My Boyfriend is a Verbally 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?

Join our conversation (116 Comments).
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  1. 91

    The answer to why is an abusive past.

  2. 92

    I totally disagree with whomever has said so prophetically that people don’t change.  That is mularkey.
    The problem is that people don’t change UNTIL they see and recognize a problem to be changed.  People do this all the time outside themselves.  If they see they have a tire low on air, they recognize it as a problem and go either put more air in their tire or they check to see if the tire needs to be replaced.
    In the case of these women, it’s not their fault that they met a guy who is an a-hole.  That’s often the luck of the draw.  However, upon seeing that he’s an a-hole, they don’t recognize it as a problem.  Thus, these are issues that are inside them, and until they recognize these issues as their own first, their dating habits won’t change.  Until you believe you deserve a man who treats you in a way that really suits your wishes, you won’t find one. 

    As hard as this is for people to admit, people get trated by people this way when  it suits them!  If you aren’t demanding anything more from people who repeatedly step on you, then you clearly don’t think you deserve much better.  Because people who step on me get ousted from my life.  Pretty quickly.  So these women have to do some very tough soul-searching.  These are tough, deep issues in my mind and no amount of advice on the ‘Dr. Phil-quick fix’ level will solve this overnight.  

  3. 93
    simple. break up.

    Sounds like there is nothing pleasing about these guys except for the sex. That’s not even worth it. Break it off. They are a waste of your time. 

  4. 94

    Hm.  When I was a young woman, my husband hit me hard in the face.  We had been arguing about something (which in hindsight, did not deserve such a hard slap in the face or any slap at all).
    He was furious.  When he had calmed down, I told him slowly and calmly that if he ever did that again, I would leave.  He laughed.
    On another occasion, time 2, he had had a rotten day at work.  He came home and decided to take it out on me.  He lifted his hand, and I walked out of the room and out of the house.
    He then apologized on my return.
    The next day, I went to a lawyer, to find out how I could leave.  He went to work the next day, I packed up my things and left.
    Simple.  And then filed for divorce full stop
    However, it isn’t that simple.  Angry individuals KNOW instinctively which women/men they can do it with.  And in a certain kind of perverse way, I do believe that these women (probably subconsciously) think that they deserve this kind of treatment.
    He hits them and then brings them flowers.  She thinks, ah, that’s better.
    And then he does it again and brings chocolates.  He’s changed she thinks.
    And on and on it goes.
    Ask yourself the right questions and you’ll get the right answers.  This is what a man once told me when I said, “but he’s my husband.  Does he love me, or what?”
    The right question, or at least one of them is “I’m his wife.  Do I love him and the way he treats me????”

  5. 95

    Judy well done you.
    You have to be able to leave.
    Sadly many women are not in a postion to just leave. Usually wives who are dependent with children. And their abusers know this.
    So if it hasn’t gotten to that stage and it is just a boyfriend get out, get help and get away. Sometimes this will mean having to move away if it is really bad change of name etc.
    Sadly the most dangerous thing to do is get restraining orders. The first sign is a push. It is all down hill from there. Get out and get help.

  6. 96

    Stats show he is most likely to kill you when you leave.
    It doesn’t mean you should stay but have a plan and stick to it.

  7. 97

    Marymary – 96 and Rose 95.  Thank you ladies for this.  I also had a child who was very young and, in addition, I was in a foreign country, was very young myself and did not speak the language that well.  HE had his family as well.
    However, if us women and men educate our women (and men) via this site for example, we can teach them how to do it.
    I) You find out your rights (lawyer)
    II) You make sure you leave quick enough and have somewhere to go
    III) You make sure that he doesn’t know where you are going AND you are super sure that you are protected (by another man/by the police/by a shelter for battered women if you really have to)
    But first of all, you have to get out of there.  He can’t hit you if you aren’t there, can he????????
    (Or maybe I’m being naïve here – so far, I have never heard of a woman who has done the III steps above, being killed by her husband. )
    Please correct me if I’m wrong.
    The shit which happens to other people has a lesson in it – don’t accept it again AND teach our younger/older/more fragile persons how to do it right first time.

  8. 98

    That’s true Mary Mary and why restraining orders are so dangerous. Women need to be smart make a plan, not tell the man and be ready to dissapear and make a new life.

  9. 99

    Rose 98 – great comment.  Why should you tell a man what you are doing, when you don’t want him in your life? I don’t see the point.
    Similar thing – I no longer wished to go out with a boyfriend and told him so politely.  He then sends me a letter a year letter asking me how is my sex life.  To which I did not reply.  Why I’m saying this? I don’t want him in my life – and my sex life is no longer his concern.

  10. 101

    I had the same thing happen, and he wanted me AND stay married (separated 15 years, have evenings out w her,etc.) AND have a few other women in the wings. When this ON/OFF Bullsh*t finally wore me down emotionally and mentally, I took a giant step back and much happier for it. Had a few lite dates and then eventually met a decent guy a year later. When I ran into the “Old Jerk”…he was more like a pesky fly that I wanted to swat away. Still the same selfish idiot.

  11. 102

    @Michele #88: U may think u don’t have low self-esteem, but most pple would disagree. I can’t really understand your thinking that having a horrible partner beats being alone. Really? I think it’s partly that desperation to be in a relationship which makes your partner feel he can do anything and u’ll still stay. For me, if the guy isn’t treating me v well, i’ll leave. Ironically a majority of men then generally treat me well–I believe ppl tend to treat u the way u expect to be treated.
    I think u should leave the guy and Not go back. Find ways to improve your self esteem, if necessary see a therapist or at least buy some self-help books. U’ll end up with a better guy this way, I’m sure of it. But really that shouldn’t even be your focus, your focus should be on being emotionally-healthy. 🙂
    I’m very confused by Rose’s (#98) post. Are restraining orders really so dangerous? I’m concerned. Because my ex-bf has never physically harmed me, but he has been sending me threatening texts, saying that if I didn’t come back to him then I’d be in physical danger. I’ve been thinking of going to the cops to give him an official warning. The crazy thing is he’s still asking me to marry him, he must think i’m as insane as he is.

  12. 103

    Oh and that ex-bf in question was emotionally abusive as well, so I have some experience with it (although nothing on the level of what this article describes).  Many of the things he’d say would just make my blood boil. I feel being around such pple is soo unhealthy, it really can affect your blood pressure and your health and will age you prematurely. Ladies gotta get out of such relationships asap. Life is Way too short to waste it with some abuser/loser.

    1. 103.1

      Here here. Health is too important to survival then trying to stick with abuse.

  13. 104

    A-L has covered quite a bit already, and I’m in agreement. Some people have only ever known drama all their lives and it’s familiar to them. Put her with a normal, respectful guy and she says “I don’t FEEL anything for him, no chemistry” blah blah blah. It’s true, people can become addicted to the drama. It’s also true, that people can become addicted to the abusive patterns and can’t get out. What’s more, it’s also true that people can become addicted to and fall for their abuser, which is known as Stockholm Syndrome. Moreover, may women (and men too) continue to seek significant others who mimic the personalities of people they had issues with in the past. A father who wasn’t available emotionally, a mother who was controlling, a parent who only praised their child when they fulfilled “expected levels of performance or standards,” a sibling who taunted them into thinking they were worthless. At some point, it’s time to wake up and realize you’re good enough. Right now. Right here. And you don’t need anyone’s approval. And yet, so many stay because the become the doormat co-dependents. Classic feelings: hooked on pleasing others, forsaking your own needs to others’, shouldering too much blame when things go wrong, always giving and never feeling you ever got anything in return, rescuing others or attempting to ‘fix’ them, etc. (The book, The Doormat Syndrome by Lynn Namka is excellent) explains so much of it. There are tons of reasons, physiologically speaking, that explain why people stay. The question really should be, how can someone in this situation become self-aware enough, and find the right support, to make the hard, internal changes that need to be made to move away from the bullies, the narcissists, the sociopaths, and the ass-hats? Some people just don’t know any better, and never figure out that THEY’re the one who needs fixing, not the Tools who abuse them. Like any addiction, it takes an enormous desire to change, and an unrelenting will to do better for yourself. To love yourself unconditionally. So that any whiff of bullying is met with that ‘punch in the gut’ reaction that makes you run, run, away as fast as you can instead of staying and thinking, ‘oh, it’s you again, my familiar bully.’

  14. 105

    Excellent Julie
    I’ll read that book.
    well said well writen.
    Tks hugs

  15. 106

    After reading the letters published by these women, I was hoping to gain some sort of additional perspective to my situation.   I have not.   Reading these “letters” makes me even more upset… “Beam me up Scotti, there is no intelligent life down here!”

  16. 107

    Women in abusive or unhealthy relationships with sociopaths, narcissists or addicts (sex addict in this article) get this question all the time. “Why did you stay so long, when an obviously intelligent woman like you, should have seen he was a jerk and treated you badly?” This question from others who haven’t experienced  it are understandable, but very unhelpful for a woman who is already beating herself up over it, unless like Evan you ask to understand in order to help others.

    The main reasons are:

    1) The awful men are skilled at what they do. It is very difficult for a “normal” person to recognize, accept, and try not to help a person with a pathological disorder. One person said it so well…”once you are madly in love, they are madly in control”.

    2) They believe the man thinks like a normal person, making their contradictory behavior baffling. We love them, expecting the respect to be returned, as in our other normal relationships, such as friendships.

    3) The women have co-dependent tendencies. They look to the other for self-worth, acknowledgement and approval, instead of looking within. It is often a repeat of previous significant relationships (parents) when we didn’t get the love, attention or respect we needed or were hurt. We learn it was “our fault” and we try harder and harder to “do better”, or help the other change, to find love externally.

    4) By the time you realize what is going on, and you start believing your gut and the evidence that it is not you, it’s them, you are probably very invested financially or emotionally. This is exactly the place of powerlessness that the sociopath wants you to be in. They get their ego fix from you being dependent on them. It is very hard and potentially devastating to leave. You may be ruined financially or emotionally.

    5) The universe is trying to tell you something! You need this person to point out your own wounds that need to be healed and until you do, you will continue to seek relationships with the same type of people. I don’t wish these kinds of assholes on any woman. But it took me being abused to finally wake up.

    This woman says it all so much better than I can. Worth a read…


  17. 108

    Evan, I can understand why you asked this question.  It is the sort of thing that is difficult to understand from the outside looking in, when you haven’t actually experienced it yourself.  Well, at the beginning, I can tell you that many abusers are very much like “normal” men. Most abusers are smart enough to know that if they’re abusive starting from date one–there will be no date two!

    Through the first few dates, the abusive man I dated before and the good one I’m with now actually acted very much alike.  In fact, that abusive man I dated before actually did all the “right” things–was very polite and charming, immediately contacted me again for another date, contacted me regularly in between dates, etc.  It wasn’t until later on that he became verbally and emotionally abusive.  The main difference between him and the good one I’m with now is that the good one has consistently kept treating me as well as he did at the beginning–but the one before basically put on a good facade, that then crumbled.

    Even when the abuse starts, it’s important to realize that these abusers are not jerks all the time.  Even one of the most infamous abusers, Ike Turner, always gave Tina “apology” gifts after beatings (one time in an interview, she said she had a ton of those in her closet).  I would google the terms “intermittent reinforcement” and “trauma bonding” to understand this more.   Why do some people keep betting on slot machines, even though they don’t win most of the time?  Because of the promise of intermittent rewards here and there–thinking they’ll get the “good” stuff if they just keep hanging in there longer.  Similarly, some women keep hanging on for those spurts of the “good” moments.

    I swear that the guy I was with before had some evil ESP or radar, where he sensed I was about to leave (even without me saying anything).  That’s when he swept back in with the Prince Charming act again.  Don’t underestimate how manipulative these people are.

    Those are just some of my random thoughts on this


  18. 109

    These men are called narcissists or Cluster B borderline personality disordered.

    pathological lying is part of the condition. I dated one I met online he was childlike and charming. He proved to be a man who a harem of women all in different stages of ‘relationships’ with him.

    He disappears for months then finds me again will be sweet then nasty, will claim he loves me and has changed, has to have a serious operation literally every word is a provable lie. I play along up to a point. He has been “loving me” and wanted marriage for about 10 months now but he isn’t single.

    he told me off for not “fighting” to be with him. Irrational abusive pathological person who rages if you dare mention the contractions or his partner.


    It it is worth reading about narcissism then they are 100% predicable but hard to shift like a human stain. They hook you with great sex and fake words and sob stories.

  19. 110

    …im one of these girls….my boyfriend is verbally, physically abusive and sexually unfaithful…but all of the things you Ladies are commenting….i KNOW. Ive gone througj therapy from a young age due to adoption …ladies my question is so much deeper then what do i do….its WHY THE HECK AM I DOING THIS STILL TO MYSELF! When i KNOW hes using me, lying, that my self esteem sucks, that i watched my mom go through it…and that there IS better. What the hell is wrong with me!! I leave and then he txts and i go back…its like my mind is still trapped here in THIS VERY ROOM I WRITE FROM!!!!!!!

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