10 thoughts on “13 Double Standards Emotional Abusers and Controllers Exhibit in Relationships

  • September 22, 2018 at 8:47 am

    I was thinking about that this morning. I remember my mother used to criticize each family member constantly. One day my father said to me ‘I can’t work on the house when she’s around’. I knew what he meant because when I was a child,my mother used to smoke up and then fall asleep in the day when my dad was at work. For a lack of a better word she was lazy. We kids kept the household running. But everything we did she criticized. She’d stand there barking at us then hit us if we did it wrong.
    Now, I overreact from criticism even as an adult. Right now, we have a huge and sudden fruitfly problem. But fruitflies can feed off of anything if there’s no fruit. My daughter won’t help me, but tells me where she’s finding the pockets of fruitflies. It makes me uneasy because it’s in a critical voice like my mother. I know it’s my job to keep it under control but if anyone has ever experienced fruitflies they’ll know it’s really difficult to keep on top of in the hot summer months. And when I hear the instructions in a critcal voice I start having crippling panic attacks because fear, shame and guilt are injected into the scenario.
    Talking about it is good though.

    • September 22, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      Hi Lisa,
      The legacy from emotionally abusive and controlling parents can last for decades. Children are vulnerable and a steady stream of criticism is not good parenting. However, children are also resilient. As adults, we have resources and awareness for healing and reclaiming our independence that were not available in childhood. Your awareness of this automatic response to critical voices is a strength. It shows the enduring power early criticism can have but it also shows your longing, yearnings and dedication to healing and to breaking the cycle instead of passing it on. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • September 23, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    Very interesting! Thank you👍😇

  • September 24, 2018 at 10:32 am

    I have been with my boyfriend for 7 years, and I love him very much.

    After reading many of the articles here, I have to conclude that he falls on the lower end of the spectrum of abusiveness.

    However, I am most definitely codependent, which is not good.

    When we first met, it was fireworks! But as soon as I moved in, the passion quickly subsided, and he became alarmingly critical on occasion, not just criticism of my actions, but my character. For example, he once told me that I was “unobservant” because I couldn’t find something in the refrigerator, and elaborated with examples of other times he had seen me being unobservant. That was the first character asassination attack, and it hurt the worst because I did not see it coming. It was on Thanksgiving, when we were supposed to be making a special meal together. I tried to explain to him why it hurt, but it was futile.

    The attacks got worse for a few years, then I packed up my car and left, I intended to leave, but I let him pull me back in.

    Believe it or not, he did improve after that. He does not criticize me at all – well dammit I guess I can’t really say that – he did *once* recently, but I did not let it slide! That was one incident in at least 4 years. We went to a taqueria to eat (kinda big deal, we NEVER EVER go anywhere!) and I had ONE margarita, was having fun, we were talking and joking, and you know how it is when the joke goes back and forth and keeps getting funnier and funnier? Well, I was laughing so much, I didn’t even realize I had dropped the “F” word, but, so what? Well, he STOPPED laughing all of a sudden, and told me to keep my voice down because there’s children in the restaurant. I looked around, and NOBODY was looking our way. Everybody was doing their own thing. There was a TV on, lots of other people, I mean, really? Come on, really????? I guess we won’t be going out to eat any more.

    But what he *does* do, and I have not seen this in any of the articles, and I think it deserves to be included, is this: Emotional starvation. He seems completely incapable of affection, compliments, saying nice things, even just carrying on ordinary, day-to-day conversation.

    When he comes home from work, he greets the animals – we have 3 cats and 2 dogs – actually, he only greets the cats, he dgaf about the dogs.

    Then, 100% of his attention is focused on either watching videos, playing video games, or social media. If I want to talk to him, I must interrupt these activities, which he feels extremely benevolent about the fact that he pauses to allow me to speak, however, it is not uncommon to hear a loud sigh when he does. Even if he is silent, I feel it.

    The really weird thing is, I do believe that he really wants me here, in his life. If I ask for a specific thing – for example, years ago, I told him he needs to kiss me goodbye before he leaves in the morning, because what if something were to happen and we never saw each other again? Well, my message got through, and he dutifully kisses me goodbye each and every morning, without fail. Like a goddamn robot. His eyes already looking toward the door.

    I honestly don’t know what to do. I don’t think he is a full-blown narcissist, but there’s a reason I’m here reading all these articles, right?

  • October 15, 2018 at 4:18 am

    Andrea, Given what you’ve described, you’ve got a problem. The details you gave leave me wondering why you’ve stayed for 7 years.

    One of the things, which I learned from my fairly introverted but narcicist ex girlfriend, is that they have a way of chipping away/devaluing you to a point that you don’t feel or expect that you could get better.

  • January 28, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    I can relate to everything in this article and a few more. I’d really like to know why we put up with this behavior and how to fix myself so as not to attract narcs

  • February 1, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    It can be hard to realize these things if you are a good victim. For years I didn’t see the abuse so clearly because I had become really good at making sure I was perfect and didn’t upset him all the time. I would tell him all my activities for approval then never bother him about his. Like it was normal. It wasn’t until i got healthier and matured some, (7years from 20-28) that he lost some control. He had also matured and had a harder time keeping it up. In the end, i saw how i played along so well i was blinded to the abuse.

  • February 1, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    You nailed my X husband of 32 years!!

  • April 29, 2019 at 4:22 am

    I have noticed some of these signs from my boyfriend of four months, yet we have dated for two & half years. The most recent blowup was last night. I had a health incident that has me on antibiotics hence keeping us away from unprotected sex for a few days. The day before, he wanted me to pleasure him without doing the same for me. In the conversation, I told him he should have to wait like myself since he didn’t want to use protection. To that he answered “You don’t want to go without pleasing me, bad things happen when I’m not taken care of.” I asked him “What does that mean?”, he said “Other women.” though he used another word than women. I was upset yet told him if he found himself doing that then he need to move on from me cause I won’t tolerate that. He said “Apparently my jokes go over your head.” Didn’t seem like a joke to me. So fast forward to yesterday. We are watching GOT & his phone goes off. He doesn’t answer, he instead takes his phone into his room. He then gets text message alerts. He runs to the room to see who is texting him. Now mind you, whenever I text, most times they go unanswered but he’s running to the phone to see who’s calling and texting, it made me feel like I don’t matter to him in some way. He never compliments my pictures yet I found him looking at pics of other women, giving them compliments on their looks, yesterday was no different. So I got up after the show went off, gathered my things and preceded to the front door. Mind you I was upset but decided that I was going to give him a dose of his own medicine.

    He asked me “Where are you going?” , I’m like “Home”. So I open the door and walks about a foot or out the door & he says “No kiss?” and I turn around with a smile because I’m happy he’s noticed and say “Oh you want a kiss? I thought with how busy you were into your phone and running to it that you didn’t want one let alone my company.” It backfired or at least he didn’t like it. I laugh and say, “I’m joking, give me a kiss”, he pushes me away and tells me he no longer wants one and wants me to leave. I tell him “No” and begin to tell him how it’s such a double standard for him to play on my emotions with his “jokes” yet when it’s done to him he wants to get upset. I told him that’s exactly how I feel when he does it and that what he is feeling doesn’t feel good when it’s me either. Instead of seeing this, he gets more upset and I end up telling him I can’t continue to do the double standard. Always wanting me to be available for him, already wanting his way or no way. I feel like I can never be right with him but when he’s wrong, I’m expected to pick myself up and be ok with being told “I told you being in a relationship with me wasn’t going to be easy.” Crazy thing is he used to be complimentary of me. I truly care of him and I know he does for me to some extent,or maybe I’m hoping he does. I have come to question why he’s with me, I’ve become insecure with him, at times I feel defeated with having an equal relationship, being treated how I treat him. Look at me, I’m awake at 3am, not knowing if we’re still going to be together because I slammed his door so hard when I left that his house shook. I love him, want things to work between us but I don’t want to become a shell of the person I am to be with him.

  • July 13, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    This is my life in a nut shell. We got together, he told me how I deserved more then what life’s given me, he made it known he was with me and how much he loved me, traded my car in for a newer one(expresses my concern of breaking up then what cause I couldn’t afford a car payment)?moved in got preg, he hurt his foot n was off work, got into a fight he cleared out the house while I was gone the next day. He took the car from me in the middle of the night regardless of me being preg and kids needed to go to school… but that’s not who he is is what he said when I expressed my concern of trading my car in. We started talking again and decided to work it out. He was given a good job but I was going to stay where I was until via had the baby or kids got out of school. During that time I guess he tried putting an app on my phone that he could see everything I did (didn’t find out until recently) he got his $ back cause he didn’t have access due to my screen lock. Accused me of cheating and lying (also found out he was on dating sites at that time, buying porn subscriptions and live porn chats just found that out too) Things we’re going good. So I thought . I decided to pack up and move with him and enroll the kids in school where he lived….that lasted a week. He was telling me I was lazy and fighting with me telling me I was non observant because I just don’t care so one wed I packed up as much as I could and took 4 out of 5 kids with me. Hes also an alcoholic. He was pissed, threatened to call the police for stealing the car etc..took the car in the middle of the night etc.I told him he was too controlling and putting me down. Ended up working it out. He said he would lighten up on my kids and stop drinking. That it would be better. So I told him i would after the baby was born. The day our son was born was the only time I saw him cry. Not cause if our son. He told me no one would love me like him etc. (he missed the birth) my son was transferred to a hospital closer to him because it was better (baby was in hospital for 3 months after birth) I stayed with him during the week to see our son and went home to my kids on weekends. The first time I saw my bf after everything he made me feel like the most important person in the world and he didn’t want to be with out me. Kids got out of school a short time later and instead of extending my lease I ended it and moved with him. I now can’t seem to do anything right, things that were told to him in confidence are used against me when he leave (every fight so almost every day) he pays most of the bills cause I’ve stayed at home with our son which is what he wanted. So he tells me he’s sick of me using him, calls me names, finds something to get mad at me for even if I think I’ve covered everything he mad get mad at either I’m so stressed about him coming home n afraid I will forget something, I’m right I do or he finds something new. I don’t care about the bills cause I turned the air conditioning on 1 time but yet I don’t turn it on and I’m selfish. I don’t know that the light is on down stairs because I don’t care, I clean too much or I don’t clean enough, he goes and doesn’t what he wants when he wants but if I take a little longer at the store I’m out running around and doing what I want n don’t care about anyone same goes for appointments. He leaves and stays out all night during a fight but i can’t even go to the store. He has acted like a female texting me saying he don’t love you, they are about to have sex, leave him alone etc….he has no prob telling me he don’t care, can ignore me with our even a flinch, sticks to the wall so he doesn’t touch me. I feel as tho I am here as someone to take his anger out on and to have sex with when he chooses most of the time he does it himself n makes sure I know it cause he knows it bothers me. I know we can’t separate with out him stopping at nothing to ruin my life with no care about what it would do to my kids…..I’m lost. Sorry for the book.


Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *