My Boyfriend is a Verbally Abusive, Physically Abusive, Emotionally Abusive, Sexually Unfaithful Man. What Should I Do?

My Boyfriend is a Vebally Abusive, Physically Abusive, Emotionally Abusive, Sexually Unfaithful Man.  What Should I Do?

I met this guy (he’s 53, I’m 43) on an online dating site, and our first and second date went so well, we slept together on the second date. However, the first shoe dropped right when we were in bed before the sex act. He informed me that he had slept with a woman just last week. THEN, he called me a couple of days after and asked to see me the very next day because he had two women flying in for sex, one right after the other, and he wouldn’t be able to see me for two weeks! Furious, I told him that unless he told the women to cancel their trips, it was over. He refused, saying plane tickets had already been bought, so I ended it. A few days later I get a few e-mails laced with anger, repeated phone calls and lastly, an e-mail asking me to forgive him, professing how he’d been doing nothing but crying since we last spoke and saying he’d made a mistake and wanted me back. And you guessed it, I was stupid enough to give this man a second chance.

We were in a relationship for 3 months and it turned out to be a living hell!

When I’d come over, he wanted to have sex FIRST. Whatever else we planned to do came after he got his rocks off. He started pressuring me.

He refused to divorce his wife (they have been separated for 6 years) who he shares custody of his 4 kids with. He told me he just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. It never happened.

Corinne’s guy is verbally abusive, selfish, and sexually unfaithful.

He still continued to take vacations with his wife and spend the holiday with her.

He started to become cruel and insulting to me. He got in my face one day and circled me during an argument and taunted me.

All the women he had sex with (including me) was done while his two teenage daughters and their friends were in the house, even in the daylight hours.

I would catch him frowning at me sometimes. He started to want to communicate with me only be e-mail. The phone calls lessened.

The final straw came when he refused to allow me around his young sons (who had recently come back from a vacation in Hawaii). He stated the reason was because I was selfish and it was always about, “me, me, me”.

At that point, I told him I was either to be included around his sons, or I wouldn’t be with him at all.

The one thing he loved about me was the sex. All throughout the relationship, he talked about how amazing it was for him. I believe that was why the “relationship” lasted as long as it did. So, Evan, what can I learn from this situation? That I was dating a loser and a jerk? Well, that I know. Anything else? Thanks!


I have been in a relationship with this guy for eight years, four of which we have been engaged for. Before he gave me a ring, he cheated on me all of the time and that cheating sometimes included serious relationships. However, in the end though, he always seemed to be using the other girl for something that would benefit him, i.e. new clothes, new toys, drugs, clubbing, whatever. He promised me after I got the ring that if he ever doubted our relationship, he would ask me to take it off, as a sign that he wouldn’t cheat on me with the ring on.

Since then, we have had two children and we are still not married; a big sore in my eyes. Well, I had my newest child only six months ago, and shortly after I had her, he asked me to take my ring off. Needless to say, I should have known something was up when he wouldn’t come home at night but I believed all of his lies. He had a new girlfriend, and when he asked me to take the ring off, I asked him to move out. So he did move out and in with a buddy; that’s when I found out that his new girlfriend (with no kids and money) moved in too. The whole time he was gone he would always text me how much he missed me.

I let him move back home with the faith that he would stop talking to his ex-girlfriend. But he hasn’t, and after a serious talk, he still refuses too. He says they are not together, even though she wishes they were. He claims that they are best friends, and even if he stops talking to her it wouldn’t make our relationship better.

Jamie’s guy is a liar, selfish, and sexually unfaithful.
Laura’s guy is verbally AND physically abusive, selfish, and sexually unfaithful.

He says he loves me very much, but the spark is gone. I tried to explain to him that love changes over the years and you have to work at it, but he says if loves feels the way he does about me, then he doesn’t want it. I told him that I want him to pick our children up from daycare and meet me at home as I get off work, we could cook dinner, eat as a family, then just spend time with our little family. We could do stuff with friends or go out on the weekends. His response was “No, I don’t want that I don’t want to be at home with you.” I have put up with this for months and I am just really fed up. I want to be with him and even more because of my children but this is all just not fair to me. He seems so selfish. I would do anything to make this relationship work but he refuses to even try by not stopping talking to his girlfriend. So I want to move out, and I really think that’s what he has been working on, so I will be blamed when our children are older, because I moved out. So flat out, I think I deserve better, and I want a guy that is considerate to others, doesn’t lie or cheat, and etc. I am really ready to leave it all behind, but what if I hold on just a little longer and things get better? They did before we got engaged.


I have been with a man for two years now and it was a wonderful love story. He has never been physically abusive to me but has displayed passive-aggressive tendencies, which I put down to the fact that his father was an abusive alcoholic who tried to kill him, resulting in him leaving home at a young age. His mother works two jobs, cleans the house from top to bottom every day whilst putting up with the ugly abuse from the father who sits around drinking all day. This is what he knows to be family and the role model of a woman, mother and wife.

So imagine the problems that started to arise when I refused to do daily chores because I have an extremely high-pressured and stressful job (which incidentally causes problems as I earn twice as much as him) and after working silly hours, the last thing I want to do is to start playing mummy to my partner. Major problems began to arise when my boyfriend’s best friend and his girlfriend from his home country moved over here. My boyfriend started spending a lot more time at their house and going out with his best friend while the girlfriend was working nights. To top it all, I got pregnant and we agreed on a termination within a two month period of my mother’s death. I became extremely depressed, and I tried to kill myself.

My boyfriend didn’t ring to ask how I was while I was sitting at home being miserable and became less and less interested in being at home. Eventually I went into his email account which is something I would not normally have done and came across a dating site. He told me that his friend had told him to do it and that he had not actually replied to any of the people that had contacted him. So I forgave him… And then I found another one a couple of months later and was so incensed that I told him it was over.

He refused to give me his key, and what followed was a bit of a scuffle, resulting in him hitting me and me calling the police. Since then, we would talk on the phone and sometimes even watch movies together in an attempt to try and rescue the beautiful relationship we had had. However, that all changed when I went out by myself one weekend and he called me up to find out where I had been, what time I came home and how many men I had talked to, and he actually drove to my home to call me a “slut”.

He is a lovely boy but I see that he is going to turn out to be his father’s son, not to mention jealous and possessive. This still does not take away from the fact that I am his first love, and the chemistry is so great many people openly express their admiration. What to do? Give him time to develop and mature a bit more, because essentially I am happy when he is not being insecure? Or do I call it a day due to cultural differences, gather my self-respect and channel my energy into understanding myself and what it is that I am looking for?


I want to make a confession. I was watching VH1’s Tool Academy the other day.


In this “reality” show, 9 frustrated women who are dating thoughtless, lying, cheating, arrogant “tools”, desperately try to save their relationships with these hunks of meat. Basically, a therapist puts these couples through exercises designed to teach communication, trust, and self-awareness – and the winning couple – the one whose muscled, spray-tanned, spiky-haired himbo is not voted off the show – wins $100,000.

Needless to say, I was riveted.

In videotaped confessions, each of these men brag about how they’ve got their girlfriends “trained” to accept being doormats. They tick off their sexual conquests – unfaithful sexual conquests – all while the teary girlfriends watch them like wounded puppies.

And all I could think when watching this show – all ANYONE could think when watching this show was this:


Corinne’s guy is verbally abusive, selfish, and sexually unfaithful.

Jamie’s guy is a liar, selfish, and sexually unfaithful.

Laura’s guy is verbally AND physically abusive, selfish, and sexually unfaithful.

What is there to learn? What is there to say that hasn’t been said before?

There are millions of women out there in this position; I know, because thousands of them write to me. But how low does your self-esteem have to be to put up with an irredeemable, disrespectful cheater for years at a time?

So tell me, readers, what could possibly compel an otherwise sane woman to stay with such an awful specimen of a man, when that man has given no indication that he has the capacity to be either faithful or truthful?

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  1. 62

    There are plenty of good people out there who will not abuse you. Try to find a good man and stick with him.

  2. 63
    Karl R

    Corrine asked (#58)
    “is there really something to the idea that when you treat a man less than wonderful, he treats you better.”

    Since you’re a psychologist, this should be easy to explain. Think about basic Skinnerism. I get the feeling that you treat the man well regardless of how he treats you. That trains him that the reward (good treatment from you) is unrelated to his own actions/behavior. Since he can get the reward without any effort (good treatment toward you), he stops putting in the effort to treat you better.

    If you want the man to treat you better, tie your responses to his actions. If a woman takes days to respond to e-mails/voicemails, I stop trying to contact her as often, and I don’t worry about replying to her promptly.

    If a woman is distancing herself from me (through body language), I give her that space and a little extra. I don’t waste time worrying about why it’s occurring. Either the distance is temporary, and she’ll want to be close again, or it’s permanent and she’s on her way out.

    You deserve to receive the same kind of treatment that you give to the other person. To put it another way, it’s quid pro quo. But, to continue the idea of Skinnerism, don’t be 100% consistent about your reinforcement. The reinforcement will work better if it’s not completely consistent. If he does something nice, you can smile and say “Thank you”, you can give him a hug and a kiss, you can drag him into the bedroom…. You’re rewarding the good behavior, but he doesn’t have an expectation of a specific reward for a given action.

    The goal is to get a relationship between equals. As I said before, you shouldn’t be treating him like a king unless he’s treating you like a queen.

    1. 63.1

      Sounds more like Pavlov’s theory.. I’m not going to count my keystrokes or any other kind of strokes. I’m not going to train a man.
      He should come already paper trained. I’m already littered trained HA.
      Sounds like enabling. I’m not looking for the most common tragedy of King and Queen. That sounds like narcissism. I’m looking for someone who respects themselves, lives a good stable life, laughs a hell of alot and enjoys their work. A conscience man.

  3. 64

    I’m telling you. Don’t use online dating sites for anything except arranging hookups for anonymous sex. I mean obviously this guy treated you poorly, but he at least was leveraging the medium.

    If you want to make a romantic connection I’d advise joining a club of some sort. Pursue a hobby likely to also be pursued by people with whom you’ll hit it off; people with whom you might be able to establish a future. Hint: this group should not include not drug addicts, gamblers, or self-mutilators.

    Take it easy.

    CasualEncountersBlog´s last blog post…Site update: Chat added

  4. 65

    I understand why you are where you are. It is a sad realization, when you finally come to grips that the inherent character traits of someone you thought you loved, is an abuser. He won’t change, and violence escalates. Run for your life! Phone the nearest county services where you reside, check into a safe house and file a restraining order. Safe houses have counseling and legal resources available. Start a new life…NOW…while you still have one. Some women don’t get out alive.

  5. 66

    I think it might be largely chemistry with some element of challenge thrown in. There are some people who set off an invisible hum inside you; others don’t. Adrenaline (from fighting) can heighten this hum. And so can *make up * sex. Possibly the emotional charges in a bad relationship become somewhat addictive?

    Add to that for some people there exists an element of challenge in keeping a difficult relationship going –the desire “to win”. They will keep going back for round 6, round 11, round 20 in pursuit of that win whatever it happens to mean to them.

    Also, very seldom do abusive people, liars and cheaters present themselves that way at first. No matter what one’s level of self esteem or disfunctional backround, how many people who were abused, lied to, cheated on on a first date do you think would agree to a second? The bad behavior usually starts after a relationship has already been firmly established and the victim is more wholly emotionally invested and presumably more reluctant to leave.

  6. 67
    Not Dating

    “My Boyfriend is a Verbally Abusive, Physically Abusive, Emotionally Abusive, Sexually Unfaithful Man. What Should I Do?”

    Marry his of course!!! Or you could run, change your phone number and never look back. Personally I would say if your boyfriend is any ONE of the four things mentioned in this title then you should dump him quick.

  7. 68

    Also, very seldom do abusive people, liars and cheaters present themselves that way at first. No matter what one’s level of self Selena: “No matter what level of someone’s self esteem or disfunctional backround, how many people who were abused, lied to, cheated on on a first date do you think would agree to a second? The bad behavior usually starts after a relationship has already been firmly established and the victim is more wholly emotionally invested and presumably more reluctant to leave.”

    Selena, that’s basically what happened to me. The man that he presented himself as was definitely not the man that revealed himself at the end. It was literally a Jeckyl-Hyde kind of thing.

  8. 69


    That’s an experience I’ve had also. I became involved with a guy I thought was a good match for me, came to feel he was my best friend. This ex is also someone I now literally describe as a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde – EXACT WORDS.

    The abuse was so insidious, came on gradually over a period of time, and I found it hard to believe coming from a guy who was always telling me, and showing me, he loved me. It was terribly confusing until he just became too much to take.

    Prior to this relationship, I didn’t have self esteem issues. I did not come from a disfunctional family. And in fact, I have a degree in multiple disciplines of social science. Shouldn’t I have spotted this kind of thing right off? The violent potential? Well I didn’t.

    When discussing situations like this, it might be helpful to be aware that “pat” answers (self esteem for example is a hard concept to measure) seldom explain why people make the choices they do. Listening deeper, might provide more understanding. I think of it as psychological archeology -subtling sifting through different levels.

  9. 70

    i can’t believe how many replies are simplistic and judgmental.

    i am on the exit side of a verbally abusive relationship that much of the time was close, intimate, fun, and adventurous…he had a childhood that was nighmarish…there was a part of me that want to help heal the wounds, and forgive his transgressions because i knew his actions were coming from that very damaged place…

    but once i realized my love and patience and understanding were not going to heal his darkness, my plea to my friends was NOT how can i change him or how can i make this work…it was how do i let go? HOW DO I LET GO? How do i walk away when i am being intimidated, manipulated and there is genuine care even tho i know its over i cannot help this person….relationships like this are as much an addiction as heroin or gambling…even when you know the drug ain’t gettin you high any more how do you overcome the HABIT?

    it’s a long journey of commitment, determination, positive behaviors…(yoga, walking, meditating, talking with friends, healing…) to separate from this powerful drug…

  10. 71

    Hmm, somehow I don’t think of healing my SO’s wounds as part of a healthy (not to mention, desirable) relationship.
    I mean, wounds inflicted on my time – sure, I’ll be there for him just like I expect him to be there in tough times for me.
    But someone intimidating and manipulating me because his behavior “comes from a dark place” – exactly how is it judgmental of me not to want to be someone’s therapist?.. :-%

  11. 72

    I wish I knew where to meet women with low self-esteem.

  12. 73
    Karl R

    Michael said: (#72)
    “I wish I knew where to meet women with low self-esteem.”


  13. 75

    Women with low self-esteem (such as those who ask Evan what to do if their boyfriens is a verablly abusive, physically abusive, emotionally abusive, sexually unfaithful man) are easier to manipulate and easier to keep.

  14. 76

    So what you’re saying is that you’re just a lazy bum?

  15. 77


    Easier to keep, I understand. But do you really want a woman you can manipulate? I imagine that type of relationship would feel rather emotionally vacant, and not at all something that I would desire myself.

  16. 78
    Karl R

    Michael said: (#75)
    “Women with low self-esteem are easier to manipulate and easier to keep.”

    These women come with baggage. Tons of it.

    I knew one such woman who slept around with a lot of men, because it made her “feel loved”. Her husband may have gotten a sexy wife who didn’t leave him, but he also ended up sharing her with a lot of friends, acquaintances and strangers.

    Or you could get a woman who is convinced that she’s not good enough to keep you happy, so she constantly suspicious that you’re cheating on her (or will cheat on her) with any woman that you pay any attention to.

    Or you could get a woman who is convinced that you’ll dump her once you get to know her … so she protects herself by dumping you preemptively.

    And if you’re manipulating her, everybody will be encouraging her to dump your ass. said: (#74)
    “Kind of obvious, isn’t it. You can punch above your weight with the low-self-esteemers.”

    I can think of a few preferable ways to get a woman who would normally be out of my league:

    #1 – Be her type
    My first serious relationship was with a woman who “liked lanky men”. To most women I was too thin, but to this woman I was irresistable.

    #2 – Have high self-esteem
    Last year I dated a woman who was as fit as me, smarter than me, better educated than me, funnier than me, better looking than me, had a more prestigious job, out-earned me, and she even danced better than me.

    I was the only smart, educated, fit, good looking, employed, funny dancer who wasn’t too intimidated to date her.

    #3 – Date someone others find undesirable
    My current girlfriend is in her late 40s. But she’s more fit, energetic and sexier than almost any woman my age (or younger). But because of her age, there are fewer men competing for her than there are for less attractive women in their 30s.

    And I don’t get stuck with tons of baggage if I do any of these.

  17. 79

    Michael- you sound like quite the ladies’ man *cough*

  18. 80

    As one can deduce from this article, men who are verbally abusive, physically abusive, emotionally abusive, and sexually unfaithful can be ladies’ men.

  19. 81

    Okay, Michael and others who think this way, let me tell you how it is.

    The only men women might take this crap from (and, mind you, this would take a particular kind of woman – insecure and at least somewhat emotionally messed up) are the highly desirable alpha males. I.e., those possessing a combination of physical attractiveness with confidence in their being god’s gift to women and disregard for social norms. These absolutely must be men women tend to compete over.

    Those same women will NOT look twice at a man who doesn’t measure up to these criteria, regardless of how assh*lish his behavior might be, but will think instead that he has to run on his “hind legs” around them for them to pay him any attention.

  20. 82

    This man has no respect for woman, is most likely uneducated and not raised to have class…you cannot change this…most likely the sex is good and keeps you attached and you may not be financially independent.  I have kept men around for sex but I know for a fact, this type of man is not relationship material and I wouldn't for a minute consider anything serious with a man who disrespects women via verbal abuse or lack of respect…you destroy your own self esteem when you put up with that.  Try to become financially independent and get a man you deserve.

  21. 83
    Louise Krekic

    Hi Corrine
    The guy isnt worthy of even being looked at not mantioning sleeping with.
    He is someone that doesnt even respect his own mother. He is manipulative and a borderline criminal who can spread aids around.

  22. 84

    (Miriam, #82) This man has no respect for woman, is most likely uneducated and not raised to have class…

    Education and fidelity really don’t have much in common. Your Ivy League guy isn’t less likely to cheat than the high school drop out…

    (Louise, #83) He is manipulative and a borderline criminal who can spread aids around.

    Let’s remember not to vilify people living with AIDS and HIV. Yes, you & your partner(s) should get tested for STDs. However, someone having an STD doesn’t automatically make them a cheater or a bad person. I’ve been working with an AIDS charity for over five years, and I’ve yet to meet someone with that disease who in any way deserved it.

    I’d say a bigger threat is someone who doesn’t get regularly tested, has no symptoms, and unknowingly gives you something… And yeah, it could be that really nice, educated, guy-next-door-type who’s falling in love with you! 80% of people who have an STD experience no noticeable symptoms. One in four college students has an STD. Scary, right? Practice safe sex and get tested.

    That said, I agree that anyone abusive isn’t worth your time or your body!

  23. 85
    David T

    Jamie is a co-dependent of a sex addict and needs external help in a big way. A man who demands sex immediately, has it in the house with a woman he is only just dating while his teenage daughters are home and is having sex with so many different women is clearly compulsive and not thinking of how he affects others. The well being of Jamie’s children (and herself too) counts on getting help. Please tell her to do go to  immediately, and visit this page.
    I bet she recognizes herself quickly and will be in tears by the bottom of the list. She is not alone and needs to know that.

  24. 86

    I find it really sad that so many women have such low self worth.  I have made mistakes in regard to men, but never have I endured ANY of this behavior, so it’s hard for me to understand.

    What do these women want when they write?  Validation that things might get better?

    Maybe it’s therapeutic for them to write about this?  Hopefully that’s the case and they can see how crazy their behavior is in regard to men like this, how they view themselves and realize they need to learn and do things differently.

  25. 87

    First, you can believe that these men weren’t tools to these women in the beginning.  Like a lot of guys do to win a woman, they probably pulled out all the stops wooing and screwing to win the women.  Then, once they had them, all bets were off!  I know, because the same happened to me.  Women get very invested in relationships.  Sex and romance are the glue.  When he starts treating you like sh** you can’t believe it.  It has to be your fault!  You try harder still.  You have convinced yourself if only I was fill in the blank he would treat me better because he is a prince (based on his prior behavior).  You want things to go back to the way they are, and you are holding that ghost of the relationship in your heart.  You are in love with the guy you knew at the beginning who was so considerate and sweet. I was trapped in a relationship like this for nearly a decade.  I thought it was my fault that he was acting like an a** and of course he did nothing to disavow me of that notion.  It took me moving away from him to finally wake up, as well as many teary eyed conversations with my mother to convince me it was him all along.  But I learned something very important.  I learned what love IS NOT.  What it doesn’t look like and what it doesn’t feel like.  So that was my tools gift to me.  I lived and I learned. I’m happily married now.

  26. 88

    I am one of these women, I will tell you exactly why I deal with it….past 2 years prior to meeting him, I had no dates, no relationship and no interest from any man.  I am 46, physically fit, stylish, and alone.  Being with him beats being by myself.  I get sick of it every now and then and leave…..then the lonelies set in and I call him back.  My self esteem is not low, I was not abused as a child, I lived in a loving 2 family home.  My career is fulfilling, I volunteer, I put myself out there but have been invisible.  Our relationship is 80% bad, 20% good and it beats nothing.  How sad you say?  Don’t cry for me Argentina….it beats nothing and I’m still looking for the decent guy….

  27. 89

    It all depends on expectations and preferences.

    Personally, I would walk out the door (and call the police) the moment abuse enters the equation.

    On cheating, however… there are men who are just not programmed to confront life’s difficulties straight-on, and they will find solace in short flings that take their minds off the responsibilities that come with a steady relationship. Yes, it’s a character flaw, but in several cases it’s counterbalanced by other qualities.

    I’d take an intellectually brilliant/emotionally deep cheater over a faithful simpleton anytime. Of course there’s brilliant, emotionally deep, faithful men around… oh no, wait, not really. Maybe, but I don’t think I want to spend my life looking for unicorns.

    Most guys who are big catches do know it. They have big egos. Most guys who are in touch with their feelings are interesting to women, but they also need tons of attention. For a driven woman who has a career besides having a relationship/family it’s either dial back her own pursuits to give her big-catch mate more time and attention or accept that he’s going to look for comfort in someone else, from time to time. It’s a choice.

    Not to mention that, with a very unsuccessful career as the proverbial other woman in my past, I can attest that these guys almost always go back home after getting their fix of attention and comfort from the new and exciting girl, so the primary woman in their life really has nothing to worry about.

    More power to the few superwomen who manage to get their hands on someone who’s got Hemingway’s talents or JFK’s standing, but not the same number of extramarital relationships. If I were that level of great, I’d feel constantly misunderstood too, and I’d want everything too.

  28. 90

    you know i am in the same boat my bf of 4 years cheated with a girl who i tried to help and she was a hooker on drugs he gave me an std and i am pregnant i am thinking of not having the baby because he is so mean to me and i really dont think i will ever get help from him he basically just uses me but as soon as another girl comes along he treats me like crap he has done so much to hurt and the fact i take care of him is really a slap to the face he tells me i am to fat thats why we are not intament and he goes on dating websites he doesnt pay rent he has never helped me bills and he never has bought me a gift like i have him he has been physically and emontionally abusive putting me down acting like i am not important unless he needs something from me i have been humillated tortured and ran into the ground and he acts like i am wronging him when i kick him out the of the house i have forgave him 5 times for cheating or related cheating the phsical abuse and the emotional crap hes put me through and he claims to other females he is a good guy but even his ex put him in jail for abuse and he did the samething to her just not as bad as me i think he is evil or really just doesnt care

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