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To Sam

Is it emotional abuse?

I've been in an on and off relationship for ov r a year now. He's broken up with me then gotten back with me three times now. Every time he blames me and continues to blame me for his current emotional state yet it's very on and off. Hel say things like "i hate you" "why do you even try to help me it never gets anywhere" "it's your fault I'm depressed I wish I never got with you" then after all this he'll say it was a joke then beat himself up about the way he treats me. I don't think he knows how much it hurts me but I get so upset yet can still describ him in no other way than "I love him more than anything". I think i have crazy angxiety and bes very obviously deppressed I know the only way to fix this is to get him help but he refuses to see anyone.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Communication is a really important part of a healthy relationship. If you think your boyfriend would listen and be respectful when you talk to him, it could help to let him know how you’re feeling. If you suspect that he’d carry on blaming you or being emotionally abusive, think about whether this relationship will ever be right for you. You deserve to be respected and cared about.

Strong feelings and attachments can make us stay in relationships that aren't right for us sometimes. Even though it can be painful, we sometimes allow ourselves to be hurt because the thought of losing a person is too much to cope with. Even one who abuses us. From what you've told me, it sounds as though the way your boyfriend's treating you is emotional abuse.

It can help to think about what you’d like to get from a relationship. Ask yourself:

• how would I like to be treated by a boyfriend?

• what support would I like to have from someone I’m in a relationship with?

• what type of person would I like to spend my time with?

You mentioned that you have anxiety and it seems as though this relationship is affecting your life a lot. You have the right to get support with your anxiety. There are a number of ways to manage anxiety, and it's important to find what works best for you. If you’d like medical help, you can always talk to your doctor about it.

Sometimes abusive relationships can make you feel very isolated, like you’re on your own with everything. It could also help to let people you trust know about how you’re feeling.

Remember, you can always talk to a counsellor about anything that's going on for you, too. You don’t have to keep this to yourself. There’s also a website called Disrespect Nobody, which has more information about abuse in relationships and lots of ideas about how to get help if you’re feeling unsafe.

I’m really glad that you felt able to get in touch.

Take care,


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