You feel like you are going crazy. They turn everything around. They will make you feel like you are the one that is going crazy instead of them. You might become paranoid.
You might worry about what you wear and what you say and freak out if someone changes your plans or something unexpected happens that you will have to explain later.
If you are a peaceful person, you might find yourself constantly fighting. You might explode when you get too frustrated. You feel like there is something seriously wrong with you. You feel like you are walking on eggshells. Get a job offer in another state? Agree to babysit for your sister? You might be terrified of what your partner will say or do if you tell them. You feel like you are dating Dr. It seems like your partner is two completely different people. Like flipping a switch, he can change drastically from one extreme to the next.
One day, he is caring and loving and wonderful, and the next he is hateful and raging and mean. You feel like you have no voice. From little things to big things, you feel like your partner never listens. You might want to go to the movies—your partner will make sure you go out to dinner instead. You might think that the Bears are the best football team—your partner will convince you that you are stupid for thinking so because they suck. Your partner has no remorse.
He or she might get upset—especially if you try to break up with them or say that you are leaving—however, there is no underlying remorse for hurting you. Even when they hurt you, they make you feel bad for the pain it has caused them.
Your partner has no guilt. He or she might say that they are sorry if they hurt you hit you, scream at you, cheat on you…etc. Your partner is a world-class liar. They lie about what they do. Who they talk to. They can look you in the eye and lie. They can swear on their life that they are not lying.
If they get caught, they change their story. Your partner is a chameleon. He or she acts one way when they are around you, but completely different around your parents, and completely different around their friends. In the beginning of a relationship they might seem like everything you ever wanted…. They change to fit whatever group they are in. You feel isolated and alone. Your partner finds faults with your friends or makes you feel bad or uncomfortable about any time you spend with other people.
Slowly, you lose your friends until you feel like your partner is the only person you have left. You have no support group and therefore your partner gains more power.
You feel like you are on a roller coaster. Your partner cycles from mean and vicious to sweet and loving, then back again. Each time he hurts you, he apologizes and promises that it will never happen again or that he will change. You want to believe that this is possible, but the cycle keeps repeating and each time your self-esteem is chipped away at, bit by bit. You have no confidence or self-esteem.
Your partner knows your weaknesses and he goes after your most vulnerable parts, hurting you where he knows it will do the most damage. You feel bad about yourself. You feel ashamed, lost, alone, confused, numb, afraid, crazy, stupid, ugly, fat, worthless, embarrassed, unloveable, wrong. Your partner tortures animals, is mean to children, or nasty to waitresses. He might hit or kick your dog whenever he comes over. A healthy person is consistent in the way they treat people, regardless of their status.
He or she might even brag about the fact that they have left a trail of tears behind them. They might talk about cheating on an old partner, or be proud of their reputation.
They might speak badly about a previous partner, claiming that their previous partner was crazy, or a bitch, or an asshole. Other people might warn you about dating your partner—if they have a track record of abuse, most likely it is only a matter of time until they abuse you. Your friends and family wish that you would break up.
You might get mad at people for trying to convince you to break up with your partner, or make excuses for your partner because you are convinced that you are the only one that understands him or her.
Your partner will play into this, claiming that other people are just jealous of what you have or are just trying to bring you two down. Your partner has a sense of entitlement. He or she feels entitled to act the way that they do. For example, if someone hurts them, they feel they have a right to retaliate.
If a teacher fails them, or a coworker says something bad about them, they feel entitled to revenge. He or she might spread nasty rumors about you. They might talk to other people about how bad they have it and how hard it is to date someone like you.
They might call you fat in front of your friends, or make fun of your clothes. They might bring up personal issues at inappropriate times. One and one never add up to two. You never feel like you know the whole story.
If you work hard to fix one thing, they will find something else that is wrong. Even if you were perfect, your partner would make you out to be completely messed up. If he or she does something that is clearly wrong, they will find a way to turn it back around on you. If they hit you, they will make you feel like it was because of something you did wrong. If you catch them lying, they change their story…. You start to feel like you are playing a game to which there are no rules and there is no way out.
Your partner has to know where you are and what you are doing at all times. Miss a phone call from your partner? They will accuse you of cheating. Talk to a member of the opposite sex, they interrogate you about it. Come home an hour later than usual? You better be ready to explain where you were and what you were doing and why you were doing it. Of course, your partner is allowed to do whatever he or she wants and you are not allowed to question them, but they will control everything you do.
You feel sorry for your partner. A lot of times, these stories are sad. As real as they might be, and as sad as they might be, they are a trap that keeps you stuck.
Your partner is the life of the party. They always have the a comeback, or a joke. They can be funny, easy-going, exciting, attractive. You feel a pull to them, and they make you feel special. Eventually, this might turn into arrogance. They act as if they are the smartest, hottest, richest or most successful person and everyone knows it. They will even tell you this if they get the chance.
They always have an excuse or a story or someone to blame: You did something wrong first to make them explode. The police have always been out to get them even though they never do anything wrong.
Teachers and bosses are trying to make things hard for them on purpose. No matter what they do, or have done, nothing is ever their fault.