. so please if u dnt knw wat to say or cant relate to, dnt start giving ur 5 quick steps to leavn an abusive partner (that u think uv cleverly made up in ur head) just offer ur sympathies and bounce. thnk u

  • Anon October 16, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Aww love how sisters are sticking up for themselves, giving sincere advice to one another ….. We can only help each other. To the lady who has been dating a married man for 5 years. Hmm you need to be careful that his wife is not praying on your head o cos you will always reap what you sow… I won’t be surprised if u come bak in few years time asking about how to deal with a cheating husband. Karma is for real.

  • bisola October 29, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    whao… write up

  • teemar November 28, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Its amazing and alarming to find out that most people are going through this trauma presently cos the replies and stories are just so heart melting, this is indeed truthfully a wonderful piece which am so sure has helped save lives and most importantly the already laid down self esteem of so many people who were so confused on what steps to take to better the next chapters of their lives. *standing ovation I really appreciate the writer of this piece.

  • miss Balerina March 1, 2014 at 5:48 pm


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